Scout Notes

Is it time to sell Jota in FPL and is Salah the best Gameweek 9 captain?

We continue our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 8 write-ups with analysis of Watford v Liverpool.

For a shorter summary of all of Saturday’s action, click here, while you can read up on Sunday’s two Premier League fixtuers here and here.

WATFORD 0-5 LIVERPOOL

  • Goals: Sadio Mane (£11.9m), Roberto Firmino (£8.8m), Mohamed Salah (£12.8m)
  • Assists: Salah, James Milner (£4.9m), Firmino, Neco Williams (£3.9m)
  • Bonus: Firmino x3, Salah x2, Milner x1

TIME TO SELL JOTA?

All of Liverpool’s front three were among the points in Saturday’s thrashing of Watford but unfortunately for Diogo Jota‘s (£7.5m) owners, he wasn’t part of that attacking trio.

His omission was all the more galling given that Roberto Firmino (£8.8m) scored a hat-trick of goals from point-blank range, central areas where Jota has been getting – and spurning – chances in recent weeks.

Jota averages only 4.0 points per Gameweek this season if we include his weekend no-show, and is joint-20th among FPL midfielders for points per appearance (4.6).

He’s also now the most-sold player in his position ahead of Gameweek 9, with close to 100,000 transfers out.

£7.5m still represents a phenomenal price for a Liverpool centre-forward and, stats-wise, the former Wolves man is right up there with Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) and Sadio Mane (£11.9m), virtually level with his two teammates for big chances per 90 minutes (see below):

But Firmino’s treble surely catapults him back into pole position for the central striker role and he would seem the likeliest to start against Manchester United on Sunday, given Jurgen Klopp’s love of the Brazilian in the so-called bigger games: he had started 36 consecutive ‘big six’ matches before that record was broken against Manchester City a fortnight ago.

With Liverpool playing twice a week until 2022, Jota will, of course, continue to get a lot of minutes. Perhaps he is one to revisit closer to December, a frenetic period when Klopp traditionally rotates more heavily and a time when even the likes of Salah and Mane can expect to occasionally warm the bench in the league, thus narrowing the guaranteed game-time gap between Jota and the more expensive Liverpool assets.

Jota is also a very desirable option come January, when his two African club teammates are away at the Cup of Nations.

For those of us who are already rolling the dice on a weekly basis with rotation risks like Phil Foden (£8.0m), Reece James (£5.5m) and Marcos Alonso (£5.9m), however, Jota might be one uncertainty too many at present.

A FIRST LOOK AT RANIERI’S WATFORD

Claudio Ranieri’s first match in charge of Watford ended in a thumping defeat for the Hornets at Vicarage Road.

Three of the hosts’ squad, Emmanuel Dennis (£5.2m), Ben Foster (£4.0m) and Ismaila Sarr (£6.3m), were well owned in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) heading into Gameweek 8 and all were included in Ranieri’s inaugural starting XI as the new Watford boss.

For owners of Foster, the teamsheet brought the welcome news that the veteran goalkeeper was still preferred to Daniel Bachmann (£4.4m) despite the change in the managerial hot-seat – although the scoreline, let alone the upcoming fixtures for the Hornets, further underscored the fact that Foster’s primary role in many Fantasy squads will be as emergency back-up.

How much the concession of five goals, not to mention possible internal disciplinary measures against the experienced shot-stopper, affects Ranieri’s thinking regarding goalkeeper selection remains to be seen.

It was a curious line-up from the well-travelled Italian, with Adam Masina (£4.3m) and Danny Rose (£4.3m) both fielded and having horror shows on the left, and Sarr deployed through the middle with Dennis on the right wing.

Above: Watford’s average position map against Liverpool

The prospect of Sarr being used as an ‘out of position’ forward was always possible following Ranieri’s appointment, given his love of a 4-4-2 (the winger scored three goals and assisted two others in nine appearances in a central role last season), but the sight of the Senegal international being used as a lone striker against Virgil van Dijk (£6.0m) and Joel Matip (£5.0m) was an odd one.

Despite being mostly nullified and looking borderline disinterested at times, he still managed to rack up three shots and six penalty area touches, seeing one effort tipped onto the post.

That provides a bit of encouragement for existing Sarr owners despite the heavy defeat, then, although the upcoming fixture run likely won’t encourage any more buyers.

SALAH CAPTAIN IN GAMEWEEK 9?

Salah is 27 points clear of any other FPL player after his fifth double-digit haul of the season; he managed just six of those 10+ returns in the whole of 2020/21.

The Egyptian is a remarkable 35 points ahead of where he was at this stage in his record-breaking 2017/18 campaign and is now averaging 10.4 points per match this season.

It’s hard to decide what was better between his outside-of-the-foot assist for Mane’s opener against Watford and the Egyptian’s superb solo goal on Saturday, a strike that carried an expected goals (xG) value of just 0.05, such was its level of difficulty.

To state the bleeding obvious, he’s in tip-top form.

Manchester United’s defensive horror show at Leicester City, coupled with four straight blanks for Romelu Lukaku (£11.9m), has suddenly made the Gameweek 9 captaincy debate not quite the clear-cut choice it looked a few weeks ago.

The Belgian is still the early front-runner in our captaincy poll (see below) but had Chelsea and Liverpool’s fixtures being the other way round this weekend, it’s fair to say that Salah would be winning by a landslide.

Double-digit hauls against Chelsea and Manchester City have already arrived this season for the Egypt international, who has two goals in his last three outings against United.

Watford XI (3-4-3): Foster; Cathcart, Troost-Ekong, Rose; Femenia (Ngakia 58), Kucka, Sissoko, Masina (Cleverley 46); Dennis (Pedro 69) Sarr, Hernandez.

Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold (Oxlade-Chamberlain 64), Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson (Tsimikas 64); Milner (Williams 83), Henderson, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

196 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Nanoelektronicar
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    WC team:

    Raya (Foster)
    TAA James Chilwell (Livramento, Manquillo)
    Salah Son Raphinha Mbeumo
    Lukaku Jimenez Toney

    The obvious one is no City, but with Cancelo being rotation risk anyway, and with Chelsea's next three games, I think Chelsea wingback double is worth the risk. Especially with Livramento having good fixtures to cover if needed. Also, it allows Toney instead of Hwang.

    I prefer Jimenez to Antonio, although it might be mistake, but fixtures over next 6 are there. Bamford could return as an option too, so I think it's time to part ways with Antonio for now.

    The main question for me is should I pick Son or Vardy, and it comes down to Son and Toney over Vardy and Gallagher/Townsend.

    1. Nanoelektronicar
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Timing!

    2. Nanoelektronicar
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      I forgot Norman, I think it's nice 4.5 option, on set pieces and although it's Norwich fixtures are nice. I don't intend to play him anyway.

    3. TheBiffas
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      James and chilwell is too much.

      1. Nanoelektronicar
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        But the next three are Norwich, Newcastle and Burnely, don't think there's better three in a row than that.

    4. BeWater
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      I was playing around with a WC draft myself earlier. I had exactly the same team except Cancelo over Chilwell, Brownhill over Normann and Ramsdale over Raya.

      1. Nanoelektronicar
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        It's pretty much standard wc team. In hindsight, I probably shoud've done it this week already. I don't have enough for both Cancelo and Toney, though.

    5. Scholes Out For Summer
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Cancelo as a rotation risk is a misconception

      1. Nanoelektronicar
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        What I meant is, both him and Chilwell are the same level of rotation risk. Maybe not, because Chilwell has the more serious competitor in Alonso, but you can't say both are nailed and certain to start every game. So I would go for a cheaper Chilwell who's got three great fixtures.

  2. tbos83
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 16 days ago

    2ft and 0.3itb.
    A) Ronaldo, Kov > Vardy, Raph (bench Benny)
    B) Ron, Benny > Kane, Raph
    C) Ron, Benny > Toney, Son
    D) something else

    Sanchez
    Christensen Livra Digne
    Salah ESR Benny Gray
    Lukaku Ronaldo Antonio

    Steele Kovacic White Shaw

    1. TheBiffas
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Ronaldo and Digne to Trent and lukaku

      1. tbos83
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Thanks but already got Luk..

        1. TheBiffas
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Sorry meant vardy

    2. Max City
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      A with Vardy+Son

  3. dbeck
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    those who still have WC, when are you looking to use it? Is the best fixture swing at GW12?

    1. TheBiffas
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      14

      1. dbeck
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        this to get on board the city and united fixtures?

    2. Bobby Digital
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      When my team needs it...

    3. BeWater
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Possibly this week. If not will revaluate at the next IB.

    4. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Either GW12, GW14 or GW16, depends how I fare over the coming weeks

  4. sovietrockettes
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Ramsdale
    TAA Cancelo Dias James
    Salah Foden Mbeumo ESR
    Lukaku(C) Antonio

    Livramento Armstrong Brownhill Foster 1.3 ITB 1FT

    A) Save
    B) Armstrong>Broja
    C) ESR>Raphinha
    D) Brownhill>Raphinha, Armstrong>Broja for a -4

    1. Max City
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      a

    2. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      A

  5. DannyDrinkVodka
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Alonso will drop again this week, isn't he? Will price me out of Alonso>TAA.........as soon as I make the move he will score 21 points though fml

  6. Tango74
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Is raphina pointless without bamford ?

    1. Nanoelektronicar
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      No, not at all, he's great one on one and he'll get even more shots if Bamford's not there, imo. I don't think he needs Bamford, as much as Bamford needs him to be effective.

      1. Tango74
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Thanks

    2. RedRo
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Is Ronaldo pointless without McTominay?

        1. RedRo
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Raphinha’s the star of the team. He’s a great pick regardless of Bamford situation.

      • Iceball
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Ramsdsle and White - monday night fever!!

        1. tbos83
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 16 days ago

          ESR and White. Need them to do something!!

        2. Max City
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          hope he saved a couple of penalties

        3. DannyDrinkVodka
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Ramsdale and ESR, badly need ESR to go double digits

        4. DonaldDrapier
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Ramsdale, Tierney and ESR -clean sheet come on!

      • Bertonian
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 16 days ago

        If you could have 2 of these 3 for next run of games (other forward being Lukaku till wk 12 then Kane). Got Mbeumo so not looking at Toney

        A Jimmy & Nacho
        B Jimmy & Antonio
        C Nacho & Antonio

        Cheers

      • Harry Ball Bag™⚽⚽…
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        What are alonso owners doing with him? Keep and hope he starts or get rid

        1. FFSbet.com
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Sold for Chilwell to catch rise and avoid drop so probably he start next game.

        2. DannyDrinkVodka
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          I'm waiting until Wednesday at least..........if he starts against Molde, I'm getting rid.

      • Rupert The Horse
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Is this an easy save? 0.7 itb.

        McCarthy
        Azpi Cancelo Livramento TAA
        Salah Raphinha Townsend Foden
        Lukaku Antonio

        White Hwang ESR

        1. King Kohli
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Yes unless you want Chilwell.
          Not tempted to start Hwang vs a poor Leeds defence?

          1. Rupert The Horse
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            No I’m not interested in Chilwell.
            Who would you swap out for Hwang?

      • King Kohli
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        1. Who is the bigger priority to get in, Son or Chilwell?
        2. Would you do Dias > Chilwell for free this gw?

        Ramsdale Foster
        TAA Cancelo Dias James Livramento
        Salah Mahrez Raphinha Mbeumo Brownhill
        Lukaku Antonio Hwang
        1 FT 0 ITB

        1. Rupert The Horse
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Son.

        2. Pep bites Kun
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Can you afford a straight Son swap? Dias > Chilwell doesn't make sense and isn't a good use of a transfer

      • Ginola
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 16 days ago

        On wildcard. Would you go for option A or B?

        A. White, Townsend & Vardy
        B. 3.9 fodder, Son & Iheanacho

        1. mg12
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Tough one, but I lean toward A.

      • mg12
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        My team feels like its losing momentum.

        Sanchez
        Azpilicueta, Cancelo, Dias, Marcal
        Salah, Raph, Jota, Benrahma
        Antonio, Ronaldo

        Foster, Williams, Sarr, Dennis

        Likley trading Ronaldo --> Lukaku, or should I look at Vardy?

        How would you use your second FT?
        Firmino played 90 against Athletico, does that mean Jota may start or should I ship him out?
        Does it make sense to upgrade Dennis to Hwang?

      • TokyoMontreal
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Raya
          TAA, Livramento, Rudiger
          Salah, Foden, Benrahma, Gray
          Antonio, Dennis, Ronaldo

          Sanchez, Jansson, Allan, Dier
          2.6 itb

          Thoughts for GW9.

          A) Lukaku, Jimenez > Ronaldo, Dennis For -4
          B) Lukaku, Jimenez, Raphinha > Ronaldo, Dennis, Benrahma For -8
          C) Lukaku, Jimenez, Mbeumo > Ronaldo, Dennis, Benrahma For -8

        • Fpl_elstatto
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          I think Salah will now be the most backed option this week. Utd showed last night they will give you chances and with Salahs form he is who I’ll be backing now.

          Is this now a good week to be brave and back someone else though? 3 alternatives highlighted in our article. Would u back any of these? https://jumpersforgoalposts.info/fpl-gw9-3-shades-of-captaincy/

        • FPL Brains
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Really feel like Mane is going under the radar due to his African compatriots fine form.

          Sadio looks back to his best.