We begin our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 9 Scout Notes with analysis of Arsenal v Aston Villa.
ARSENAL 3-1 ASTON VILLA
- Goals: Thomas Partey (£5.0m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m), Emile Smith Rowe (£5.4m) | Jacob Ramsey (£4.5m)
- Assists: Smith Rowe, Aubameyang | Leon Bailey (£6.4m)
- Penalties misses: Aubameyang
- Penalties saves: Emiliano Martinez (£5.5m)
- Bonus: Smith Rowe x3, Martinez x2, Partey x1
A dominant Arsenal display against Aston Villa saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m) continue his fine form, as he bagged a goal and assist in Gameweek 9.
As a result, it’s now five attacking returns in the last six Gameweeks for the Gunners captain, a period which has also seen him produce 35 FPL points.
However, tonight’s six-point return could easily have been more, as despite converting the rebound, his initial penalty was saved by the impressive Emiliano Martinez (£5.5m), and combined with a second-half yellow card, ensured that he narrowly missed out on bonus.
SMITH ROWE SHINES
Lining up in a 4-4-2 formation, Arsenal ran out deserved 3-0 winners and were at their best on the break, with Emile Smith Rowe (£5.4m) in particular thriving.
Featuring on the left of the midfield four (no. 10 below), the youngster produced his second double-digit haul of the campaign, and completed more passes on the night than any other player on the pitch.
Arsenal’s average position map v Aston Villa in Gameweek 9
Elsewhere, Thomas Partey (£5.0m) had earlier opened the scoring with a glancing header from a Smith Rowe corner, having seen his volley earlier in the match cannon off the bar, while Bukayo Saka (£6.4m) put in an encouraging shift on the wing.
After tonight’s win, Arsenal are now unbeaten in six Premier League games, with Leicester City (a) up next in Gameweek 10.
Kieran Tierney (£4.9m) missed out tonight due to a bruised left ankle, which certainly doesn’t sound too serious, though we await further updates from the club regarding the severity of the injury.
Elsewhere, while initial reports suggested that Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) was replaced after 67 minutes with a knock, Mikel Arteta confirmed in his post-match interview that it was in fact only tiredness.
“He worked really hard, he hasn’t played many minutes, he’s not played any internationals and he’s lacking a little bit of that resilience to finish the games. But it doesn’t matter, the time he was on the pitch he was terrific.”
BAILEY ON THE WATCHLIST
After a dismal first-half showing, which saw Villa fail to register a single effort on goal, they improved after the break, which coincided with Dean Smith reverting to a back-four system.
As a result, his team looked far more comfortable, with substitutes Leon Bailey (£6.4m) and Jacob Ramsey (£4.5m) making a real impact off the bench.
Both players were key in adding more energy, and will now surely be pushing for a start against West Ham United (h) next weekend, as Smith’s troops look to get back on track after three defeats in a row.
VILLA SET-PIECE WOES
Villa conceded from another set-piece tonight, and looked awkward throughout defending dead-ball situations.
Having thrown away a two-goal lead against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend in similar fashion, it’s becoming a worrying theme for Dean Smith’s side.
However, that could be good news for Tomas Soucek (£5.9m) owners in Gameweek 10, with West Ham United up next.
“It was a very poor first half. Not recognisable as a Villa team we have come to know. They deserved what they got. We got dominated physically. If we had got through the half at 1-0 I would have fancied us, but 2-0 was hard to get.
We knew Arsenal would start strong. I’d love to say it was the system and personnel but we just didn’t play well. Didn’t win enough balls, weren’t good enough on the ball. I’ll accept the second half all day long but the first half was not good enough.” – Dean Smith
Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares, Saka, Sambi Lokonga (Maitland-Niles 73), Partey, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang (Martinelli 90+1), Lacazette (Odegaard 68)
Aston Villa XI: Martinez, Konsa, Tuanzebe (Bailey 45), Mings, Cash, McGinn, Luiz, Targett, Buendia (Ramsey 68), Ings (El Ghazi 77), Watkins
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