The Scout Preview - Gameweek 13
Three of the top four teams in the Barclays Premier League are on their travels as The Scout assesses the upcoming round of fixtures.
Second-placed Arsenal pay visit to West Bromwich Albion, with the Gunners seeking a sixth road victory in seven attempts. Leicester City look for a fourth straight away win at Newcastle United, whilst Manchester United roll up to promoted Watford in Saturday’s early lunchtime kick-off.
Elsewhere, league leaders Manchester City entertain Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. Tottenham Hotspur welcome London rivals West Ham United to White Hart Lane and defending champions Chelsea attempt to arrest a three-match losing streak at home to Norwich City.
Slaven Bilic will be looking to restructure his West Ham attack after playmaker Dimitri Payet was sidelined with an ankle injury. The Hammers boss seems likely to hand Manuel Lanzini a central role behind a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Victor Moses deployed out wide for the trip to Tottenham. The return of Diafra Sakho increases West Ham’s options in the final third. Having recovered from a thigh problem, the Senegal international could be stationed on the right flank, with Moses moving over to the left, though Sakho could oust Andy Carroll up front, allowing Mauro Zarate to nail down a spot on the wing.
Alan Pardew rolled out a 4-4-2 formation as Crystal Palace ended Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten start in charge of Liverpool. The Eagles manager started with wingers Bakary Sako and Yannick Bolasie up front in the 2-1 win at Anfield, before switching back to his customary 4-2-3-1 set-up midway through the second-half, with substitute Connor Wickham leading the line and Bolasie shifted wide left. Considering they scored just four times in the seven matches prior to Gameweek 12, Palace will be hoping that Wickham’s robust presence up front will boost their attacking potential ahead of a kind run of fixtures that begins with back-to-back home clashes against Sunderland and Newcastle.
Liverpool also changed their approach for last week’s Anfield encounter. Jurgen Klopp moved away from a 4-3-2-1 and turned to the 4-2-3-1 formation he previously utilised at former club Borussia Dortmund. With James Milner ruled out through injury, Jordon Ibe was handed a first start since Gameweek 2, as the youngster lined up along with Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana behind Christian Benteke. With Milner expected to recover in time for the weekend trip to Man City, Klopp has decisions to make in midfield as he attempts to bounce back from his first defeat in charge of the Merseysiders.
By the numbers
An injury to West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet has many Fantasy managers eyeing up their options in the centre of the park. The Frenchman sits second in the midfield standings after serving up five goals and four assists in the first 12 Gameweeks, but over 385,000 have parted company after he was ruled out for up to three months.
As the search for a replacement intensifies, The Scout assesses the midfielders who have offered the greatest goal threat across the previous four rounds of fixtures.
|Philippe Coutinho (LIV)||14||6||5||3|
|Raheem Sterling (MCI)||12||10||4||3|
|Alexis Sanchez (ARS)||12||8||3||1|
|Dimitri Payet (WHU)||12||5||4||1|
|Matt Ritchie (BOU)||12||5||3||1|
|Ross Barkley (EVE)||12||2||6||1|
|Sadio Mane (SOU)||11||8||4||1|
|Riyad Mahrez (LEI)||11||7||4||2|
|Georginio Wijnaldum (NEW)||10||6||8||4|
|Adam Lallana (LIV)||10||5||4||0|
|Manuel Lanzini (WHU)||10||4||3||2|
|Marc Albrighton (LEI)||10||4||4||0|
Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho produced more attempts on goal (14) than any midfielder over the featured period. This coincides with the arrival of Jurgen Klopp as the new man in charge at Anfield, with the 8.2-priced Brazilian netting three times in his last couple of league outings. Team-mate Adam Lallana could be a differential to consider. Owned by less than 1% of FPL managers, he’s fired ten efforts - with five arriving inside the box - though he has failed to find the net.
Raheem Sterling produced ten shots inside the penalty box – more than any midfielder. The Manchester City summer signing scored with three of his 12 attempts and, at a priced of 8.9, currently sits in only 12% of Fantasy teams.
Alexis Sanchez and Sadio Mane managed eight efforts inside the box – a tally bettered only by Sterling. The duo struggled for accuracy, though, and scored just one goal apiece in the last four rounds of fixtures.
Payet and Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie were neck and neck for total attempts (12), efforts in the area (three) and goals, with both players scoring once. Everton’s Ross Barkley also netted one of his 12 shots, though most of his threat came from distance – only two of his attempts were from inside the opposition box.
Newcastle’s Georginio Wijnaldum managed more shots on target (eight) than any midfielder over our featured period. The Dutchman notched four times – all against Norwich in Gameweek 9 – and equalled Coutinho for efforts inside the box, with six apiece. Priced at just 7.0, he also chipped in with an assist yet is owned by only 8% of Fantasy managers.
Payet’s West Ham team-mate Manuel Lanzini also features. The Argentine fired ten attempts, with four arriving from inside the box, and scored on a couple of occasions. Coming in at just 5.3, he currently sits in just 1% of Fantasy teams.
Ones to watch
Seamus Coleman – Everton’s raiding right-back has a plum home clash against Aston Villa on his agenda. Available for 5.9, Coleman will be hoping to rediscover the form that served up three goals and four assists last term against a struggling midlands outfit who have scored just twice in the last five Gameweeks.
Willian – the wide man offers Fantasy managers a mid-price route into Chelsea’s midfield as the schedule turns in the champions’ favour. Available for just 6.9, Willian - who has produced returns in two of his previous three home matches – now entertains a Norwich side that’s conceded at least twice in each of their last five road trips.
Yannick Bolasie – a goal against Liverpool took the Crystal Palace winger’s tally to two strikes in the last five matches as he belatedly rediscovers form. Having notched twice for DR Congo over the international break, the 6.1-priced Bolasie will be looking to take advantage of basement-dwellers Sunderland in Monday evening’s encounter at Selhurst Park.
Ayoze Perez – the Newcastle forward remains firmly under the radar despite serving up three goals and a pair of assists in his last six outings. Costing only 5.1, the 1%-owned Perez has produced double-figure hauls in two of his previous three appearances at St James’ Park and now hosts a Leicester side that’s yet to keep a clean sheet on their travels.
Olivier Giroud – with Theo Walcott still sidelined through injury, the Frenchman is set to lead the line again as Arsenal pay visit to West Brom. Given that the Baggies have conceded three goals in four of their six home matches, Giroud will fancy his chances of scoring for the fourth successive away fixture.
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