Dugout Discussion

Ryan starts in goal for Arsenal as Aubameyang remains on bench

On-loan Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan (£4.2m) makes his Arsenal debut in Gameweek 23.

A hip problem ruled the stopper out for Gameweek 22 but Ryan returned to full training on Friday.

Bernd Leno (£5.0m) is serving a one-match suspension after being sent off as Arsenal lost 2-1 at Wolves on Tuesday. David Luiz (£5.4m) is in the same boat after his red card at Molineux.

Having only returned to the Arsenal matchday squad in GW22 following a personal issue, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m) remains on the bench as Pepe (£7.6m) starts again. On that selection call, Mikel Arteta said:

It’s been a really difficult decision, as you can imagine. I felt that the players that played against Wolves, the way they played – they deserve another chance today and that’s why I stick with them.

Pepe joins Bukayo Saka (£5.4m), Emile Smith Rowe (£4.4m), and Alexandre Lacazette (£8.4m) in Arteta’s four-pronged attack.

With Kieran Tierney (£5.3m) still sidelined, Cedric (£4.6m) continues at left-back while Gabriel (£5.0m) slots in for David Luiz. On the Scottish full-back, Arteta said on Friday:

“We are trying to manage him in the best possible way and find every possibility to give him the best chance to be fit as soon as possible. Kieran is a player that really pushes himself and he has to be able to perform physically at his best because he cannot help himself. Even in training he can’t help himself.”

Asked whether the left-back’s injury has to be managed carefully:

“No, it’s a different injury in this case.”

For Aston Villa, Douglas Luiz (£4.9m) drops to the bench as Marvelous Nakamba (£4.3m) is drafted into midfield.

Bertrand Traoré (£5.9m) also returns to Dean Smith’s starting XI, after Anwar El Ghazi (£5.5m) earned a rare start on Wednesday as the Villans were turned over by West Ham.

Speaking to BT Sport ahead of kick off, Smith explained:

Just freshening it up. I rested Betrand on Wednesday. It’s been a lot of games; I think it’s our sixth game in 18 days.

Likewise with Douglas Luiz. He’s done OK but he’s played pretty much every minute so it was time to put Nakamba in.

Emi Martinez (£5.2m) banked four points in that midweek defeat, despite conceding three goals. He lines up behind the usual back four of Matt Targett (£4.8m), Tyrone Mings (£5.4m), Ezri Konsa (£4.6m) and Matty Cash (£5.0m).

Traoré rejoins Ross Barkley (£5.9m) and Jack Grealish (£7.8m) in attacking midfield, with Ollie Watkins (£6.3m) leading the Villa line.

On that West Ham loss, Smith said in his pre-Arsenal press conference on Friday:

The message was they’ve dropped below their standards. We’ve had some very high standards this season already and we keep speaking to the players, if we want to be a top team then we have to keep playing to those standards.

For me, there were too many six out of 10s on Wednesday night and if you drop to that level then you’re going to get beat. We found that out. The lads understand that as well and they know what they have to do to put it right.

On defensive mistakes against the Hammers, Smith added:

After the Burnley game, I only showed (the players) the set-piece goal, which I thought was really poor defending from ourselves. After the West Ham game, our debrief was all three goals, as they were really poor defensively.

I haven’t had cause to do that because we’ve set really high standards this season and I thought we dropped off it. It was the first time I thought we looked mentally tired more than anything, certainly there’s nothing in the numbers to suggest fatigue in any way, but it was the fifth game in 14 days, we’ve got our sixth game on Saturday in 18 days.

The lads have to make sure they’re ready for each game because it’s a tough league and can be punishing if you’re not right.

Aston Villa XI (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Targett, Mings, Konsa, Cash; McGinn, Luiz; Grealish, Barkley, B Traoré; Watkins.

Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Ryan; Cedric, Gabriel, Holding, Bellerin; Xhaka, Partey; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Saka; Lacazette.

1,118 Comments Post a Comment
  1. BobbyV
    • 8 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Martinez and Targett....oh yeah

  2. Salan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    You cannot bench, drop, ignore Martinez.

    Just keep and leave him alone.

    1. Utopsis
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Absolutely - can keep a CS against anyone

  3. Londongeezaa
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Went 3 Villa with Martinez, Grealish and Watkins.

    Nice start to the week 🙂

  4. I'M VARANE GRATEFUL
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Martinez + Watkins

    SIIIIIUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUIU

    1. Flair
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 14 days ago

      We move!

    2. Bobby Digital
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Targett + Watkins here

  5. Atimis
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    I knew not to get Grealish, could easily go Maddison or Rashford, now just hope that AV will get that DGW soon

    1. GuenDoozy
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      could have had a goal and couple of assists...still a fantastic pick

      1. Londongeezaa
        • 3 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        This

  6. Flair
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 14 days ago

    20 from 3. Cheers Villa, what a team.

    1. IRBOX ⚽
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Average

      1. Flair
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Don't call yourself that. Even if it's true 😆

  7. g40steve
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Watkins & Martinez owner off to a good start.
    Not making any changes pays off 🙂

    1. Utopsis
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 14 days ago

      My rival stuck both on the bench 🙂

      1. g40steve
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Ouch, for Burnley?
        Just watch Brighton score 🙂

        1. Utopsis
          • 1 Year
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Haha you called it!

  8. Rainer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Only 9 Emi points feels like a fail.

    1. dogtanion
      • 12 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      How ? 9 is huge for a gk

  9. gogs67
      8 months, 14 days ago

      I'll take that, Martinez and Watkins, Grealish unlucky not to get on the scorecard

    • Coaly
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Who are the best options to target for next week?

      Jesus? Sterling? Mee?

    • Jafooli
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Martinez winning save baps still to be added?

    • JONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Did people actually bring in Pope knowing they’d be benching Martinez? Ludicrous stuff

      1. Atimis
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Why not for DGW?

      2. Pépé Pig
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Oh shut up with the hindsight

        1. JONALDINHO
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          I decided to wait until next week to bring in Pope because of benching Martinez. That’s not hindsight

          1. Hazz
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            You're not benching Martinez next week then?

            That's what your post implies.

            1. JONALDINHO
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              8 months, 14 days ago

              Considering bench boost because of him

      3. Champions League Varane
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Re considering bringing Pope in this coming week because I’d have to bench Emi! Maybe just Tarkowski will do

      4. Hazz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        I'll be looking forward to you not benching Martinez next week.

        1. Jafooli
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Playing BB 😎

            1. JONALDINHO
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              8 months, 14 days ago

              Still might bench boost next week and get it out of the way

              1. Hazz
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                8 months, 14 days ago

                Eagerly looking forward to your moves.

      5. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
        • 9 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Yeah leader in my mini league did it for a hit. I'm in second so happy out.

    • janowsc
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Just play Martinez, it’s that easy

    • Inazuma X1
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Arsenal sold Martinez.

      1. Limbo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        For Ryan -4

        1. Inazuma X1
          • 4 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Haha

    • CrouchDown
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Has there ever been a better FPL GK than Martinez?

      1. Meinhoff
        • 9 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Can't think of any better starting at 4.5

        1. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          You have a short memory

        2. Limbo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Yeah, not at his starting price. Pope had a great run a few years back but wasn't 4.5.

          1. Inazuma X1
            • 4 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            Pope was 4.5 last year

            1. Limbo
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              8 months, 14 days ago

              I do have a short memory

        3. S.Kuqi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Pope, Heaton, Mannone

      2. Inazuma X1
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Pope last year is close

    • Firmino
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Why did I get Pope?

      1. Bobby Digital
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Because he has a DGW and good fixtures

      2. Johnny 8
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        For next week

    • I'M VARANE GRATEFUL
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Watkins owner and i want him to lose 1 Bap so that Emi can get 3.

      1. Salah’s Sonnet
        • 10 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Think all is EMI owners do haha

      2. KGFC
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Most likely you will

    • Danno - Emre Canada
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Got to be plenty of Martinez, Targett and Watkins owners out there, pleasant start to the weekend. I benched Targett though.

      1. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
        • 9 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Benched Watkins in favour of Kane.

        1. Sun Jihai
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Kane won't play

          1. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
            • 9 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            Hope not now.

          2. Van der Faart
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            He might. He has apparently trained today

        2. tbos83
            8 months, 14 days ago

            You'll likely get the points then

            1. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
              • 9 Years
              8 months, 14 days ago

              Hope so.

        3. Champions League Varane
          • 2 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Benched Targett too but I won’t complain

      2. nerd_is_the_werd
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Was going to start Fabianski, but no..... Sir Martinez, time and again delivers the goods. You Sir, are a legend!

      3. Champions League Varane
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Emi on 2 or 3 bonus? 9 points is amazing I ain’t complaining but 10 would be sweet

        1. Sun Jihai
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          2

        2. Flair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Saving 10 for next week.

      4. jia you (The No BS League -…
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Had the FT but glad I held off until now to do Marty to Pope 🙂

        1. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
          • 9 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Same

        2. Limbo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Never sell. Never bench. He's (c) material.

      5. Elly88 > KTR (Kevin The …
        • 9 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        I have Martinez and Konsa last on bench. Should i be happy or sad?

      6. DycheDycheBaby
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        ffs where did that YC for Grealish come from?

        1. dogtanion
          • 12 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Dissent

      7. mgilbert86
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        What an absolute dumb punt bringing in Auba

        1. Limbo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Dumb as a brick mate.

        2. JustPark
          • 5 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Wonder what kind of stats were you looking. Members privileged.

      8. Ibra
        • 3 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Martinez and Targett on the bench. Great start for the gw.

      9. Fiorentina
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Which teams still have rearranged matches to play after GW 24+25?

        Thanks in advance!

      10. Sun Jihai
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Are my eyes deceiving me - Watkins on 3bps with only one goal scored?! Must have kept his offsides and big chances missed to single digits this week..!

        1. Flair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Had a few chances to add another, Matt Ryan just decided that today was his day to become a competent keeper. Sigh

      11. Pep Roulette
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        What was the incident where Emi grabbed Laca's jersey?

      12. Bobby Digital
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Almost did Sterling ➡ Grealish... Glad I didn't.

      13. Van der Faart
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Benched Martinez and played Meslier at 10.59. Watch Leeds crumble in defence now