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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 4

Three of the top five teams in the Barclays Premier League are on their travels this weekend as The Scout assesses the Gameweek 4 schedule.

Second-placed Leicester City make their way to AFC Bournemouth, with the home side looking to build on last week’s 4-3 win at West Ham United. Manchester United face a tough task at in-form Swansea City, whilst Crystal Palace pay a visit to defending champions, Chelsea.

Elsewhere, league leaders Manchester City seek a fourth straight victory at home to Watford. Liverpool look to maintain their unbeaten start at home to West Ham, whilst Arsenal go head-to-head with Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the Gameweek’s early kick-off.

Talking tactics

Ronald Koeman’s change of formation helped Southampton chalk up their first clean sheet of the season. The Saints boss moved away from a 4-2-3-1 set-up and rolled out a 3-5-2, with Steven Caulker handed his first league start alongside Jose Fonte and Maya Yoshida in the heart of defence. Cedric Soares and Matt Targett were fielded as wing-backs, whilst Sadio Mane partnered Graziano Pelle up front in the goalless draw at Watford. Mane was forced off early on with a hip problem but, providing he recovers in time, could offer FPL managers with a viable option for this weekend’s home encounter with Norwich.

Tim Sherwood tinkered with his tactics during Aston Villa’s loss to Crystal Palace. Sherwood handed fit-again Jack Grealish and Rudy Gestede their first starts of the campaign, with Gabby Agbonlahor joining the duo on the right of a front three at Selhurst Park. The second-half introduction of Adama Traore saw Sherwood switch to a 4-4-2, though, with Grealish retaining his left flank role and the versatile Agbonlahor shifted into a central berth alongside Gestede. With his side looking to bounce back from consecutive losses, Sherwood may be mulling over a two-man frontline as struggling Sunderland roll up to the Midlands this weekend.

Brendan Rodgers rolled out a 4-3-3 formation for Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal last Monday. With Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana injured, the Reds manager fielded Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino on either side of Christian Benteke in the goalless draw at the Emirates, as his side registered a third successive shut-out of the season. In spite of the impressive rearguard display, Rodgers is likely to be more attack-minded at home to suspension-hit West Ham this weekend. The Merseysiders could switch back to a 4-2-3-1 formation, allowing Coutinho to return to a central role again, with Firmino, Jordon Ibe and Lallana – if fit – battling it out for the wide berths as they look to take advantage of a defence that’s shipped six goals in the last two Gameweeks.

By the numbers

Chelsea’s new signing Pedro has Fantasy managers scrambling for his services after grabbing a goal, an assist and maximum bonus points on his debut against West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

With over 250,000 new owners acquiring the 9.5-priced midfielder in light of his 13-point return, The Scout analyses those players who have offered the greatest goal threat from the centre of the park so far.

SHOTS SIB SOT GOALS TIB
Philippe Coutinho (LIV) 15 7 4 1 16
Memphis Depay (MUN) 14 5 3 0 18
Alexis Sanchez (ARS) 13 12 3 0 37
Riyad Mahrez (LEI) 13 9 6 4 21
Andre Ayew (SWA) 12 9 5 2 15
Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA) 12 3 4 0 7
Ross Barkley (EVE) 10 4 5 2 6
Bradley Johnson (NOR) 9 5 1 0 8
Aaron Ramsey (ARS) 9 4 4 0 20
Matt Ritchie (BOU) 9 3 1 0 7
Yaya Toure (MCI) 9 2 4 1 7
Jonjo Shelvey (SWA) 9 1 3 0 5
Robbie Brady (NOR) 9 0 2 0 0

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has produced more attempts on goal (15) than any player in the BPL over the first three Gameweeks. Available for 8.1, the 20%-owned Brazilian has fired seven shots from inside the box and found the net on one occasion.

Manchester United’s summer signing, Memphis Depay, has managed 14 efforts. Only five of the Dutchman’s attempts have been from close-range, though, and, with just three shots on target, he’s yet to score for the Red Devils.

Arsenal wide man Alexis Sanchez has registered more shots inside the box (12) than any midfielder. The Chilean has also mustered more touches in the penalty area (37) than any player in the BPL, though just three of his 13 efforts have been on target. Team-mate Aaron Ramsey has fired more attempts on target (four), though, like Sanchez, has yet to get amongst the goals.

Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez has produced more shots on target (six) and goals (four) than any other midfielder. Having risen in price from 5.5 to 6.0, he is second only to Sanchez in the centre of the park for touches inside the penalty area (21).

In-form Swansea supply our assessment with three players. Andre Ayew and Gylfi Sigurdsson have both fired 12 shots on goal, though the former has offered far greater close-range threat, with nine attempts inside the box to Sigurdsson’s three – as a result, he leads his team-mate by two goals to nil. Jonjo Shelvey – priced at 5.5 – has fired nine unsuccessful efforts.

Ones to watch

Aleksandar Kolarov – the Serbian’s impressive displays down the left flank have been pivotal to Manchester City’s three-match winning streak. After serving up a 15-point haul away to Everton, Kolarov welcomes a Watford side that’s failed to score in each of the last two Gameweeks.

Matt Ritchie – the Bournemouth playmaker has been a little unlucky not to pick up points so far. Now down to 5.9, Ritchie has fired nine attempts on goal and his threat down the right could come to fruition against a Leicester City defence that’s still searching for a first clean sheet of the season.

Nacer Chadli – with a goal and assist over the previous couple of matches, the Belgian has played a part in two of Tottenham’s last three strikes. Available for 7.0, Chadli hosts an Everton defence that’s conceded twice in two of the opening three Gameweeks.

Mame Biram Diouf – owned by just 4% of Fantasy managers, the Stoke striker looks a real differential ahead of a home derby with West Brom. Having notched in each of the last two matches, the 6.5-priced Diouf is an in-form option against a backline that’s been breached six times already.

Olivier Giroud – despite scoring just once so far, the Arsenal man has fired more shots from inside the box (12) than any other forward. Given that hosts Newcastle conceded 27 times at home last season – the joint-worst defensive record – Giroud could be back in the goals at St James’ Park.

Scout Extra

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

GW4 Scout Extra: Time to load up on Man City stars

GW4 Scout Extra: Gradel is pick of Cherries midfield

  • Philippe Coutinho
  • Aleksandar Kolarov
  • Mame Biram Diouf

Fantasy Premier League Scout Review – Gameweek 3

Manchester City moved clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League table with a 2-0 win at Everton, while AFC Bournemouth claimed their first ever top flight triumph in a thrilling 4-3 victory at West Ham United.

Callum Wilson starred in AFC Bournemouth’s historic result at Boleyn Ground. The Cherries forward scored a hat-trick to become the Bonus Points System’s top performer in Gameweek 3.

Player Position Club BPS Score BP GW3 BP Total
Callum Wilson FWD BOU 83 3 3
Pedro MID CHE 49 3 4
James Morrison MID WBA 46 2 2
Diego Costa FWD CHE 41 1 1
Simon Francis DEF BOU 40 2 2

Manchester United 0-0 Newcastle United

3: Tim Krul (NEW)
2: Chancel Mbemba (NEW)
1: Luke Shaw (MUN)

Tim Krul received maximum Bonus Points (BP) as he helped Newcastle earn a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Old Trafford. The Magpies goalkeeper produced eight saves and nine recoveries on his way to a clean sheet

Chancel Mbemba also contributed to Newcastle’s shut-out with 15 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) and six recoveries, resulting in a couple of BP.

Luke Shaw picked up the final BP on a good day for the defensive units on both sides of the pitch. Along with his clean sheet, the Man Utd left-back completed 90% of his passes and recorded seven recoveries.

Crystal Palace 2-1 Aston Villa

3: Scott Dann (CRY), Bakary Sako (CRY)
1: Ashley Westwood (AVL)

Crystal Palace goal scorers Scott Dann and Bakary Sako shared maximum BP as the Eagles defeated Aston Villa 2-1 at Selhurst Park. In addition to getting on the scoresheet, Dann assisted Sako’s goal and made five CBI. Sako had a pass completion rate of 83% and ultimately his was the winning goal.

Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood received a single BP after completing 96% of his passes. This included five key passes and one big chance created.

Leicester City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

3: Riyad Mahrez (LEI)
2: Jan Vertonghen (TOT)
1: Nacer Chadli (TOT)

Riyad Mahrez continued his impressive start to the season by picking up his third consecutive maximum BP haul. The Leicester midfielder scored the equalising goal as the Foxes drew 1-1 with Spurs at King Power Stadium.

Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen was rewarded with two BP after a fine defensive display. The Belgium international made 15 CBI, eight recoveries and four tackles.

Nacer Chadli, who assisted the Spurs goal, mopped up the final BP having made six recoveries and ending the match with a pass completion rate of 91%.

Norwich City 1-1 Stoke City

3: Mame Biram Diouf (STK)
2: Robbie Brady (NOR), Nathan Redmond (NOR), Xherdan Shaqiri (STK)

Mame Biram Diouf received three BP after scoring in his second consecutive match. The Stoke forward’s goal helped the visitors earn a 1-1 draw with Norwich at Carrow Road.

Three midfield players received two BP apiece – Norwich pair Robbie Brady and Nathan Redmond, and Stoke debutant Xherdan Shaqiri. Brady made six key passes and four open play crosses, while Redmond claimed an assist and completed 88% of his passes. Shaqiri provided the assist for Diouf’s goal and completed 33 of his 34 passes.

Sunderland 1-1 Swansea City

3: Kyle Naughton (SWA)
2: Jermain Defoe (SUN)
1: Jonjo Shelvey (SWA)

Sunderland and Swansea played out a 1-1 draw at Stadium of Light with Kyle Naughton picking up maximum BP. The Swansea defender provided the assist for the visitors’ goal and completed 50 of his 57 passes, including four key passes.

Sunderland forward Jermain Defoe secured two BP after scoring a second half equaliser for the home team – his second goal of the season.

Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey received a single BP having made four key passes, four open play crosses and completing 82% of his passes.

West Ham United 3-4 AFC Bournemouth

3: Callum Wilson (BOU)
2: Simon Francis (BOU)
1: Mark Noble (WHU), Cheikhou Kouyate (WHU)

Callum Wilson was Gameweek 3’s stand-out performer as his hat-trick led AFC Bournemouth to their first ever victory in the Barclays Premier League. Wilson’s three goals helped the Cherries defeat West Ham in a 4-3 thriller at Boleyn Ground.

Despite conceding three goals, Bournemouth defender Simon Francis received two BP after assisting one of Wilson’s goals and making nine recoveries and seven tackles.

West Ham’s Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate shared the final BP after the midfield duo were both on the scoresheet for the home team.

West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Chelsea

3: Pedro (CHE)
2: Jamie Morrison (WBA)
1: Diego Costa (CHE)

New Chelsea signing Pedro enjoyed an impressive debut as he helped the Blues record a 3-2 win over West Brom at The Hawthorns. The Spain midfielder scored the visitors’ opening goal and added an assist.

James Morrison received two BP on a mixed night for the West Brom midfielder. Having had a penalty saved early in the match, he bounced back strongly to score both the home team’s goals.

Chelsea forward Diego Costa earned his first BP of the season after scoring Chelsea’s second goal and posting an assist.

Everton 0-2 Manchester City

3: Aleksandar Kolarov (MCI), Bacary Sagna (MCI)
1: Yaya Toure (MCI)

Aleksandar Kolarov and Bacary Sagna shared maximum BP as Man City kept up their perfect start to the season with a 2-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. Along with their clean sheet, Kolarov scored the opening goal and Sagna completed 90% of his passes.

Yaya Toure picked up the final BP after playing a fantastic through ball to assist Man City’s second goal. The Ivory Coast midfielder also completed 51 of his 57 passes.

Watford 0-0 Southampton

3: Heurelho Gomes (WAT), Allan Nyom (WAT)
1: Steven Caulker (SOU)

Watford’s goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and defender Allan Nyom split maximum BP in a 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road. Gomes made five saves and 16 recoveries on his way to a clean sheet, while Nyom made 11 recoveries and completed one key pass.

Steven Caulker received a single BP after helping Southampton’s shut-out. The Saints defender recorded 15 CBI and five recoveries as both teams cancelled each other out.

Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool

3: Petr Cech (ARS)
2: Nacho Monreal (ARS)
1: Hector Bellerin (ARS), Calum Chambers (ARS)

Arsenal hosted Liverpool in a goalless stalemate at Emirates Stadium with Petr Cech claiming maximum BP. The Arsenal goalkeeper recovered the ball on 10 occasions and, more importantly, made eight saves.

Nacho Monreal collected a couple of BP after a great performance at both ends of the pitch. Arsenal’s left-back produced 10 recoveries, five CBI and two tackles with a clean sheet, while he supplied a couple of key passes and as many open play crosses.

Hector Bellerin and Calum Chambers received a single BP each as they helped Arsenal record their first clean sheet of the Barclays Premier League season. Bellerin completed 11 CBI, six recoveries and one dribble. Chambers accomplished 13 CBI and also ended the match with six recoveries.

Simon Mignolet was the closest a Liverpool player got to achieving BP. The Belgium goalkeeper narrowly missed out despite making five saves and four CBI.

For a full breakdown of the changes head to the Rules section.

  • Callum Wilson
  • Pedro
  • James Morrison
  • Riyad Mahrez

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 3

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

Dom Bolton - The Valiants

Prognosis: Dom has concerns over Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay after both failed to find the net in the opening three Gameweeks. With the Red Devils now set to face Swansea City, Liverpool, Southampton, Arsenal and Everton in the next six rounds of fixtures, Dom should be looking to acquire some in-form alternatives.

Treatment: With Sergio Aguero already on board up front, Liverpool’s Christian Benteke could come in for Rooney. Available for 8.5, the powerful striker scored the winner on his home debut against AFC Bournemouth in Gameweek 2 and has netted 12 times in his last 14 league appearances. Dom could then draft in Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez for Depay in the centre of the park. Although he’s yet to score, the Chilean has produced 12 shots inside the penalty area – more than any midfielder.

Chances of Recovery: The short-term fixtures smile kindly on Benteke, who faces three home matches in the next four Gameweeks. Having earned nine points in his first Anfield appearance, he now entertains West Ham United, Norwich City and Aston Villa. Sanchez, meanwhile, goes head-to-head with Newcastle United, Stoke City and Leicester City over the same period.

Daniel Knight - The galacticos

Prognosis: Daniel has worries in the centre of the park after Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen missed the weekend trip to Leicester with a knee injury. He should also reconsider his decision to double-up on Everton pair Romelu Lukaku and Arouna Kone up front, with the Toffees upcoming schedule looking particularly tough.

Treatment: Stoke City’s big-money signing Xherdan Shaqiri could come in for the stricken Eriksen. Available for 7.0, the Swiss international has been handed a share of set-piece duties by Mark Hughes and provided the assist for Mame Biram Diouf’s weekend opener at Norwich City. Daniel could then turn to Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson up front. The Cherries lone striker grabbed a hat-trick against West Ham last Saturday and comes with a budget-friendly price tag of 5.5.

Chances of Recovery: The schedule is very much in favour of those proposed signings. Over the next five Gameweeks, Shaqiri has home encounters with West Bromwich Albion, Leicester and Bournemouth in addition to a trip to Aston Villa. Wilson plays host to Leicester, Sunderland and Watford and makes his way to Norwich over the same period as the Cherries look to build momentum after last week’s win at West Ham.

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