Scout Picks Gameweek 7 early pick: Brighton double-up and Haaland
We’ve put together our Scout Picks “bus team” ahead of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 7.
For those who have never seen this series of articles before, this is an early draft of our regular selections, which are finalized and released much closer to the deadline.
We are limited to a budget of £83.0m for our starting XI, while our bench is also capped after a readers’ vote – although we will continue to offer our ‘alternative’ substitutes in the final scout selections based on the old criteria.
READ MORE: Readers vote for Scout Picks’ substitute bench to be capped
The final picks will stand as they are and cement our weekly selection based on Scouting Team longlist entries and new injury updates, but this Bus Team article – a term coined by boys always cheating – will discuss the players likely to be in contention.
Here we go again, then, with our first thoughts on the runners and racers to select at Gameweek 7, followed by the preliminary picks themselves.
THE LIKELY BOYS
At this early stage, there aren’t too many players you think are “nailed” for Scout Picks duty in Gameweek 7.
For example, Manchester City take on Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad on Saturday night, so we might end up ignoring their strengths, favoring those with softer facilities, bar Erling Haaland (£12.0m) of course.
The Norwegian has become just the second player in Premier League history to reach 10 goals in six starts at Villa Park, and given that impact, it’s almost impossible to pass him up no matter what. ‘opponent.
European injuries/minutes will also need to be watched, with Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and Spurs all in action in the UEFA Champions League this week. Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham United, meanwhile, face tight deadlines from Thursday to Sunday.
- Tuesday, September 6 5:45 p.m.: Dinamo Zagreb vs. chelsea – Champions League
- tuesday september 6 20:00: Sevilla against Manchester City – Champions League
- Wednesday September 7 20:00: Napoli against liverpool – Champions League
- Wednesday September 7 20:00: Tottenham Hotspur against Marseille – Champions League
- Thursday, September 8, 5:45 p.m.: Zürich vs. Arsenal – Europa League
- Thursday September 8 20:00: Manchester United against Real Sociedad – Europa League
- Thursday September 8 20:00: West Ham United against FCSB – Europa Conference League
Trent Alexandre-Arnold (£7.5million) hasn’t quite reached his 2021/22 levels so far this season, with his 58th-minute withdrawal at Goodison Park on Saturday frustrating for his 46.9 per cent ownership . Indeed, he is currently the second best-selling FPL defender ahead of Gameweek 7. However, he has already produced a whopping 17 points at Anfield this season and now faces a timid Wolverhampton Wanderers side who have only scored three times in six games. It’s also worth noting that Bruno Lage’s troops allowed 75 crosses from their left flank, more than any other Cherries sidebar.
Mohammad SalahUnderlying stats of (£13.0m) may be down in some areas, but he’s still produced five attacking returns in six starts. He almost added another against Everton on Saturday too, only for his shot to hit the post late. If that had entered, we’re unlikely to discuss its form, certainly not to the extent that we are now. His wider positioning needs to be watched but despite some concerns it’s hard to let the Egyptian out, especially if the influential Thiago (£5.2m) is set to return.
Elsewhere, defensive representation from Brighton and Hove Albion looks likely ahead of their trip to Bournemouth, with Robert Sanchez (£4.7 million) or lewis dunk (£4.6m) the obvious candidates.
A home game with Everton could also see Gabriel Martinelli (£6.5 million) and Gabriel Jesus (£8.1m) included. The latter has only found the net once in his last four Premier League outings, but with his 20 shots this season coming from inside the penalty area, it surely won’t be long before he adds to his tally.
Aaron Ramsdale (£4.9million) will be in the conversation for the goalkeeper spot, with opponents Everton ranked near the bottom of the table for goals scored, with just four out of six matches. Arsenal have failed to keep a clean sheet in the absence of midfielder Thomas Partey (£4.9m), underscoring his importance to Mikel Arteta’s side, but he could potentially be back this weekend, which not only boosts the appeal of Ramsdale, but also the defenders. Gabrielle (£5.1 million), Guillaume Saliba (£4.8 million) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.1m) too.
Bukayo Saka (£7.8million), meanwhile, has produced a goal and two assists in his last three starts but looks unlikely to be picked over Martinelli and Jesus.
A home game against Wolves could potentially see a Liverpool hat-trick, but who joins Alexander-Arnold and Salah? It will depend on UEFA Champions League minutes/performance, but Luis Diaz (£8.2 million) and Darwin Nunez (£8.9m) are the two names that immediately jump out at you. The latter’s 98.3 minutes per expected goal (xG) is beaten only by Haaland so far, with six more shots racked up against Merseyside rivals Everton in Gameweek 6.
Chelsea were lucky enough to beat West Ham United after a controversial late VAR call on Saturday as they played a fifth game in a row without a clean sheet. This time they will face the in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.8m), who has already scored six goals in as many appearances. Still, Reece James‘ (£6.0m) attacking potential could see him make the Scout Picks XI, while further forward, Rahim Sterling (£10.0m) will push for inclusion.
Two newly promoted defenses – Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth – could also be worth targeting in Gameweek 7. The pair have conceded 14 and 18 goals respectively so far this season and rank near the bottom in most defensive metrics underlying. This means that attacking cover from their opponents, Leeds United and Brighton, is very likely.
Luis Sinisterra (£6.5 million), Brenden Aaronson (£5.5m) or Patrick Bamford (£7.3m) could possibly make an appearance in Jesse Marsch’s squad, while one of Brighton’s in-form midfielders – Leandro Trossard (£6.5 million), Alexis MacAllister (£5.6 million), Pascal Gross (£6.0m) – or Danny Welbeck (£6.5million), could sneak in.
As for Bamford, the striker transformed Leeds’ attack at half-time against Brentford, with his ability to hold the ball and put others into play. During his 45-minute run he missed two big chances but with another week of training he should be in sharper shape when Forest visit on Monday.
An away game at West Ham United is certainly not easy for Newcastle United, but Eddie Howe’s side are now on a clean streak of three clean sheets from six matches. which promotes Kieran Trippier (£5.2m) in our reflection, who rose to second place in the defenders list, with his total of six chances created against Crystal Palace, the highest of any player in Gameweek 6 .
After Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal, Manchester United have won four matches in a row. Now they face a Crystal Palace side who have uncharacteristically conceded more big chances (20) than any other team so far. It arouses the attraction of Bruno Fernandes (£9.8 million), Marcus Rashford (£6.5 million), Jadon Sancho (£7.3 million) and Christian Erikson (£6.3m), but will that be enough to see any of their assets included in the Scout Picks XI?
Somewhere else, Ivan Toney (£7.2 million), Ollie Watkins (£7.3 million) and Alexander Isak (£7.0m) are additional futures options that could potentially feature.
SHOT FROM AWAY
There are many other options besides those mentioned above, but they are not entirely convincing.
For instance, Illan Meslier (£4.5 million) and David Raya (£4.5m) are alternative goalkeeper options and have some great fixtures, but both represent teams on the wrong side of the table for actual goals conceded and expected goals conceded (xGC), making it make tough choices.
Indeed, Jesse March will be concerned about his side’s defensive opening in Brentford, having allowed 2.59 xG.
Jarrod Bowen (£8.1 million), James Madison (£7.9 million), Wilfried Zaha (£7.2 million) and James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) are other names that could emerge as differential screams, but at this stage that seems unlikely.
This leaves Che Adams (£6.4 million) and Brennan Johnson (£5.9m), who face Brentford and Leeds respectively, but other strikers are ahead of them at the time of writing.