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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 30

Four of the top seven sides in the Barclays Premier League enjoy home encounters this weekend as The Scout assesses the upcoming round of fixtures.

Champions Manchester City attempt to bounce back from their loss at Burnley as West Bromwich Albion roll up to the Etihad Stadium in the Gameweek’s early kick-off. Southampton entertain Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur welcome Leicester City to White Hart Lane, whilst Liverpool go head-to-head with Manchester United at Anfield, as Brendan Rodgers’ side seek to extend their 13-match unbeaten streak.

Elsewhere, league leaders Chelsea travel to Hull City, Arsenal make their way to Newcastle United and Aston Villa play host to Swansea City, as the midlands side look for a third straight win under Tim Sherwood.

Talking tactics

Roberto Martinez tinkered with his tactics as Everton ended a five-match winless streak with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Newcastle at Goodison Park. The Toffees manager has mainly utilised a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 system but opted for a 4-4-2 against the Magpies, with Romelu Lukaku joined up front by Arouna Kone. Lukaku bagged a goal and assist before making way on 73 minutes and with a single bonus point also accrued, produced a ten-point haul – his first double-figure return of the season. Bearing in mind that the Merseysiders scored just three times in the previous seven Gameweeks, Martinez could be poised to retain his two-man frontline as the schedule turns kind over the next few fixtures.

Jeffrey Schlupp was handed a change of position for Leicester City’s home clash with Hull last time out. Listed as a defender in the Fantasy Premier League game, the Ghana international has mainly been utilised on the left of midfield this season but Nigel Pearson’s decision to drop Paul Konchesky saw Jamie Vardy handed a role on the left flank as Schlupp moved to left wing-back in a 5-2-3 formation. With Ritchie da Laet replacing Danny Simpson on the opposite side of defence, the Foxes earned their first shut-out in seven attempts and will be hoping to take advantage of a schedule which sees them play six of their final ten fixtures in front of their own fans.

Tim Sherwood’s decision to roll out a two-man frontline has proved pivotal to Aston Villa’s recent renaissance. The Villains’ new manager trialled a midfield diamond in Gameweek 28, with Gabby Agbonlahor handed a role alongside Christian Benteke up front, and the duo responded with a goal apiece in the 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion. Sherwood then turned to a 4-4-2 set-up for the weekend trip to Sunderland and looked on as Agbonlahor and Benteke both scored twice in a 4-0 rout. Considering that the two strikers netted five times between them in the first 25 Gameweeks under Paul Lambert, it’s clear that Sherwood’s decision to move away from a lone forward system and go on the offensive is boosting the pair’s Fantasy potential.

By the numbers

Arsenal’s charge for a top two finish has seen the Gunners win eight of their last nine league fixtures. Whilst Alexis Sanchez has struggled for an end product and scored just once since Gameweek 21, Olivier Giroud has been the form man for Arsene Wenger’s side and has now notched in each of his last four appearances.

With places in our three-man frontlines at a premium, The Scout delves into the data to assesses those strikers who have offered the greatest goal threat over their last four matches.

SHOTS SIB SOT GOALS TIB
Charlie Austin (QPR) 22 12 8 2 22
Diafra Sakho (WHU) 17 16 6 1 43
Harry Kane (TOT) 17 14 7 3 27
Sergio Aguero (MCI) 16 13 3 1 31
Olivier Giroud (ARS) 16 13 7 4 41
Romelu Lukaku (EVE) 16 12 4 1 29
Wayne Rooney (MUN) 15117335
Diego Costa (CHE) 14 13 4 3 41
Daniel Sturridge (LIV) 14 8 5 1 18
Ashley Barnes (BUR) 14 7 8 0 22

Charlie Austin has produced more attempts on goal (22) than any striker in his previous four league appearances. The QPR frontman – who is poised for a double Gameweek 31 after a recent fixture reschedule – is joint top for attempts on target, with eight, and has found the net on a couple of occasions.

Harry Kane and Diafra Sakho have both registered 17 shots apiece. The Hammers striker has managed more efforts in the area (16) and touches in the box (43) than any other forward but has struggled to finish off his chances and netted just once.

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney has clearly benefitted from a recent move up front. The Red Devils skipper has mirrored Kane for shots on target and goals, with seven and three respectively.

Giroud and Sergio Aguero are neck-and-neck for both attempts (16) and shots inside the box (13) over their last four appearances. The Frenchman has been far more clinical, though; producing seven efforts on target, he’s scored four times, whilst Aguero has found the net just once.

Chelsea’s Diego Costa matches Giroud for touches in the opponents’ penalty area (41) and has scored with three of his 14 attempts. Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge has also registered 14 shots on goal but only eight of those have been from close-range – indeed, he’s the lowest of our featured players for touches in the box, with just 18 over his previous four appearances.

Ones to Watch

Toby Alderweireld – a spell on the sidelines has seen the Southampton defender’s price drop to just 4.7 ahead of a home clash with Burnley. Having returned to the first XI against Chelsea last Sunday, Alderweireld offers a cut-price route into a backline that’s produced nine of their 13 clean sheets at St Mary’s Stadium this term.

Aaron Cresswell – with a goal and four assists in his debut season in the top-flight, the left-back has been the stand out performer in West Ham’s rearguard. Playing host to a struggling Sunderland side with a single goal in their last five, Cresswell could be poised for points at both ends of the pitch this Saturday.

Theo Walcott – handed a bench role in the midweek Champions League clash with Monaco, the Arsenal winger could return to the starting XI for a trip to under-strength Newcastle. Walcott’s pace down the right should pose the Magpies left-back Ryan Taylor plenty of problems as the Gunners step up their bid for a top two finish.

Charles N’Zogbia – a peripheral figure under Paul Lambert, the winger has been handed a first-team reprieve by new Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood. N’Zogbia has started each of the last two and helped steer the midlands side to back-to-back victories – priced at just 5.2, he’ll be looking to add to last week’s assist at Sunderland as Swansea make their way to Villa Park.

Romelu Lukaku – a trip to QPR affords the Everton striker a chance to maintain his recent upturn in form. Bearing in mind that Chris Ramsey’s side have lost each of their last four at Loftus Road, Lukaku could be in the points once again as the Toffees look to clamber to mid-table safety.

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  • Charlie Austin
  • Olivier Giroud
  • Romelu Lukaku

Fantasy Premier League Scout Review – Gameweek 30

Harry Kane scored his first Barclays Premier League hat-trick in Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-3 win over Leicester City at White Hart Lane. The Spurs forward scored twice prior to half-time and converted from the penalty spot after the interval to move on to 19 league goals for the season.

Manchester City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion

3: Fernando (MCI)
2: Wilfried Bony (MCI)
1: David Silva (MCI)

Fernando earned maximum Bonus Points (BP) as Manchester City ran out 3-0 winners at home to West Bromwich Albion. The Man City midfielder, who misplaced only two of his 100 attempted passes, scored the second of three goals after assisting the first one of the match.

Wilfried Bony was the man on the end of Fernando’s assist to give the hosts a 1-0 lead after 27 minutes. The Man City forward’s first Barclays Premier League goal for his new club was accompanied with three successful dribbles and as many key passes.

David Silva extended his best goals tally in a single Barclays Premier League season with the third goal of the match. The Spain midfielder additionally provided 11 key passes to claim a single BP, taking his tally to 21 for the 2014/15 campaign.

Aston Villa 0-1 Swansea City

3: Federico Fernandez (SWA), Ashley Williams (SWA)
1: Neil Taylor (SWA)

Defenders Federico Fernandez and Ashley Williams shared maximum BP thanks to their efforts in securing a 1-0 away victory for Swansea City against Aston Villa. Federico accompanied his clean sheet with 11 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI), three dribbles and a pass completion rate of 85%. Williams’ shut out included 10 CBI, plus a passing accuracy of 94%.

Swansea left-back Neil Taylor was rewarded with a single BP for his clean sheet display, which included the creation of a big chance, seven CBI, a successful dribble, key pass and a completed tackle.

Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal

3: Olivier Giroud (ARS)
2: Moussa Sissoko (NEW)
1: Santi Cazorla (ARS), Francis Coquelin (ARS)

Olivier Giroud continued his fine form in front of goal in Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Newcastle United at St James’ Park. The France forward netted twice to give Arsenal a two-goal lead at half-time, which helped the frontman earn his seventh BP in three Gameweeks.

Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko pulled a goal back for the hosts after 48 minutes. The 25-year-old grabbed a couple BP thanks to his goal, which was accompanied by 10 recoveries, three dribbles and two key passes.

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin registered a single BP each. Cazorla recorded an assist, two dribbles, as many key passes and an open play cross, while Coquelin recovered the ball on 13 occasions, made six tackles and had a passing accuracy above 80%.

Southampton 2-0 Burnley

3: Ryan Bertrand (SOU)
2: Shane Long (SOU), Nathaniel Clyne (SOU)

Defender Ryan Bertrand grabbed maximum BP as Southampton beat Burnley 2-0 at home. The Saints left-back recorded an assist, five CBI, two dribbles and a passing accuracy above 80% alongside his 12th Barclays Premier League clean sheet of the season.

Southampton forward Shane Long grabbed two BP, as did fellow club defender Nathaniel Clyne. Long scored the opening goal of the match, completed three dribbles and supplied two open play crosses, while Clyne accompanied a clean sheet with an assist, a passing accuracy of 82%, five CBI and four recoveries.

Tottenham Hotspur 4-3 Leicester City

3: Harry Kane (TOT))
2: Jamie Vardy (LEI)
1: Eric Dier (TOT)

Tottenham Hotspur managed a 4-3 win at home to Leicester City, with forward Harry Kane claiming his eighth maximum BP haul of the campaign. Kane netted his first Barclays Premier League hat-trick thanks to two early first half goals and a penalty after 64 minutes.

Leicester’s Jamie Vardy got on the scoresheet in the Barclays Premier League for the first time since Gameweek 5. The 28-year-old forward also assisted Leicester’s third goal of the match, as well as completing two dribbles and as many key passes.

Spurs defender Eric Dier registered a single BP for his all-round performance at White Hart Lane. Dier produced an assist, created a further big chance, a dribble, an open play cross, plus made 13 CBI, six recoveries, one tackle and achieved a pass completion rate of 80%.

Stoke City 1-2 Crystal Palace

3: Glenn Murray (CRY)
2: Charlie Adam (STK)
1: Wilfried Zaha (CRY)

Crystal Palace forward Glenn Murray helped his side come from behind to beat Stoke City 2-1 at Britannia Stadium. Murray scored the equalising goal from the penalty spot and then registered an assist for the winning goal.

Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam achieved his first BP since Gameweek 8 as he had a hand in giving the hosts a 1-0 lead. Adam recorded an assist, as well as creating two big chances, making six key passes, two tackles and as many successful dribbles.

Wilfried Zaha struck the winning goal in first half added time after getting on the end of Murray’s headed pass. The 22-year-old Crystal Palace midfielder additionally completed two successful dribbles to earn a single BP.

West Ham United 1-0 Sunderland

3: Diafra Sakho (WHU)
2: Mark Noble (WHU)
1: Carl Jenkinson (WHU)

Diafra Sakho’s 88th minute goal was enough to secure West Ham United a 1-0 home win against Sunderland. Along with three key passes, Sakho’s goal earned the 25-year-old his first maximum BP haul since Gameweek 8 and his third of the season.

Mark Noble claimed his fifth Fantasy assist of the campaign, alongside a passing accuracy of 92% and 11 recoveries of the ball. As a result, the 27-year-old West Ham midfielder was rewarded with a couple of BP, taking his tally to nine for the campaign.

West Ham defender Carl Jenkinson recorded his first BP of the season. Jenkinson’s clean sheet was accompanied by a faultless 90-minute display, which included a pass completion rate of 86%, four recoveries and an open play cross.

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United

3: Juan Mata (MUN)
2: Simon Mignolet (LIV)
1: Daniel Sturridge (LIV)

Clinical finishing from Juan Mata earned Manchester United a valuable 2-1 win at Anfield against fellow top-four contenders Liverpool. The Spain midfielder struck either side of half-time, as well as producing three dribbles and a pass completion rate of 91%.

Despite being on the losing side, Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was rewarded two BP. One of the Belgium stopper’s two saves came from a Wayne Rooney penalty, plus the 27-year-old recovered the ball nine times.

England forward Daniel Sturridge scored his fourth Barclays Premier League goal of the season to get Liverpool back in the match at 2-1. Sturridge’s second half finish was enough to claim a single BP, his second in three Gameweeks.

Hull City 2-3 Chelsea

3: Diego Costa (CHE)
2: Eden Hazard (CHE), Loic Remy (CHE)

Chelsea maintained their six point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 3-2 away win at Hull City. Diego Costa registered maximum BP after scoring Chelsea’s second goal and grabbing an assist.

Eden Hazard and Loic Remy both achieved two BP for helping Chelsea achieve three points. Belgium midfielder Hazard opened the scoring after only two minutes, completed 89% of his attempted passes and produced three dribbles. France forward Remy netted the winning goal for the Blues after coming on as a second half substitute.

Ahmed Elmohamady was the nearest Hull player to registering a BP, but despite scoring a goal for the hosts he missed out due to committing four fouls and not completing enough of his 48 attempted passes.

Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Everton

3: Aaron Lennon (EVE)
2: Seamus Coleman (EVE))
1: Mauricio Isla (QPR)

Everton midfielder Aaron Lennon was the difference as Everton won 2-1 at Queens Park Rangers. Lennon secured his first maximum BP haul of the campaign thanks to scoring the winning goal, making seven recoveries and tackling an opponent on four occasions.

Seamus Coleman grabbed two BP for a terrific attacking display from the back. The defender scored Everton’s first after 18 minutes and registered an assist for Lennon’s match-winning goal.

QPR defender Mauricio Isla picked up his 11th BP of the season, despite being on the losing side at Loftus Road. The Chile international completed more than 80% of his attempted passes, made 14 recoveries, five tackles and provided three open play crosses.

  • Harry Kane
  • Fernando
  • Olivier Giroud
  • Juan Mata

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 30

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

Shaba Mulengela - Houghton united

Prognosis: Shaba is desperate to restructure in defence after falling down the overall standings in nine of the last ten Gameweeks. Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs and Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma are far from secure starters for their respective sides, whilst West Bromwich Albion’s Ben Foster has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

Treatment: Gibbs has featured in the Gunners’ first XI in just two of the last ten Gameweeks and could be swapped out for Swansea’s Kyle Naughton. Priced at 4.3, Naughton offers the cheapest route into a defence that has already racked up 11 clean sheets. Shaba could replace Foster with West Brom’s reserve keeper Boaz Myhill - costing just 4.0, he could provide excellent value, given that the Baggies have harvested six shut-outs in ten matches under Tony Pulis. Southampton’s 4.7-priced Toby Alderweireld looks a suitable swap for Zouma, who has been benched in each of the last two Gameweeks as Jose Mourinho opts for experience as his side close in on the title.

Chances of Recovery: All three of Shaba’s new acquisitions have some favourable fixtures on the horizon. Naughton hosts Hull City, Everton and Stoke City in the next five and also travels to Leicester City and Newcastle United. Myhill entertains Queens Park Rangers and Leicester and makes his way to Crystal Palace and Newcastle in the upcoming six, whilst fit-again Alderweireld faces Everton, Hull, Stoke, Sunderland and Leicester as the Saints look to continue the form that has registered more clean sheets (14) than any other side.

Tanat Boonkongchuen - Turquoise Liverpool

Prognosis: Tanat has climbed the rankings in four of the last five Gameweeks and is looking for some consistent options to field alongside the likes of Harry Kane, Olivier Giroud and David Silva in his starting XI. He also has concerns between the posts and is looking for a replacement for the injured Ben Foster.

Treatment: Tanat could replace Eljero Elia with Matty Phillips ahead of QPR’s double Gameweek 31. Available for just 4.6, Phillips has scored or assisted in four of his last six appearances under new manager Chris Ramsey. Southampton’s Kelvin Davis should be lined up to come in for the stricken Foster between the posts – the former is poised for a run of starts following a season-ending injury to team-mate Fraser Forster. With plenty of cash in the bank, Tanat should swap out Ki Sung-Yeung for Eden Hazard, who has nine fixtures left to play in the remaining eight Gameweeks. The Chelsea wide man - who is the top scoring player in the Fantasy Premier League game - has produced three goals, an assist and 11 bonus points in his previous six appearances.

Chances of Recovery: Hazard’s acquisition looks key to a climb up the rankings. Owned by over 40% of Fantasy managers, the Belgian faces Stoke, QPR, Crystal Palace and has a double Gameweek 34 against Arsenal and Leicester over the next five rounds of fixtures. Phillips squares up to West Brom and Aston Villa in Gameweek 31 and affords an in-form option as a cheap fifth midfielder. Coming in at just 4.4, Davis offers the cheapest route into the Saints defence ahead of a schedule that pits them against five of the bottom eight in the next seven Gameweeks.

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