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Giroud form warrants FPL faith

The Scout 11 Jan 2017
Olivier Giroud, Arsenal

Goal-involvement stats suggests striker will stay in central role ahead of Arsenal team-mate Alexis Sanchez, says The Scout

Olivier Giroud (£8.6m) heads into Arsenal’s trip to Swansea City on Saturday in fine form.

Handed a first start of the season in Gameweek 18, the Frenchman has produced 30 Fantasy Premier League points in his subsequent three appearances, culminating in a goal and two assists in a 3-3 comeback draw at AFC Bournemouth.

Having also netted the Gunners' winning goal against Preston North End in the FA Cup last weekend, Giroud has earned more than 108,000 transfers in for Gameweek 21 – only Sunderland's Jermain Defoe (£7.8m) has proven a more popular target up front.  

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe
Sunderland's Jermain Defoe is the only FPL forward more in demand than Olivier Giroud

Over the last three rounds of fixtures, Giroud is second to Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.6m) for total attempts and efforts inside the penalty area among FPL forwards.

Only Ibrahimovic and Daniel Sturridge (£9.7m), with seven accurate efforts apiece, have bettered Giroud's six shots on target from Gameweek 18 onwards.

Olivier Giroud Gameweeks 18-20

  Total FPL forward rank
Goal attempts 10 Joint-2nd
Penalty-area attempts 8 2nd
Goal attempts on target 6 3rd
Goals 3 2nd

Facing a Swansea City side who have conceded more goals (23) at home than any other Premier League team this season, Giroud appears set to lead the line again for Arsenal, with Alexis Sanchez (£11.9m) on the left of midfield to accommodate the in-form Frenchman.

Although question marks remain over his pitch time in the mid-term, the statistics highlight Giroud’s growing influence on Arsenal’s attack.

He has six goals and four assists in only 449 minutes, producing FPL returns as a substitute on four occasions. Indeed, when on the pitch, Giroud has scored or assisted 75% of his side’s goals, compared with 48.9% involvement in the previous campaign. 

Arsenal’s upcoming schedule suggests his returns should continue to rise.

Saturday's Swansea encounter is one of four matches in the next five Gameweeks to score no more than two in the Fixture Difficulty Rankings (FDR).

With favourable home encounters against Burnley, Watford and Hull City on his agenda over that period, Giroud offers FPL managers the perfect combination of form and fixtures to encourage his 4.9% ownership to increase.   

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