The Scout Preview - Gameweek 38
Three of the top four clubs in the Barclays Premier League are on their travels this Sunday as the 2015/16 season comes to its conclusion.
Title-winners Leicester City bring the curtain down on a triumphant campaign by visiting deposed champions Chelsea. Tottenham Hotspur travel to newly-relegated Newcastle United with Mauricio Pochettino’s men seeking a win to secure a second-placed finish, whilst Manchester City roll up to Swansea City in Manuel Pellegrini’s final match in charge.
Elsewhere, Manchester United entertain AFC Bournemouth, with the Red Devils still harbouring hopes of a top-four finish. In-form Southampton seek a fourth straight victory as Crystal Palace make their way to St Mary’s Stadium, Arsenal entertain Aston Villa and Liverpool visit West Bromwich Albion just three days before their Europa League final against Spanish side Sevilla.
Alan Pardew rolled out a 4-4-2 set-up for Crystal Palace’s home clash with Stoke City last time out. With Wilfried Zaha sidelined due to a hamstring problem, the Eagles’ boss moved away from his usual 4-2-3-1 formation and fielded Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon on the flanks, with Connor Wickham partnered by Dwight Gayle up front against the Potters. Bearing in mind that the Selhurst Park side had notched just twice in their previous five league outings, Gayle – who bagged both goals in the 2-1 win – has given Pardew food for thought as his side prepare for a trip to Southampton and FA Cup final against Man United later this month.
A move up front has reignited Andre Ayew’s Fantasy potential over the last couple of matches. Fielded as Swansea’s lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 set-up for the Gameweek 36 home encounter against Liverpool, the Ghana international scored twice in a 3-1 win and retained his advanced role for last weekend’s trip to West Ham, as Francesco Guidolin opted for a 4-3-3 formation. Priced at just 6.6, Ayew bagged a goal and assist in a 4-1 victory at Upton Park and sits in less than 9% of Fantasy teams as the Welsh side prepare to see out the season with a home clash against Manchester City.
Guus Hiddink tinkered with his attack for Chelsea’s trip to Liverpool on Wednesday evening. With Diego Costa ruled out due to a hamstring problem, the Dutchman handed Bertrand Traore the lone striker role at Anfield, whilst Eden Hazard was shifted into the central support slot as Willian and the fit-again Pedro were stationed out wide. Although Hazard hogged the headlines by netting a fourth goal in as many appearances, Traore could be one to monitor ahead of a home clash with champions Leicester. With Costa expected to miss out again, the youngster –classified as a midfielder and priced at 5.4 – looks in line to retain his starting role for Sunday’s showdown at Stamford Bridge.
By the numbers
With the final round of fixtures now upon us, many Fantasy managers are seeking inspiration in their quest for mini-league glory.
The Scout assesses the top ten form “differentials” over the last 30 days, with each of our featured options currently sitting in under 10% of sides. No more than two players per team are listed in our analysis.
|Dusan Tadic (SOU)||10.3||6.6||5%||41 points, four apps|
|Sadio Mane (SOU)||9.3||7.4||3%||37 points, four apps|
|Andre Ayew (SWA)||8.0||6.6||1%||32 points, four apps|
|Mark Noble (WHU)||7.2||5.6||7%||36 points, five apps|
|Lamine Kone (SUN)||7.2||4.3||12%||36 points, five apps|
|Antonio Valencia (MUN)||6.8||5.0||7%||34 points, five apps|
|Ashley Westwood (AVL)||6.8||4.2||5%||27 points, four apps|
|Patrick van Aanholt (SUN)||6.2||4.8||8%||31 points, five apps|
|Andros Townsend (NEW)||6.2||5.8||0%||31 points, five apps|
|Kelechi Iheanacho (MCI)||6.2||4.8||0%||30 points, three apps|
Southampton midfield pair Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mane racked up the points across the last four BPL fixtures. Tadic played a part in eight of the Saints’ goals, courtesy of two strikes and six assists, yet sits in just 5% of Fantasy teams ahead of a home encounter with Crystal Palace. Mane – who is expected to recover from illness in time for the weekend – found the net on five occasions and produced a 20-point haul against Manchester City in Gameweek 36.
Swansea’s Andre Ayew served up three goals, an assist and six bonus points. The Ghana international delivered back-to-back double figure hauls against Liverpool and Tottenham in his previous couple of appearances.
Mark Noble produced two goals and maximum bonus points in two of his four outings. Costing 5.6, he sits in only 6% of sides as West Ham make their way to Stoke this Sunday.
Lamine Kone and Patrick van Aanholt helped Sunderland to safety thanks to three clean sheets in the last five matches. Kone netted twice in the Gameweek 37 win over Everton, whilst Van Aanholt chipped in with a goal and assist across the featured period as the Black Cats clinched their top-flight survival with one match to spare.
Manchester United right-back Antonio Valencia played every minute of the last five fixtures and produced two assists, three clean sheets and eight bonus points.
Kelechi Iheanacho has started each of the last three BPL matches for Manchester City. Priced at 4.8, the youngster is owned by less than 1% of Fantasy managers yet has produced four goals and an assist over that period.
Ones to watch
Antonio Valencia – a home clash with Bournemouth hands the raiding right-back a chance to pick up the points at both ends of the pitch. Priced at just 5.0, Valencia offers an in-form route into a defence that’s served up 12 clean sheets in 18 league encounters at Old Trafford this term.
Andros Townsend – Newcastle’s home meeting with Tottenham brings the winger onto The Scout’s radar this weekend. Townsend has delivered two double-figure hauls in his last three at St James’ Park and will be desperate to get one over his former club before dropping into the Championship.
Olivier Giroud – an injury to Danny Welbeck looks set to earn the Frenchman a start up at home to Aston Villa on Sunday. Owned by just 7% of Fantasy managers, Giroud has produced a goal and two assists in his previous couple of appearances as Arsenal look for a win that may yet help clinch second spot ahead of rivals Tottenham.
Shane Long – previously utilised out wide, the Southampton striker has benefitted from a move up front in recent weeks. Long has produced three goals and as many assists in five league outings ahead of a home clash with a Crystal Palace side that’s managed two clean sheets in the last 18 Gameweeks.
Christian Benteke – with Jurgen Klopp set to ring the changes ahead of next week’s Europa League final, the big Belgian looks in line to start as Liverpool make their way to West Brom. After emerging from the bench to grab a midweek leveler against Chelsea, Benteke has two goals and an assist in his last couple of league outings and squares up to a backline that’s been breached in each of the last six Gameweeks.
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