#FPLMatchups #GW10 – The Two Tales of the Season + The Little Prince Pick

An early article this week with an early deadline on Friday, and some demons to exorcise from last GW. The talk of the town once again is the captaincy decision for GW10. Do we go tried and true, and keep the armband on DCL? Or do we reanoint the king with the return of Salah? Is Vardy still a consideration or is his first blank in 3 a sign of a disappointing run despite good fixtures ahead? If last GW taught me anything, it is that I don’t know. But here is how I see the data and the matches.

All stats per appearance

  1. Salah vs Mane
  2. KDB vs Sterling
  3. Vardy
  4. DCL
  5. The Little Prince – Trézéguet
  1. Salah/Mane vs Brighton

Someone said to me that it is a shame Salah and Mane were priced the same this season as it forces us to go with the volume and the penalty kicks of the Egyptian. The choice is, in essence, taken out of our hands. While this has certainly proven to be true this season, I have noticed a trend in the data that favors the Senegalese international.

I have broken the season up into 3 parts for Liverpool. GWs 1-3, 4-6 (Mane COVID), and 6-9 (Salah COVID). There are two trends I want to call your attention to in the images below. The first is Mane’s increased involvement closer to the box and the goal. Mane’s goal attempts are indeed from better positions than Salah’s as well. The second item I noticed is the progression of the stats summary. Liverpool began the season heavily focused on Salah. GWs 4-6, despite missing GW 4 with COVID, Mane’s stats summary shows a slight shift towards Mane. Then in the last 3 GWs, where Salah has missed 1 match due to COVID as well, the stats shift hard in Mane’s favor as the summary favors him for the first time this season, although he still trails Salah in key stats.

Now to look at BHA defense. BHA have conceded the 2nd fewest chances from the left side (13) compared to 20 from their right side. To add, BHA will be without the services of the pacey Lamptey as he is suspended due to 2 YC received against AVL. This means Veltman will fill in. Veltman is technical player and good passer of the ball. He is, however, better suited and accustomed to playing CB as he is not very fast. I kind of like Mane in this particular matchup because I see a trend getting Mane more involved near the box, and I think Mane’s pace will cause BHA problems down their weaker, and depleted right side. MANE.

  • KDB/Sterling vs Burnley
all stats per  90KDBSterling
xG0.40.2
Chances created3.31.1
BC created0.60.2
BC0.40.2
Goal Attempts3.62

KDB eclipses Sterling in many statistical categories.

The Sterling lens begins with a glimmer of hope in his goal threat stats. Sterling has 7.6 penalty area touches per game while KDB only has 4.4. The image below shows the shot heatmap for each player and you can see Sterling shoots from more dangerous areas. KDBs stas are a little padded by low percentage shots taken from outside the box.

Lastly, I want to note that BUR have created only 8 chances from their right side this season. The reason for this is Lowton does not venture forward, and Gudmundsson, who plays right midfield in front of Lowton, tends to pinch inside to clog the center of the field. This opens BURs right flank very nicely for Sterling and Cancelo. I like Sterling to exploit the space provided to him by this negative tactical set up.

  • Vardy vs Fulham

The next two are short and sweet. Vardy was very unlucky not to not only return, but double return last week much to my own personal torture. He remains 2nd in many attacking stats, but I want to present you with some logic trick that could belie a big GW for Vardy.

  1. Fulham concede approximately 2 BC and 1.5 xG per 90.
  2. Vardy has converted 8 of 13 BC this season (62%), nd scores 1 goal for every 1.3 xG afforded him.
  3. Therefore, Vardy may get 1 goal for the BC and 1 goal for the xG against Fulham.
  • Calvert-Lewin vs Leeds

I have some Leeds stats and a DCL graph for this one. LEE have the 5th highest xGC (13.59), have conceded the 2nd most chances through the center of the field (38), and have conceded the 2nd most BC (21) this season. These stats are a feast for a player like DCL. Clinical finishing big chances, plays down the center, scores even with low xG opportunities. This matchup is almost as good as the Fulham one was for DCL. Also, Richarlison is back. Check DCLs numbers with and without Richarlison this season.

  • The Little Prince – Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan – Trézéguet

In GW9, Trézéguet had the 3rd highest xG of any player (1.12), and the most shots in the box, but he, quite comically, had zero shots on target. He also has the most shots in the box in the last 2 GWs (8). He has been moving into a more advanced position recently, specially after Barkley went down injured. This is just a gut call shot in the dark with a potential light at the end of the tunnel. Catch a shooting star w/ The Little Egyptian Prince.

I am still undecided as to my captain this week, but it will most likely be Vardy once again. I hope these perspectives are useful in helping you find your own. Thanks again for your time. May bask in seas of green this GW.

Regards,

Gabriel Penazola.

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