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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 2

Four of the current top six teams in the Barclays Premier League enjoy home encounters this weekend as The Scout casts an eye over the upcoming schedule.

Aston Villa entertain Newcastle United in Saturday’s lunchtime clash as the hosts look to build on their Gameweek 1 win at Stoke City. League leaders Chelsea face Championship winners Leicester City, Swansea City welcome Burnley to the Liberty Stadium in buoyant mood after defeating Manchester United last weekend, whilst champions Manchester City go head-to-head with Liverpool on Monday evening.

Elsewhere, two of last term’s top five square up at Goodison Park as Everton take on Arsenal. Mauricio Pochettino faces his first home match as Tottenham Hotspur manager as they welcome Queens Park Rangers to White Hart Lane, while Sunderland will be looking to pile on the misery for Louis van Gaal at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

Talking tactics

A change of formation by Swansea City manager Garry Monk proved beneficial to Gylfi Sigurdsson last weekend. The Icelandic international had been fielded on the right flank in his side’s final two friendlies but was shifted to a central berth behind Wilfried Bony as the visitors switched from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1. Sigurdsson’s goal and assist helped the Welsh club to a 2-1 win and with three very favourable home matches in the next four Gameweeks, he’s become the hottest property in the game this week, enjoying a price rise as a result.

The sudden sale of Shane Long afforded Thomas Ince a place up front in Hull City’s win at QPR. Steve Bruce rolled out a 3-5-2 formation at Loftus Road, with Ince alongside Nikica Jelavic and Robert Snodgrass fielded as the most advanced central midfielder before the latter was forced off with a serious knee injury. Snodgrass’ subsequent absence could ensure Ince retains a starting berth for the Tigers, who now have four home clashes in the upcoming six rounds of fixtures.

Southampton’s new 4-3-3 formation under Ronald Koeman could bring James Ward-Prowse onto our Fantasy radars. The 5.0-priced midfielder was handed a role on the right of the Saints’ front three alongside new signings Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle for last weekend’s trip to Liverpool and seems poised to retain his starting berth for this weekend’s visit of West Bromwich Albion. With rumours of a possible move for Andros Townsend (6.5), though, Ward-Prowse is certainly one to monitor for now, as Koeman’s side prepare for a schedule which sees them face just one of last season’s top eight in the next 11 Gameweeks.

By the numbers

With the first round of fixtures now behind us, The Scout delves into the data to discover the players who posed the main goal threat over Gameweek 1.

SHOTS SOT GOALS COST OWNED
Wayne Rooney (MUN) 6 3 1 10.5 48%
Andre Schurrle (CHE) 5 1 1 7.5 8%
Aiden McGeady (EVE) 5 1 1 5.5 1%
Stevan Jovetic (MCI) 5 0 0 8.0 5%
Loic Remy (QPR) 5 3 0 7.5 6%
Charlie Austin (QPR) 5 1 0 6.0 1%
Ricardo Vaz Te (WHU) 5 1 0 4.5 3%
Aaron Ramsey (ARS) 4 2 1 9.0 40%
Danny Ings (BUR) 4 0 0 6.0 2%
Thomas Ince (HUL) 4 3 0 5.5 2%
Raheem Sterling (LIV) 4 3 1 8.6 35%
Marko Arnautovic (STO) 4 0 0 6.5 2%
Saido Berahino (WBA) 4 3 2 5.6 4%
Stewart Downing (WHM) 4 2 0 5.5 1%

The most popular player in the game, Wayne Rooney produced the most attempts on goal in the previous Gameweek. The Manchester United forward fired six shots, with three on target, and found the net with one of those efforts.

Queens Park Rangers strike pair Loic Remy and Charlie Austin were unlucky not to net in the 1-0 home loss to Hull City. Both managed five attempts apiece but were unable to find a way past Allan McGregor in the visitors’ goal, with Austin also missing a spot-kick. West Ham United pair Ricardo Vaz Te and Stewart Downing endured a similar Saturday, producing five and four shots without reward in the home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Aaron Ramsey and Raheem Sterling each managed four attempts on goal for Arsenal and Liverpool respectively. Both players also found the net and have been subject to major investment this week – indeed, they are now the two most popular midfielders in the game and currently sit in 40% and 34% of teams.

Midlands-based pair Marko Arnautovic and Saido Berahino had contrasting fortunes on the opening weekend. The duo fired four attempts on goal but while the former failed to manage a single attempt on target as Stoke lost to Aston Villa, Berahino struck both West Brom’s goals in the 2-2 home draw with Sunderland.

Ones to Watch

Curtis Davies – the Hull City defender looks a strong prospect for points at both ends of the pitch this weekend. Davies netted four times in all competitions for the Tigers last term and with visitors Stoke scoring a mere 18 times on their travels in 2013/14, Steve Bruce’s side will be optimistic of continuing the resilience that served up eight clean sheets at the KC Stadium in the previous campaign.

Andre Schurrle – selected on the right of Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1 formation for Monday’s trip to Burnley, the German was amongst the goals in an impressive 3-1 win. Schurrle fired more shots than any team-mate in the Turf Moor match and, available for just 7.5, looks a very appealing option for the weekend home encounter with Leicester.

Dusan Tadic – snapped up as a replacement for Adam Lallana, Southampton’s summer signing earned an assist on his league debut in a narrow loss to Liverpool. Tadic arrives on the back of 16 goals and 14 assists for Dutch side FC Twente last term and his contribution in the final third looks vital for Ronald Koeman’s side as they welcome West Brom to St Mary’s.

Emmanuel Adebayor – handed the lone forward role by Mauricio Pochettino away to West Ham last weekend, the forward’s attacking potential was reined in early on after his side were reduced to 10 men. Adebayor seems poised to lead the line for Tottenham’s first home match of the season against QPR and with a mere 3% ownership, looks a deadly differential for Gameweek 2.

Wilfried Bony – the interest in Gylfi Sigurdsson has kept the Swansea forward under Fantasy radars this week. After a slow start to his debut campaign, Bony notched 13 times in the final 18 Gameweeks of 2013/14 and with a home showdown against promoted Burnley on his agenda, looks poised to open his account for the season.

  • Wayne Rooney
  • Andre Schurrle
  • Dusan Tadic

Fantasy Premier League Scout review – Gameweek 1

Manchester United 1-2 Swansea City

Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson gained maximum Bonus Points (BP) after a match winning performance in Swansea City’s opening day triumph over Manchester United. As well as scoring the winning goal, Sigurdsson supplied the assist for the opening goal of the Barclays Premier League season.

Ki Sung-Yueng picked up two BP for his efforts at Old Trafford. Swansea’s midfielder scored the opening goal of the game, as well as completing 89% of his passes. Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, gained the final BP. Rooney scored the home side’s only goal of the game, but missed out on more bonus points due to being tackled three times and missing the target twice.

Leicester City 2-2 Everton

Scotland forward Steven Naismith secured three BP for his display in Everton’s draw against newly promoted Leicester City. Naismith was given maximum BP after a hard-working 90-minute display resulted in the Scot deservedly grabbing himself a goal.

Leicester midfielder Andy King, who created an assist, completed 96% of his passes and made eight recoveries, collected a couple of BP. A single BP was given to Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar for his assist in the match at the King Power Stadium.

Queens Park Rangers 0-1 Hull City

Hull City defender James Chester was the star of the show as he collected 48 points on the Bonus Points System (BPS). Chester scored the winning goal, completed 32 of his 35 attempted passes and made 20 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) to earn all three BP.

Allan McGregor produced five saves, including a penalty save, to keep a clean sheet at Loftus Road and bag himself two BP. The final BP was awarded to Hull defender Andrew Robertson and QPR centre back Rio Ferdinand. Robertson’s clean sheet was helped by nine recoveries in an error-less 90-minute display, which also produced a key pass. Ferdinand completed 91% of passes, made 11 CBI and successfully tackled his opponents six times to earn his BP.

Stoke City 0-1 Aston Villa

Austria forward Andreas Weimann produced a solid performance to give Aston Villa victory on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season. Weimann’s winning goal was enough to secure him all three BP.

Villa defender Ron Vlaar continued his World Cup form by making nine CBI on his way to keeping a clean sheet and receiving a couple of BP. Stoke City’s defender Erik Pieters also collected two BP by completing 83% of his attempted passes, making 14 CBI and successfully tackling his opponents five times.

Goalkeeper Bradley Guzan narrowly missed out on BP, despite making two saves and keeping a clean sheet.

West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Sunderland

Saido Berahino’s brace was not enough to give West Bromwich Albion a home victory, but it was enough to take all three BP. The England U21 international forward equalised with a penalty in the first half before giving West Brom the lead in the second half.

Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson scored the equalising goal and completed 30 of his 36 attempted passes on his way to registering two BP. West Brom’s Craig Gardner and Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole both received a BP each. Gardner helped assist one of Berahino’s goals, while Cattermole scored the first goal of the game.

West Ham United 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur

New Tottenham Hotspur signing Eric Dier scored a late winning goal and kept a clean sheet to bag himself maximum BP on his Barclays Premier League debut. The centre back also completed 38 of 43 attempted passes.

West Ham United defender Joey O’Brien completed 94% of his passes and made four recoveries on his way to a couple of BP. Tottenham centre back Younes Kaboul registered a BP following a clean sheet, which was helped by ten CBI.

If Mark Noble had scored from the penalty spot for West Ham then he would have bagged at least one BP, while Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris narrowly missed out on BP despite eight recoveries and four saves.

Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace

Aaron Ramsey’s late winning goal for Arsenal helped the Welshman collect three BP on the opening weekend of the Barclays Premier League season. The Welsh international completed 92 of 106 attempted passes and made ten recoveries.

Laurent Koscielny needed one more point on the BPS to join Ramsey on three BP. The Arsenal defender’s goal was not enough to give the Frenchman maximum points, but he was rewarded with two BP. Mikel Arteta collected the final BP from the fixture following a fine display that saw him rack up a 95% pass completion rate and two key passes.

Liverpool 2-1 Southampton

Liverpool midfielder Raheem Sterling produced a scintillating display at Anfield to help the home team to victory. Sterling bagged the opening goal of the match, produced an assist, and recorded five completed dribbles and two key passes to register maximum BP.

Slovakia international Martin Skrtel bagged himself two BP alongside Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne. Skrtel got Liverpool out of trouble 23 times with CBI, while Clyne scored for the Saints in the second half.

Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City

The defending Barclays Premier League champions bagged all three points at St James’ Park, with defender Gael Clichy putting in a fine performance on the opening weekend of the season. Clichy made ten CBI, eight recoveries and successfully tackled his opponent eight times on his way to registering three BP.

Manchester City midfielder David Silva, who ultimately scored the winning goal, completed 88% of attempted passes and made two key passes, grabbed two BP. Second-half substitute Sergio Aguero sealed the match with a late goal to sneak a BP ahead of central defensive pair Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis, who were just one point from Aguero on the BPS.

Burnley 1-3 Chelsea

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas produced a superb performance on his return to the Barclays Premier League to take all three BP. Fabregas helped himself to a couple of assists, an 87% pass completion rate and three key passes in a stunning 90-minute display.

Branislav Ivanovic's solid performance, which included six recoveries, three successful tackles and 84% pass success rate, gave him 2 BP. Debutant Diego Costa and Germany midfielder Andre Schurrle both received one BP each. Costa scored Chelsea's first goal of the season, while Schurrle bagged the winning goal of the match.

  • James Chester
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson
  • Saido Berahino
  • Raheem Sterling

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 1

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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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Eric Smith - Eric Fc

Prognosis: Eric is on the lookout for two new players after a couple of his squad fell foul to injury. At the back, Manchester United new boy Luke Shaw was ruled out for four weeks with a hamstring problem, whilst in midfield, Everton’s Ross Barkley could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines with possible knee ligament damage.

Treatment: Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson offers Eric a ready-made alternative to the stricken Barkley. Available for just 6.1, the playmaker was handed a central role behind Wilfried Bony in last weekend’s win over United and produced a goal and assist in the 2-1 win. Eric could turn to another weekend goal scorer, Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne, to take the place of Shaw. The right-back looks to have been handed license to attack by new manager Ronald Koeman and fired his side’s consolation in a 2-1 loss at Anfield last Sunday.

Chances of Recovery: Crucially, both Eric’s new additions have the schedules to maintain their recent impressive form. Sigurdsson has three home fixtures in the next four Gameweeks as Burnley, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton arrive at the Liberty Stadium, whilst Clyne faces just one of last season’s top eight in the next 11 matches. Furthermore, the trades also free up 2.0 of Eric’s budget, allowing him to scour the market for further alternatives and boost his chances of a climb up the rankings.

Colin Webb - Webbswinners

Prognosis: Colin is looking to rebalance his squad after an opening return of 26 points in Gameweek 1. Midfielders Tomas Rosicky and Paulinho failed to feature last weekend and with Rickie Lambert handed a brief substitute appearance in Liverpool’s win over Southampton, there are question marks over a handful of Colin’s 15-man squad already.

Treatment: Again, it’s impossible to overlook Swansea’s Sigurdsson here. The Icelandic international averaged 5.7 points per game in his previous stint with the Welsh club back in 2011/12 and looks tailor-made for the support role in a 4-2-3-1 formation under Garry Monk. By drafting Sigurdsson in for Paulinho, Colin would free up 0.9 of his budget and could then swap out Rosicky for Hull City’s Thomas Ince, who comes in at 5.5. The latter was handed a berth alongside Nikica Jelavic up front last weekend and with Robert Snodgrass potentially set for a spell on the sidelines, Ince could be poised for a regular run in the Tigers’ first XI. Colin also needs to plan an exit route for Lambert and could turn to Southampton’s similarly-priced Graziano Pelle, who scored 55 goals in 66 appearances for Feyenoord over the last two seasons.

Chances of Recovery: Like Sigurdsson, Ince has a favourable run of fixtures to help improve Colin’s fortnues. The Tigers entertain Stoke City, West Ham United and Crystal Palace in the next six fixtures and with trips to Aston Villa and Newcastle United also on their agenda, could be set to build upon their opening day win at Queens Park Rangers. Up front, Pelle is set for a very enticing run of fixtures that hand the Saints six favourable home encounters in the next 10 Gameweeks.

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