We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Watford v Arsenal in our latest Scout Notes.
All stats taken from this article are from our Premium Members Area.
Bukayo Saka (£6.5m) is now up to 14 Premier League goal contributions in 2021/22, after making the first and netting the second at Vicarage Road on Sunday.
As a result, the England winger is up to eighth in the standings, only behind Mohamed Salah (£13.2m), Jarrod Bowen (£7.0m), Son Heung-min (£10.8m), Sadio Mane (£11.7m), Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m), Bernardo Silva (£7.2m) Diogo Jota (£8.3m).
And although he trails the above group for overall points, amongst all players from Gameweek 16, only Bowen, Riyad Mahrez (£8.7m) Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) can better his tally of nine attacking returns (six goals, three assists):
Already owned by 63.09% of the top 10k, Saka is now set to receive plenty more Fantasy attention, with a double-header in Gameweek 29 followed by a guaranteed fixture in Gameweek 30.
Furthermore, the Gunners have a favorite run of matches right through till the end of the season, with two more as-yet-unannounced Double Gameweeks to fit in somewhere during the below.
LACAZETTE’S CREATIVE ABILITIES
After failing to find the back of the net against Watford on Sunday, Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) has now gone six Premier League games without a goal. In fact, you have to go all the way back to mid-December for his last one from open-play.
However, despite not scoring many, the Frenchman is contributing assists, with another two today taking his tally to five in his last four appearances.
It’s easy to see why, too, with attacking trio Saka, Martin Odegaard (£5.5m) Gabriel Martinelli (£5.3m) buzzing around him and feeding off his exemplary hold-up play.
Above: since earning a regular role in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI in Gameweek 15, no forward has created more chances than Lacazette
“He will still not be happy in that dressing room because he wants to score, but a lot of the things he does for the team are phenomenal.
I think he’s had really good moments in terms of goal-scoring records, probably better than what he’s doing right now, but for what we ask of him and for what I ask of him and the contribution that I need from him, I think he’s doing really, really well.” – Mikel Arteta on Alexandre Lacazette’s contribution at Watford
Elsewhere, Odegaard and Martinelli’s goals were their first in the league since Gameweek 16 and 18 respectively, and whilst it’s hard to put either of them ahead of Saka right now, they are at least cheaper alternatives if funds are tight.
Meanwhile, Arsenal did look a little shaky at the back, with their opponents racking up 13 shots which carried a combined expected goals (xG) value of 1.39, which Mikel Arteta commented on after the match:
“I saw that in the first minute of the game – we could have been 1-0 down. We were really good going forward and we had all the right intention and the energy to do it. We scored three magnificent goals but we didn’t have the same energy and commitment defensively. When that happens, to win a game away from home, you’re going to suffer. That’s why we suffered today – because defensively we didn’t have the right structure. We didn’t detect with enough urgency the moments where they could activate certain spaces that we knew. That’s why we suffered. We conceded two and we could have conceded another one or two.” — Mikel Arteta
EIGHT HOME DEFEATS IN A ROW FOR WATFORD
For Watford, it’s now eight Premier League home defeats in a row and 11 of 14 overall.
Since Roy Hodgson became manager, the Hornets’ away form has generally been good, with one win, two draws and a defeat. In contrast, the home form has continued where it left off under Claudio Ranieri, with three losses at Vicarage Road.
However, their attacking play on Sunday did offer encouragement for the run-in, with their speed on the counter causing plenty of problems.
That’s despite two high profile absentees in Ismaila Sarr (£5.7m) Joshua King (£5.8m), both of whom missed out with hamstring injuries, although the latter was described as ‘precautionary’ by the club prior to kick-off.
Emmanuel Dennis (£6.1m) thought he’d put the Hornets up after just 17 seconds, but his celebrations were cut short by a narrow offside decision, whilst Cucho Hernandez (£5.0m) was lively throughout, producing his first double-digit haul of the campaign via a goal, assist and maximum bonus.
Kiko Femenia (£4.3m), meanwhile, now has five assists for the season, and has turned provider in back-to-back appearances.
“I don’t think we did miss them (Sarr and King), because I don’t know that those two could have done any better. That’s the bottom line. We didn’t lose the game because there was no Sarr or no King because both Cucho and Joao Pedro did a very good job. We lost the game quite simply because they punished us for one or two mistakes we made in and around our penalty area in particularly the cross-field ball that went out of play and then a quick throw-in that we didn’t adjust to. Whereas we were unable to get similar chances against them. However, we did create chances against them. There’s no doubt about that. And Joao Pedro and Cucho were very much a part of that.” — Roy Hodgson on the performances of Cucho Hernandez and Joao Pedro
Watford XI: Foster, Femenia, Cathcart, Samir, Kamara, Louza (Kayembe 64), Sissoko, Cleverley (Kalu 89), Cucho, Pedro, Dennis
Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard (Holding 90), Martinelli (Pepe 73), Lacazette (Nketiah 80)
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