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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 22

Four of the top five teams in the Barclays Premier League are on their travels time out as The Scout assesses the Gameweek 22 schedule.

League leaders Chelsea make their way to the Liberty Stadium, where Swansea City have tasted defeat just twice in front of their own fans. In-form Southampton visit Newcastle United, Manchester United face a Queens Park Rangers side that are unbeaten in their last seven matches at Loftus Road, whilst Arsenal and defending champions Manchester City go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium.

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat at Crystal Palace as Sunderland roll up to White Hart Lane. West Ham United play host to Hull City, with Sam Allardyce’s side seeking a seventh win at Upton Park, whilst Everton welcome West Bromwich Albion to Goodison Park in the final match of the Gameweek.

Talking tactics

Tony Pulis opted for a 4-4-2 formation in his first league match in charge of West Brom. The Baggies boss fielded Saido Berahino alongside Brown Ideye up front, with Stephane Sessegnon and Chris Brunt handed the wing roles in a 1-0 win over Hull at the Hawthorns. Pulis’ reshuffle saw Graham Dorrans – who had started all but one of the previous 20 Gameweeks – drop to the bench, whilst at the back, Chris Baird earned a third successive start as the midlands club earned their seventh shut-out of the season. Priced at just 3.9, Baird is certainly one to monitor if he can keep his place ahead of Sebastien Pocognoli at left-back.

Steve Bruce is facing a crisis up front after his first-choice strikers, Nikica Jelavic and Abel Hernandez, were both ruled out for up to six weeks with injuries sustained during last week’s loss at West Brom. The lack of options could see either Sone Aluko or Thomas Ince – both classified as midfielders in the FPL game – lead the line away to West Ham this weekend and with the former struggling due to a calf complaint, Ince could be set for a rare start. With home clashes against Newcastle, Aston Villa and QPR in the subsequent four, The Scout is keeping a keen eye on Bruce’s weekend team sheet.

Angel di Maria was fielded up front on his first league start since limping off in Gameweek 17 with a hamstring injury. Louis van Gaal retained his 3-4-1-2 formation at home to Southampton and partnered Robin van Persie with the Argentine as loan signing Radamel Falcao dropped out of the squad altogether. Van Persie’s subsequent withdrawal due to an ankle complaint allowed Wayne Rooney to shift from central midfield into the front two. If the Dutchman fails to recover in time for this weekend’s trip to QPR, the Red Devils’ skipper could be afforded the opportunity to take his place up front.

By the numbers

After producing two goals and an assist in a 3-0 home demolition of Stoke City, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez rose to the summit of the Fantasy Premier League player standings last weekend.

The Chilean now sits in over 42% of sides and as the clamour for his signature continues, The Scout compares Sanchez’ goal threat to his fellow midfielders over the season so far. Listed below are the top ten for minutes per attempt on goal, with all players having started at least ten Premier League matches in order to qualify for our assessment.

Angel di Maria (MUN) 24.24015133
Oscar (CHE) 26.65126124
Yaya Toure (MCY) 26.96024197
Alexis Sanchez (ARS) 27.764372912
Aaron Ramsey (ARS) 28.3361383
Kevin Mirallas (EVE) 28.732895
Santi Cazorla (ARS) 30.25624194
Philippe Coutinho (LIV) 31.04416132
Christian Eriksen (TOT) 32.25618147
Riyad Mahrez (LEI) 32.53918172

Manchester United’s Angel di Maria leads the way, with an effort every 24.2 minutes since arriving at Old Trafford. The 9.5-priced Argentine has produced 40 attempts but with only 15 of those arriving from inside the box, he’s found the net on just three occasions.

Chelsea’s Oscar has registered 26 efforts inside the opposition’s penalty box. With an attempt every 26.6 minutes, he’s notched four times, though has been somewhat wayward in his shooting, with only 12 of his 51 shots on target.

Arsenal are the only side with more than one player in our analysis. Sanchez has offered the most regular threat, firing an effort every 27.7 minutes, though crucially, 37 of his shots have arrived from close-range – as a result, he’s produced more attempts on target (29) and scored more goals (12) than any midfielder.

Sanchez’ team-mates Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla, with a shot every 28.3 and 30.2 minutes respectively, have also impressed. The 8.6-priced Ramsey has scored three times from 36 attempts, whilst Cazorla, at a cost of 8.2, has converted four of his 56 shots – both have excellent fixtures from Gameweek 23 onwards and could offer a double-up option alongside Sanchez in our five-man midfields.

Everton’s Kevin Mirallas has scored five times in just 917 minutes this season. The Belgian’s penchant for a long-range effort is obvious here – only eight of his 32 shots have arrived from inside the penalty area.

Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen has equaled north London rival Cazorla for total attempts (56 apiece) yet despite firing just 18 from close-range, he’s still managed to score with seven of his 14 attempts on target.

Ones to Watch

Jan Vertonghen – a home clash with Sunderland offers Tottenham the chance to bounce back from last weekend’s Selhurst Park defeat. With the Black Cats failing to score in seven of their ten road trips, Vertonghen could be poised to pick up a clean sheet, whilst his five-goal tally back in 2012/13 serves a reminder of the Belgian’s capabilities further up the field.

Leighton Baines – transferred out by over 90,000 Fantasy managers in the previous Gameweek, the Everton left-back grabbed a second assist in three appearances in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City. Baines’ form is on the rise ahead of a home clash against West Brom and with Tony Pulis looking to tighten up defensively, a home clean sheet could be on the cards.

Jason Puncheon – the Crystal Palace winger needed little time to underline his impact under new manager Alan Pardew last weekend. After a frustrating time during Neil Warnock’s stint at the helm, Puncheon grabbed a goal and maximum bonus points in a 2-1 comeback win over Tottenham and will be looking to build that momentum as the Eagles visit a struggling Burnley side with a single clean sheet in the last ten Gameweeks.

Peter Crouch – the target man looks a real under the radar option this week as Stoke make their way to Leicester. The Foxes have conceded 56 aerial attempts this season – only Burnley have afforded their opponents’ more – and Mark Hughes will be keen utilise Crouch’s height in the box as the Potters attempt to recover from last week’s loss at Arsenal.

Andy Carroll – a home clash against Hull offers West Ham an ideal chance to get points on the board before the schedule takes a turn for the worse. With four goals and a pair of assists in the last eight Gameweeks, Carroll has played a part in six of the Hammers’ last 11 strikes and looks in top form as Sam Allardyce attempts to tame the Tigers.

NEW Scout Extra

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

GW22 Scout Extra: 'Peerless' Aguero warrants instant recall

GW22 Scout Extra: Puncheon can prove an FPL knockout

  • Alexis Sanchez
  • Angel di Maria
  • Andy Carroll

Fantasy Premier League Scout Review – Gameweek 22

An influential display from Dwight Gayle helped Crystal Palace fight back and win from 2-0 down in Gameweek 22. Gayle scored twice and assisted another as Palace beat Burnley 3-2 at Turf Moor.

Aston Villa 0-2 Liverpool

3: Jordan Henderson (LIV)
2: Mamadou Sakho (LIV)
1: Fabio Borini (LIV)

Jordan Henderson’s third maximum Bonus Points (BP) haul of the season came in Liverpool’s 2-0 away win at Aston Villa. The stand-in captain delivered an assist for the opening goal and created another big chance, as well as completing three key passes and recovering the ball seven times.

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho achieved a couple of BP following a clean sheet, a passing accuracy of over 80%, two successful tackles and a passing accuracy of over 80%.

Fabio Borini got on the end of Henderson’s assist to ultimately score the winning goal of the match and open his Barclays Premier League account this season.

Burnley 2-3 Crystal Palace

3: Dwight Gayle (CRY)
2: Jason Puncheon (CRY)
1: Danny Ings (BUR)

Alan Pardew’s perfect start in charge of Crystal Palace continued after the south London side came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Burnley. Dwight Gayle was instrumental in the comeback as he netted the first and winning goal, as well as providing the assist for the equaliser to grab maximum BP.

Jason Puncheon was the benefactor of Gayle’s assist as the Eagles’ midfielder struck a well-placed shot into the bottom corner for a second BPL goal in as many matches. The 28-year-old also returned the favour to Gayle with an assist, which helped Puncheon earn two BP.

Burnley forward Danny Ings, who completed two dribbles and as many tackles, hit the back of the net for a third consecutive Barclays Premier League match to take his BP tally to 11 for the season.

Leicester City 0-1 Stoke City

3: Bojan (STK)
2: Marc Muniesa (STK)
1: Phil Bardsley (STK)

Leicester City’s mini revival ended after a 1-0 defeat at home to Stoke City following an excellent finish from Bojan. The 24-year-old Spaniard additionally completed 89% of his attempted passes, dribbled past an opponent six times and made eight recoveries on his way to collecting maximum BP.

Marc Muniesa was crucial in preventing Leicester from finding a way back in to the match. The Stoke defender made two successful tackles, produced 14 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) in keeping a clean sheet, as well as ending the fixture with a pass completion rate of 82%.

Phil Bardsley’s third BPL clean sheet of the season in Stoke colours helped in the defender receiving a single BP. The Scotland international successfully tackled an opponent three times, made eight CBI and recovered the ball on five occasions.

Queens Park Rangers 0-2 Manchester United

3: Marouane Fellaini (MUN)
2: Phil Jones (MUN)
1: Antonio Valencia (MUN)

Manchester United will remain in fourth place going into Gameweek 23 following a 2-0 win at Loftus Road against Queens Park Rangers. United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who completed 84% of his attempted passes, scored the opening goal of the match after coming on as a half time substitute.

England international Phil Jones helped the visitors keep a seventh clean sheet of the season with a commanding performance that started from the back with 15 CBI. Jones also made three recoveries and successfully dribbled past an opponent twice.

Antonio Valencia registered his sixth BP of the campaign thanks to an assist, three tackles and eight recoveries in only Man Utd’s third BPL away victory of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Sunderland

3: Christian Eriksen (TOT)
2: Jan Vertonghen (TOT)
1: Sebastian Larsson (SUN)

Christian Eriksen’s winning strike two minutes from time provided Tottenham Hotspur with a 2-1 victory at home over Sunderland. The Denmark international also produced six key passes and completed two dribbles to take his BP haul to 21 for the season.

Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen netted inside five minutes to give Spurs the lead at White Hart Lane. Vertonghen’s first goal of the season coincided with a 91% pass completion rate, 13 recoveries and eight CBI.

Sunderland drew level in the first half through a superb Sebastian Larsson free kick, who also recovered the ball six times on his way to a first BP since Gameweek 11.

Swansea City 0-5 Chelsea

3: Diego Costa (CHE)
2: Oscar (CHE)
1: Branislav Ivanovic (CHE)

Chelsea were in scintillating form at the Liberty Stadium with Diego Costa at his best to claim maximum BP. The Spain international forward scored twice and set up another on his way to collecting a third maximum BP haul of the campaign.

Oscar also grabbed a brace in Chelsea’s 5-0 win versus Swansea City, scoring the first of the match in the opening minute before netting the fourth goal of the afternoon before half time. The Brazil midfielder additionally made nine recoveries and completed 85% of his attempted passes.

Branislav Ivanovic received an assist and accomplished a pass completion rate of 88%, while also keeping a clean sheet to record a single BP.

Newcastle United 1-2 Southampton

3: Eljero Elia (SOU)
2: Yoan Gouffran (NEW)
1: Fabricio Coloccini (NEW)

January signing Eljero Elia capped only his second BPL match with both goals in Southampton’s 2-1 win at Newcastle United. The Netherlands midfielder gave Southampton the lead in the opening 45 minutes, before scoring the winner in the second half to receive maximum BP.

Yoan Gouffran charged down a clearance, which resulted in the ball rebounding off the Newcastle midfielder and in to the net to make the score 1-1. The 28-year-old also produced six recoveries and delivered an open play cross for his first BP since Gameweek 5.

Despite being on the losing side, Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini earned the final BP. Coloccini ended the match with a 90% pass completion rate, seven CBI, six recoveries and two successful tackles.

West Ham United 3-0 Hull City

3: Stewart Downing (WHU), Enner Valencia (WHU)

1: Andy Carroll (WHU)

West Ham United duo Stewart Downing and Enner Valencia shared maximum BP following their team’s 3-0 home win against Hull City. Downing scored the final goal of the match, while adding four dribbles, as many key passes and two open play crosses. Forward Enner Valencia recorded two assists, completed 87% of his attempted passes and made three tackles.

Andy Carroll scored the opening goal of the match to set West Ham on their way to a comfortable victory and take the frontman’s BP tally to seven for the season.

Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal

3: Santi Cazorla (ARS)
2: Olivier Giroud (ARS)
1: Nacho Monreal (ARS)

Santi Cazorla was in sensational form at the Etihad Stadium to provide Arsenal with a valuable 2-0 victory against Manchester City. The 30-year-old Spaniard gave the Gunners a half time lead after scoring from the penalty spot, before delivering an assist from a free kick for Arsenal’s second goal.

Olivier Giroud was grateful for Cazorla’s assist as he nodded home the free kick to steer Arsenal into a 2-0 lead. The France forward also contributed three key passes and seven recoveries on his way to two BP.

Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal recorded his first BP since Gameweek 9 after registering an assist for being fouled in the penalty box, which Cazorla converted, and helping the visiting side keep a clean sheet.

Everton 0-0 West Bromwich Albion

3: Phil Jagielka (EVE)
2: John Stone (EVE)
1: Chris Baird (WBA)

Phil Jagielka picked up his second maximum BP haul of the season following Everton’s 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Monday night. The England international kept a clean sheet thanks to 14 CBI and nine recoveries, as well as a passing accuracy of over 90%.

Fellow Everton centre back John Stones also had a pass completion rate above 90% as he grabbed BP for the first time since Gameweek 4. The 20-year-old made 10 CBI and recovered the ball six times on his way to a second shutout of the campaign.

West Brom defender Chris Baird achieved a single BP for his efforts in getting a draw for the visitors. A second consecutive clean sheet was helped by the Northern Ireland international producing nine CBI, six recoveries and two successful tackles.

  • Dwight Gayle
  • Diego Costa
  • Eljero Elia
  • Santi Cazorla

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 21

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

Charles Conway - Canadian Club

Prognosis: Charles is looking to freshen up his defence, after loading up on a trio of Southampton’s backline regulars. Further up the field, he’s scouring the market for a replacement for Crystal Palace skipper Mile Jedinak, who is currently featuring for Australia in January’s Asia Cup and could be out of contention until the end of the month.

Treatment: West Bromwich Albion’s Andre Wisdom offers an ideal alternative to Nathaniel Clyne in Charles’ defence. Priced at a mere 4.4, the right-back looks to have cemented a starting berth under Tony Pulis and helped the Baggies to a clean sheet in the new manager’s first match in charge at home to Hull City last weekend. Charles could then draft in Tottenham Hotspur’s Nacer Chadli for Jedinak in midfield – the former has now produced a goal and five assists in his last five appearances since returning to the starting XI in Gameweek 17.

Chances of Recovery: With the “Pulis effect” already in evidence, Wisdom’s prospects of clean sheets look set to take a turn for the better as the midlands club face Everton, Burnley, Swansea City and Sunderland in the next five rounds of matches. Chadli hosts Sunderland, Arsenal and West Ham United in the upcoming five Gameweeks in addition to trips to West Brom and Liverpool and, as highlighted by a 15-point return against Chelsea on New Year’s Day, has the form to flourish.

Mubeen Gazi - Mubeen FC

Prognosis: Mubeen has made Sergio Aguero his number one transfer target after the Manchester City striker returned to action from the bench against Everton on Saturday. Elsewhere, he’s keen to part company with Charlie Austin as the fixtures stiffen for Queens Park Rangers and is also looking to acquire a new midfielder ahead of the Gameweek 22 deadline.

Treatment: By drafting in Crystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon for David Silva, Mubeen would free up the cash required for his restructuring plans. Available for just 5.5, Puncheon fired the winner in Alan Pardew’s first league match in charge and could be set to reprise the form that saw him score seven times in the previous campaign. With Chelsea’s Eden Hazard already on board, Mubeen could transfer out Diego Costa for Aguero up front and, with the remaining cash, could wait until Gameweek 22 to replace Austin with Olivier Giroud, bearing in mind that Arsenal travel to Manchester City next weekend.

Chances of Recovery: With his confidence on the rise, Puncheon is set to face Burnley, Everton, Leicester City and Newcastle United in the next four Gameweeks as the Eagles look to climb the table. Aguero’s acquisition affords Mubeen the most explosive captaincy contender around – an average of 7.9 points per start is greater than any other player. By waiting for Giroud in Gameweek 22, Mubeen can take advantage of a very kind run of fixtures which pits the Gunners against Aston Villa, Leicester, Crystal Palace, Everton and QPR in the subsequent six round of fixtures.

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