We’ve assembled our Scout Picks ‘bus team’ for Double Gameweek 25 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
In this early selection, we select a first draft of our regular picks. They will then be finalised and published much closer to Saturday’s deadline.
Plenty can change between now and then, of course, with Manchester City in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday and a whole host of press conferences still to come.
But in the meantime, this ‘bus team’ article will discuss the players who are likely to be in the mix.
We are, as ever, limited by certain restrictions in our selections:
- An £83.0m budget for our starting XI
- An overall squad limit of £100.0m
- No more than three players per team
GAMEWEEK 25 FIXTURES
Above: The Gameweek 25 fixtures sorted by difficulty on our Season Ticker
THE LIKELY LADS
There are four teams who ‘double’ in Gameweek 25: Liverpool, Man City, Luton Town and Brentford.
Heavy representation from the top two is, of course, inevitable.
Six names from those sides feature in our Scout Picks ‘bus team’ but the make-up of those triple-ups could change when we finalise our selection on Friday.
Man City are in UEFA Champions League action this week, but for now, we’ve opted for Kevin De Bruyne (£10.8m), Phil Foden (£8.0m) and Erling Haaland (£14.4m).
It’s an aggressive play, but one which could reap rewards, given that the champions are averaging 2.6 goals per game at home this season. Pep Guardiola’s side can’t ignore goal difference, either, with Arsenal’s thumping win at West Ham United drawing them level with City in that regard.
However, it’d be silly to completely rule out defensive coverage at this early stage, with Ederson (£5.5m) and Kyle Walker (£5.5m) the stand-out picks if we do choose to go down that route.
Liverpool also feature prominently in our plans.
We’ll keep a spot for Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.6m) free should the defender look like he may feature against Brentford, but there are question marks over whether he will be risked. The same applies to Mohamed Salah (£13.0m).
Virgil van Dijk (£6.4m) and Andrew Robertson (£6.4m) may well enter the thinking as a consequence, with Diogo Jota (£8.2m), Luiz Diaz (£7.5m) and Darwin Nunez (£7.6m) the key players pushing hard for inclusion further forward.
Gameweek 24 was an underwhelming audition for Luton assets and an away match at Liverpool doesn’t offer much hope of returns, either.
So, the appeal of Alfie Doughty (£4.6m), Ross Barkley (£5.0m) and Elijah Adebayo (£4.9m) mainly lies in the home clash with Manchester United. The Red Devils attack is in good form but the defence remains leaky, with Aston Villa carving them open at will on Sunday.
Stats fans will have noticed that Doughty sits third for chances created and fourth for expected assists (xA) among all Premier League defenders this term, while Barkley and Adebayo are also worthy of consideration.
Barkley is Luton’s main man for ball progression and has two goals and two assists in his last five, while Adebayo’s shot map demonstrates perfectly why we are interested in him, with 27 of his 28 goal attempts this season inside the box.
Above: Elijah Adebayo’s shot map in 2023/24 (shots on target in green)
Brentford kept their first clean sheet since Gameweek 11 in their 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday but Double Gameweek 25 is as tough as it comes, with Liverpool (h) and Man City (a) waiting.
Still, Ivan Toney (£8.2m) has scored three goals and recorded one assist in four games. He is also nailed on to play 90 minutes and is his team’s penalty taker, so could gain attention.
The defence looks like a no-go area bar bench fodder, given the strength of Liverpool and Man City’s attacks.
As for the single Gameweekers, Arsenal have a plum away fixture at Burnley, so Gabriel (£5.1m) and Bukayo Saka (£9.0m) have their usual strong claims for inclusion against the side with the worst home record in the division.
Let’s not forget Brighton and Hove Albion, either.
Pascal Gross (£6.4m) has three attacking returns in his last two matches, with Kaoru Mitoma (£6.4m) another name on the radar: opponents Sheffield United are rock-bottom for chances conceded on both flanks across the season.
Elsewhere, two teams with appealing home fixtures in Gameweek 25 are Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.
Jordan Pickford (£4.5m), who has eight clean sheets in his last 17 appearances, hosts injury-hit Crystal Palace, while Son Heung-min (£9.6m) and Richarlison (£7.2m) could easily haul against a Wolverhampton Wanderers side who were poor at both ends of the pitch on Saturday.
THE LONG SHOTS
There is little incentive to pick Kieran Trippier (£6.8m), Pedro Porro (£5.8m) or Pervis Estupinan (£5.0m) this week.
All three are among the top defenders for minutes per expected goal involvement (xGI) but they’re almost certainly not going to trouble a Free Hit XI, given the abundance of more preferable alternatives, plenty of whom play twice.
Popular attacking picks such as Alejandro Garnacho (£4.9m), Anthony Gordon (£6.1m), Ollie Watkins (£8.7m), Jarrod Bowen (£7.8m), Dominic Solanke (£6.9m) and Cole Palmer (£5.9m) will likely find it tough to get a look-in, for those same aforementioned reasons.
Finally, there probably won’t be too many takers in Rasmus Hojlund (£7.0m) but he has registered five goals and two assists in his last five matches, while Fulham’s Willian (£5.3m) is a real differential shout.
The Brazilian has seven attacking returns in ten starts at Craven Cottage this term and he’ll be up against an Aston Villa side who could be without Ezri Konsa (£4.5m) and Boubacar Kamara (£5.0m).