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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 4

Three of last season’s top four teams in the Barclays Premier League face home comforts this weekend as The Scout assesses the Gameweek 4 schedule.

Arsenal welcome champions Manchester City to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday lunchtime as both sides attempt to bounce back from disappointing results last time out. Chelsea and Swansea City - the only teams with 100% records in the top-flight - go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge, whilst Liverpool welcome third placed Aston Villa to Anfield.

Elsewhere, big-spending Manchester United play at home to Queens Park Rangers, Everton search for their first win of the season at West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur face a testing trip to the Stadium of Light, as Mauricio Pochettino’s side look to recover from their home hammering at the hands of Liverpool in Gameweek 3.

Talking tactics

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal could be set to hand a trio of new signings their debuts in Sunday’s home encounter with QPR. Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao all look poised to feature against Harry Redknapp’s side, though it remains to be seen whether the Dutchman will continue with his current 3-4-1-2 formation. While Rojo could slot into the back three and Blind may be fielded in the centre of the park, Falcao’s arrival hands Van Gaal a real dilemma up front, with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie also vying for a starting role. If the versatile Rooney is forced deeper to accommodate the Colombian, Juan Mata’s role in “the hole” behind a front two may well come under pressure as Van Gaal looks to engineer a first victory of the season.

The arrival of new winger Sadio Mane affords Ronald Koeman the chance to alter his tactics for Southampton’s home clash with Newcastle United on Saturday. The Saints boss has mainly fielded a three-man frontline over the first trio of fixtures, with Dusan Tadic on the left, though a shift to a 4-2-3-1 system would allow the Serbian to tuck in behind Graziano Pelle, with Mane and Shane Long handed the roles on the left and right of the attacking midfield three respectively.

A change of formation from Harry Redknapp helped QPR chalk up their first win of the campaign last time around. The R’s boss chose to drop his 3-5-2 system and returned to a four-man backline at home to Sunderland, with new boy Leroy Fer stationed behind Charlie Austin in a 4-4-1-1 set-up. Fer provided the assist for Austin’s solitary strike in the 1-0 triumph and with a clean sheet also accrued, Redknapp may well decide to retain the system as his side roll up to Old Trafford.

By the numbers

The Scout delves into the data and seeks out some of the most impressive defenders on display over the opening three Gameweeks. With every three clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) earning a point in the Bonus Points System, we assess the top 10 performers thus far.

Ryan Shawcross (STO) 50 40 5 5 5.6 10%
Wes Morgan (LEI) 45 31 8 6 4.5 1%
Winston Reid (WHU) 41 31 4 6 5.0 1%
Ashley Williams (SWA) 41 33 3 5 5.0 5%
Dejan Lovren (LIV) 39 30 1 8 5.5 28%
Steven Caulker (QPR) 37 24 4 9 4.9 10%
Phil Jones (MUN) 37 19 1 17 5.5 8%
Erik Pieters (STO) 37 29 1 7 5.0 1%
Curtis Davies (HUL) 36 31 1 4 5.0 4%
Marc Wilson (STO) 36 30 2 4 4.5 1%

Impressively, three of the Stoke back-four appear in our analysis. Potters captain Ryan Shawcross leads the way with 50 CBI – his 40 clearances are also more than any defender and with a goal and four bonus points (BP) to date, he’s risen to 5.6 in price. Left-back Erik Pieters has also picked up four BP and chipped in with an assist, yet sits in just 1% of squads, while Marc Wilson has also been vital to the resilience that has seen Mark Hughes’ side concede just twice so far. Wilson has earned a couple of BP, though at a price of just 4.5, is the cheapest option in the Stoke defence.

Leicester City skipper Wes Morgan has also led by example. Morgan has produced 45 CBI over the first three matches for Nigel Pearson’s side, with a total of eight blocks - more than any defender.

Swansea’s Ashley Williams has been key to the form that has seen his side serve up back-to-back clean sheets. The 5.0-priced centre-half has registered 41 CBI and has earned four BP in the last two Gameweeks for Garry Monk’s unbeaten side.

Dejan Lovren’s impact at new club Liverpool is obvious. The summer signing from Southampton has managed 39 CBI – more than any Reds’ defender – though has failed to pick up any bonus points for his 28% owners.

Manchester United’s Phil Jones has chalked up 17 interceptions in his first three appearances under Louis van Gaal – more than any defender. With 37 CBI so far, Jones picked up a couple of BP in the Gameweek 3 goalless draw at Burnley, with his contribution crucial to the visitors’ clean sheet.

Ones to Watch

Sadio Mane – the deadline-day signing arrives at Southampton on the back of an excellent record at former club Red Bull Salzburg. Mane produced 45 goals and 32 assists in just 87 appearances across all competitions for the Austrian outfit and is set to be unleashed against Newcastle at St Mary’s this weekend. Bearing in mind the Magpies conceded three at home in their previous match, the Senegal wide man will be confident of making an immediate impact for Ronald Koeman’s side.

Wilfried Zaha – emerging from the bench in the previous Gameweek, the on-loan midfielder grabbed a goal and fired in four attempts in Crystal Palace’s 3-3 draw at Newcastle. With Marouane Chamakh set to be sidelined for the Eagles’ home encounter with Burnley due to a hamstring injury, Zaha could be poised for a first start under Neil Warnock and, priced at just 5.4, looks a real value option.

Mario Balotelli – despite failing to score in his debut away to Spurs, Liverpool’s new forward turned in an impressive display in the 3-0 win. With major concerns over strike partner Daniel Sturridge’s fitness, Balotelli looks vital to the Reds’ prospects of ending Aston Villa’s unbeaten record at Anfield on Saturday evening and with a 3% ownership, is a real under the radar option.

Mame Biram Diouf – shifted to a more withdrawn role behind Peter Crouch last time around, Diouf grabbed the winner as Stoke upset the odds by defeating Manchester City at the Etihad. The only attacker to start all three matches under Mark Hughes so far, Diouf grabbed a goal for Senegal during the recent international break and will be brimming with confidence ahead of Leicester City’s arrival at the Britannia Stadium.

Nikica Jelavic – the Croatian has been quick to find his form for Hull this season. Jelavic has scored both the Tigers’ goals across the previous couple of Gameweeks and subsequently picked up three bonus points – at home to a West Ham side without a clean sheet over the first three matches, his contribution could make the difference for the hosts on Monday evening.

  • Radamel Falcao
  • Ryan Shawcross
  • Nikica Jelavic

Fantasy Premier League Scout review – Gameweek 3

France international Morgan Schneiderlin was at the top of his game as Southampton came from behind to grab all three points against West Ham United. Schneiderlin earned the most points on the Bonus Points System to receive the maximum three Bonus Points for his Fantasy Premier League managers.

Burnley 0-0 Manchester United

The back three of Manchester United were all involved in the Bonus Points (BP) at Turf Moor, with England international Phil Jones registering the maximum three BP. Jones’ clean sheet was helped by 16 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI), five recoveries and three successful tackles, plus a 94% pass completion rate.

Jonny Evans, Tyler Blackett and Burnley’s Michael Duff all earned two BP in the early lunchtime kick-off on Saturday. Evans’ solid display was backed up by 10 CBI and four recoveries, while Blackett made 14 CBI and 10 recoveries but lost points with a yellow card. Burnley defender Duff helped the home side to their first point of the Barclays Premier League season with a commanding performance that included an 83% pass completion rate, seven CBI and just the one foul given away.

Manchester City 0-1 Stoke City

A host of Stoke City players were rewarded for their superb performances in the surprise result of Gameweek 3. Mame Biram Diouf, who executed three dribbles and one key pass, scored the winning goal to take away maximum BP.

Stoke defender Erik Pieters registered two BP following a clean sheet at the Etihad Stadium, which was supported by an assist and seven CBI. Marc Wilson and Ryan Shawcross both received one BP for their efforts. Wilson kept the dangers of Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic at bay with a commanding defensive performance that included 11 CBI. Centre-back Shawcross, who made 15 CBI, put in another sterling performance to earn his single BP.

Newcastle United 3-3 Crystal Palace

Three goalscorers picked up the BP in the entertaining match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace. Newcastle players Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat both picked up two BP, but it was Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon that was rewarded with three BP. Puncheon bagged his team’s second goal, while also making 10 recoveries, completing four dribbles and creating a big chance.

Newcastle defender Williamson, who completed 83% of attempted passes and made seven recoveries, scored his first goal for the Magpies. Janmaat also got on the score sheet and had an 87% pass success rate before being substituted in the second half.

Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Sunderland

Charlie Austin registered the maximum three BP following his display in Queens Park Rangers’ win against Sunderland. Austin grabbed the only goal of the match, his first ever strike in the Barclays Premier League.

New QPR signing Leroy Fer grabbed two BP after picking up an assist, making four key passes and completing 87% of his attempted passes. Goalkeeper Rob Green picked up the final BP after making a string of saves to keep Sunderland at bay. Green made seven recoveries to go alongside six saves in a fine display at Loftus Road.

Swansea City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion

Nathan Dyer was the standout performer as Swansea City eased to victory against West Bromwich Albion. The midfielder bagged two goals, including the winning goal, and completed 91% of his attempted passes to earn three BP.

Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson continued his tremendous start to the season with another scintillating display that earned him two more BP. The Iceland international provided an assist for two of the goals, created a further two big chances, provided four key passes and finished the match with an 88% pass completion rate. Ashley Williams registered the final BP as the defender kept his concentration to help Swansea record a clean sheet. As well as completing 94% of his passes, Williams produced 12 CBI in another superb defensive performance.

West Ham United 1-3 Southampton

France international Morgan Schneiderlin picked up three BP following a match-winning performance and the midfielder registered the most points on the Bonus Points System (BPS) - 57. Schneiderlin scored two goals, including the winning goal at Upton Park, and wrapped up his display with a 92% pass completion rate.

West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble gave his team the lead in the first half and, along with completing 81% of his passes, this was enough to give the former England under-21 captain two BP. Southampton’s summer signing Graziano Pelle picked up one BP as he looks to be quickly adapting to life in the Barclays Premier League. The Saints forward sealed victory for the visitors after scoring their third goal of the match.

Everton 3-6 Chelsea

Goodison Park was the host of a nine goal thriller with Chelsea’s summer acquisition Diego Costa continuing his success in front of goal to help the London club come away with a vital three points. Costa scored two of Chelsea’s six goals, the first and last, in a rampant attacking display to earn himself maximum BP.

Nemanja Matic scored his first goal for Chelsea and it proved to be the decisive winning goal. The Serbia international midfielder also provided an assist and successfully completed three dribbles to earn two BP for his Fantasy Premier League managers. Brazil international Ramires picked up the final BP after scoring the fifth of Chelsea’s goals and providing two assists.

Aston Villa 2-1 Hull City

Andreas Weimann was on top form as he helped Aston Villa maintain their unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League season. The Austria international forward, who registered three BP, scored the winning goal and provided the assist for Villa’s opening goal of the match.

Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor linked up brilliantly with Weimann throughout the match and scored the opening goal to earn his Fantasy Premier League managers two BP. Croatia forward Nikica Jelavic picked up the final BP of the match. The forward scored the goal to get Hull City back in the game, but ultimately it was not enough for his side to come away from Villa Park with any points.

Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Liverpool

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard led his team to a superb winning performance against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. The former England captain scored from the penalty spot, made nine CBI and delivered three key passes to register maximum BP.

New signing Alberto Moreno bagged his first Barclays Premier League goal to grab two BP. The Liverpool defender completed 87% of his attempted passes and made nine CBI. England international midfielder Jordan Henderson may not have got a goal at White Hart Lane, but he did provide the assist for the opening goal of the match to receive one BP. Henderson also recovered the ball 11 times and had a pass completion rate of 93%.

Raheem Sterling ultimately scored the winning goal for Liverpool during an impressive display, but a yellow card meant the midfielder fell just short of earning any BP.

Leicester City 1-1 Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez opened his Barclays Premier League account with the first goal at the King Power Stadium. The Chile international, who completed 84% of his attempted passes and produced four key passes, received three BP for his display in an Arsenal shirt.

Despite coming on as a first half substitute, Calum Chambers earned his Fantasy Premier League managers two BP. The Arsenal defender picked up clean sheet points as he entered the pitch after the Gunners conceded the equalising goal. Chambers produced eight recoveries and completed 90% of his passes. Leicester City forward Leonardo Ulloa grabbed the equalising goal to earn his side a valuable Barclays Premier League point. The Argentine’s hard-working efforts meant that he was rewarded with one BP.

  • Morgan Schneiderlin
  • Diego Costa
  • Andreas Weimann
  • Nathan Dyer

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 3

Get expert tips and advice on your Fantasy Premier League team exclusively from The Scout.

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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Sameer Dada - Sameer’s Super stars

Prognosis: Sameer played his wildcard in Gameweek 2 but is already having second thoughts over Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, with the Red Devils’ new signing Radamel Falcao lined up as a replacement. At the back, he’s also looking to swap out Aston Villa’s Alan Hutton, who faces each of last season’s top five teams in the upcoming five Gameweeks.

Treatment: In order to acquire Falcao, Sameer must generate funds by selling one of his premium priced midfielders. By drafting in Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic for David Silva in the centre of the park, he would free up the cash to transfer in Falcao up front alongside Diego Costa. Sameer would also have enough budget left over to bring Tadic’s in-form team-mate Nathaniel Clyne into his 15-man squad – the Saints right-back currently sits fourth in the defender standings after delivering 19 points in his first three appearances.

Chances of Recovery: The moves enable Sameer to retain his preferred 3-5-2 formation and also bring Falcao into his team ahead of three home fixtures and a trip to Leicester City in the next four Gameweeks. Tadic and Clyne also have an excellent upcoming schedule to boost their points potential. Ronald Koeman’s side entertain Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, Sunderland and Stoke City in the next six Gameweeks and also pay visit to Swansea City, affording the Saints a chance to carry on the form that saw them win 3-1 win at West Ham United in the previous Gameweek.

O.K.K.Y Pahlevi - Oyong United

Prognosis: After picking up 146 points in the first three Gameweeks, O.K.K.Y is looking to invest in league leaders Chelsea after Jose Mourinho’s side won all three of their opening fixtures. O.K.K.Y is keen to acquire in-form pair Branislav Ivanovic and Diego Costa and is contemplating using his wildcard in order to freshen up his 15-man squad.

Treatment: To free up funds, O.K.K.Y could replace Alexis Sanchez with Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, who has moved up to third in the midfield standings after notching his second goal of the season at Tottenham Hotspur. This would allow him to swap in Ivanovic for team-mate Gary Cahill at the back and also generate the necessary cash to bring in Costa - providing he recovers from a minor hamstring problem - for Wayne Rooney in the front three. The trio of moves could also allow O.K.K.Y to hold onto his wildcard until he feels the need to make numerous alterations to his 15-man squad.

Chances of Recovery: With home encounters against Swansea City and Aston Villa in the next three Gameweeks, the raiding right-back Ivanovic could be poised to pick up the points at both ends of the pitch once again. Having scored four times already for the Blues, Costa - who is now the most popular forward in the game with 45% ownership - looks an excellent captaincy option for O.K.K.Y. The acquisition of Sterling looks equally crucial to his chances of climbing up the rankings – with four strong home matches in the next six Gameweeks, the Liverpool youngster remains excellent value at 8.7.

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