The Scout Preview - Gameweek 6
A pair of derby encounters catch The Scout’s eye this weekend as we assesses the upcoming round of fixtures.
Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton go head-to-head at Anfield in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, as both clubs seek to bounce back from Gameweek 5 defeats. Later that day, Arsenal entertain Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in the north London derby, with the Gunners looking to protect their unbeaten start to the 2014/15 Premier League campaign.
Elsewhere, defending champions Manchester City travel to Hull City. League leaders Chelsea attempt to return to winning ways at home to Aston Villa, out-of-sorts Manchester United welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford, whilst Leicester City hope to build on last week’s stunning 5-3 triumph over the Red Devils as they make their way to Crystal Palace.
A change of formation from Sam Allardyce afforded Stewart Downing a central berth in West Ham’s win over Liverpool last weekend. The Hammers boss switched to a midfield diamond and fielded Downing in “the hole” behind front two Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia in the 3-1 victory, with Alex Song handed his first start for the club in the centre of the park. An assist against the Merseysiders took Downing’s tally to a goal and two assists in the first five Gameweeks and the convincing nature of last weekend’s performance suggests Allardyce could be set to retain the same system for Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford.
Brendan Rodgers also changed his tactics in the 3-1 Upton Park defeat. The Liverpool boss started with a midfield diamond, allowing Raheem Sterling to tuck in behind a front two, but shifted to a 3-5-2 midway through the first period after his side went two goals behind. This saw Sterling shift to right wing-back, with Alberto Moreno on the opposite side of midfield, though in spite of moving to a more withdrawn berth, the teenager still managed to net his side’s consolation. Given that Sterling has now scored three of his side’s seven goals, though, the Liverpool boss may yet return him to the centre as he attempts to arrest a run of back-to-back defeats.
Arsene Wenger also tinkered with his tactics as Arsenal served up a comprehensive win at Aston Villa. The Gunners boss switched from 4-1-4-1 to a 4-2-3-1 formation, allowing Aaron Ramsey to partner Mikel Arteta in the double-pivot and moving Mesut Ozil from the left flank to the “number 10” role behind lone striker Danny Welbeck. The latter two produced a goal and assist apiece in the 3-0 victory and Wenger is expected to allow Ozil his favoured central position once again ahead of the weekend derby clash with Tottenham.
By the numbers
With five rounds of fixtures now behind us, The Scout takes a look at the top scoring “differential” players so far. Analysing those with an ownership under 8%, we assess who has made the biggest impact on our Fantasy fortunes to this point.
|Nacer Chadli (TOT)||29||6.2||6%|
|Graziano Pelle (SOU)||28||7.7||7%|
|Stewart Downing (WHU)||27||5.5||2%|
|Andreas Weimann (AVL)||25||5.6||6%|
|Ryan Bertrand (SOU)||25||5.1||4%|
|Seb Larsson (SUN)||24||5.6||5%|
|Nikica Jelavic (HUL)||23||6.0||3%|
|Kieran Trippier (BUR)||23||4.9||1%|
|Ander Herrera (MUN)||22||7.3||4%|
|Mark Noble (WHU)||22||5.5||3%|
|Gabby Agbonlahor (AVL)||22||5.4||2%|
After netting just once in his debut season, Tottenham’s Nacer Chadli has already scored on three occasions this term. Available for just 6.2, the Belgian has outperformed the likes of Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela in Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield so far, though has managed just one full appearance this term due to his manager’s tendency to ring the changes midway through the second-half.
Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand and Burnley right-back Kieran Tripper have both delivered a trio of clean sheets, with the former also delivering an assist for his 4% owners.
West Ham pair Stewart Downing and Mark Noble have both staked a claim as budget midfield options, with 2% and 3% ownership respectively. The duo have produced a goal and two assists apiece, though Downing has collected six bonus points to his team-mate’s three.
Aston Villa’s Andreas Weimann and Gabby Agbonlahor have each found the net on a couple of occasions, with the former also serving up an assist and bettering Agbonlahor’s bonus point haul by six points to five.
Ones to Watch
Victor Moses – the on-loan winger has started the last three Gameweeks for Stoke City since joining up at the end of the summer transfer window. Moses grabbed an assist in last weekend’s draw at QPR and is picking up in form ahead of a plum home clash against a Newcastle side that has shipped nine goals in their last three league matches.
Jason Puncheon – a consistent performer for Crystal Palace, the wide man has scored or assisted in three of his four appearances to date. The Eagles look impressive in the final third under new boss Neil Warnock and Puncheon’s contribution could be key at home to a Leicester side that have managed just one clean sheet this term.
Ander Herrera – the Spaniard has produced two goals, an assist and a couple of bonus points in just three appearances for Manchester United. Owned by only 4% of Fantasy managers, Herrera’s flourishing form could come to fruition once again at home to West Ham – the visitors have conceded in every league match this season and look far from convincing at the back.
Graziano Pelle – with three goals and an assist in the last three Gameweeks, Southampton’s centre-forward has settled quickly in his new surrounds. Pelle welcomes QPR to St Mary’s Stadium this weekend and bearing in mind the R’s have conceded four times in each of their road trips, he’ll fancy his chances of getting amongst the points once again.
Enner Valencia – given the hosts’ current form, a trip to Old Trafford will hold little fear for West Ham this weekend. Valencia scored on his previous away appearance for the Hammers and his searing pace and eye for goal look certain to trouble a backline that was exposed by Leicester’s mobility and movement last weekend.