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
    29 days, 12 hours ago

    Who to captain next gameweek?

    a) Rashford

    b) KDB

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 12 hours ago

      Kevin

  2. fuzzymike
    • 2 Years
    29 days, 12 hours ago

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

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 12 hours ago

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

      1. fuzzymike
        • 2 Years
        29 days, 12 hours 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
          29 days, 11 hours 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
    29 days, 12 hours ago

    Which option?

    A) Martial Giroud
    B) Pulisic Rashford

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 12 hours ago

      B

  4. Right In The Stanchion
    29 days, 12 hours 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
      29 days, 12 hours ago

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

      1. Right In The Stanchion
        29 days, 12 hours ago

        Well whoop de do for you...

    2. Amey
      • 1 Year
      29 days, 12 hours 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
        29 days, 12 hours 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.

  5. Right In The Stanchion
    29 days, 12 hours ago

    Going forward so we think Eric Garcia keeps his place?

    1. Amey
      • 1 Year
      29 days, 12 hours ago

      Should start 2/3 games

  6. Amey
    • 1 Year
    29 days, 12 hours 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
      29 days, 12 hours ago

      I see Martial is missing 😉

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

      1. Amey
        • 1 Year
        29 days, 12 hours 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
          29 days, 11 hours ago

          Hope so, good luck

          1. Amey
            • 1 Year
            29 days, 11 hours ago

            Thanks Holmes 🙂

    2. fish&chips
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      29 days, 11 hours 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
        29 days, 11 hours ago

        Rashford DCL >> Kane Greenwood (-4)

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

  7. Holmes
    • 6 Years
    29 days, 12 hours ago

    Is Foden playing on right wing?

    1. Amey
      • 1 Year
      29 days, 12 hours ago

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

      1. Holmes
        • 6 Years
        29 days, 12 hours ago

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

        1. Amey
          • 1 Year
          29 days, 12 hours ago

          He can play LW RW CAM LAM RAM

          1. Holmes
            • 6 Years
            29 days, 11 hours ago

            Thanks

          2. Nabs Kebabs
            • 8 Years
            29 days, 11 hours 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
              29 days, 11 hours ago

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

              1. Nabs Kebabs
                • 8 Years
                29 days, 11 hours ago

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

  8. KP - FPL
    • 5 Years
    29 days, 12 hours ago

    Who to start this week?

    A) Richarlison

    B) Greenwood

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Richarlison

  9. diesel001
    • 3 Years
    29 days, 12 hours 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
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Laporte again? That would be 4th consecutive start

      1. diesel001
        • 3 Years
        29 days, 11 hours 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
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Fairly strong team.
      I'm expecting Laporte rest though

    3. The Red Devil
      • 5 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Think fernandinho might start at CB instead of laporte

  10. InvertedWinger
    • 5 Years
    29 days, 12 hours 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
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      im contemplating this option as well..

  11. ludaslol
    • 3 Years
    29 days, 12 hours 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
      29 days, 12 hours ago

      otherwise I have 1 FT and 0.4 itb

    2. what's my name
      • 2 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      no logik keep

  12. C_Manan
    29 days, 11 hours 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

  13. mitro
    • 6 Years
    29 days, 11 hours ago

    3.7 ITB

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

    1. Nomar
      • 10 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      B

  14. FPL Kakarot
    • 4 Years
    29 days, 11 hours ago

    Which move should I make?

    A) Basham --> Digne

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

    1. mitro
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      A

    2. what's my name
      • 2 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      A

    3. RamaJama
      • 7 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      A

  15. Disturbed
    • 6 Years
    29 days, 11 hours 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
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      very nice GL

      1. Disturbed
        • 6 Years
        29 days, 8 hours ago

        Thanks

  16. what's my name
    • 2 Years
    29 days, 11 hours ago

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

  17. Vazza
    29 days, 11 hours ago

    Who to start next gameweek

    A. Taylor vs whu
    B. Holgate vs SOU

    1. what's my name
      • 2 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      B WH seems to have their attacking shoes on

    2. RamaJama
      • 7 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      B

  18. wernerhedgehog
    • 2 Years
    29 days, 11 hours ago

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

  19. George James
    • 5 Years
    29 days, 11 hours ago

    Play one

    A) Holgate (SOU)

    B) Kiko (NOR)

    1. RamaJama
      • 7 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      A

  20. BNMC
    29 days, 11 hours ago

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

    1. jamesjoseph2770
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Hendo

  21. Gunner Boy
    • 5 Years
    29 days, 11 hours ago

    Who to lose first?

    A- Salah
    B- Trent
    C- Son

    Planning to get Another City Mid ( beside KDB)

    1. RamaJama
      • 7 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      C

    2. pitstop1
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      C, but watch him tonight first.

  22. Lallana
    • 6 Years
    29 days, 11 hours ago

    Mane or Kane for my team? Got Son

  23. DAVESAVES
    • 2 Years
    29 days, 11 hours 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
      29 days, 11 hours ago

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

      Dcl to Greenwood?

  24. RamaJama
    • 7 Years
    29 days, 11 hours ago

    Bench one:

    A) Holgate (H SOU)

    B) Aurier (B BOU)

    C) Doherty (B SHU)

    1. jamesjoseph2770
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Holgate

    2. C_Manan
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      A

    3. Karan14
      • 4 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Holgate.

      Would expect Soton to score.

    4. RamaJama
      • 7 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Thanks!

  25. Lokomotivvv
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    29 days, 11 hours ago

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

    1. jamesjoseph2770
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      That looks risky..

    2. RamaJama
      • 7 Years
      29 days, 11 hours 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
      29 days, 11 hours ago

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

  26. The Red Devil
    • 5 Years
    29 days, 11 hours 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)

  27. Don Corleone the 1st
    • 11 Years
    29 days, 11 hours 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
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Foden for me

    2. RamaJama
      • 7 Years
      29 days, 11 hours ago

      Close between Foden and Jimmy...

      1. Don Corleone the 1st
        • 11 Years
        29 days, 11 hours ago

        Thank you!

  28. jdp219
    • 3 Years
    29 days, 11 hours 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

  29. matiakez
    • 9 Years
    29 days, 11 hours 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.

  30. Disturbed
    • 6 Years
    29 days, 11 hours ago

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