The Scout Preview - Gameweek 12
Six of the top ten teams in the Barclays Premier League go head-to-head this weekend as the domestic action resumes after the third international break of the season.
Champions Manchester City are looking for a third straight home win as Swansea City roll up to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Everton and West Ham United square up at Goodison Park, whilst Arsenal play host to Manchester United, as the visitors attempt to win on their travels for the first time this season.
Elsewhere, league leaders Chelsea will be hoping to extend their unbeaten start at home to West Bromwich Albion, whilst Newcastle United and Southampton will both attempt to win for the fifth successive Gameweek. The Magpies welcome Queens Park Rangers to St James’ Park, whilst Ronald Koeman’s second-placed side travel to Aston Villa on Monday evening, with the out-of-sorts hosts picking up just a single point in the last seven Gameweeks.
The imminent return of Olivier Giroud may well raise questions marks over Danny Welbeck’s role through the middle for Arsenal. Having stepped up his recovery from an ankle injury, the Frenchman is back in full training for the Gunners and offers a more physical alternative to Welbeck alongside Alexis Sanchez in Arsene Wenger’s current 4-4-2 formation. With five goals in three league appearances since being moved into the middle, the Chilean looks to have secured a role up front in recent weeks and with Wenger previously hailing Welbeck’s versatility on the flank, it remains to be seen whether he can retain his position in the centre. Welbeck is expected to recover from a hamstring knock in time to face his former club but his 16% owners may well be re-assessing their options in light of a run of just two goals in nine starts since moving to north London.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino reverted to a lone striker system in the previous Gameweek as Harry Kane was handed his first league start of the season. The misfiring Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado dropped out of the starting XI as the London outfit switched from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1, with Christian Eriksen back in a central role behind Kane for the visit of Stoke. The Dane’s pitch time is also in doubt, though - he was withdrawn at the break for the second league match in succession and is struggling to convince under the new man in charge. With Kane scoring twice for England Under 21s in midweek, he’s staked a case to lead the line as Spurs make their way to Hull City on Sunday.
Leicester City’s recent change in formation has proven detrimental to Leonardo Ulloa’s Fantasy prospects. With Nigel Pearson switching from a 4-4-2 to a midfield diamond system, a lack of width has lessened the Foxes ability to feed the Argentine’s aerial prowess from the flanks. As a result, Ulloa – who is the eighth most popular forward in the Fantasy Premier League game and sits in over 10% of sides – has registered just one attempt on goal in the last four Gameweeks.
By the numbers
The goal scoring exploits of QPR’s Charlie Austin have caught The Scout’s eye in recent weeks. Available for just 5.8, the R’s frontman has scored four times in the last three Gameweeks, including strikes against Chelsea and Manchester City, yet is owned by only 2% of Fantasy managers so far.
With this in mind, we assess the top scoring differential players over the first 11 Gameweeks, capping the ownership level at no more than 8%.
|Charlie Austin (QPR)||51||2%||5.8|
|Diafra Sakho (WHU)||51||8%||5.9|
|Daryl Janmaat (NEW)||47||4%||5.1|
|Seamus Coleman (EVE)||45||6%||6.9|
|Victor Wanyama (SOU)||45||7%||4.7|
|Steven Gerrard (LIV)||45||4%||8.8|
|Christian Eriksen (TOT)||45||8%||7.8|
|Fabricio Coloccini (NEW)||44||4%||4.5|
|Mohamed Diame (HUL)||44||4%||5.6|
With six strikes and an assist already accrued, Austin has played a part in seven of his side’s 11 goals. The frontman has also earned seven bonus points to date and is clearly key to the R’s prospects of beating the drop - having earned 51 points, he sits joint fifth in the forward rankings.
West Ham’s Diafra Sakho has made an immediate impact in the top-flight. The Senegal striker has racked up five goals, two assists and 11 bonus points in just seven starts for Sam Allardyce’s side but has been mainly overlooked – despite a kind 5.9 price tag, Sakho sits in less than 9% of Fantasy teams so far.
Oscar has risen to form for Chelsea in recent weeks. After beginning the season with a single assist in the first five rounds of fixtures, the Brazilian – who has now started each of the last six Gameweeks – has subsequently delivered three goals, an assist and seven bonus points, yet is currently owned by only 5% of Fantasy managers.
Newcastle’s recent upturn in form has helped Daryl Janmaat and Fabricio Coloccini climb the Fantasy standings. The pair have produced three clean sheets in the last four Gameweeks and, whilst right-back Janmaat has delivered a goal and two assists, Coloccini has collected bonus points on each of the four occasions the Magpies have kept out their opponents this term. Ruled out by injury in midweek, his loss will be a bitter blow to Alan Pardew.
Despite missing three matches through injury, Everton’s Seamus Coleman also features. In just seven starts for the Toffees, the right-back has produced two goals, a pair of assists, three clean sheets and six bonus points – averaging 5.6 points per game for his 6% of Fantasy owners.
Southampton’s Victor Wanyama is the third best value midfielder on offer after the first 11 Gameweeks. Having failed to produce any attacking returns in 2013/14, the Kenyan started this season priced at 4.5 but the arrival of Ronald Koeman has transformed his fortunes – Wanyama has already served up three goals and an assist and has resultantly risen to 4.7 in price.
Ones to Watch
Cesar Azpilicueta – after serving a three-match suspension, the Chelsea full-back immediately ousted Filipe Luis from the starting XI for the Gameweek 11 win over Liverpool. Available for just 6.0, Azpilicueta is the cheapest of Jose Mourinho’s regulars and has earned bonus points with every Chelsea clean sheet. Given that visitors West Brom have scored just three away goals to date, the Blues look in line to earn a fourth shut-out of the campaign.
Jesus Navas – an injury to David Silva has afforded Navas the chance to cement a regular role for Manchester City in recent weeks. The Spaniard has played every minute of the last four Gameweeks and with Manuel Pellegrini returning to a lone striker system last time around, he seems poised to continue at home to Swansea City. Having fired seven attempts inside the box over that period, Navas will be hoping to finally grab the Fantasy returns his recent displays have merited.
Bojan Krkic – after a slow start to life in the Premier League, the former Barcelona starlet is finally settling down. Handed back-to-back starts by Mark Hughes in a support role behind the lone striker, Bojan grabbed a vital goal in the previous Gameweek’s win at Tottenham. He’ll be looking to maintain that form at home to a Burnley side that have conceded nine times in their last three road trips.
Ayoze Perez – Newcastle’s summer signing is one of the most in-form forwards in the top-flight. Available for a mere 4.8, Perez has scored in each of the last three Gameweeks and looks key to the Magpies’ prospects of racking up a fifth straight league win at home to QPR this Saturday.
Romelu Lukaku – having scored in each of his last two home starts, the Everton striker will fancy his chances of getting amongst the goals as West Ham United roll up to Goodison Park. Lukaku has notched in four of the previous eight Gameweeks and, after scoring for Belgium in the recent international break, looks in the mood against a Hammers backline yet to register a shut-out on their travels.
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