Double GameWeeks are a great opportunity to get a leg up on opposition coaches. This Double GW just gone by we had Chelsea and to a lesser extent Southampton both playing twice, and there sure was some value picks there that returned the goods. Let’s take a look at which players are worth scouting in the upcoming double, with Arsenal and West Ham under the microscope!
Who should you be including in this DGW? Well I’m not as confident as I was including Chelsea players last week, but let’s have a look!
Szczesny doesn’t really jump out at me, given Arsenal’s leaky home record and away tie with Chelsea meaning he’ll be running off probably save points alone…
Kieran Gibbs is one you could be considering though. If you’re after a defender from the red side of North London Gibbs seems to be the most nailed on of the lot (besides the expensive and inconsistent Vermaelen). At just 5.6 he is a cheap, affordable option into the DGW, but his point scoring potential in this period is worrying. Arsenal have kept just one HOME Clean sheet in November, December and January. Although they have been scoring freely they have also been leaky at the back at home, and with an away clash with Chelsea the first of their fixtures, I don’t feel confident that a clean sheet can be attained. I’d pass on Gibbs and any other Arsenal defender personally!
A few to choose from here…
This is a more straightforward proposition. If you don’t have him, get him. I rate him over Cazorla, and the recent form and stats definitely reflect that. Theo has been in inspired form since leading the line at the Emirates, firing home 49 points in the past 5 matches! His form warrants selection even without the extra fixture, and at just 9.1 he’s a cheaper option that Cazorla. Take for example the fact that Theo has played 1046 minutes so far this campaign for 103 points, as compared to Santi’s 1845 minutes for 117 points, and it’ll convince you further he is a man you should be seriously considering (especially as an OOP prospect).
Although Cazorla looks like he has been playing well recently, if you take out his 23 against a dire Reading defence, you’ll see he has only scored attacking returns in 2 of the last 8 games. Keep in mind one of these games was where Arsenal smashed Newcastle, where he only chipping in with a solitary assist in a 7 goal thumping. The question most people will be running through their minds is whether to start both Walcott AND Cazorla or just Walcott. Essentially, it comes down to looking at who would be in your team instead of Santi. Mata will play Arsenal at home, where he will provide a focal point of a Chelsea attack that slotted 4 past Stoke. Bale will play Man United at Home where he massacred 16 points last fixture, while smokey David Silva has a woeful Fulham at home. You’d be hard pressed to bet against those three not contributing in any of those games, so you’d be relying on a Cazorla masterclass that I just can’t see happening.
The German forward represents a big risk in fantasy land. I feel the most common trade would be Ba to Podolski for his double, but is this truly justified given current form? Podolski represents everything that gambling in a DGW is about. His last 10 outings he has registered seven blanks…. but the other three games he has smashed the double digit mark, notching 10, 11 and 14! He is clinical and only needs to get the one shot away all game to make his mark, but I’m worried about the emergence of Walcott on his stocks. This means he will be pushed to the LW where he is far less dangerous. Also, if people could make the Ba > Suarez trade, that seems to make far more sense and seems like a better option. Personally, I love a gamble and have traded him in this week for a woeful Berbatov (who plays MCI away). Hopefully my bet pays off.
If you have Jaaskelainen I’d probably play him…provided West Ham don’t get blown off the park he’s essentially guaranteed 4 points and will probably notch a few more save points as he always does. A clean sheet would be an unexpected bonus.
Not a real lot jumps out at me here. O’Brien has been in good form of late, while Demel represents a cheap option, but the way the Hammers have been travelling I’m backing QPR to score against them and Arsenal to blast them off the pitch. I’ll be steering clear of West Ham defenders.
Again, not a whole lot jumping out at me here. Due to the fact that most midfields will have some mixture of Michu, Fellaini, Mata, Walcott, Cazorla or Bale there isn’t a huge amount of room for a West Ham midfielder. If you were game and wanted a risk, people who owned Snodgrass or Pienaar could be tempted for a cheeky sideways swap to Joe Cole. At 5.6 he represents decent value, and assisted twice in the FA cup tie with Man United first time out. You’d be very ballsy to do this though, given the fact he has snagged 1 goal and 0 assists in the whole year.
Again… not a lot jumps out at me. You’d have to have balls the size of Balotelli‘s sense of self satisfaction to pick Carlton Cole. FPL managers also remember that Chamakh isn’t available to play the fixture v Arsenal! I’m not touching any Hammers with a ten foot pole (Jaaskelainen owners are excluded).
Who do we play? Well I’m starting with Szczesny (because I already had him), Walcott and Podolski. You would be forgiven for starting Cazorla, but I’ve opted with Podolski instead as I feel the other midfielders are way too likely to score points in their fixtures- and Berbatov won’t get the ball once v City at the Etihad.
Personally I’m bullish on Arsenal this gameweek. I’m not expecting too much, but I’m happy with the 3 players I’ve got and I still feel like I’m overloading, so let me know in the comments who you’re starting and why!