FFScout: Team guide to Arsenal

Fantasy Football Scout’s Editor Neale is known for his expert Team News articles, tweets and live streams. He has taken a look at the Gunners ahead of the new season in his team guide to Arsenal.

With Gameweek 1 less than a week away the guys at Fantasy Football Scout are profiling all 20 Premier League teams. Neale has taken a dive in to Arsenal.

LAST SEASON: ATTACK

TotalRank v other Premier League clubs
Goals scored616th
Shots5894th
Shots in the box3724th
Shots on target1944th
Big chances698th
Expected goals (xG)69.164th
Courtesy of Fantasy Football Scout

Arsenal were Champions League material for much of 2021/22 when it came to goal threat but there is a sense that there is still more to come: they had the worst xG delta (-8.16) and second-worst goal conversion (10.4%) of any side who finished in the top half last season.

Perhaps the acquisition of Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m) can help remedy that wastefulness. He’s had a flying start to life at Arsenal in pre-season, although it should be noted that he too has a bit of a profligate track record.

LAST SEASON: DEFENCE

TotalRank v other Premier League clubs
Goals conceded488th
Clean sheets135th
Shots conceded4254th
Shots in the box conceded2634th
Shots on target conceded1477th
Big chances conceded67=8th
Expected goals conceded (xGC)51.837th
Courtesy of Fantasy Football Scout

Wobbly defensive periods bookended last season, with no clean sheets arriving in the opening three Gameweeks or from Gameweeks 31-38

In between, Arsenal racked up an impressive 13 shut-outs in 25 matches.

Keeping together a settled back four was one contributing factor: Takehiro Tomiyasu(£4.5m), Ben White (£4.5m) and Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.0m) started every fixture together from Gameweeks 4-18, with eight clean sheets arriving in this period alone. It was no coincidence that Arsenal’s defensive numbers worsened when Tomiyasu’s fitness issues began earlier this year.

But Aaron Ramsdale‘s (£5.0m) displays were also worthy of note. Earning rave reviews after his initial debut, he had fallen out of form somewhat by the time we reached the end of 2021/22.

Team guide to Arsenal: OPENING FIXTURES

The best budget FPL defenders for 2022/23 5

Arsenal are actually top of our Season Ticker for fixture difficulty in the first eight Gameweeks, meeting only one of last season’s top seven in that time – and even that is a Manchester United side who struggled for clean sheets in 2021/22. Even with the strides made in pre-season under Erik ten Hag, question marks remain about their defence.

Two newly-promoted outfits – Bournemouth and Fulham – come in…

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