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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 25

Four of the top seven teams in the Barclays Premier League go head-to-head as The Scout takes a look at the Gameweek 25 schedule.

Manchester City welcome league leaders Leicester City to the Etihad Stadium, with a win set to take the hosts to the top of the table. Later on Saturday evening, Southampton look for a fourth straight home victory as West Ham United roll up to St Mary’s.

Elsewhere, Liverpool welcome Sunderland to Anfield. Arsenal attempt to end a four-match winless streak at AFC Bournemouth, third-placed Tottenham Hotspur entertain Watford and Chelsea face Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in the final match of the Gameweek.

Talking tactics

Ronald Koeman ditched his recent 3-5-2 formation for Southampton’s trip to Arsenal on Tuesday evening. The Dutchman moved to a 4-3-3 set-up, with Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares fielded as the full-backs, whilst Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mane flanked lone striker Shane Long up front. This saw the 3.8-priced Matt Targett – who had previously started each of the previous three Gameweeks at left wing-back – drop to the bench. Although the Saints chalked up a fourth successive clean sheet, the change in tactics could force a re-think from Koeman. The Saints conceded 20 shots inside their penalty area, with their keeper Fraser Forster denying the Gunners with 10 saves – prior to that match, they had allowed their opponents just five efforts in the box in the previous three league fixtures.

Sam Allardyce opted for a 4-1-4-1 formation for Sunderland’s home encounter with Manchester City. The Black Cats boss handed a first start to new boys Lamine Kone and Jan Kirchhoff, with Kone partnering John O’Shea in central defence and former Bayern Munich player Kirchhoff stationed in a holding midfield role in front of the back-four. Although the Wearsiders narrowly lost 1-0, Allardyce’s men restricted City to just three attempts inside the box on Tuesday evening, suggesting that their current run of 10 matches without a clean sheet could come to an end very soon.

Manuel Pellegrini rolled out a 4-4-2 set-up for City’s trip to the Stadium of Light. With Kevin de Bruyne sidelined for up to 10 weeks with a knee injury, the Chilean moved away from his usual 4-2-3-1 and fielded Jesus Navas and David Silva on the flanks, whilst Kelechi Iheanacho was rewarded for an FA Cup hat-trick against Aston Villa with a place up front alongside Sergio Aguero. Despite a raft of injuries in the final third, Raheem Sterling failed to make the starting line-up for the third successive Gameweek, though a second-half hamstring injury to Navas could see the former Liverpool man return to contention at home to Leicester this Saturday lunchtime.

By the numbers

As we head towards the second round of fixtures within the first week of February, The Scout looks back at the form players in the BPL over the previous 30 days.

FORM COST POINTS OWNED
Wayne Rooney (MUN) 9.3 10.0 37 pts 10%
Christian Eriksen (TOT) 9.0 8.4 36 pts 7%
Sergio Aguero (MCI) 8.8 13.5 35 pts 29%
Roberto Firmino (LIV) 8.8 8.0 35 pts 10%
Enner Valencia (WHU) 8.3 5.9 33 pts 1%
Harry Kane (TOT) 7.5 10.0 30 pts 36%
Matt Targett (SOU) 7.5 3.8 30 pts 9%
Fraser Forster (SOU) 7.5 4.8 30 pts 1%
Andre Ayew (SWA) 7.3 6.8 29 pts 14%
Charlie Daniels (BOU) 7.3 4.6 29 pts 4%
Robert Huth (LEI) 7.3 4.4 29 pts 3%
Christian Fuchs (LEI) 7.3 4.8 29 pts 2%

Wayne Rooney played a part in six of Manchester United’s seven goals over the last four Gameweeks. The Red Devils skipper netted four times and also chipped in with two assists and seven bonus points (BP), yet is owned by just 10% of Fantasy managers.

Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen served up two goals and three assists. The playmaker also collected seven BP but remains relatively overlooked and resides in just 7% of squads. His team-mate Harry Kane chipped in with four goals and an assist, with a 13-point haul at Norwich his fifth double-figure tally of the season.

Sergio Aguero has returned to form with a bang. The 13.5-priced frontman has registered five goals, an assist and five BP, earning him 35 points over the featured period.

West Ham’s Enner Valencia has proven real value for money. Available for 5.9, the frontman produced two 13-point returns in the previous four Gameweeks, thanks to two goals and maximum BP hauls against both Bournemouth and Manchester City.

Swansea midfielder Andre Ayew has provided two goals and a pair of assists. The Ghana international has benefitted from a role up front and with four BP also collected, has moved up to fifth in the midfield standings.

Robert Huth and Christian Fuchs have helped league leaders Leicester register three clean sheets in the last four matches. Available for 4.4, Huth also returned a goal and four BP, whilst the 4.8-priced Fuchs chipped in with an assist and six BP.

Ones to watch

Kevin Wimmer – an injury to Jan Vertonghen has afforded the Austrian a rare opportunity in the heart of the Tottenham defence. Priced at just 4.6, Wimmer has started the last two across all competitions and helped Spurs chalk up a clean sheet at Norwich in midweek. His chances of further returns are boosted by the weekend visit of a Watford side that have failed to score in each of their last two road trips.

Roberto Firmino – with four goals and an assist in his last four appearances, the Brazilian has thrived in a “false nine” role under Jurgen Klopp. Having bagged braces against the likes of Arsenal and Norwich in recent weeks, Firmino now hosts a Sunderland side that have conceded more goals on their travels than any other side.

Andros Townsend – handed an immediate start in the midweek loss to Everton, the Newcastle winger looks in line for a home debut against West Brom this weekend. With the Magpies desperate for a win, Townsend’s trickery out wide could torment a Baggies backline that’s failed to keep an away clean sheet since Gameweek 10.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – the Swansea playmaker has stepped up his consistency since the departure of Garry Monk. Sigurdsson’s midweek strike at West Brom means he has now scored in four of the last five Gameweeks and he’ll fancy his chances of condemning visitors Crystal Palace to a sixth straight defeat this weekend.

Charlie Austin – after missing the midweek trip to Arsenal with a minor knock, the Southampton striker is expected to be passed fit to face West Ham this Saturday. Having emerged from the bench to grab the winner at Old Trafford in Gameweek 22, the 7.0-priced Austin has been quick to serve a reminder of the talents that produced 18 goals for relegated Queens Park Rangers in 2014/15.

Scout Extra

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FPL Scout Extra: Townsend worth a shot for managers

  • Wayne Rooney
  • Enner Valencia
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson

Fantasy Premier League Scout review – Gameweek 25

A win at Manchester City has given Leicester City a five-point buffer at the top of the Barclays Premier League. Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal follow the Foxes in the table as they secured victories in Gameweek 25.

Spurs right-back Kieran Trippier was the top scorer in this Gameweek’s Bonus Points System after having a big part to play in the club moving into second place.

Player Position Club BPS Score BP GW25 BP Total
Kieran Trippier DEF TOT 54 3 3
Riyad Mahrez MID LEI 43 3 32
Roberto Firmino MID LIV 43 3 12
Maya Yoshida DEF SOU 42 3 6
Joleon Lescott DEF AVL 41 3 9

Manchester City 1-3 Leicester City

3: Riyad Mahrez (LEI)
2: Robert Huth (LEI)
1: Christian Fuchs (LEI)

Riyad Mahrez scored and assisted another as Leicester City recorded a 3-1 away win at Manchester City. The Foxes’ midfielder also created a further big chance, completed five dribbles and recovered the ball on four occasions to receive maximum Bonus Points (BP).

Leicester took the lead inside the opening three minutes thanks to Robert Huth’s close range effort and the German centre-back effectively sealed the points for the visitors with a second half header. Huth additionally won three tackles and produced 11 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI).

Austria defender Christian Fuchs was rewarded with a single BP for his efforts in helping Leicester all over the pitch. Fuchs registered an assist, supplied three key passes, made six CBI, eight recoveries and won as many tackles.

Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City

3: Joleon Lescott (AVL)
2: Idrissa Gueye (AVL)
1: Gabriel Agbonlahor (AVL)

Aston Villa won for a second time at home in the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season after Joleon Lescott helped his side record a 2-0 victory against Norwich City. Lescott rose highest to head in just before half-time and the defender also provided 10 CBI and five recoveries.

Idrissa Gueye’s contribution in the Aston Villa midfield earned him a couple of BP. The 26-year-old amassed 18 recoveries, 13 CBI, a trio of successful tackles, three dribbles and two key passes.

Gabriel Agbonlahor grabbed his first goal of the campaign as the Aston Villa forward slotted past an on-rushing Declan Rudd to earn one BP.

Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland

3: Roberto Firmino (LIV)
2: Adam Lallana (LIV)
1: Wahbi Khazri (SUN)

Roberto Firmino had a hand in both Liverpool goals as they were pegged back in a 2-2 draw with Sunderland at Anfield. The Brazil midfielder scored the opening goal of the match, supplied an assist, created a further big chance and produced three key passes.

Midfielder Adam Lallana tucked away Firmino’s assist to give Liverpool a two-goal lead and the England international contributed with four recoveries, a trio of key passes and two open play crosses.

Sunderland’s Wahbi Khazri sealed a single BP on his first Barclays Premier League start. Khazri helped the visitors earn a valuable point after providing two assists, creating a further big chance and supplying three key passes.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion

3: Daryl Janmaat (NEW)
2: Steven Taylor (NEW)
1: Aleksandar Mitrovic (NEW)

Newcastle United moved out of the bottom three with a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion. Right-back Daryl Janmaat ended the match with a clean sheet, eight recoveries, six CBI, four dribbles and a trio of successful tackles.

Steven Taylor completed only his second 90 minutes of the league campaign and collected a couple of BP. The Magpies’ defender secured a clean sheet thanks to eight CBI and as many recoveries, with Taylor also contributing with a couple of key passes.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the only goal of the match with an effort from outside the box and the Newcastle forward would have improved on his single BP had he not been tackled on five occasions.

Stoke City 0-3 Everton

3: Tom Cleverley (EVE), Romelu Lukaku (EVE)
2: Seamus Coleman (EVE), Phil Jagielka (EVE)

Everton defeated Stoke City 3-0 with midfielder Tom Cleverley and forward Romelu Lukaku receiving maximum BP each. Cleverley registered two assists, a couple of CBI, three key passes, 10 recoveries and he created a further big chance. Lukaku opened the scoring at the Britannia Stadium from the penalty spot and the Belgium international completed four key passes.

Right-back Seamus Coleman scored with a header from a corner and kept a clean sheet to share a single BP with defensive teammate Phil Jagielka, who shutout the Stoke attack due to 15 CBI, four recoveries and a successful tackle.

Swansea City 1-1 Crystal Palace

3: Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA)
2: Damien Delaney (CRY)
1: Scott Dann (CRY)

Iceland international Gylfi Sigurdsson achieved three BP as Swansea City and Crystal Palace played out a 1-1 draw. The Swansea midfielder netted from a free-kick to give the Swans a 13th minute lead and Sigurdsson also produced four key passes and three recoveries.

Crystal Palace defender Damien Delaney recorded an assist, created a further big chance and amassed 16 CBI and five recoveries to receive two BP.

Scott Dann got on the end of Delaney’s assist to equalise for the visitors and the Eagles’ centre-back made 10 CBI to secure an 11th BP of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Watford

3: Kieran Trippier (TOT)
2: Toby Alderweireld (TOT)
1: Kevin Wimmer (TOT)

Tottenham Hotspur are second in the Barclays Premier League following a 1-0 victory against Watford at White Hart Lane. Defender Kieran Trippier contributed at both ends of the pitch with a goal, three open play crosses, two key passes and a clean sheet that included six recoveries, five CBI and four tackles.

Belgium centre-back Toby Alderweireld accumulated 11 CBI and five recoveries to collect a couple of BP and help Spurs earn a ninth league shutout of the campaign.

Spurs defender Kevin Wimmer grabbed his first BP of the season thanks to a clean sheet, 11 CBI and six recoveries, with the 23-year-old missing out on earning further BP because of missing the target and being tackled once.

Southampton 1-0 West Ham United

3: Maya Yoshida (SOU)
2: Jose Fonte (SOU)
1: Cedric Soares (SOU)

Southampton recorded a 1-0 win versus West Ham United at St Mary’s Stadium, with Maya Yoshida earning his second maximum BP haul of the campaign. The Saints’ defender struck from close range in the ninth minute and secured a clean sheet because of 12 CBI and five recoveries.

Jose Fonte amassed 18 CBI to help end the match with a fifth consecutive shutout in the Barclays Premier League. The Southampton captain also completed 100% of his 34 attempted passes to be rewarded with a couple of BP.

Full-back Cedric Soares provided 10 CBI, four recoveries, two successful tackles and a couple of open play crosses to earn his sixth BP in a Southampton shirt.

AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal

3: Petr Cech (ARS)
2: Mesut Ozil (ARS)
1: Gabriel (ARS)

A third maximum BP haul for Petr Cech was earned following Arsenal’s 2-0 victory at AFC Bournemouth. The Arsenal goalkeeper ensured the Cherries’ attack could not find a way past him as Cech made four saves and 10 recoveries, plus the Czech Republic international created a big chance.

Mesut Ozil scored the opening goal of the match with an explosive right-footed effort from inside the box after 23 minutes. The Arsenal midfielder additionally made 11 recoveries and had a passing accuracy of 92%, with the German missing out on three BP because of being tackled five times.

Arsenal defender Gabriel secured a seventh clean sheet in the Barclays Premier League this season with 12 CBI and six recoveries in a faultless display. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored just a minute after Ozil, but the 22-year-old’s low passing statistics meant he missed out on scoring a BP.

Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United

3: Diego Costa (CHE)
2: Jesse Lingard (MUN)
1: Thibaut Courtois (CHE)

Chelsea left it late to peg back Manchester United in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge and extend their unbeaten run under Guus Hiddink. Diego Costa tapped in from close range in the 91st minute to receive maximum BP for a third time this season.

United took the lead in the second half thanks to an excellent strike from Jesse Lingard. The 23-year-old midfielder’s fourth league goal in 2015/16, along with six recoveries, earned Lingard a couple of BP.

Despite being unable to prevent Lingard’s strike going past him, Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was rewarded with a single BP after producing six saves and nine recoveries. Wayne Rooney registered the only assist of the match, but the Man Utd forward missed the target three times and was tackled on as many occasions to miss out on collecting BP.

For a full breakdown of the Bonus Points System head to the Rules section.

  • Kieran Trippier
  • Riyad Mahrez
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Maya Yoshida

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 25

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.

Make an appointment

Morton Stanley - Morton FC

Prognosis: Morton is on the lookout for some new faces after seeing his 15-man squad slip down the overall standings in each of the last four Gameweeks. He should consider parting company with Watford’s Odion Ighalo and Newcastle United midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who have both struggled for consistency over the last few matches.

Treatment: Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard offers an ideal replacement for Wijnaldum, who has produced points in only two of the last 10 Gameweeks. Priced at just 4.2, Lingard has scored in three of the last five league fixtures and has cemented a starting berth under Louis van Gaal on the right flank. In defence, Morton should look to acquire Southampton’s Cedric Soares for West Ham United full-back Aaron Cresswell - the former has served up five successive clean sheets since returning to the Saints’ first XI and is available for just 4.8. These two trades will free up the cash to acquire Chelsea’s Diego Costa for Ighalo. The Spain international’s weekend strike against Manchester United took his tally to six goals and two assists under Guus Hiddink, yet is owned by just 6% of FPL managers.

Chances of Recovery: Lingard has a kind upcoming schedule to maintain his impressive form. The Red Devils winger now visits a Sunderland side that have conceded in each of their last 11 outings and also faces Watford and West Brom’s struggling rearguards in the next four Gameweeks. Having kept out Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham in the last three fixtures, Soares squares up to three of the bottom six over the next four matches. Costa’s acquisition boosts Morton’s options ahead of Gameweek 27, when the likes of Sergio Aguero and Romelu Lukaku will be without a fixture. The Chelsea striker entertains a patched-up Newcastle United defence with a single clean sheet in 10 fixtures this weekend and also travels to Norwich City in Gameweek 28, as the champions go head-to-head with a defence that has conceded 16 times in the last five Gameweeks.

A.D. - ADFC

Prognosis: After producing a 79-point haul in the previous Gameweek, A.D. now sits just six points off the top of his mini-league. With two free transfers in hand, he’s looking to freshen up his side and overhaul his main rival at the summit.

Treatment: A.D. should consider transferring out Southampton’s out-of-sorts Sadio Mane for West Ham United’s Michail Antonio in the centre of the park. The former continues to lose value and has dropped to 7.4 in price after producing just three assists in the last 15 Gameweeks. Antonio, meanwhile, is flourishing on the flank and has supplied three goals and four assists in the last seven fixtures. With 2.0 already in the bank, this trade allows A.D. to swap out Odion Ighalo for Harry Kane, who has racked up 30 points in the previous four fixtures, thanks to four goals, an assist and four bonus points.

Chances of Recovery: At a cost of just 5.3, Antonio offers a value route into the West Ham midfield ahead of back-to-back clashes against two of the bottom three. Weekend hosts Norwich City have lost five consecutive matches, whilst Sunderland visit Upton Park in Gameweek 27 with the worst away defensive record in the top-flight. Kane’s Tottenham seek a fifth successive win as they roll up to a Manchester City side that’s just been beaten 3-1 by Leicester City in front of their own fans. The Spurs striker then entertains Swansea City in Gameweek 27 and offers a strong captaincy option at a time where Sergio Aguero is without a fixture due to Manchester City’s Capital One Cup final clash with Liverpool.

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