Bundesliga is back after the international break, but still may be missing Erling Haaland (17.6m) for another Matchday after Marco Rose confirmed that the Norwegian superstar is still a doubt.
Matchday 8 is lacking in standout fixtures, and this Scout Squad is very light at the back and heavy in midfield as a result.
MARK FLEKKEN (6.8m), MARIUS FUNK (1.3m)
The only unbeaten team left in the Bundesliga this season, SC Freiburg have been the surprise package for yet another season. Their five goals conceded is a league-best and they come into this game unbeaten in seven at home. Conversely, opponents RB Leipzig, are winless in six on the road. Although Leipzig looked to have improved after wins over basement-dwellers Hertha Berlin and VfL Bochum, there’s every chance of an upset for Freiburg this weekend. Mark Flekken’s 52 points currently make him the second highest-scoring goalkeeper in Fantasy Bundesliga and he’s a great option for this week too.
Marius Funk appears to have taken the starting keeper spot at Greuther Fürth from Sascha Büchert (4.6m), with manager Stefan Leitl confirming that Funk will keep his spot for Saturday’s game against fellow promoted side Bochum. Although they continue to struggle going forward, Fürth’s defensive numbers have improved as of late, best highlighted by only conceding three to Bayern and their strong first-half showing against Köln. In a crucial bottom-of-the-table clash, Funk will be key for them and, at just 1.3m, there’s only so far wrong you can go with him.
JOE SCALLY (2.5m), MARTIN HINTEREGGER (11.5m), CHRISTIAN GUNTER (12.3m), BENNO SCHMITZ (5.0m), NIKO GIESSELMANN (4.3m)
American full-back Joe Scally continues to go from strength to strength under Adi Hütter, taking advantage of Gladbach’s defensive injuries to become one of their key figures so far this season. Scally grabbed his first Bundesliga goal against Wolfsburg last time out as he managed a 16-point haul. Gladbach now host a Stuttgart side struck by both injuries and COVID-19, fresh from impressive wins against Dortmund and Wolfsburg. For his price, Scally is an incredible option, especially when you consider that Stuttgart have only won away from home once since March.
Like Gladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt are starting to improve under their new manager and their stunning away win to Bayern Munich on Matchday 7 confirmed this. Martin Hinteregger scored and picked up four points that reward goal attempts for the third time in his last four Bundesliga matches, highlighting his threat from set-pieces. Frankfurt’s home tie against a hapless Hertha Berlin side is perhaps the best fantasy fixture to target this week and Hinteregger has every opportunity to continue his strong recent form.
Christian Günter is currently the highest-scoring defender in Fantasy Bundesliga and has double-digit hauls from every outing, except Matchday 2. As with Flekken, Freiburg are flying at the moment and Leipzig’s away form leaves a lot to be desired.
Benno Schmitz has been one of Köln’s key creative pieces so far this season and he comes in at just 5.0m. The full-back has three assists already this season and grabbed 12 points against Fürth last time out. Although Köln’s form on the road has been poor so far this season, Hoffenheim have conceded 11 goals in seven games and this should give Schmitz plenty of chances to add to his 27 open play crosses.
Niko Giesselmann has been a Fantasy Bundesliga revelation in 2021/22 and has proven that he can score points regardless of the opponent. A key attacking piece for Union Berlin, facing a Wolfsburg side who are winless in three, Giesselmann is a great budget option who can pick up points through goals, assists, shots, chances created or clean sheets.
FILIP KOSTIC (15.2m), FLORIAN WIRTZ (12.4m), JONAS HOFMANN (13.1m), CHRISTOPHER NKUNKU (15.3m), DANIEL CALIGIURI (9.4m)
Since the transfer drama of the first few Matchdays has passed, Filip Kostic has re-discovered the form which made him last season’s highest-scoring fantasy midfielder. Kostic has 50 points from his last four Bundesliga games and faces a Hertha Berlin side with the worst defensive record. On set-pieces and a massive open play threat, Kostic is the best option at any position this matchday.
Despite facing Bayern on Matchday 8, Florian Wirtz comes into this tie in unbelievable form. 79 points from his last five games is nothing short of extraordinary and, after Bayern conceded twice to Frankfurt last time out, it’s clear that their defence isn’t bulletproof. Wirtz has had the joint-most assists and highest expected assists (xA) tally of 1.98 over the last four games and also scored the joint-second most goals (3).
Jonas Hofmann has been great whenever he’s played for Gladbach this season, with three double-digit hauls in his four Bundesliga starts. As discussed with Scally, Stuttgart come into this game beleaguered by injuries and have only won one away game since March. Although Lars Stindl (13.3m) is on penalties, Hofmann gets the nod for this squad based on his consistency and strong performances from open play.
Although Leipzig have been underwhelming, Christopher Nkunku is in the kind of form you simply cannot ignore. The highest-scoring midfielder in the game, Nkunku has 60 points from his last three Bundesliga matches and, as shown by his hat-trick against Manchester City, can score against anyone. Nkunku’s expected goals (xG) over the last four games (2.67) is second in the Bundesliga behind Robert Lewandowski and, despite the tough meeting with Freiburg, I cannot leave Nkunku out.
Daniel Caligiuri only has 30 points in Bundesliga Fantasy this season and is yet to pick up either a goal or an assist. However, in the tie of the two worst attacks, Augsburg and Arminia Bielefeld, he may finally have the opportunity to change this. Caligiuri dominates set-pieces for Augsburg and has some decent underlying stats. At just 1% ownership, Caligiuri could be a great differential this week.
ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI (18.4m), ANDREJ KRAMARIC (15.4m), BREEL EMBOLO (10.3m)
Robert Lewandowski is Robert Lewandowski. If he’s fit, he’ll be in this Scout Squad. He’s fit, so he’s in the Scout Squad. It doesn’t matter who he’s playing, he’s an incredible option in the league’s best team.
Andrej Kramaric has only scored once this season but has been putting up great numbers. His 28 shots are second in the league to Lewandowski and his four assists are second only to Wirtz. Although they’re under new management, Kramaric tormented Köln last season, with five goals in two games against the Billy Goats. Köln are winless in the Bundesliga on the road under Steffen Baumgart and Kramaric could score big this week.
Breel Embolo is back to full fitness for Gladbach and has played 90 minutes in each of their last two Bundesliga ties. He got a goal and an assist against Wolfsburg on Matchday 7 and also bagged two goals and two assists in two games for Switzerland over the international break. Gladbach have a prime fixture against Stuttgart and Embolo will be one of their star men.
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