FANTASY FOOTBALL: Cooke leads the way

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Simon Cooke’s seadoggeees team are leading the way heading into week 15 of the Scarborough News Fantasy Football League.

Cooke’s 70-point haul in week 14 was mainly down to the continued good form of Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, along with fine hauls for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, record-breaking goalscorer Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) and Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld. The leader has a total of 827 points.

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Second-placed Velinski also had a fine week with 79 points to leave manager Ollie Velin on 804, while Jamie Ramm, Brad Milburn and Carl Sample are hot on their heels, Milburn amassing a superb 95 points in week 13, mainly due to deploying Watford striker Odion Ighalo as his captain to earn 24 points, allied to the likes of Vardy, Ozil, Ross Barkley, Micah Richards and De Bruyne.

Alec Coulson’s Ridsdale Rovers are rooted to the foot of the table with 402 points, 29 points behind second-from-bottom Craig Rackham’s Rackti Dettori.

The Scout Preview - Gameweek 15

Five of the top seven teams in the Barclays Premier League are on their travels this time around as The Scout casts an eye over the Gameweek 15 schedule.

League leaders Manchester City make their way to Stoke City, with Manuel Pellegrini’s men looking for their first away win in four attempts. Leicester City visit Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur attempt to extend their 13-match unbeaten run at West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace roll up to Everton and Liverpool travel to Newcastle United.

Elsewhere, fourth-placed Arsenal welcome Sunderland to the Emirates Stadium. Manchester United look to continue their unbeaten home record against West Ham United and champions Chelsea entertain AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.

By the numbers

With November now behind us, The Scout assesses the BPL form players over the previous calendar month as we head towards the busy festive period.

Everton’s Ross Barkley produced three goals, two assists and six bonus points (BP) in the last couple of gameweeks. Having accrued a total of 85 points this season, he now sits sixth in the overall standings.

His Toffees team-mate Romelu Lukaku served up four strikes and as many BP for his 45% ownership, scoring in all three matches over the featured period.

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil collected 26 points in the last three Gameweeks, courtesy of a goal, two assists and nine BP. The consistent German has now produced points in each of his previous eight league outings.

Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Watford captain Troy Deeney both scored in each of the last three Gameweeks. The pair delivered seven BP apiece, while Deeney – who is owned by only 2% of FPL managers – also earned an assist.

Sunderland duo Costel Pantilimon and Patrick van Aanholt have been boosted by the arrival of new manager Sam Allardyce. The Black Cats have kept clean sheets in each of the last two fixtures, while Pantilimon has also produced four save points and three BP from Gameweek 12 onwards. Van Aanholt has delivered a goal and assist in three appearances as a left wing-back and is clearly benefitting from a switch to 3-5-2 in recent weeks.

Ones to watch

Kurt Zouma – last weekend’s goalless draw at Tottenham continued a defensive improvement that has seen Chelsea chalk up three successive clean sheets in all competitions. Up against struggling Bournemouth, Zouma – who has started 11 of the last 12 Gameweeks – looks a likely source of points as Jose Mourinho’s side start to climb the table.

Aaron Ramsey – the Arsenal midfielder could emerge as a key target after returning to action in last weekend’s draw at Norwich. Available for just 8.0, Ramsey is owned by just 2% of FPL managers as the Gunners welcome Sunderland to the Emirates Stadium.

Sadio Mane – a home clash with basement-dwellers Aston Villa brings the Southampton wide man back onto The Scout’s radar. Having bagged an assist against Manchester City last Saturday, Mane netted against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday evening and seems back in form as the Saints look to heap further misery on Remi Garde’s strugglers.

Philippe Coutinho – the Brazilian is expected to recover from a minor hamstring problem in time for the weekend trip to Newcastle. Coutinho has served up three sets of successive double-figure hauls for Liverpool and will fancy his chances against a defence that’s conceded eight times in the last two Gameweeks.

Connor Wickham – finally free of injury, the Crystal Palace frontman produced a pair of assists in last weekend’s home thrashing of Newcastle. The Eagles’ counter attacking tactics have already earned them four wins from six matches on the road, suggesting Wickham could take advantage of an Everton side that’s conceded 11 times in front of their own fans.