Two quick-fire goals from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon catch the Gunners defence flat-footed and, with the Spurs back four holding firm, North London superiority is very much with Andre Villas-Boas’ side tonight. Here’s the Stock Check on Sunday’s events…
On the Up
It’s seven league goals in his last five league matches as Bale continued his incredible form and saw him repay those who placed the armband with the Welshman. There’s little to be said on Bale that hasn’t been said already – his Fantasy Premier League (FPL) price tag has risen 0.6 in the space of two Gameweeks and there’s every reason to expect that to go on ascending as more Fantasy managers concede defeat and acquire his services.
Spurs have now gone 12 league outings unbeaten and, in that spell, they’ve kept five clean sheets and conceded more than one goal just once (at West Ham on Monday). The installation of Dawson in central defence has been a major factor – he’s started ten of the last eleven and was outstanding once again in a second half rearguard effort. At just 4.6 in the FPL, Dawson may not have appealing fixtures but, given Tottenham’s current form, he may still continue to deliver value.
The Icelander scored his first league goal for Spurs at Upton Park on Monday and that was enough to see him start ahead of Lewis Holtby this afternoon. Sigurdsson again returned, slotting a smart pass through for Bale’s opener – his fifth assist of the season. It remains to be seen if he can hold his starting role, particularly once Clint Dempsey regains fitness. With Bale monopolising our attention, however, Sigurdsson seems unlikely to attract too much Fantasy interest.
Lennon is another playing in the shadow of Gareth Bale. Today’s goal was his fourth of what has been a consistent season for the fleet-footed winger. At 7.2, ordinarily, Lennon may earn some Fantasy interest but with Bale’s form so relentless, he remains little more than a fanciful differential.
The Arsenal Defence
While Tottenham’s rearguard has delivered five shut-outs in twelve and shown some determined consistency, Arsenal’s defence continues to look brittle and was exploited with ease by two through-balls today. It’s just two clean sheets in the last ten for Arsene Wenger’s back four – they came against Stoke and Sunderland – two teams amongst the most impotent in the league. Those holding Arsenal defensive assets will surely be looking to trade in for the Gameweek 29 blank and will consider the merits of acquiring them back, even with the confirmed double Gameweek 33 beckoning.
It’s four league outings without a goal now for the Frenchman who, at one stage looked to have settled in Wenger’s lineup but now looks out of form and vulnerable once again. Giroud’s stint at centre-forward has led to Theo Walcott shifting to the flank and that has led to his returns dropping – Walcott has also failed to score in the last four Gameweeks, keeping his tally ticking with three assists. We could well see changes to Wenger’s tactics following the Gameweek 29 break.