Scout Notes

Arsenal’s defence in fine form as tricky run of fixtures gets underway

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Arsenal

  • Goals: Bukayo Saka (£4.7m), Alexandre Lacazette (£9.2m)
  • Assists: Kieran Tierney (£5.3m), Joe Willock (£4.7m)
  • Bonus: Lacazette x3, Saka x2, Shkodran Mustafi (£5.1m) x1

Arsenal pulled off a surprise 2-0 win at Molineux that would have only been truly enjoyed by their fans and those managers owning players on the Fantasy fringes.

Wolves came into the match on the back of three straight wins and four consecutive clean sheets. Arsenal, for their part, hadn’t won on the road against a team above them in the league since 2015.

A victory for the visitors was, therefore, not exactly expected.

From a Fantasy perspective, expectations centred instead on the fixture’s two most popular players – Wolves striker Raul Jimenez (£8.3m) and his Arsenal counterpart Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m), owned by 36.5% and 23.9% respectively.

Neither delivered.

Wolves’ Mexican forward had only one attempt, a header from an excellent Adama Traore (£5.8m) cross that he could only steer wide under pressure from Cedric Soares (£4.8m).

Aubameyang also managed just the one shot, although he did manage to hit the target when he latched on to a half-cleared corner, only for his mis-hit shot to provide home keeper Rui Patricio (£5.3m) with a regulation save.

With the pair shunted to the Fantasy sidelines, a home clean sheet was the next best outcome for many.

That didn’t occur either.

Bukayo Saka (£4.7m) put paid to that when he expertly volleyed home Kieran Tierney‘s (£5.3m) deflected cross to finish off a swift Arsenal counter-attack just before half-time.

The goal was the first Wolves had conceded in 448 minutes, although Arsenal had already gone close when an Eddie Nketiah (£4.4m) snapshot hit the outside of the post via a smart save from Patricio.

At the other end, Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez (£4.3m) had been forced into action very early on to block Traore.

But that, as it turned out, was the hosts’ only shot on target, although Traore – interestingly playing as a striker in Santo’s 3-5-2 – missed another great chance when he lofted the ball over both the keeper and the crossbar. That was bad news for the 17.7% of managers hoping the midfielder would prosper in an out-of-position role up front alongside Jimenez.

Patricio wasn’t that much busier than Martinez, although he could do nothing about Arsenal’s second goal.

Substitutes Joe Willock (£4.7m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£9.2m) combined well on the right, with the latter then hitting a shot across the Wolves keeper and in off the far post.

Midfielder Willock had a golden chance to make it three son afterwards when his scuffed shot beat Patricio but didn’t have the legs to make it past the covering Ruben Neves (£5.2m).

And while 3-0 might have been harsh on Wolves, the clean sheet for the visitors caught pretty much every Fantasy manager by surprise as the allure of all Arsenal’s players, beside Aubameyang, has not been great.

The (relative) popularity of the likes of Matteo Guendouzi (£4.2m and 7.5%) and Saka (5.0%) has clearly been based on their price or, in the case of David Luiz (£5.7m and 4.9%), no discernible reason whatsoever.

But the much-maligned Brazilian delivered a second consecutive clean sheet, as did the even more-mocked Shkodran Mustafi (£5.1m), and the unfortunate 0.5% who own Tierney were denied a third straight batch of shut-out points to go with his first Premier League assist only because coach Mikel Arteta took him off after 55 minutes.

In fact, since a disastrous Gameweek 30+, the Gunners have now won three straight league games by a combined score of 8-0 – a run few predicted and even fewer took advantage of in their Fantasy teams.

The maximum bonus award went to Lacazette, capping an all-action seven minutes from the bench that earned him eight points.

The Frenchman has been reduced to a bit-part player over recent Gameweeks – he’s started just two of the last six fixtures. But his record as a substitute has been impressive, with three goals and two assists from his last five cameo appearances.

Whether he ever holds down a regular starting role again remains to be seen, however.

Nicolas Pepe (£9.1m) dropped out of the squad to be with his heavily-pregnant wife, but Arteta opted to use midfielder Saka, not striker Lacazette, in an advanced role alongside Aubameyang and Nketiah.

The moment we have a situation with Nico, it was clear. I was trying to find something with Bukayo in that position. It is true that in the first half he had some moments where he struggled but then he started understanding things better after 20 minutes. I really liked the way he kept trying and trying and trying rather than putting his head down and being disappointed.

Saka’s first ever Premier League goal won’t have dimmed his coach’s admiration either, suggesting Lacazette might have to resign himself to more games as an impact.

Then again, Arsenal’s immediate schedule – home to Leicester and Liverpool, away at Spurs in between – might tempt Arteta to give experience the nod.

What it’s unlikely to tempt is too much Fantasy investment in the side’s key assets, which now should really include members of their defence.

Arteta said of his side’s backline:

The more we improve here, the more solid we are, the more chances we are going to have to win football games. This was down to 11 players defending every time the ball was at the opponents’ feet.

Regardless of yesterday’s impressive win, it’s probably going to take a good deal more to persuade most managers to rely on Arsenal players in matches as big as their next three, however.

That would seem to be the case based on the current transfer trends. Only two Gunners – Aubameyang and Saka – can be found in the top 30 for Gameweek 34+ transfers in. By contrast, four Wolves players make the cut.

That’s not overly surprising when the fixtures of Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are factored in. Of their final five fixtures, a trip to Chelsea on the last day of the season looks the toughest.

It could also be a decider in terms of which of them qualifies for next season’s Champions League, meaning the coach is unlikely to rotate his key players any time soon.

But while that might be music to Fantasy ears, the issue of fatigue among Wolves players should never be dismissed – this is a team, after all, that started this long, long season way back in July last year.

Yes, the enforced lay-off has given the squad recovery time. But as a unit, no Premier League team has had to be match-fit and good to go for such an extended period of time; a fact possibly alluded to by the manager in his post-match comments:

What was missing today, a little bit more urgency at certain points. There was a moment that was the definition, if we were going to draw and push for the last moments of the game, but it didn’t happen.

Wolves have four players with Fantasy Premier League (FPL) ownership of at least 10 percent, and another three over five percent.

Such heavy investment is likely to stay in place for the rest of the season, but yesterday’s defeat and a couple of laboured 1-0 wins that proceeded it, might be an indication that the team is running out of steam.

Wednesday’s tricky trip to a rejuvenated Sheffield United will tell us more.


Wolverhampton Wanderers XI (3-5-2): Patrício; Saïss, Coady, Boly; Jonny, Neves, Moutinho (Gibbs-White 89′), Dendoncker (Jota 55′), Doherty (Neto 72′); Jiménez, Traoré

Arsenal XI (3-4-3): Martínez; Kolasinac, Luiz, Mustafi; Tierney (Maitland-Niles 56′), Xhaka, Ceballos (Torreira 83′), Cédric (Bellerin 76′); Aubameyang, Nketiah (Lacazette 83′), Saka (Willock 75).

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1,768 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KP - FPL
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 2 days ago

    Who to captain next gameweek?

    a) Rashford

    b) KDB

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 2 days ago

      Kevin

  2. fuzzymike
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 2 days ago

    Foden worth a 4 point hit?? Will replace Saka. Figure he should start against NEW.

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 2 days ago

      Should be worth it (unless he gets substituted at 59 mins as well)

      1. fuzzymike
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 2 days ago

        Ha, I know someone who took a hit to get Mahrez... made me laugh, putting mildly he wasn't happy

        1. FALSE PROFIT
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 2 days ago

          Many will C KDB next GW. It could also go wrong. Mahrez was a good call before hindsight hit us.
          I have had to get in Greenwood for Nketiah so there are no thoughts of any tfr choices to be made.
          Now I am stuck with the DCL/Jimmi sub choice.

  3. davies
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 2 days ago

    Which option?

    A) Martial Giroud
    B) Pulisic Rashford

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 2 days ago

      B

  4. Right In The Stanchion
      1 month, 2 days ago

      Did the Free Hit this GW to bring in Salah and more Man Utd players. Fell for the hoax Bruno injury story.

      Turned out to be a poor move and I probably only made 10 points max. Be careful guys. Free hit is a curse

      1. Harvey Spector
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 2 days ago

        I covered around 35 in FH. It is surely not a curse.

        1. Right In The Stanchion
            1 month, 2 days ago

            Well whoop de do for you...

        2. Amey
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 2 days ago

          Free Hit is not a curse. Actually i like the chip ...
          Hard luck with the result. Try n wait for reliable news before taking actions

          1. Right In The Stanchion
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Salah was rubbish he really let me down. Would have kept and captained Bruno if I hadn’t looked into the injury. Mail and mirror both said injured.

        3. Right In The Stanchion
            1 month, 2 days ago

            Going forward so we think Eric Garcia keeps his place?

            1. Amey
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Should start 2/3 games

          • Amey
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 2 days ago

            Taking hits for 4 GW's on the trot ...
            Taken a gamble this GW with an early transfer. (-4)
            How's she looking 😉

            Ederson
            Taa AWB Doherty
            Mane Bruno KDB© Mahrez Pulisic
            Kane Greenwood
            3.9 Nketiah Taylor Lascelles

            1. Holmes
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              I see Martial is missing 😉

              Looks good. Personally would take a punt on Kane for captaincy.

              1. Amey
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 2 days ago

                He's Vice © atm
                Regarding Martial, i opted for AWB and hopefully United will keep enough CS ..

                Last GW i could have gone for Martial instead of Mahrez but ... Let it be ..

                Mahrez will haul vs Newcastle 😀

                1. Holmes
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  Hope so, good luck

                  1. Amey
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    Thanks Holmes 🙂

            2. fish&chips
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              What was your move?

              I'm considering a -4 for salah & Jimmy to Foden and kane but I think there's too much potential for it to backfire so will probably just save

              1. Amey
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 2 days ago

                Rashford DCL >> Kane Greenwood (-4)

                Striker's are not staying long in my team since lockdown. 5 already left 😀

          • Holmes
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 2 days ago

            Is Foden playing on right wing?

            1. Amey
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Yesterday he did.
              He's a versatile player though.

              1. Holmes
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 2 days ago

                Only one of Foden and Mahrez can start? Or he can play as AM with Mahrez on right?

                1. Amey
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  He can play LW RW CAM LAM RAM

                  1. Holmes
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    Thanks

                  2. Nabs Kebabs
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    Yep, even read a quote somewhere where Pep says he could play as a striker. Not expecting it to happen, but with Kun out and Jesus being kak, wouldn't exactly put it past Pep to experiment with it.

                    1. Amey
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      He did Actually last GW play as a false #9 for some time mate

                      1. Nabs Kebabs
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 2 days ago

                        well there you go, very, very versatile player. Going to be an absolute star.

          • KP - FPL
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 2 days ago

            Who to start this week?

            A) Richarlison

            B) Greenwood

            1. Holmes
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Richarlison

          • diesel001
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 2 days ago

            Given minutes played yesterday, I'll guess this is the team Pep plays vs NEW:

            Ederson
            Walker Garcia Laporte Mendy
            KDB Rodri Gundogan
            Mahrez Sterling Foden

            1. Holmes
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Laporte again? That would be 4th consecutive start

              1. diesel001
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 2 days ago

                Not being funny, but Garcia and Laporte aren't exactly doing much running. They were spectators yesterday, just City couldn't find a breakthrough.

            2. Amey
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Fairly strong team.
              I'm expecting Laporte rest though

            3. The Red Devil
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Think fernandinho might start at CB instead of laporte

          • InvertedWinger
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 2 days ago

            Lots of moves i want to make but hamstrung by one FT. Do we think Salah starts vs BHA?
            Wondering if Salah + Rashford to Martial + Kane might be worth the -4

            1. wernerhedgehog
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              im contemplating this option as well..

          • ludaslol
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 2 days ago

            Patricio
            Doherty TAA Maguire
            Pulisic Salah KDB Bruno Martial
            DCL Jimi

            Any logic to FH this week? Everyone have decent fixtures but would like Kane against BOU if he is looking good tonight

            1. ludaslol
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              otherwise I have 1 FT and 0.4 itb

            2. what's my name
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              no logik keep

          • C_Manan
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Stuck with this line-up
              KDB Mahrez Martial Richa Ceballos
              Jesus Rash Jimi

              To do Ceballos > Bruno,
              A) Rashford > Deeney/Ings for -4
              B) Jesus & Rash > Vardy & DCL for -8
              C) Dont get Bruno, Jesus & Ceballos > Vardy/ Kane and 6.0m midf for -4

            • mitro
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              3.7 ITB

              Should I
              A) upgrade one of Lascelles/Kiko
              B) Jimi to Kane

              1. Nomar
                • 10 Years
                1 month, 2 days ago

                B

            • FPL Kakarot
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Which move should I make?

              A) Basham --> Digne

              B) Norwood --> Richarlison (but bench Greenwood)

              1. mitro
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 2 days ago

                A

              2. what's my name
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 2 days ago

                A

              3. RamaJama
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 2 days ago

                A

            • Disturbed
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              Thoughts on this fh team for this gw?

              Foster
              Taa Vvd azpi
              Sterling kdb Bruno Willian Foden
              Kane greenwood

              1. what's my name
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 2 days ago

                very nice GL

                1. Disturbed
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  Thanks

            • what's my name
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 2 days ago

              bench order:
              a. Nketiah
              b. F. Fernandez
              c. Lamptey

            • Vazza
                1 month, 2 days ago

                Who to start next gameweek

                A. Taylor vs whu
                B. Holgate vs SOU

                1. what's my name
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  B WH seems to have their attacking shoes on

                2. RamaJama
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  B

              • wernerhedgehog
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 2 days ago

                Is it time to sell Salah. Looking to fund Kane for Jota.

              • George James
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 2 days ago

                Play one

                A) Holgate (SOU)

                B) Kiko (NOR)

                1. RamaJama
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  A

              • BNMC
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  Pope (whu) or Hendo (WOL)? Leaning towards the latter.

                  1. jamesjoseph2770
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    Hendo

                • Gunner Boy
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  Who to lose first?

                  A- Salah
                  B- Trent
                  C- Son

                  Planning to get Another City Mid ( beside KDB)

                  1. RamaJama
                    • 7 Years
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    C

                  2. pitstop1
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    C, but watch him tonight first.

                • Lallana
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  Mane or Kane for my team? Got Son

                • DAVESAVES
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  What to do here?
                  Pope
                  TAA Aurier Saiss
                  Salah KDB Bruno Mahrez
                  Jimenez Rashford DCL

                  3.9 Lascelles Robinson Hayden
                  1FT 1.6itb

                  1. RamaJama
                    • 7 Years
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    Downgrade dcl and upgrade Hayden to 3-5-2?

                    Dcl to Greenwood?

                • RamaJama
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 2 days ago

                  Bench one:

                  A) Holgate (H SOU)

                  B) Aurier (B BOU)

                  C) Doherty (B SHU)

                  1. jamesjoseph2770
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    Holgate

                  2. C_Manan
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      A

                    • Karan14
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 4 Years
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      Holgate.

                      Would expect Soton to score.

                    • RamaJama
                      • 7 Years
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      Thanks!

                  3. Lokomotivvv
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    Would you do Rashford+Jimenez to Greenwood+Kane for -4?

                    1. jamesjoseph2770
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 4 Years
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      That looks risky..

                    2. RamaJama
                      • 7 Years
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      No, look at Kane’s form and fixtures after BOU, Think Greenwood, Rashford, Ings, Vardy etc could score the same the coming matches

                    3. Lokomotivvv
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      Greenwood‘s xG is actually lower than Rash‘s which makes me think about the move

                  4. The Red Devil
                    • 5 Years
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    Pope button
                    TAA Doherty Lascelles kiko Schelotto
                    Mane Mahrez martial Bruno son
                    Nketiah Rashford Jimenez
                    1 FT 0.1 ITB
                    how do I get kdb?

                    A- son & Rashford to kdb & Greenwood (-4)
                    B- son Rashford Jimenez to kdb Greenwood and Kane (-8)
                    C- son and Doherty to kdb & Holgate (-4)

                  5. Don Corleone the 1st
                    • 11 Years
                    1 month, 2 days ago

                    IF I take a hit this week (hit would be mainly for getting Foden), my front 8 would look like this:

                    Salah De Bruyne Bruno Martial Foden

                    Kane Jimenez Greenwood

                    Who do I bench?

                    1. Right In The Stanchion
                        1 month, 2 days ago

                        Foden for me

                      • RamaJama
                        • 7 Years
                        1 month, 2 days ago

                        Close between Foden and Jimmy...

                        1. Don Corleone the 1st
                          • 11 Years
                          1 month, 2 days ago

                          Thank you!

                    2. jdp219
                      • 3 Years
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      Set up for gw34:
                      Pope
                      TAA, Doherty, Saiss
                      Salah, KDB, Son, Pulisic, Bruno
                      Greenwood, Jimenez
                      (Martin; Holgate, Nketiah, Lascelles)

                      1) Salah > Martial
                      2) Lascelles > Aurier
                      3) Salah, Nketiah > Foden, Kane (-4)
                      4) Save FT

                    3. matiakez
                      • 9 Years
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      Really poor week just 49 points and finally losing patience with Vardy and Barnes back fired big time.

                      What to do here;

                      Pope
                      TAA Boly Maguire Holgate Lascelles
                      KDB Salah Foden Cantwell Bruno
                      Jimi Ings Rashford

                      1.6 in the bank.

                    4. Disturbed
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 2 days ago

                      Which seems to be the better gw to play the fh chip? Confused between this gw and gw 36.