Superstitious Arsenal fans won’t want to say it out loud but their side are the favourites to win the Premier League this season.
The Gunners are eight points clear of Man City having played one more game than the defending champions.
Pep Guardiola’s side have an FA Cup semi-final to think about and they’re desperate to win the Champions League, so a two-legged quarter-final against Bayern Munich is likely to be their primary focus after the international break.
In contrast, Mikel Arteta and his troops have no other distractions, just ten league fixtures to determine their fate.
A lot can happen in ten games and with Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Newcastle and Brighton among Arsenal’s opponents there’s no room for complacency – but it looks promising for a side who haven’t won a league title since 2004.
Dream Team gaffers should certainly target the Manchester clubs’ extra fixtures in the coming weeks but given that the north Londoners have won 22 of their 28 league games in 2022/23, the temptation to back Emirates-based assets is an understandable one.
Aaron Ramsdale (£3.6m), Gabriel (£3.7m), Ben White (£4.5m), Martin Odegaard (£3.7m) and Bukayo Saka (£5.6m) are the best options across the other positions but which forward (if any) is the optimum selection?
It’s between Leandro Trossard (£4m), Gabriel Martinelli (£3.9m) and Gabriel Jesus (£4.8m), who should be close to full fitness come Game Week 28 having played 45 minutes against Sporting CP and a further 25 at Selhurst Park.
Let’s see how the trio match-up in some key statistics.
TOTAL DREAM TEAM POINTS
- Martinelli – 136
- Trossard – 110
- Jesus – 88
- Jesus – 3.8
- Trossard – 3.8
- Martinelli – 3.6
- Jesus – 26.9%
- Martinelli – 14.9%
- Trossard – 2%
STAR MAN AWARDS
- Trossard – 3
- Jesus – 3
- Martinelli – 2
- Martinelli – 13
- Trossard – 8
- Jesus – 5
- Trossard – 9
- Jesus – 7
- Martinelli – 3
MINUTES PER GOAL INVOLVEMENT
- Trossard – 114.7
- Jesus – 128
- Martinelli – 181.2
The former Man City forward’s lengthy lay-off should be taken into account when considering his stats but that’s why it’s useful to consider aspects such as his points-per-game ratio and his impressive average of 128 minutes per goal involvement.
Surprisingly, it’s probably Trossard who comes out on top in the stats comparison but it will be interesting to see how he’s used by Arteta now that Jesus is available again.
The Belgian may revert to impact substitute, a role he performed admirably in his first few weeks for the club.
Or it may be that Trossard and Jesus are to share centre-forward duties for the remainder of the campaign, which sounds handy in reality but something of a pain for Dream Team managers.
And that’s why Martinelli is probably the best bet, because he’s likely to play the most minutes of the three.
Not only that, the 21-year-old is in great form having racked up 51 points across the last Game Weeks, a dramatic upturn from the spell of five consecutive blanks he endured from late January to late February.
He’s also the cheapest of the three options so if budgetary constraints are an issue then Martinelli fits the bill best.
It should be noted that locked-in right winger Saka, who is categorised as a midfielder in Dream Team, remains Arsenal’s best attacking asset.
The England international has 172 points to his name and averages 4.5 points-per-outing.