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The Scout Preview - Gameweek 27

Three of the top six teams in the Barclays Premier League enjoy home comforts this weekend as The Scout assesses the Gameweek 27 schedule.

In-form Liverpool entertain champions Manchester City at Anfield as Brendan Rodgers’ side attempt to extend their ten-match unbeaten run. Arsenal are looking for a seventh successive home victory in the top-flight as Everton roll up to the Emirates Stadium, whilst Manchester United welcome Sunderland to Old Trafford.

Elsewhere, West Bromwich Albion host Southampton at the Hawthorns, Hull City are seeking a third straight win as they travel to Stoke City and West Ham United entertain London rivals Crystal Palace to Upton Park.

Fantasy managers should also be aware that Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Leicester City are without a fixture this weekend due to the former pair’s Capital One Cup Final showdown on Sunday March 1.

Talking tactics

Gus Poyet’s decision to drop Patrick van Aanholt for Sunderland’s home clash with West Brom could deprive Fantasy managers of a valid budget option for their five-man defences. Priced at just 4.3, the left-back had previously started every league match he was available for but was shifted to the bench after the Black Cats lost 2-0 at home to QPR in the previous Gameweek. The Wearsiders have registered just three clean sheets in 15 matches with Van Aanholt in the starting line-up compared to six shut-outs in 11 matches without him, suggesting his raids down the left may be detrimental to their defensive resilience.

Alan Pardew rolled out a 4-1-4-1 formation for Crystal Palace’s home encounter with Arsenal last weekend. With numerous options in attacking midfield, the Eagles manager shifted Jason Puncheon into a central position as Wilfried Zaha and Dwight Gayle were handed the wide roles, whilst Yannick Bolasie had to rely on pitch time off the bench. Pardew shifted to a 4-4-2 late on and despite the defeat, saw his side produce 22 shots against the Gunners. Since Pardew arrived at Selhurst Park in Gameweek 21, Palace have produced 61 shots from inside the penalty box – more than any other side in the Premier League.

Wayne Rooney has now started up front in each of Manchester United’s last two matches in all competitions. The Red Devils’ skipper has mainly been utilised as a central midfielder by Louis van Gaal this season but with Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie failing to impress, Rooney was shifted further forward as the Colombian dropped to the bench. With Van Persie struggling to recover from an ankle problem, Rooney could be set to retain his more advanced berth – offering his 15% owners hope after he failed to produce points in each of his last eight league appearances.

By the numbers

With March almost upon us, The Scout takes a look back at the last 30 days’ action. Listed below are the Premier League’s form players over the previous four rounds of fixtures.

FORM PTS, APPS COST OWNED
Harry Kane (TOT)10.040pts, 4apps6.346%
Mesut Ozil (ARS)8.835pts, 4apps9.15%
David Silva (MCY)7.831pts, 4apps9.519%
Santi Cazorla (ARS)7.831pts, 4apps8.617%
Sergio Aguero (MCY)7.530pts, 4apps12.927%
Eden Hazard (CHE)7.229pts, 4apps10.939%
Samir Nasri (MCY)6.827pts, 3apps8.22%
Dame N’Doye (HUL)6.319pts, 3apps5.51%
Philippe Coutinho (LIV)6.024pts, 4apps7.74%
Daley Blind (MUN)6.024pts, 4apps5.21%

Tottenham’s Harry Kane scored six goals over his four appearances. The 6.3-priced forward produced three sets of double-figures and is now the most popular player in the Fantasy Premier League game, with an ownership in excess of 46%.

Arsenal midfield pair Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla had a profitable last four fixtures. Owned by just 5% of Fantasy managers, the German served up two goals, three assists and six bonus points (BP) since returning from injury, whilst Cazorla has supplemented a pair of converted spot-kicks with two assists.

Manchester City trio David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri also feature. Silva has delivered three goals, a pair of assists and four BP, with a 17-point haul against Newcastle in Gameweek 26 the main highlight. Aguero has chipped in with three goals and as many assists, producing returns in all four of his outings. Fit-again Nasri has played three of the last four and delivered two goals, a couple of assists and five bonus points.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has managed just a goal and two assists but his displays have earned him maximum BP in three of his last four appearances. Hull’s new signing Dame N’Doye has only been available for the last three Gameweeks after arriving late in the winter transfer window. After earning his debut off the bench, the 5.5-priced forward has subsequently produced two goals and an assist in a pair of starts for the Tigers.

Ones to Watch

Laurent Koscielny – a home clash with Everton brings the Arsenal defender to The Scout’s attention this weekend. Koscielny has produced two goals and a pair of clean sheets in his last three home appearances and faces an out-of-sorts attack that’s scored just four times in the last seven Gameweeks.

Kieran Trippier – one of the Premier League’s form defenders, Trippier has now earned three assists in his last five appearances after teeing up Ben Mee’s equaliser at Chelsea last Saturday. Given that visitors Swansea have scored just twice in their last three road trips, the Clarets full-back could be poised to pick up points at both ends of the pitch.

Scott Sinclair – Tim Sherwood’s arrival at Aston Villa has boosted the winger’s prospects in recent weeks. Sinclair has scored in each of the last two matches in all competitions and his eye for goal could be crucial as the midlands outfit visit an injury-hit Newcastle side that has conceded in all but one of the last 14 Gameweeks.

Ander Herrera – the Spaniard has benefitted from Wayne Rooney’s recent move up front and has started each of the last two domestic matches. Having notched an FA Cup goal against Preston North End, Herrera fired Manchester United’s opener away to Swansea last Saturday and with an ownership of just 2%, looks a real differential option at home to struggling Sunderland.

Diafra Sakho – a goal against Tottenham last weekend hints at a return to form for the West Ham striker. With Andy Carroll out for the season, Sakho looks poised to lead the line at home to Crystal Palace and at a price of just 5.5, has registered an impressive 4.8 points per appearance so far.

NEW Scout Extra

Exclusive to premierleague.com The Scout is now writing two new weekly features. Both are available here:

GW27 Scout Extra: Chelsea stars' absence forces hard sell

GW27 Scout Extra: Cut-price Moses showing true value

  • Samir Nasri
  • Laurent Koscielny
  • Scott Sinclair

Fantasy Premier League Scout Review – Gameweek 26

Manchester City fired five past Newcastle United in Gameweek 26, with David Silva scoring two and setting up another. The Spain midfielder collected his fourth maximum Bonus Points haul of the season as a result of his performance at the Etihad Stadium.

Aston Villa 1-2 Stoke City

3: Victor Moses (STK), Mame Biram Diouf (STK)
1: Scott Sinclair (AVL)

Stoke City duo Victor Moses and Mame Biram Diouf helped their side to a 2-1 away win at Aston Villa. Midfielder Moses scored the winning goal in the final moments of the match, and the 24-year-old also completed seven recoveries. Forward Diouf equalised for Stoke on the stroke of half-time with an accurate header from inside the box to earn maximum Bonus Points (BP) alongside Moses.

Aston Villa midfielder Scott Sinclair scored his first Barclays Premier League goal for the club to put the home side ahead after 20 minutes. Sinclair’s well executed header resulted in the 25-year-old claiming his first BP of the current campaign.

Chelsea 1-1 Burnley

3: Eden Hazard (CHE)
2: Filipe Luis (CHE)
1: Ben Mee (BUR)

Eden Hazard secured his third maximum BP haul in the last four Gameweeks in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Burnley at Stamford Bridge. The Belgium midfielder provided an assist, created a big chance, completed seven dribbles, four key passes and recovered the ball as many times for the hosts.

Chelsea defender Filipe Luis earned a couple of BP after making 12 recoveries, four successful tackles and seven clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI). Luis additionally had a passing accuracy above 80% and the two BP were his first of the season.

Burnley defender Ben Mee scored the equalising goal for the Clarets in the final 10 minutes to provide the visitors with a crucial point in their fight for safety. The full-back’s header from close range was his second of the season and he was rewarded with a single BP.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal

3: Santi Cazorla (ARS)
2: Olivier Giroud (ARS)
1: Danny Welbeck (ARS)

Arsenal’s 2-1 away win at Crystal Palace pushed the Gunners into third place in the Barclays Premier League. Santi Cazorla was again on top form. The midfielder scored from the penalty spot to give Arsenal the lead, while also producing 14 recoveries, eight CBI, four tackles and three dribbles.

France striker Olivier Giroud, who completed a couple of successful dribbles, ultimately scored the winning goal after putting the north London club into a 2-0 lead in first half stoppage-time. He slotted home from close range and now has eight BP for the season.

England forward Danny Welbeck achieved his first BP since his return from injury. The 24-year-old assisted both of Arsenal’s goals, plus completed three dribbles and four recoveries. Welbeck received a single BP as a result, nudging out Glenn Murray who scored for Crystal Palace, but missed the target twice in a 12-minute cameo appearance.

Hull City 2-1 Queens Park Rangers

3: Robbie Brady (HUL), Charlie Austin (QPR)
1: Nikica Jelavic (HUL)

Midfielder Robbie Brady grabbed maximum BP in Hull City’s 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers, whose forward Charlie Austin also achieved the same feat. Brady provided an assist, created a big chance, produced 10 CBI, seven recoveries and five successful tackles. Austin’s three BP came courtesy of his 14th Barclays Premier League goal, plus a key pass and successful dribble.

Hull forward Nikica Jelavic scored in consecutive Gameweeks for the first time since August to record a single BP. Jelavic opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a right-footed shot from inside the area he now has six BP to his name this season.

Sunderland 0-0 West Bromwich Albion

3: Santiago Vergini (SUN)
2: Anthony Reveillere (SUN)
1: John O’Shea (SUN)

Three Sunderland defenders registered BP from their 0-0 draw versus West Bromwich Albion at the Stadium of Light. Of the three defenders, Santiago Vergini claimed maximum BP thanks to a clean sheet, a pass completion rate of 88%, two dribbles, six CBI and the same amount of recoveries.

Anthony Reveillere picked up a couple of BP to take his total to seven for the campaign. The 35-year-old full-back combined his clean sheet with a passing accuracy over 80%, plus five recoveries, three CBI, two dribbles and an open play cross.

John O’Shea recorded a single BP as he shut out any West Brom attacks with eight CBI and six recoveries. The centre-back nudged out West Brom’s goalkeeper Ben Foster and defender Gareth McAuley, who both narrowly missed out on BP due to not completing enough passes.

Swansea City 2-1 Manchester United

3: Ander Herrera (MUN), Angel Di Maria (MUN)
1: Jonjo Shelvey (SWA)

Manchester United’s Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria collected maximum BP despite being on the losing end of a 2-1 result at Swansea City. Herrera scored the opening goal of the match, recovered the ball eight times and completed 89% of his passes. Di Maria provided the assist for Herrera, created a big chance, produced five key passes, three open play crosses and six recoveries.

Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey assisted both Swansea goals to help him achieve one BP. The 22-year-old additionally recovered the ball eight times, produced two open play crosses and successfully accomplished three dribbles and key passes apiece.

Manchester City 5-0 Newcastle United

3: David Silva (MCI)
2: Samir Nasri (MCI)
1: Sergio Aguero (MCI)

Manchester City brushed Newcastle United aside in a 5-0 win, with David Silva at his attacking best. The 29-year-old Spain midfielder scored twice, assisted another, created a further big chance and successfully completed 90% of his attempted passes.

Samir Nasri grabbed a goal and an assist for the second consecutive Gameweek to collect two BP and take his tally to six for the season. The Man City midfielder also created a big chance and achieved a passing accuracy above 90%.

Sergio Aguero netted his 17th Barclays Premier League goal of the season on his way to a 20th BP of the current campaign. The Argentina forward opened the scoring, while also registering his sixth Fantasy assist and completing two dribbles.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 West Ham United

3: Danny Rose (TOT)
2: Adrian (WHU), Mark Noble (WHU)

Danny Rose scored his second Barclays Premier League goal of the season in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-2 draw with West Ham United. The 24-year-old defender scored, created a big chance, recovered the ball on seven occasions, tackled an opponent four times and completed four key passes.

West Ham goalkeeper Adrian secured his first BP of the campaign, while Hammers’ captain Mark Noble also collected two BP. Adrian achieved a couple of BP due to six saves, including one from a penalty, plus he made eight recoveries. Noble recorded an assist, produced five key passes and created a big chance.

Everton 2-2 Leicester City

3: Steven Naismith (EVE)
2: Esteban Cambiasso (LEI)
1: Jamie Vardy (LEI)

Everton and Leicester City played out their second 2-2 draw of the Barclays Premier League season. Steven Naismith netted his seventh FPL goal of the campaign to give Everton the lead, while the Scotland forward also created a big chance, completed 88% of his passes and made seven CBI.

Leicester midfielder Esteban Cambiasso registered a couple of BP thanks to a goal that gave his team a 2-1 lead, plus the 34-year-old recovered the ball eight times, completed a dribble and a key pass. Cambiasso’s two BP were his first since Gameweek 13, in which he achieved the maximum.

Jamie Vardy secured a single BP, his first since a maximum in Gameweek 5 after bringing Leicester to life in his 29-minute second half appearance. The forward assisted both of Leicester’s goals, plus created a big chance and completed two tackles.

Southampton 0-2 Liverpool

3: Philippe Coutinho (LIV)
2: Simon Mignolet (LIV)
1: Martin Skrtel (LIV)

Liverpool boosted their top four hopes with a 2-0 victory at Southampton. Philippe Coutinho gave Liverpool the lead after three minutes with a goal of the season contender, as well as producing a passing accuracy of 80%, six recoveries and two successful tackles.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet helped secure Liverpool a fifth consecutive away clean sheet in the Barclays Premier League. The Belgium stopper recovered the ball 14 times and made a total of five saves for a couple of BP.

Slovakia international defender Martin Skrtel combined his ninth Barclays Premier League clean sheet of the campaign with 19 CBI and four recoveries. Skrtel’s performance at the back earned a single BP, taking his tally to 17 for the season.

  • David Silva
  • Santi Cazorla
  • Steven Naismith
  • Philippe Coutinho

The Scout Surgery - Gameweek 26

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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.

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Lewis Shepherd - Exeter Gently

Prognosis: Lewis has a number of concerns ahead of Gameweek 27. All three of his Chelsea contingent are without a fixture due to their Capital One Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur. Elsewhere, Newcastle United’s Jack Colback is suspended for two matches and Stoke City’s Andy Wilkinson has failed to play a single minute of Premier League action this season.

Treatment: Bringing in Southampton’s Sadio Mane for Cesc Fabregas helps free up cash in the centre of the park. The Senegal international was dropped for arriving late for last weekend’s clash with Liverpool but, bearing in mind he has scored in four of his last five starts, is expected to return to the first XI as the Saints look to get their bid for a top four finish back on track. Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters offers an alternative to Colback and has delivered three goals and an assist in his last four appearances. Lewis should also swap out Wilkinson for a first-team regular – Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny has produced two goals, three clean sheets and four bonus points in the last six Gameweeks. In addition, these trades will ensure Lewis has enough cash remaining to acquire Harry Kane for Danny Ings in Gameweek 28, where Tottenham are set to play twice.

Chances of Recovery: These changes not only freshen up Lewis’ squad, they ensure he has 11 outfield players for Gameweek 27. Mane is set to host Crystal Palace, Burnley and Hull City and also travels to West Bromwich Albion and Everton in the next six Gameweeks. Arsenal’s bid for a top three finish is boosted by showdowns against Everton, Queens Park Rangers, West Ham United, Newcastle United and Burnley over the same period, whilst Walters has three home fixtures in the upcoming four, as Hull, Everton and Crystal Palace roll up to the Britannia Stadium.

Patrick McCartney - Le Maq Sportif

Prognosis: Patrick also has three Chelsea players and Tottenham’s Kane nestled in his 15-man ahead of their Gameweek 27 blanks. He’s looking to replace West Brom’s Andre Wisdom, who has dropped down the pecking order in recent weeks due to a defensive reshuffle by Tony Pulis.

Treatment: Swapping out Wisdom for team-mate Joleon Lescott could be a wise decision. The latter has played every minute under his new manager so far and helped the Baggies produce four clean sheets in six Gameweeks. Patrick could then turn to Manchester City’s David Silva as a replacement for Fabregas in the centre of the park. Silva has produced three goals, two assists and four bonus points in his last four appearances and looks key to the champions’ chances of overhauling Chelsea at the summit.

Chances of Recovery: Both Lescott and Silva are set for excellent upcoming fixtures that should boost their points potential. West Brom play host to Southampton, Stoke, QPR and Leicester in the next six Gameweeks and also make their way to Aston Villa. Silva entertains Leicester and West Brom and travels to Burnley and Crystal Palace in the upcoming five rounds of fixtures.

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