This week in #FPLMatchups comes from a great session with @FPLMariner (feel better brother!) as we discussed different analytical processes, and how they mirror one another.
Manchester United vs Manchester City FPL Matchups Report
We begin with a look at MU attack and MC defense the last 4 GWs. MC conceded most of the chances in 2 areas: the top of the “D” and where the left border of the box meets the end line. We know, and can verify in the heatmap, that Bruno works his magic precisely in the area at the top of the “D”. MC are a team that possess the ball high up the field. They are most vulnerable in transition because Rodri and Gundo both push forward if MC possess the ball for long enough. This space between the back line and the DMs is an area of weakness Bruno could exploit.
Let’s flip this coin and examine MU defense vs MC attack. Here we see that MC favor creating chances in the center of the field at the top of the box, and the left corner of the box.
I want to draw your attention to 2 things regarding MU defense. Firstly, the cluster of green on the right side of their box. That matches up nicely for MC and the cluster of red chances created in their heatmap. Sterling territory. Secondly, there is s straight line of purple haze right across the top of the “D”. It is remarkably evenly spread across that area, which leads me to believe MU back line are not stepping up in time to prevent chances from being created from this area. KDB territory.
- MU conceding 30 SIB, combined with 13 chances from the right side in the last 4 GWs, is a nice recipe for Sterling, who is very good at taking the space into the box.
- MC DEF stats ought to account for the difference in this game. I don’t see united creating much from any systemic or tactical approach. They will rely on Bruno’s brilliance and a wonder strike.
- MC attacking form has been very poor. The BUR and FUL matches may be indicators of changing form. I expect their attacking stats to steadily improve.
- MC fixtures haven’t been very difficult, they just have a hard time hitting the target.
- KDB to create chances for Sterling from the perimeter of the box, slipping him in behind AWB. KDB xGI over the last 4 GWs is 3.9. MC Has scored 8 goals. ~50%
- MC have a great defense this season, but their Achilles’ heel is the space between Rodri/Gundo and the 2 CBs. I like Bruno’s form to capitalize on this chink in MC armor.
- Lastly, both these teams have conceded the joint 2nd most penalty kicks this season (4). Could see both KDB and Bruno returning.
Quick Captaincy Lens
- Mané: I like Mané this week against FUL more than Salah for 2 reasons. First, he was rested in CL, while Salah played a full 90+. Second, is the same reason I liked Sterling last week. Adarabioyo covers space and makes tackles much better than Aina does. Recently, the more successful attacks have come from FULs right side. Mané is due one here.
- KDB: For the reasons mentioned above, I actually like KDB for a double return this GW and he may be my captain after Salah’s meaningless marathon today.
- Werner: Werner’s hilarious antics in front of goal aside, he faces an EVE side this week that have allowed the most big chances (13), the most chances from the middle of the field (24), and the second highest xGC (7.49) in the last 4 GWs. I predict this week Werner owners finally get their laugh.
The Little Prince Pick of the Week
This week’s little Prince is a player beginning to burst onto the stats scene, and into the curious minds of a select few.
Over the past 2 GWs, this player has posted 4 SIB, 1.72 xG, 1.99 xGI, 2 BC, 4 key passes, and 1 BC created. Not bad for a 5.8M differential MID in Pascal Groß. He has been involved in much of the action for BHA since starting regularly at the 10 position for Potter’s side. Since GW 7, Groß has posted scores of 6, 3, 5, 10, 8. Consistent for over a month now, and returning excellent points for his price.
*Newsflash* Pascal Groß is now also on penalties for BHA. Shooting star incoming!
As always, I appreciate you spending your time with my thoughts. If you enjoyed this, the best way to let me know is to share it with your friends. I wish you all a weekend of salud, amor, y flechas verdes! Vamos!
Gabriel PenalozaFollow @FPLLens