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All Arsenal backers and fans will be hoping to see two names on the Arsenal teamsheet on Sunday afternoon, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe. As was highlighted by on TV this week, The Gunners are a different team with both of their young stars in the line-up.
In the 10 Premier League matches that Smith-Rowe and Saka have started, Arsenal have won seven of them – averaging 2.2 points per game and over two goals scored per game. Those statistics if averaged over a season would Mikel Arteta’s men in second place in the league. However, when Saka and Smith-Rowe haven’t played, the wheels have fallen off the car for Arsenal.
Sunday 13:30 – Arsenal v Fulham
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
In the 20 Premier League matches where both Saka and Smith-Rowe haven’t started together, Arsenal have only won five time and have scored just 19 goals in those 20 matches. Those figures, if averaged over the season would see Arsenal close to the relegation zone and Arteta probably out of a job. While those statistics may be a little skewed, it is illustrative of how stagnant The Gunners look in attack without the pace, creativity and youthful energy that Saka and Smith-Rowe provide.
Both were instrumental in Arsenal blowing away Slavia Prague in the first half hour of their Europa League quarter-final second leg on Thursday and I would expect both players to start again against Fulham. Given that, it’s hard to see beyond an Arsenal win, with Fulham really struggling in front of goal and finding ways to lose games where they are on top.
As mentioned above, Saka was just superb in mid-week. It was another sparkling goalscoring performance from the youngster and I would expect him to find the back of the net on Sunday.
Surprisingly, the seemingly mild-mannered Spaniard is ahead of Granit Xhaka as the Arsenal player with the most cards in the Premier League this season and he faces a tricky match-up against the pacey Ademola Lookman, who will be in direct opposition. Don’t be shocked if he ends up in Craig Pawson’s notebook on Sunday.
We’ll throw in one short priced selection to complete our four leg Bet Builder to hopefully brighten up our Sunday. Alex Lacazette has scored four times in his last two outings for Arteta’s side, so he should be peppering Alphonse Areola’s goal with shots in this one as his confidence is sky high.
- Football tips: Our 3 firm picks for Rangers v Celtic in the Scottish Cup on Sunday
- Football tips: Phil Thompson’s 3 FA Cup crackers for Leicester v Southampton
- Football tips: Phil Thompson’s 7/2 treble for Sunday’s big FA Cup and Premier League games
- Football tips: Goals galore in our 12/1 Bet Builder for Man Utd v Burnley on Sunday
- Football Accumulator tips: Our tasty 40/1 acca for Sunday’s European games
- NOT SURE WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT? CLICK HERE TO LEARN ALL ABOUT WHAT A BET BUILDER IS
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