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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 9

Four of the top six teams in the Barclays Premier League go head-to-head this weekend as The Scout assesses the upcoming round of fixtures.

League leaders Chelsea make their way to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, where Louis van Gaal’s side have won each of the last three matches in front of their own supporters. On Saturday, West Ham United face a tough task as defending champions Manchester City roll up to Upton Park on the back of three successive victories.

Elsewhere, in-form Southampton play host to Stoke City. Liverpool are seeking a third straight win at home to Hull City, Everton travel to struggling Burnley, whilst visitors Arsenal will be looking to heap further misery on Sunderland, after the Black Cats were hit for eight at St Mary’s last time around.

Talking tactics

Hatem Ben Arfa was handed his first start for Hull City last weekend. The Newcastle United loanee was given the support role behind a lone striker, with Abel Hernandez replacing the injured Nikica Jelavic before kick-off. With Jelavic now set for four-to-six weeks on the sidelines, the 5.7-valued Ben Arfa looks likely to be handed the chance to cement a central berth for Steve Bruce’s side over the next few Gameweeks.

A change of formation saw Edin Dzeko drop to the bench as Manchester City swept aside Tottenham last Saturday. The Bosnian had started each of the last three alongside Sergio Aguero but with Manuel Pellegrini opting for a 4-2-3-1 set-up, Aguero was handed the lone forward role as David Silva tucked in behind, with James Milner and Jesus Navas fielded on the flanks. As the focal points of his team’s attacks, Aguero fired 11 shots and notched all of the champions’ goals in a 4-1 victory and the manner of the performance may well persuade Pellegrini to retain the same system for this weekend’s trip to West Ham.

Manchester United also opted for a 4-2-3-1 system for Monday night’s trip to West Brom. Louis van Gaal moved away from a midfield diamond and dropped Radamel Falcao to the bench against the Baggies, with Robin van Persie leading the line, whilst Angel di Maria and Adnan Januzaj were handed the wide roles in the 2-2 draw. Substitute Marouane Fellaini earned his manager’s praise after emerging from the bench to fire the visitors’ first and with Ander Herrera forced off with a recurrence of a rib injury, the big Belgian’s physical presence in the centre of the park could be key as Chelsea pay visit.

By the numbers

With eight Gameweeks of the season behind us, The Scout takes a look at those players who have offered Fantasy managers the best value for money to this point.

Ryan Bertrand (SOU) 8.0 43 5.4 16%
Saido Berahino (WBA) 8.0 45 5.6 8%
Nathaniel Clyne (SOU) 7.6 42 5.5 27%
Diafra Sakho (WHU) 7.3 41 5.6 3%
Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA) 7.1 48 6.8 46%
Hugo Lloris (TOT) 7.0 39 5.6 12%
Mohamed Diame (HUL) 6.9 38 5.5 2%
Nacer Chadli (TOT) 6.9 44 6.4 11%
Leonardo Ulloa (LEI) 6.9 41 5.9 20%
Steven Naismith (EVE) 6.9 36 5.2 26%

Southampton full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Nathaniel Clyne are amongst the top performers. The Saints pair have both delivered four clean sheets and served up a goal, an assist and four bonus points apiece, though the former is owned by just 16% of Fantasy managers compared to Clyne’s 27%.

West Ham United’s Diafra Sakho has made a stunning start to life in the top-flight. After making his debut as a substitute in Gameweek 2, the Senegal international has racked up 40 points in his subsequent five appearances – despite averaging eight points per start, the 5.6-priced Sakho resides in just 3% of Fantasy teams.

Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris is the top scoring goalkeeper in the game. The Frenchman has accumulated 39 points to date – six more than any other stopper – thanks to four clean sheets and 29 saves, including a penalty stop. His team-mate Nacer Chadli sits just four points off the top of the midfield rankings after producing four goals and an assist for the north London outfit, yet sits in just 11% of sides.

Mohamed Diame has been a revelation since moving to Hull from West Ham in the summer. Handed a central role by Steve Bruce, the 5.5-priced midfielder has scored in four of his five starts for the Tigers, averaging six points per appearance in the process.

Steven Naismith and Leonardo Ulloa are amongst the most popular forwards in the game. Sitting in 26% and 20% of Fantasy sides, the duo’s early-season form has started to fade in recent weeks, though – Naismith has scored just once in the last five Gameweeks, whilst Ulloa has drawn blanks in each of the last three.

Ones to Watch

Ross Barkley – the youngster was in the points on his first appearance of the season last weekend. Finally recovered from a knee injury, Barkley served up an assist in Everton’s home win over Aston Villa and, at a price of 6.7, looks a tempting midfield option as The Toffees roll up to struggling Burnley.

Aaron Ramsey – back in the frame after a recent hamstring injury, the Arsenal midfielder pays visit to a Sunderland side that shipped eight to Southampton last time around. The Gunners will be looking to take advantage of their beleaguered hosts and Ramsey’s ability to arrive late in the box could prove the undoing of Gus Poyet’s Black Cats.

Christian Eriksen – after a slow start to the season, Tottenham’s midfield maestro is picking up in form. Eriksen’s consolation strike at Manchester City took his tally to three goals in the last five Gameweeks and with a plum home clash against a Newcastle backline with a single shut-out in the previous six, he looks in line to pick up the points again.

Wilfried Bony – the Swansea striker is another who is beginning to reproduce last term’s heroics. A converted spot-kick against Stoke last Sunday means Bony has notched in back-to-back matches for the first time this season – up next is a home clash against a Leicester City side that has kept out their opponents just once to this point.

Saido Berahino – West Brom’s cut-price frontman was amongst the goals once again in Monday evening’s home draw with Manchester United. Berahino has now scored five goals in four appearances in front of his own supporters and, at a cost of just 5.6, looks great value as Crystal Palace arrive at The Hawthorns.

NEW Scout Extra

Exclusive to The Scout is now writing two new weekly features. Both are available here:

GW9 Scout Extra: In-form Aguero is hard to ignore

GW9 Scout Extra: Eriksen worthy of more interest

  • Ryan Bertrand
  • Diafra Sakho
  • Ross Barkley

Fantasy Premier League Scout review – Gameweek 8

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero joined Diego Costa at the summit of the top scorers chart as the forward netted four times, taking his goal tally to nine and registering maximum Bonus Points for the first time this season.

Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur

3: Sergio Aguero (MCI)
2: Christian Eriksen (TOT)
1: Hugo Lloris (TOT)

Tottenham Hotspur were powerless in preventing Sergio Aguero taking all of the plaudits from the Etihad Stadium in the early Saturday kick-off. The Argentina forward scored all of Manchester City’s goals to take his Bonus Points (BP) total to nine for the campaign.

Christian Eriksen, who completed 89% of his attempted passes and achieved four dribbles, equalised for Spurs in the first half to record a couple of BP. Hugo Lloris registered a single BP for his Fantasy Premier League managers after preventing Aguero scoring one of his three penalties, making a further eight saves and producing 11 recoveries.

Arsenal 2-2 Hull City

3: Alexis Sanchez (ARS)
2: Per Mertesacker (ARS)

1: Danny Welbeck (ARS)

Alexis Sanchez grabbed his second maximum BP of the Barclays Premier League season after giving Arsenal the lead, before recording an assist for the Gunners’ late equaliser. As well as successfully completing 86% of his passes, the Chile international produced five dribbles and three key passes.

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker picked up his first BP of the campaign thanks in part to helping Sanchez score the opening goal. The German centre back also recovered the ball 17 times and finished with a passing accuracy above 90%. Danny Welbeck scored a late equaliser to rescue a draw for the home team and take away the last of the BP.

Burnley 1-3 West Ham United

3: Diafra Sakho (WHU)
2: Aaron Cresswell (WHU)
1: Enner Valencia (WHU)

Diafra Sakho continued his run of scoring in every game he has started for West Ham United this season. The forward, who also completed four key passes, netted once and assisted another on his way to an impressive performance.

West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell achieved his first BP in the FPL thanks to an assist, creating a further two big chances, completing five key passes and producing 11 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI). Enner Valencia earned one BP after scoring the goal that ultimately won the match for the visitors.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea

3: Oscar (CHE)
2: Cesc Fabregas (CHE)
1: Fraizer Campbell (CRY), Willian (CHE)

Chelsea’s dominant unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League season continued at Selhurst Park and it all began with an exquisite free kick from Brazil international Oscar. The Chelsea midfielder also set up his team’s second goal of the afternoon, as well as completing 89% of passes made.

Cesc Fabregas scored his first goal of the season and successfully found a teammate with the ball 110 times out of 123. The Spain international also recovered the ball on 13 occasions on his way to collecting two BP.

Crystal Palace forward Fraizer Campbell and Chelsea midfielder Willian both registered a single BP. Campbell scored a late goal, while Willian recorded an assist for Oscar’s free kick and had a passing accuracy of 91%.

Everton 3-0 Aston Villa

3: Leighton Baines (EVE)

2: Phil Jagielka (EVE)
1: Seamus Coleman (EVE)

Leighton Baines registered his third maximum points of the season as Everton comfortably beat Aston Villa at Goodison Park. In addition to keeping a clean sheet, the England international was at his attacking best as he created two of the goals, as well as stringing together six key passes and two open play crosses.

Fellow England defender Phil Jagielka secured his FPL managers a couple of BP for a commanding display. The Everton centre back scored the opening goal, completed 94% of his attempted passes and produced 10 CBI. Seamus Coleman netted to earn a first BP of the campaign, and ended the match with a passing accuracy of 88%.

Newcastle United 1-0 Leicester City

3: Gabriel Obertan (NEW)

2: Paul Dummett (NEW)
1: Fabricio Coloccini (NEW)

Gabriel Obertan’s second half strike gave Newcastle United their first win of the Barclays Premier League season and provided the midfielder three BP for the first time in FPL history. The Frenchman’s performance also included 10 recoveries of the ball and a couple of key passes.

Newcastle defender Paul Dummett recorded a clean sheet and finished the match with three successful tackle attempts and 12 CBI to be awarded with two BP. Captain Fabricio Coloccini also contributed to the shut-out with 13 CBI and collected a single BP as a result.

Southampton 8-0 Sunderland

3: Dusan Tadic (SOU)

2: Graziano Pelle (SOU)
1: Ryan Bertrand (SOU)

Dusan Tadic racked up the most FPL points (23) in a single Gameweek of any player so far this season thanks to a majestic performance that included a goal and four assists. The Southampton midfielder created a further three big chances, produced seven key passes and three open play crosses.

Italy international Graziano Pelle continued to reward his FPL managers with a further two goals and an assist, which provided a couple of BP for the forward. Jack Cork and substitutes Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama also got on the scoresheet, but it was Ryan Bertrand who grabbed the final BP. The defender’s clean sheet was supplemented with a 91% pass completion rate, three key passes and he also created a big chance.

Queens Park Rangers 2-3 Liverpool

3: Eduardo Vargas (QPR)
2: Raheem Sterling (LIV)
1: Steven Gerrard (LIV)

Queens Park Rangers forward Eduardo Vargas registered three BP despite only being on the pitch for 12 minutes. The Chile international’s second half cameo produced his first Barclays Premier League goal to draw the home team level, before adding another strike late on to equalise again.

Raheem Sterling’s assist for Liverpool’s third goal meant the visitors took home all three points after a frantic finish, and it provided the midfielder with a couple of BP. The England international also completed six dribbles, 11 recoveries and three key passes. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard popped up with an assist to take the final BP.

Stoke City 2-1 Swansea City

3: Charlie Adam (STK)
2: Wilfried Bony (SWA)
1: Jonathan Walters (STK)

Charlie Adam’s equaliser from the penalty spot in the first half helped the Scot register maximum BP in Gameweek 8. The Stoke City midfielder’s 93% passing accuracy and 11 recoveries aided the home team towards a third win of the season.

Wilfried Bony also scored from the penalty spot to give Swansea City the lead and reward his FPL managers with the forward’s first BP of the campaign. Jonathan Walters came on as a substitute in the second half and headed the winning goal to give Stoke all three points and earn the midfielder a single BP.

West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Manchester United

3: Daley Blind (MUN)
2: Marouane Fellaini (MUN)
1: Andre Wisdom (WBA)

Daley Blind rescued a point for Manchester United in the Monday night fixture with a low strike from outside the box after 87 minutes. As well as his goal, Blind’s 93% passing accuracy, three key passes and eight recoveries helped the Dutch midfielder pick up maximum BP.

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini came on as a half time substitute and immediately made an impact with a sublime control and finish to earn a couple of BP. West Bromwich Albion defender Andre Wisdom recorded a single BP after assisting the home team’s first goal of the night. A great all-round display also consisted of a passing accuracy of 87% and six CBI.

  • Sergio Aguero
  • Leighton Baines
  • Dusan Tadic
  • Eduardo Vargas

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 8

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Fill out the form below explaining why you need to ‘see’ The Scout and if you’re chosen, you'll get your diagnosis and treatment on this page. The Scout will examine your squad, identify the source of your discomfort, present his case notes and then recommend treatment to help get your team fighting fit for the Gameweeks ahead.

Though The Scout will provide personal tailored advice to at least two patients each week, return here to discover which teams have been selected and what advice may be of use to you too.

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Rishi Lakhani - Tea and Busquets

Prognosis: Rishi is desperate to replace Edin Dzeko with Manchester City team-mate Sergio Aguero after the latter’s incredible four-goal haul against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. In defence, he’s looking to part company with Swansea City’s Ashley Williams as the fixtures toughen up and is also eyeing up a replacement for one of his Stoke City pair, Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross.

Treatment: Snapping up Arsenal’s Calum Chambers for Shawcross would immediately free up funds at the back. The former has now served a one-match suspension and, available for just 4.6, looks assured of starts in light of Mathieu Debuchy’s long-term ankle injury. Rishi could also look to Tottenham’s skipper Younes Kaboul as a replacement for Williams and, with enough money in the bank, could then bring in Aguero for Dzeko, after the Bosnian dropped to the bench last week as Manuel Pellegrini opted for a lone striker system.

Chances of Recovery: All three of Rishi’s new acquisitions have the schedule to help boost his season. Aguero’s 19-point return against Spurs took him to the top of the Fantasy standings and with West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and Sunderland in the next six Gameweeks, he has the platform to wreak havoc yet again. Kaboul and Chambers look strong value options over the foreseeable future. The north London-based pair face just two and three of last year’s top eight in the next ten Gameweeks respectively, affording both Tottenham and Arsenal the chance to tighten up and deliver clean sheet returns.

Paolo Crowe - Paulinho’s Cartel

Prognosis: Paolo is faced with a dilemma up front as we head towards Gameweek 9. He’s looking to retain Chelsea’s Diego Costa as one of his three strikers but also wants to bring in Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero after the latter took his tally to nine goals for the season last weekend.

Treatment: Given that Aguero has now risen to 12.4 in price, Paolo will have to free up plenty of budget in order to accommodate the South American. This would mean transferring out one of his three premium-priced midfielders and, bearing in mind he already has Costa on board, he could swap out Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas for Tottenham’s 6.4-priced Nacer Chadli. More cash needs to be generated, though, and bringing in West Bromwich Albion’s Craig Dawson for Vincent Kompany in defence would allow Paolo to acquire Aguero for Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck, thus offering an excellent armband alternative to Costa.

Chances of Recovery: With his number one target Aguero alongside Costa and West Ham’s Diafra Sakho up front, Paolo has three of the most in-form forwards leading the line. Chadli has racked up four goals and an assist in his first eight appearances under new manager Mauricio Pochettino and looks the best value route into the Tottenham midfield ahead of the above-mentioned run of fixtures. West Brom’s Dawson looks a strong home and away rotation option along with another of Paolo’s defenders, Aston Villa’s Alan Hutton. The 4.6-priced Dawson has already registered a 13-point haul in front of his own fans this season and entertains Crystal Palace, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Aston Villa in the next eight Gameweeks.

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