We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) notes from three of Gameweek 12’s Saturday matches, involving Arsenal, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Everton, Luton Town and Manchester United.
The numbers and graphics you see in this article are taken from our Premium Members Area. Here, you can access Opta player and team data from every single Premier League fixture.
KNOCKS FOR MARTINELLI + WHITE
Adding to the continued absences of Martin Odegaard (£8.3m) and Gabriel Jesus (£7.8m), the final minutes against Burnley saw Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli (£7.8m) withdrawn whilst holding his right hamstring.
Set to join up with Brazil’s squad, nothing has yet been said on the severity of Martinelli’s problem. But it’s unlucky for the 300,000 FPL managers who’ve just bought him, likely to replace the also-injured James Maddison (£7.9m).
Missing out altogether was defender Ben White (£5.8m). According to Mikel Arteta, a slight muscle issue has recently developed and the decision was to treat it with caution.
“In training he wasn’t comfortable, he didn’t look right. But Ben won’t give you much, he always wants to be on the pitch and always wants to hide anything that is in there, but we highlighted it, we noticed in the last few weeks as well something in there, and we wanted to protect him today.
“It was the right call from the physios and the medical department and tomorrow we will assess him and understand what’s happening.” – Mikel Arteta on Ben White
Gameweek 13 brings a tricky trip to Brentford, so Arteta will be nervous about injuries building up, knowing that goalkeeper David Raya (£4.9m) is ineligible to face his parent club and Fabio Vieira‘s (£5.4m) late red card will see him suspended. On the bright side, Eddie Nketiah (£5.7m) recovered from an ankle knock to make a cameo.
MORE GABRIEL + SAKA DISAPPOINTMENT
It was a mixed bag for those with Arsenal defenders. Oleksandr Zinchenko (£4.9m) scored with a bicycle kick and Gabriel Magalhaes (£4.8m) finally started a home game against lower opposition, yet ended up deflecting Josh Brownhill‘s (£4.7m) shot past Raya to end the clean sheet dream.
Furthermore, considering Gabriel was last season’s joint-best defender for goals (three) and the outright leader for expected goals (xG, 5.08), to see his centre-back partner William Saliba (£5.4m) score from a corner will add more frustration on top of the rotation stresses.
Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) assisted that goal, completing a 13-point haul that started by stumbling home a Bukayo Saka (£8.6m) header. That was it for Saka’s five million owners, following an underwhelming return of six points during the recent 5-0 thrashing of Sheffield United.
He was averaging 0.93 expected goal involvement (xGI) per outing up to Gameweek 7 but the last four have an overall total of just 1.02:
WARNING: DON’T CAPTAIN VS LUTON
Elsewhere, Man United recovered from the dramatic 4-3 loss to FC Copenhagen by racking up a second successive 1-0 league win.
But those relying on Bruno Fernandes (£8.3m), Marcus Rashford (£8.6m) or Rasmus Hojlund (£7.1m) ended with blanks at home to Luton.
Not that this is a unique feeling. 1.78 million captained Son Heung-min (£9.7m) versus the Hatters in Gameweek 8, before 1.1 million backed Ollie Watkins (£8.4m) in Gameweek 10 and 1.6 million trusted Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) with their Gameweek 11 armband. Each occasion failed.
ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET FOR BARGAIN MAGUIRE
Perhaps the narrative that things are going badly for Man United is wrong. Up to sixth in the table, Saturday’s three points means Erik ten Hag matches Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of 30 wins from his first 50 Premier League games.
Recent purchases of Harry Maguire (£4.3m) have proved to be very shrewd. On five successive league starts, the last two have brought a pair of clean sheets and 13 FPL points. With Newcastle United, Chelsea and Liverpool amongst their next five opponents, maybe the time to buy Maguire has already passed. But, assuming the starts continue, he’s an interesting cheap option to have around.
Fellow centre-back Victor Lindelof (£4.5m) scored the game’s only goal, where Hojlund had two big chances but left with hamstring pain. Christian Eriksen (£5.9m) also had to depart early with a knee issue.
EZE TAKES PENS + INSPIRES EDOUARD
Meanwhile, Eberechi Eze (£6.1m) followed last week’s assist by netting a penalty on his first start since Gameweek 7.
Trossard is the only player with a larger price drop when comparing original values but Eze’s underlying stats pre-injury suggested a big underachievement. At that point, he was up in third place for shots (27) and joint-eighth for chances created (18).
The Eagles face Luton (a), West Ham United (a) and Bournemouth (h) after the international break, so seeing Eze score their first penalty of the season adds another string to the midfielder’s bow.
Furthermore, cheap forward Odsonne Edouard (£5.5m) only scores when Eze is around. His goal at home to Everton is his fifth of the season and the first since Gameweek 5. No Gameweek 12 player achieved more penalty area touches (15) or attempts (six) than the Frenchman:
Another boost to Palace assets is Michael Olise‘s (£5.8m) return from a hamstring injury – his first minutes of 2023/24.
IN-FORM MYKOLENKO DENIES PALACE DEFENDERS
However, despite the South London optimism of having Eze and Olise back, they lost 3-2 at home to Everton. Sean Dyche’s side has really turned things around of late, grabbing ten points in five games since losing to Luton.
The 4.1 million managers relying on Sam Johnstone (£4.6m), Joel Ward (£4.5m), Joachim Andersen (£5.1m), Marc Guehi (£4.6m) and Tyrick Mitchell (£4.6m) quickly lost their clean sheets when Vitalii Mykolenko (£4.4m) scored after 54 seconds.
Out of nowhere, the left-back has suddenly become an attacking force, having netted last week and later adding to this strike when assisting Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.5m) – a midfielder who also reached double digits.
Arsenal XI: Raya; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Jorginho, Havertz (Vieira 59′); Saka (Nelson 81′), Trossard (Nketiah 81′), Martinelli (Kiwior 89′)
Burnley XI: Trafford; Vitinho (Odobert 88′), O’Shea, Beyer, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Berge, Brownhill (Obafemi 85′), Koleosho (Bruun Larsen 80′); Amdouni (Ramsey 80′), Rodriguez
Crystal Palace XI: Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Hughes (Ahamada 89′), Lerma; Ayew, Eze, Schlupp (Olise 67′); Edouard (Mateta 83′)
Everton XI: Pickford; Young (Patterson 90′), Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Harrison, Garner, Doucoure, Onana (Gueye 46′), McNeil; Calvert-Lewin (Beto 77′)
Manchester United XI: Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Reguilon (Varane 79′); McTominay, Eriksen (Mount 40′); Rashford, Fernandes, Garnacho (Antony 68′); Hojlund (Martial 79′)
Luton Town XI: Kaminski; Mengi, Lockyer, Osho; Kabore (Adebayo 86′), Nakamba (Ruddock Mpanzu 86′), Barkley, Doughty (Clark 73′); Townsend (Chong 61′), Ogbene (Giles 86′); Morris