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The Scout’s preset squads: Premium five-man midfield

The Scout 4 Aug 2021
Havertz:Son

The Scout shows how managers can plough funds into midfield, using strong budget defenders

The Scout is helping Fantasy Premier League managers to build their 15-man squads ahead of Gameweek 1 with some ready-made solutions. 

Premium five-man midfield

Success in Fantasy over recent seasons has relied heavily on picking the right premium midfielders.

Three of the top-scoring four players last season were midfielders, with Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m), Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Son Heung-min (£10.0m) all breaking the 200-point barrier.

So is it possible to own five big-hitting midfielders without significantly weakening the rest of your 15-man squad?

If you believe Jadon Sancho (£9.5m) can make an immediate impact at Manchester United and keep pace with Fernandes, then an all-star midfield looks achievable in a 3-5-2 formation.

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz (£8.5m), Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez (£9.0m) and Tottenham Hotspur’s Son have all been quick to find their form during pre-season.

Picking the trio alongside Sancho and Salah can give managers a big-hitting quintet with the potential to deliver double-digit scores on a weekly basis.

FPL Scout template teams - Big midfield
Goalkeepers

Brighton & Hove Albion’s Robert Sanchez (£4.5m) is the third most-owned goalkeeper in Fantasy, found in 23.8 per cent of squads, and his team-mate Jason Steele (£4.0m) is a cheap back-up for the bench.

The only concern is that the summer arrival of Kjell Scherpen (£4.5m) places a question mark over Steele's role as the Seagulls’ No 2.

Pairing Watford’s first-choice goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann (£4.5m) with his deputy Ben Foster (£4.0m) could be a safer way of spending just £8.5m on your two goalkeepers.

Defenders

The sacrifice to splashing out in midfield is that there is no room for Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) or any other premium defender.

However, there is value to be found across the backline.

Arsenal, Brighton and Leeds United all claimed 12 clean sheets last term, a total bettered by only four other sides, and you can find regular starters in defence at each of those clubs for just £4.5m.

It's not too late Use GW1 matches as a guide to start your FPL season in GW2 Create Squad

Arsenal’s new centre-back Ben White (£4.5m) faces promoted pair Brentford and Norwich City in the first four Gameweeks.

Joel Veltman (£4.5m) seems set to start the season for Brighton in light of an injury to Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m). According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), four of the Seagulls’ first six matches score only two.

Leicester City and Burnley each kept 11 clean sheets in 2020/21, and there are plenty of opportunities to rotate their budget defenders.

Leicester’s Wesley Fofana (£4.5m) is the fourth most-owned defender in Fantasy, and the most-selected in the sub-£5.0m spot, picked by 24.1 per cent.

Leeds' Luke Ayling and Burnley’s Charlie Taylor (both £4.5m) offer strong options in the same price range, while Conor Coady (£4.5m) of Wolverhampton Wanderers has a very favourable run of opponents from Gameweek 4.

Midfielders

Salah is the standout captain pick over the opening Gameweeks, with five of Liverpool’s first eight matches scoring two in the FDR.

The Egyptian is also the most popular player in Fantasy, sitting in 48.6 per cent of squads.

The inclusion of Havertz, Mahrez and Son would provide alternative armband options early on.

Havertz is at home to Crystal Palace in Gameweek 1, Mahrez hosts Norwich in Gameweek 2 and Son entertains Watford in Gameweek 3.

Forwards

Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins (£7.5m) is another form player with great early fixtures.

He has three goals and an assist over pre-season and each of his first three matches score just two in the FDR.

Kelechi Iheanacho (£7.5m) established himself as a key player for Leicester midway through last season after a change to a two-man frontline.

Alternatively, by picking West Ham United's Michail Antonio (£7.5m) over Watkins, managers would have an attacking player from all of last season’s top seven sides in this line-up.

Meanwhile, Southampton’s Michael Obafemi (£4.5m) is a cheap pick for the bench, although he appears unlikely to start their matches.

Also in this series

Part 1: Building around Sancho
Part 2: How to own Fernandes, De Bruyne and Salah
Part 3: Going big at the back

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