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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 17

Three of the top five teams in the Barclays Premier League are handed home comforts this weekend as The Scout analyses the Gameweek 17 schedule.

Champions Manchester City seek a sixth successive league win at home to Crystal Palace. West Ham United look to extend their four-match unbeaten run as basement-dwellers Leicester City roll up to Upton Park, whilst Southampton host Everton at St Mary’s Stadium.

Elsewhere, in-form Manchester United travel to Aston Villa. League leaders Chelsea make their way to Stoke City, north east duo Newcastle and Sunderland go head-to-head at St James’ Park, whilst Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

Talking tactics

Manchester City are facing a striker crisis for this weekend’s visit of Crystal Palace. With Sergio Aguero already sidelined for six weeks, Manuel Pellegrini has conceded that both Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko are unlikely to return before New Year due to hamstring and calf complaints respectively. The Chilean will trial David Silva, Samir Nasri and James Milner as a deep-lying forward in training this week and is likely to field one of the trio as a “false nine” as he restructures his side to cope with the absence of his first-team forwards against the Eagles.

Raheem Sterling has been handed a central role up front in each of Liverpool’s last couple of matches as Brendan Rodgers trials a 3-4-3 formation. Sterling was flanked by Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana against both Manchester United and Bournemouth and scored twice against the latter in the midweek Capital One Cup win. With Mario Balotelli struggling due to a groin problem once again, Sterling’s display on Wednesday suggests Rodgers may keep him in the middle at home to Arsenal.

Wayne Rooney was shifted into a central midfield berth for Manchester United’s home clash against Liverpool last weekend. Fielded up front alongside Robin van Persie in the Gameweek 15 win at Southampton, Rooney dropped deeper as James Wilson was handed the role alongside the Dutchman, with Juan Mata tucked in behind the front two. Although the Red Devils skipper still managed to get on the scoresheet for the third time in four appearances, his 19% owners will be somewhat concerned by his new position as Van Gaal continues to shuffle his pack.

By the numbers

A home goal against Hull maintained Diego Costa’s stunning start to life in the Premier League. The Chelsea striker grabbed his twelfth goal in 13 appearances for the league leaders but failed to earn bonus points (BP) for finding the net, frustrating those Fantasy owners who handed him the captain’s armband for the Tigers’ showdown.

In spite of his goal scoring exploits, Costa has collected just nine BP all season – almost half Sergio Aguero’s 17, for example. With this in mind, The Scout casts an eye over the top ten forwards for BP over the opening 16 Gameweek thus far.

BP GOALS APPS GS GSRB
Sergio Aguero (MCY) 17 14 15 9 9
Papiss Cisse (NEW) 12 7 10 4 4
Diafra Sakho (WHU) 11 6 10 6 5
Steven Naismith (EVE) 11 5 13 5 4
Graziano Pelle (SOU) 10 7 16 5 5
Wilfried Bony (SWA) 9 8 16 7 6
Robin van Persie (MUN) 9 7 15 6 5
Diego Costa (CHE) 9 12 13 9 4
Charlie Austin (QPR) 9 8 14 7 4
Peter Crouch (STO) 9 5 14 4 3

Aguero’s loss to Fantasy managers is obvious. The Argentine has earned more BP than any other forward after scoring 14 times in 15 appearances – crucially, he has earned BP in all nine matches he has scored in.

Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse is next in line, with 12 BP. The 5.8-priced striker has found the net in four of his ten appearances and has collected maximum bonus on each occasion, scoring seven times to date.

Diafra Sakho has been more consistent than his compatriot Cisse. The West Ham frontman has netted in six of his ten matches and collected BP in all but one of those occasions.

Swansea’s Wilfried Bony and QPR’s Charlie Austin have both received 9BP thus far. Whilst the pair have both scored in seven of their appearances, Bony has been looked upon more favourably and received BP on six of those occasions compared to Austin’s four.

Costa and Robin van Persie have also collected 9 BP, though the Chelsea forward has outscored the Dutchman by 12 goals to seven. Despite mirroring Aguero by scoring in nine of his Premier League outings, Costa has, however, only been awarded BP on just four occasions.

Ones to Watch

Samir Nasri – after a slow start to the season, the Manchester City midfielder has sprung into life in the last few weeks. Nasri has produced an assist in two of the last three Gameweeks and also bagged a goal and assist in his side’s recent Champions’ League win over Roma. With problems surrounding the champions’ strikers, his form in the final third looks key as Crystal Palace roll up to the Etihad Stadium.

Leroy Fer – the Queens Park Rangers midfielder welcomes West Brom in strong home form this weekend. Available for just 5.5, Fer has scored in each of his last two appearances at Loftus Road and is set to pose the Baggies problems aplenty as Harry Redknapp’s side look for a third successive win in front of their own fans.

Diafra Sakho – fully recovered from a back problem, the West Ham frontman returned to first-team duties for last weekend’s trip to Sunderland. Having scored in five of his six home appearances this term, Sakho will fancy his chances of extending that streak against a Leicester City side with a single clean sheet in the last 12 Gameweeks.

Harry Kane – handed a sixth successive start in Tottenham’s trip to Swansea last Sunday, Kane needed just four minutes to get his name on the scoresheet in a 2-1 triumph. The 5.1-priced striker was back in the goals in a 4-0 midweek cup win over Newcastle United and now plays host to a Burnley backline that has conceded in all but one of their road trips to date.

Papiss Cisse – a home derby with fierce rivals Sunderland hands the Newcastle striker the chance to continue his excellent season. Cisse’s minutes continue to be managed by Alan Pardew due to an ongoing knee complaint but, as his two-goal salvo off the bench against Chelsea in the Magpies’ previous home encounter highlighted, he needs little time to make an impact. Having missed the midweek cup loss at Tottenham due to illness, he’s expected to recover in time for Sunday’s derby.

NEW Scout Extra

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GW17 Scout Extra: Man City tactical switch opens up possibilities

GW17 Scout Extra: Carroll on song for festive schedule

  • Papiss Cisse
  • Samir Nasri
  • Harry Kane

Fantasy Premier League Scout review – Gameweek 17

Charlie Austin was the hero at Loftus Road once again as he scored his first Barclays Premier League hat trick in Gameweek 17. The Queens Park Rangers forward now has a trio of maximum Bonus Points this season.

Manchester City 3-0 Crystal Palace

3: David Silva (MCI)
2: Pablo Zabaleta (MCI)
1: Yaya Toure (MCI)

David Silva made up for the absence of a recognised striker by scoring twice at the Etihad Stadium. The Manchester City midfielder, who had a passing accuracy of 87%, netted the first and second goal of the match in a 3-0 victory for the home team.

Man City defender Pablo Zabaleta grabbed a couple of Bonus Points (BP) thanks to a clean sheet, an assist and three key passes. Yaya Toure wrapped up the match, striking his fourth goal in six Barclays Premier League matches to take his BP tally to 12 for the season.

Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United

3: Radamel Falcao (MUN)
2: Christian Benteke (AVL)
1: Ashley Young (MUN)

Radamel Falcao scored only his second Barclays Premier League goal for Manchester United in their 1-1 draw at Villa Park. The Colombia international forward also achieved a pass completion rate of 94% and produced four key passes.

Christian Benteke netted his first Barclays Premier League goal at home this season after an excellent left-footed finish. The Aston Villa forward additionally had a passing accuracy above 80% to help receive two BP. Ashley Young grabbed a single BP after providing an assist, three open play crosses and two successful dribbles.

Hull City 0-1 Swansea City

3: Ki Sung-Yueng (SWA)
2: Ashley Williams (SWA)
1: Lukasz Fabianski (SWA)

A third Ki Sung-Yueng goal of the season provided Swansea City with their first away Barclays Premier League win since the opening Gameweek. The midfielder added 13 recoveries and played three key passes for maximum BP.

Ashley Williams collected two BP as the Swansea captain helped shut out any Hull City attacks. The Wales international defender made an outstanding 32 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) to go alongside a clean sheet. Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski earned a single BP following a clean sheet, 14 recoveries and three saves.

Queens Park Rangers 3-2 West Bromwich Albion

3: Charlie Austin (QPR)
2: Stephane Sessegnon (WBA)
1: Joey Barton (QPR)

Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin scored a hat trick as West Bromwich Albion let a 2-0 lead slip at Loftus Road. Austin collected maximum BP for the third time this season as a result of his tremendous performance.

West Brom midfielder Stephane Sessegnon recorded two assists to collect a couple of BP. Sessegnon additionally produced four key passes and recovered the ball nine times. QPR midfielder Joey Barton received a BP for the first time this season following an assist, 15 recoveries and creating two big chances.

Southampton 3-0 Everton

3: Maya Yoshida (SOU)
2: Nathaniel Clyne (SOU)
1: Jose Fonte (SOU)

Maya Yoshida’s goal in the final 10 minutes sealed victory for Southampton over Everton and gave the defender maximum BP for the first time this season. Yoshida also completed 7 CBI and two tackles on his way to a second clean sheet of the season.

Saints defender Nathaniel Clyne collected a couple of BP after securing a clean sheet for the home team. Clyne added two successful tackles and open play crosses, plus the full back created a big chance. Jose Fonte picked up a single BP thanks to a clean sheet, 12 CBI and four tackles.

Graziano Pelle scored for Southampton after Everton forward Romelu Lukaku put into his own net. The Saints forward missed out on BP though due to missing the target three times and wasting two big chances.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Burnley

3: Erik Lamela (TOT)
2: Harry Kane (TOT)
1: Ashley Barnes (BUR)

Erik Lamela struck his first Barclays Premier League goal to win the match for Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. The midfielder, who completed four key passes and three dribbles, netted a stunning effort after 35 minutes to make the score 2-1.

Spurs forward Harry Kane continued his good run of form with the opening goal of the match, while he also created a big chance. Burnley forward Ashley Barnes also scored a spectacular goal, which levelled the match and led to the frontman receiving a single BP.

West Ham United 2-0 Leicester City

3: Winston Reid (WHU)
2: Stewart Downing (WHU)
1: James Tomkins (WHU)

West Ham United defender Winston Reid earned three BP for the first time this season following his team’s 2-0 home victory over Leicester City. Reid kept a clean sheet thanks to 24 CBI, six recoveries and two successful tackles.

Stewart Downing continues to shine this season and the midfielder got on the scoresheet after 56 minutes. Downing also contributed two key passes and created a big chance. West Ham defender James Tomkins received a single BP after a clean sheet, 18 CBI and an 80% pass completion rate.

Andy Carroll opened the scoring, but missed out on BP after committing four fouls and being tackled three times.

Newcastle United 0-1 Sunderland

3: Adam Johnson (SUN)
2: Costel Pantilimon (SUN)
1: Sebastian Coates (SUN), Wes Brown (SUN), Santiago Vergini (SUN)

Adam Johnson capped a hard-working performance with a late goal to give Sunderland victory in the Tyne-Wear derby. The wide midfielder additionally created a big chance and completed a couple of open play crosses, key passes and dribbles.

Costel Pantilimon earned two BP for the third time in six Gameweeks after making a succession of saves to prevent Newcastle United from scoring. The Sunderland goalkeeper made seven saves and 16 recoveries on his way to a clean sheet.

Sunderland defenders Sebastian Coates, Wes Brown and Santiago Vergini were all rewarded with a single BP. Coates made three successful tackles, while Vergini ended the match with eight CBI and the same amount of recoveries. Brown received a BP due to completing 90 minutes with zero errors or faults and making four recoveries.

Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal

3: Philippe Coutinho (LIV)
2: Santi Cazorla (ARS)

1: Martin Skrtel (LIV)

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho recorded maximum BP for the first time this season following his performance in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal. The Brazil international, who made nine recoveries and completed 80% of his passes, gave Liverpool the lead shortly before half time.

Santi Cazorla earned BP for a third successive Gameweek following an assist, a 93% passing accuracy, 10 recoveries and the Arsenal midfielder created a big chance. Martin Skrtel scored deep into added time to earn Liverpool a point. The defender additionally completed 92% of his attempted passes and made seven CBI.

Stoke City v Chelsea

Match to be played on Monday 22 December at 20:00.

  • Charlie Austin
  • David Silva
  • Ki Sung-Yueng
  • Maya Yoshida

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 16

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

James Findlay - Soccer 6

Prognosis: James is looking to freshen up his squad over the festive period as the battle for his mini-league intensifies. His tactic of tripling up on the Southampton defence needs to be reassessed after the Saints conceded in each of their last five matches, whilst the pitch time of Nacer Chadli and Leonardo Ulloa also gives him cause for concern.

Treatment: At the back, James could draft in Tottenham Hotspur’s Ben Davies and Queens Park Rangers’ Yun Suk-Young for Southampton full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Nathaniel Clyne. Available for just 4.4 and 3.9 respectively, Davies and Suk-Young have nailed down regular roles at left-back in recent weeks and their acquisition will free up budget to strengthen further up the field. James could then turn to Manchester City’s in-form Samir Nasri for Chadli in midfield and also has the cash left over to draft in QPR’S Charlie Austin for Ulloa up front. Austin has now served a one-match suspension in Gameweek 16 and has delivered six goals and a pair of assists in his last seven outings.

Chances of Recovery: Crucially, all four of James’ new additions have the festive fixtures in their favour. Davies – who has a clean sheet and assist in the last two – faces Burnley, Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Sunderland in the next six Gameweeks. Nasri entertains Crystal Palace, Burnley, Sunderland and Arsenal and also travels to West Bromwich Albion as Manuel Pellegrini’s side step up their title bid. Both Suk-Young and Austin also face four home matches between Gameweek 17-22. West Brom, Crystal Palace, Swansea City and Manchester United are all set to arrive at Loftus Road and, having averaged 6.5 points per appearance in front of his own fans, Austin looks poised for a prosperous festive period.

Rylan Commin - Fearless Sean United

Prognosis: Rylan is looking to replace Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, who is sidelined for up to six weeks with a knee injury. With plenty of cash left over from the Aguero trade, he could look to strengthen his backline, where all five of his defenders are firmly in the budget bracket.

Treatment: Rylan could bring in Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony for the stricken Aguero. The top-flight’s form forward, Bony - who comes in at a price of 8.6 - has scored eight goals in his last 10 appearances. At the back, Rylan should transfer out Hull City’s Paul McShane, who has played just twice since Gameweek 3. Drafting in Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic looks a wise move – the Blues have conceded just once in the last five Gameweeks as Jose Mourinho tightens up defensively. With enough budget remaining in the bank, Rylan could acquire Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta for Newcastle defender Paul Dummett as the Magpies’ fixtures stiffen.

Chances of Recovery: With Ivanovic and Zabaleta on board, Rylan can switch to a three-man backline and alternate his remaining defenders alongside the pair of big-hitters. Ivanovic now faces Stoke City, West Ham, Southampton, Tottenham, Newcastle and Swansea in the next five fixtures, whilst Zabaleta’s above-mentioned schedule bodes well, given that the champions have conceded just once in the last four Gameweeks. Bony’s chances of firing Rylan up the rankings are boosted by Swansea’s next four matches, which see Garry Monk’s side face Hull, Aston Villa, Liverpool and QPR’s porous defences.

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