#FPLMatchups GW3

With wildcards flying around, fixtures changing, red cards flashing, injuries mounting, and new signings incoming, it is easy to get lost in the maelstrom of activity in FPL. This is the inevitable result of a geyser of information ejected after GW2. The moment a singularity becomes a dichotomy, and with double the information we have triple the questions. Among them in GW3 is the captaincy question. GW 3 presents our first GW with several options. It seemed like the perfect topic for this week’s FPL Matchups. 

I reached out to the community for requests and received some interesting targets for analysis. Let’s get into it. 

1. Harry Kane v NEW / KDB v LEI 

The first thing that surprised me about this comparison was how similar their stats are. 

The Players: 

The stats are remarkably similar, yet they are not per 90. These are Kane’s stats over 2 matches, and KDBs stats over 1 match. The outlier here is clearly the xGI Delta. It tells us how much a player’s actual goal involvement compares to his expected goal involvement (Goals + Asisists – xGI = xGI Delta). This higher the number, the more they are overperforming their stats. The lower the number, the more a player is underperforming his stats. The closer to zero, the more production is aligned with expected production. Since we have a dichotomy with Kane, 2 vastly different matches, we do not yet know which will continue. This level of overachieving, however, screams for regression from Kane.  
Another outlier for Kane compared to KDB is the 2 headed goal attempts. We know Kane has a headed goal in him and that point will become relevant when we look at the matchup. 

The Matchups: 

Newcastle- conceded the 2nd most chances of non-relegated sides last season, and the 3rd most big chances. This may be neutralized by Tottenham being a team that doesn’t create many chances to begin with. Where I see most like for Spurs in this game is in through the air. While Newcastle are middle of the pack conceding a respectable 3 headed goal attempts this season, this was not the case last season when they conceded a league high 124 headed goal attempts. This is where Kane could do damage this weekend. I see Kane having a goal in him for this one. 

Leicester- have conceded the second fewest big chances this season (2), and are in the middle in several major defensive statistical categories.  

Goal Attempts In Box Conceded Headed Goal Attempts Conceded Shots On Target Conceded xG Conceded Big Chances Conceded 
12 14 1.81 

This matchup is about Leicester having 3 defenders out, and KDB. Lastly, whoever is on the right wing for City could make Justin look foolish.  I expect City’s chances to come from that side of the field.

2. Tony, Bruno & Marcus –The United Boys 

You may want to chase this one down with some salt as I have been quite vocal about being wary of United assets to begin the season. We have only seen them play once, and it was clearly an abysmal performance, and a great performance by Palace it must be said. How abysmal were the United Boys in that game?  
Have a look.

While this is extreme, their poor attacking stats do go back a long way. If you’re going to captain one of these, I suppose it would be Bruno, but the numbers are bleak and their xGI suggests no regression in sight. Away to BHA seems like a fixture to avoid until we see some form from the Red Devils. 

3. Mo & Raz 

The main event!  

 Goals xG Big Chances Shots in Box Shots on Target Goal Attempts xGDelta xGI Delta 
Mo 2.15 13 -0.05 0.73 
Raz 0.05 0.85 0.06 

I was all prepared to go into situations and tactical matchups, but these stats kind of blow that analysis out of the water. Mo is king in his home, even against an improved Arsenal. An interesting angle, and a scary one for me as someone who does not own TAA, is that Arsenal have conceded the 6th most crosses from the left side, and the 5th most from the right side. This could present a situation for TAA and Robertson to ping diagonal balls into the spaces left in Arsenal’s 3-4-3 and pick up an assist. 

My gut pick paid off last week with Richarlison, so this week I will be going with another gut, albeit not crazy, pick. This player faces a defense that has given up the most big chances (8), has the highest xGA by more than a third (6.8), conceded the most shots on target (14), tied for the most goal attempts conceded in the box (24), and whose manager is suspended. If Richarlison vs WBA was a good pick last week, then Timo is my pick this week. 

Good luck to you all. Thanks again for spending some time reading my musings. May you sail the seas of green in GW3. 


Gabriel Penaloza

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