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Numbers suggest upward curve for Arnautovic

The Scout 12 Oct 2016
Scout: Arnautovic lead 121016

The Scout on why the Stoke City midfielder's first big points return of the season is imminent

After a pair of somewhat unconvincing campaigns, Marko Arnautovic (£7.2m) proved his worth as a Fantasy Premier League asset last season.

Racking up 11 goals and six assists for Stoke City, the Austrian also collected 18 bonus points on his way to a 165-point haul – almost double his tally of 84 in 2014/15.

Seven Gameweeks into 2016/17 Arnautovic has only found the net once – at Crystal Palace in Gameweek 5 – yet the statistics suggest that he has been unfortunate.

When assessed against 2015/16 the winger has increased his touches inside the opposition box – from 4.0 to 4.7 per appearance – and has also improved his efforts in the area, from 1.2 to 1.3 per appearance. 

Arnautovic 2015/16 v 2016/17

  Penalty area touches per match Penalty area attempts per match Shot Accuracy
2015/16 4.0 1.2 31.4%
2016/17 4.7 1.3 14.3%

Arnautovic's shooting has been somewhat wayward, though; only 14.3% of his efforts have been on target, down considerably from 31.4% in his 11-goal campaign.

Having scored twice in a 2-2 draw with Wales over the international break the Potters talisman, who is owned by a mere 1.1% of FPL managers, has stepped up his form in time for a kind run of opponents.

First up is a home encounter with a Sunderland side who have earned only two points from seven matches and have yet to record a clean sheet. 

Scout: Arnautovic secondary 121016
Marko Arnautovic warmed up for the visit of Sunderland with a brace for Austria against Wales

Given that Arnautovic leads all Stoke players for touches inside the box (33), total attempts (14) and efforts in the opposition penalty area (nine), he is likely to carry the hosts' main threat as Mark Hughes' men look to earn a precious first three points.

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ranking (FDR), there is further reason for optimism at the bet365 Stadium.

Only one of Stoke's next seven matches score more than two in the FDR. Between Gameweek 8-14 they host Sunderland, Swansea CityAFC Bournemouth and Burnley

They also travel to Hull City and Watford over that period, with a trip to West Ham United in Gameweek 11 deemed as less promising by the FDR.

That presents the Potters with the opportunity to drag themselves clear of the bottom three, with Arnautovic handed the platform to reinstate himself as a match-winner and a viable FPL target once again.

Remember the Gameweek 8 deadline is at 11.30am BST Saturday 15 October

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