You may recall that I stated last week that I would not swap one Arsenal player for another in my squad if it meant losing four points. So, I changed my mind!
That’s because Arsenal has been given another double gameweek. That comes in gameweek 25, when they face Leicester and Everton, so I believe the sacrifice will be worthwhile in the long run.
Statman Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka, and Gabriel would be your best Arsenal trio, according to Dave in this week’s Fantasy 606 podcast, but I’d take Martin Odegaard over the Brazilian center-back.
Going with three attacking assets has the risk of putting all of your eggs in one basket – if Arsenal fails to score, as they did against Everton last weekend, you end up with a meager six points.
Including a defender as one of your three picks mitigates that risk, and keep in mind that Arsenal has been equally impressive at the back this season. Gabriel is also the backline’s most dangerous goal threat.
It’s a tough call if, like me, you own Ben White. He has started every Premier League game this season, and just because Arsenal suffered a rare defeat last time out doesn’t mean Mikel Arteta will make changes. Takehiro Tomiyasu, however, is a strong contender for White’s spot, whereas Gabriel is always one of the first names on the teamsheet.
That is why, if Gabriel is going to start more games, a four-point hit might be worth it in the long run.
Mr Martinelli, the other Gabriel, played only 59 minutes against Everton before being replaced by Leandro Trossard. Even though I believe Martinelli is still Arsenal’s first choice wide left, he will likely play fewer minutes than Martin Odegaard or Bukayo Saka from now on. So, if you own a Martinelli, I believe that switch is well worth making.
Arsenal aren’t the only team with a double gameweek 25; Liverpool, Everton, and Wolves will also have two Premier League fixtures in the same week, while Manchester United, Newcastle United, Brighton, and Brentford will have none due to Carabao Cup postponements.
Despite Liverpool’s poor form, see if you can easily work Mohamed Salah or Darwin Nunez into your squad for the games against Crystal Palace and Wolves.
If you own Kevin de Bruyne or Bruno Fernandes, getting Salah in shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if you own Harry Kane, that would necessitate at least two transfers, which may not be worth the trouble if you intend to switch it back later.
Kane to Nunez is a straightforward striker swap, but keep in mind that you’ll most likely want to captain an Arsenal attacker for that double gameweek, which reduces the need to sign either of the Liverpool duo.
Before Everton’s double in gameweek 25 – a home game against Aston Villa followed by a trip to Arsenal – James Tarkowski is well worth your consideration. Last weekend’s headed winner, clean sheet, and three bonus points earned his owners a total of 15 points, and he’s clearly going to continue to be a threat at attacking set-pieces. He also only costs £4.2 million.
Wolves appear to have the toughest double gameweek, with fixtures away at Fulham and Liverpool, but they then play Southampton and Bournemouth, so someone like Max Kilman, Craig Dawson, or Ruben Neves could be a useful early replacement for one of the players you may need to clear out if they don’t have a fixture in gameweek 25.
Back to gameweek 23, and your captain choice may be influenced by how you believe Arsenal and Manchester City will fare in their clash next Wednesday. This weekend, Arsenal host Brentford before City host Aston Villa, so I’m sticking with Erling Haaland as my captain for those two games, but Odegaard, Saka, and Nketiah are all strong contenders.
Listen to this week’s Fantasy 606 podcast to learn about a completely different way to manage your Fantasy Premier League squad. Spud Page, one of our listeners, explains how his team and subs must line up in alphabetical order every week, as listed on the FPL website – his starting XI for gameweek 22 was Adrian, Ake, B. Williams, Cucurella, Dier, Estupinan, Odegaard, Rashford, Rodrigo, Son, and Toney, with Alisson, Kane, Martinelli, and Wilson on the bench.
Alisson was automatically substituted for Adrian, Kane for Williams, and Martinelli for Rodrigo, for a total of 77 points.