Gabriel and Saliba Rank Among Dream Team’s Top Defenders with Impressive Set-Piece Goals
ARSENAL produced yet another statement victory on Sunday as they thrashed West Ham 6-0 at the London Stadium, underlining their title credentials. Following their win over Liverpool, the Gunners displayed their set-piece supremacy in this commanding performance.
William Saliba started the rout with a header from a corner, opening the floodgates for Arsenal. Bukayo Saka converted a penalty soon after, and Gabriel connected with a wide free-kick to head home from close range, scoring three set-piece goals in a 12-minute blitz. The Hammers struggled throughout the match, and David Moyes would have been particularly disappointed to see his side comprehensively outmatched at set-pieces, an aspect of the game his teams usually prioritize.
In recent years, Arsenal has been known for their nimble, technical, and diminutive footballers who excel in open play but can be overpowered in certain situations. However, this season, Mikel Arteta’s side has transformed into one of the most solid and robust teams in the Premier League. They have conceded the fewest goals, and the underlying statistics suggest they have been highly effective at restricting their opponents. With their strength at set-pieces added to the mix, the Gunners now boast a strong backbone instead of a soft underbelly.
Gabriel and Saliba, Arsenal’s first-choice center-backs, have seen a rise in their status in Dream Team. Gabriel earned 15 points against West Ham, while Saliba pocketed 14 points. Currently, they are the best-performing defenders of Gameweek 23. Moreover, both players are among the top five assets in their position in terms of total season points.
Gabriel has been impressive this season, scoring three goals so far. Only Dan Burn and Fabian Schar have scored more among defenders at this stage. On the other hand, Saliba leads Dream Team’s clean sheet record, having contributed to 12 clean sheets in all competitions. Gabriel, Ben White, and James Tarkowski are just behind the Frenchman with 11 clean sheets each.
Looking ahead, it’s an opportune moment for Dream Team managers to back Arsenal’s most productive defenders. In Gameweek 24, Arsenal will face Burnley, a team that has struggled since promotion. After that, they will face Porto in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie. Porto has had a relatively low scoring rate in the league this season. Given Arsenal’s defensive record, it is reasonable to expect at least one clean sheet from Gabriel and Saliba, and two clean sheets would yield massive returns.
Arsenal is one of the three teams, along with Manchester City and Liverpool, with two fixtures to fulfill in Gameweek 24. Therefore, their best performers are likely to be popular recruits this week.
In conclusion, Gabriel and Saliba have proven themselves as top defenders in Dream Team with their impressive set-piece goals and solid defensive performances. Arsenal’s transformation into a more robust and solid team has allowed them to excel in both open play and set-pieces. With favorable upcoming fixtures and their strong defensive record, it is advisable for Dream Team managers to consider adding Gabriel and Saliba to their squads.