The Lacazette injury latest as budget forward Nketiah waits on first-team chance |

Arsenal 1-1 Fulham

  • Goals: Eddie Nketiah (£5.3m) | Josh Maja (£5.3m)
  • Assists: Daniel Ceballos (£4.7m) | Mario Lemina (£4.5m)
  • Bonus: Ceballos x3 Maja x2 Nketiah x1

A last-minute Eddie Nketiah (£5.3m) goal broke Fulham hearts as Scott Parker’s side let more points – and another clean sheet – slip away.

Recent Fantasy interest in the Cottagers has mostly revolved around their excellent keeper Alphonse Areola (£4.6m), with his 5.0% ownership enduring a third straight clean sheet wipe-out, the last two involving late, late goals.

A Lack Of Lacca

But it was indicative of a generally poor match that the biggest FPL news involved an injury to Alexandre Lacazette (£8.4m) who, with 10.5% ownership, was easily the most popular player on display – even more so after attracting 270,000 transfers in ahead of last Friday’s deadline.

The striker had scored four goals in his last four starts, only to limp off in the 70th minute on Sunday, with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta delivering a ‘wait and see’ verdict after the game.

We’ll have the scan on Tuesday, see the extent of the injury and the timeline to it. I don’t know. He felt something in his hamstring, we don’t know the extent of it.

Arteta’s attacking options were already limited by an injury to Martin Odegaard (£5.9m) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s (£11.3m) bout of malaria, meaning a second straight league start for Gabriel Martinelli (£4.9m).

The manager spoke about the need to rotate following Thursday’s Europa League tie and he was true to his word, with his most surprising move replacing the 7.3%-owned Bernd Leno (£5.0m) with Mat Ryan (£4.1m) because the latter ‘trains like a beast’.

All that training led to zero saves and no clean sheet either for the Australian, and it is the Lacazette development that could hurt the most Fantasy managers.

Then again, more Europa League-based rotation and upcoming games against Everton and Chelsea aren’t exactly boosting the appeal of the Gunners’ assets anyway.

Fast Eddie

At least the Frenchman’s replacement, Nketiah, thrived to earn the praise of his manager.

He always offers his best. Today he scored a goal, he had another two important chances and he’s always a threat in front of goal.

Fulham’s one and only shot on target came from Josh Maja‘s (£5.3m) penalty. Parker’s side have now scored just four goals in their last eight matches and haven’t managed more than one in a fixture since Gameweek 24.

The problem for Fantasy managers is that the Cottagers’ previous defensive resilience is an equally distant memory – having kept five clean sheets in seven matches up to Gameweek 27, they’ve not managed a single one since.

Parker might not have given up the ghost just yet:

No chance, absolutely no chance have we lost hope. Why would there not be belief? Of course, we are disappointed, I’m gutted, the last two weeks have been a real kick in terms of that. 

We wake up tomorrow morning, put the gloves back on and go again, keep fighting, and try and pick up points.

But a Blank Gameweek 33 is followed by trips to Chelsea and Manchester United over the final five fixtures, suggesting Fantasy managers are unlikely to be moved by Parker’s fighting talk.

Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Ryan; Bellerin (Pepe 68), Holding, Gabriel, Xhaka; Elneny (Partey 68), Ceballos; Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli; Lacazette (Nketiah 70).

Fulham XI (4-4-2): Areola; Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson; Cavaleiro (Bryan 84), Zambo Anguissa, Lemina, Lookman (Reed 69); Maja (Loftus-Cheek 77), De Cordova-Reid.

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