Line-up Lessons

Which Arsenal players are most likely to avoid rotation during season run-in?

Ahead of an expected rush of Wildcards in Gameweek 31, Anna Woodberry analyses which players stand the best chance of beating Mikel Arteta’s rotation policy at Arsenal.


Arsenal sit second of our Season Ticker over the next five Gameweeks when clubs are sorted by ease of fixture. Mikel Arteta’s side face the four bottom Premier League clubs over this period, with a tough home match against Everton sandwiched in the middle.

For Fantasy Premier League managers on their Wildcard, or those looking to maximise their transfer(s) this Gameweek, these fixtures could yield good returns.

That said, Arsenal’s form this season and their quarter-final matches against Slavia Prague must be considered when choosing which assets to go for. 

We have weighed up their credentials in this latest article by considering recent performances as well as investigating which players are the most likely to play consistent minutes in the Premier League between now and Gameweek 38.

Arsenal have not impressed as many would have expected during Arteta’s reign. The Gunners had a particularly poor start to the league and found themselves languishing in fifteenth place after eleven Premier League matches. However, Arteta has managed to pull them back up during the second half of the season, where they are now flittering between ninth and eleventh position.

Source: Wikipedia

This is in spite of a tough run of fixtures in their last ten games, which saw them play both Manchester clubs, Leicester City, Tottenham, West Ham and Liverpool. They picked up 12 points from a possible 30 from these matches: winning three, drawing three and losing four. 

Yet they only managed one clean sheet during this period (and have zero in their last six) while conceding 15 goals in total, six of which came in their last two matches against West Ham and Liverpool. 

On the flip side, though they only netted 14 goals during the same period, the team scored two or more goals in four of the ten games and are in the top five for goals scored over the past six matches. Given that their upcoming fixtures are against bottom-half clubs with poorer defensive records, this is something FPL managers will be hoping Arsenal could replicate over the next few Gameweeks.

EUROPEAN DISTRACTION

Who has the best and worst upcoming FPL fixtures? 14

The biggest headache for FPL managers, however, will be factoring in Arsenal’s Europa League campaign. Their quarter-final first leg against Slavia Prague takes place on Thursday evening, three days before their Gameweek 31 match against Sheffield United. Meanwhile, the second leg is scheduled for the following week, in between Gameweek 31 and Gameweek 32 (Fulham). 

If they get through this quarter-final, the semi-final fixtures are pencilled to take place in and around their Gameweek 34 and 35 matches against Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion, meaning the Gunners are facing the prospect of nine games in 30 days. So, while Arsenal are playing the four bottom Premier League teams, this is happening in amongst their European campaign, raising concerns over how much Arteta might rotate his squad to cope with this demand.

This concern is increased when considering which competition the Spaniard might favour going into the final part of the season as the Europa League arguably represents the best chance for the club to make it into the Champions League next season.

The Gunners are ten points off fourth place with eight Premier League matches to go but are battling a host of rivals to get there. Aston Villa, Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea are all above Arteta’s team, so the odds are stacked against them to win a European qualifying spot through domestic channels.

This could have ramifications for Arteta’s team selection in the Premier League over the next few Gameweeks. He utilised fringe players in the group stages of the Europa League, keeping his main stars – Kieran Tierney (£5.3m), Alexandre Lacazette (£8.2m) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m) – for the league. This may change now we are reaching the latter stages of the competition, especially if this is Arsenal’s best chance of playing in Europe next year. 

TIME FOR THE ‘BIG GUNS’

If we compare the Arsenal players’ minutes for the group-stage and knock-out matches of the Europa League this season, we can already see a shift towards the more experienced group. 14 players – Bernd Leno (£5.0m), Tierney, Hector Bellerin (£5.0m), Gabriel (£4.9m), David Luiz (£5.4m), Thomas Partey (£4.9m), Martin Odegaard (£6.0m), Dani Ceballos (£4.7m), Granit Xhaka (£5.2m), Emile Smith Rowe (£4.2m), Bukayo Saka (£5.2m), Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli (£4.9m) and Willian (£7.5m) – have all featured more in the knock-out stages than they did during the group matches.

This is also reflected when looking at the starting line-ups. Leno, Bellerin, David Luiz, Gabriel, Xhaka and Aubameyang have started all four knock-out games so far, with Tierney, Ceballos, Saka, Odegaard and Smith Rowe starting three. Therefore, we would expect Arteta to turn to these players again for the two legs against Slavia Prague. 

IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE

The issue this poses for FPL managers is whether these players will feature in the Premier League games either side of those quarter-final matches. Though hard to predict, we can see which players started a high number of league games in and around the Round of 32 and Round of 16 matches against Benfica and Olympiacos in February and March. 

Leno, David Luiz, Tierney, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard and Aubameyang were the only players to start four or more games in the league, suggesting they would be the best bets to play against Sheffield United and Fulham. In contrast, stalwarts Bellerin and Gabriel only started two games each, so might see their league minutes similarly restricted if they play on Thursday.

However, injuries could change this completely. David Luiz looks set to miss the next couple weeks after undergoing knee surgery, leaving Gabriel (£4.9m) to shoulder the principal centre-back burden. In his absence, Arteta could turn to either Rob Holding (£4.2m) and/or Pablo Marí (£4.4m) to partner Gabriel in the Europa League and Premier League games. Both are budget-value defenders who could easily fill the fourth or fifth spots in any FPL team.

In addition, Arsenal fear that Tierney could be ruled out for a similar period to Luiz after limping off in the first half against Liverpool in Gameweek 30. If true, this leaves Cedric Soares (£4.6m) and Saka as the Gunners’ left-back options since Sead Kolasinac went on loan to Schalke in January. With this uncertainty, it means Leno is probably the most reliable way into Arsenal’s defence.   

In terms of midfield and attack though, Odegaard and Aubameyang are the safest picks, but whether they represent the best value for money compared to other players in those price brackets remains to be seen. They could be good differential picks if they start though.

For FPL managers feeling a bit risky, Nicolas Pépé (£7.6m) and Eddie Nketiah (£5.4m) were frequently used in the group stages of the Europa League to give the more established players rest. Arteta could utilise the two again but in the league this time, especially if the tie against Slavia Prague is still close after the first leg.

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941 Comments Post a Comment
  1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    OMG asensio

  2. ivantys
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Such a joke pool's defence

    • ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      How bad were arsenal?

      This is so bad from Liverpool

      Some defending by trent

    • Nimby
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Do I really want Liverpool on my WC after watching this?

    • BobB
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      And TAA wonders why he is fourth-choice right-back for England

    • Duke Silver ☑
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Wtf Trent 😆

    • DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Trent is terrible tonight.

      1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        He’s been poor most of this season

    • Shark Team
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      TAA on form with another assist

    • Isco Disco
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      ASENSIOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • Isco Disco
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      World class play boys

    • ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Trent is getting destroyed

      1. TheDragon
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Doesn’t matter for FPL though does it

        0% chance he is dropped and he will terrorise the bottom half teams

    • Collie01
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Ederson and City were so lucky there. Awful refereeing

      1. Shark Team
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Oh no, it was a clear foul

        1. Collie01
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 17 days ago

          You're joking right?

          Ref should have let him score and then let VAR check it. Bit of a fault in the system that because he blew for a free before the ball was tapped in, it can't be checked.

          1. Sir Edo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Absolutely this!

          2. Shark Team
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            There was clear contact + dangerous play

      2. Sir Edo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Agree, worst mistake I have seen in a long time.

    • Traction Engine Foot
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Ederson very lucky.

    • Isco Disco
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      People really are buying TAA on WC coz all he did was give a 12 ptr against weak Arsenal LMAO

      1. AMBELLINA PRISE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 17 days ago

        It is statistically proven that he is awful. Not sure why everyone says he is a good player. Is it because he plays so advanced for a defender?

        1. Tinkermania
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 17 days ago

          Statistically? Link please.

          1. AMBELLINA PRISE
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Here you go, you and that other idiot who liked yoir idiotic comment. Shows how much you understand the game.

            https://talksport.com/football/837547/liverpool-trent-alexander-arnold-cause-for-concern-hype-steve-mcmahon/

            1. Tinkermania
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 17 days ago

              It was a genuine question actually. That was Steve Mcmahon's view? Wow! That changes everything. I mean, no one can disagree with Steve. Thanks.

              1. AMBELLINA PRISE
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                2 months, 17 days ago

                He broke the premier league record for possession lost and then broke it again.... that's a stat you uneducated chimp

                1. Tinkermania
                  • 1 Year
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Thanks for the masterclass Einstein. It's now official. Debate over.

                  1. AMBELLINA PRISE
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    It was never a debate, we are different species. I am actually amazed you can form sentences. A pretty evolved ape. Now eat your banana

                    1. Milkman Bruno
                        2 months, 17 days ago

                        You are a very punchable character.

                        1. AMBELLINA PRISE
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          2 months, 17 days ago

                          Thanks, it is one of the disadvantages of being intelligent

                          1. Utopsis
                            • 1 Year
                            2 months, 17 days ago

                            Your intelligence has not enabled you to respond to the correct comment though.

                          2. Milkman Bruno
                              2 months, 17 days ago

                              You’re intelligence worked in getting you the attention you craved. Our own faults really, shouldn’t feed the monkeys !

                            • Milkman Bruno
                                2 months, 17 days ago

                                *your

                          3. I am become Marvin
                            • 4 Years
                            2 months, 17 days ago

                            Human beings are apes you f**king dunce.

                            1. AMBELLINA PRISE
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              2 months, 17 days ago

                              Not all apes are human beings you orangutan! Chimps are also apes. You can have a banana as well

                              1. I am become Marvin
                                • 4 Years
                                2 months, 17 days ago

                                Well you sure showed me.

                              2. AMBELLINA PRISE
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                2 months, 17 days ago

                                Well you were wrong so instead of saying "you showed me", eat your banana and shut up

                              3. I am become Marvin
                                • 4 Years
                                2 months, 17 days ago

                                Good grief you are spectacularly stupid.

                          4. Nimby
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 2 Years
                            2 months, 17 days ago

                            What's your problem? Why are you calling this guy a chimp when you're the one behaving in such a ridiculously primitive way.

                            1. AMBELLINA PRISE
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              2 months, 17 days ago

                              If one is a chimp then it would be rude to call him otherwise

                          5. Tinkermania
                            • 1 Year
                            2 months, 17 days ago

                            I am not amazed. I know how much vitriol is spilt online. Not many can hold a decent debate without insults. I can even tell the type of people that go on to abuse footballers on line. Vile beings! Not you sir, you are a fine gentleman.

                  2. ivanthemerciless
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    No stats in that link

                    1. Tinkermania
                      • 1 Year
                      2 months, 17 days ago

                      Shhhh! Steve McMahon said it. That beats any stats. lol

                      1. AMBELLINA PRISE
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        2 months, 17 days ago

                        "Against Leicester last week, Alexander-Arnold lost possession an incredible 45 times. He gave the ball away 38 times in a defeat at Southampton last month, which was a record in the Premier League this season."

                        Stats you orangutan

                    2. AMBELLINA PRISE
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      2 months, 17 days ago

                      "Against Leicester last week, Alexander-Arnold lost possession an incredible 45 times. He gave the ball away 38 times in a defeat at Southampton last month, which was a record in the Premier League this season."

                      That is the definition of a stat you Darwinian nightmare

                      1. Tinkermania
                        • 1 Year
                        2 months, 17 days ago

                        So, you are saying he became the worst defender in the game against Leicester? You do the name calling wise man.

                        1. AMBELLINA PRISE
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          2 months, 17 days ago

                          He broke the premier league record for possession lost and then broke it again...

                          I am saying that you are an uneducated chimp if you don't understand what this means. Now go eat a banana

                          1. Utopsis
                            • 1 Year
                            2 months, 17 days ago

                            You can't have a disagreement without name calling? How old are you?

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

                            Wow, you're an idiot

                            1. AMBELLINA PRISE
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              2 months, 17 days ago

                              Still right though

                              1. bigwig
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 10 Years
                                2 months, 17 days ago

                                Nonsense. He's has a bad season, but Liverpool have generally. I don't care how many times he gives the ball away. As long as he can put it on Jota's head and me an assist I don't care

              2. Isco Disco
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 17 days ago

                He's ENGLISH, has good crossing technique and England don't have any other good RB. That's why people rate him so highly here

                1. Tinkermania
                  • 1 Year
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Just like people in England think they have the best striker iN tHe WoRlD 😉

          2. Camzy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            And people are really willing to pay 7.3m for this Liverpool defense. Yeah that's a no from me. Phillips will do.

            1. TheDragon
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              I think the likes of JoeLinton will given them less trouble 🙂

              But agree - I’ll be going Phillips.

            2. AMBELLINA PRISE
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              2 months, 17 days ago

              Philips is a great shout actually. At least you won't be mad if he blanks

            3. Shark Team
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              Liverpool can't defend. They will concede Vs Villa and Leeds so maybe from gw33 I would consider

          3. The Train Driver
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Dortmud getting destroyed.... by the ref.

            1. JonSnow
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              belligham goal ruled a foul was a joke

          4. Rainer
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            So it was Arsenal after all.

            Liverpool triple up off the cards.

          5. gooberman
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Are we going to have a Pukki party again then next season?

            1. S.Kuqi
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              I'm in from day 1

          6. JonSnow
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            bellingham absolutely robbed of a goal there wow

            1. Maarrrr17
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              It's so aggravating. Straight robbery, and officials are so easily influenced by how much city milks every physical bit of contact they receive. It's painful to watch.

          7. Random Name
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Trent doesn't have a place in the national team. EFL League 2 standard of defending. And attacking prowess inferior to the likes of Sancho and Saka.

          8. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Keita off

            Thiago on

            1. KAALI_DAAL
                2 months, 17 days ago

                Injury?

            2. Duke Silver ☑
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              Keita the scapegoat.

              1. FourLokoLeipzig
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 17 days ago

                I mean, I’m a Keita fan... but he was awful! Not his fault, he’s clearly not ready for selection for a game of this magnitude

            3. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
              • 11 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              Wow kabak with a terrible mistake

              Nearly another goal

            4. Zilla
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              lmao that high line

            5. Duke Silver ☑
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              Klopp's reaction to that Kabak mistake 😆

              1. Rainer
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 17 days ago

                11 lads off the street playing in red again tonight...

                1. Duke Silver ☑
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  The same lads Arsenal put out on Saturday. At least they're making some money during the pandemic.

                  1. Rainer
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    😀

            6. Lamplighters
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 17 days ago

              MCI showing some real quality

              1. KAALI_DAAL
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  What about Haaland?

                • Maarrrr17
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Quality influencing the ref.

              2. Rainer
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 17 days ago

                How many 5/10 yard passes have Liverpool given away? 😆

                1. KAALI_DAAL
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    Its embarrassing

                2. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Phillips feels overpriced on the basis of this defensive display, never mind TAA

                3. JJeyy
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  HT: #ChampionsLeague #UCL

                  White circle #RealMadrid 2 (1.42 xG)
                  Red circle #LFC 0 (0.00 xG)

                  LOL

                  1. Rainer
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    0.00 seems too high...

                4. Eat my goal!
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  The taa conundrum - why invest in what could be potentially a continuation of a terrible defence vs the great fixtures & the potential bonus and assist capabilities!!

                  1. JJeyy
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    Ditch all pool there trash