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The Modern Managerial Approach

Is this the right time for fantasy football managers to target Unai Emery’s new look Arsenal side?

Sky Sports served up a treat with their latest instalment of Monday Night Football as Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville locked horns over Unai Emery’s tactics.

Carragher, who has served his penance for an unsavoury motoring incident, felt that the new Arsenal boss should adapt whereas Neville believed vehemently that he should stick with his principles.

Arsenal were found out by the better sides last season, with Understat recording average xG figures of 1.35-2.03 for their 10 clashes against ‘Big 6′ opposition.

Starting the new campaign with back to back games against champions’ Manchester City and London rivals’ Chelsea was therefore no easy task and their xG figures told a similar story, with the Gunners going down 2.66 to 3.68 over the 2 games.

However, Arsenal who were very impressive at the Emirates last season, created a couple of great goal-scoring opportunities against the Blues, so their fans will surely be relishing the visit of West Ham United on Saturday.

The Hammers, who matched Stoke City for the most goals conceded in the Premier League during the 2017/18 campaign, are in transition themselves, having to bed in not only a new manager but an influx of new signings as well.

EPL - GW3

The majority of Fantasy Premier League managers have been happy to stack their sides with Liverpool and Manchester City assets and this is unlikely to change based on our GW3 goal projections (above) but could this be a good moment to get in some Arsenal exposure as well?

If you are in the Neville camp then you may be inclined to think so.

Although Emery’s high defensive line is likely to put you off Arsenal defenders or their shot-stopper, options further up-field make for far more interesting reading.

A rejuvenated Henrikh Mkhitaryan has played the maximum number of minutes, chipping in with a goal and an assist against Chelsea, while Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang will still be smarting over the sitter he missed in the same game.

Both players look viable options this weekend and the Gabon international would not be the worst captaincy shout either judging by our GW3 Armband ratings.

GW3 Contribution Expectancy (Goals & Assists)
Player 0 1 2 3+
Mohamed Salah 24.98% 34.65% 24.03% 16.34%
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 32.36% 36.51% 20.60% 10.54%
Sergio Agüero 32.66% 36.55% 20.45% 10.34%
Alexandre Lacazette 38.64% 36.74% 17.47% 7.15%
Raheem Sterling 38.97% 36.72% 17.30% 7.00%
Sadio Mané 39.66% 36.68% 16.96% 6.70%
Gabriel Jesus 39.74% 36.67% 16.92% 6.66%
Charlie Austin 40.67% 36.59% 16.46% 6.28%
Alexis Sánchez 42.23% 36.40% 15.69% 5.68%
Álvaro Morata 42.40% 36.38% 15.61% 5.61%
Roberto Firmino 44.82% 35.97% 14.43% 4.78%
Aaron Ramsey 45.56% 35.82% 14.08% 4.54%
Mesut Özil 49.17% 34.91% 12.39% 3.54%
David Silva 51.81% 34.07% 11.20% 2.92%
Willian 51.95% 34.02% 11.14% 2.89%
Eden Hazard 52.54% 33.81% 10.88% 2.76%
Henrikh Mkhitaryan 54.41% 33.11% 10.08% 2.40%

 

Alexandre Lacazette will also be pushing for a start so it will be fascinating to see what line-up the new Arsenal boss puts out.

With Emery being very much a firm believer of the modern managerial approach to football, there are likely to be some casualties during the Spaniard’s tenure and Mesut Özil may well be one of them.

However, as the Gunners’ fixtures ease, now might be the right time for Fantasy Premier League managers to sit up and take note.

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