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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 13

Four of the top six teams in the Barclays Premier League go head-to-head this weekend as The Scout assesses the Gameweek 13 schedule.

Second-placed Southampton face a tough task to maintain their five-match unbeaten run as defending champions Manchester City roll up to St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The previous day, West Ham United entertain a Newcastle United side that are seeking a sixth straight win after seeing off Queens Park Rangers last time around.

Elsewhere, league leaders Chelsea travel to Sunderland, with Jose Mourinho’s side determined to end their hosts’ three-match unbeaten run. Manchester United welcome Hull City to Old Trafford, Liverpool play host to Stoke City, whilst two of last term’s top six, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, go head-to-head at White Hart Lane.

Talking tactics

With a number of his first-team regulars missing out against Everton last weekend, Sam Allardyce started with a 3-5-2 formation and handed Andy Carroll his first start of the season. The West Ham manager fielded Aaron Cresswell and Carl Jenkinson as wing-backs at Goodison Park and clearly looked to utilise Carroll’s aerial abilities, with the visitors delivering 45 crosses in the 2-1 defeat. Allardyce is hoping to welcome back first-choice pairing Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia this weekend and with Stewart Downing also optimistic of a return, a switch back to a midfield diamond boosts their chances of earning the points, with Carroll perhaps poised to return to the bench.

Louis van Gaal also rolled out a three-man backline last weekend as Manchester United won on their travels for the first time this term. Moving away from a recent 4-1-4-1 set-up, the Red Devils manager rolled out a 3-4-1-2 formation, with Wayne Rooney tucked in behind Robin van Persie and Angel di Maria. With Marcos Rojo still injured and Luke Shaw limping off at the Emirates due to an ankle problem, Van Gaal has real concerns at left-back and could continue with the same tactics, potentially retaining Di Maria in a more advanced central role when Hull pay visit to Old Trafford.

Arsene Wenger also changed his tactics for last Sunday’s encounter. The Gunners boss moved from a 4-4-2 formation to 4-2-3-1 and shifted Alexis Sanchez to the flank, with Danny Welbeck handed the lone forward role against his former club. After scoring five times in the previous three Gameweeks in a central position, Sanchez will be pushing for a return to the middle for this weekend’s trip to West Brom, though, and with Olivier Giroud grabbing a goal off the bench, Welbeck, who is an injury doubt, could be shifted to the left or even preserved on the bench.

By the numbers

A first-half strike against West Bromwich Albion took Diego Costa onto 11 goals for the season last weekend. The Chelsea striker sits just one behind Sergio Aguero in the race for the Golden Boot, yet has fired only half the number of attempts on goal this term, producing 32 efforts to the Argentine’s 64.

Delving into the data, The Scout assesses the top ten regular forwards in terms of frequency of attempts, highlighting those who have offered the most consistent threat over the opening 12 Gameweeks.

Sergio Aguero (MCY) 14.5 64 52 30 12
Mario Balotelli (LIV) 20.3 35 15 12 0
Graziano Pelle (SOU) 23.4 48 41 13 6
Charlie Austin (QPR) 24.0 41 26 15 6
Wilfried Bony (SWA) 24.3 33 22 12 5
Diafra Sakho (WHU) 25.2 27 25 8 6
Enner Valencia (WHU) 25.4 27 15 6 3
Diego Costa (CHE) 26.8 32 30 21 11
Lukas Jutkiewicz (BUR) 27.1 30 20 8 0
Romelu Lukaku (EVE) 27.6 36 21 14 5

Aguero leads the way for each of the key goal statistics. Averaging an attempt on goal every 14.5 minutes, the Manchester City frontman has registered 52 shots inside the box, with 30 of his efforts on target.

Southampton’s Graziano Pelle is second only to Aguero for shots (48) and attempts inside the penalty box, with 41 over his 12 appearances. Despite his close-range menace, the summer signing has managed only 13 on target and found the net on six occasions.

Charlie Austin has excelled as a budget option for Queens Park Rangers. Priced at just 5.9, he’s fired an effort every 24 minutes and has scored six of his side’s 11 goals to date.

West Ham new boys Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia have both registered 27 efforts on goal since arriving in the top-flight. Sakho is the greater close-range threat, though – he’s fired 25 attempts inside the box to Valencia’s 15 and has resultantly scored double the number of goals, by six strikes to three.

Costa’s predatory nature inside the box is underlined by the statistics. With 30 of his 32 shots arriving from close-range, the Chelsea striker rarely attempts a speculative effort – as a result, he’s scored with 34% of his attempts this season, the most clinical record in the top-flight.

Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli has fired 35 shots – three more than Costa – at an average of 20.3 minutes per attempt. The Italian, along with Burnley’s Lukas Jutkiewicz – has been woefully off-form, however; the duo have produced a total of 65 shots between them yet have failed to manage a single goal.

Ones to Watch

Kieran Trippier – the Burnley right-back looks a strong contender for returns at both ends of the pitch this weekend. Trippier’s assist and clean sheets in the Clarets’ previous home encounter served up a 12-point return and, with visitors Aston Villa scoring just twice in the last eight Gameweeks, the 4.8-priced defender could be in the points again.

Jefferson Montero – having started each of the last four Gameweeks, the Swansea summer signing looks to have cemented a place in Garry Monk’s starting XI. Montero has provided an assist in each of his two home appearances over that period and looks poised to torment Crystal Palace at the Liberty Stadium this weekend. At a price of 5.7 and owned by less than 1% of Fantasy managers, he offers an alternative to the more popular Gylfi Sigurdsson in the Swans’ midfield.

Rickie Lambert – it took the Liverpool forward less than 90 seconds to get amongst the goals in last week’s defeat at Selhurst Park. With Mario Balotelli struggling for form and fitness, the 6.9-priced Lambert, who also notched on midweek Champions League duties, seems set to retain the lone forward role as the Reds entertain Stoke City. The Potters have conceded in each of the last six Gameweeks.

Wayne Rooney – the Manchester United skipper looks to be finding his form just in time for the festive period. Owned by just 14% of Fantasy managers, Rooney grabbed a goal and maximum bonus points in last Sunday’s win at Arsenal will fancy his chances of delivering once again as Hull roll up to Old Trafford.

Olivier Giroud – finally recovered from an ankle injury, the Arsenal striker made an immediate impact off the bench last time around. Giroud’s late consolation against the Red Devils strengthened his case for a first-team spot and with Danny Welbeck continuing to misfire through the middle, the Frenchman could be set for a leading role as the Gunners travel to the Hawthorns.

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  • Sergio Aguero
  • Rickie Lambert
  • Olivier Giroud

Fantasy Premier League Scout review – Gameweek 12

Danny Ings grabbed maximum Bonus Points for the first time in Gameweek 12 of Fantasy Premier League. The forward netted twice to give Burnley their second successive victory in the Barclays Premier League.

Chelsea 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

3: Eden Hazard (CHE), Cesc Fabregas (CHE)
1: Gary Cahill (CHE)

Chelsea midfield duo Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas both collected maximum Bonus Points (BP) as the Barclays Premier League leaders continued their unbeaten start to the season. Hazard scored the second goal of the match and completed five dribbles. Spain international Fabregas provided the assist for Hazard and also completed 94% of his 153 passes and created a further two big chances.

Gary Cahill grabbed a single BP after helping his side keep a clean sheet. The Chelsea centre back ended a fine display with a passing accuracy of 98%, seven recoveries and two tackles. Diego Costa scored Chelsea’s first, but missed out on BP after missing three big chances and being tackled five times.

Everton 2-1 West Ham United

3: Leon Osman (EVE)
2: Mauro Zarate (WHU)
1: Romelu Lukaku (EVE)

Leon Osman registered three BP after scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 victory for Everton at Goodison Park. The Toffees’ midfielder also had a 93% pass completion rate and produced three key passes, eight recoveries and six clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI).

Mauro Zarate, who made three key passes, picked up his first BP since Gameweek 2 as he scored the equalising goal for West Ham United shortly after coming on as a substitute in the second half. Romelu Lukaku earned a single BP following his fifth goal of the season, which had given Everton the lead in the first half.

Leicester City 0-0 Sunderland

3: John O’Shea (SUN)
2: Costel Pantilimon (SUN)
1: Kasper Schmeichel (LEI), Santiago Vergini (SUN)

John O'Shea helped shut out Leicester City and earned maximum BP as a result. The Sunderland defender made six CBI, five recoveries and completed over 80% of his attempted passes.

Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon kept a clean sheet by making four saves and 10 recoveries to gain his first BP of the season. Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini both received one BP. Schmeichel pulled off five saves for a clean sheet, while Vergini successfully made three tackles and completed as many dribbles.

Manchester City 2-1 Swansea City

3: Yaya Toure (MCI)

2: Stevan Jovetic (MCI)
1: Wilfried Bony (SWA)

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure gained maximum BP for the second time this season after scoring the winner against Swansea City. As well as having an 88% pass completion rate, Toure also made three key passes, seven recoveries and two dribbles.

Stevan Jovetic registered his first BP since Gameweek 2. The Man City forward, who completed four dribbles, scored the hosts’ first of the match to level the scores at 1-1 before Toure's winner. Swansea forward Wilfried Bony put the visitors ahead inside the opening 10 minutes of the match and received a single BP as a result.

Newcastle United 1-0 Queens Park Rangers

3: Moussa Sissoko (NEW)
2: Massadio Haidara (NEW), Tim Krul (NEW)

Newcastle United made it five consecutive Barclays Premier League victories thanks to Moussa Sissoko’s strike 12 minutes from full-time. The Magpies midfielder also created two big chances, completed three key passes, and made two dribbles and six recoveries.

Massadio Haidara earned one BP after helping Newcastle preserve a clean sheet in front of their home crowd. The defender produced nine CBI and completed 84% of his passes. Tim Krul made four saves and recovered the ball 12 times on his way to a share of two BP and a fifth clean sheet of the top flight season.

Stoke City 1-2 Burnley

3: Danny Ings (BUR)
2: Bojan (STK)
1: Jonathan Walters (STK)

Danny Ings earned three BP as he helped guide Burnley to back-to-back Barclays Premier League triumphs. Ings’ first maximum BP haul of the season was helped by two clinical finishes in the box and six recoveries.

Stoke City’s Bojan was rewarded with two BP following an impressive performance, which consisted of an assist, creating a further three big chances, four dribbles and a total of six open play crosses and key passes. Jonathan Walters scored from Bojan’s assist to register his third single BP of the season.

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

3: Wayne Rooney (MUN)
2: Antonio Valencia (MUN)
1: Mikel Arteta (ARS)

Wayne Rooney returned to the Emirates Stadium to haunt Arsenal again as he scored his 11th goal against the Gunners. Rooney’s winning strike was accompanied with three key passes, two dribbles, an 86% pass completion rate and the Manchester United forward created a big chance.

Antonio Valencia’s first BP since Gameweek 2 came courtesy of an assist, five successful tackles, nine recoveries and a passing accuracy of above 80%. Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta claimed an assist and produced 11 recoveries, two tackles and a passing accuracy of 88% to record his first BP since the opening Gameweek.

Crystal Palace 3-1 Liverpool

3: Dwight Gayle (CRY)
2: Yannick Bolasie (CRY)
1: Joe Ledley (CRY)

Dwight Gayle opened the scoring for Crystal Palace as the Eagles came from behind to beat Liverpool at Selhurst Park. He also provided an assist as he picked up his first BP of the season.

Lively Palace midfielder Yannick Bolasie provided two assists for his side, created a further big chance and completed six recoveries, three dribbles and as many key passes. Joe Ledley struck the winning goal to lift the home side out of the relegation zone and earn a single BP.

Hull City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

3: Christian Eriksen (TOT)
2: Harry Kane (TOT)
1: Erik Lamela (TOT)

Christian Eriksen scored late on to provide Tottenham Hotspur with a dramatic victory at the KC Stadium. The midfielder made nine recoveries and also completed 92% of his attempted passes, with five of those being key.

Harry Kane, who completed 83% of his passes, grabbed the equaliser for Spurs in the second half and was rewarded with a couple of BP as a result. Erik Lamela was on good form as he successfully dribbled past an opponent eight times and finished the match with a 92% pass completion rate. Hull City took the lead thanks to Jake Livermore, but the midfielder missed out on BP due to a yellow card and not making enough passes.

Aston Villa 1-1 Southampton

3: Gabriel Agbonlahor (AVL)
2: Ryan Bertrand (SOU)
1: Ciaran Clark (AVL)

Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor capitalised on a rare Southampton error to give his team the lead in the first half. Agbonlahor's first goal since Gameweek 4 capped a hard working performance, which consisted of successful dribbles, key passes and he also created a big chance.

Ryan Bertrand’s persistence down the left flank was rewarded with a couple of BP. The Southampton defender registered an assist, two key passes and a pass completion rate of 87%. Ciaran Clark earned a single BP in his third start of the Barclays Premier League season. The Aston Villa defender recorded an assist for Agbonlahor’s goal, created a further big chance and made 14 CBI. Nathaniel Clyne scored Southampton’s equaliser, but missed out on BP due to a late yellow card.

  • Danny Ings
  • Leon Osman
  • Wayne Rooney
  • Christian Eriksen

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 12

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

Charlie Evans - Absolutely Fabregas

Prognosis: After falling behind in his mini-league, Charlie is keen to bring in a couple of new faces to boost his chances of a rise up the rankings. Up front, Danny Welbeck and Fraizer Campbell are to be shown the door and with Southampton facing a tough schedule of fixtures, Charlie may need to reassess his recent decision to snap up a couple of Saints defenders.

Treatment: Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane offers a cut-price solution up front. Available for just 4.8, the youngster has started each of the last two Gameweeks and could come in for Crystal Palace’s Campbell, who was dropped to the bench last weekend by Neil Warnock. By acquiring Swansea City’s Neil Taylor for Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne, Charlie would then free up the cash required to draft in the former’s team-mate Wilfried Bony as a replacement for Welbeck – the Ivorian has now scored five goals in the last six Gameweeks after netting at Manchester City last weekend.

Chances of Recovery: Both Taylor and Bony are set for a kind upcoming run of matches that should boost their points potential. Over the next six Gameweeks, the Swans duo entertain Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa and also have a trip to Hull City on their short-term agenda. Garry Monk’s side have conceded just three times in six home matches, suggesting Taylor could be good value at 4.6. Kane’s strike against Hull took his tally to 11 goals in 16 appearances and he now has three home matches in the next five to maintain his form, as Everton, Crystal Palace and Burnley roll up to White Hart Lane.

Kieran Midha - Dyslexia United

Prognosis: Kieran has made Chelsea’s Diego Costa his number one transfer target, after the Chelsea striker took his tally to 11 goals in 10 appearances last Saturday. In order to acquire the Spain international, Kieran will have to part company with one of his three premium priced midfielders and he’s earmarked Angel di Maria as the man to make way in order to free up funds.

Treatment: With the consistent Cesc Fabregas and free-scoring Alexis Sanchez also on board in midfield, Kieran could turn to Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson as a Di Maria replacement. Given that there are injury doubts hovering over mid-price alternatives such as Stewart Downing and Nacer Chadli, Sigurdsson, who is priced at 6.7, looks a strong selection ahead of the Swans’ above-mentioned schedule. This trade would enable Kieran to transfer out Graziano Pelle – who faces Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United in the next three Gameweeks – for Chelsea’s Costa up front.

Chances of Recovery: With a run of four home fixtures in the next six, Sigurdsson’s short-term prospects look full of promise. The midfielder has played a part in seven of his side’s 10 goals at the Liberty Stadium, producing a goal and six assists in front of his own fans. By drafting in Costa alongside Sergio Aguero and Charlie Austin up front, Kieran has three of the most in-form frontman in the Premier League leading the lines. Costa and Aguero rotate on a home/away basis for a number of weeks from Gameweek 14 onwards – a scenario that may help Kieran with the all-important captaincy call and propel him up the rankings.

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