Scout Squad

The Scout Squad’s best FPL players for Gameweek 8

The best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players for Gameweek 8 are debated by Fantasy Football Scout contributors Az, Sam, Neale and Tom.

For those new to this feature, 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’S PICKS OF THE BEST FPL PLAYERS FOR GAMEWEEK 8


AZSAMTOMNEALE
GKAaron RamsdaleRobert SanchezAaron RamsdaleRobert Sanchez
Robert SanchezHugo LlorisRobert SanchezAaron Ramsdale
Illan MeslierEdersonEmiliano MartinezIllan Meslier
DEFTrent Alexander-ArnoldTrent Alexander-ArnoldJoao CanceloJoao Cancelo
Joao CanceloJoao CanceloTrent Alexander-ArnoldTrent Alexander-Arnold
Shane DuffyShane DuffyKieran TierneyMarc Cucurella
Ruben DiasCesar AzpilicuetaJoel VeltmanMatthew Cash
Kieran TierneyTino LivramentoCesar AzpilicuetaTino Livramento
MIDMohamed SalahMohamed SalahMohamed SalahMohamed Salah
Son Heung-minSon Heung-MinKevin De BruyneSon Heung-min
Phil FodenPhil FodenSon Heung-minRiyad Mahrez
Sadio ManéAndros TownsendPhil FodenKevin De Bruyne
Andros TownsendMason MountBukayo SakaBryan Mbeumo
FWDNeal MaupayRomelu LukakuCristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
Romelu LukakuNeal MaupayRomelu LukakuJamie Vardy
Michail AntonioRaul JimenezAdam ArmstrongHarry Kane
Jamie VardyOllie WatkinsMichail AntonioAllan Saint-Maximin
Cristiano RonaldoHarry KaneNeal MaupayNeal Maupay

Most popular picks: Robert Sanchez, Joao Cancelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah. Son Heung-min, Neal Maupay (four), Aaron Ramsdale, Phil Foden, Romelu Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo (three)

AZ SAID

It’s a really tasty-looking bunch of games this weekend and the only matches I’d have any real confidence in calling are Manchester City beating Burnley and Liverpool putting Watford to the sword. With this in mind, I’ve selected six players from these two teams, including two City defenders (Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias) and two Liverpool attackers (Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané).

Elsewhere, I feel the Scout Picks are very much up for grabs this week. I like the look of Shane Duffy against Norwich, and he will be a menace at set pieces. As many (including myself) flock to expensive, premium midfielders, could the £4.4m Brighton man make a mockery of his price tag?

In midfield, despite Newcastle’s new wealth and Spurs’ indifferent form so far this season, this looks a good game for Son Heung-min to deliver and I would say he’s the best “non-Salah” player to consider captaining, if you were looking for a differential. He has only managed two goals in 10 games against the Magpies, but with Harry Kane not playing his best football, eyes will be on Son to deliver.

I wanted to include a Man City midfielder in my selection, and it’s between Jack Grealish and Phil Foden for me. While I think Grealish is more sure of a start, to me, Foden looks more threatening and more likely to deliver FPL returns. We’ve been waiting for Foden’s real “breakout” season in FPL, and I do wonder if we are seeing the beginning of it now.

Up front, Romelu Lukaku will be confident of getting a goal against newly-promoted Brentford, however, I don’t think this will be an easy game for Chelsea based on what I’ve seen of the Bees so far this season. In an incredible turn of events, it may be Neal Maupay who ends up as the pick of the strikers, and the in-form Seagull will fancy his chances against an out of sorts team of Canaries. With Manchester United still trying to get the most out of their new additions, Cristiano Ronaldo falls some way down my list – with the in-form Michail Antonio looking good in any match he plays in – and under-the-radar pick Jamie Vardy up against a patched-up United backline that won’t feature either Varane or Maguire.

SAM SAID

There is a pool of teams this weekend who look set to be great investments at both ends of the pitch.

Brighton face a Norwich side who, alongside Newcastle, have conceded more goals than anyone else. This bodes well for the Albion attack and Neal Maupay has been in good form, registering five attempts in the last two Gameweeks – two inside the box and one big chance. Alongside Maupay, Robert Sanchez also looks a great pick as Norwich have scored the fewest goals in the league so far, registering just two.

Like Brighton, Manchester City have a great match-up at both ends of the pitch. The last four fixtures against Burnley at home have finished 5-0 and therefore Ederson, Joao Cancelo and Phil Foden all look like fantastic options. With attacking potential as well as a good opportunity for a clean sheet, Cancelo seems the perfect pick this week. Foden, meanwhile, has the highest xG and xGI for Man City midfielders over the last two Gameweeks and merits the attention he is getting from FPL managers.

Alongside Brighton and Man City, Liverpool have a great fixture following the international break. With the news that Trent Alexander-Arnold is available for the weekend, he will likely be an important pick for the Gameweek with good potential for a clean sheet and attacking returns. Mohamed Salah’s highest ever FPL return came against Watford in the 2018/19 season and with his current form, he feels like a player you can’t afford not to own.

Chelsea also fit into this ‘great fixture on paper’ category, although I do expect their clash with Brentford to be harder than it seems on the ticker. With doubts surrounding Antonio Rudiger, I’m going with Cesar Azpilecueta to be safe and he is on good form following his brace of assists in Gameweek 7. With Thomas Tuchel’s comments about Mason Mount and Romelu Lukaku’s understanding, they both make my picks; hopefully, Lukaku will have recovered from the muscle fatigue that saw him miss out on Belgium’s third place play-off match in the Nations League.

I also fancy the Spurs attackers to finally find their feet and capitalise on a wobbly Newcastle defence who are yet to keep a clean sheet this season, hence both Son Heung-min and Harry Kane make my picks. If you want a real differential captain, one of these two could provide a huge boost.

TOM SAID…

Manchester City host Burnley on Saturday afternoon, having won each of their last four Etihad encounters against the Clarets’ 5-0. As usual, identifying exactly who will start isn’t straightforward, but given the upside, tripling-up feels like a risk worth taking. At the back, I’ve opted for Joao Cancelo over Ruben Dias, though both defenders are equally good picks, while further forward I’m tipping Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden. Both midfielders opened their 2021/22 Premier League accounts in Gameweek 7, and head into this fixture as real differentials, with ownerships of just 2.1% and 2.0% respectively.

Meanwhile, high-flying Brighton and Hove Albion have lost just one of their opening seven matches, and look a good team for bargain hunting this week. Their opponents – Norwich City – have scored just one goal from open play and sit bottom for shots in the box, efforts on target and big chances. That leads me to a defensive double-up via Robert Sanchez and Joel Veltman, with the defender hopefully in a wing-back role and therefore attacking the Canaries’ weaker left-flank. I’ve also found a spot for Neal Maupay up front, who has already netted four Premier League goals this season.

Arsenal also supply three picks: Aaron RamsdaleKieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka. The Gunners have taken 10 points from their last four matches, with their new-look defence keeping three clean sheets during that time. Saka has also looked lively on the right wing, bagging a goal and assist, and encouragingly has been taking lots of shots. In fact, amongst all midfielders since Gameweek 4, only Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have attempted more. Crystal Palace won’t roll over, but this is a match I see Mikel Arteta’s side dominating.

Elsewhere, Adam Armstrong is one of my top forward picks in Gameweek 8. The 24-year-old has had a relatively slow start since his summer move from Blackburn Rovers, but I see this match against Leeds United suiting him, and I’m more than happy to back him knowing that he might be on penalties in James Ward-Prowse’s absence, too. I also like Son Heung-min, and think opponents Newcastle United could leave space in behind in an attempt to get on the front foot and impress their new owners in the stands.

NEALE SAID

The Scout Squad is the easy part this week, with so many big hitters enjoying favourable fixtures; it’ll be the narrowing down to a starting XI for the budget-restricted Scout Picks that will prove to be the tricky part.

I expect Brighton assets will end up being the cash-freeing enablers in our Friday selection, so I’ll probably have a tough job selling Marc Cucurella when cheaper routes into the Albion defence are available. But the Spaniard was mightily impressive against Arsenal a fortnight ago and he’s accumulating some eye-catching numbers, sitting fourth among FPL defenders for touches in the final third since his debut.

On the subject of gallivanting wing-backs, Matthew Cash is enjoying the freedom of Villa’s right flank since the move to a 3-5-2. Only one defender has had more penalty box touches than Cash since the change in shape, and this weekend he’ll be up against an out-of-sorts Marcal. I’m also yet to be fully convinced that Wolves are over their early-season profligacy, as two goals against a dismal Newcastle defence is hardly Roy of the Rovers stuff.

Four of my five forwards are selected as much for the teams they’ll be facing: Newcastle are clean sheet-less; Spurs have conceded more goals than any other team in the last four Gameweeks; Leicester are a shambles at the back and have allowed more shots in the box than any other side in 2021/22; and Manchester United are down two centre-halves.

Injuries to Patrick Bamford and Raphinha solidify my Tino Livramento selection, while the likely unavailability of right-wing alternatives Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres (not that he is to be found in that role much these days) leads me to punt on Gameweek 1 bandwagon Riyad Mahrez for Manchester City’s annual 5-0 humping of Burnley. The Algerian has racked up 46 points across City’s last three home league meetings with the Clarets, scoring six goals in the process.

Finally, with doubts over Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva, I’m backing Bryan Mbeumo to continue to deliver the goods when Brentford entertain Chelsea. Seemingly the bigger goal threat than Ivan Toney in games of this magnitude, he ranks third for expected goals (xG) among all FPL midfielders regardless of price – not bad for £5.5m.

750 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Make Arrows Green Again
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    I pay a bit less attention to FPL these days and it's great - I highly recommend it.

    Which is why I'm a bit confused as to why Foden is suddenly an essential player. He just played his first two games of around 90 minutes and he has scored one goal. Granted he looked great against Liverpool, but why is he suddenly in nearly everyone's teams? What are people seeing in him to suggest he's going to suddenly fulfil his potential?

    1. Make Arrows Green Again
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Lots of 'suddenly's in there. You wouldn't believe that my day job is 'editor'.

    2. Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 18 days ago

      The mid priced city mid bandwagon is a bit confusing to me as well

      People have been burned over and over by likes of mahrez and Torres but here we are, will be avoiding personally

      1. Make Arrows Green Again
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 18 days ago

        I'm guessing the Torres news helps him a little and he has a good couple of fixtures. He might be worth it for the Burnley game alone. I'm not saying he's a bad pick at all, I just can't remember seeing so much FPL hype around him. Having said that, for 7.9 perhaps he's worth the occasional benching risk.

    3. mynameisq
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      I think Az said it best on blackbox, you can't always rely on what happened in the past. Sometimes you make a gut decision, people are hoping this is the breakthrough season where he gets consistent gametime and in terms of performances for me there's already no doubt that he's fulfilling the expectation, it was just needing to actually get on the pitch that was the issue

      That said I'm still not convinced this is that season, and champions League is very important to pep's legacy. If he can't win it anywhere other than at Barca with Messi as much as he has achieved its a knock on him

      1. SHOWSTOPPERRR
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 18 days ago

        Same AZ got burned last season by getting mahrez who previously trolled him.

    4. Ginkapo FPL
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Torres is injured

    5. Jafalad
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Well he has only just returned from injury so now that he is back, people are keen to get him in.

      1. Make Arrows Green Again
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 18 days ago

        True but he's been fit before, and for long stretches. It's not like it's his second season after breaking through from the youth academy, he's had a few seasons now (I think his first senior goal was against Oxford just over three years ago), so if the breakout was going to come I would have expected it to have happened last season.

        Not that it's not going to come necessarily.. I just don't think we have enough data to say that now's the time.

        1. AC/DC AFC
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          Tbf he was a pretty good pick last season too. As was Mahrez.

          With Man City players timing is key and you need that to go for you.

          1. Murder on Zidane's Flo…
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            Agree. 9 goals and 8 assists in 1607 mins represented impressive returns.

            To answer the OP, it's a combination of proven talent, an upturn in form, and very favourable short-term fixtures

  2. 1justlookin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Was thinking of bringing in Foden for Jota for the next 4 games before switching to Son.

    Is he worth the extra money over Saka and Mount?

    Arsenal and Chelseas fixtures are also really good

    1. Rbyrne95
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Over Mount I'd say yes (Depends if you have Lukaku though), Saka 50/50...I think Torres is injured this GW and Man City always seem to destroy Burnley so personally I'd go for Foden then see from there.

  3. Jafalad
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    I've just watched Raphina play 70 mins for Brazil and score 2 goals on his full debut.

    Rennes bought him for 19 mill and sold him to Leeds for 18 mill.

    I wonder what Raph is worth now, as he is only 24 and now an international player?

    1. Make Arrows Green Again
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      17 mill

    2. Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 18 days ago

      50m

      1. Gabbiadini
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 18 days ago

        contract until 2024.
        I'd say 60m if his season continues on this trajectory.

    3. King Kohli
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      50-60m easily

  4. winchester
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 18 days ago

    WC. GTG?. who to fill the empty spots? cheers

    ramsdale (foster)
    taa-cancelo-** (**-livra)
    salah(c)-son-raph-mbeumo (luiz)
    antonio-lukaku-hwang

    A) rudi+duffy
    B) james+jansson/white
    C) 6.2m+manquillo
    D) james+duffy
    E) any other combo?

    1. Machine_Gunnerz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 18 days ago

      A for safety. Azpi if option C.

    2. King Kohli
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      If you can't get Dias, I would look at James/Chilwell + White

  5. Jet5605
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Have 1 FT and 1.2 ITB. Ok to roll transfer and do Bruno > Raph next week?

    Sanchez
    Cancelo - Rudiger - Livra - Duffy
    Salah (c) - Bruno - Benrahma - Doucoure
    CR7 - Antonio

    Foster - Coufal - Gilmour - Perica

    1. winchester
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 18 days ago

      yes, roll

  6. King Kohli
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Best option on WC?

    Ramsdale Foster
    TAA Cancelo _____ Duffy Livramento
    Salah Son _____ Mbeumo Brownhill
    Lukaku Antonio Hwang

    A. Laporte + Raphina
    B. Dias + Saka

    1. Jet5605
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      A

    2. Gabbiadini
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      a

  7. Jet5605
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Who is more essential next week?

    A - Lukaku (NOR)
    B - TAA (manu)

    1. Monster Muppets
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Is that a trick question? Obviously A, by like 10-15 points

    2. Gabbiadini
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      a

  8. Atimis
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Bottomed - down to these options:

    A) Play Greenwood, keep FT, Ronaldo Greenwood Benrahma/Sarr out next week for a hit
    B) Greenwood and Benrahma/Sarr out for a hit now
    C) Just sell Greenwood now and get Everton/Arsenal mid or even Mount punt

    Thoughts?

  9. AshtonJ
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Ralph/Rudi or Aspi/Saka?

    1. Gabbiadini
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      a

  10. AC/DC AFC
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    We might have a winner...

    FPL Twitter might have pinpointed the jet carrying Raphinha back to England!

    https://twitter.com/brianstockport/status/1448919124634226718?t=S9N71C3B3AazwQrUn_pRng&s=19

    1. Joey Tribbiani
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 18 days ago

      lmao

  11. ExpressoMySonny
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Greenwood to mahrez?

  12. Bobby's Teeth
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Hi legends, needed your help:

    Would you WC this team?

    Sanchez Steele
    TAA Rudiger White Semedo Livra
    Salah Jota Raph Traore Gilmour
    Lukaku Antonio ASM

    Majorly worried about:

    1. Lack of City cover
    2. The 2 Wolves assets

    1. tique
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Traore and rudiger to Dias and mbuemo for a hit id say

      1. Bobby's Teeth
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Thanks mate. How about Saka, considering Brentford have Chelsea this week?

  13. tique
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Hey guys

    I adopted a no hits policy this season but I may have to take one this week. Any ideas:

    Sanchez
    Trent Shaw liv
    Salah sarr Raph jota
    Jiminez Ronaldo Antonio

    Alonso Gilmour Williams (my bench all out of favor now lol)

    And sadly I don’t have enough it’s to upgrade Alonso to Dias or cancelo.

    1. ElChapo
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      alonso > veltman/duffy
      Gilmour > ESR

      1. tique
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 18 days ago

        The issue is that forces me to change my team structure. I don’t really want 5 mids

        1. ElChapo
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          how is gilmour and williams working out so far?

  14. have you seen cyan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Hi all, IB too boring so haven’t paid attention to any football news recently. Anything wrong with my team?

    Ramsdale
    TAA - Semedo - Marcal
    Salah - Saka - Raph - Doucoure - Sarr
    Lukaku - Auba

    Foster, Livra, Williams, Scarlett

    1ft, 3.9 itb

    1. ElChapo
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      I'd start Livramento over one of Semedo or Marcal

      1. have you seen cyan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 18 days ago

        Good call, but which? Marcal I guess, but Sod’s law I will pick the wrong one and they get an attacking return :/

  15. Yossarian79
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    I have Rudiger, Alonso and Shaw and 1 FT.

    So with Rudiger definitely out, do I transfer out Rudiger, Alonso or Shaw for Cancelo?
    Or two of those (-4) for a Chelsea defender (thinking Christensen over James currently) and Cancelo?

    If so, which two? Rudiger and Alonso? Rudiger and Shaw? Or Shaw and Alonso?

    Any help would be most appreciated!

  16. unholysmoke
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    One free transfer. Need to get Rudiger out. Can afford TAA. Contemplating going for someone else (Christensen?) because Liverpool haven't been keeping clean sheets and have United away next.

    Can someone just remind me that TAA is an automatic pick if he's pick, regardless of opposition?

    1. unholysmoke
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      if he's fit*