The Scout Preview - Gameweek 27
Three of the top six teams in the Barclays Premier League enjoy home comforts this weekend as The Scout assesses the Gameweek 27 schedule.
In-form Liverpool entertain champions Manchester City at Anfield as Brendan Rodgers’ side attempt to extend their ten-match unbeaten run. Arsenal are looking for a seventh successive home victory in the top-flight as Everton roll up to the Emirates Stadium, whilst Manchester United welcome Sunderland to Old Trafford.
Elsewhere, West Bromwich Albion host Southampton at the Hawthorns, Hull City are seeking a third straight win as they travel to Stoke City and West Ham United entertain London rivals Crystal Palace to Upton Park.
Fantasy managers should also be aware that Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Leicester City are without a fixture this weekend due to the former pair’s Capital One Cup Final showdown on Sunday March 1.
Gus Poyet’s decision to drop Patrick van Aanholt for Sunderland’s home clash with West Brom could deprive Fantasy managers of a valid budget option for their five-man defences. Priced at just 4.3, the left-back had previously started every league match he was available for but was shifted to the bench after the Black Cats lost 2-0 at home to QPR in the previous Gameweek. The Wearsiders have registered just three clean sheets in 15 matches with Van Aanholt in the starting line-up compared to six shut-outs in 11 matches without him, suggesting his raids down the left may be detrimental to their defensive resilience.
Alan Pardew rolled out a 4-1-4-1 formation for Crystal Palace’s home encounter with Arsenal last weekend. With numerous options in attacking midfield, the Eagles manager shifted Jason Puncheon into a central position as Wilfried Zaha and Dwight Gayle were handed the wide roles, whilst Yannick Bolasie had to rely on pitch time off the bench. Pardew shifted to a 4-4-2 late on and despite the defeat, saw his side produce 22 shots against the Gunners. Since Pardew arrived at Selhurst Park in Gameweek 21, Palace have produced 61 shots from inside the penalty box – more than any other side in the Premier League.
Wayne Rooney has now started up front in each of Manchester United’s last two matches in all competitions. The Red Devils’ skipper has mainly been utilised as a central midfielder by Louis van Gaal this season but with Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie failing to impress, Rooney was shifted further forward as the Colombian dropped to the bench. With Van Persie struggling to recover from an ankle problem, Rooney could be set to retain his more advanced berth – offering his 15% owners hope after he failed to produce points in each of his last eight league appearances.
By the numbers
With March almost upon us, The Scout takes a look back at the last 30 days’ action. Listed below are the Premier League’s form players over the previous four rounds of fixtures.
|Harry Kane (TOT)||10.0||40pts, 4apps||6.3||46%|
|Mesut Ozil (ARS)||8.8||35pts, 4apps||9.1||5%|
|David Silva (MCY)||7.8||31pts, 4apps||9.5||19%|
|Santi Cazorla (ARS)||7.8||31pts, 4apps||8.6||17%|
|Sergio Aguero (MCY)||7.5||30pts, 4apps||12.9||27%|
|Eden Hazard (CHE)||7.2||29pts, 4apps||10.9||39%|
|Samir Nasri (MCY)||6.8||27pts, 3apps||8.2||2%|
|Dame N’Doye (HUL)||6.3||19pts, 3apps||5.5||1%|
|Philippe Coutinho (LIV)||6.0||24pts, 4apps||7.7||4%|
|Daley Blind (MUN)||6.0||24pts, 4apps||5.2||1%|
Tottenham’s Harry Kane scored six goals over his four appearances. The 6.3-priced forward produced three sets of double-figures and is now the most popular player in the Fantasy Premier League game, with an ownership in excess of 46%.
Arsenal midfield pair Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla had a profitable last four fixtures. Owned by just 5% of Fantasy managers, the German served up two goals, three assists and six bonus points (BP) since returning from injury, whilst Cazorla has supplemented a pair of converted spot-kicks with two assists.
Manchester City trio David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri also feature. Silva has delivered three goals, a pair of assists and four BP, with a 17-point haul against Newcastle in Gameweek 26 the main highlight. Aguero has chipped in with three goals and as many assists, producing returns in all four of his outings. Fit-again Nasri has played three of the last four and delivered two goals, a couple of assists and five bonus points.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has managed just a goal and two assists but his displays have earned him maximum BP in three of his last four appearances. Hull’s new signing Dame N’Doye has only been available for the last three Gameweeks after arriving late in the winter transfer window. After earning his debut off the bench, the 5.5-priced forward has subsequently produced two goals and an assist in a pair of starts for the Tigers.
Ones to Watch
Laurent Koscielny – a home clash with Everton brings the Arsenal defender to The Scout’s attention this weekend. Koscielny has produced two goals and a pair of clean sheets in his last three home appearances and faces an out-of-sorts attack that’s scored just four times in the last seven Gameweeks.
Kieran Trippier – one of the Premier League’s form defenders, Trippier has now earned three assists in his last five appearances after teeing up Ben Mee’s equaliser at Chelsea last Saturday. Given that visitors Swansea have scored just twice in their last three road trips, the Clarets full-back could be poised to pick up points at both ends of the pitch.
Scott Sinclair – Tim Sherwood’s arrival at Aston Villa has boosted the winger’s prospects in recent weeks. Sinclair has scored in each of the last two matches in all competitions and his eye for goal could be crucial as the midlands outfit visit an injury-hit Newcastle side that has conceded in all but one of the last 14 Gameweeks.
Ander Herrera – the Spaniard has benefitted from Wayne Rooney’s recent move up front and has started each of the last two domestic matches. Having notched an FA Cup goal against Preston North End, Herrera fired Manchester United’s opener away to Swansea last Saturday and with an ownership of just 2%, looks a real differential option at home to struggling Sunderland.
Diafra Sakho – a goal against Tottenham last weekend hints at a return to form for the West Ham striker. With Andy Carroll out for the season, Sakho looks poised to lead the line at home to Crystal Palace and at a price of just 5.5, has registered an impressive 4.8 points per appearance so far.
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