A 2-0 home loss at the hands of the champions was hardly the ideal preparation for Arsenal ahead of their double Gameweek. Sitting in sixth place in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger’s side are 21 points off the summit and brace themselves for a pair of all-London fixtures, as they roll up to the Bridge next Sunday before entertaining West Ham at the Emirates the following Wednesday.

Prior to discussing their potential, it’s also worth noting Arsenal’s fixtures following on from the double. Wenger’s side then have three home games in four (LIV, STO, sun, AVL) which are likely to offer them further chance to benefit – a factor which could well be crucial when weighing up any acquisitions. Our upcoming “Frisking the Fixtures” article attests to that, highlighting the value of snapping up the Gunners’ main assets not only for this Gameweek but over the next few as well.

The Prospects

An opening trip to Chelsea will afford Wenger a degree of optimism, given that the majority of the Blues’ home performances have been somewhat lethargic under Rafa Benitez. A total of 14 goals in six games in all competitions at the Bridge sounds reasonable but all those strikes have come in two matches – aside from the 8-0 hammering of Villa in Gameweek 18 and a 6-1 demolition of Champions League whipping boys FC Nordsjælland, the Blues have drawn blanks four times. Outside of the Emirates, Arsenal have been defensively strong – a total of nine goals against is joint-top for least goals conceded of any away side so far, with four clean sheets also accrued on their travels. A return of 15 goals scored over 11 road trips is a little worrying for their Fantasy owners, though.

Of the two games, the midweek match against the Hammers is the one that Fantasy managers will be targeting as their main source of points. Similar to Chelsea, Wenger’s side have been erratic at home but have shown they are more than capable of harvesting goals in any given Gameweek – they’ve hit five past Spurs, six past Southampton and seven past Newcastle at the Emirates. On the other hand, Arsenal have either notched once or failed to score in five of their 10 home games. At the back, their clean sheet prospects will be boosted by West Ham’s dire away form; Sam Allardyce’s side have scored just five times on the road and while they arrive on the back of a 3-0 hammering at Sunderland, they tend to keep it tight on their travels and have conceded more than a single goal in just four of their 10 away games so far.

The Likely Lads

Theo Walcott has already racked up over 20,000 transfers in ahead of the double – twice the number of any other Gunners asset. A move to the lone forward role has boosted Walcott’s appeal and with attacking returns in seven of his last nine, he’s been the most consistent Arsenal performer in recent months; a price of 9.1 looks set to rise, though Wenger’s side have still to come through a midweek FA Cup home replay with Swansea unscathed.

Santi Cazorla sits fourth in the midfielder standings; an indication of his impact in his debut season at the Emirates. In comparison to Walcott, he has scored or assisted in just three of the last nine, though – his returns have been far more erratic but a 23 point haul at Reading in Gameweek 17 (one of three sets of double figures) highlights his capabilities.

Lukas Podolski looks the safest forward in terms of game time. The German international has started all but two of his side’s matches so far but a role on the left of the attacking midfield three has somewhat limited his returns. The absence of Mikel Arteta means the role of penalty-taker is up for grabs – according to quotes from Wenger, Podolski is next in line, followed by Walcott, then Cazorla. Priced at 8.2, many are looking at swapping out Demba Ba for Podolksi after Chelsea’s double. While Olivier Giroud is similarly priced, the Frenchman has failed to start since Gameweek 16 and is likely to rely on time off the bench to make any sort of impact.

From an attacking perspective, Kieran Gibbs has been the most impressive in defence. The 5.6 priced left-back has registered five assists so far and looks a guaranteed starter over the pair of fixtures – Wenger’s decision to select Laurent Koscielny ahead of Per Mertesacker casts doubt over his preferred central defensive pairing heading into the weekend deadline; Koscielny will sit out a one-match suspension against the Swans on Wednesday, affording the German the chance to slot in alongside Thomas Vermaelen once again. While the Belgian and Bacary Sagna have both produced the goods in seasons gone by, neither player has any attacking returns to their name this term, suggesting their acquisition comes with a risk attached.

Wojciech Szczesny looks a safe bet heading into the pair of fixtures. The stopper has averaged four points per game so far – second only to Gibbs’ 4.3 ppg at the back – and at 5.3 offers a cheaper defensive alternative to the left-back.

Cheeky Punt

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has started the last six league matches and seems to have cemented a role on the right as a result of Walcott’s move up top. Coming in at 7.2 in FPL, the youngster has less than 1% ownership and has scored or assisted in two of his last three at the Emirates – the one blank came on Sunday, when he was sacrificed for Mertesacker after 11 minutes, following Koscielny’s dismissal against City.

Our final selection doesn’t come without substantial risk. Indeed, by the time you’ve finished reading this very sentence, Abou Diaby could have sustained another one of his injuries but the Frenchman looks the obvious deputy for Arteta alongside Jack Wilshere in the double-pivot. At 6.1 in FPL, he’s the cheapest of Wenger’s likely midfield starters over the pair of fixtures and his marauding runs from deep could come to fruition, providing he manages to avoid any problems over the next few days.

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  1. Would you guys do any of this?
    A) Sterling + O'Brien -> J. Cole + Demel for a hit
    B) Pienar + O'Brien -> Nolan + Demel for a hit
    or just one transfer
    Pienar -> Nolan FT
    O'Brien -> Demel FT

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. nolan for pienaar mate would only hit for an arsenal man this week if i were you

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
  2. I can understand people planning on getting rid of Ba now, but for those actually pulling the trigger on the transfer before Wednesday, WHY? Wouldn't it make sense to wait? What if he actually starts? (doubtful I know, but possible). What if Torres starts and blows his knee out, making Ba the clear #1? Just saying...

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. Worded that wrong.. I know you'd still get the points for him even if you transfer him out, but just sayin' for the future. Would be nice to have a sub 9.0M Chelsea forward

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. Agree - I am thinking of getting rid but will deffo wait until after Wednesday

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
      2. I'm holding for now,why not... if he doesnt play on wed he probs will on sat

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
    2. Ba will definitely start.

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
    3. If for whatever reason Ba becomes the clear first choice then I will definitely look to bring him back in. However I did only bring him in for this week, just did him to Podolski for the coming week and then that spot is up for grabs for whoever looks best. At the moment I intend to bring Suarez back in (who I took out for Ba in the first place).

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
  3. Looking forward to NBA on Sky, need a team to follow. Thinking of Bulls as Deng represented GB in the Olympics. Fair choice?

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. God logic but the Heat are the ones to watch.....

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
  4. Any advice on this (Post WC) squad would be much appreciated. Currently 17K, top of my mini league – with everyone else on Mata.

    Bergovic, Rudd
    Demel, Ivanovic, Clyne, Sagna, Luiz
    Walcott, Michu, Puncheon, Fellani, Bale
    Lambert, RVP, Ba

    Thanks lads – v much appreciated. Happy to give advice in return…

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. A bit light uptop

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
    2. Ditch Iva and upgrade Lambert :) in due time of course

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. Or ba-> kun

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
  5. hey mates :

    wt do u think about me team for next week


    hazard out >> santi in

    ba >> lukaku in



    hazard >> Nolan

    Ba >> Podolski

    maybe wild carding after gw 23 or 24

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. Wait till mid-week, if hazard plays 90 mins then yes swap out for Santi. B option lacks form but better for this GW coming up

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
  6. Is it worth taking a 4 pt hit doing BA & Bale to Santi and Fletcher/ Sturridge ?

    Do have my concerns about losing bale ?

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. Not for me....

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. Which one would you do out of two ?

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
    2. Sunderland have great fixtures! Is fletcher the only option?

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. I do like fletcher but have this doubt that sturridge will pick up points thanks to Suarez and Gerrard

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
        1. Can you upgrade third striker to either and forget Santi? No rest time for Santi...

          • 3 years, 27 days ago
  7. Bale could easily explode against United. Generally speaking United haven't been great defensively this season and Fergie loves to attack. Both points ideal for Gareth Bale owners.

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. You would've thought bale would've exploded against QPR

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
  8. Ditch Ivanovic?! Seriously?

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
  9. Nah, Bale finds it harder against teams which park the bus. Parking the bus is not in Fergie's vocabulary. It obviously was in Harry's against his former club.

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
  10. Q

    Sagna or clichy?

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
  11. Alright folks, know its early in the week still but trying to figure out transfers..

    Post-DGW team:

    Bego, Bunn
    Luiz, Gibbs, Martin, Davies, Demel
    Mata, Bale, Walcott, Michu, Punch
    RVP, Ba, Lambert

    A) Luiz > Zab
    B) Mata > Santi
    C) Ba > Pod/Sturridge
    D) Any other suggestions.

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. 0 banked.

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. Missing Fellaini, with good fixtures coming up. Maybe Ba -> fletcher, punch -> Fellaini. That's long term however. If your talking this GW get the DGW players in.

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
        1. Cant afford that. Might just get Pod and do Luiz+Punch > Fellaini+Wilson/Harte next week.

          • 3 years, 27 days ago
    2. I'd want to keep Mata depsite Santi's double. With Arteta out I like the idea of Pod as he's on pens

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. Arsenal had 2 pens this season, I'd say enough cover for double GW. Or are you WC straight after? Just know there's going to be some good DGW later in season.

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
  12. So who are still in the cup? I'm currently leading my opponent by 10 points but we don't have the same captain so I'm really nervous about the CHE-SOU game!

    How much are you leading/chasing?

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. Winning 76-36 atm. Who's your/his (C)?

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. Wow, that's a clear lead. My captain is Luiz and his is Mata.. I also own Mata, now wondering why I didn't captain him..

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
    2. Winning by 20 ish. Comfortably through.

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. You got a little lucky with your opponent, only DGW player Cech.. 😯

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
        1. The higher the rank the worse your opponent usually is.

          • 3 years, 27 days ago
    3. Winning...

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. Haha you're opponent's rank: 2,395,250 :)

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
  13. Obviously il wait until after Wednesdays game but initial thoughts on

    Ba to Pod or Bale to Santi

    Will get Bale back straight after if I make that move

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
  14. Nothing really tickles my fancy this week:


    1FT; Nothing in the kitty.

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
      • 3 years, 27 days ago
      1. Is that enough then?

        • 3 years, 27 days ago
        1. it's more than I've got

          though I'm looking at Luiz and Berba to Reid and Pod.

          There's a new post btw, would appreciate your thoughts on it, trying to decide which team to forgoe cover for, it seems to come to down to 2 from Suarez/Sturridge, Aguero and Walcott

          • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. Davies ahead of Cameron, imo.

      I am in a similar position, saving my transfer barring any major incidents mid-week

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
    2. Berbatov to Lukaku and Puncheon to the Bench. I smell another brace V Villa - theyre just awful

      • 3 years, 27 days ago
  15. Any thinking giroud? Fancy a cheeky punt on him plus i need to get rid of this Berba joker

    • 3 years, 27 days ago
    1. I went with him too. Good work rate. I'd peg him to start for the Swansea replay tomorrow, and being subbed in late for Chelsea. Again as a later sub against westham as Wenger likes to pull Wally out wide when he's subbed on. Wouldnt hold him too long

      • 3 years, 26 days ago
  16. yay or nay ?

    Berba + Ba to Tevez and Lukaku ? -4pt

    thinking lukaku will score at least one past villa to pay off for the -4 ?

    • 3 years, 26 days ago
  17. Bale for Cazorla.

    • 3 years, 24 days ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 25

  • Forster
  • Janmaat
  • Williams
  • Alderweireld
  • Wijnaldum
  • André Ayew
  • Dele Alli
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Sánchez
  • Aguero
  • Kane
  • Moreno
  • Arnautovic
  • Giroud

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Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:01pm
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No Change Cech ARS A, VsX
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Up Van Aanholt SUN A
No Change Williams SWA B, £
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Up Coleman EVE B, Vs
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Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:17pm
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Up Mahrez LEI A, Vs
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Up Eriksen TOT A
Up Antonio WHM A, Vs, Rest, £
Up Sigurdsson SWA A, OoP
Down Barkley EVE B, Vs
Down Roberto Firmino LIV A, VsX, OoP
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Up Lingard MUN B, Rest, £
Up Khazri SUN B
Up Oscar CHE B, Vs
No Change Wijnaldum NEW B


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:44pm
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Up Vardy LEI B, Vs
No Change Kane TOT A
Down Aguero MCI A
Up Diego Costa CHE A, Vs, Inj
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Down Ighalo WAT C, VsX
Down Lukaku EVE C
Up Afobe BOU A, Vs
No Change Giroud ARS B, VsX, Rest
No Change Defoe SUN A

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
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£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension
Player Team YC
Colback NEW 9
Byram WHM 9
Lucas LIV 8
Jones SUN 8
Yacob WBA 8
Westwood AVL 7
Diego Costa CHE 7
Huth LEI 7
Can LIV 7
Mangala MCI 7
Shelvey NEW 7
Pieters STO 7
Dele Alli TOT 7
Dier TOT 7
Noble WHM 7

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

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