The Scout Preview - Gameweek 7
Four of the top six clubs in the Barclays Premier League go head-to-head this weekend as The Scout assess the upcoming round of fixtures.
League leaders Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge as both clubs look to extend the last remaining unbeaten records in the top-flight. On Saturday evening, Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa face a tough task to end a run of successive defeats as defending champions Manchester City pay visit.
Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino faces former club Southampton at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon. Liverpool entertain West Bromwich Albion at Anfield, Manchester United seek a third successive win at Old Trafford against Everton, while promoted pair Leicester City and Burnley square up at the King Power Stadium.
A three-match ban for Wayne Rooney looks set to bring Juan Mata back into the Manchester United starting line-up this weekend. The Spaniard was dropped to the bench in Gameweek 5 as Louis van Gaal’s decision to partner Robin van Persie with Radamel Falcao forced Rooney to move into a more withdrawn role behind the front two. The latter’s dismissal against West Ham United last Saturday should allow Mata to return to his favoured “number 10” role, though, as he looks to maintain an excellent record of eight goals in his last 10 league appearances for the Old Trafford outfit.
Southampton’s Dusan Tadic was handed a change of position in last week’s win over QPR. Typically fielded on the left of a front three, the Serbian switched to the opposite flank in order to accommodate debutant Sadio Mane and the duo both served up an assist apiece in the 2-1 triumph. Tadic also fired six attempts on goal against Harry Redknapp’s side – his most threatening display of the season – and may well be set for an upturn in Fantasy form if he continues in the same spot over the next few Gameweeks.
A change in tactics saw Romelu Lukaku stationed out wide in last week’s Merseyside derby. Roberto Martinez switched to a 4-3-3 formation for his side’s trip to Anfield and moved the Belgian onto the right wing, with Kevin Mirallas starting on the opposite flank and Steven Naismith afforded the lone forward role. With Mirallas now set for a stint on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, Martinez looks likely to hand Aiden McGeady a run of starts, and may well revert to his preferred 4-2-3-1 system, allowing Lukaku the lone forward role, with Naismith tucked in behind once again.
By the numbers
With September now behind us, The Scout casts an eye over the men in form and analyses the top points scorers across the previous 30 days.
|Angel di Maria (MUN)||9.0||27 pts||10.0||32%|
|Graziano Pelle (SOU)||9.0||27 pts||7.8||13%|
|Ryan Bertrand (SOU)||8.3||25 pts||5.2||8%|
|Leighton Baines (EVE)||8.0||24 pts||7.0||17%|
|Diego Costa (CHE)||8.0||24 pts||11.1||64%|
|Jamie Vardy (LEI)||7.7||23 pts||4.9||1%|
|Leonardo Ulloa (LEI)||7.7||23 pts||5.9||19%|
|Peter Crouch (STO)||7.3||22 pts||5.7||1%|
|Julian Speroni (CPL)||7.3||22 pts||5.0||3%|
|Ander Herrera (MUN)||7.0||21 pts||7.3||4%|
|Graham Dorrans (WBA)||7.0||21 pts||5.0||1%|
Manchester United’s record signing Angel di Maria has been quick to make his presence felt since arriving from Real Madrid. The Argentine has climbed in price from 9.5 to 10.0 after netting twice and chipping in with a pair of assists for the Red Devils in recent weeks. His team-mate Ander Herrera also scored two goals and delivered an assist before being ruled out with a rib injury sustained against West Ham last weekend.
Southampton pair Ryan Bertrand and Graziano Pelle have been instrumental in their side’s ascent to second place in the Premier League. Bertrand has served up the points at both ends of the pitch, producing a goal, an assist, a pair of clean sheets and 3 bonus points (BP) in his last trio of appearances, whilst the 13.0%-owned Pelle has delivered three goals, an assist and 6 BP.
Diego Costa continued the form that has persuaded an incredible 64% of Fantasy managers to snap up his services. The Chelsea striker grabbed four goals and three BP in his last three matches, with a home hat-trick against Aston Villa in Gameweek 4 the particular highlight - he now sits at the top of the overall standings with 48 points.
Everton left-back Leighton Baines has mirrored Costa’s 24 points over the last three Gameweeks. The 7.0-priced defender has produced a goal, an assist, a clean sheet and 6BP.
Leicester City duo Leonardo Ulloa and Jamie Vardy have proven excellent value. Available for 5.9 and 4.9 respectively, both players have returned 22 points in the previous calendar month – whilst Ulloa has been the most consistent this term, with returns in four of six appearances, Vardy has arrived on the radar after serving up a goal and four assists in the 5-3 home win over Manchester United in Gameweek 5.
Ones to Watch
Patrick van Aanholt – the Sunderland left-back is searching for a third clean sheet in succession as Stoke City arrive at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon. Van Aanholt’s raids down the flank have already delivered an assist for the Black Cats so far, underlining his points potential at both ends of the pitch.
Steven Gerrard – a home clash against West Bromwich Albion affords Liverpool a chance to return to winning ways this weekend. In spite of a deep-lying role for the Reds, Gerrard’s dead-ball abilities have already seen him score twice in the opening six Gameweeks and his contribution looks key if Brendan Rodgers’ side are to make a serious title bid again.
Diafra Sakho – West Ham’s summer signing has made an immediate impact at Upton Park, scoring in each of his four starts in all competitions. Priced at just 5.5, Sakho will fancy his chances of getting amongst the goals again as he plays host to a Queens Park Rangers side that have conceded 10 times in three road trips so far.
Fraizer Campbell – the budget striker’s goals have helped Crystal Palace register back-to-back wins in the last couple of Gameweeks. Having netted against Everton and Leicester, Campbell now travels to former club Hull City, with Steve Bruce’s side shipping at least two goals per match since moving to a four-man defence.
Robin van Persie – after a slow start to the season, the Dutchman has gradually found his form. Van Persie has notched in each of the last two matches yet is owned by a mere 2% of Fantasy managers ahead of the visit of Everton, with the hosts seeking a third successive home win under Louis van Gaal.