After Sam, Az, Neale and Tom submitted their Scout Squad selections earlier this week, we have chosen our best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players for Gameweek 12 ahead of Saturday’s 11:00 GMT deadline.
We line up in a 4-4-2 formation and, as ever, are limited to an £83.0m budget for our starting XI.
Vicente Guaita (£4.6m) is our chosen goalkeeper for Gameweek 12, having now kept back-to-back clean sheets against champions Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Crystal Palace’s impressive underlying defensive numbers during the opening months have been well documented, with Patrick Vieira’s side ranked second for expected goals conceded (xGC) despite a tough opening schedule which has seen them visit all of the current top five. Their new possession-based approach, which you can read more about here, boosts the bonus points (BPS) potential of their backline, while Guaita will also surely benefit from BPS-increasing ‘recoveries’ this weekend as he is forced to deal with Burnley’s aerial bombardment.
Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.7m) sits second in the defender standings after his fourth double-digit haul of the campaign in Gameweek 11. The England international has now produced a goal, four assists and 12 bonus points in nine appearances, along with five clean sheets, and as a result, is averaging an impressive 7.1 points per match. Notably, his 4.91 expected goal involvement (xGI) total is only bettered by nine other players across all positional categories, which suggests there is plenty more to come from the right-back ahead of this weekend’s Anfield encounter against Arsenal.
A home tie against Everton means that Man City have an appealing match-up at both ends of the pitch. That could be good news for Joao Cancelo (£6.5m), who has started every single Premier League fixture this season, and remarkably leads the way amongst all teammates for goal attempts. Added to that, he is also seeing more of the ball in the final third than any other player, including the likes of Jack Grealish (7.7m) and Bernardo Silva (£7.1m), while his 37.6 minutes per chance total can’t be beaten by any other defender.
While there is much hope in the FPL world that Tottenham Hotspur’s attacking assets can thrive under Antonio Conte, the Italian’s three-at-the-back formation also raises expectations for the wing-backs. Sergio Reguilon (£5.0m) got forward plenty against Everton last time out, and probably should have scored from a Harry Kane (£12.2m) cross, while it’s also worth noting that the Spaniard’s 12 successful crosses from open-play this season is a figure no other player can match. Following those comments about “more goals and assists”, Reguilon looks like an excellent defensive option for Gameweek 12.
Having been seemingly handed a clean bill of health by Ralph Hasenhuttl on Thursday, following his withdrawal from the England under-21 squad last week, Tino Livramento (£4.6m) returns to the Scout Picks XI ahead of this weekend’s trip to Norwich City. The Canaries have failed to find the back of the net in seven of their 11 Premier League matches this term, scoring just five goals in the process, which has included two Teemu Pukki (£5.8m) penalties. As for Livramento, the young full-back has now provided either a goal, assist or clean sheet in seven of his last eight appearances, and could be set to add to that in Gameweek 12, given that Norwich’s left-back area has been a problem all season.
Despite failing to make it onto the scoresheet in either of Liverpool’s last two Premier League outings, Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) has continued to tick along, with assists against Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham. As a result, he has now produced 10 goals, eight assists and 16 bonus points across the opening 11 Gameweeks, averaging an unbelievable 10.6 FPL points per match. Jurgen Klopp’s side saw their unbeaten run come to an end prior to the international break, but their attack remains the one to back, and while Arsenal’s defence has improved, they have benefited from an easier schedule. Kieran Tierney (£4.8m) or Nuno Tavares (£4.8m) could also leave space in behind for Salah to exploit, due to the nature of their set-up which often sees the left-sided full-back push on in possession.
Son Heung-min (£10.3m) has already produced three double-digit hauls in five home appearances this season, despite Spurs’ lack of goal threat under Nuno Espirito Santo. Now, with Antonio Conte installed as head coach, the South Korean international is expected to kick on, with Leeds United up next in Gameweek 12. Marcelo Bielsa’s side have tightened up since their 3-0 loss against Liverpool back in September, but have benefitted from a kinder schedule which has seen them face only two top-half sides in their last seven. During that run, they have only conceded seven goals, but have managed just the one clean sheet.
Conor Gallagher (£5.9m) – who is top for transfers in ahead of Gameweek 12 – has been Palace’s best player so far this season, contributing four goals and four assists in his 10 starts. Thriving in his box-to-box role, he is the Eagles’ leading shot-taker and chance creator, and ranks in the top 10 midfielders for shots in the box, efforts on target, big chances, expected goals (xG) and xGI. He should get chances to add to those totals, too, given that Burnley have managed just one clean sheet all season and rank 19th for non-penalty expected goals conceded (non-pen xGC).
Bryan Mbeumo (£5.6m) has been a little unlucky not to get on the scoresheet more often this season, having hit the woodwork a massive six times, while also having a goal ruled out by VAR in Gameweek 12. However, his underlying numbers remain encouraging, as he ranks sixth amongst all midfielders for xG. With Eddie Howe’s Newcastle set to adopt a more attacking approach, there could be space in behind for Mbeumo to exploit, who has already bagged two goals in four away trips this season.
In truth, it was the doubt over Phil Foden’s (£8.3m) game-time that saw the ‘out of position’ midfielder and Son finally make the cut – something that also put paid to the inclusion of Reece James (£5.9m) as we upgraded the Manchester City man to the Korean.
There was a split in the camp in regards to the premium forward spot this week, with Sam and Tom backing Harry Kane as their top pick, whilst Az and Neale opted for a certain Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.4m). However, the latter comes through here having been selected in all four Scout Squad entries. In all honesty, it does feel like a 50/50 call between the two, though the Portuguese does arguably have the better match-up, at least on paper. Watford are yet to keep a single clean sheet since their return to the Premier League, with Claudio Ranieri failing to enjoy much of a ‘new manager bounce’, winning just one of his four Premier League matches in charge. Across that period, they have conceded nine goals, while only Mohamed Salah has produced more goal attempts and shots in the box than Ronaldo since his second United debut back in Gameweek 4.
Joining Ronaldo up front is Callum Wilson (£7.4m), who has scored 16 goals and assisted a further six in his 33 run-outs since signing for Newcastle. Now, reunited with his old manager Eddie Howe, who may instill a more attacking approach, he looks like a solid option for this weekend’s St James’ Park fixture against Brentford. Thomas Frank’s side have struggled in recent matches, losing four on the bounce, which has included 3-1 and 2-1 defeats against Burnley and Norwich respectively. Despite weaker opposition, they conceded six big chances across those two games – no team allowed more across the same period – which bodes well for Newcastle’s attackers on Saturday.
We choose the Scout Picks captain using a four-way vote between our Scout Squad pundits.
Our panel voted as follows:
- Az: Ronaldo, Salah, Son
- Sam: Salah, Ronaldo, Son
- Neale: Ronaldo, Salah, Cancelo
- Tom: Salah, Ronaldo, Son
It’s a dead-heat so we’ve gone with the RMT pick, Mohamed Salah, for the Gameweek 12 captaincy. Cristiano Ronaldo is selected as vice-captain.
Each week, one of the Fantasy Football Scout community takes on the Scout Picks by pitting their chosen XI against ours.
The community member who beats our team by the largest margin will win a £100 Amazon Voucher and a place in our Moderators and Contributors League for the following season.
Holmes, who triumphed 59-34 in Gameweek 7, has set the target to beat.
Our champion this week is Miguel Sanchez, who has gone with a 3-5-2 of McCarthy; Cancelo, Chilwell, Reguilon; Son, Foden, Havertz, Zaha, Bowen; Ronaldo (c), Wilson
The Scout Picks are 8-3 up on the community this season.
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