In this FPL scout report we focus on Arsenal. They had fairly turbulent season 2014/2015 in the Barclay’s Premier League as they early fell out of the contention for the title, but still managed to finish in a positive manner as they occupied 3rd position and won the Cup. They gained momentum in January with an easy win over Stoke City at home and lost just two league matches until the end. Turning point was obviously introduction of following three players in the first team.
 David Ospina instead of Szczesny to guard the net. This was an instant improvement as Szczesny was in a really poor form, in fact I was wondering why he had an advantage over Fabianski over the past few seasons. Fabianski signed for Swansea last season and turned out to be a highest scoring fantasy goalkeeper. Ospina was priced at £5.0m on the season start but price dropped to £4.8m as he got his first minutes in January and that made him a decent pick up at that point. He racked up 8 clean sheets in 18 appearances which would make him an interesting pick for the following England Premier League fantasy season but arrival of Petr Cech means he’ll likely be a second choice keeper for the Gunners once again and if that is the case he won’t have much fantasy value.
 Hector Bellerin on the right back position impressed and totally superseded big money signing Calum Chambers, but he would have probably never gotten the chance to shine if it wasn’t for Debuchy’s injury. Still he should be considered a regular now and he’s definitely an interesting fantasy prospect for the season to come.
 Francis Coquelin got the chance as a holding midfielder and he didn’t disappoint, far from it. This was a position that Arsene Wenger was really stubborn about as he refused to acknowledge how he sorely missed a guy like Coquelin to help out his shaky defense, and although this player has little fantasy appeal due to his inability to rack up points from goals and assists, his low price (£4.5m), low ownership among fantasy managers and high energy which should translate into a lot of minutes on the pitch might be appealing to some.
Arsenal fixture list in August, 2015
Arsenal opens new Premier League season at home where they entertain West Ham. After that they have a short travel to visit Crystal Palace, home game against Liverpool and for a final game of August they travel to Newcastle. This is a really nice set of fixtures for them. They are expected to take all of the points and possibly record a clean sheet against West Ham in gameweek 1 as they traditionally did well against the Hammers in last couple of seasons. Crystal Palace should go down in the second round as well and I see another opportunity for Arsenal to keep a clean sheet. Palace played great ever since Alan Pardew took over as a manager in the middle of the last season but it has to be seen if that sort of form could be continued in the new season. Considering how bad Liverpool looked throughout most of the last season and how they were outclassed at Emirates, it would be a surprise to see Reds taking anything from Arsenal in the round 3 of the new season. Newcastle is a moody team but this one is also winnable game for the Gunners which means in the opening 4 matches of the new season Arsenal has a good chance to start well, score some goals and keep at least two clean sheets. With that in mind I will look to add some of their offensive talent to my fantasy Premier League team if the price is wright and one of their defenders (Bellerin).
FPL scout report – Arsenal
Goalkeepers – With Cech arrival it is hard to see any FPL value for David Ospina. Cech started against Chelsea in Community Shield match and he will keep that place for sure. After all, this is the main reason for him leaving Chelsea – he wanted to play. He is priced at £5.5m like 3 other goalkeepers from big 4 of Premier League football which is a bit lower than I expected. As such he is a good GK prospect, however there are other good (and cheaper) options to consider. Take a look at our FPL goalkeepers which could help you decide on who to pick as your starting GK.
Defenders – I already mentioned Bellerin as a worthwhile player to draft and considering the opening 4 matches for Arsenal I will look to bring him to my fantasy team. On the left back position there are Monreal and Gibbs that will likely be rotated a lot which means neither is particularly interesting option. Monreal started in Community Shield match so that could be a hint, but he is far from being a safe option. CB positions are reserved for Koscielny and Mertesacker and they recorded 120 and 121 points respectively which means only two Arsenal players got more BPL fantasy points last season. Koscielny is the most expensive Arsenal defender priced at £6.0m because he is safe to start every match when fit. Mertesacker is cheaper but he is tipped to loose his position to Gabriel at some point. Bellerin is also cheaper than Koscielny at £5.5m and although started in Community Shield match, he does have competition in Debuchy and Chambers. This is a type of player Wenger likes to have in his team and I believe he’ll have an edge over Debuchy and Chambers most of the times but if you want to pick him over Koscielny make sure you have somebody on your bench to rotate him.
Midfielders – With fixture list in mind it has to be Alexis Sanchez for sure. This guy was easily the best signing for Arsenal last season. He fits in this team very well and he needed very little time to adjust to the Premier League and his new team mates. He was a fantasy gold last season as his starting price was affordable at £10.5m, which dropped to a £10.3m by gameweek 7 due to the high starting ownership and a lot of managers offloading him. He ended the season with the price of £11.6m which was the highest price rise in the league and if he wasn’t on your team last season you were missing out big time. He was 3rd best in points won and 4th in points-per-game with 5.9. He was awarded with the total of 29 bonus points but he was also getting the extra point for a clean sheet considering he was listed as a midfield player. He was a 5th best goal scorer in the league with the total of 16 goals which was highest among all of the fantasy Premier League midfielders. He is unlikely to start in Gameweek 1 but I’ll be definitely looking to draft him for my team soon enough.
Santi Cazorla was second best Arsenal fantasy player and he is worth a second look for the new season. He is priced at £8.5m and seems like a decent cheaper alternative to Sanchez. Even better FPL pick then him is Theo Wallcot priced at £8.5m. He spent almost entire season on the sidelines and him being injury prone is not something that most FPL managers will value when creating their teams. However he is fit now for the start of the season and he started Community Shield match as a striker. This raises his value a lot and we strongly recommend picking him. He had a decent game but was subbed at 65th minute. That is a bit of concern but it might not mean much, maybe Wenger just wanted to give some minutes to Giroud. Arsenal starts against West Ham at home and that looks like a favorable fixture for Wallcot. Go ahead and pick him.
Aaron Ramsey was unable to repeat season 2013/2014 in the last term but depending on the price, jut like Cazorla and if he stays fit, he’ll be drafted by a lot of managers again this season as he is an attacking minded midfielder that knows how to score when gets deep in the box and has a good understanding with the team mates. However he plays behind Cazorla and given both are priced at £8.5m, Santi looks like a better deal. Jack Wilshere‘s future in Arsenal is in doubt with some transfer rumors so I will be looking to make my decision regarding his involvement in my team later on but he wasn’t involved much in the last season and what to expect for him if he stays in Arsenal is hard to say. He is doubtful with some ankle issues so skip him until further notice. He definitely has the talent but he did not prove that on the pitch during the last two seasons.
Mesut Ozil has been a major letdown ever since he joined Arsenal. His second season wasn’t good overall even though he did manage a 103 fantasy points. But please note he had 4.7 points-per-game which is second best in Arsenal so he might be interesting short term option when in good form. He started and finished last season valued at £9.0m but now he is cheaper at £8.5m. He is expected to finally have a good season for Arsenal but I am not so sure. He might be a better option than Cazorla but I’d rather pay more for Sanchez and/or Wallcot. Keep him on your watchlist just in case. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still young and maybe he won’t have a truly breakout season yet, but he will likely be an improvement from last year. We already included him earlier in our FPL hidden gems list so he might be a very interesting option, short term at least. His ownership already went up by 0.5% percent after he scored a winning goal over Chelsea in the Community Shield so make sure you keep an eye on him. He will likely lose his starting place when Sanchez returns but sooner or later he should be a very valuable FPL pick.
Forwards – Olivier Giroud is the only striker worth looking at from Arsenal. He scored second best 14 league goals for Arsenal last season but it is worth to note he had a lot of injury problems, he only played 10 matches for full 90 minutes and that is certainly a concern for the following season, but on the other hand, considering that, he was fairly effective with a 14 goals and he might be at least a good short term option whilst in a good form. However he was benched in the Community Shield match and this will likely be the case as long as Wallcot is healthy and ready to start. Keep Giroud on your watchlist and consider him when he gets the starting job, not before because when investing £9.0m you really want your player to start the match. Rest of the Arsenal attackers are appealing at all. Danny Welbeck was not particularly impressive with 4 goals scored last season and Arsenal will look for goals elsewhere in the following season as well.
So this was our Arsenal FPL scout report. At this point, 6 days until the season starts, Sanchez is the only Arsenal player we will be looking to pick for FPL team on the long run when he gets ready. Until then we are going with Wallcot. If he can remain fit and in form he is going to stay for a while as well. These two players are the ones from Arsenal team that we would recommend as fantasy football scout tips. Cazorla and Ozil could be decent options as well as they are more budget friendly. Make sure to keep an eye on Chamberlain as he is affordable at £6.0m and with a low ownership at this point he has the potential to be a huge differential FPL player this season. Cech is a solid option for your GK and Koscielny as a defender. You have a cheaper alternative in Bellerin but he has competition for his right back job. Consider Giroud if (when) he gets a starting job. What do you think about this FPL scout report – Arsenal? Who is a good fantasy team prospect from the Gunners? I would like to hear from you so please comment below.