FPLMatchups GW8

Hi, and welcome back to FPL matchups for #GW8. As a reminder, these words take the perspective of a manager looking at exploitable matchups on the field to take advantage of opponents’ weaknesses. Thanks to those in the community that provided alternative captain suggestions. Let’s get to it.

Today’s menu:

  1. Captaincy
    1. Kane/Son
    1. Werner/Chilwell
    1. Aubameyang
    1. LIV/MCI
  2. Le Petit Prince – Ignored player that could catch a shooting star this week.

Kane vs Son
My minutes per opportunity model (still very experimental) indicates that WBA concede an average of 3 big chances AND 1.0 xG every 80.8 minutes. Only Fulham is worse at 78.1 min, but more on that later.

There is no question WBA are the whipping boys of the league this season, which is why the 2 Spurs players are almost automatic captains this week. To help us split the hairs on deciding who to captain, I took a look at WBA with a little more granularity.

When averaging the season, Kane and Son have similar stats. I believe their production is circumstantial rather than systemic, so let’s see what the matchup tells us.

Surprisingly, WBA have conceded the 5th fewest chances from the center of the field (17), and the 5th most chances from the right side of the field (27). They are mid table conceding chances down their left flank (16).
Kane 0 Son 1.

WBA have also conceded the 5th most headed goal attempts.
Kane 1 Son 1.

Time to turn the lens on the players.

Kane and Son both have 8 big chances this season and are both overperforming in different, yet complimentary ways.

Kane obviously has more box involvement and his 6 goals this season match his xG of 5.84. Son, on the other hand, has 8 goals this season with an xG of 2.72.
Kane 1 Son 2.

Here’s the flip side of the coin. Kane and Son both have similar xA (1.05 and 0.9 respectively), however Kane has 8 assists and Son only has 2.
Kane 2 Son 2.

So Kane is overperforming his xA and Son is overperforming his xG. A beautiful combination against WBA, but not sustainable in my opinion. Against a bottom 2 defense in the league, I am selecting the player that is overperforming his goals rather than the player overperforming his assists.

Werner & Chilwell
For those considering breaking from the masses this GW I truly think both Werner and Chilwell are enticing options. In the GFCT Q & A this week, I mentioned that no team has conceded more chances down their right side than SHU (37). For reference, CRY has conceded the 2nd most (29). I like both Chilwell and Werner to take advantage of this left flank. Shame Pulisic isn’t around to feast.

Auba faces an inconsistent AVL side. While he could always hit form and return, Auba has only scored 2 goals this season and he is overperforming his xG by 0.72. AVL also has a balnced defense, not necessarily favoring Auba’s side. This punt could pay off if a bad AVL meet an energized Auba. IF.

Despite scoring quite poorly in my min/opportunity FDR, MCI seems to me a team that is finding some defensive synergy. They concede the fewest chances down the center and right side of the field so if I were to choose a Liverpool player it’d be Salah this week. On City’s side, I like whoever plays the 9 for them. Ideally it would be Ferran Torres because of his movement between the center backs. I believe he can exploit some of the systemic issues I wrote about in #FPLMatchups #GW2. Sterling would be my next pick playing against his former team.

Le Petit Prince
I had fun with this concept last week so I’m going to play it again. Mitrovic was last week’s recommendation and he returned with a couple of assists (what I expect from Kane this week).

This week’s Petit Prince is Pablo Fornals. This is an eye test selection up against the worst defensive team in my model. The way Fornals has been driving into the space between the mid and defensive lines can destabilize a fragile defense. Bowen on the other side has to go deeper to get around Soucek before he gets inside.

Thank you once again for spending some time with my thoughts. I wish you all the best of luck in GW8. Make it fun, if not, forget about it.


Gabriel Penaloza

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