Arsenal host Cardiff City on Tuesday night in the midst of a defensive crisis. The club has already lost full-back Hector Bellerin to an ACL injury. Meanwhile, Rob Holding is also a long-term absentee due to injury. But with the Bluebirds due to arrive in around 24-hours time, manager Unai Emery has some shuffling to do with his side. Arsenal’s defensive crisis could hurt the team’s attack and Fantasy Premier League managers may alter their sides for gameweek 24.
Arsenal’s defensive crisis
The Gunners lost centre-back Sokratis to an ankle injury in their 3-1 FA Cup loss to Manchester United on Friday night. Sokratis isn’t expected to be back in training until the end of February.
Fellow centre-back Laurent Koscielny was also removed early in the Gunners’ FA Cup clash with the Red Devils. Koscielny suffered a facial injury after Romelu Lukaku inadvertently kicked the defender in the face.
On Monday, Emery addressed the media ahead of Cardiff City’s visit. He stated neither Sokratis nor Koscielny will be “okay” for Tuesday’s match.
According to Emery, 21-year-old defender Dinos Mavropanos could fill the void left by Sokratis and Koscielny.
Can Cardiff take advantage of Arsenal’s defensive crisis?
FPL managers could be influenced to select Cardiff attacking players for the game at the Emirates. Arsenal’s stretched thin defence could allow the Bluebirds a chance to score and gain all three points.
Cardiff are 18th in the Premier League and three points from safety. Neil Warnock’s team has been bad on the road gaining just five of their 19 points away from home.
Cardiff have scored the fewest goals on the road in the Premier League with six. Even with Arsenal’s defensive crisis, Cardiff will need an inspired performance to take all three points.
FPL managers searching for a Cardiff attacking player for gameweek 24 will find players lacking points. Junior Hoilett has tallied just 49 points this term while summer signing Bobby Reid has a mere 47.
Despite Arsenal’s defensive problems, FPL managers shouldn’t be filled with confidence that Cardiff can score goals at the Emirates.
Can Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang return to FPL form?
Emery will need his attackers to take the pressure off of the team’s defence. One player Arsenal need to step up is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon striker leads the team in FPL points with 136. However, his last two matches have seen him score a combined four points.
Aubameyang will set FPL managers back £11.3 million for gameweek 24.