#GFCT Road To Global FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW13

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The highest scoring players for GW12 & GW13 were Maddison with 16 points and Holgate with 14 points respectively. None of the premiums have hauled in the last 2 GW’s and the difference between a good and bad GW in the last two has come down to very fine margins.

A dodgy penalty kept Salah Captainers alive in GW13 while KDB and Bruno who were the main choices for the armband let their managers down with no attacking return.

The DGW & BGW fixtures have been announced and we should get further clarity after the EFL cup fixtures post GW14. Planning will be in full flow and we can expect a lot of research in the community over the next few GW’s.

GW14 again seems to be providing us with a lot of Captaincy choices and it will be interesting to see if the Premiums will let down the managers 3 GW’s in a row. Hopefully they won’t!

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 636

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 851.00

Our League leader is: Boonyarit Keawaram.





We wish our participants all the best!

The league is now closed but managers are still invited to join our chats on Telegram. The link to which is on the registration page of the site.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

Mariner’s FPL Christmas Shopping List

It really is the most wonderful time of the year FPL wise and whilst I am looking forward to a Green rather than dreaming of a White Christmas, I can at least console myself with a rapid-fire football and FPL extravaganza that awaits this festive period which should lift spirits among the covid woes.

So I thought I would put together a Wishlist of differentials who could either spruce up your team or alternatively act as a band aid this for a period up to and including GW17. I will not however be discussing the blank and double game weeks in 18/19 as this is another topic entirely and very dependent on your current state of play, for example whether you have a wildcard still available or not.

Fixture Difficulty

Those who follow me on Twitter will know how much emphasis I put on Fixture difficulty hence our starting point which for reference is based on a match up principle of Attack v Defence and vice-versa for expected goals and expected goals conceded, Shots in box taken and conceded and also big chances created and conceded. This then creates an arbitrary number based on the match ups, dark green is good, dark red bad etc

As for the range of data I continue to use a period which generally does not involve fans in the ground, so in other words, since the world has been living in dread and fear of COVID19  – from project restart onwards and last years data is still weighted in at 20%, 2021 (full season) at 50% and the last three game weeks at 30% (GW 10-12). This is important as it gives us the opportunity to take into account sudden changes in fortune (& rating), for example Everton without Richarlison etc heralded the clanging chimes of doom for their attack during that period.

Data thanks to @FFH_HQ

So, what does it tell us? Well firstly a general statement that attacking match ups are still better than defensive ones, this immediately makes me only want to consider a defender with the potential for attacking returns ideally with favourable attacking and defensive match ups in the coming weeks.

We cannot forget rotation and the risk of suspension therefore I will only select shortlist those who have played at least 60% of available time on the pitch with 3 or less yellow cards, and as we are talking differentials here we shall limit at those owned by 10% or less. This will mean some players may be missing from the lists.


Firstly looking at FDR, it isn’t a great Christmas surprise to see that the teams that stand out are Aston Villa, Spurs and Manchester City who all have match ups in positive territory shown by green in the table below.

Data thanks to @FFH_HQ

Moving onto expected involvement per match (Xi90), this gives us a top 3 of Cancelo (Man City) 0.21 , Reguilon (Spurs) 0.20, who stand out for expected involvement and third, Konsa (Villa) 0.15.

Data thanks to @FFH_HQ

But both Cancelo and Reguilon do bring some rotation risk and a world of dread and fear (of a benching), so this may suggest if you are not invested in a Villa defender that Konsa could be your man given he is slightly underperforming his Xi and that little bit cheaper. That said i prefer the upside of Man City or Spurs given my bench depth.

So our top 3 targets are set, but I would also give a notable mention to Charlie Taylor 4.4M, who’s Burnley side will be buoyed from a win at the Emirates as they run into some easier fixtures despite the FDR saying otherwise


Turning our attention to midfield, Fixtures wise its hardly surprising to see the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool heading the field with respect attacking match-ups, with West Ham Chelsea and Leeds following. Interestingly Fulham attack eye test is now starting to be supported by statistics too.

Moving onto expected involvement per match (Xi90), this gives us a top 3 of Mane (Liv), 0.80 Mahrez (Man C) and an early Boxing Day sale special in Ademola Lookman (Ful) 0.65. Noteworthy others (outside of the big 6) are a second Fulham option in Cavaleiro who topped Big Chances in the last 3 GW’s and interestingly Podence and Neto from Wolves who may be worth watching given the continued absence of Jiminez and a possible turn in fortunes for Wolves?

But as for our top 3, Mane, Mahrez are obvious choices and offer significant upside, although Mahrez could be naughty or nice given his rotation. Personally i am not totally sold on Fulham but Lookman and Cavaleiro have the potential to Make Fantasy Fun Again – who knows you may pull a cracker ?. Sterling is a a hold not buy in the form he (& Man City) are in, so if funds were available Rashford may be a safer option with Podence of wolves a more punty but interesting one. For non Soucek owners Bowen, (Aka Dasher given the festive period) also looks an excellent differential as i cant support a West Ham double up at the moment.


We dont need to repeat the FDR for attack but for the record forwards sorted by FDR is below with Firmino (Liv) topping the pile followed by Watkins (villa) and Decordova-Reid of Fulham, who despite playing almost as a wing back is still getting plenty of opportunities and is also due according to his stats. Brighton and Everton attacks are also in green territory.

If we sort again to account for Xi90 this puts Neil Maupay top of the pile with 0.84 Xi90 although this does not account for his tantrums and hot/cold performances so he gets a sack of coal for Christmas. Prancer will not be in my team. Richarlison, the pantomime villain is 2nd in the list with 0.78 Xi90 but if you own DCL the double up is clearly a no-go so we will pass on him.

This brings us to Danny Ings AKA Blitzen!, coming back into fitness from a relatively short injury (for him) so he is my first recommendation to have us rocking around the Christmas tree. Werner needs to be put out to pasture so to Ings may be a nice move to free up cash, even though Southampton are not treated well by FDR, this due to their tougher run and general lack of creativity recently. I wouldnt bet against him though, would you?.

Watkins (villa) follows him into my second choice, despite his loss of penalties he still appears good value with favourable fixtures.

My third choice, and a long-shot would be Chris Wood, I have a feeling that Burnley are about to turn a corner and if they do, Wood will be front and centre of any recovery. He is also massively underperforming and well overdue a return.

As for Christmas Poo, the team to avoid are undoubtedly Sheffield United, who get a resounding HOWDY NO from me. Fans cant return soon enough for them as Bramwell lane even with 2000 fans will make a difference.

Thanks for reading, have a very happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas wherever you are reading and if you are finding it tough particularly if you are away from your loved ones (as I am) my DMs on twitter are always open if you need to talk.


PS, how many Christmas song titles, lyrics and Reindeer names did you spot in the article? DM me via twitter @FPLmariner for the answer….

GFCT Pragmatic Strategy – #GW13

Strategic View

Are you excited, folks? We are in that Festive FPL congestion time – Six GameWeeks in 3 weeks, right up to GW 17, and the blank and the double soon after. The fun times are about to begin – where is your transfer ticker? Where are your transfer plans? Get them ready if you haven’t already.

If we can give you one gentle tip during this time, a nominally-playing bench would be it. There would be rotation – especially because of the curtailed pre-season and the walking wounded in most teams. Those 1-point Coopers and 2-point Anguissas can be quite valuable in the long run, and if you take care of the small FPL decisions, the big decisions generally take care of themselves.

With that, let’s go forth with our normal three-question repartee. Like always.

  1. Let’s start about the team to think about for the next few: Spurs. Has to be. The tough fixtures have turned out to be not-tough-at-all, Jose is strutting and prancing about on the sidelines, and oh, this is so 2005 ! Kane assists to Son’s goal, and Son assists to Kane’s goal – and it is so utterly predictable. But, but, but… how about the famous trinity of KDB, Salah and Bruno? You tell me!
  2. Player: We mentioned that we are most intrigued about Bruno Fernandes in the last iteration of this note, and a lot of you purchased him – so much so, that he is properly ensconced as part of the holy trinity of FPL now. This week, we would ask you to turn your attention to Trent Alexander Arnold – last season, at around this time, he kicked into top gear, and left every other defender in his wake. What will happen now?
  3. The structural question to think about:How many premier players would you consider? Three? Four? Or Two? The sheer predictability of points for the big gins would make even the 4-premium structure a viable option perhaps- but 3 is the acceptable middle-ground. And with the 7-8.5 million players also being reasonably consistent (Greaish, Zaha, DCL, Ings), maybe 2 is enough?.

And to end the Strategic talk, here’s FPL 101 Bumper Sticker Quote ( #BSQ ) for the week:

Don’t Panic.

Tactical View

There are some interesting Template breakers –

  1. Defence: Reese James has gained ground to be in the team now, as predicted in the last note. Look carefully at Vestergaard of Southampton (understandably), and Dallas of Leeds (perhaps less so), who threaten to break the template.
  2. Midfield: Salah. He indeed is more highly owned than all midfielders except for Grealish, Son and Bruno, but due to untenable team structures, is not included. He will be back, as will be KDB, who also has higher ownership than JWP and Zaha, but is not int he team for the same reason. Ward-Prowse, last time’s template-breaker, is in the team now, as is Zaha after some sensational form. James Rodriguez (who is not scoring or assisting), and Jota (who is injured) miss out.
  3. Forwards: Vardy, due to the easy upcoming fixture run, and Wilson, due to some excellent form, are gaining teams. But the top three owned players, DCL (the highest owned player in the game), Kane, and Bamford, continue to be in a league of their own.

Operational View


Mendy (CHE) – Projected points from GW13-15 3.8 pts

Chelsea has conceded only 3 big chances since GW8 and have managed to keep 2 clean sheets while conceding only 3 goals. Chelsea are facing WOL, WHU and ARS next up who are overall not scoring alot recently and we expect Chelsea to deal with WHU’s set plays well too.

Martinez (AVL) – Projected points from GW13-15 3.8 pts

AVL have conceded only 7 big chances since GW8 and have managed to keep 2 clean sheets while conceding only 4 goals. AVL are facing BUR, WBA and CRY next, none of which pose a significant attacking threat. If AVL slow down from their xG as a team due to injuries then Martinez is very likely to be a part of the bonus points as well.


Dias (MCI) – Projected points from GW13-15 4.0 ppg

City have been the best defence recently with consecutive clean sheets and Dias seems the most nailed option in that backline. They are facing WBA, SOU and NEW up next and we expect atleast 2 CS’s with those fixtures. Dias has had 2 shots on target and been a part of 2 BC’s recently and there is growing expectations of him getting a possible attacking return from a set piece soon.

James (CHE) Projected points from GW13-15 3.8 ppg

James now seems to have cemented his place in the starting 11 and at his price seems as the best way into the Chelsea defence. He is creating big chances and eye tests suggests an attacking return is around the corner as he hit the post in the last game. WOL, WHU and ARS as the next fixtures can definitely be defenses that James could thrive against and we feel he provides lots of value


Salah (LIV) – Projected points from GW13-15 7.2 ppg

Despite Liverpool’s poor form away from home this season, as a team they seem determined to win and Salah is the spearheading that attack. Despite missing games since GW8 he has had 3 big chances, 5 shots in the box and an xG of 2.29 and has scored 3 goals. He is a must have for his upcoming fixtures.

KDB (MCI) – Projected points from GW13-15 6.7 ppg

City have a great run of fixtures and while they have had a much better defensive performance their attacking returns has been erratic considering what we expect from them. KDB himself has been phenomenal since GW8 having been a part of 4 big chances, creating 7 big chances and 13 shots in the box. We expect him to be a popular Captain choice and he should definitely provide FPL returns.

Fernandes (MNU) – Projected points from GW13-15 5.4 ppg

Fernandes has been fantastic himself with being a part of 4 big chances and creating 6 big chances since GW8. He has being playing in the no. 10 position and has been a part of almost all MNU attacking moves having had 8 shots in the box since GW8. He pays SHU, LEE and LEI all three teams that have been very poor defensively and we expect him to remain a popular Captaincy option as well.


Bamford (LEE) – Projected points from GW13-15 4.6 ppg

Since GW8 no other striker has had more shots in the box – 17. He’s been a part of 5 big chances but only scored twice. He faces NEW and BUR in the next three fixtures and we feel he should continue to get good chances and should be able to score against these defences.

Kane (TOT) – Projected points from GW13-15 4.9 ppg

Kane’s number have dropped significantly recently with only 8 shots in the box but he continues to create for his team mates and has still managed to score 3 goals since GW8. He faces LIV, LEI and WOL and we expect the Spurs attacking play on the counter should continue to help him be one of the most popular striker choices.


Punts for GW13 &14

Rajat Aggarwal – Maguire, Bowen, Ings
Shom Biswas – TBD
Chase Blocker – Wan-Bissaka, Lookman, Ings
Chris Turner – Stones, Benhrama, Decordova Reed
Martin Coley – Konsa, Cavaleiro, Maupay
Alden Morris – Telles, Cavaleiro, Welbeck
Gabriel Penaloza – Maguire, Rashford, Watkins
NiteshRay – Dias, Bowen, D Ings
Ajit Dhillon. – Dias, Mane, Watkins

I hope you all enjoyed this edition and you can expect this biweekly report going forward too.


GFCT Team.

Shom Biswas

Ajit Dhillon

Gabriel Penaloza

Chase Blocker

Chris Turner

Martin Coleman

Nitesh Ray

Alden Morris

Rajat Aggarwal

#FPLMatchups #GW13 – Spark Notes Version 1: The Chamber of Princes + Bonus Question

Diogo Jota’s injury has ignited much conversation about what to do with that roster spot. I thought this would be a good opportunity to unite the budget princes that could provide value in the upcoming GWs. These are just some quick snapshots, not an in-depth analysis.

  1. Bobby Decordova Reid (BDR)
  2. Said Benrahma
  3. Tomas Soucek
  4. Pascal Gross
  5. Eberechi Eze
  6. Ademola Lookman
  7. Ivan Ricardo Neves Abreu Cavaleiro
  1. BDR 5.3M/0.6% (last 2 GWs)

Eye: Looked like an important part of the game plan for FUL. Seemed to get in good spaces and cause problems, but didn’t have many chances.

Stats: xG 0.27, SIB 2, xGI Delta +0.89

Notes : 2 point merchant. Returns unpredictable.

  • Benrahma 6.0M/0.3% (last match)

Eye: Grew more and more into the creative hub of the team as the game progressed. Opposition had to react fast and hard to account for him. Almost scored from a low xG shot.

Stats: 100% dribble success rate (3/3), 6 shots

Notes: Creates space for others more than chances. Is not afraid to shoot and has a whip on him. Teams need to account for his dribbling with numbers; his presence should make the team’s attack better as a whole.

  • Soucek 5.0M/6.9%

Eye: He’s not only an aerial threat, he’s also a creative player that can link play and pick out through balls that set up the assist. Among the most important players to this WHU team.

Stats: He’ll provide good stats in good fixtures. CRY, BHA, SOU are 3 fixtures in the next 5 GWs where Soucek would be a recommendation. A spot starter.

Notes: He is probably at his ceiling right now.

  • Gross 5.8M/1.0%

Moved from the 10 to the 6. Avoid.

  • Eze 5.8M/1.0%

Eze is on set pieces and now on corners from both sides. He’s another player whose attacking role is increasing in his team. So the evolution of his involvement from GWs 1-8 on the left and 9-12 on the right. Shifting centrally and acquired corners from the right.

  • Lookman 5.0M/1.1%

Eye: Humility is a great teacher. Lookman seems a man transformed since his iconic penalty fail. Whereas he began the seasn stuck to the left side, Lookman has been moved around to the right as well and this is causing teams some difficulties.

Stats: 15 penalty area touches, 7 goal attempts, 4 SOT, and 2 BC have contributed to a very respectable xGI of 1.47 over the last 4 GWs.

Notes: FUL are flying at the moment. Looking good now but returns may be difficult to predict.

  • Cavaleiro 5.3M/0.1%

Eye: Cavaleiro knows he’s the best player on this team and shows it with successful selfishness. He has ignited FULs announcement that they do indeed exist, and it has already caught a couple teams by surprise.

Stats: Last 4 GWs 18 take-ons (12 successful), 19 dribbles (12 successful), 17 penalty area touches, 8 SIB, 8 SOT, and 5 BCs.

Notes: These stats stand out as the best in the bunch, but something inside me questions their sustainability/predictability.

Bonus Question

Thanks to @FPLCrypto for submitting this question on Twitter:

What are the top 3 stats you utilize to look for opportunity in matchups and FPL in general?

Because I remember how lost I was when I first started looking more closely at stats.

I would have to say the top 3 stats would be xGI, Big Chances, and Shots in the Box. I can determine xG and xA from xGI because of the type of player I know they are from watching games. BC are strong indicators of good quality opportunities, and SIB covers opportunities that may not be considered “Big” but are still good.

I will add, however, that I find the most insight in combinations of stats. SIB and SOT for example. Trezeguet led the league in SIB for several GWs but was among the bottom for SOT. The opportunity is irrelevant if the player can’t hit the target. BC/xG/xGDelta (and conceded) is another relationship I look at that can indicate form.

It’s a great question; thank you @FPLCrypto.

That’ll do it for #GW13. Thanks for your attention once again. I wish you all the best of luck this GW. Get dem greens!


Gabriel Penaloza

#FPLMatchups #GW12+ Quick Captaincy + The Little Prince Pick of the Week

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Penaloza

FPL Poker Tables GW12/13/14

It’s that time of year again when managers are advised to fasten their seatbelts, and hold on tight, as the FPL schedule is about to become hectic. Next week sees the first set of midweek fixtures this season, which comprise the sandwich filling of 3 gameweek deadlines in 9 days. Consequently, I’ll not have time to produce this blog for the next 2 gameweeks, so I’ll try to include enough pointers to them here to keep you going until I return for GW15.

In the interest of transparency I again attach 3 appendices at the end of this blog showing how my spreadsheet’s predictions fared in the previous week compared to other better known predictive models and algorithms. Despite bettering our season average so far, my model’s match result predictions last week were 3% less accurate than those of fivethirtyeight.com (see Appendix I), with that site drawing level for the season on a average mean absolute error of 0.36. Fivethirtyeight.com were also the only one of the three models I compare my spreadsheet’s score forecasts with to outperform them last week (see Appendix II). My model was the only one to get 2 scorelines correct though, which might have been 3, but for a “disgraceful” decision to award SOU a late penalty for a foul that happened outside the box. Whilst my spreadsheet’s clean sheet probabilities again proved more accurate than the bookies best odds posted by @FPL_Salah, they were less accurate last week than those same odds with the effects of bookies margins removed by @fplreview (see Appendix III). Suffice it to say that my spreadsheets are still counting down to the launch date of GW17, which is the point they will be fuelled by this season’s data only.

Meanwhile, there are five teams deemed more likely than not to score at least 2 goals in GW12, and maybe they can act as the crawler transporter moving my spreadsheet predictions to the launch pad.

Top 8 teams for predicted xG in GW12

All five are shown in the table below as expected to win their matches this weekend, but the probability of a 1 – 1 draw is actually higher than a 2 – 1 win for both WHU and LEI.

GW12 correct score forecasts

Apologies if you’re new to my blog, but after eleven weeks of doing so, I cannot bring myself to account for this apparent paradox to my readers yet again. They must be as bored of reading it as I am of writing it, so please refer to previous blogs for an explanation.

Unusually, there are only 3 correct score forecasts in GW12 that are not relatively straight forward. The one not already mentioned is the Manchester derby, which is reckoned to be 0.1% more likely to finish 2 – 0 than 3 – 0 (see table below), despite the Citizens being deemed 0.3% more likely to score 3 goals than 2.

Correct score forecast probability matrix for MUN vs MCI

Note that the probability given for the visitors winning 4 – 0 is more than double the chances of MUN winning (see table above). Old Trafford threatens to be more like the Theatre of Nightmares this weekend for Bruno owners. Let’s get #prayforsolskjaer trending, people!

LEE vs WHU, and LEI vs BHA are set to be much more evenly contested if the correct score forecast probability matrices below are anything to go by:

Correct score forecast probability matrix for LEE vs WHU and LEI vs BHA

Here are the projected correct score forecast tables for GW13 and GW14:

The table below shows how many points players are expected to get on average (excluding bonus points, and yellow/red cards). The red ‘P’s indicate where predicted scores have been inflated by the effects of recent penalty kicks, and the numbers in the column to the right of expected points show what these scores would have been if the distorting effects of penalties are removed. In other words, these are the average expected points assuming there are no opportunities to score from the penalty spot.

22 players above the 5 points threshold in GW12

KDB, Salah, and Vardy were among the top half dozen ranked attacking players in this table last week, and are so again this week if we follow Pep’s example, and ignore Torres and Foden.

As can be seen in the column furthest to the right, the points boost KDB receives from spot kick duties is significantly larger than is the case for Salah. If we knew in advance that neither player will be called upon to score from the penalty spot in GW12, then Salah‘s points prediction of 7.6 points would be a full point higher than KDB‘s. In the absence of penalties, however, Mane‘s points prediction actually edges Salah‘s by 0.1.

Wilson and Watkins are the highest rated forwards this week, trumping the more premium strikers Vardy, Kane, Jesus and Werner.

Most of the players mentioned above feature near the top of my table for predicted points between now and my next blog (see below). The main worry for owners of Salah, Mane, and Robertson during this period has to be rotation, especially with the GW14 fixture away to Palace coming just 62 hours 30 minutes after the “six pointer” vs Spurs in GW13. Remember, 72 hours is considered by sports scientists to be the minimum safe recovery time for footballers, and Klopp made the wrong kind of headlines the last time his team was faced with a similar situation.

Few fixtures hold more appeal currently than a home game vs WBA, but coming just 73 hours and 30 minutes after the Manchester derby, and only 65 hours before an away game against in-form SOU, who beat them in the corresponding fixture last season, the Pep Roulette threat level has been raised to Severe!

23 players above the 5 points threshold in GW13 and 17 in GW14

In my opinion, Wilson, Watkins, Kane and Grealish are the players in the table above likely to play the most minutes due to the recovery times between their games being least unfavourable.

My new rolling data charts made an immediate impact in the captaincy debate last week, emphatically challenging the story told by recent underlying stats that WOL were one of the league’s best defences. With time against me this week, I’m going to present a similar chart for FUL vs LIV in the hope of being spared having to run through my FFS stats tables. I did several charts last week and none looked remotely like the one below!

The chart above shows two trendlines, one for the home defence strength weighting for FUL showing how many goals they are expected to concede on average vs an average away attack, and the other, for the away attack strength weighting for LIV showing how many goals they are expected to score on average vs an average home defence. These ratios are such that an average team would be expected to concede/score one goal vs another average team, but as can be seen, the Cottagers have a much worse than average home defence, and the Reds have a much better than average away attack. In none of my charts last week was a team’s defence strength weighting trendline above a team’s attack strength weighting trendline.

Last week, LIV had the highest attack strength weighting, and WOL the worst defence strength weighting, but it’s not quite as clear cut this week. There are actually 3 teams with a higher attack strength weighting than LIV this week (MCI, CHE, and WHU), but FUL have by far the worst defence strength weighting of any team, and so, the case for a Salah (or Mane) captaincy looks open-and-shut to me.

Of the four defenders who appeared in my players points table last week, only Robertson justified his place there, and he is one of only three defenders this time around, with Cancelo and Dias above him despite facing a Manchester derby at Old Trafford. Up against a team who did the league double over them last season, MCI are nevertheless reckoned by my spreadsheet to be more likely than not to keep a clean sheet. In order to do so, Pep will need to have learned his lesson with regard to MUN‘s counter-attacking threat.

Clean sheets look hard to come by in GW12

The chart below validates the clean sheet prediction for Pep’s men. The red trendline describes the sharp decline of MUN‘s home attack strength weighting, followed by a levelling off that is well below average, while the blue trendline shows MCI‘s away defence strength recovering, and consolidating, its position as the best in the league.

MCI continue to dominate my longer term clean sheet table, with good to strong chances of adding to their tally of 4 clean sheets so far in 4 of the next 6 gameweeks.

Leading 7 teams for clean sheets over the next 6 gameweeks

The patience of Martinez owners who held onto him despite AVL‘s blank last weekend looks set to be rewarded soon enough, as AVL are ranked second best for clean sheets over the next 6, with good to strong prospects in half of them. Meanwhile, LEE draw nearer to the 3 good clean sheet chances in a row (GW13-15) signposted last week, and Dallas and Ayling owners probably ought to stick to their guns.

Robertson and Cancelo continue to be the only defenders predicted to score at least 20 points (before bonuses) over the next 4 gameweeks (see table below).

15 players predicted to score over 20 points (not including bonuses) in the next 4 gameweeks

That’s all for now, folks. May the GW12 flop, GW13 turn, and GW14 river be with you.

Coley a.k.a. FPL P0ker PlAyer

Appendix I – mean absolute error of result probabilities

Appendix II – mean absolute error of predicted goals

Appendix III – mean absolute error of clean sheet probabilities


These are biweekly Q&A videos that the GFCT Core Research Team will be making to answer the questions we get every alternate Monday from the Global and the Indian Telegram Chat from FPL managers.

This will alternate with the research note sent out to the chat by the Core Research Team every alternate Wednesday as well. (Pragmatic Strategy Report).

This week we have our own Gabriel Penaloza, Shom Biswas and Chase Blocker answer the FPL Questions.

They discuss whether one should keep or move on from DCL citing the fixtures firm up for Everton, whether one should load up on premum assets, the best cheap options currently, whether one should look to double up on the Chelsea defense and the importance of Captaincy! They discuss everything FPL, from matchups, player potential, expectations going forward.

Most importantly they had an absolute blast recording this and have had a good laugh.

Please do enjoy the video and share it with your fellow FPL managers!

All our videos will be on BloccFPL’s youtube channel so please click the link below and subscribe to the youtube channel so you never miss our research going forward.

Members involved in the video:

Gabriel Penaloza

Shom Biswas

Chase Blocker


Ajit Dhillon.

#IFCT Road To Indian FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW11

#IFCT Mini League Update

The highest scoring player for the GW was Zaha with 18 points, having scored a hattrick against WBA as they were awarded a Red Card and the 10 man team could not hold the pressure being applied by CRY.

The most popular move was to get KDB as a Captaincy choice. Fernandes once again did not fail to return FPL points even though he was initially benched and came out in the second half and created 8 chances for MNU. Chelsea defensive assets are now hurting those without them as their EO has risen and they continue to get CS points plus bonus and attacking returns for their owners. City looked good and we can anticipate large scale buys going forward citing their fixtures and them signaling they might be rediscovering their potent attacking finesse.

We will now see the first massive fixture swing for teams with City, Liverpool & Villa having the best fixtures going forward. Even Leeds has a very good run coming up.

The NEW update shared was that they have begun training at their training centre and that the game against WBA as of now will go ahead.

We continue to advise patience due to UCL/EUL matches midweek which may lead to injuries and players with COVID cases.

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 308

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 732.00

Our League leader is: Ashutosh Khemka.





We wish our participants all the best!

The league is now closed but managers are still invited to join our chats on Telegram. The link to which is on the registration page of the site.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

#GFCT Road To Global FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW11

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cropped-gfct-image-1.jpg

The highest scoring player for the GW was Zaha with 18 points, having scored a hattrick against WBA as they were awarded a Red Card and the 10 man team could not hold the pressure being applied by CRY.

The most popular move was to get KDB as a Captaincy choice. Fernandes once again did not fail to return FPL points even though he was initially benched and came out in the second half and created 8 chances for MNU. Chelsea defensive assets are now hurting those without them as their EO has risen and they continue to get CS points plus bonus and attacking returns for their owners. City looked good and we can anticipate large scale buys going forward citing their fixtures and them signaling they might be rediscovering their potent attacking finesse.

We will now see the first massive fixture swing for teams with City, Liverpool & Villa having the best fixtures going forward. Even Leeds has a very good run coming up.

The NEW update shared was that they have begun training at their training centre and that the game against WBA as of now will go ahead.

We continue to advise patience due to UCL/EUL matches midweek which may lead to injuries and players with COVID cases.

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 639

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 738.00

Our League leader is: Paul Oziegbe.





We wish our participants all the best!

The league is now closed but managers are still invited to join our chats on Telegram. The link to which is on the registration page of the site.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

#FPLMatchups #GW11 Changes +The Little Prince Pick of the Week

The expression “Can’t see the forest for the trees” is used to describe people too involved in the details to see the bigger picture. I feel like my FPL experience this year has been characterized by the opposite. I have been so focused on larger patterns and broader tactical analyses that I have missed the individual trees in the forest. I have not seen the trees for the forest.

It is with this in mind that I adopt a narrow lens this week. I will be looking at how data from the past 2-3 weeks compares with data from the beginning of the season. I am seeing a shift for a few teams, and I wanted to highlight them so that we may begin to shift how we see these teams in turn. This time all the shifts observed are negative. On the menu are two waning attacks and one waning defense of 3 teams whose players are highly owned. Let’s dig in.

  1. Tottenham Attack
  2. Chelsea Attack
  3. Leicester Defense
  4. The Little Prince Pick of the Week

TOT Attack

TOT fully took advantage of an easy opening schedule by posting some of the best attacking stats in the league. By fully took advantage I am understating the case significantly. From GWs 2 to 7, TOT scored 18 goals while having an xG of 12.59. Outperforming xG by almost 1 goal per game resulted in a wave of points enjoyed by most fantasy managers, but regression was always inevitable, and it brings me to their inclusion here.

The table below shows TOTs precipitous decline in terms of their attacking output, but equally important is the regression to an xG Delta of close to zero. Spurs are now performing in accordance with their stats.

Minutes Per BCMinutes Per xGxG Delta (Goals – xG)
 TOT GWs 2-72645.55.41
TOT GWs 8-1056.8101.40.2

The question now is why? Enter Jose Mourinho. The Mourinho style has taken hold here in his proverbial second season with Spurs. Spurs faced a deep lying WBA, before holding both CHE and MCI scoreless in GWs 9 & 10. These 3 examples provide us both with a glimpse at what regression looks like for Spurs in easier matches, and sheds light on how Spurs will approach the bigger matches.

Spurs looked bereft of ideas in the match against WBA. Everything predictably went through Kane as he recorded the most key passes (4), and shots (7), and was able to reward owners in the 87th minute.

Against CHE and then MCI, however, Spurs did not even try to attack. Mourinho tactics in full effect as Sissoko and Hojbjerg would slot in the spaces between the defenders to clogging up the spaces for attackers to run into. It also keeps the fullbacks wide, preventing opposition teams from effectively using wingbacks to attack in behind. This obviously diminishes TOTs presence in midfield and their counter-attacks therefore begin from a deeper position. This adjustment has impacted TOT’s attack by cutting its threat by more than half. The xG Shots maps show Spurs against weaker opposition in GWs 2-7 and the 2 more recent difficult ones in 9 & 10. This approach has worked wonderfully for Mourinho.

CHE Attack

CHE scored 20 goals in the first 8 GWs. Similarly to TOT, however, they were overperforming their xG by more than 1 goal per game. They led the league with 20 goals but had an xG of 11.96. Remember when we all rushed to bring in Ziyech when he had a double return against BUR then SHU? Well that spark of creativity coincided with a hard regression for CHE. The chart below shows the pendulum has swung for CHE. All applicable stats per 90 min.

TeamGoalsMinutes Per Big ChanceMinutes Per xGShots – Inside BoxxG Delta (Goals – xG)xG Expected Goals
 CHE GWs 1-82.547.1688.041.495
 CHE GWs 9-100.54782.19-0.291.145

You’ll notice most of CHE attacking stats are constant, but the min/xG has shot up more than 30%. The result of this is an xG Delta of close to zero. We are closer to expectations with CHE now, however the return of Pulisic to full time duties, along with a team whose players are growing together, may indicate the best of CHE is yet to come.

LEI Defense

In GWs 1-8, LEI had the 7th lowest xGC. They were a solid middle of the road defense with some upside as Justin and Castagne also provided attacking returns. They have not been great defensively this season, and certainly some of that can be blamed on the many injuries they have had. LEI have recently become noteworthy, however because their defense now offers some of the best opportunities for opposing strikers.

Over the past 2 GWs, LEI have the most BCC (11), 2nd most goal attempts in the box (26), and joint highest xGC (5.51). 20 the 26 chances conceded in the past 2 GWs were conceded from the center or the left of the field, while only 6 chances were conceded from the right. This takes me back to watching how bad Christian Fuchs has been lately. He has been turned inside out and has looked out of his element recently. Soyuncu can’t return soon enough for the foxes.

The Little Prince Pick of the Week

The Little Prince pick this week dovetails LEIs analysis. During a week with a sudden blank and all sorts of suspect injuries and unpredictable rotation, I hope this week’s pick can reassure some of you. Catch a fleeting shooting star with Rihan Brewster this GW. Soyuncu was only able to play 17 minutes as he sadly suffered a setback to his groin injury. If SHU can find Brewster in space with early balls the way Gallagher did last season w/ Swansea in the Championship, Brewster could find himself in some very favorable opportunities to capitalize. He’s first bench for me and is almost sure to make the XI in #GWXI.



Bruno and Vardy are away so they have the stats from narrative on their side. “They haul in away games.” KDB seems nailed as the 10 even in easier fixtures. FUL are improving, but the Belgian at home against weak opposition after a match from which he may have wanted more is very enticing. Salah is still the king. Most everything, does everything most often, etc. And, if you want to go a bit rogue, I kind of like Chilwell this week to get some space behind Ayling while Pulisic occupies Koch.


These are a couple of players I’ve mentioned elsewhere this week which we may not be thinking about:

  • Chris Wood – 2nd most BC in last 2 GWs (3)
  • Ollie McBurnie – Most BC (4), SIB (10), SOT(5) in last 2 GWs

All the best!


Gabriel Penaloza

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