FPL Team Preview: Arsenal
If I were an Arsenal fan (which I’m not) I would not want to remember the 2019/20 season.
They may have beaten Manchester City on the way to winning their only trophy of the season – the FA Cup, but their form in the premier league had been very inconsistent. They beat Liverpool 2-1 after Liverpool were crowned champions but they had the league double done over them by relegation battlers Brighton & Hove Albion. Midway through the season the board showed the door to Unai Emery and brought in past player Mikel Arteta. Arteta was assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. When appointed Arteta made clear that the club had been lead in the wrong direction and that people need to make themselves accountable.
With regards to Fantasy last season Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the Arsenals highest scorer followed Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal bought Nicolas Pepe from Lille in the summer transfer window back in 2019 along with signing defenders David Luiz and Kieran Tierney. Tierney missed the first couple of months the season.
William Saliba was signed from Saint Etienne but loaned straight back.
To finish the season, Arsenal had Emiliano Martinez as their goalkeeper due to Bernd Leno’s injuries. Martinez held his own pulling off a number of saves and keeping Arsenal in matches. Clean Sheets were very hard to come by for Arsenal last season with only keeping nine. They did concede 48 goals for the whole season.
Looking towards this season Arsenal first 5 games are:
- Fulham (A)
- West Ham (H)
- Liverpool (A)
- Sheffield (H)
- Man City (A)
The gunners face the top two from the last two seasons away from home. The opening five games could possibly see them grab a few goals against newly promoted Fulham, relegation battlers from last season West Ham and
I honestly believe Sheffield will be a huge unknown this season as last season they performed beyond expectations, could we see Chris Wilder perform the same way? Maybe not! So the question is “Who from Arsenal should I consider for my FPL team for the 2020/21 season?”
If I was going to be looking at any Arsenal players I would only be looking at the the Big 3: Aubameyang, Pepe and Lacazette. They have two easy games of Fulham and West Ham before facing Liverpool at Anfield. I can’t see anyone having any Arsenal players from Gameweek 3-7 because of the run of games they have. From Gameweek 8 until Boxing Day the only two difficult games they play are Spurs and Wolves, the Everton game is neutral in my opinion as it could go either way. Defensively I would steer clear of any of the Arsenal defenders unless you’re looking for a cheap option of Tierney. Hopefully Tierney holds his spot and Arteta doesn’t revert back to 4 at the back which would mean that Tierney would have competition in Kolasinac.
Bernd Leno (5.0): This is his third season in the premier league and over the last two seasons he has kept only 7 and 6 clean sheets. Last season he finished with 114 points, only 8 better than the previous season of 106. He pulled off 113 saves last season again only 8 better than the previous season of 105. Last season he did receive 5 more bonus points as he saved one penalty. If he stays fit and has competition for his spot this season I don’t see why he can’t improve again this season. I do feel there are better keepers at 5.0.
If you have a 4.5m keeper who is playing and also has favourable fixtures when Leno comes up against tougher teams then you would justify starting with him. We know how shaky Arsenal are at the back but they could possibly keep a couple of clean sheets early on.
Emiliano Martinez (4.5): What a story for Martinez. He performed brilliantly in the games he played in, when Leno went down injured Martinez definitely stepped up. He averaged only about a goal conceded a game, but when you put that into perspective he conceded 2 to Watford, Spurs and Brighton. He kept clean sheets against Wolves, Norwich and Southampton. In the 9 games he played for Arsenal this season he had 34 saves. Nearly 4 saves a game. In FPL points that’s close to 2 points extra on top of playing the full 90. This guy will always be second fiddle to Bernd Leno.
I wouldn’t be having him on my bench or as my starting keeper. There are better starting keepers that are priced at 4.5m.
William Saliba (4.5): The question on everyone’s minds would be if Saliba will start or will he be loaned out again. He was bought by Arsenal in the 2019 summer from Saint-Etienne but was loaned straight back for the 2019/20 season. He made 12 appearances for Saint Etienne where he kept 4 clean sheets. He didn’t contribute on the scoresheet either. He still is yet to score a senior goal. Depending on the way that Arteta sets up his team will determine if he starts or is on the bench. Kolasinac, Sokratis and Luiz are ahead of him.
My belief is he would get loaned out but possibly not with Mustafi and Chambers still injured and not expected back for a little while. Definitely better 4.5 defenders at other clubs who are definite starters.
David Luiz (5.5): This season do we ride the David Luiz rollercoaster? I definitely won’t be. On his day he is a very good defender but last season he was very up and down. He received 2 red cards along with 5 yellow cards. He was involved in 8 of the 10 clean sheets Arsenal kept, he popped up for 2 goals and 1 assist, he tallied only 94 points last season. If we look at the stats every second season he is going above 120 but those seasons were at Chelsea. Will he do the same at Arsenal? possibly not, but I do see an improvement in his points this season coming.
Arsenal chopped and changed his defensive partners throughout the season.
Hector Bellerin (5.0) and Cedric Soares (5.0): I’ve put these two together because these two will be hard at training battling out to see who will be the starting RWB or RB for Arsenal this season. Bellerin over the last two seasons has been quite down on his scoring but has been plagued by injury. Cedric in the same period of time at Southampton found himself not having many minutes either, from the 2017/18 season to 2018/19 season saw himself lose half his playing time to injury and last season came back to arsenal and was “yoyoed” early on in and out of the squad before finding consistent form for a period between November to January.
I believe Bellerin provides better potential and threat going forward compared to Cedric. Very risky in picking either one of these two as Arteta could possibly not be sold on either of them and just continually change them.
Kieran Tierney (5.5): For most of last season he found himself out with injury. This season if he stays fit and healthy he will see an extended run in the squad. He finished off the season with 8 starts at LB and should see him be one of the first names on the team sheet. He provided 1 assist and scored 1 goal with only 3 clean sheets for a score of 44 but we should that score double and more this season. 100 plus point season if he stays fit and healthy. After GameWeek 7 we should consider him. Before then he plays Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (12.0): This guy is nearly a season long investment. He is a MIDFIELDER this season. Just think of those extra points for goals scored and extra point for clean sheets he will get if Arsenal keep clean sheets. Arsenals top scoring player for the last two seasons with 205 in each season. He scored 22 goals in each season and provided an average of 6 assists. Possibly you could start him for the first two game weeks then offload him to another midfielder as in game weeks 3-7 he comes up against 4 of the top 5 from last season. He does take penalties too.
For me he is a no brainer, there isn’t much of a case to not have him.
Willian (8.0): Where will he fit into this Arsenal squad coming from Chelsea. Willian performed very well for Chelsea with scoring 168 points, his best haul since arriving in the premier league. He scored 9 goals and provided 9 assists. He received 26 bonus points too. He won’t reach the same heights as he did last season but will be thereabouts, better midfielders who have better scoring potential.
Will always have a special place for Willian as he scored the winning penalty against Man City to win my boys the League. =)
Nicholas Pepe (8.0): He came into last season after a terrific season at Lille in 2018/19 but he just couldn’t find his mark in the premier league. He was definitely not worth 9.5m last season. The first season for a newbie in English football is always hard. He very well priced this season and should see him increase in his 106 points from last season. He scored 5 goals and provided 6 assists but we should definitely see him improve this season.
He is definitely viable option to start with then off-load then get back once gameweek 7 is done and dusted.
Bukayo Saka (5.5): Saka was a main stayer in the squad for Arteta and found himself starting plenty of games. He scored once and provided 5 assists in the premier league. He had a points tally 71. I believe if he gets continual starts he will easily score better than last season but is he justifiable to be in your squad probably not. There are better 5.5 midfielders and 5.0 midfielders but he is definitely one to watch.
Mesut Ozil (7.0): Will there be a spot for Mesut in the midfield? Over the last few seasons he has definitely seen less and less minutes. Last season he provided only 4 goal contributions. For someone with his talent I don’t see why he shouldn’t be in the arsenal squad of 18 for their games, Will he play is a different issue. The midfield is pretty much set and forget for Arsenal these days but maybe Arteta will have some plans for Ozil. We can’t forget that a few seasons ago he was scoring 160 and 200 points before dropping off. He is 31.
Alexandre Lacazette (8.5): Definitely down on his numbers of 2018/19 season but still scored well with 118 points. He was injured for a period of time and did come off the bench quite a bit as Aubameyang got the nod ahead of him. I believe this season we should see him reach the heights of his 2018/19 season where he scored 166 points with 13 goals and 12 assists. If he starts he is definitely a viable option as I believe his talents are far better than some other 8.5m forward.
Arsenal Prediction: 5th – 8th
Have a check on how Arsenal is faring in Pre-season.
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Josh Dowling js from Australia and has been playing FPL for 9 years. He follows Liverpool fervently and is passionate about the Beautiful Game.
He is currently coaching and getting his FFA C license.
He blogs regularly as well, so do check it out!