The Guru: Arsenal-Bournemouth Preview
Footstock has been booming since the announcement of Virtual Tournaments. It’s important that every user focuses on the virtual tournaments now, which provide a great opportunity to win some cash.
As such, it’s important to understand who the key players are in each team. In this week’s post I’m going to focus on the first 4 teams in the league: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Brighton.
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– £5 free cash balance
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When looking at these teams I am going to pick out 3 key players: an overall PPG scorer, a base scorer (scores without goals, assists and wins etc) and a future talent. These players will hopefully be useful for tournaments but might not represent the best value in the squad.
*All player prices are accurate at the time of publication
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
Buy Price (BP): £11.73 Sell Price (SP): £10.38
Probably not a massive surprise to many out there but the Golden Boot winner from last season is an outstanding player to have in your lineup when Arsenal have a good fixture. The 4* player has a PPG score of 17.45 and has scored 17 goals so far this season. This goal scoring rate across 26 league games makes him crucial in your Arsenal lineups, and sees him top of the Arsenal stats for goals scored and shots on target. With 20 points awarded per goal, Aubameyang’s points potential is remarkably high.
Buy Price (BP): £23.77 Sell Price (SP): £21
After making a reported £72m move from Lille to Arsenal, many expected that Pepe would turn the Gunners’ fortunes around and get them back in contention at the top end of the table. While this hasn’t quite gone to plan, his stats have shown that he is an incredible talent who could really take the league by storm.
Pepe has only earned 17 starts this season, which lead to 4 goals and 6 assists. While his goals and assists haven’t been the strongest, he has featured top of the Arsenal stats list for Contests Won and Crosses. These are areas of the Footstock Scoring Matrix that are extremely useful for high base scores, and Pepe represents this with a PPG of 17.67.
Buy Price (BP): £3.10 Sell Price (SP): £2.58
While Tierney feels like he has been around the block at Celtic for years, he is only 22-years-old. Arsenal are bringing through a generation of brilliant talents including Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and the likes of Eddie Nketiah. However, the player for me with the most potential for growth is Kieran Tierney. Given his injury woes, he’s only managed 5 starts this season, but when he’s fully fit, he looks to be the most capable of proving himself at the senior level amongst his contemporaries.
Tom Heaton/Pepe Reina
Buy Price (BP): £0.92/£0.66 Sell Price (SP): £0.77/£0.50
At a top team like Arsenal, the point scoring is heavily based around their attacking assets. At a team struggling at the bottom of the table, the big scores can come from their keepers with the right fixtures.
An important part of the scoring matrix on Footstock is the fact that goalkeepers don’t lose points for goals conceded. That means when a team concedes, the only thing a keeper misses out on is the clean sheet bonus.
That means even when goalkeepers face top teams, they can amass an enormous amount of saves. For example, against the top 3 sides, Tom Heaton has made 4 saves against Leicester, 4 saves against Liverpool and 6 saves against Man City. Despite losing a clean sheet, the save points on offer here can more than make up for it.
Buy Price (BP): £21.95 Sell Price (SP): £19.22
When watching Aston Villa there will typically only be one player that stands out, with his socks around his ankles and his children’s shin guards sticking out. It’s Jack Grealish.
Grealish is the top PPG scorer at Villa with a score of 15.61. With 7 goals and 6 assists, Grealish could do incredibly well at a bigger, more attacking side. The reason he features as the base player for Villa is the involvement he has across Villa’s play. Top of the Assists and with a very respectable base number of Contests Won, Grealish has big points potential despite the players around him.
Buy Price (BP): £1.28 Sell Price (SP): £1.10
With Aston Villa’s influx of huge signings over the past year, a lot of young talent has missed out on a place in the squad. However, one 21-year-old has been a feature in 26 of their Premier League games.
That, of course, is the Brazilian defensive midfielder Douglas Luiz. The balance in his game is fantastic: coming out top of the Villa squad for Ball Recoveries and Passes per game. Along with his defensive stability, he also has a rocket of a long shot. Over the coming years, if he can develop his skills further, he will go far on Footstock.
Buy Price (BP): £4.19 Sell Price (SP): £3.07
With players like Callum Wilson, Joshua King and Nathan Ake, it may come as a surprise that the winger on loan from Liverpool is the best Footstock scorer in Bournemouth’s side.
He features highly on the Goals, Assists and Contests Won lists. With Bournemouth’s poor form, his attacking talent has unfortunately not been complimented by those around him. While he might not walk straight back into the Liverpool side, he has the talent to get a solid move to another Premier League club and continue his development.
Having collected 7 goals across the season while also contributing 0.6 key passes per game, Wilson has produced the level of performance that keeps his scoring strong and consistent.
Buy Price (BP): £3.98 Sell Price (SP): £3.85
Another player who might not be around Bournemouth for too much longer is Ryan Fraser, whose contract runs out at the end of the season.
With links to Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea as well as many others, he’ll be able to take his talents further than their current horizons. Last season he was a stalwart in many FPL teams due to his phenomenal assist rate, but with the lack of form at Bournemouth, Fraser’s final product numbers have taken a serious hit.
He still has an incredible talent and has shown this with strong figures across his attacking play.
Buy Price (BP): £5.13 Sell Price (SP): £3.30
Another player with enormous talent who, unfortunately due to injury, hasn’t been able to play this season.
In the season before, Brooks managed to score 7 goals and provide 5 assists in his 30 league appearances and has managed to pick up 12 caps for Wales. Now 22, Brooks has showed his attacking abilities with 1 key pass a game, 9 big chances created and – along with those 7 goals – managed to miss 8 big chances.
This is the sort of talent that, when it matures, could produce incredible performances. The fact he’s been linked with some of the biggest clubs in the country is of little surprise. At a bigger club I’m without doubt in thinking that he could surpass 10 goals and 10 assists in a Premier League season. You have heard it here first.
Buy Price (BP): £5.96 Sell Price (SP): £5
The 23-year-old Frenchman signed for Brighton from Brentford for £20m at the start of the season.
While it took a while for Maupay to find his feet at Brighton, he has scored 8 goals while also missing 8 big chances from his average of 2 shots per game. In terms of his PPG, Maupay is top of the Goals and Shots on Target stats at Brighton, while also featuring high up on the Assist chart too.
Maupay leads the line and also leads the Brighton press from the front. If Brighton were to keep a few more clean sheets and gather up wins, Maupay could push on to some higher scores than his current PPG of 10.95.
Buy Price (BP): £3.75 Sell Price (SP): £2.96
Initially Mooy joined Brighton on loan, but it was no surprise that by the time it came to January the move was made permanent.
In terms of base score, Mooy has been extremely impressive. He’s top in Brighton’s statistics for Dribbles and Crosses. He also features second on the list for Goals and features well for Assists too. Unfortunately, due to Brighton’s struggle for results, he has struggled to push his 13.62 PPG any higher with goal, assist or win points.
Buy Price (BP): £2.21 Sell Price (SP): £1.41
Last week on the Footstock blog I reflected on 5 top talents coming through in the Premier League. One of those players was Steven Alzate, who could have featured on this list but hey – variety is the spice of life.
Aaron Connolly is another of the many exciting players coming through at Brighton, having already made 2 appearances for Ireland. Indeed, many in the Emerald Isle hold Connolly in high esteem.
With the signing of Maupay and Mooy, game time has been limited for the youngster; with only 9 starts to his name. In that time he’s picked up 2 goals. It’s clear that he has a long way to go, with 4 big chances missed. He could improve his supply to those around him with only 0.2 key passes per game too. In terms of PPG, it’s hard to compare Connolly to his teammates as the data supply isn’t big enough. The Irishman only averaged 30.18 minutes per game in his last 17 matches.
Let me know what you think of these lists, if you agree, or maybe if you don’t. Please follow me on twitter (@IndexGuru) for more insight. You can also find my on the Official Slack Group at Footstock Guru.