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 13 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.
Despite last weekend’s heavy defeat at Anfield ending their 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions, a much more favourable test awaits Arsenal in Gameweek 13, against a Newcastle United side who have managed just five goals on their travels all season. Aaron Ramsdale (£4.8m) is second only to Edouard Mendy (£6.3m) for his save percentage (78.9%) since making his debut, with the Gunners’ tallies of eight goals conceded and five clean sheets during that time beaten only by Chelsea and Manchester City.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s (£7.8m) excellent start to the season continued with a fifth double-digit haul in Gameweek 12. The England international has now produced a goal, six assists and 15 bonus points, plus six clean sheets, in just 10 Premier League outings, averaging an impressive 7.9 points per match. Notably, the right-back has already delivered just under half of the points he managed in the whole of 2020/21 (79 v 160) and is 27 points ahead of where he was in his best-ever campaign in 2019/20. Given that only Burnley have allowed more crosses from their left-flank than Southampton over the last four Gameweeks, it could be another big week for Alexander-Arnold.
Joao Cancelo (£6.6m) has started every single Manchester City league fixture this season, and is now level with Alexander-Arnold at the top of the defender scoring charts. In fact, across all positional categories, only Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) has returned more FPL points to date. Against Everton in Gameweek 12, it was another strong showing from the Portuguese, who racked up his fifth assist of the campaign, more than he managed across the entire 2020/21 season. Having attempted more shots than any other teammate over the opening 12 rounds, totalling 1.68 xG, it surely won’t be long before his first goal arrives, too.
Following Tuesday’s 4-0 UEFA Champions League win over Juventus, Chelsea have now kept 31 clean sheets in 50 matches under Thomas Tuchel, conceding just 24 goals in the process. During that midweek victory, Reece James (£6.1m) was on target once again, and though his current output will surely regress to more sustainable levels in the coming weeks, he is still posting excellent numbers from an attacking perspective. It’s also worth noting that this weekend’s opponents, Manchester United, have conceded more chances from their left-flank than any other side over the last four Gameweeks.
Rayan Ait-Nouri (£4.3m) takes the final spot in our backline. Since making his first start of the season last month, the budget defender has impressed and deservedly kept his place ahead of Marcal (£4.4m) in Gameweek 12. Over his last four matches he has banked 20 points, whilst amongst all FPL defenders, he ranks second for crosses, joint-fifth for chances created and eighth for final-third touches, with his share of set-plays another route to attacking returns. As for Norwich City, the Canaries have struggled in front of goal all season, hitting the net just seven times, while they could only muster 0.27 xG from open-play against Southampton last time out.
After his customary strike against Porto on Wednesday night, Mohamed Salah has now moved on to 17 goals in 17 matches in all competitions this season. As a result of that form, he is 46 points ahead of any other Fantasy asset after just 12 Gameweeks and is top for everything from shots in the box to big chances created on the underlying stats front. Notably, his midweek goal had particular significance for the Reds, too, in that it marked the 16th straight game in which they have scored two or more goals. In addition, they also remain the only team to have scored in all 12 of their Premier League matches this season, which reaffirms their status as the division’s best attack. Because of that, Diogo Jota (£7.6m) joins Salah in a Liverpool attacking double-up, with the Portuguese – who found the net in the 4-0 win over Arsenal last weekend – set for increased pitch-time in the continued absence of Roberto Firmino (£8.8m).
Ilkay Gundogan (£7.2) is likely to be asked to step up once again this weekend in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m), who remains out with Covid. The German international was excellent as he featured for the full 90 minutes in City’s 2-1 win against PSG on Wednesday, playing an important role in Gabriel Jesus’ (£8.7m) winner. Despite starting just eight Premier League games this term, Gundogan ranks top amongst all team-mates for xGI, while only Cancelo and Jesus have attempted more shots. As for City, they have now won all four matches they’ve played this month, and have a good recent home record against opponents West Ham United.
Newcastle’s trip to Arsenal means a first 2021/22 Scout Picks call-up for Bukayo Saka (£6.3m), who edges ahead of Emile Smith Rowe (£5.9m) in our thinking due to his superior underlying numbers, as he beats his team-mate for shots in the box (17 v 13), penalty area touches (51 v 29) and chances created (19 v 15) across the season. As for the Magpies, no club has conceded more Premier League goals or big chances than Eddie Howe’s side, whose defensive deficiencies were again in evidence against Brentford despite the change in manager. It’s also notable how much higher up the pitch they were defending in that match, which could be good news for Saka, who will look to get in behind their backline at every opportunity.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m) has been a reliable performer at the Emirates this term, scoring four goals in his five starts. He was unfortunate not to add to that tally in Gameweek 11, too, as his penalty was saved by Watford’s Ben Foster (£4.1m), while he later had a goal ruled out for offside. As detailed above, Newcastle’s shaky backline is a key reason behind Aubameyang’s inclusion, with centre-forwards Ivan Toney (£6.7m), Christian Benteke (£6.4m) and Harry Kane (£12.2m) all causing plenty of problems for the Magpies defence in recent times.
Following last week’s winner against West Ham United, Raul Jimenez (£7.8m) has now produced six attacking returns in his last six starts and sits fifth in the forward standings on 51 points. As a result of that Gameweek 12 win over the in-form Hammers, Wolves have now won five of their last seven Premier League matches, losing just the one, while only Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, West Ham and Brentford have a superior xG total over the opening 12 matches. As for Norwich, no team has conceded more chances from the centre zone this season, which is encouraging for Jimenez – who primarily operates in that area – ahead of Gameweek 13.
We choose the Scout Picks captain using a four-way vote between our Scout Squad pundits.
Our panel voted as follows:
- Az: Salah, Alexander-Arnold, James
- Sam: Salah, Alexander-Arnold, Aubameyang
- Neale: Salah, Aubameyang, Alexander-Arnold
- Tom: Salah, Aubameyang, Alexander-Arnold
Mohamed Salah is awarded the captaincy, with Trent Alexander-Arnold nominated 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 A Manager Has No Name, who has gone with a 4-3-3 of Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Dias, Alonso, Gabriel; Mane (c), Son, Saka; Jesus, Benteke, King
The Scout Picks are 9-3 up on the community this season.
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