The Scout Squad panel are back to champion the stand-out picks for Gameweek 32, which happens to be a ‘double’ for Tottenham Hotspur – so there is no surprise that three of our four writers have opted for a triple-up on the Lilywhites, despite their patchy form.
For those new to this feature, Fantasy Football Scout editor David, deputy editor Neale, video content manager Andy and Pro Pundit Tom each put forward an 18-man long-list of players and explain their notable inclusions and omissions below.
The assets listed will then be narrowed down to a squad of 15 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83.0m) for the weekly Scout Picks selection ahead of the FPL deadline at 18:30 GMT on Friday.
In each writer’s squad, there are requirements for at least:
- One goalkeeper costing £5.0m or less
- One sub-£5.0m defender
- One midfielder listed at £6.5m or below
- One forward priced at £7.5m or lower
Each panelist is also restricted to no more than three players from the same team, as is the case in FPL.
We will again be adding a captaincy to the Scout Picks, with details of that revealed on Friday.
|GK||Bernd Leno||Hugo Lloris||Hugo Lloris||Rui Patrício|
|Edouard Mendy||Edouard Mendy||Edouard Mendy||Bernd Leno|
|Robert Sanchez||Bernd Leno||Bernd Leno||Kasper Schmeichel|
|DF||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Luke Shaw||Luke Shaw||Sergio Reguilón|
|Conor Coady||Willy Boly||Conor Coady||Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|Cesar Azpilicueta||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Luke Shaw|
|Luke Shaw||Calum Chambers||Ricardo Pereira||César Azpilicueta|
|Rob Holding||Arthur Masuaku||Calum Chambers||Conor Coady|
|MF||Son Heung-min||Son Heung-min||Son Heung-min||Mohamed Salah|
|Jesse Lingard||Bruno Fernandes||Mohamed Salah||Diogo Jota|
|Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah||Bruno Fernandes||Son Heung-min|
|Bruno Fernandes||Jesse Lingard||Mason Greenwood||Kevin De Bruyne|
|Adama Traoré||Gabriel Martinelli||Jesse Lingard||Jesse Lingard|
|FW||Harry Kane||Harry Kane||Harry Kane||Harry Kane|
|Kelechi Iheanacho||Kelechi Iheanacho||Kelechi Iheanacho||Jamie Vardy|
|Alexandre Lacazette||Richarlison||Alexandre Lacazette||Kelechi Iheanacho|
|Gabriel Jesus||Callum Wilson||Dominic Calvert-Lewin||Alexandre Lacazette|
|Chris Wood||Edinson Cavani||Callum Wilson||Edinson Cavani|
Most popular picks: Bernd Leno, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luke Shaw, Son Heung-min, Mohamed Salah, Jesse Lingard, Harry Kane, Kelechi Iheanacho (four), Edouard Mendy, Conor Coady, Bruno Fernandes, Alexandre Lacazette (three)
After a Gameweek 31 clean sheet against Sheffield United, I think we can trust Arsenal for more defensive returns this time out, which is why I have included Bernd Leno and Rob Holding in my latest selection.
Over their last six home matches, the Gunners rank joint-sixth for the fewest goals conceded while Fulham have blanked in four of their past seven Premier League outings.
Despite going back-to-back games without a shut-out, I still believe there are clean sheets to be had from Chelsea as they remain best in the division for expected goals conceded over the last six matches. As ever, Edouard Mendy and César Azpilicueta are the most nailed-on options to capitalise on that.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has rediscovered his Fantasy form with 44 points across his last six matches and back-to-back double-digit hauls in Gameweeks 30 and 31. I think he can sustain that against Leeds considering that, over those six matches, no FPL defender has matched Liverpool’s right-back for key passes or big chances created.
Ahead of facing Burnley, Luke Shaw remains in the top five defenders for key passes over the same period.
Meanwhile, Conor Coady is the most nailed-on Wolves defender as they prepare to host a Sheffield United outfit that has scored seven away goals in 15 attempts this season.
Son Heung-min remains top of the Premier League for big chances created over the last six matches, so his two matches against a porous Southampton backline and unreliable Everton defence make him a solid option.
Jesse Lingard should continue his impressive form against a Newcastle outfit that has conceded at least two goals in nine of their last 14 Premier League outings. Just two players in the whole division have registered more shots on target than the West Ham midfielder across his last six matches. He also ranks inside the league’s top five for shots in the box and big chances over the same period, strongly hinting that his form is sustainable.
Mohamed Salah now has goals in back-to-back league games and sits top of the division for shots in the box over his last six matches, so I am backing him to get something against Leeds on Monday night.
Harry Kane, Chris Wood and Kelechi Iheanacho are among my favourite forwards for Double Gameweek 32. They join Lingard inside the Premier League’s best assets for most shots on target over the last six.
For those Fantasy bosses who like to have every morsel of information at their disposal before making transfer plans, Gameweek 32 is a bit of a nightmare.
With the matches so spread out over the coming week, a maximum of just 12 Premier League managers will hold their official pre-match press conferences before Friday’s Fantasy Premier League deadline.
Chelsea, Manchester City, Southampton and Leicester City are also in FA Cup semi-final action before their midweek Gameweek 32 fixtures, so for the champions-elect and the Blues in particular, second-guessing line-ups is a fool’s errand at this early stage.
I’ve therefore gone without players from Chelsea and City, not because I don’t think their respective fixtures offer the potential for points but because I simply have little clue who will take to the field in a week’s time.
It’s a similar-ish situation with Arsenal at the time of writing but they at least are in Europa League action on Thursday evening, giving us 24 hours to tweak our Gunners selections.
Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli are my two differential punts from Mikel Arteta’s squad for now and I’m hoping that both are rested in the Czech Republic: the surprisingly attack-minded Chambers has created five chances in his last four outings from full-back (the same as Luke Shaw), while Martinelli has impressed at home and abroad in recent weeks and racked up four shots in a positive Gameweek 31 display.
Two-thirds of the Tottenham Hotspur triple-up requires little explanation, while Hugo Lloris is selected purely because of the impending EFL Cup final, which falls four days after the second half of Spurs’ Gameweek 32 double-header. Ben Davies may be injured but the proximity of that clash with City and the fact that Japhet Tanganga has prior experience at left-back leads me away from Sergio Reguilon and towards the nailed goalkeeper behind him.
Not that I fully trust the Lilywhites’ defence anyway, with nine big chances conceded in a wide-open last two matches. Richarlison, whose move to a centre-forward role has led to an upturn in his attacking numbers, is also included in my squad as a consequence.
West Ham’s own struggles at the back (seven goals conceded in their last three) have been exacerbated by the loss of Declan Rice, so I’ve plumped for the fit-again Callum Wilson as one of my strikers. The Newcastle front-man has been involved in 64% of the Magpies’ goals this season (no first-choice FPL forward can better that), so if Steve Bruce’s side does find the back of the net, the chances are that Wilson will have played a part.
Slightly hedging my bets, I’ve also included Arthur Masuaku: West Ham’s offensive-minded left wing-back should enjoy his afternoon on Tyneside, as Newcastle have allowed more crosses and chances to be created from their right flank than any other team – both in the last six matches and over the whole of 2020/21.
I’m hoping that Pedro Neto’s unfortunate injury and the return of Willy Boly forces Nuno Espirito Santo to field a back three, as Wolves look much more solid (albeit less attacking) when they’re in a 3-4-3. Much has been made of Conor Coady’s new-found threat but Boly has still racked up more penalty box touches and goal attempts than his fellow centre-half in his last six appearances, so I’ll opt for the pricier Ivory Coast international as a result.
Finally, Edinson Cavani’s impressive goal conversion rate of 25% is bettered by only two FPL forwards this season. With Anthony Martial crocked and Burnley on the longest clean sheet drought in the division, I’ll happily add the clinical Uruguayan to my Manchester United contingent of Bruno Fernandes and Shaw.
Hugo Lloris is my first-choice goalkeeper for Gameweek 32. Though Tottenham Hotspur’s defence has looked shaky in recent weeks, they play twice against Everton and Southampton, and the Frenchman is at least assured of two starts.
I’ve also selected Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy, who has kept seven clean sheets in 11 Premier League matches under Thomas Tuchel, and Bernd Leno.
At the back, Luke Shaw is my top pick, followed closely by Conor Coady and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Meanwhile, Calum Chambers is my preferred budget defender this week. Against Sheffield United on Sunday, Arsenal set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Granit Xhaka dropping in at left-back. With the Swiss international spending most of the game inside his own half, it allowed his teammate on the opposite flank, Chambers, the opportunity to regularly bomb forward and join the attack. It was a performance reminiscent of his second-half showing at West Ham United, and is encouraging with Fulham up next – only Crystal Palace have conceded more chances from their left flank since the turn of the year.
Ricardo Pereira, who produced his first assist of the season in Gameweek 31, completes the defensive picks.
Further forward, the inclusions of Spurs duo Son Heung-min and Harry Kane, plus Mohamed Salah and Bruno Fernandes, largely speak for themselves, so I’ll dedicate a bit more time to some of my other selections.
After a third goal in four appearances last weekend, Mason Greenwood gets a call-up. Despite only being on the pitch for 18 minutes against Spurs, the youngster made a real impact, and if Paul Pogba is to continue in a more advanced role, where he has the vision and ability to quickly switch play, Greenwood could be the one to benefit. I also like Jesse Lingard, who is the Premier League’s in-form player, providing eight goals and four assists since arriving in east London, plus Kelechi Iheanacho, who seems to be the striker benefitting most from Leicester City’s formation change.
The forward list is completed by Alexandre Lacazette, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (providing he is fit) and Callum Wilson.
Even outside of triple Spurs for Double Gameweek 32, picking players this week felt a bit easier than normal and I actually had to leave some top assets out like Bruno Fernandes. I’ve only done this because I fancy Kevin De Bruyne to start now he’s had a Premier League rest.
While we all know Manchester City are likely to win the league, I can’t imagine that they will want to keep dropping points along the way. In the last six Gameweeks. De Bruyne has had eight shots in the box compared to Fernandes’ three, with Aston Villa conceding 9.95 expected goals over that same period (making them the fifth-worst team in the league).
Despite some observations that maybe Leeds will learn to be cautious in games versus teams like Man City and Liverpool, I think it’s too early to think they’re a completely different team – so I’m fully backing the Reds. No player has had more shots than Mohamed Salah (16) in the last six Gameweeks and, even with nearly 200 fewer minutes in that same time, Diogo Jota has managed nine with two big chances.
It’s impossible to leave Kelechi Iheanacho out at the moment: over the season, he has an expected goal involvement (xGI) every 132.4 minutes. I haven’t lost complete faith in Jamie Vardy just yet, either, as his minutes-per-xGI (124.9) betters his strike partner. While the Foxes are playing two up front, there is of course another player to take some of those shots away. Vardy’s stats are indeed down versus Iheanacho over a small sample size, but the above numbers show that he’s fully capable and has a great fixture.