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Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Eastenders’ Martin Fowler?

Manchester City and Arsenal Smash Open the Floodgates

Arsenal vs West Ham: Confirmed Lineups

Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin & The 5 #FPL Players You MUST Pick For GW36

DEFENDER: Hector Bellerin – £4.7m (Home v Swansea)

With a Double Gameweek on the horizon and an extremely strong end of the season which looks set to set them up for the FA Cup final at the end of the month, Arsenal are flying heading into their Monday night fixture with Swansea.

Flying is also a good description for their quicksilver full-back Hector Bellerin, who has broken through into the first team this season and looks set to nail down his place in the side as the campaign draws to a close.

 

MIDFIELDER: Tom Cleverley – £5.2m (Home v West Ham)

It isn’t just Christian Benteke who has been inspired by the arrival of Tim Sherwood at Aston Villa, with midfielder Tom Cleverley scoring in his last two matches and bouncing into this weekend’s home clash with Aston Villa in the finest of form.

It is another game that Villa can win as they edge closer to survival, and in Cleverley – who has been unfairly criticised in the past – they have a player who’ll be doing his utmost to make that happen.

 

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FORWARD: Leonardo Ulloa – £5.0m (Home v Southampton)

Leicester’s Argentinean forward Leonardo Ulloa is back in fashion after scoring three times during his side’s terrific recent run, and he can keep that form up as he takes on a Southampton side whose season is stalling a little and who have developed a worrying habit of losing games on the road recently.

West Brom, Everton, Stoke and Sunderland have all beaten the Saints on their own grounds in the past few weeks, and the Foxes and Ulloa will be confident of following suit.

 

THE OUTSIDER: Mesut Ozil – £8.9m (Home v Swansea)

Only 3.7% of Fantasy bosses own Arsenal’s talented German Mesut Ozil, making him comfortably eligible for our outsider status at a time when he has found some terrific form.

Admittedly that form doesn’t always translate into fantasy points, but with Chelsea having already won the league and perhaps dropping off in performance a little, Ozil could make a good alternative for the likes of Cesc Fabregas – especially with the Gunners’ Double Gameweek approaching next time around.

 

THE CAPTAIN: Sergio Aguero – £12.7m (Home v QPR)

He once scored a pretty famous end of season goal against QPR at the Etihad Stadium, but with Manchester City having missed out on the title the only damage that Sergio Aguero can do on Sunday is relegate QPR.

He’ll probably do that, too, with his late season burst of form featuring five goals in four matches as he prepares for a summer linking up with Lionel Messi at the Copa America.

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Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil & The 5 #FPL Players You MUST Pick For GW25

Gameweek 25

DEFENDER: Phil Jones (£5.3m) – Home v Burnley

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There seem to be very few constants in Louis van Gaal’s constantly shuffled Manchester United pack, but defender Phil Jones has now started the last nine league games and played all but two minutes of them.

United are probably due a home clean sheet and should be backed to keep one at home to lowly Burnley, who whilst frequently potent at Turf Moor have often failed to find the net on their travels.

 

MIDFIELDER: Mesut Ozil (£8.9m) – Home v Leicester

Not always the most trustworthy of players during his time in English football, Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil has nonetheless bounced back into form since his return to the Gunners starting lineup, scoring against Aston Villa and Tottenham.

He picked up 21 Fantasy points in those two games, and at home to a struggling Leicester City side he should be in a position to help the Gunners bounce back from their North London derby loss in style.

 

FORWARD: Olivier Giroud (£8.4m) – Home v Leicester

This is the sort of game in which Olivier Giroud usually shines for Arsenal, and the Frenchman should be front and centre as the Gunners go for goals against Leicester.

Giroud has scored three goals in his last four home league appearances at the Emirates Stadium, and if he starts here then he really should be increasing that number.

 

THE OUTSIDER: Jermain Defoe (£6.0m) – Home v QPR

Two goals in three games since his return to the Premier League indicates that Jermain Defoe hasn’t lost any of his razor-sharp instinct since he’s been away, and the former England forward will have QPR in his sights as the Premier League’s most miserable away record comes to the Stadium of Light.

Defoe has the quality to pull Sunderland away from the likes of their opponents here, and the home fans will expect him to do just that.

 

THE CAPTAIN: Eden Hazard (£10.8m) – Home v Everton

This is Chelsea’s last game of Diego Costa’s suspension, and whilst it is true to say that that has affected the team’s potency as a whole, they will still get plenty of chances to find the net at home to an Everton side which still fails to convince.

Jose Mourinho’s side are now seven points clear at the top of the table and they won’t be in a mood to let that lead shorten, and Eden Hazard will be crucial to that effort as they host their visitors from Merseyside.

 

@Mark_Jones86

Arsenal vs Hull: CONFIRMED LINEUPS and Preview for the FA CUP Final

Norwich City vs Arsenal: Confirmed Lineups

Arsenal vs West Brom: Lineups

Arsenal vs Newcastle: Confirmed Lineups and Preview

Off the Mark: Of course Arsenal can win the league… but they’ll need to get lucky

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Another week, another impressive Arsenal result, another few days of hearing that they can’t possibly win the league.

The Gunners’ impressive 2-0 victory over Liverpool opened up a five point gap at the top of the table, the kind of advantage that would be described as ‘commanding’ or ‘dominant’ were it being enjoyed by say, a Manchester City or a Chelsea.

But instead there is a sense that everyone is just waiting for Arsene Wenger’s men to slip up, for them to succumb to the same old failings and to fall away from the challenge of what would be a first trophy in nine years.

That might still happen of course, but claiming that Arsenal definitely won’t win the league this season is simply wrong. Of course they can win it.

They have comfortably been the most impressive side in the division during the opening quarter of the campaign, and what’s more they have the points to prove it.

Since the embarrassing 3-1 opening day defeat at home to Aston Villa – a loss which led to some of us calling for the club’s attitude to change – the Gunners have won eight of their nine Premier League matches.

Whilst City and Chelsea – the two clubs that the bookies fancy more for the title than Arsenal – have been losing at places like Cardiff, Villa, Everton and Newcastle, Wenger’s men have plotted a serene course, only dropping points at a West Brom side who were a week on from a win at Old Trafford.

The notion that the table toppers haven’t been seriously tested was put under a decent threat from a Liverpool side who certainly worked hard at the Emirates last Saturday evening, but the manner in which Brendan Rodgers’ men were kept at an arm’s length and eventually brushed aside showed the quality that Arsenal possess, and more importantly the individuals who they have to enforce that.

As we mentioned when discussing Everton recently, squad depth is incredibly important in the Premier League, and a look at Arsenal’s substitutes on Saturday suggests that theirs isn’t the greatest.

Lukasz Fabianski, Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal, Nicklas Bendtner, Carl Jenkinson, Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden hardly strikes you as the bench of potential champions, especially when you compare it to the riches that Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho can keep in reserve.

Of course that will change for Arsenal when the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Mathieu Flamini return to full fitness, but right now the Gunners are relying upon their first team to do the business. Luckily for them though, they’ve got one of the best of those in the division.

Wojciech Szczesny is maturing into a fine goalkeeper, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are a solid unit, Mikel Arteta is a calming influence, Aaron Ramsey might have made some sort of goalscoring pact with the devil, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla are outrageously gifted and Olivier Giroud is a growing, increasingly imposing presence.

Keep those eight fit and healthy and Arsenal are as good as anyone on the continent, never mind the Premier League.

Of course, they are going to require a large slice of luck for that to happen, but any notion that the Gunners ‘can’t’ win the title should be met with a read through that list of players.

This week brings tests away at Borussia Dortmund and then Robin van Persie’s Manchester United, but why spend time worrying about them? Why spend time worrying about anything at the moment?

Arsenal have been superb and fully deserve their place at the top of the Premier League table, a table that they have a fantastic chance to still be at the head of come May.

They just need luck to stay on their very talented side.

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Hughton and Jol in a sack race

The fact that Norwich kick off two-and-a-half hours later than Fulham on Saturday could be hugely significant.

Both Martin Jol and Chris Hughton are facing uncertain futures at their clubs, with another defeat at the weekend perhaps proving the final straw.

Jol’s Fulham face the trickier test with their trip to take on a Liverpool side determined to bounce back from the Arsenal loss, and with an international break looming it could be seen as the perfect time to bring in a new man.

It is Norwich though, off the back of their 7-0 mauling at Manchester City, who could be under the most pressure.

Fail to win at home to a solid West Ham outfit in front of a primetime Saturday night audience, and Hughton could be facing some difficult questions.

If Jol loses heavily at Anfield though, those questions will be coming to the Dutchman a little earlier.

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Having a Hull of a time

Hull are in the top half, six points clear of the drop zone. In previous years, that’d be enough for Phil Brown to start breaking out in song.

Thankfully those days are long gone now, but Steve Bruce has got plenty to crow about during what has been a very impressive start.

Relegation certainties for many, the Tigers are on the prowl and could be worth backing to get a good result at Southampton this weekend.

Southampton v Hull – Draw or Hull Double Chance is priced at 11/8 at BetMcLean.com

@Mark_Jones86

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