Scout Squad

The Scout Squad’s best FPL players for Gameweek 5

The best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players for Gameweek 5 are debated by Fantasy Football Scout contributors Az, Sam, Neale and Tom.

If you have never read this feature before, it’s a weekly piece that always takes the form of a ‘Free Hit’-type selection for the upcoming Gameweek.

All of our panelists have put forward an 18-man long-list of Fantasy assets and will explain their notable inclusions and omissions below.

It also serves as a precursor to the Scout Picks, as the players listed will then be narrowed down to a squad of 15 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83.0m) for final our weekly selection.

Each writer must meet the following requirements:

  • At least one goalkeeper costing £5.0m or less
  • At least one sub-£5.0m defender
  • At least one midfielder listed at £6.5m or below
  • At least one forward priced at £7.0m or lower
  • No more than three players from the same club

SCOUT SQUAD PICKS

AzSamTomNeale
GKTim KrulTim KrulEdouard MendyDavid Raya
EdersonJose SaJose SaEdouard Mendy
Illan MeslierEdersonTim KrulRobert Sanchez
DEFTrent Alexander-ArnoldTrent Alexander-ArnoldTrent Alexander-ArnoldTrent Alexander-Arnold
Fernando MarçalNelson SemedoRuben DiasRuben Dias
Reece JamesBen WhiteNelson SemedoFernando Marçal
Joao CanceloLuke AylingReece JamesGabriel Maghalhaes
Kieran TierneyJoao CanceloKieran TierneyMax Aarons
MIDMohamed SalahFerran TorresMohamed SalahSadio Mane
Diego JotaMohamed SalahKevin De BruyneRaphinha
Ferran TorresDiego JotaDiogo JotaBukayo Saka
RaphinhaDan JamesFerran TorresKevin De Bruyne
Abdoulaye DoucouréMason GreenwoodRaphinhaJarrod Bowen
FWDCristiano RonaldoRaul JimenezCristiano RonaldoPatrick Bamford
Romelu LukakuRomelu LukakuRomelu LukakuRomelu Lukaku
Patrick BamfordCristiano RonaldoPatrick BamfordCristiano Ronaldo
Jamie VardyTeemu PukkiRaul JimenezPierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Ivan ToneyPatrick BamfordTeemu PukkiAllan Saint-Maximin


Most popular picks: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Patrick Bamford (four), Tim Krul, Mohamed Salah, Raphinha, Ferran Torres, Diogo Jota (three)

AZ SAID

With Michail Antonio’s suspension, we’ve already started to see a shift in the “template” as FPL managers decide whether or not to part ways with the in-form Jamaican. With Wildcard season also seemingly on us, it’s refreshing to see teams that at least differ from each other’s as people look to tap into fixture swings and ditch out-of-form players.

Defenders seem to be doing well this year, and this is the second time in four Gameweeks that I’ve had a clean sweep of returns from my men at the back. Top of the pile is Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is proving to be just as valuable as more expensive options in midfield and attack.

Wolves may also finally start registering some clean sheets off the back of another good showing against Watford at the weekend, with Nelson Semedo and Marcal looking great value.

There are also a number of more premium defenders vying for our attention, with Joao Cancelo the standout of an impressive Manchester City backline and Reece James likely to slot straight back into the right wing-back slot for the impenetrable Chelsea.

I found the midfielders quite easy to predict with Liverpool hosting Crystal Palace, who are no pushovers but will find it a stern test against the in-form Reds. Mohamed Salah does well against Palace too, with six goals and five assists in nine matches.

Ferran Torres should continue to lead the line against Southampton and looks poised to register some returns, whereas the even more kindly priced duo of Raphinha and Abdoulaye Doucoure have the mix of fixture (the former) and form (the latter) to make them shrewd acquisitions.

Up front, there’s no question for me that Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku are the standouts after both bagging a brace last weekend. Owners of Patrick Bamford will be confident that he can “ping” a couple of goals in too.

I’ve also selected Jamie Vardy because my team, Brighton, tends to always lose against Leicester – and I’ve gone for Ivan Toney mostly due to the lack of any real clear-cut alternatives in his price bracket.

SAM SAID

The best FPL forwards to consider as Calvert-Lewin and Antonio replacements 5

Gameweek 5 fixtures allow for some more differential picks this weekend. With Norwich and Wolves riding high at the top of the fixture ticker, both their goalkeepers look to offer good potential for clean sheets, especially Jose Sa when we factor in Wolves’ underlying defensive stats in these opening Gameweeks of the season. Whilst Norwich are yet to keep a clean sheet or record any Premier League points, they will likely see Gameweek 5 as an opportunity to put that record right and therefore going with the experienced Tim Krul as an enabler could be profitable.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has proved himself to be a must-have in defence with Liverpool registering three clean sheets so far, while his potential for attacking returns has led to two double-digit hauls in the opening four Gameweeks. Thankfully, whilst Alexander-Arnold is an expensive asset, there are a number of far cheaper defensive players who also look like excellent picks this weekend.

Nelson Semedo was unlucky not to top up his clean sheet last weekend with a goal or two, and he ended Gameweek 4 fifth for xG underachievement. Semedo has also managed five goal attempts so far this season, three of those in the box and two of them big chances. Likewise, Joao Cancelo has already brought FPL managers three clean sheets, an assist and three bonus points, a tally I can only see growing in Gameweek 5.

Both Ben White and Luke Ayling look good for clean sheet potential this weekend, too.

It is very hard to overlook Ferran Torres playing out of position as a forward for a Manchester City side that have already scored 11 goals this season. With Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden back, the creativity in the Man City team is further increased, making Torres an even better asset, in my opinion.

The Liverpool duo of Mohamed Salah and Diego Jota look set to build on their attacking tallies this weekend with Roberto Firmino unlikely to be back and therefore the double-up seems like a good opportunity.

In his 22-minute debut in Gameweek 4, Dan James impressed with a 90% successful pass rate. Whilst he may have limited minutes, I think he has good potential this weekend – much like team-mate Patrick Bamford, fitness permitting.

Romelu Lukaku has a difficult London derby against Spurs on paper but with the north Londoners’ defence missing key personnel through injury and suspension, he could be in for a great afternoon on Sunday. He and Cristiano Ronaldo are, as last week, the perfect premium picks up top.

Whilst Raul Jimenez is yet to score this season, he has been incredibly unlucky so far and Wolves continue to be one of the most creative sides in the league. It is surely only a matter of time before the Mexican is back to his goalscoring ways.

NEALE SAID

Spot The Differential – Gameweek 1

These picks come before Manchester City and Liverpool take to the pitch in the UEFA Champions League, so they are even more subject to change than ever. In the case of City, it’s also worth paying attention to Pep Guardiola’s starting XI against RB Leipzig to see who might be in line for a Gameweek 5 start/benching as a result of their involvement, or lack thereof, against the Bundesliga side – although second-guessing rarely goes to script.

Kevin De Bruyne and Ruben Dias might effectively be placeholders, then, but the latter is typically the securest starter at the back and the former surely has to have his match-fitness levels boosted in time for the forthcoming double-header against Chelsea and Liverpool. De Bruyne’s joint-highest FPL score of last season (14) was at home to Southampton, incidentally.

As for Liverpool, I’m not so much thinking outside the box as in it: Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s infield forays have pushed Mohamed Salah slightly wider, while Sadio Mane seems to be more central than ever. Since Gameweek 2, when this tactical tweak was stepped up, Mane has had 19 shots to Salah’s 11 and boasts more than double the non-penalty expected goal (xG) total. The Senegalese had 10 efforts in a profligate Gameweek 4 alone. Right-sided central midfielder Harvey Elliott has been part of this adjustment, however, so it remains to be seen just how the Reds set up without the injured teenager and whether it renders the above as complete overanalysis.

Elsewhere on the slightly leftfield pick front, I’ve gone with a potentially ‘out of position’ Jarrod Bowen at home to a Manchester United defence that leaked shots against Newcastle and Young Boys. Max Aarons also gets the nod: he has created more chances than any other Norwich player this season, has had four attempts of his own and is up against a Watford side without a single goal or big chance to their name in the last three Gameweeks.

The Leeds double-up (with the caveat over Patrick Bamford‘s fitness) won’t surprise anyone but Allan Saint-Maximin‘s selection might. The truth is that Marcelo Bielsa’s troops have almost been as bad as Newcastle at the back, with 23 goals conceded, 28 big chances allowed and zero clean sheets between the two sides. Add in the Whites’ centre-half crisis and the fact that they’ve allowed more chances to be created from their right flank than any other club, and the left-drifting forward Saint-Maximin could just as easily prosper on Friday.

I prefer Nelson Semedo over Marcal long term but with Brentford near Leeds at the bottom of the pile for chances conceded from their right flank, last week’s 13-point hero gets the nod. Wolves’ ongoing profligacy also leads me to select David Raya, who could rack up plenty of easy save points against the trigger-happy Wanderers, playing behind a quietly impressive defence that has allowed precious few clear-cut opportunities.

A 1-0 win over newly promoted Norwich City is hardly anything to get excited about but the start of Arsenal’s favourable fixture swing at least began with a return to winning ways, and the registering of 30 shots on the Canaries’ goal. Nicolas Pepe was high on my wish list for this weekend’s fixture but with Emile Smith Rowe a week closer to full fitness, I do wonder about the Ivory Coast international’s minutes. It’s a pity because, as well as racking up six attempts and as many key passes in Gameweek 4, he’s also on set plays – and Burnley have allowed more dead-ball opportunities than any other club this season. That fallibility is also what prompts my selection of Gabriel at the rear, as the Brazilian is handy from free-kicks and corners. Bukayo Saka is my Arsenal midfield pick instead: he also had six shots against Norwich in Gameweek 4 and racked up `12 penalty box touches in the trip to Turf Moor last season.

TOM SAID…

Robertson and Watkins injury latest as Son starts up front again in Kane absence 3

I’ve doubled up on Wolverhampton Wanderers’ defence ahead of their Gameweek 5 meeting with Brentford, via Jose Sa and Nelson Semedo. Bruno Lage’s men kept their first clean sheet of the season at Watford last weekend, while the Bees have managed just nine shots on target across the opening four Gameweeks.

Chelsea also get a defensive double-up from me. Since January, Thomas Tuchel’s Blues have had the best backline in Europe, and are yet to concede from open play this season, while opponents Tottenham Hotspur offered very little in the final third in Gameweek 4. That lack of goal threat suggests Edouard Mendy and Reece James could be in the points on Sunday.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is my top pick at the back for obvious reasons, and is joined by Tim KrulRuben Dias and Kieran Tierney.

Further forward, it’s impossible to overlook Mohamed SalahCristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku, and their selections need little explanation, so I’ll focus on some of my other picks.

Tonight’s Champions League XI will have a big say in my final Manchester City picks, but for now, Kevin De Bruyne and Ferran Torres are included. De Bruyne was an unused substitute in Saturday’s win at Leicester City, and is expected to make his much-awaited comeback against RB Leipzig. If he starts as a false nine, that may have implications for Torres going forward, but at this stage, it’s difficult to speculate too much on that, so for now, they’re both in.

I’m also backing Diogo Jota in midfield. If it weren’t for Sadio Mane’s wastefulness at Elland Road on Sunday, the Portuguese international would have been in the points. As a result, he was one of Gameweek 4’s biggest xGI underachievers, and with Roberto Firmino still out injured, I’m backing him to deliver against Crystal Palace.

Leeds United duo Raphinha and Patrick Bamford are also players I like this week, providing the latter’s ‘pinging hamstring’ isn’t serious and he is passed fit. While Marcelo Bielsa’s side haven’t quite clicked so far, opponents Newcastle United have been terrible at the back and rank bottom for goals conceded, big chances conceded and xGC, which bodes well for the Whites’ attackers in Gameweek 5.

The list is completed by Raul Jimenez and Temmu Pukki, both of whom have the potential to do well against Brentford and Watford respectively.

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Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships and monthly subscriptions are now available.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

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920 Comments Post a Comment
  1. vincentwsho
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Any updates on Bamford?

    1. Balmdk
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 hours ago

      He is fit

  2. Wizard of Oz
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Will Gabriel Jesus is a guaranteed starter?

      1. Balmdk
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 10 hours ago

        Never

    • JD'SILVA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 9 hours ago

      Best Arsenal assets?