We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Wednesday’s two Premier League fixtures in our Scout Notes summary. Arsenal hosted Everton, whilst Liverpool welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers to Anfield.
The numbers and graphics below are taken from LiveFPL and our own Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.
Plenty of FPL points arrived at both ends of the pitch, thanks to goals from highly-owned names such as Bukayo Saka (£8.5m), Martin Odegaard (£7.0m) and Mohamed Salah (£12.7m). Yet the true star was a man ditched by a large number of managers over recent weeks – Gabriel Martinelli (£6.5m).
The Brazilian made it three successive goal-scoring matches when making it 2-0, before rounding things off by grabbing the fourth. It’s a comprehensive win that puts Arsenal five points clear of Manchester City, whilst heavily damaging Everton’s goal difference in their quest to escape relegation.
Over at Anfield, Darwin Nunez (£8.8m) did indeed recover from a shoulder injury to play most of the match, yet all he could muster was appearance points and a goal quickly disallowed by VAR.
“When you see it in slow motion you see the contact then, but I still think it was a goal, but that’s not important anymore. Especially, players don’t have a replay and for them it’s a clear goal, of course. Then you have to react. I was not worried but of course then you watch it, how the boys react – and the reaction was really good.” – Jurgen Klopp on the disallowed goal
ARSENAL MIDFIELDERS ARE STILL THE SOLUTION
The team news that really frustrated the FPL community was another benching for Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah (£6.8m). Owned by over 44% of the top 100k, his underlying stats in the absence of Gabriel Jesus (£7.9m) have been superb and there was optimism that – despite not scoring in six of his previous seven starts – this would be a good Double Gameweek for the 23-year-old.
Instead, he was a substitute on both occasions and flagged with an injury as Martinelli racked up a 26-point haul – the best Gameweek score of any player this season.
“Hopefully he is fine, he ended the game well but he has been carrying a little thing.” – Mikel Arteta on Nketiah limping off post-match
Saka bagged a goal and assist to register his second double-digit match score so far before Odegaard netted to end his quiet spell. Clearly, as the game’s second, third and fourth-best points scorers in this position, Arsenal’s midfielders are the best route into their attack.
Furthermore, with Southampton’s shock FA Cup elimination confirming that the Gunners won’t blank in Gameweek 32, their fixture run demands using the maximum three squad places allowed.
When Leandro Trossard (£6.6m) signed, the worry was that Martinelli would become a rotation risk and, sure enough, his first benching of the season arrived in Gameweek 24. He came on to score and now can’t stop doing so, perhaps returning him to undroppable status for Mikel Arteta.
NKETIAH HAS TO GO
LATE SALAH GOAL LESSENS THE DISAPPOINTMENT
Deemed a must-have heading into a Double Gameweek versus Crystal Palace and Wolves, Salah was on the verge of two blanks to infuriate his 1.2 million new owners. Especially those who captained him, seeing what Saka was doing at the Emirates.
Once Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) broke the deadlock in the 74th minute, it wasn’t long before Salah gained a tiny bit of ground on Saka by converting a Kostas Tsimikas (£4.4m) cross.
However, his 11 points still feel a mite underwhelming considering he had the joint-most shots inside the box during this Gameweek. With a high price tag and Blank Gameweek 28 on the horizon, expect some sales over the next couple of weeks.
BITS AND PIECES
The Egyptian was part of another bad moment for FPL managers, as popular Wolves left-back Hugo Bueno (£3.9m) injured a hamstring when chasing him. It forced the youngster’s 24th-minute removal and, with the defender ruled out of Gameweek 26 at the very least, it could push some closer towards activating a Wildcard.
“He has a hamstring [injury], we will see in the future how many times he’s going to be out but of course, we’ve lost him for sure for the next match minimum.” – Julen Lopetegui on Hugo Bueno
Arsenal and Liverpool defenders ended this round with two clean sheets, led by van Dijk’s 24 points, the 18 of Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.1m) and 15 of Gabriel (£5.2m). Both Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) and Ben White (£4.7m) finished on 13. It wasn’t quite the same for James Tarkowski (£4.4m), ending with zero points over his two outings.
Those with Andrew Robertson (£6.8m) must’ve hated seeing fellow left-back Tsimikas setting up Salah’s goal, with the Scottish international and Cody Gakpo (£7.8m) being two of six changes made to Jurgen Klopp’s starting 11.
Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko (Tierney 82′); Odegaard, Jorginho (Partey 46′), Xhaka (Vieira 73′); Saka (Smith Rowe 82′), Trossard (Nketiah 73′), Martinelli
Everton XI: Pickford; Coleman (Godfrey 61′), Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko; Iwobi, Doucoure (Davies 79′), Gana (Holgate 46′), Onana, McNeil; Maupay (Gray 61′)
Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold (Milner 89′), Konate, van Dijk, Tsimikas; Elliott, Fabinho, Bajcetic (Henderson 79′); Salah, Jota (Gakpo 76′), Nunez (Firmino 89′)
Wolverhampton Wanderers XI: Sa; Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Bueno (Ait-Nouri 24′); Nunes (Joao Gomes 64′), Ruben Neves, Lemina; Sarabia (Traore 46′), Jimenez (Diego Costa 79′), Moutinho (Podence 64′)