Fantasy Premier League

Should managers double up on the Arsenal attack in Fantasy?

By The Scout 8 Dec 2023
Saka and Jesus

The Scout says return of regulars lifts appeal of owning two of the Gunners’ key attackers

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The improved injury situation at Arsenal could soon force managers to revise their attacking options in Fantasy Premier League.
Prior to Gameweek 13, Mikel Arteta was able to name his first-choice attacking quartet of Bukayo Saka (£8.9m), Martin Odegaard (£8.3m), Gabriel Martinelli (£7.8m) and Gabriel Jesus (£7.9m) in the same XI only once, in the 2-2 draw at Chelsea in Gameweek 9.
But with the treatment room now emptying, Arteta has started all four in each of the Gunners’ last four matches in all competitions.
Their 4-3 win over Luton Town on Tuesday means Arsenal have scored 13 goals over that period, including a 6-0 victory over French side Lens in the UEFA Champions League.
Saka is their top-ranked player for both goal involvement and consistency across that run.  The England star has scored twice, supplied three assists and not blanked in any of those contests.
Gabriel Jesus’s all-round style of play is evidenced by his two goals and two assists, while both Odegaard and Martinelli have also scored twice.
However, it’s Kai Havertz (£7.1m) who has been their most prolific scorer of late. His goals against Brentford, Lens and Luton suggest the German’s early-season toils appear to finally be behind him.

Arsenal attackers in last four matches (all comps)
Player Goal involvements Goals Assists Blanks
Saka 5 2 3 0
Jesus 4 2 2 2
Havertz 3 3 0 1
Odegaard 3 2 1 1
Martinelli 2 2 0 2
Who has been the biggest goal threat?

The underlying statistics highlight Gabriel Jesus’ major influence on Arsenal’s attack over the last three Gameweeks.
His nine shots in the box and three big chances are both team-leading totals in that period, while his six shots on target are at least twice that of any other Gunners player.

Gabriel Jesus's goal v Luton

Somewhat surprisingly, Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) has boasted the greatest threat among the midfielders.
The Belgian has started two of the last three matches and also emerged off the bench at Luton. His 11 shots, six shots in the box and three big chances over the last three Gameweeks are all more than any other Arsenal player in his position in Fantasy.
While Saka, Havertz and Martinelli are all near-identical for both shots and shots in the box in this period, it’s noticeable that Saka and Odegaard have failed to record a single big chance between them.

Goal threat, GW13-15
Player Shots Shots in box Big chances Shots on target Goals
Jesus 9 9 3 6 1
Trossard 11 6 3 2 0
Havertz 6 5 2 2 2
Saka 6 5 0 3 1
Martinelli 5 5 1 2 1
Odegaard 4 3 0 2 1
Who has been the best creator?

Instead, Odegaard and Saka have enjoyed very successful periods as the Gunners' top creators over the last three Gameweeks.

Saka’s five key passes and two big chances created against Brentford in Gameweek 13 equalled his season-high statistics on both counts.

Meanwhile, Odegaard’s six key passes and three big chances created against Wolverhampton Wanderers in Gameweek 14 were also his best tallies of the season.

Gabriel Jesus earns third place with six key passes, adding to his appeal as a big differential for managers’ frontlines. 

Notably, Martinelli has suffered a significant drop-off in creativity following the return of Odegaard from injury. The Brazilian created 10 chances in the Norwegian’s absence over Gameweeks 10-12, but has recorded only two in his three subsequent outings.

It has, however, resulted in an upturn in his goal threat, with Martinelli’s minutes per shot in the box almost halving from 81 to 43.6 in the same period.

Creativity stats, GW13-15
Player Key passes Big chances created Assists
Odegaard 12 3 1
Saka 11 3 2
Jesus 6 1 1
Havertz 4 0 0
Zinchenko 4 1 1

So, who are the best picks?

Saka’s remarkable consistency shows why he is the most-owned midfielder in Fantasy.
The winger has blanked only twice in his 14 appearances and has also shared penalty duties with Odegaard to lift his goal output.
Martinelli’s improving threat from inside the box indicates he could be the best midfielder to double up with alongside Saka, although Odegaard’s ability to deliver big double-figure hauls cannot be ignored. 
Gabriel Jesus’s return to the fold, meanwhile, could spell great news for managers in Fantasy. 
Indeed, his potential for goals and assists can make the idea of a 3-4-3 formation more appealing, given the opportunity to pick the Brazilian alongside Erling Haaland (£14.0m) and Ollie Watkins (£8.4m) in a front three. 

Also in this series

Part 2: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 16 Ones to watch
Part 3: Scout Selection: Best FPL team for Gameweek 16
Part 4: FPL experts: What to do with Arsenal defenders?
Part 5: Who is the best FPL captain for Gameweek 16?

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