Fantasy Premier League

FPL long view: Plan to go BIG on Arsenal from Gameweek 12

By The Scout 4 Nov 2023
Saka, Nketiah, Arsenal

The Scout says Gunners' schedule merits double-up or even triple-up for many Gameweeks to come

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A change in schedule for Arsenal lifts the prospects of their key players for the upcoming period in Fantasy Premier League.

After their Gameweek 11 visit to Newcastle United, the Gunners are set to embark on an extended run of kind opponents that gives them the chance to deliver defensive and attacking returns in the coming Gameweeks.

See: FPL experts: Is 3-4-3 now the best formation?

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), only one of Arsenal's subsequent 11 matches – against Liverpool in Gameweek 18 – scores more than three.

Their short-term schedule indicates immediate investment can pay off. From Gameweek 12, three of Arsenal's next four matches score only two in the FDR.

Arsenal’s schedule
GW Opponent FDR
12 BUR (H) 2
13 BRE (A) 3
14 WOL (H) 2
15 LUT (A) 2

Winger Bukayo Saka (£8.6m) is Arsenal’s top performer in the opening stages of 2023/24 Fantasy, earning 64 points thanks to four goals and five assists.

He has also been one of the most consistent players in FPL this season, blanking only once in his nine outings.

Odegaard appeal on the wane?

While Arsenal’s schedule looks hugely encouraging for an attacking double-up, injuries are likely to dictate how managers assess their appeal.

Martin Odegaard (£8.4m) outscored Saka in Fantasy last season, and would usually be a strong choice to partner the England star in managers' midfields.

However, Mikel Arteta revealed this week that Odegaard has been dealing with a hip problem recently, with the Norwegian rested from the 5-0 win over Sheffield United last weekend.

Odegaard did return in Wednesday's 3-1 defeat to West Ham United in the EFL Cup though, playing the final 10 minutes as a substitute and scoring a late consolation goal.

Gabriel Jesus’ (£7.8m) recent return to the sidelines through injury allowed Eddie Nketiah (£5.6m) to star against the Blades, scoring a hat-trick to claim 17 points.

But the Brazilian’s absence is only expected to be a short-term one and he could be back by Gameweek 12.

That would revive the potential of Gabriel Martinelli (£7.7m), who is arguably the main beneficiary from Jesus’s style of play, as evidenced by their link-up play for Martinelli’s recent goal against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League.

Gabriel a rotation risk

At the back, Gabriel’s (£4.8m) omission from the first XI against Sheff Utd should be enough for Fantasy managers to steer clear.

The Brazilian had started each of the previous six matches but, having also been benched in the opening three Gameweeks, his minutes are clearly still a major risk. 

Ben White (£5.7m) and William Saliba (£5.2m), by contrast, have each started all 10 of Arsenal’s matches.

While Saliba is the most popular mainly due to the price difference, White has far more attacking upside for the extra outlay. He betters the Frenchman by four shots to one and by nine chances created to two.

White's goal v Bournemouth
Consider selling Alvarez?

Elsewhere, managers who own a Manchester City attacking double-up may be revising that tactic after their plum Gameweek 11 fixture at home to AFC Bournemouth has passed.

Pep Guardiola’s side have a tough run of opponents from Gameweek 12, facing Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa in successive matches.

Certainly, Erling Haaland (£14.0m) should be kept regardless, as he is capable of producing huge scores against any side.

But the 34 per cent ownership of Julian Alvarez (£7.2m) could now be planning to replace him after Gameweek 11.

See: The Scout compares the best forwards

Be wary of Brentford's fixtures

Finally, managers who are rushing to bring in Bryan Mbeumo (£6.6m) should be aware that Brentford have a tough pair of fixtures on the horizon. 

Mbeumo is the second most-bought player in the Gameweek, earning 198,000 new owners on the back of successive double-figure returns.

Mbeumo's goal v Chelsea

While a home encounter with West Ham this weekend gives Mbeumo every chance of maintaining his momentum, he then visits Liverpool in Gameweek 12 before entertaining Arsenal in Gameweek 13.

See: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 11 Ones to watch

Mbeumo owners should consider holding him for those two outings, though, as the Bees’ schedule improves considerably thereafter.

They face promoted pair Luton Town and Sheff Utd in Gameweek 14 and Gameweek 16 respectively.

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