Kieran Tierney (£5.4m) has left his Fantasy Premier League owners with Blank Gameweek 18 frustration as he missed out on Arsenal’s Thursday-night meeting with Crystal Palace.
Fresh from an 18-point haul against West Bromwich Albion, the left-back was the most-selected defender by managers playing their Free Hit for this midweek round of fixtures (53.7%).
However, Mikel Arteta has taken the decision to leave Tierney out of his Arsenal squad to face the Eagles as a precaution due to “muscle tightness”.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£4.6m) comes in to the replace the Scottish international on the left-side of defence, allowing Hector Bellerín (£5.1m) to hold onto his right-back berth.
Tierney is not the only Arsenal defender to miss out due to muscle issues, as Pablo Mari (£4.4m) has also been rested for the same reason.
That means starts at centre-back for David Luiz (£5.4m) and Rob Holding (£4.5m), the latter now featuring from the beginning in 11 of the last 12 Premier League matches. Meanwhile, Gabriel (£5.0m) makes a return from self-isolation on Arsenal’s bench.
The Gunners line up in much more predictable fashion higher up the pitch, with Emile Smith Rowe (£4.5m) handed a fourth-straight start at number 10.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m) and Bukayo Saka (£5.3m) flank the budget midfielder behind Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) who has four goals in his last three Premier League appearances.
Tyrick Mitchell (£3.9m) is one of the main Fantasy interests in Crystal Palace’s team, owned by 16.1% of managers worldwide.
And Free Hitters were also a big fan of the Eagles’ left-back, Tierney and João Cancelo (£5.8m) the only defenders selected by more managers using that chip for Blank Gameweek 18.
Wilfried Zaha (£7.4m) has blanked in five of the last six Gameweeks but remains in 19.9% of Fantasy teams.
Arsenal v Crystal Palace – Starting Line-ups
Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Maitland-Niles, Holding, D Luiz, Bellerín; Xhaka, Ceballos; Aubameyang, Smith Rowe, Saka; Lacazette.
Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Guaita; Mitchell, Kouyaté, Tomkins, Ward; Eze, McArthur, Milivojevic, Townsend; Benteke, Zaha.
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