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. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Please Martinez keep that clean sheet.

  2. Sim Simma 🤷 🔑 🚘
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    ⚽ Team News 📰
    BURNLEY : Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters, Gudmundsson, Westwood, Cork, McNeil, Barnes, Vydra.
    Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Stephens, Rodriguez, Bardsley, Long, Dunne, Benson, Driscoll-Glennon, Mumbongo.

    BRIGHTON : Sanchez, White, Dunk, Webster, Veltman, Bissouma, Burn, Gross, Mac Allister, Maupay.
    Subs: Walton, Karbownik, Trossard, Lallana, Moder, Alzate, Welbeck, Tau, Zeqiri.

    NEWCASTLE : Darlow, Manquillo, Hayden, Schar, Lewis, Willock, Hendrick, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Wilson
    Subs: Dubravka, Dummett, Carroll, Joelinton, Ritchie, Gayle, Krafth, Fraser, Anderson

    SOUTHAMPTON : McCarthy, Vestegaard, Bednarek, Stephens, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Minamino, Bertrand, Redmond, Adams, Ings
    Subs: Forster, Djenepo, Salisu, Tella, Ramsay, N'Lundulu, Finnigan, Watts, Chauke

    1. JONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Solid Southampton side

      1. Hazz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        343?

        1. Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Read up before you post. They play 4-2-2

          1. Inazuma X1
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            4-2-2-2*

            1. AC/DC AFC
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              4-4-2 by the looks of it

      2. Super Saints
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Vestergaard back!!!!

        1. Flair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Ahead of a potential 3 DGWs 25-27

    2. Chenku╰☆╮
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Oh no cross

    3. Hooky
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      That Burnley midfield has so much flair

    4. Limbo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      0 players for me in the 3 o clocks. Those teams offer very little. Got 1-1 & 1-1.

    5. Flair
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Taylor still not back then.

  3. Fred54
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Benched Martinez.
    Sold Watkins.

    I'm a Villa fan apparently.

    1. Super Saints
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      WTF why on earth

      1. Keep calm and hoof me the b…
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        I did exactly the same. Feel stupid now, but this game is always easy in hindsight

      2. FantasyTony
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Did the same.

        Pope + Antonio had/higher potential.

        I forgot to account for arensal being dire.

    2. Elly88 > KTR (Kevin The …
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Enjoy the win

    3. Limbo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Play the long game. And it's GREAT to own a defender/GK from your own team (Baines was brilliant for me)

  4. Chenku╰☆╮
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Martinez is a legend. I love him. Cs confirmed

  5. Super Saints
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    A Grealish goal here and I'm in heaven, however if it's an arsenal goal I'm in hell!

    1. KGFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Ha.. same boat

    2. Totalfootball
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Stay as it is and be on earth

  6. Peter Ouch
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Its so depressing to watch Martinez when you don't own him.

    Please Arsenal score!!

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

      Even worse when you decided to bench him I'm discovering

      1. Peter Ouch
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Ouch

  7. AzzaroMax99
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Where is Martinez’s 3rd save?

    1. AzzaroMax99
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Added

  8. Ha.
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Martinez y u do dis

  9. JabbaWookiee
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Seeya later Lacazette. Owning you over the past 6 gameweeks has had its one up and five downs.

  10. navin
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Anyone know why Lloris is a popular choice for GK? Two nearest rivals in my mini league have him.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Offside Trapattoni
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      WBA tomorrow but could be stocking the shelves for the eventual Villa and Fulham fixtures TBD..

      1. navin
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Thanks for the reply. Appreciate it.

    2. F_Ivanovic
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      At one point (earlier in the season after Spurs had kept CS vs City, Chelsea and Arsenal he was the 2nd or best GK on points.

      1. navin
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Appreciate it mate. Thanks

  11. Von Lipwig
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Is Lowton actually a good option for GW24? Is 12 points on the cards at all?

    1. Collie01
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Lowton is such a boring pick. Absolute ceiling of 6pts per game pretty much.

      1. Here's Tom with the We…
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Not bad for 4.4 though

    2. Boss Hogg
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Mee if you can afford him.

      1. Von Lipwig
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        0.1 off sadly

    3. sandman58
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Solid option but for clean sheets only....Charlie Taylor slightly better but no guarantee he will be fit to play 2 games in 4 days as he's only coming g back from a hammy injury
      Lowton may also be under threat from Bardsley
      Tough call
      Let me know wat u think
      As I have 4.4 to spend on 1 lol

      1. Von Lipwig
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Yeah Taylor would be better, but surely that's a long shot. I'll have to find a Burnley group somewhere. You should know that Lowton will prob rise soon, if you're gonna do it

        1. sandman58
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Will probably do tonight then...thanks
          As for Leeds next week...would u go for Ayling or Alioski...cant afford Dallas?

      2. Here's Tom with the We…
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Clean sheets only for 4.4, wow! People do get greedy sometimes.

        1. sandman58
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          So true....confirms you me that Lowton will do for cover lol

  12. Hazz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Arsenal looking better...

  13. Chenku╰☆╮
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Martinez is a lovely man

    1. Limbo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      🙂

      Lovely lovely day.

  14. Collie01
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    I reckon I'll need the CS wiped to have a chance vs my cup opponent this week. Arsenal not a team that inspires any confidence though unfortunately!

  15. Stupendous
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Martinez on bench. Pope in could have waited a week eh?

    1. Hect.OR 98th
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      I needed to do it this week to use one of 2 FTs. Didn't need to play him, though!

  16. Boss Hogg
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Could do with an Arsenal equaliser here.

  17. JONALDINHO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    When a team concedes 3 goals in a game and they don’t usually concede much the manager will look at improving the defence at the loss of the attack. Leads to a run of clean sheets. It’s the reason I didn’t bring in Pope until next week. Hopefully Arsenal don’t score now and make me look like a fool

    1. Boss Hogg
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Bielsa is not listening.

      1. JONALDINHO
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Hence I said a team that is usually solid at the back. Bielsa is far from that

  18. Super Saints
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Martinez and Grealish massive differentials for me this week, strangely this is the most important game of the week for me

    1. JONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Same here. I’ll take 10+ pts

  19. Hazz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Willian coming on, congrats Villa.

  20. Dele
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Would love Villa to lose this clean, after selling Martinez

    1. Here's Tom with the We…
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Hopefully through a dodgy VAR decision

  21. Sco
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Officials giving Arsenal everything here.

    1. Collie01
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Could they give them a goal please? Regards, salty non-Martinez owner.

  22. RamaJama
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Øde playing as no 10

  23. ViperStripes
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    balls...benched Watkins played Grealish. Wrong way round

  24. DAZZ
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Definitely a goal in this for Arsenal

    1. diesel001
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Nope. Villa full backs playing too well. Break the full-backs you break Villa.

  25. EmreCan Hustle
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Seeing Willian come in for Partey, I think Villa could score a couple of goals here.

    1. Lindelol
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      doesn't matter as long as they concede one

  26. Super Saints
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Do not fear people I started Martinez and my rival benched him, there's not a chance he keeps a clean sheet

    1. PogChamp
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      No jinxing please

  27. Deulofail
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Holding should be a wing back

  28. hullcityfan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Wow 25% of top 10k benched Martinez

    1. Lindelol
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      where are you getting this stat from?

      1. hullcityfan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        https://www.livefpl.net/top10k Ownership minus EO

    2. Collie01
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Made sense on paper. Villa have been amongst the worst defensively in last 6 gameweeks while Arsenal had shown attacking improvement.

  29. Il Capitano
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Secret agent Willian