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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. Milkman Bruno
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Reid goal Halaand assist. This is like a win for Bayern.

    1. Milkman Bruno
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Reus

    2. Milkman Bruno
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Dortmund ffs

    3. Brehmeren
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      3 out of 3. Impressive

      1. Milkman Bruno
        5 months, 14 days ago

        😆

  2. Daniel Jebbison
    • 12 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Dortmund score

  3. Duke Silver ☑
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Lovely goal from Dortmund

  4. Lethargio Alcantara
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    this german ref is completely nuts.

  5. Daniel Jebbison
    • 12 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Even more rotation for City now

    1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Yep

      Wouldn’t be surprised to see whole 11 rested

  6. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Wildcarders get rid of all city only for them to be knocked out by Dortmund and play their first team in the league again 😀

  7. Super Saints
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Trent and Dias essential!

    1. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      What?

      1. Super Saints
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Pool and City defence doesn't look worth the big money

    2. Salah’s Sonnet
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      huh?

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

    More city to be rested now this weekend.

  9. Flynny
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Surely not worth a 1 week wildcard punt on city mid or attacker is it?

    V hard to squeeze Sterling in for the 1 week .....

  10. Isco Disco
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Trent you stupid boy LOL
    Losing it now haha

    1. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      What happened?

  11. El Presidente
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 14 days ago

    City's champions league botling cap on... another one bites the dust!

    1. Forza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      lol

  12. Milkman Bruno
    5 months, 14 days ago

    What a goal city

    1. Milkman Bruno
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Foden needed that after the other 2 missed chances

  13. AC/DC AFC
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Everybody...

    Drop all your Man City players.

    Quick

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      2 1

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Still getting rested

      2. AC/DC AFC
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Is Gundo onside?

    2. Super Saints
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Especially Foden

    3. Utopsis
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Or buy Sterling / Jesus / Aguero

    4. FourLokoLeipzig
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Already did. Rotation’s gonna be off the charts from here

  14. Laytor
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Good to go?

    Martinez / Steele
    Stones / Cresswell / Shaw / Rudiger / Phillips
    Salah / Lingard / Fernandes / Maddison / Son
    Kane / Antonio / Davis

    Would you make any changes?
    thanks!

  15. Shark Team
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    KDB tax

    1. Milkman Bruno
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Unreal

  16. Duke Silver ☑
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Wow class goal that. So composed from Gundo

  17. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    OMG foden

  18. Milkman Bruno
    5 months, 14 days ago

    That control from Gundo was one thing but seriously what a pass from Kevin

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Brilliant.

      Needed too.

    2. Utopsis
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Any lower and it's intercepted, any higher and Gundo struggles to control.

      On. The. Money

  19. Messiah Hazard
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Brought in Foden and left him on the bench 🙁

  20. Duke Silver ☑
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Anyone going down the Sterling route for one last disappointment? 😀

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

      KDB to Sterling(C).

      1. Duke Silver ☑
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Could be a huge differential and it is Leeds.

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

          Yes. Can see City scoring at least 3/4 and he’s bound to be involved. No other captaincy option too.

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

      Never ever again.

  21. KAPTAIN KANE
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    KdB goal and Gundogan assist, get in!

    1. KAPTAIN KANE
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Helps recover a bad week a bit

    2. Super Saints
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Unlucky this week mate, must be awful being ranked at 1k lol! I'm 30k now and playing my WC so watch out!

      1. KAPTAIN KANE
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Haha so wish I had my WC right now!

  22. Bobby
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Ok so I'm being pummelled at moment in fpl. If you had cancelo, stones and gundo, what would you do with them? They're going to be rotated now in prem surely?

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

      Yeah. Won't play this weekend I reckon.

    2. Tinkermania
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      You could get 2 of them starting if lucky.

  23. Super Saints
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Gundogan so so good

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

    Just look at cities bench on live score. That's the majority of who'll be starting on weekend.

  25. Camzy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Mane was the worst player on the field. How have they kept him on? He's just run into blind alleys and dives for non-penalties all game.

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

      He’s been terrible all season. Salah, Firmino, Jota should be the front 3. Most balanced.

    2. Konstaapeli
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Used to getting those decisions in prem. The ref did well not to fall for them.

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

        They’ve only got 1 pen in the last 20 games lol what are you on about

        1. Konstaapeli
          • 5 Years
          5 months, 14 days ago

          All those cheap free kicks every week

          1. Konstaapeli
            • 5 Years
            5 months, 14 days ago

            It was ment more to highlight the poor standard of the referees in prem. Those kind of situations are usually rewarded with fk in general.

      2. Duke Silver ☑
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Tbf there was one in the first half where he just got barged out of it by the last man. Could've easily been a red card for the Madrid player.

  26. gaurava1216
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Thoughts on this WC?

    Mendy Forster
    Dias Rudiger Shaw Phillips Fofana
    Bruno Jota Salah Son Lingard
    Kane Ihenacho Wood

    Struggling to pick between Reguillon ans Shaw- if Reguillon would be only for Gw31 and 32 as have to sell to field 11 in 33 if I go with him.

    Wood seems a decent about for 31 and Blank 33 and an easy switch to Bamford/Antonio/Watkins.

    Have to possibly Gamble on Iheanacho for a few weeks and again and easy change if goes wrong in a few weeks to Bamford.

  27. Super Saints
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Shame Haaland didn't play, was looking forward to seeing him

    1. Duke Silver ☑
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Didn't have any service but did show glimpses of the talent. Absolutely steamrollered Dias at one stage to create a chance out of nothing.

      1. Chrisitis
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Haaland lost his balance when Dias fell on him as well

  28. Tosa86
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    My actual team is:
    Martinez - Forster
    Dallas creswell struijk shaw cancelo
    Kdb son Bruno smith rowe soucek
    Vardy kane bamford

    Ft:2

    1) soucek, kdb, vardy-> salah lingard ineacho (-4)?!
    2) in gw 33 i’ll have out Kane son kdb and cancelo how to move?
    3) any suggestion to improve team?

  29. No Kane No Gain
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Gündoğan (C) locked in, no chance he misses the 3rd league game in a row. I honestly think he was just benched V Leicester becuase he played 3 games for Germany.

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

      Wouldn't risk it myself.

    2. Utopsis
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 14 days ago

      No one can second guess Klopp but, he's no spring chicken, he definitely starts against Dortmund in a week, and can he play 3 in 8 days? Not so sure myself

      1. No Kane No Gain
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        I wouldn’t say yes particularly not a spring chicken either and just played 90X 3 for Germany in just over a week.

    3. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      He'll start imo as Rodri & KDB need rest too.

      1. No Kane No Gain
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Exactly my thinking

    4. Utopsis
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Pep*

    5. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      50/50 good luck

    6. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      He is mine too but my fingers are itchy

      1. No Kane No Gain
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Good luck!

    7. fplking14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      I'm not sure so. He played 3 full games for Germany. If you assume he starts the return leg and FA semi final then thats 4 games in 1.5 weeks; 7 games in 3.5 weeks.

      I don't see Pep starting him so much. Most likely he will come off the bench.

      1. No Kane No Gain
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Maybe he doesn’t play the second leg or the semi final though.

        1. fplking14
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          5 months, 14 days ago

          No way. He's been one of their best players if not their best player, he will start in the cup games which are a priority.

          He will either start and come off early or not start and come on for some mins.

  30. TheDragon
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Do we think Gundogan and Dias start this weekend?

    1. fplking14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Dias- no
      Gundogan - 50/50