Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue all feature in our latest Scout Picks.
There are some firm favourites back in form, some less-heralded squad members announcing their arrival, a midfielder on loan with a point to prove and a defender from the blue half of Merseyside who we believe is worth keeping our faith in despite a painful night at home to the Premier League’s bottom team.
With no time for David, Neale, Tom and Andy to present Scout Squad entries this week, we built our best XI players for the penultimate round of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) fixtures from scratch.
We are in the 3-4-3 formation for Gameweek 37, coming in at £82.3m, £0.7m inside our budget of £83.0m.
Leeds United have often struggled on the road in their debut Premier League season under Marcelo Bielsa, but the performance at Burnley on Saturday showed they can now offer some security away from Elland Road. With their increasingly resilient defence allowing shots on goal, but generally from distance, Illan Meslier (£4.7m)’s impressive reflexes can add some save points to a potential second clean sheet in a row.
Alisson‘s (£5.9m) headed winner at West Bromwich Albion will go down in Premier League folklore, but the corner-taker who found him so unerringly was Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.7m) who is finally generating once again the attacking returns that saw him become a virtually essential FPL asset last season. Liverpool need to keep winning in pursuit of a Champions League spot and with Leeds having just put four past Burnley at Turf Moor managers can anticipate more bounty from Trent’s abundance of crosses, set-pieces and shots, now coming from either foot.
Many Lucas Digne (£6.2m) owners will have watched with increasing agitation as he and his Everton team-mates failed to make any impression on a relegated Sheffield United in the final fixture of Gameweek 36. The left-back’s 13 crosses on the night demonstrate that he is still very much an attacking threat if his strikers can find the finishing touch of Liverpool’s goalkeeper and a Wolverhampton Wanderers forward line that has only mustered six goals in its last nine away matches offers decent hope of an Everton clean sheet this time around.
Some uncertainty surrounds the line-up plans of Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer, but it seems likely that Luke Shaw (£5.5m) will be among the key players given a run-out in front of the returning Stretford End faithful ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League final in nine days’ time. A ‘shadow’ XI is a strong possibility for the final match at Molineux, but Shaw’s increasing involvement in the United attack should get a chance to probe a Fulham defence that has conceded nine goals in its last four away outings.
After an uncharacteristically lengthy barren spell, Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) seems finally to have regained his touch in front of goal. An attacking return in each of his last six starts culminated at West Bromwich Albion in his first double -figure haul for 15 Gameweeks and the Golden Boot candidate will surely be relishing Wednesday night’s trip to Burnley.
Bruno Fernandes (£11.4m) is another FPL superstar whose recent form has led to doubts, and sales, within the community. Two goals in his last three means he is once again the sort of asset that cannot be ignored as the ever-willing attacker could sign-off his season in style against a relegated side in front of a lively home crowd. Fulham are in the bottom three for big chances conceded in their last six matches.
Leeds’ forward line has certainly generated season-long discussion and interest, but Jack Harrison (£5.5m) has generally flown just that little bit under the radar, possibly because his eight goals and nine assists have been punctuated by a few one-point cameos. However, with at least 60 minutes played in each of Leeds’s last five matches and the ability to provide double-figure returns for his owners, such as the 16 points they just received as Harrison and his team-mates went on a spree at Burnley, he has forced his way into our thinking for the visit to Southampton. After 36 Gameweeks, only six FPL midfielders have scored more points than Harrison.
Another player apparently determined to prove his worth (in this case to Steve Bruce, to Mikel Arteta and the to FPL community watching on) is Newcastle United loanee Joe Willock (£4.7m). He confidently claimed the ball for an initially unsuccessful penalty attempt against Manchester City, but retained a cool head to slot home the rebound, continuing his run of a goal a game in his last five. Sheffield United are the next visitors to St James’s Park, fresh from their only away clean sheet of the season.
Salah’s rival for the Golden Boot also hit the target at the weekend. Tottenham Hotspur captain Harry Kane (£11.8m) led his side to their third consecutive home victory under interim boss Ryan Mason, scoring his third goal from his side’s eight in those fixtures. Wednesday’s visitors Aston Villa haven’t kept an away clean sheet in their last five attempts and, with a home crowd at their backs, a new attacking outlook and European football on the menu Spurs can be expected to take the game enthusiastically to Dean Smith’s men.
Michail Antonio (£6.5m) has blanked against the obdurate defences of first Everton and then Brighton and Hove Albion, but he will be hoping to return to the very sharp form he showed when bagging a brace at Burnley only a fortnight ago. Over the last six matches, West Bromwich Albion have conceded the joint-most chances through the middle, which bodes well for West Ham’s centre-forward.
Christian Benteke (£5.5m) has long endured a lot of frustration and some poor luck in front of goal for Crystal Palace, but a strike in each of his last three matches suggests his form is now well worth FPL investment. And over the last six matches, no Premier League player has registered more shots on target (12). Although Arsenal’s defence has been strong away from the Emirates, playing in front of supporters for the first time in many months looks set to inspire all home teams to their best attacking efforts and we believe Benteke could be just the man to finish off the chances created by Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m) and Eberechi Eze (£5.8m).
- Jordan Pickford (£4.8m)
- Ben Godfrey (£5.1m)
- Ezgjan Alioski (£4.3m)
- Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m)
We choose the Scout Picks captain using a four-way vote between our Scout Squad pundits.
Because we use Fantasy Football Scout data so heavily in this process, the skipper we choose each Gameweek is known only to those with a valid Fantasy Football Scout subscription and revealed to the public only when the deadline has passed.
Here is how we voted for Gameweek 37: