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.
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.
|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.