Arsenal Team Guide
This edition our scouts turn their attention to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in search of points for your Fantasy EPL teams this season. Arsenal finished third in the Premier League last season, 12 points off the pace from champions Chelsea. Wenger will be hoping to push for the league title a little harder this season, and has brought in world class goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea to play between the sticks. Chelsea captain John Terry is quoted having said “He will save them 12 or 15 points a season.”, which must be music to Arsenal fans’ ears, as that could be a key piece of business for them this summer (and long awaited, to find a top class keeper). Injuries are consistently an issue at Arsenal, with
Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott all suffering from major injuries at some stage last season. Keeping their squad fit & fresh should help them bridge the gap at the top of the league table.
Team Stats from 2014/15
Last season was one of many thirds for Arsenal, they had the third best defensive record in the league having conceded just 36 goals, and had the third best attack in the league having scored 71 goals. So it seemed quite fitting then that the would finish in third place at the end of the season. Defensively the 36 goals conceded is the fewest goals Arsenal have conceded in the Premier League in the past 5 seasons, but where they fell short is converting that defensive record into clean sheets – of which they only managed 13 (6th most). With Petr Cech in goals and Laurent Koscielny fit from the start of the season, things are looking good for Arsenal from a defensive perspective. Koscielny & Mertesacker will likely be favored in the center of defense, whereas Gibbs & Monreal will be rotating at left back and Debuchy & Bellerin rotating at right back. The fullback positions should be avoided due to squad rotations that’ll play havoc with your FPL teams.
Attacking wise, Arsenal always look a threat. Alexis Sanchez was by far Arsenal’s best player last season, and let the line with 16 goals in his first EPL season. Arsenal have yet to recruit any new strikers over the summer, and with Danny Welbeck missing most of pre-season with injury, that leaves Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott to battle it out for the starting center forward role. Giroud has previously been preferred due to his holdup play, but a fit again Theo Walcott also adds another dimension to their counter attacks. Those to are most likely to be in rotation this season 60min / 40min, so select that in your FPL team with caution. They could easily be expensive 2 pointers come gameweek 1.
Player Stats from 2014/15
Here’s a detailed look at Arsenal’s player stats from the 2014/15 Season.
|POS||PLAYER||Matches Started||Sub Appearance||Goals Scored||Shots on Goals||Shots On Target||Assists|
|Pos||Player||Matches Started||Sub Appearance||Goals Scored||Shots on goal||Shots on target||Assists|
First 5 Gameweek Fixtures
Arsenal have quite an okay start to the season, facing only Liverpool of the big clubs in gameweek 3. They’ll open the season at home in a London derby against West Ham United, before venturing a short distance to south London to take on Crystal Palace. Both those teams finished quite comfortably mid-table last season, and are both fixtures that Arsenal will be expecting to win if they intend on challenging for the title. After the showdown with Liverpool in GW3, it’s an away trip to Newcastle United who were very poor in the second half of last season. And then it’s back home to the Emirates to face Stoke City in what will be a fiery clash between two teams with a bit of angry history between them now. All up, Arsenal have a good run for the first 5 gameweeks. They’ll be looking for 3 wins at least from those.
Key Players for FPL
Alexis Sanchez £11 Midfield *Star Pick*
Alexis Sanchez took the Premier League by storm last year, scoring 16 goals and assisting 8 more after his transfer from Barcelona last summer. It can often take players a season or so to adjust to the speed of the Premier League, but Sanchez really did just hit the ground running. During the post-season, Sanchez led Chile to the Copa America title, scoring the winning penalty on home soil to win the tournament. Because of that, Arsene Wenger has said he’ll be giving Alexis a little more time off – and so might not be back to 100% fitness in time for gameweek 1. So don’t be surprised is you see Sanchez used as an impact substitute for the first few weeks, or get pulled off after 60mins as he build up his match fitness. He’s still a key player to have in your FPL squad, but not necessarily the best option for the start of the season.
Arsenal are spoiled for choice when it comes to central attacking midfielders, with Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere Tomas Rosicky and Mesut Ozil all pushing for a spot in the starting eleven. But from those, it is Mesut Ozil who is the only nailed on starter in the Arsenal team going into the new season. Ozil is the most expensive German football player of all time, after his £42.5 million transfer to Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013. He has under delivered during his time in the Premier League so far, but you can see the quality is there ready and waiting. Ozil managed 4 goals and 6 assists in an injury interrupted 2014/15 season. Arsenal are going to score goals, and Mesut Ozil has the potential to be the David Silva of the gunners.
Petr Cech £5.5 GoalKeeper
Petr Cech’s arrival from champions Chelsea is a massive boost to Arsenal’s defensive line, and we’ll be expecting them to earn a few more clean sheets this season directly as a result of his signing. At £5.5 he’s a premium priced goalkeeper, but yet is good value for a definite starter at the back for a top 3 club. Cech has consistently delivered 140 points+ over the past few season when first choice, which would be a handy return on a goalkeeper. He comes in at £0.5 cheaper than Laurent Koscielny, which is what makes him all the more appealing and why his ownership has now blown up to over 25% of teams.