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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 3

Four teams are looking to maintain their 100% starts to the season as The Scout assesses the upcoming round of fixtures in the Barclays Premier League.

Champions Manchester City welcome Stoke City to the Etihad Stadium as the hosts look to kick on from last week’s win over Liverpool. Chelsea face a testing trip to Everton on Saturday evening, Swansea City entertain West Bromwich Albion at the Liberty Stadium, whilst Tottenham Hotspur’s strong start under new manager Mauricio Pochettino will come under scrutiny as Liverpool make their way to White Hart Lane.

Elsewhere, promoted Burnley host out-of-sorts Manchester United, Neil Warnock takes his Crystal Palace side away to Newcastle United, while Arsenal travel to Leicester City in the final match of the Gameweek.

Talking tactics

Bojan Krkic was dropped to the bench for Stoke City’s first away match of the season last week. One of the most popular budget forwards around, the Spaniard made way for Steve Sidwell as the Potters rolled up to the KC Stadium and, despite the hosts being reduced to 10 men within quarter of an hour, was only introduced on 41 minutes after an injury forced Glenn Whelan out of the proceedings. Mark Hughes is clearly looking to gradually introduce the summer signing into his starting XI, particularly on the road, and with a trip to Manchester City up next, Bojan’s 13% of Fantasy owners may be forced to look elsewhere.

A shoulder injury to Kevin Nolan allowed West Ham United’s Mauro Zarate his first start of the season last week. Handed a support role behind Carlton Cole, the Argentine dazzled on his debut and was instrumental in a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace, after opening the scoring for the visitors. With Nolan expected to be sidelined for six weeks, Zarate looks set to continue in a central position once again as the Hammers welcome Southampton to Upton Park.

The arrival of Mario Balotelli could result in a change of formation for Liverpool this weekend. Brendan Rodgers has mainly utilised a 4-2-3-1 system this term, with Philippe Coutinho positioned behind Daniel Sturridge up front, but the Reds boss may decide to revert to last season’s midfield diamond as he looks to bounce back from Monday’s loss to Manchester City. This could allow Balotelli and Sturridge to lead the line, with Raheem Sterling moving from the flank to the tip of the diamond, forcing Coutinho into a more withdrawn berth against Mauricio Pochettino’s in-form hosts.

By the numbers

After a couple of appearances for new club Chelsea, the creativity of Cesc Fabregas has already proved significant. The Spaniard, who has provided at least 10 assists in each of his last eight seasons, has already teed up three goals for his team-mates thus far.

With this in mind, The Scout takes a look at some of the Premier League’s standout creators over the first couple of Gameweeks, with all of the featured players below having played at least 100 minutes in the first two rounds of fixtures.

Joey Barton (QPR) 18.9 10 0 5.0 1%
Eden Hazard (CHE) 19.8 9 0 10.0 18%
Santi Cazorla (ARS) 23.4 4 1 8.4 3%
Alexis Sanchez (ARS) 23.5 5 1 10.4 15%
Cesc Fabregas (CHE) 26.9 4 3 9.2 34%
Marko Arnautovic (STK) 30.2 5 0 6.4 1%
Stewart Downing (WHU) 31.0 6 0 5.5 1%
Remy Cabella (NEW) 31.7 6 0 7.5 2%
Emmanuel Adebayor (TOT) 32.6 4 1 8.5 4%
Samir Nasri (MCI) 34.8 4 1 8.5 5%

Joey Barton has provided more chances than any other player in the top-flight so far. The QPR midfielder has teed up a total of 10 goal scoring opportunities, at an average of one every 18.9 minutes, yet some poor finishing from team-mates means he has failed to pick up any assist returns. With home matches against Sunderland and Stoke City in the next three Gameweeks, though, the 5.0-priced Barton could soon be profiting.

Eden Hazard been more creative than team-mate Fabregas without reaping reward. The Belgian has produced nine key passes at an average of 19.8 minutes – quicker than Fabregas’ 26.9 minutes, though the Spaniard has chalked up three assists in addition to creating four chances.

Arsenal duo Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez have also been quicker than former Gunners’ skipper Fabregas. Both have earned an assist apiece, with Sanchez also creating five opportunities to Cazorla’s four – with Aaron Ramsey scoring in each of the first two Gameweeks, though, the former two have suffered a price drop already as Fantasy managers turn to the prolific Welshman instead.

Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic may have failed to pick up any returns so far but the Austrian is showing signs of returning to the form that served up 10 assists last season. The 6.4-priced midfielder has created five chances without success but once this weekend’s trip to Manchester City, he has the schedule to finally prosper.

Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor is the only forward to feature. Along with Manchester City’s Samir Nasri, he has created four chances and picked up a single assist – despite a favourable 8.5 price tag, Adebayor currently sits in just 5% of teams after producing a 12-point return in his previous fixture.

Ones to Watch

Alan Hutton – a peripheral figure for Aston Villa last season, the right-back has grabbed his opportunity with both hands this time round. Available for just 4.1, Hutton has helped Paul Lambert’s side register back-to-back clean sheets and his raids down the flank look set to pose visitors Hull City plenty of problems this weekend.

Siem de Jong – back in contention after recovering from a foot problem, the Newcastle United midfielder could be set for his first start at home to Crystal Palace. De Jong has a proven scoring record and netted at least 10 times in four of his last five seasons with Ajax and could be the answer to the Magpies’ goal drought.

David Silva – the little Spaniard has been quick to find his form and was amongst the goals in Manchester City’s Gameweek 1 win at Newcastle. A plum home clash against travel-sick Stoke now awaits Manuel Pellegrini’s side and Silva’s twinkling toes could be set to run amok against the Potters’ backline.

Mesut Ozil – the German has been mainly overlooked by Fantasy managers so far, with team-mates Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez proving far more popular picks. The Arsenal playmaker rolls up to Leicester City this Sunday and given that Nigel Pearson’s side have conceded over 10 shots per match inside the box, Ozil’s creativity could wreak havoc.

Loic Remy – a home clash with Sunderland affords the Frenchman the chance to open his goal account for the season. Remy may have failed to find the net so far but, with seven attempts on goal in his opening couple of appearances, is offering plenty of threat for Harry Redknapp’s side.

  • Cesc Fabregas
  • Emmanuel Adebayor
  • Siem de Jong

Fantasy Premier League Scout review – Gameweek 3

France international Morgan Schneiderlin was at the top of his game as Southampton came from behind to grab all three points against West Ham United. Schneiderlin earned the most points on the Bonus Points System to receive the maximum three Bonus Points for his Fantasy Premier League managers.

Burnley 0-0 Manchester United

The back three of Manchester United were all involved in the Bonus Points (BP) at Turf Moor, with England international Phil Jones registering the maximum three BP. Jones’ clean sheet was helped by 16 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI), five recoveries and three successful tackles, plus a 94% pass completion rate.

Jonny Evans, Tyler Blackett and Burnley’s Michael Duff all earned two BP in the early lunchtime kick-off on Saturday. Evans’ solid display was backed up by 10 CBI and four recoveries, while Blackett made 14 CBI and 10 recoveries but lost points with a yellow card. Burnley defender Duff helped the home side to their first point of the Barclays Premier League season with a commanding performance that included an 83% pass completion rate, seven CBI and just the one foul given away.

Manchester City 0-1 Stoke City

A host of Stoke City players were rewarded for their superb performances in the surprise result of Gameweek 3. Mame Biram Diouf, who executed three dribbles and one key pass, scored the winning goal to take away maximum BP.

Stoke defender Erik Pieters registered two BP following a clean sheet at the Etihad Stadium, which was supported by an assist and seven CBI. Marc Wilson and Ryan Shawcross both received one BP for their efforts. Wilson kept the dangers of Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic at bay with a commanding defensive performance that included 11 CBI. Centre-back Shawcross, who made 15 CBI, put in another sterling performance to earn his single BP.

Newcastle United 3-3 Crystal Palace

Three goalscorers picked up the BP in the entertaining match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace. Newcastle players Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat both picked up two BP, but it was Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon that was rewarded with three BP. Puncheon bagged his team’s second goal, while also making 10 recoveries, completing four dribbles and creating a big chance.

Newcastle defender Williamson, who completed 83% of attempted passes and made seven recoveries, scored his first goal for the Magpies. Janmaat also got on the score sheet and had an 87% pass success rate before being substituted in the second half.

Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Sunderland

Charlie Austin registered the maximum three BP following his display in Queens Park Rangers’ win against Sunderland. Austin grabbed the only goal of the match, his first ever strike in the Barclays Premier League.

New QPR signing Leroy Fer grabbed two BP after picking up an assist, making four key passes and completing 87% of his attempted passes. Goalkeeper Rob Green picked up the final BP after making a string of saves to keep Sunderland at bay. Green made seven recoveries to go alongside six saves in a fine display at Loftus Road.

Swansea City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion

Nathan Dyer was the standout performer as Swansea City eased to victory against West Bromwich Albion. The midfielder bagged two goals, including the winning goal, and completed 91% of his attempted passes to earn three BP.

Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson continued his tremendous start to the season with another scintillating display that earned him two more BP. The Iceland international provided an assist for two of the goals, created a further two big chances, provided four key passes and finished the match with an 88% pass completion rate. Ashley Williams registered the final BP as the defender kept his concentration to help Swansea record a clean sheet. As well as completing 94% of his passes, Williams produced 12 CBI in another superb defensive performance.

West Ham United 1-3 Southampton

France international Morgan Schneiderlin picked up three BP following a match-winning performance and the midfielder registered the most points on the Bonus Points System (BPS) - 57. Schneiderlin scored two goals, including the winning goal at Upton Park, and wrapped up his display with a 92% pass completion rate. West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble gave his team the lead in the first half and, along with completing 81% of his passes, this was enough to give the former England under-21 captain two BP. Southampton’s summer signing Graziano Pelle picked up one BP as he looks to be quickly adapting to life in the Barclays Premier League. The Saints forward sealed victory for the visitors after scoring their third goal of the match.

Everton 3-6 Chelsea

Goodison Park was the host of a nine goal thriller with Chelsea’s summer acquisition Diego Costa continuing his success in front of goal to help the London club come away with a vital three points. Costa scored two of Chelsea’s six goals, the first and last, in a rampant attacking display to earn himself maximum BP.

Nemanja Matic scored his first goal for Chelsea and it proved to be the decisive winning goal. The Serbia international midfielder also provided an assist and successfully completed three dribbles to earn two BP for his Fantasy Premier League managers. Brazil international Ramires picked up the final BP after scoring the fifth of Chelsea’s goals and providing two assists.

Aston Villa 2-1 Hull City

Andreas Weimann was on top form as he helped Aston Villa maintain their unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League season. The Austria international forward, who registered three BP, scored the winning goal and provided the assist for Villa’s opening goal of the match.

Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor linked up brilliantly with Weimann throughout the match and scored the opening goal to earn his Fantasy Premier League managers two BP. Croatia forward Nikica Jelavic picked up the final BP of the match. The forward scored the goal to get Hull City back in the game, but ultimately it was not enough for his side to come away from Villa Park with any points.

Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Liverpool

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard led his team to a superb winning performance against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. The former England captain scored from the penalty spot, made nine CBI and delivered three key passes to register maximum BP.

New signing Alberto Moreno bagged his first Barclays Premier League goal to grab two BP. The Liverpool defender completed 87% of his attempted passes and made nine CBI. England international midfielder Jordan Henderson may not have got a goal at White Hart Lane, but he did provide the assist for the opening goal of the match to receive one BP. Henderson also recovered the ball 11 times and had a pass completion rate of 93%.

Raheem Sterling ultimately scored the winning goal for Liverpool during an impressive display, but a yellow card meant the midfielder fell just short of earning any BP.

Leicester City 1-1 Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez opened his Barclays Premier League account with the first goal at the King Power Stadium. The Chile international, who completed 84% of his attempted passes and produced four key passes, received three BP for his display in an Arsenal shirt.

Despite coming on as a first half substitute, Calum Chambers earned his Fantasy Premier League managers two BP. The Arsenal defender picked up clean sheet points as he entered the pitch after the Gunners conceded the equalising goal. Chambers produced eight recoveries and completed 90% of his passes. Leicester City forward Leonardo Ulloa grabbed the equalising goal to earn his side a valuable Barclays Premier League point. The Argentine’s hard-working efforts meant that he was rewarded with one BP.

  • Morgan Schneiderlin
  • Diego Costa
  • Andreas Weimann
  • Nathan Dyer

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 2

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.

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Nick Frost - Scared Shotless

Prognosis: Nick is looking to replace Everton’s Ross Barkley, who is sidelined with a knee injury, whilst he also has concerns up front heading into Gameweek 3. With two of his current trio of strikers – Peter Crouch and Rickie Lambert – far from certain starters, he needs to scour the market for reliable options for his 15-man squad.

Treatment: Newcastle United’s Siem de Jong looks a strong replacement for the stricken Barkley. Owned by just 1% of Fantasy managers, the Dutchman scored 10+ goals in four of his last five seasons with former club Ajax and recovered from a minor foot problem to feature off the bench at Aston Villa. In attack, Nick could draft in Steven Naismith for Lambert to free up budget – available for just 5.1, the former has benefitted from Barkley’s absence and scored in each of his first two matches. This would also allow Nick to acquire Manchester City’s in-form Steven Jovetic, who bagged a brace in Monday’s win over Liverpool.

Chances of Recovery: De Jong’s upcoming schedule looks promising for points returns, as Newcastle entertain Crystal Palace, Hull City and Leicester City in the next six Gameweeks and also travel to Southampton and Swansea City. Up front, Naismith has some mixed fixtures but has the form to prevail, with matches against West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace in the next three boosting his appeal. Jovetic’s display against Liverpool underlines his value at 7.9 as a route into Manuel Pellegrini’s attack, with a plum home clash against Stoke City next on his agenda.

Steffan Evans - The Welsh Wizards

Prognosis: Steffan is reconsidering his options at the back after one of his premium defenders has struggled to deliver the Fantasy returns. Whilst Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic has more than merited the investment, Steffan is somewhat concerned by Everton’s Leighton Baines, who has picked up a single point in two appearances. In midfield, he also needs to plot an exit route for injured Arsenal skipper, Mikel Arteta.

Treatment: With 3.5 currently in the bank, Steffan has plenty of options available. Drafting in Newcastle’s Paul Dummett for Baines would save a further 3.0 – the former looks set to hold onto the Magpies’ left-back berth until Davide Santon returns from injury around November. This would allow Steffan to swap out Arteta for team-mate Aaron Ramsey and also leave enough spare cash to facilitate a move for Tottenham’s in-form Erik Lamela in the centre of the park, with West Brom’s Chris Brunt the man to make way.

Chances of Recovery: With Chelsea pair Ivanovic and Gary Cahill already installed at the back, Steffan could alternate Dummett and Sunderland defender John O’Shea on a home/away basis. This would allow him to take advantage of a promising set of fixtures and play three in defence. Back-to-back goals in his first two appearances highlights Ramsey’s form and the Welshman could become a permanent fixture in Steffan’s starting XI, whilst Lamela’s pair of assists in his first home match under Mauricio Pochettino suggest the Argentine is set for a turnaround in fortunes under the guidance of his compatriot.

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