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Which Team Has The Best Early Fixtures From An FPL Perspective?

Tom C

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Which Team Has The Best Early Fixtures From An FPL Perspective?

Fixture swings for clubs are important: if a club is about to have a great run of games, you might want to consider bringing one or two of their key FPL players in, or if the opposite is true it may be time for a parting of the ways.

Ahead of the first Gameweek of the season, I’m going to focus on one team outside of the usual suspects (namely, Liverpool and Man City) that has good fixtures and give some suggestions for how to get them represented in your FPL team.

The club I want to cover here is Arsenal, who are coincidentally the team I support.

I’m not really the most sentimental of fans when it comes to FPL though – I’m not the sort to have our players regardless. In fact, I often prefer to ignore our players to avoid the double whammy of disappointment when both my team and, through owning Arsenal players, my FPL team do badly.

Nonetheless, the Gunners begin the season with a really enticing run of games – they only face Manchester United of teams from last season’s top six in their opening eight fixtures.

This, coupled with a hugely promising preseason featuring liquid football and goals galore, means many managers are now sat with triple Arsenal in their teams. A scary prospect for a cynical fan like me – it’ll all end in tears I’m sure.

Let’s check out a few of these players’ case to be in your FPL side.

Aaron Ramsdale was a popular choice in goal last season
Aaron Ramsdale was a popular choice in goal last season

At the back, goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (£5.0m) and defenders Alex Zinchenko (£5.0m), Gabriel (£5.0m) and Ben White (£4.5m) are catching many a manager’s eye. The defence performed moderately well last year (lower mid table in terms of expected goals conceded) but there’s optimism about these individuals mainly due to their price.

Keeper Ramsdale collected a decent number of bonus points (14) through his saves last season.

White at £4,5m is a “steady Eddie” who acts as an enabler for many teams. But for me it’s a straight shootout between ex-City man Zinchenko and Gabriel for the defender slot. Zinchenko has the advantage of covering both left back (Tierney is often injured) and being able to play in the 8 slot alongside Odegaard in midfield, meaning you could have an “out of position” player.

My choice however is the Brazilian centre back: he’s got goal threat (he was the top scoring centre back in the Premier League last season), is nailed on to play and faces two teams in Crystal Palace and Leicester who had big problems facing set pieces last season.

In midfield, Bukayo Saka (£8.0m) is enduringly brilliant, but is in a very congested price bracket at the moment.

Saka had an outstanding 2021/22 season
Saka had an outstanding 2021/22 season

Instead, it’s the very kind price point of Gabriel Martinelli (£6.0m) which has caught my eye. With an impressive 5.31 points per game, an eye for goal predicated on his driving runs into dangerous positions and a new pal (fellow Gabriel, Jesus, covered in a min) he looks a fantastic bargain to start the campaign – especially with fellow wide player Emile Smith Rowe (£6.0m) carrying a knock.

And finally, Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m). He’s owned by a frankly ridiculous 70%+ of managers at the time of writing. I could wax lyrical about his expected goal involvements per 90, or contend that we can’t be sure if it’s because he was at Manchester City that he produced those stats, but in this moment, with that ownership, only those with a massive risk appetite would bet against the Brazilian going into the opening Gameweek.

So there you have it. Arsenal triple ups abound – I’m going for Gabriel x3, or Gabriel Cubed – what about you?

Each gameweek, Tom from Who Got The Assist? FPL podcast will be bringing you tips, transfer recommendations and all the advice you need to win your mini league.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Fantasy Football, Arsenal, Bukayo Saka, Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel Martinelli

Tom C
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