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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 16

Three of the top six teams face home comforts this weekend as The Scout assesses the Gameweek 16 schedule.

League leaders Chelsea attempt to bounce back from their first defeat of the season as Hull City roll up to Stamford Bridge. Arsenal entertain in-form Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening, while Manchester United seek a sixth successive win as rivals Liverpool pay visit to Old Trafford.

Elsewhere, champions Manchester City look for a fifth straight victory away to Leicester City. Third-placed West Ham United travel to Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion play host to midlands neighbours Aston Villa, whilst Everton hope to take advantage of travel-sick Queens Park Rangers.

Talking tactics

With the injuries now easing up front for West Ham, Sam Allardyce returned to a midfield diamond formation for last weekend’s win over Swansea. The Hammers boss moved away from a lone striker system and partnered Andy Carroll with Enner Valencia, allowing Stewart Downing to return to a central role behind the front pair. Valencia’s half-time withdrawal saw fit-again Diafra Sakho return to action and, whilst Carroll’s brace hogged the headlines, the Senegal striker took his tally to seven strikes in eight starts in the Premier League, suggesting he could be set to start alongside the big Geordie as the Hammers pay visit to Sunderland this weekend.

Saido Berahino’s owners were given cause for concern last Saturday after the West Brom forward was dropped for the first time this season. Previously utilised as the Baggies lone forward, the youngster was shifted to the left flank for the Gameweek 14 loss to West Ham before being dropped to the bench at the KC Stadium. Berahino has now failed to score in each of his previous six appearances and with concerns over the 5.9-priced striker’s pitch time, his 17% owners may be forced to look elsewhere as Alan Irvine rotates his squad to cope with the festive schedule.

Mark Hughes’ decision to hand Peter Crouch his first start since October proved a masterstroke as Stoke ended a run of three straight losses at home to Arsenal. The Potters’ boss has mainly preferred Mame Biram Diouf as the lone forward in a 4-2-3-1 formation but, with injury concerns over a number of players out wide, shifted the Senegal striker to the flank in order to accommodate Crouch up front. The target man bagged a goal and assist in the 3-2 home win over the Gunners and his impact through the middle suggests he may be set to stake a claim for a regular role once again, as the Staffordshire outfit prepare for a weekend trip to Crystal Palace.

By the numbers

Fantasy managers are frantically scouring the transfer market this week after Sergio Aguero was ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury. As our search for an Aguero replacement intensifies, The Scout delves into the data to assess the in-form forwards who have offered the greatest goal threat over the last four Gameweeks.

Wilfried Bony (SWA) 19 13 5 3 8.5 10%
Sergio Aguero (MCI) 17 13 4 2 12.7 31%
Andy Carroll (WHU) 14 12 4 2 6.9 1%
Harry Kane (TOT) 14 5 5 1 5.0 5%
Graziano Pelle (SOU) 14 12 5 1 8.1 22%
Charlie Austin (QPR) 13 8 7 2 6.1 12%
Romelu Lukaku (EVE) 13 8 7 2 9.0 9%
Danny Welbeck (ARS) 13 12 7 1 7.2 13%
Diego Costa (CHE) 11 9 5 1 11.0 53%
Danny Ings (BUR) 11 9 5 3 5.8 2%

Swansea’s Wilfried Bony has fired more attempts (19) than any forward in this four Gameweek spell. Available for 8.5, the Ivorian has registered 13 shots inside the penalty area, with his close-range threat helping him net three times.

Aguero managed 14 shots across the featured period but suffered from a surprising lack of accuracy. Only four of those attempts were on target as the Argentine found the net on a couple of occasions.

West Ham’s fit-again Andy Carroll and Southampton frontman Graziano Pelle are neck-and-neck for both shots (14) and efforts in the penalty area, with 12 apiece. Owned by just under 1% of Fantasy managers, the former is proving an excellent differential at a price of 6.9.

Charlie Austin, Romelu Lukaku and Danny Welbeck have all managed 13 attempts in the last four rounds of fixtures. Of the three, Welbeck has offered the greatest close-range threat, firing 12 efforts inside the box, but the Arsenal striker has been the least prolific and netted only once. Lukaku and Austin have bagged two apiece, though the latter is set to serve a one-match ban in Gameweek 16 after being dismissed against Burnley last weekend.

Like Austin, Burnley’s Danny Ings is proving a solid budget option. Setting you back just 5.8, the Clarets forward has equaled Chelsea’s Diego Costa for shots (11), efforts inside the box (nine) and shots on target (five) from Gameweek 12 onwards. Ings has scored on three occasions over that period, yet is owned by only 2% of Fantasy managers.

Ones to Watch

Seamus Coleman – Everton’s raiding right-back looks a strong prospect for points at both ends of the pitch as QPR roll up to Goodison Park on Monday evening. Coleman already has two goals and a couple of assists to his name and with Harry Redknapp’s side devoid of top scorer Charlie Austin through suspension, a first shut-out in six attempts looks on the cards for the Toffees.

Oscar – with Cesc Fabregas suspended for the weekend visit of Hull, the Brazilian’s creativity will be key as the league leaders look to recover from their shock defeat at Newcastle. Oscar has scored or assisted in each of his last three appearances at Stamford Bridge and will fancy his chances of extending that streak against Steve Bruce’s strugglers on Saturday afternoon.

Aaron Ramsey – a midweek brace against Galatasaray took the Welshman’s tally to three goals in his last two appearances. Subbed off at the break in Turkey as a precaution, Ramsey is finally starting to mirror last season’s goal scoring heroics ahead of a home clash with a Newcastle side hit hard by injury and suspension.

Jon Walters – the Stoke midfielder has stolen under the radar in recent weeks, despite a series of eye-catching displays. The 5.2-priced Walters has now racked up three goals and an assist in his last four appearances and pays visit to a Crystal Palace side with just a single clean sheet in their last nine outings.

Edin Dzeko – a peripheral figure for Manchester City so far, the Bosnian looks set to benefit from Sergio Aguero’s injury absence. Dzeko’s 16 goals were key to his side’s title-winning season last time around and, given the pitch time, he’s proven to be a consistent top-flight performer. With a trip to basement-dwellers Leicester City up next, he has the chance to fire his way back onto Fantasy radars.

NEW Scout Extra

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

GW16 Scout Extra: Toure to shine in Aguero's absence

GW16 Scout Extra: Ramsey giving managers food for thought

  • Wilfried Bony
  • Danny Ings
  • Seamus Coleman

Fantasy Premier League Scout review – Gameweek 16

Olivier Giroud doubled his Barclays Premier League goal tally for the season as Arsenal cruised to victory against Newcastle United in Gameweek 16. The France international’s performance resulted in maximum Bonus Points for the first time in this campaign.

Burnley 1-0 Southampton

3: Tom Heaton (BUR)
2: Ashley Barnes (BUR)
1: Kieran Trippier (BUR)

Tom Heaton was the hero at Turf Moor as the Burnley goalkeeper saved a Dusan Tadic penalty with the scores level in the second half. A further three saves and a maintained clean sheet gave Heaton his first maximum Bonus Points (BP) of the season.

Ashley Barnes scored the only goal of the match after the penalty save, which resulted in the Burnley forward collecting a couple of BP. Burnley defender Kieran Trippier helped the home team keep a clean sheet by producing 10 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI), six recoveries and a combination of dribbles, key passes and open play crosses.

Chelsea 2-0 Hull City

3: Eden Hazard (CHE)
2: John Terry (CHE)
1: Branislav Ivanovic (CHE)

Eden Hazard had a hand in both Chelsea goals as the midfielder netted the opener before registering an assist for the second. The Belgium international also completed 91% of his attempted passes and successfully dribbled past an opponent four times.

Chelsea captain John Terry grabbed two BP after helping his team keep a clean sheet. Terry recovered the ball nine times, produced eight CBI and ended the match with a passing accuracy of 92%. Branislav Ivanovic earned a single BP due to a clean sheet, four successful dribbles and a passing accuracy above 80%.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Stoke City

3: Peter Crouch (STK)
2: James McArthur (CRY)
1: Geoff Cameron (STK)

Stoke City forward Peter Crouch scored his fourth goal of the Barclays Premier League season to give the visitors a point at Selhurst Park. Crouch’s right-footed effort levelled the match in the first half and earned the frontman maximum BP.

James McArthur gave Crystal Palace the lead after 11 minutes and narrowly missed out on three BP because of Crouch earning more scoring points as a forward. The midfielder still grabbed two BP as a result of his goal. Stoke defender Geoff Cameron was rewarded with a single BP following 15 recoveries and nine CBI.

Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City

3: Eliaquim Mangala (MCI)
2: Vincent Kompany (MCI), Gael Clichy (MCI)

Manchester City centre back Eliaquim Mangala earned his first maximum BP of the season with a terrific defensive display. Mangala produced 13 CBI, two tackles, four recoveries and completed 85% of his attempted passes in keeping a clean sheet.

Vincent Kompany and Gael Clichy also helped the visitors shut out any Leicester City attacks and both received two BP as a result. Kompany completed 12 CBI and two dribbles to take his BP tally to five. Meanwhile, Clichy produced seven CBI, six recoveries and two dribbles to send his BP total to 13 for the season.

Frank Lampard scored the only goal of the match, but missed out on BP due to being substituted after 59 minutes and not completing enough passes.

Sunderland 1-1 West Ham United

3: Stewart Downing (WHU)
2: Jordi Gomez (SUN)
1: Kevin Nolan (WHU)

West Ham United midfielder Stewart Downing scored his third goal of the Barclays Premier League season to help achieve maximum BP in Gameweek 16. Downing additionally made five key passes, produced two open play crosses and ended the match with a pass completion rate of 87%.

Sunderland midfielder Jordi Gomez, who completed seven recoveries, scored from the penalty spot to put the hosts in front at the Stadium of Light. Kevin Nolan registered an assist for Downing’s equalising goal, as well as completing two tackles and 84% of his attempted passes.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Aston Villa

3: Andre Wisdom (WBA)
2: Joleon Lescott (WBA)
1: James Morrison (WBA)

West Bromwich Albion defender Andre Wisdom collected maximum BP for his performance in a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa. Wisdom’s clean sheet was helped by seven CBI, four recoveries, two tackles, as well as a 92% pass completion rate.

Fellow club defender Joleon Lescott earned two BP following a clean sheet that consisted of 11 recoveries and eight CBI. James Morrison’s single BP came courtesy of a passing accuracy of 89%, four tackles, eight recoveries and the West Brom midfielder created a big chance.

Craig Gardner scored the only goal of the match, but did not receive any BP due to not completing enough passes.

Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle United

3: Olivier Giroud (ARS)
2: Santi Cazorla (ARS)
1: Alexis Sanchez (ARS)

Olivier Giroud scored twice in Arsenal’s 4-1 victory over Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium. The France international headed in after 15 minutes and neatly finished off a well worked move shortly before the hour mark to collect maximum BP for the first time this season.

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla also scored twice to register two BP, but missed out on all three as Giroud scores higher for each goal due to being a forward and the Spaniard missed the target on one occasion. Alexis Sanchez recorded two assists for a 17th BP of the season.

Manchester United 3-0 Liverpool

3: Juan Mata (MUN)
2: Robin van Persie (MUN)
1: Antonio Valencia (MUN)

Spain international Juan Mata received three BP for scoring and assisting a goal in a 3-0 victory over Liverpool. The Manchester United midfielder additionally created a big chance and completed 92% of his passes.

Robin van Persie netted once and registered an assist to collect two BP and take his tally to nine for the season. Antonio Valencia recorded an assist, made three dribbles, recovered the ball eight times and had a passing accuracy of 92%.

Swansea City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

3: Christian Eriksen (TOT)
2: Harry Kane (TOT)
1: Wilfried Bony (SWA)

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen was another Fantasy player to score and register an assist in Gameweek 16. Eriksen’s winning goal came in the final moments of the match at the Liberty Stadium and earned the Denmark international his 17th BP of the campaign.

Harry Kane, who successfully completed four dribbles, scored the first goal of the fixture to give Spurs the lead shortly after the match had started. Swansea City forward Wilfried Bony found the net for an eighth time this season to collect the final BP on offer.

Everton 3-1 Queens Park Rangers

3: Steven Naismith (EVE)
2: Ross Barkley (EVE)
1: Kevin Mirallas (EVE)

Everton forward Steven Naismith scored his first goal since Gameweek 7 on his way to maximum BP. The Scotland international additionally registered an assist, three successful tackles and seven CBI to help the Toffees move into the top half of the Barclays Premier League.

Ross Barkley earned his first BP of the season after striking from outside the box and also adding four successful dribbles, two key passes and eight recoveries. Fellow Everton midfielder Kevin Mirallas grabbed the single BP after scoring from a free kick and completing five dribbles.

  • Olivier Giroud
  • Eden Hazard
  • Christian Eriksen
  • Steven Naismith

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 16

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

James Findlay - Soccer 6

Prognosis: James is looking to freshen up his squad over the festive period as the battle for his mini-league intensifies. His tactic of tripling up on the Southampton defence needs to be reassessed after the Saints conceded in each of their last five matches, whilst the pitch time of Nacer Chadli and Leonardo Ulloa also gives him cause for concern.

Treatment: At the back, James could draft in Tottenham Hotspur’s Ben Davies and Queens Park Rangers’ Yun Suk-Young for Southampton full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Nathaniel Clyne. Available for just 4.4 and 3.9 respectively, Davies and Suk-Young have nailed down regular roles at left-back in recent weeks and their acquisition will free up budget to strengthen further up the field. James could then turn to Manchester City’s in-form Samir Nasri for Chadli in midfield and also has the cash left over to draft in QPR’S Charlie Austin for Ulloa up front. Austin has now served a one-match suspension in Gameweek 16 and has delivered six goals and a pair of assists in his last seven outings.

Chances of Recovery: Crucially, all four of James’ new additions have the festive fixtures in their favour. Davies – who has a clean sheet and assist in the last two – faces Burnley, Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Sunderland in the next six Gameweeks. Nasri entertains Crystal Palace, Burnley, Sunderland and Arsenal and also travels to West Bromwich Albion as Manuel Pellegrini’s side step up their title bid. Both Suk-Young and Austin also face four home matches between Gameweek 17-22. West Brom, Crystal Palace, Swansea City and Manchester United are all set to arrive at Loftus Road and, having averaged 6.5 points per appearance in front of his own fans, Austin looks poised for a prosperous festive period.

Rylan Commin - Fearless Sean United

Prognosis: Rylan is looking to replace Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, who is sidelined for up to six weeks with a knee injury. With plenty of cash left over from the Aguero trade, he could look to strengthen his backline, where all five of his defenders are firmly in the budget bracket.

Treatment: Rylan could bring in Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony for the stricken Aguero. The top-flight’s form forward, Bony - who comes in at a price of 8.6 - has scored eight goals in his last 10 appearances. At the back, Rylan should transfer out Hull City’s Paul McShane, who has played just twice since Gameweek 3. Drafting in Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic looks a wise move – the Blues have conceded just once in the last five Gameweeks as Jose Mourinho tightens up defensively. With enough budget remaining in the bank, Rylan could acquire Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta for Newcastle defender Paul Dummett as the Magpies’ fixtures stiffen.

Chances of Recovery: With Ivanovic and Zabaleta on board, Rylan can switch to a three-man backline and alternate his remaining defenders alongside the pair of big-hitters. Ivanovic now faces Stoke City, West Ham, Southampton, Tottenham, Newcastle and Swansea in the next five fixtures, whilst Zabaleta’s above-mentioned schedule bodes well, given that the champions have conceded just once in the last four Gameweeks. Bony’s chances of firing Rylan up the rankings are boosted by Swansea’s next four matches, which see Garry Monk’s side face Hull, Aston Villa, Liverpool and QPR’s porous defences.

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