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Gunners Set To Open Fire

Will ‘Super-Sub’ Olivier Giroud have to settle for bench role yet again?

Olivier Giroud was finally given his head on Wednesday, starting a Premier League match for the first time this season but even though he played the full 90 minutes he couldn’t help Arsenal break the deadlock.

It turned out to be a frustrating night for the Frenchman who had equalled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s record for most goals scored by a substitute for one club, when he came off the bench to earn the Gunners a point at Southampton last Sunday.

However, his failure to make any impact in the stalemate with the Hammers is likely to see him back on the bench for Arsenal’s home game with Newcastle United on Saturday.

This means that Alexandre Lacazette is in line for a recall and he sits at the top of our GW18 Armband Rankings, alongside team-mate Alexis Sánchez.

GW18 Contribution Expectancy (Goals & Assists)
Player 0 1 2 3+
Alexandre Lacazette 38.38% 36.75% 17.60% 7.27%
Alexis Sánchez 39.05% 36.72% 17.26% 6.96%
Mohamed Salah 42.35% 36.39% 15.63% 5.63%
Álvaro Morata 43.99% 36.13% 14.83% 5.05%
Sergio Agüero 44.24% 36.08% 14.71% 4.97%
Philippe Coutinho 45.21% 35.89% 14.25% 4.66%
Wayne Rooney 48.56% 35.08% 12.67% 3.69%
Romelu Lukaku 48.91% 34.98% 12.51% 3.60%
Sadio Mané 51.37% 34.22% 11.40% 3.01%
Gabriel Jesus 51.80% 34.07% 11.21% 2.92%
Mesut Özil 52.64% 33.78% 10.84% 2.74%
Richarlison 54.94% 32.90% 9.85% 2.30%
Kevin De Bruyne 55.15% 32.82% 9.77% 2.26%
Eden Hazard 55.58% 32.65% 9.59% 2.19%
Gylfi Sigurdsson 56.65% 32.19% 9.15% 2.01%
Leroy Sané 56.95% 32.06% 9.03% 1.96%
Olivier Giroud 57.01% 32.04% 9.00% 1.95%
Jamie Vardy 59.93% 30.69% 7.86% 1.53%

 

Newcastle United have been in free-fall, losing 7 of their last 8 matches in the Premier League so it’s easy to make a case for either of the Arsenal players.

Sánchez, the 2016/17 fantasy player of the season is perhaps the pick of the two though, with his game minutes looking far more secure.

Despite being named as a surprise starter on Wednesday, Mohamed Salah failed to add to his seasonal tally following widespread speculation that he would miss the match with West Bromwich Albion due to a hamstring injury.

He makes plenty of appeal in GW18, as does Álvaro Morata, who has returned to first team training with Chelsea after missing out on their trip to Huddersfield.

However, it’s the ever-green Wayne Rooney that warrants a special mention. He scored the winning goal at St James’ Park on Wednesday and has now been directly involved in over 50% of the Toffees goals when involved since returning to Goodison Park. A home game with Swansea City in the Monday Night Football looks about as good as it gets!

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