Scout Picks Gameweek 7 early selection: Brighton double-up and Haaland

We’ve put together our Scout Picks ‘bus team’ ahead of Gameweek 7 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL).

For those who haven’t seen this article series before, it’s a first draft of our regular picks, which get finalised and published much closer to the deadline.

We are limited to a £83.0m budget for our starting XI, while our bench is also price-capped after a reader vote – although we will continue to offer our ‘alternative’ substitutes in the final Scout Picks based on the old criteria.

READ MORE: Readers vote for the Scout Picks substitutes bench to be price-capped

The final picks will stay as they are and cement our weekly selection based on the Scout Squad long-list entries and fresh injury updates but this ‘bus team’ article – a term coined by the Always Cheating boys – will discuss the players who are likely to be in the running.


Off we go again, then, with our early thoughts on the runners and riders up for selection in Gameweek 7, followed by the preliminary picks themselves.

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At this early stage, there aren’t too many players who you would say are ‘nailed’ for Scout Picks duty in Gameweek 7.

For example, Manchester City take on Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad on Saturday evening, so we could end up ignoring their assets, favouring those with kinder fixtures, bar Erling Haaland (£12.0m) of course.

The Norwegian became only the second player in Premier League history to reach 10 goals in six starts at Villa Park, and given that impact, it is almost impossible to leave him out, regardless of the opponent.

European injuries/minutes will also need to be monitored, with Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and Spurs all in UEFA Champions League action this week. Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham United, meanwhile, face tight Thursday-Sunday turnarounds.


  • Tuesday 6 September 17:45: Dinamo Zagreb v Chelsea – Champions League
  • Tuesday 6 September 20:00: Sevilla v Manchester City – Champions League
  • Wednesday 7 September 20:00: Napoli v Liverpool – Champions League
  • Wednesday 7 September 20:00: Tottenham Hotspur v Marseille – Champions League
  • Thursday 8 September 17:45: Zurich v Arsenal – Europa League
  • Thursday 8 September 20:00: Manchester United v Real Sociedad – Europa League
  • Thursday 8 September 20:00: West Ham United v FCSB – Europa Conference League

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) hasn’t quite hit 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-most sold FPL defender ahead of Gameweek 7. However, he has already produced a whopping 17-point haul at Anfield this season and now faces a goal-shy Wolverhampton Wanderers outfit who have scored just three times in six matches. It’s also worth noting that Bruno Lage’s troops have allowed 75 crosses from their left-flank, more than any other side bar the Cherries.

Mohamed Salah’s (£13.0m) underlying stats may be down in some areas, but he has still produced five attacking returns in six starts. He almost added another against Everton on Saturday, too, only for his shot to strike the post late on. Had that gone in, it’s unlikely we’d be discussing his form, certainly not to the extent we are now. His wider positioning needs monitoring, but despite some concerns, it’s hard to leave the Egyptian out, especially if the influential Thiago (£5.2m) is ready to return.

Elsewhere, Brighton and Hove Albion defensive representation feels likely ahead of their trip to Bournemouth, with Robert Sanchez (£4.7m) or Lewis Dunk (£4.6m) the obvious candidates.

A home match with Everton could also see Gabriel Martinelli (£6.5m) and Gabriel Jesus (£8.1m) included. The latter has found the net just once in his last four Premier League outings, but with all 20 of his shots this season coming from inside the penalty area, it surely won’t be long before he adds to his tally.

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Aaron Ramsdale (£4.9m) 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 in six matches. Arsenal have failed to keep a clean sheet in the absence of midfielder Thomas Partey (£4.9m), highlighting 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 defenders Gabriel (£5.1m), William Saliba (£4.8m) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.1m) too.

Bukayo Saka (£7.8m), meanwhile, has produced a goal and two assists in his last three starts, but it seems unlikely he’ll be picked over Martinelli and Jesus.

A home fixture against Wolves could potentially see a Liverpool triple-up, but who joins Alexander-Arnold and Salah? That will depend on UEFA Champions League minutes/performances, but Luis Diaz (£8.2m) and Darwin Nunez (£8.9m) are the two names that immediately jump out. The latter’s 98.3 minutes per expected goal (xG) is only beaten by Haaland so far, with another six shots racked up against Merseyside rivals Everton in Gameweek 6

Chelsea were fortunate to beat West Ham United after a controversial late VAR call on Saturday, as they went a fifth-straight match without a clean sheet. This time, they will be up against the in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.8m), who has already scored six goals in as many matches. Still, Reece James’ (£6.0m) attacking potential could see him make the Scout Picks XI, while further forward, Raheem Sterling (£10.0m) will push for inclusion.

Two newly-promoted defences – 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 of the underlying defensive metrics. That means attacking coverage from their opponents, Leeds United and Brighton, is highly likely.

Luis Sinisterra (£6.5m), Brenden Aaronson (£5.5m) or Patrick Bamford (£7.3m) could perhaps make an appearance from Jesse Marsch’s squad, while any of Brighton’s in-form midfielders – Leandro Trossard (£6.5m), Alexis Mac Allister (£5.6m), Pascal Gross (£6.0m) – or Danny Welbeck (£6.5m), could sneak in.

As for Bamford, the forward transformed Leeds’ attack at half-time v Brentford, with his ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play notable. In his 45-minute run-out, he missed two big chances, but with another weeks’ training, should be sharper by the time Forest visit on Monday.

An away match at West Ham United certainly isn’t straightforward for Newcastle United, but Eddie Howe’s side are now on a run of three clean sheets in six matches. That promotes Kieran Trippier (£5.2m) in our thinking, who has climbed to second in the defenders’ list, with his total of six chances created against Crystal Palace the highest of any player in Gameweek 6.

Following Sunday’s 3-1 win over Arsenal, Manchester United have won four matches in a row. Now, they face a Crystal Palace side that has uncharacteristically conceded more big chances (20) than any other side so far. That raises the appeal of Bruno Fernandes (£9.8m), Marcus Rashford (£6.5m), Jadon Sancho (£7.3m) and Christian Eriksen (£6.3m), but will it be enough to see one of their assets included in the Scout Picks XI?

Elsewhere, Ivan Toney (£7.2m), Ollie Watkins (£7.3m) and Alexander Isak (£7.0m) are additional forward options who could potentially feature.

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There are plenty more options besides those mentioned above, but they aren’t entirely convincing.

For example, Illan Meslier (£4.5m) and David Raya (£4.5m) are alternative ‘keeper options and have nice fixtures, but both represent teams at the wrong end of the table for actuals goals conceded and expected goals conceded (xGC), making them tricky picks.

Indeed, Jesse March will be concerned by his team’s defensive openness at Brentford, having allowed 2.59 xG.

Jarrod Bowen (£8.1m), James Maddison (£7.9m), Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m) and James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) are other names who could emerge as differential shouts, but at this stage, it feels unlikely.

That leaves Che Adams (£6.4m) and Brennan Johnson (£5.9m), who face Brentford and Leeds respectively, but other forwards are ahead of them at the time of writing.

GAMEWEEK 7 – BUS TEAM