The Scout Preview - Gameweek 16
Three of the top six teams face home comforts this weekend as The Scout assesses the Gameweek 16 schedule.
League leaders Chelsea attempt to bounce back from their first defeat of the season as Hull City roll up to Stamford Bridge. Arsenal entertain in-form Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening, while Manchester United seek a sixth successive win as rivals Liverpool pay visit to Old Trafford.
Elsewhere, champions Manchester City look for a fifth straight victory away to Leicester City. Third-placed West Ham United travel to Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion play host to midlands neighbours Aston Villa, whilst Everton hope to take advantage of travel-sick Queens Park Rangers.
With the injuries now easing up front for West Ham, Sam Allardyce returned to a midfield diamond formation for last weekend’s win over Swansea. The Hammers boss moved away from a lone striker system and partnered Andy Carroll with Enner Valencia, allowing Stewart Downing to return to a central role behind the front pair. Valencia’s half-time withdrawal saw fit-again Diafra Sakho return to action and, whilst Carroll’s brace hogged the headlines, the Senegal striker took his tally to seven strikes in eight starts in the Premier League, suggesting he could be set to start alongside the big Geordie as the Hammers pay visit to Sunderland this weekend.
Saido Berahino’s owners were given cause for concern last Saturday after the West Brom forward was dropped for the first time this season. Previously utilised as the Baggies lone forward, the youngster was shifted to the left flank for the Gameweek 14 loss to West Ham before being dropped to the bench at the KC Stadium. Berahino has now failed to score in each of his previous six appearances and with concerns over the 5.9-priced striker’s pitch time, his 17% owners may be forced to look elsewhere as Alan Irvine rotates his squad to cope with the festive schedule.
Mark Hughes’ decision to hand Peter Crouch his first start since October proved a masterstroke as Stoke ended a run of three straight losses at home to Arsenal. The Potters’ boss has mainly preferred Mame Biram Diouf as the lone forward in a 4-2-3-1 formation but, with injury concerns over a number of players out wide, shifted the Senegal striker to the flank in order to accommodate Crouch up front. The target man bagged a goal and assist in the 3-2 home win over the Gunners and his impact through the middle suggests he may be set to stake a claim for a regular role once again, as the Staffordshire outfit prepare for a weekend trip to Crystal Palace.
By the numbers
Fantasy managers are frantically scouring the transfer market this week after Sergio Aguero was ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury. As our search for an Aguero replacement intensifies, The Scout delves into the data to assess the in-form forwards who have offered the greatest goal threat over the last four Gameweeks.
|Wilfried Bony (SWA)||19||13||5||3||8.5||10%|
|Sergio Aguero (MCI)||17||13||4||2||12.7||31%|
|Andy Carroll (WHU)||14||12||4||2||6.9||1%|
|Harry Kane (TOT)||14||5||5||1||5.0||5%|
|Graziano Pelle (SOU)||14||12||5||1||8.1||22%|
|Charlie Austin (QPR)||13||8||7||2||6.1||12%|
|Romelu Lukaku (EVE)||13||8||7||2||9.0||9%|
|Danny Welbeck (ARS)||13||12||7||1||7.2||13%|
|Diego Costa (CHE)||11||9||5||1||11.0||53%|
|Danny Ings (BUR)||11||9||5||3||5.8||2%|
Swansea’s Wilfried Bony has fired more attempts (19) than any forward in this four Gameweek spell. Available for 8.5, the Ivorian has registered 13 shots inside the penalty area, with his close-range threat helping him net three times.
Aguero managed 14 shots across the featured period but suffered from a surprising lack of accuracy. Only four of those attempts were on target as the Argentine found the net on a couple of occasions.
West Ham’s fit-again Andy Carroll and Southampton frontman Graziano Pelle are neck-and-neck for both shots (14) and efforts in the penalty area, with 12 apiece. Owned by just under 1% of Fantasy managers, the former is proving an excellent differential at a price of 6.9.
Charlie Austin, Romelu Lukaku and Danny Welbeck have all managed 13 attempts in the last four rounds of fixtures. Of the three, Welbeck has offered the greatest close-range threat, firing 12 efforts inside the box, but the Arsenal striker has been the least prolific and netted only once. Lukaku and Austin have bagged two apiece, though the latter is set to serve a one-match ban in Gameweek 16 after being dismissed against Burnley last weekend.
Like Austin, Burnley’s Danny Ings is proving a solid budget option. Setting you back just 5.8, the Clarets forward has equaled Chelsea’s Diego Costa for shots (11), efforts inside the box (nine) and shots on target (five) from Gameweek 12 onwards. Ings has scored on three occasions over that period, yet is owned by only 2% of Fantasy managers.
Ones to Watch
Seamus Coleman – Everton’s raiding right-back looks a strong prospect for points at both ends of the pitch as QPR roll up to Goodison Park on Monday evening. Coleman already has two goals and a couple of assists to his name and with Harry Redknapp’s side devoid of top scorer Charlie Austin through suspension, a first shut-out in six attempts looks on the cards for the Toffees.
Oscar – with Cesc Fabregas suspended for the weekend visit of Hull, the Brazilian’s creativity will be key as the league leaders look to recover from their shock defeat at Newcastle. Oscar has scored or assisted in each of his last three appearances at Stamford Bridge and will fancy his chances of extending that streak against Steve Bruce’s strugglers on Saturday afternoon.
Aaron Ramsey – a midweek brace against Galatasaray took the Welshman’s tally to three goals in his last two appearances. Subbed off at the break in Turkey as a precaution, Ramsey is finally starting to mirror last season’s goal scoring heroics ahead of a home clash with a Newcastle side hit hard by injury and suspension.
Jon Walters – the Stoke midfielder has stolen under the radar in recent weeks, despite a series of eye-catching displays. The 5.2-priced Walters has now racked up three goals and an assist in his last four appearances and pays visit to a Crystal Palace side with just a single clean sheet in their last nine outings.
Edin Dzeko – a peripheral figure for Manchester City so far, the Bosnian looks set to benefit from Sergio Aguero’s injury absence. Dzeko’s 16 goals were key to his side’s title-winning season last time around and, given the pitch time, he’s proven to be a consistent top-flight performer. With a trip to basement-dwellers Leicester City up next, he has the chance to fire his way back onto Fantasy radars.
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