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FPL: Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla – Differential Potential?

Many thanks to Inside FPL for this great post which looks at why Santi Cazorla should be considered for your FPL team. Check out Inside FPL on twitter @insidefantasyPL . You can also sign up for their free FPL weekly newsletter delivered directly into your email address. Click their logo at the bottom of this article for more information.

Santi Cazorla – Differential Potential?

A lot has been made of midfielders through this season’s fantasy football campaign, with 5 players in particular dominating manager’s selection thoughts – Bale, Mata, Michu, Fellaini and Walcott.  But there is a 6th player who, whilst not exactly under the radar,  has not grabbed the imagination as much as the others, is actually the 3rd highest scoring midfielder in the game, and 5th overall.  He’s also as nailed on as anyone in Arsenal’s starting lineup,  In this article we take a look at the Arsene Wegner’s £16m summer signing from Malaga,  Santiago “Santi” Cazorla González, review his fantasy form, and prospects for your team through to the end of the season.

Cazorla was immediately handed the advanced role in the midfield three, ahead of the double-pivot  typical now in the modern 4-2-3-1.  He made a big impact as soon as GW3, with 2 goals away at Liverpool and 13 FPL points.  At the time Arsenal were receiving plaudits for a new found defensive resolve and his Anfield brace came on top of him topping the key pass and shooting charts.  A real prospect then, and with a home clash against promoted Southampton ahead the transfers soon flowed in.  Almost 100,000 managers brought in the Spaniard for GW4 but despite a 6-1 thrashing of Southampton Santi registered just a single assist.  He bounced straight back though with an assist and 2 bonus points away against Man City and followed that up with 3 goals in his next 7 games, including goals in games against Man Utd and Tottenham.

Cazorla really garnered full-on fantasy attention though with a hat-trick and assist in a 5-2 away win at Reading, scoring a whopping 23 points, the second highest single GW score this season, behind Walcott’s 26.  This did come in the middle of an a lean spell though, just the one, albeit a big one, goal-scoring performance in 10 games. With his hat-trick haul still fresh in the mind though and a double gameweek on the horizon Cazorla’s ownership peaked up at 21% but despite a fairly decent return during this time 5% of managers have since got rid, driven mainly due to some scintillating performances by team-mate Walcott, plus the form and opportunities of alternatives in Gerrard and Bale.

The  infographic below shows Cazorla’s form, which we measure by comparing the number of shots he takes from inside the penalty box with how many shots in the box Arsenal have.  We can see that Cazorla’s form basically tracks Arsenal’s.  If his team do well, so does he, if the team are struggling, so does he.  He doesn’t carry the team and dominate, like Bale does, or Ba did for Newcastle.  He doesn’t produce something out of nothing a la Van Persie..  He’s had a real slump through January too, scoring just once and averaging only 3 pts/game in that time, but as can be seen he’s got himself back involved in Arsenal’s attack now, and the goals and points have returned.

Santi

So, what are the prospects for Santi from now through to the end of the season?  Well, we imagine it’ll be business as usual,  but without the winter slump, averaging about 6-7 points per game through to the end of the season.  This places him behind Bale, and indeed behind Walcott, but level with the likes of Mata and Michu.  He’s significantly less owned though than all these other players, who are all 25-30% except for Michu who is almost at a staggering 50% now.  Arsenal also have a tempting set of fixtures to come after their GW29, playing Reading, Norwich and Wigan at home, and Fulham and QPR away, plus another double gameweek, making Cazorla a massive differential captain option through that stretch. Keep an eye on his price, he could be just the player to make the kind of difference that counts.

By @InsideFantasyPL

TheGameweekPoster

About InsideFPL

InsideFPL are dedicated to bringing you expert analysis and unique services to help you dominate your mini league.  Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and price change notifications at www.insidefpl.com and be sure to follow us on Twitter for more FPL news and goodies @insidefantasyPL.

Arsenal: Keep calm and carry on

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The final 17 minutes of Arsenal’s outclassing of Southampton on Saturday said an awful lot about both clubs at the beginning of this Premier League season.

For the Saints, a team battered and bruised by the late, almost heroic defeats to both Manchester clubs and given a stark warning of the quality throughout the division when Wigan won convincingly at St Mary’s, it was all about just getting to full-time without experiencing any more damage on what had already been a harrowing afternoon.

In the event, they ended up conceding a sixth goal to their former favourite Theo Walcott two minutes from time, but the lack of celebrations from the winger after biting the hand that used to feed him were repeated all around the Emirates Stadium. The locals were desperate for Olivier Giroud to score.

That desire and anxiousness wasn’t a slight on the abilities of a forward who scored 21 goals in helping Montpellier to win the French title last season, but more a reflection of Gunners fans in recent times.

The £12million Giroud hadn’t scored in his first three appearances for the club, he didn’t find the net in his 17 minutes on the pitch against Southampton and followed that up with a goalless 76 minutes back at his former club in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Cue red and white panic.

If an Arsenal fan hasn’t got something to worry about, then he or she must be doing something wrong.

It isn’t their fault, it has been ingrained in supporters ever since summer-long transfer sagas surrounding the likes of Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and now Robin van Persie, all of which were destined to end with the player escaping the club in the same manner that Usain Bolt accelerates away from his rivals.

After the inevitable parting of the ways became official whoever was left, particularly those who were viewed as replacements, simply had to hit the ground running. Supporters already felt let down by former heroes, and so they didn’t want to see mediocre performers enter in their place.

The longing for Giroud to be a success will go on, but fans should be mindful not to freak out too much as they hope for every touch from the new man to end in the back of the net. They should simply take stock, take a deep breath and take a look at the talents elsewhere.

The other two new additions illustrate this perfectly, and as long as Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla keep on impressing to the levels that they have been so far then maybe even the Arsenal fans who are thinning on top wouldn’t mind losing the hairs they’ll tear out of their head whilst worrying about Giroud. And they will still worry.

Podolski, Cazorla, a seemingly reborn Gervinho, Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby Aaron Ramsey, Walcott for now, and potentially even Jack Wilshere one day, maybe. All of whom add up to a potent attacking force before you even consider a French international forward who could very easily turn out to be a roaring success. Throw them in alongside a now much tighter defence and suddenly Gunners fans have every reason to be rather content with life right now, if they allow themselves to be.

The Giroud side issue will be solved soon enough – the forward is too good a player for it not to be – and when it is then Arsenal fans might be best advised to avoid finding something else to worry about, to just to play it cool, to keep calm and carry on.

They have the good fortune to follow a very good team which will only improve the more that its shiny new components are allowed to click together.

It’s getting there, so just try to sit tight and let it happen.

@Mark_Jones86

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