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. Random Name
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 3 days ago

    Half time. But full time for me - will not be watching the second half of the liverpool game

    1. KAALI_DAAL
        1 month, 3 days ago

        Dont like the Reds getting humped?

    2. JJeyy
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 3 days ago

      RealMadrid 2 (1.42 xG)
      LFC 0 (0.00 xG)

      MCFC 1 (0.56 xG)
      BVB 0 (0.12 xG)

      1. Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 3 days ago

        Is that LIV's stats a typo? 😉

    3. EmreCan Hustle
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 3 days ago

      If Liverpool do get knocked out of the CL, how does that impact Jota vs. Firmino in the league?

      1. Tinkermania
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 3 days ago

        Not at all. Each will get a turn.

      2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 3 days ago

        They still have the second leg but the writing is on the wall. Top 4 the only way to get into CL next year. West Ham, Leicester, Chelsea and Pool fighting for two places. I expect these four teams to play with their best players.

        1. EmreCan Hustle
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Cheers. On WC so trying look ahead.

          1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Pick a combination of teams fighting for top 4 and teams fighting against relegation.

    4. Duke Silver ☑
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 3 days ago

      Just saw that Bellingham challenge on Ederson. City very lucky.

      1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 3 days ago

        Non challenge!

        1. Duke Silver ☑
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Yeah just a dispossesion really 😆

      2. Shark Team
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 3 days ago

        Dangerous play + clear contact, right decision 100%

        1. Milkman Bruno
            1 month, 3 days ago

            No, it really wasn’t. Bad touch from the keeper and Bellingham wins the ball and the keeper actually kicks him. At least wait til the ball goes into the net and let VAR check don’t blow your whistle early ref.

          • Noisy Neighbour
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Dude, I’m a City fan too but just stop.

            1. Shark Team
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 3 days ago

              Nothing more to say, if you think this isn't a foul ...

        2. Eh, just one more thing ...
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Joke decision and anyone saying otherwise is either on a wind up, is so bias they should be institutionalised or don’t know the first thing about football.

      3. fplking14
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 3 days ago

        A Villa with Grealish and Leeds will score against this Pool defence.

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          I wont compare Madrid and Villa.

      4. Ciderboy
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 3 days ago

        hi all what's the best price change predictor at the moment?

        1. waltzingmatildas
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          I'm using fpl statistics

          1. Whazza
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Same

      5. waltzingmatildas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 3 days ago

        I should know this, but it confuses me.
        If I bought son at 9.7 and he drops tonight, will I lose money on him?

        1. Whazza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Did you find out?

          1. Whazza
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            I mean I think you lose on every drop since you paid more

            1. waltzingmatildas
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 3 days ago

              Ah yeah, you are probably right. Cheers

          2. waltzingmatildas
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Nope

        2. KGJ United
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Yes, you will.

          You lost already 0.3M
          If today he falls again, that's another 0.1M you would lose.

          But, if people start buying him for DGW32, then you will get your money back.
          i.e you regain 0.1 for each price rise (until 9.7M).

          after 9.7, Son has to rise twice for you to gain 0.1 profit.

          Until that happens, you my friend are loosing money.

          I'm in the exactly same situation 🙂

        3. dark91
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Yes you lose with every drop since his price is already below your buy price

        4. Gentle_Turks
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          10 years on here and you have to ask this?

          1. waltzingmatildas
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Yep. Don't normally pay too much attention to price changes.
            Thanks for your help

        5. waltzingmatildas
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Thanks all

      6. Shark Team
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 3 days ago

        Norwich 5-0 Huddersfield(HT)
        Pukki 2G-1A
        Buendia 1G-3A
        Cantwell 1G-1A

        Let's welcome Norwich back in the PL

        1. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Sadly won't be as bargain bucket as before.

          1. Mr. O'Connell
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Puki 6.5
            Buendia 6
            Cantwell 5.5

            Would put money on it

        2. Konstaapeli
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Half time? Wow.

        3. Milkman Bruno
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Yeah Norwich back again! Pukki won’t be as cheap this time around though unfortunately

          • Revival
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Buendia has been outstanding this season, be interesting to see if he stays at Norwich as can see other PL sides bidding for him.

        4. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          Hi lads, what are the template transfers this week? I just wanna follow the crowd blatantly

          1. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Salah Jota nacho mendy taa up to a half hour ago.

          2. Duke Silver ☑
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            John Fleck in is a popular move.

            1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 3 days ago

              Fleck it is

        5. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 3 days ago

          And just like that £3.3m opens up in my WC budget!

          1. UNDERWORLD7
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            haha why?

          2. Konstaapeli
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Phillips over Trent?

            1. UNDERWORLD7
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 3 days ago

              i was thinking salah but yeah this could be what he meant

        6. SON of CITY
            1 month, 3 days ago

            looks like Liverpool have run out of luck in CL

          • Rainer
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            That Dortmund goal was disallowed? 😆

            1. Mr. O'Connell
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 3 days ago

              That's one of the worst decisions of all time. Ref was desperate to blow the whistle just so VAR couldn't overrule it. Plain cheating. No other explanation.

              1. Rainer
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 3 days ago

                That whistle blowing over rules everything needs changing.

                1. Milkman Bruno
                    1 month, 3 days ago

                    Yeah it’s shite.

                2. Milkman Bruno
                    1 month, 3 days ago

                    I think he reacts quick due to the city players reactions. Same mistake he made in awarding them a penalty when Rodri went down screaming holding his face. Disgraceful really, he should be ashamed. Embarrassing from Rodri.

                3. Eh, just one more thing ...
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  1 month, 3 days ago

                  There was actually someone on here adamantly arguing disallowing it was 100% correct.

                  I dispair.

              2. Revival
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 3 days ago

                On a wildcard and trying to decide which of Salah or Jota to put in for this weekend. The other will come in for Son in GW33. So far this match tonight not helping.

                1. TheDragon
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 3 days ago

                  I was going to do this too but it was pointed out to me that we should really have both for the Leeds game in 32

                  1. Revival
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 3 days ago

                    Yeah gotta keep Son for the DGW but otherwise would find a way to squeeze in both of them.

              3. TheDragon
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 3 days ago

                Wildcard is coming together. Few spots would welcome thoughts on

                A) Pick 1 Keeper: Mendy, Martinez, Sanchez
                B) Pick 1 Defender (5th spot): Konsa, Coady
                C) Pick 1 Midfielder: Gundogan, Neto, Lingard
                D) Pick 1 Striker: Antonio, Watkins, Bamford, Vydra

                1. Konstaapeli
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 3 days ago

                  Mendy
                  Konsa
                  JlingZ
                  Antonio (if fit)

                2. Revival
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 3 days ago

                  I would go Mendy, Coady, Lingard and Antonio. If Antonio not fit then it would be Watkins.

              4. fcsaltyballs
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 3 days ago

                Current WC draft:

                1.
                Mendy Forster
                Shaw Dias Rudiger Phillips Coady
                Salah Fernandes Son Jota Lingard
                Kane Iheanacho Vydra

                2.
                Dias Son >> Holding KDB

                3.
                Dias Son Vydra >> Stones KDB Brewster

                Any other thoughts to improve please?

                Thanks

                1. Konstaapeli
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 3 days ago

                  3 looks best

              5. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 3 days ago

                Salah has touched the ball about twice so far.

                1. Mr. O'Connell
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 3 days ago

                  I've heard he's essential

              6. bigdip
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 3 days ago

                WC Team 1 or Team 2?

                1. Mendy Forster
                TAA, Rudiger, Coady, Stones, Shaw
                Fernandes, Gundo, Son, Jota, Neto
                Kane, Ihenacho, DCL

                OR

                2. Mendy Forster
                PHILLIPS, Rudiger, Coady, KONSA, Shaw
                Fernandes, Gundo, Son, Jota, SALAH
                Kane, Ihenacho, WEL BECK/SILVA

              7. The Train Driver
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 3 days ago

                Typical Real to cruise through the final stages, always getting the easiest games...

              8. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 3 days ago

                Lingard urined my GW last time. from great green and at 40K I went down to 53K only because of him and Digne and DCL not returning.

                1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
                  • 11 Years
                  1 month, 3 days ago

                  what was your story of the GW?

                2. Milkman Bruno
                    1 month, 3 days ago

                    Your taking the piss mate

                  • The Train Driver
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    1 month, 3 days ago

                    Lingard loves them golden showers...

                    1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
                      • 11 Years
                      1 month, 3 days ago

                      *ruined hahahaha typo

                3. SON of CITY
                    1 month, 3 days ago

                    why are people having second thoughts about salah? I mean Madrid are just not close to be the same level with Liverpool, it's like comparing Leeds with Madrid.

                    1. JONALDINHO
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      1 month, 3 days ago

                      Timing

                  • Milkman Bruno
                      1 month, 3 days ago

                      Halaand just blew Dias off the ball. Animal

                      1. rnrd
                        • 6 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        that was brutal

                      2. A Kun & Mateta
                        • 7 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        Yikes, get a room boys!

                        1. Milkman Bruno
                            1 month, 3 days ago

                            😆

                      3. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
                        • 11 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        OMG salah

                      4. Shark Team
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        Ramos punching the air rn

                      5. Whazza
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        SALAAAAH

                        1. Whazza
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 8 Years
                          1 month, 3 days ago

                          Oh no is it offside?

                          1. Whazza
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 8 Years
                            1 month, 3 days ago

                            Goal stands, Jota assist

                      6. LewanGOALski
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 9 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        This combination on the weekend please

                        1. Boxwoods
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          1 month, 3 days ago

                          Rinse, repeat.

                      7. Shark Team
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        Real Madrid Liverpool became a much better watch for the 2nd half

                      8. Whazza
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        Great ball by Trent that tbf

                      9. S.Kuqi
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        Hat trick for Goat.

                        That Buendia & Pukki partnership will be the new Fraser & Wilson 18/19

                      10. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        Can't see both Jota and Salah starting at the weekend. Big game next Wednesday.

                        1. Boxwoods
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          1 month, 3 days ago

                          Jota only needs 20-30 mins.

                        2. Steve The Spud
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 3 days ago

                          Jota just scored 2 off the bench though

                        3. Revival
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 8 Years
                          1 month, 3 days ago

                          Firmino in for Jota we reckon?

                      11. S.Kuqi
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 3 days ago

                        Could be season ending move for me to captain Kdb next gw and go without Salah.