Gameweek 15 Talking Points – Lacazette or Aubameyang?

GW15 proved to be one of the hardest so far this season, with many of the highly owned players being rotated. If FPL managers didn’t know already, it was a harsh reminder of the importance of having a strong squad to accommodate for these changes. There were plenty of talking points after the matches, so we have teamed up with LetsTalkSoccer to discuss the hottest topics.

Should managers consider selling Hazard and Alonso after Chelsea’s recent performance?

LetsTalkSoccer:

Generally speaking, no, we don’t think it’s worth dropping either of them if they’re already in your team. With Alonso, despite a lack of attacking returns, he’s still always a candidate for clean sheets. We gladly take a clean sheet in any given gameweek.

With Hazard, we’ve mentioned in previous articles that he goes through these hot and cold spells. He’s been cold recently, but he had had an assist in each of his last two games. Not ideal, but it could be much worse. Collectively, they’re both capable of making a Dream Team week in and out. We FPL managers tend to react when players do well or poorly, getting caught up in the hype and rumors instead of keeping the long term in mind. These guys are world class players. They have produced in the past and they will again moving forward. After the home match with Man City, Chelsea have 8 of the next 9 fixtures with an FDR of 3 or less. So that’s very promising.

Lastly, if you do currently own either of them, once you drop premium players like them it tends to be difficult to get them back into your squad. With them, we advise being very calculated with your moves.

FPLFootballAdvice:

Chelsea were surprisingly beaten by Wolves 2-1 last night, conceding goals from Jimenez and Costa. For the 850,000 Jimenez owners, it was an important goal for their game weeks and like many FPL managers, Jimenez came off their squad bench to replace and non-playing player. A Doherty assist also rewarded the managers that have held the Wolves defender over their tough period, resulting in his price rising overnight (£5.0m).

Hazard was able to get his second assist in as many matches, but the result overshadowed his attacking returns. The Belgian was lively against Wolves, taking 5 shots and creating 6 key passes over the 90 minutes. Priced at £11.0m, his recent attacking returns are asking questions over his FPL value, registering 20 points in the last 7 gameweeks.

To put this into perspective, similarly priced Sterling (£11.5m) has registered 54 points over this period. And Sane (£9.4m) has outscored the Belgian significantly, scoring 53 points, suggesting the ownership over City midfielders has become essential.

Alonso has made the FPL headlines recently for his recent poor displays, including last nights game. Being associated with his attacking threat, Alonso has only taken 2 shots and 1 key pass in his last 3 matches. Two of these matches included Fulham (H) and Wolves (A), matches that you’d expect better from the Spaniard.

Chelsea’s clean sheet potential has been questioned after last night, but they have still kept 7 clean sheets in 15 matches – 3 in their last 6. Priced at £7.1m, Alonso is considerably more expensive than any other FPL defender. The recent questions of selling him have some justification, but the thing for managers to consider is the difficulty in bringing him back if you do sell him. Similar to Kane and Salah in their respective positions, it usually requires 2 transfers in order to fund the purchase of these players. Therefore if you decide to sell Alonso, you need to make sure the decision is justified and willing to accept a possible points hit to regain him if he begins to find form.

Chelsea face Man City this weekend and we don’t expect either Hazard or Alonso to haul any major points. However, if you sell players based on the game against City, then you would be selling your FPL players every week they face them. A long term approach is the best strategy, and in Chelsea’s 6 matches after City, 5 are bottom half teams. We think that there is value still in Alonso and while there are other teams with great fixtures, you cant ignore the attacking threat he usually produces.

Hazard on the other hand is hard to own when City midfielders are free scoring against every team in the league. Although we don’t urge managers to fire sale the Chelsea man, the priority is to own a Man City midfielder. If you do not currently own one, the sale of Hazard to Sterling is a good long term move. After that, you need to decide if double City midfield is the way forward over Christmas. We’ve done it, but as part of a long strategy which managers need to make that decision based upon.

Lacazette (£9.6m) or Aubameyang (£11.2m)?

LetsTalkSoccer:

Arsenal have a tasty set of fixtures ahead. Of the next 7 games, only one of them has an FDR above 3.  The team seems to be clicking, especially on the attack. Yes, it’s worth bringing in an Arsenal forward. If we were to choose, we take Auba. He consistently plays more minutes than Lacazette. That said, it’s possible that Emeri will rest Auba some time soon, particularly because the fixtures are not as challenging.

So FPL managers should be wary. Past performance doesn’t always predict future playing time and success. So taking a flyer on Laca might be a brilliant move. Or it might be one of futility if he continues to start games on the bench.

That’s the issue with two outstanding options: There’s no guarantee that one will always play more than the other. It’s a great situation for Emeri. It’s one of frustration for us FPL managers!  At the end of the day, if we had to choose one or the other, we’d choose Auba.

FPLFootballAdvice:

Arsenal played out a fiery 2-2 draw against United last night, with surprisingly neither Lacazette or Aubameyang getting on the scoresheet (although Laca was unlucky). The big debate over the past week has been the choice between Kane or Aubameyang over the Christmas period, something we have discussed in our latest tweet.

Arsenal now come into a great run of fixtures, starting with a home match against Huddersfield on Saturday.

Arsenal Fixtures

Looking at the coming fixtures, it doesn’t seem a case of whether to own an Arsenal attacker, but instead which one. Obviously for those that transferred in Aubameyang, he is a great player that should return some good points over this fixture period. But for those that purchased Kane, the ownership of both Auba and Kane is a tough task due to their expensive price tags.

While the debate was mainly around Arsenal’s Aubameyang – transferred in by over 500,000 managers for GW15 – the consideration of Lacazette has gone under the radar. Lacazette has contributed in 11 goals this season (6 goals, 5 assists) while Aubameyang has contributed in 13 goals (10 goals, 3 asssists), this works out at a goal contribution every 87 minutes for Laca and 86 minutes for Auba.

Lacazette has been on the bench the past 2 matches, but has contributed in both when being brought on. While being a possible rotation risk, we think that Lacazette will feature regularly over the Christmas period and is great value at £9.6m.

If you own Kane, then we would recommend going for Lacazette. If you own Aubameyang, we wouldn’t recommend doubling up but keep the frontman for the long term. If you have the luxury to transfer either into your squad, the first priority should whether the additional funds Lacazette would provide are needed to strengthen your squad. If not, Aubameyang would be the first choice.

Arnautovic Alternatives

LetsTalkSoccer:

We had Arnie in our squad, and were so excited about the potential points he represented through the end of the year. Those dreams were crushed about 39 minutes into yesterday’s game.

In terms of options, we’re advising fellow managers to consider Jimenez (Wolves next two fixtures are favorable, and he’s on good form), Wilson (a tough one against Liverpool in Week 16, but then it lightens up for a couple games and he’s also on good form), Murray (if his shoulder injury doesn’t sideline him), and Chicharito (all of those promising matches that we loved with Arnie, he’s on good form recently and is most likely the main option for Pellegrini with Arnie out).

Those are options of similar prices. If managers are making multiple transfer going into GW16, it opens up lots of other options.

FPLFootballAdvice:

Arnautovic’s injury during GW15 has brought a FPL headache to the 1.4 million managers that owned him. Having dropped overnight, he is expected to return after the new year therefore managers must seek an alternative.

We have discussed the best options in our latest article, which is worth a read for an in depth analysis on the topic. We mention the best alternatives that are a similar price or cheaper than the Austrian.

Similar to what LetsTalkSoccer mention, if you have money in the bank to upgrade Arnautovic then their are plenty of options. The best of these to consider would be Kane (£12.5m), Aubameyang (£11.2m) or Lacazette (£9.6m). The previous articles/questions will help you decide on the best player for your FPL squads, but our pick would be Harry Kane.

 


 

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