FPL Matchups for the 2020-2021 Premier League Season

Hello my fellow FPL community members. A special shout out to the @GFCT and @IFCT Telegram chat groups.

We are all familiar with the FDR. This article is meant to add a more granular description of matchup than we have currently. My lens is that of a coach with a B license and 25 years experience in the field. I tend to look at games tactically, dissecting individual matchups, much the way I would for a team I am coaching.

Last season (19-20) I began writing a weekly Twitter thread about individual player matchups in FPL. The threads were speculative at best as I quickly came to learn that it is not easy to find data on specific areas of the field.

Thanks to the more detailed data available through the FFScout members section, I have been able to refine my analysis of the matchups, but please know I am still missing data like xGC, & xAC from specific areas of the field. If you know where I can get this data, please enlighten me. Now, on to the 2020-2021 matchups.

I looked at 15 to 20 data sets for every premier league team that was in the league last season, but only highlight outlying data to create the matchup narrative. Have not included any relegated or promoted teams in my analysis.

LIVERPOOL: 
Conceded same number of big chances as Burnley (64)!
3rd fewest crosses conceded, which means an extra difficult fixture for teams like Chelsea (Giroud specifically) and Everton that rely on crosses and headed chances.
Conceded 31 more crosses from right than the left. 
Balanced attack in terms of chances created (32%/36%/32%) makes Mane an interesting differential when compared to Salah.
Most headed goals (19) means they are extra enticing when facing teams who give up a lot of crosses and headed chances like Newcastle.

MANCHESTER CITY: 
Fewest crosses conceded. (420)
Fewest chances conceded. (200)
4th fewest big chances conceded. (59)
Most big chances (108) – 20 more than 2nd most (88- Liverpool) and 33 more big chances than 3rd (CHE). 
Best offensive underlying stats (no surprise there), but also best defensive stats. Could be positive regression coming for City def.

MANCHESTER UNITED:
Fewest headed chances conceded. (50)
2nd fewest big chances conceded. (50)
Created only 5 more big chances (55) than they conceded. That’s less than Everton and only 1 more than Burnley. – Concern for all of their attacking options.
Only 26.6% of chances created were from R. Combine this with the low number of BC they create and Greenwood becomes problematic.

CHELSEA:
Chelsea is a pretty balanced team as far as the stats are concerned. They have very few outlying stats that would tilt them in one direction or another.
Chances conceded: 90 from left, 69 from center, 83 from right. Indicates they are attacked down the flanks as teams try to avoid their center mids, and take advantage of space left by attacking defenders.
2nd most headed goal attempts (111), but 6th lowest headed conversion rate (8%). Havertz’ biggest weakness: aerial duels.
Lampard has brought in dribblers and passers in Havertz and Werner. Ziyech has a whip on him but also loves to take players on. Style of play must change in order to maximize the potential of the new signings, but that may be a work in progress as key players get healthy.

LEICESTER:
Tied with Liverpool and Burnley for 6th fewest big chances conceded (64).
Conceded 20 fewer chances from the left (85) than the right (105), but conceded 9th most crosses from L (383), & 3rd fewest crosses from R (263). This is how Leicester make play predictable. They set up to stop advances down their left, perhaps because Chilwell is often attacking, forcing teams to cross.
Created 4th most big chances (69)- Not repeatable if they keep falling off the cliff from last season. 

TOTTENHAM:
5th most chances conceded.
Conceded 6th most chances from the L (124), 7th most chances from the CTR (124), 4th most chances from the R (144).
BUT conceded 3rd fewest big chances (58). Bend but don’t break defense.
3rd most headed goal attempts conceded. If you’re going to concede chances, let them be headed chances! Good matchup for headed goal for LIV, MCI, & Giroud.
7th fewest big chances created.
Whopping 40% chances created down the middle. Talisman is center forward.

WOLVES:
Fewest big chances conceded (47).
5th fewest chances conceded (290).
Balanced defense. Chances conceded broken down by area of the pitch (L97/C89/R104).
Jimenez scored 3rd most big chances and had the 3rd highest % big chances scored. Speaks to his consistency and reliability.

ARSENAL: 
No team conceded more chances from the right side of the field than Arsenal (160). Similarly to TOT, ARS concede a lot of chances, but many of them are headed chances (91) 4th most among premier league teams. Good news for GK as it means easy saves. Created 1 fewer big chance than TOT, SOU, & BHA (48).
ARS have created 6 more big chances in only 2 more games played under Arteta. Auba scores an impressive 63% of big chances. Clinical and could see numbers jump with increased service.

SHEFFIELD UNITED:
Conceded 115 more crosses from the L (438) than the R (323). Only AVL & NEW conceded more.
Despite lopsided crosses, chances conceded are balanced in terms of area of the field (L108/C115/R103).
Created 42% of chances from L, compared to 32% from R. Stevens more intriguing than Baldock.
Created 5th most big chances after restart (32).
Conceded same number of big chances as palace last season (77). 

BURNLEY:
Conceded 4th most chances (404), but 6th fewest big chances (like TOT & ARS). 
Everything else is straight forward with Burnley.

SOUTHAMPTON:
Conceded 139 chances from the left (42%). 31 y.o. Bertrand being exploited.
Pre 9-0 / Post 9-0 stats:
GWs 1-10
Conceded 28 big chances (2.8/gm). xG  1.58/gm

GWs 11-38
68 big chances 11-38 (2.4/gm). xG = 1.51/gm

GWs 30-38:
1.8 BCC/gm post restart. 1.29xG. 

Ings has one of the highest big chances conversion rate in the league 64%, but with the rise of Che Adams, and the low number of big chances SOU create (49), sustainability for Ings is in question. 

EVERTON:
Tied with MUN for 4th fewest chances conceded from the L (89). Does the right side of defense need updating with Coleman aging?
27.9% chances created from center as opposed to 36.5% from L, and 35.6% from R. Concerning stat for DCL who operates exclusively from a central location. Richarlison .28xG from left, center, right. Can most profit from the flank-based attack.
DCL one of the best aerial duel attacking players. He wins 46.2% of aerial duels. Good news for a team with the most headed goal attempts (115) last season.
Richarlison also has a 63% big chance conversion rate (8/13) compared to DCL at 37% (10/27). Increased creativity with new signings should see Richarlison break out as long as he keeps his big chance conversion rate.

NEWCASTLE:
Conceded 3rd most big chances (89) of premier league teams from last year.
Dubravka out w/ an ankle injury.
Conceded the most crosses (868) and headed attempts (124) last season. Target headers against Newcastle.
Create a lopsided 42.1% of their chances from the L compared to 25.4% CTR and 32.4% from R. ASM occupies the attacking left side, so it makes sense that is where most of Newcastle’s chances are created. Will that be more balanced with the introduction of Fraser?

CRYSTAL PALACE:
3rd most crosses conceded (843).
2nd most headed goal attempts conceded (97).
Fewest big chances created (32).
Tied with strikerless AVL for fewest headed goals (3).
All in all good matchup for both attacking and defending opposition. Palace are bad.

BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION:
5th most big chances conceded (82).
Conceded most chances from the R (142).
Balanced attack. Chances created L 34.4%, C 32.4%, R 33.2%.
Created same number of big chances as Tottenham (49).

WEST HAM UNITED:
6th most chances conceded (388).
Most big chances conceded (102).
Exactly the same number of crosses conceded from left and right (385). Weird.
Only create 25.6% of chances through the middle as opposed to 39.9% from the left, and 34.5% from the right.
Created 1 fewer big chance (54) than MUN last season.
3rd most headed goal attempts (98).
Only DCL (46.2%) wins a higher percentage of aerial duels than Antonio (44.9%).

ASTON VILLA:
Here is the season data
2nd most big chances conceded (99).
Most chances conceded (460).
131 more crosses conceded from the left compared to the right (L494/R363). Target right sided players against them for assists.
Villa is the quintessential tale of two seasons. I did not have the time to compartmentalize the data, but suffice to know that from GW 30 to 38, AVL was top 4 in fewest big chances conceded (12) and lowest xGC (9.67).
Villa created a staggering 41.5% of their chances from the left. Target their attackers on this side of the field.

I hope you found this article useful for your preseason FPL planning. I will be writing a weekly matchups column that may help you with captain choices and transfers as the season progresses. I am always up for a conversation so please feel free to reach out via the Telegram chat or Twitter. Thanks for your time and I’ll see you after week 1!

By – Gabriel Penaloza

#GW1 GFCT FPL Q&A SESSION

GFCT FPL Q&A: SESSION NO. 1

This is the first of many 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 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.

This week we have our own Shom Biwas, Chase Blocker and Gabriel Penaloza discuss the FPL Questions. They have done a brilliant job and this makes it a must watch video for your final preparations before GW1 this weekend!

Please do enjoy the video and share it with your fellow FPL managers so you can all get a great heads up at the start of the season.

Members involved in the video:

Shom Biswas

Chase Blocker

Gabriel Penaloza

FPL Poker Tables GW1

The start of a new season was complicated enough with both Manchester clubs blanking, and the uncertainty around players in our squads going in and out of quarantine against the backdrop of a global pandemic, but the fixture schedule has thrown us an additional curve ball if my spreadsheet predictions are anything to go by. 

Some gameweeks see fewer goals, but the impact on our scores is usually offset (partially at least) by more clean sheet points being available.  However, what my spreadsheet predicts for GW1, is the perfect storm of a shortage of goals and a scarcity of clean sheets.

correct score forecasts for GW1 wth corresponding probability

One-one score draws are deemed the most probable scoreline in all but 1 of the matches, with only CHE and WHU reckoned to be more likely to score more than once (see below). Surely that’s a typo? I must mean all but 2, right? Wrong. The Hammers fall into a strange paradoxical position I’ve commented on previously. Namely, that whilst it’s true that WHU are more likely to score at least 2 goals than 1, they are less likely to score twice than once. Fried your brain yet? Then can I suggest some lighter reading on quantum entanglement, perhaps?

predicted xG scores for GW1

In a similar vein, 5 teams are forecast to have a higher than 40% chance of a clean sheet in GW2, whereas only 4 teams are rated to have a better than a one in three chance (33%) in GW1.  Of those 4, only LIV cross the 36.7% threshold, which is significant because that is the point at which conceding zero goals becomes mathematically more likely than conceding one goal.  Remember though, the likelihood of conceding two, three, four goals, etc., also needs to be factored in, so a clean sheet only becomes the likeliest outcome of all when the assigned probability is higher than 50%.

calculated clean sheet probabilities for GW1

There are always caveats attached to my spreadsheets, and rightly so, for algorithms always have shortcomings, but there are additional ones to consider at the start of this season. Obviously, no algorithm can second guess the impact that COVID19 will have on team lineups and results. Likewise the impact of empty stadiums on players and teams.

The other ‘known unknown‘ at the start of any new season is the transformative effect of new signings on teams, and one need only reflect back on the arrival of Fernandes in Manchester in January to know that this can be huge.

More pertinent to my spreadsheet, however, is the fact that these predictions are based on each teams xG performances in their last 8 home or away games (whichever is relevant), 4 or 5 of which will have come post-lockdown. And, as I showed in my recent review of last season, some teams prospered during this period, while others faltered dramatically.

LIV belong in the latter category, and as they face a promoted team whose defensive credentials in the top flight are yet to be tested (and so can only be best guessed at), it is possible that the probability of a clean sheet for the defending champions is being underestimated by my sheet.

The attacking and defending strength ratios attributed to the promoted teams, based solely on matches against the other six sides in the Championship’s top seven last season, have been scaled back by 20% to reflect the tougher competition they will face in the Premier League.

Unavoidably, this is somewhat arbitrary, but not random (never random!). Rather it is based on some research I’ve read, but I accept that it’s an inexact science. The point being that if you believe the transition from EFL to PL is more than 20% harder, then the probability of LIV keeping a clean sheet increases accordingly. For what it’s worth, the probability of LIV keeping a clean sheet only increased by 3% to 42% when I substituted the figures for the season as a whole, rather than taking their last 8 games only.

That all said, it’s quite conceivable that LEE will be like rabbits caught in the headlights of an oncoming juggernaut, and an early goal will open the floodgates, and demoralise them. Personally though, I’m not banking on it.

Bring on the new season, bring on the green arrows, but most of all, bring on the coronavirus vaccine!

Coley a.k.a. FPL P0ker PlAyer

Fplmariner’s musings : Midfield

This year selecting the right midfielder looks to be a complete minefield with six ‘premium options’ above 10 million along with a number of unproven players in the Premier League, the young guns and of course the search for the next Lord Lundstram.

STRUCTURE

Using my data which all of you would have seen by now and with my aim not to create a flexible midfield allowing changes in formation. With this in mind i am looking to select no more than two premium’s, one (maybe two) mid-priced asset and two players under 6.0 M. I am also not adverse to benching one asset for GW2.

As usual I created a short list based on extrapolating last seasons points from minutes played and then factoring in rotation in project restart. I then factored in the fixtures and form after project restart.

10.0 Million + (Choose 1 or 2)

8.0 – 9.5 Million (Choose 1 or 2)

6.0 – 7.5 Million (choose 0 or 1)

Less than 6.0 Million (Choose 2)

So given the aim to maintain flexibility and with my beady eye on value who am I going with and why?

The Premium’s

Given that i am looking at two from this bracket and with my strategy this year of not being adverse to moving between premiums and captaining them (or upside chasing as it has been termed) It is important not to overthink these slots especially as City and United have GW1 blanks.

The two i have selected are in form ‘flat track bully’ Aubameyang (ARS) 22.5 PPMR who looks to benefit to the tune of 30 + points over the season moving into Midfield and who has two juicy captainable fixtures and Salah (Liv) 21.2 PPMR, who, i predict, despite failing the eye test in the charity shield will awaken with the return and subsequent service of TAA.

‘Why not Mane?’ you may ask, especially given my love of numbers – well its nothing more than a gut feeling given parity on price and FOMO, when i inevitably pick the wrong asset!

GW1 Blank Teams

Manchester United offer three fantastic assets in Midfield and whilst Greenwood sits in a lower price category it probably warrants a combined discussion.

Its fair to say that Bruno Fernandes 32.4 PPMR had a quite incredible run last season and if you just used the PPMR metric in isolation he would be a no-brainer. However when you dig further you will see that despite assuming Bruno is on Penalties. his levels seem unsustainable (179.2) and if you adjust his returns, whilst he still looks appealing at 17 G, 8 A, Rashford 27.5 PPMR, 1 Million cheaper appears on par with Bruno given he too will benefit from his move to midfield and his returns, (17 G, 7 A) that are closer to his Non Penalty XG+XA (127.4) despite missing around 20% of the season.

Interestingly these factors don’t seem to have been picked up in the twitter-sphere given the poll results below; predicting Bruno to return most points until GW10 for MNU.

My conclusion however is to swerve Fernandes have a valuable 1 Million and start with Rashford 9.5M (possibly benching him) , who i think has the chance of joining the 200 club this season provided he is not blighted with Injuries.

Mason Greenwood MNU levels (209.8) also seem unsustainable and suggest he’s super lucky or just super good!, however if Sancho arrives at United then this will completely end my interest.

Manchester City

OK, so own up! how many people had at least one city asset in their team prior to the fixtures being released?. Obviously the blank caused the first big rethink of pre-season tinkering with our minds quickly turning to when to introduce them.

Comparing the two premiums Sterling 17.7 PPMR and De Bruyne 23.2 PPMR in Isolation would immediately draw you to KDB. However again looking closer you will see that KDB over-performed against XG +XA (143.9) against Sterling who under-performed against non Penalty XG + XA (73.1)

KDB is amazing of course, and his over performance is probably sustainable, given his ability to score from nowhere and seemingly on set pieces and penalties. Sterling on the other hand had a poor start to the season but then was in Stella form post lock-down – if he continues this form he could easily provide 25+ goals in the season, challenging KDB in the process

This is really too close to call so i’m actually pleased i don’t have to choose now. I will wait till GW3, watching closely in GW2 against Wolves, but i will definitely be onboard for GW3, one way or the other (at time of writing Aubameyang to KDB given his consistency over Sterling)

8.0 – 9.5 Million (Choose 1 or 2)

I’ve already revealed my love for Rashford (& his likely selection) but who else can we compare using the metric and are worthy of consideration.

Pulisic (che) 8.5 M – Injured at present but undoubtedly a great option at 27.3 PPMR once fit. Minutes may be managed especially given the strengthened team but could rival Rashford for returns basis Xg +Xa at a million cheaper, although he is possibly more prone to rotation.

Son (Tot) 9.0 M 25.7 PPMR – I suffered last year from his petulance getting him a red card when i owned him so this is a tough sell for me especially as he seems to be playing wider these days. However Spurs do have some really juicy home fixtures with NEW, WHU, BRI in the first 7 GWs so still under consideration either for the longer term or as a one week punt.

Mahrez 8.5 M 24.6 PPMR – Blanking in GW1 with a tough fixture and in GW2 leads me to steer clear for now given the structure of my team and the perceived value of Foden and the number of Chelsea options (more later).

Notable others;

Willian 8.0 M 22.8 PPMR – One week punt prior to moving to Rashford?, Two week punt then ditch to a Chelsea asset? not out of the question.

Alli 8.0 M 22.4 PPMR – a whole million cheaper than Son and potentially in Mourinho’s thoughts. Showed flashes of the old Dele last season so cannot be ignored.

Ziyech 8.0 M *27.3 PPMR based on Ajax 2019 returns – which will probably not correlate. He is also Injured at time of writing and would have been my GW1 punt to move to Rashford had he been fit (which is looking increasingly doubtful now).

6 to 7.5 Million

There are obviously two enormous stand outs in this section, Greenwood MNU 35.8 and Foden MCI 31.2 , however both are not without their risks if selected. We have already mentioned Greenwood‘s possibility of regression basis stats and of course Foden has been a victim of Pep roulette being benched 40% post lock-down. That said i think he will get more game time this year so my projections are based on 30% rotation, similar to the other city assets.

I don’t think its out of the question for Foden to score 12 to 15 goals this season given a run and natural progression and as a result i expect any early season double up will include him.

For now though they both miss out given my preference for Rashford.

Notable others;

Bowen (WHU) 6.5 M 22 PPMR looks to be in great form, scoring twice v Bournemouth last weekend. He passed the eye test at the end of last season and with West ham playing on the break will be involved given his pace. Tough Fixtures aside he could be worth a punt (1% owned) before moving to Chelsea assets for example. Food for thought and not discounted.

James Ward Prowse (SOU) 6.0 M 20.0 PPMR Nailed and In an in form side, on Penalties and Free Kicks. I really like JWP but to be honest i also like Redmond, Armstrong, KWP, Ings and Adams. Given my structure i will most likely start without him unless i can find 0.5 Million from somewhere.

Redmond (SOU) 6.0 M 19.3 PPMR Same as JWP above but not on Penalties or free kicks. Discounted.

Less than 6.0 Million – Who will breakout?

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Podence (Wol) 5.5 M 40.0 PPMR – I am very hopeful that Podencio will be that man! The diminutive Portuguese looked lively in project restart and in the Europa league and appears now to have the jersey, according to Wolves correspondents. He is competing of course with Jota, who seems to have gone off a cliff recently and Neto. Wolves first two fixtures are tough but once we know Nuno’s plans – and if he’s in them, then he will be straight into my team at that price given his potential for double digit returns. News of further Wolves transfers expected – watch this space!

Keita (Liv) 5.5 28.0 PPMR – nothing like as exciting but might be a cheap way into the Liverpool team. Indeed when researching i came across a recent quote on twitter by @Liverpoolcom_ who said “If Keita can nail down a consistent starting role and stay injury-free, he could be an FPL steal this season. It’s a gamble to begin with, and the safer bet would be to sit tight and see how he starts off, but the rewards could be plentiful”. You may have to sacrifice other Liverpool assets to bring him in but one to watch for sure.

Armstrong (SOU) 5.5 M 26.0 PPMR. Again a Southampton asset but this time at the right price point and firmly on my radar. Redmond is nailed however and therefore he appears to be competing for one spot with Smallbone and Djenepo so by no means completely nailed. However my stats take that into account with his value so its entirely possible i stomach the risk.

Soucek (WHU) 5.0 M 25.3 PPMR. Would have been nailed in my team but now will wait for West Ham fixtures to ease up before bringing him in given we may have to put other COVID fires out too.

Saint Maximin (NEW) 5.5M 21.4 PPMR. I fondly remember ASM‘s three assists against Bournemouth last season, having made the call to bring him in the week before. This stand out performance was really the last we saw of him, picking up a knock in the process. That said, Newcastle are now strengthening their team with the arrival of Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser and both may provide upside for ASM, Wilson to finish chances created and Fraser to take some heat off the main man!. West Ham were shocking last weekend in defence and whilst his fixtures are not as good as Armstrong he gets the nod on that alone but will need some cover for rotation if keeping for the longer term. Bonjour Allain!

Notable Others;

Sander Berge (SHU) 5.0 M 21.4 PPMR – Seems to have wrestled the starting spot from the Lord and is 0.5 Million cheaper. SHU have some reasonable fixtures and given Soucek’s covid woes may indeed be my 5th Midfielder unless i need that extra 0.5 million and i have to dip my toe into the 4.5 M fodder. Irritatingly now flagged as would have rotated well with ASM.

Harvey Barnes (LEI) 7.0 M – Rotation killed his metric post lock-down but if as it is likely, he gets a run in the team then he offers more PPMR appeal than for example Bowen at 25.1 PPMR but is that 0.5 million more. I have a sneaky suspicion about him that this might be his year.

So to conclude, and as it stands The Brothers Grimsby will set up as follows with 3 out of 5 places fairly locked in. The possible changes, mainly to my 3rd and 5th Midfielders at time of writing are numerous, Fernandes could become Rashford (freeing up cash elsewhere) and also be benched or i may be tempted to have a one week punt down as far as Bowen in value (Son, Alli, Barnes, etc) and then bring a united asset in. Ceballos is only a placeholder for now.

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Next up, Forwards in a couple of days… stay tuned

Chris Turner aka FPL MARINER

FPL Mariner’s Musings : Defence

Last Season including wildcards I made a ridiculous 14 defensive transfers. Upon review this immediately jumped out as an area for improvement allowing me to use my transfers wisely and minimising hits (9, -36).

Putting this into context, just one less hit and I would have won my work mini league and the kudos that comes with it. So whilst it is important to look at the bigger picture, this is one of many important lessons I learnt.

Therefore it’s important to assemble a defensive unit which is flexible enough to move up or down in price and comprise of players with a high PPMR (points per million with rotation factored into post lockdown) from solid defensive units, teams with good fixtures (which may be a bit of a punt) or those whom you can rotate.

STRUCTURE

Using my data which all of you would have seen by now and with my aim to create a defence with a spread of price points ideally, I created a short list based on extrapolating last seasons points from minutes played and then factoring in rotation in project restart. I then factored in the fixtures and teams defensive form, which interestingly removes teams like Sheffield Utd., Newcastle, Brighton & Arsenal! It gives me the following list of options across the price brackets assuming we all will select atleast one 4.0 Defender.

4.5 Million (Choose 1 or 2)

5.0 Million (choose 0 or 1)

5.5 Million (choose 0 or 1)

6.0-7.5 Million (choose 1 or 2)

I also have rules that unless I am doubled up on a given fixture or team, then if there is a cheaper low rotation risk defender with comparable attacking return potential then they will get preference, especially early in the season.

So given the rules who am I going with and why?

The 4.5 Million bracket

VINAGRE (Wol) Is the FPL community the only one in the world to cheer at misfortune?. I’m sure many did when Jonny Otto (Wol) was ruled out for six months opening up the door to Vinagre who (at time of writing) looks to be great value at 28.3 PPMR, which improves further to 30.7 PPMR given Wolves friendly early fixtures Man City GR2 aside. Welcome to ‘The Brothers Grimsby’ I fancy some ‘Vinagre’ on my haddock and chips.

JUSTIN (LEI) The other stand out at 4.5 Million from my metric is James Justin at Leicester at 26.3 PPMR. According to correspondents he is nailed for at least the first 6 weeks with the absence 6.0 M Pereira and can also play on the right. He passed the eye test against Sheffield Wednesday and looks to get forward. Leicester have now signed Timothy Castagne from Atalanta and are also looking at a centre back, but I continue to have serious doubts given Leicester early season defensive frailties, so at the moment whilst he is my second pick, he is by no means locked in.

Who misses out (so far) and why?

Well if I go with McCarthy in goal I simply dare not double up with Southampton so despite Kyle Walker Peters being interesting for now I will wait & watch.

Burnley have a plethora of 4.5 Million options and form my immediate fall back options even though they blank in GW1. Out of position Pieters was a nice differential at the end of last season but he will probably rotate again. Therefore Charlie Taylor is one to shortlist. Interestingly some people expect some regression this season as does the FDR created by Ben Crellin at FFHub which I have utilised. Something we will have to monitor.

Leeds, Ayling /Dallas are not discounted completely but are perhaps a little too punty for me especially given I would bench them GW1 , as is Lamptey (BHA) for now.

The 5.0 Million bracket

LINDELOF (MNU) Virtually nailed post lock-down and seemingly in Ole’s favour. Very much the holding option who rarely offers any goal or assist threat but 0.5 cheaper than Maguire and AWB and has not had any summer misdemeanours. However; he blanks in GW1 and as I don’t want to bench him or waste a MNU slot, its a no for me, despite him topping the value ranks at 25.8 PPMR.

SAISS (WOL) 25.1 PPMR Wolves again unsurprisingly figure heavily in this section but selecting Saiss would mean a double up which I wouldn’t rule out but I do prefer a bit of Vinagre on my chips at the moment. Personally I am slightly put off by the Man City GW2 fixture but if you can stomach that (and be brave enough to double up) it may pay dividends given their great run GW3 onwards. Another consideration is that Saiss does love a yellow card.

KEANE (EVE) I had to pinch myself here if I’m being honest but sure enough he looks good on the PPMR metric at 24.6 PPMR principally due to him being locked post lock-down. He has favourable fixtures post GW1 and with Ancellotti’s guile now beginning to come to the fore at Goodison Park he may be worth the consideration.

DIER (TOT) 24.3 PPMR He can speak fluent Portuguese you know! He’s surely nailed then isn’t he? Seriously though, Jose seems to like big Eric, he has worn the armband in Harry Kane’s absence in pre-season and looks like he will start at Centre half especially as Jan Vertonghen has left White Hart Lane. He also has a set piece threat and from an BPS perspective he has potential given his passing when Spurs achieve clean sheet’s. A negative which should be considered for all spurs assets may be the possible rotation given Spurs packed fixture schedule in September although I expect Mourinho will want to concentrate on the Premier League.

With thanks to Sugeee_FPL

COADY (Wol) Yawn… next. #makefantasyfunagain

DAVIES (TOT) 21.5 PPMR Staying at White Hart lane, Davies also appears to have cemented his place in the side being virtually locked post lock-down. Davies does not offer goal threat like Dier but does offer some attacking returns via assists, although these in my opinion are tempered with Doherty joining as I expect Spurs will raid down the right not the left, with him slotting in more centrally as the Doc bombs forward. Another thing to monitor will be whether Sessegnon eat into his game time?

So its between Dier and Davies for me, so again I thought I would ask Twitter for their views; results below..

Interestingly a small majority of respondents selected Davies over what looks like the more unfashionable Eric Dier. I am however not convinced he will raid forward or play significantly more game time than Dier so for now I am going to go with my gut feeling and therefore as it stands Dier gets the nod with the lure of BPS swinging it, in front of Davies and Saiss.

Other worthy mentions:

James (CHE) 17.2 PPMR basis 45% rotation post lock-down kills his metric, I have stopped short of adjusting like I have Dier as I don’t know whether he is nailed but if we did adjust by perhaps 20% he is very much of interest to me at 25.1 PPMR as he is a far more exciting proposition.

Dunk (BHA) 24.6 PPMR – poor fixtures but good value in a possibly improving Brighton. But not just yet.

Egan 21.9 PPMR/Basham 21.3 PPMR (SHU) – Neither Sheffield Utd. assets feeling the love of the Fixture Difficulty calculations. I would prefer to see how much they much they miss Henderson so its a a wait and watch for me currently.

5.5 Million

This price point appears a bit of a luxury pick at the moment to me, almost in no mans land between what looks like some value at 5.0 and the likely lads at 6.0 M and above. As a result i doubt i will pick from this level early in the season but i will briefly cover this for the purposes of the article.

BOLY 33.0 PPMR (Wol) I genuinely would be surprised if I go this season without him but for now I’ve given Vinagre the go ahead as he seems nailed and is a Million cheaper. Boly falls foul of my early season rule and is pushed down the pecking order.

GOMES 32.2 PPMR (LIV), The exception to the rule, given the embarrassment of riches at Anfield in defence and combined with the need to not waste a Liverpool slot I will pass.

WAN BISSAKA 25.3 PPMR / MACGUIRE 23.4 PPMR (Man U) Both in Ole’s bad books for summer misdemeanors abroad and given I don’t particularly trust DDG in goal (if it was Henderson I may think differently) and that I may want to go triple up on the MNU attack at some stage its a no from me.

Other worthy mentions

Chilwell (Che) 23.4PPMR Injured for now but perhaps one to watch and offers far more value than Thiago Silva for FPL in my opinion.

Soyuncu (Lei) 17.0 PPMR Would rather pay 0.5m more for a fit Pereira in the future or 0.5m less for Justin as of now. Leicester seem weak in defence till the return of Jonny Evans who is suspended until GW4.

Cancelo (Man City) 12.1 PPMR Blanking in GW1 but can play both sides so may get more time than most on Pep’s spinning roulette wheel of fate for FPL managers. Currently rotating at 53% which destroys him from my point of view.

Tierney (Ars)21.5 PPMR Whilst Arsenal have two really nice fixtures to start they then quickly run into a fairly tough period. This combined with Arsenal’s pretty horrendous defensive stats in project restart turns me off at this stage.

So to conclude this section I don’t expect I will own any 5.5 Million assets at the start of the season and possibly until popping my wildcard.

6.0 – 7.5 M

Liverpool from an FPL point of view have an embarrassment of riches, I have seen drafts of double or triple Liverpool defence, Kudos for those on the treble as I’m not brave enough.

Van Dijk 6.5 M 33.9 PPMR , Robertson 7.0 M 28.9 PPMR , A-Arnold 7.5 M 28.9 PPMR

I genuinely think Chelsea and Arsenal can score against Liverpool in GW2 and GW3. However; if you strip away the clean sheets and play the long game (as you must with these assets), treating clean sheets as +4 bonuses, then TAA and Robertson for assist potential would be my choice if doubling up over either of them and VVD, even at extra cost. In Isolation FOMO (fear of missing out) pushes me to select TAA but it is noteworthy that Robertson is quite lowly owned and had a good Charity Shield too. WELCOME SIR TRENT ALEXANDER OF ARNOLD

Doherty (TOT) 6.0 M. Topping both Robertson and TAA for PPMR for GW1-10 at 31.8, If he was at Wolves it would be a no-brainer – he would be straight in to my team. Moving to Spurs has just tempered my appetite a little but he is still in serious consideration to upgrade Dier (or even double up) given Spurs fixtures and the potential link up with Harry Kane.

Digne (EVE) 6.0 M, was really off colour post lock-down despite being nailed in the side (PPMR 22.6) and has not shown his old FPL form and as a result despite having great fixtures GW 2-4 is not one for me when you compare other available options.

Laporte (MAN C) 6.0 M No fixture in GW1 and Pep roulette in play which hurts his PPMR at 24.4 and therefore until I understand how the Ake situation will play out given they are both left footed I remain concerned. For this reason I will not bench him in GW1 in preparation for GW2 with Man City attack far more appealing (particularly that Leicester fixture in GW3)

So to conclude, and as it stands The Brothers Grimsby will set up as follows with 4 out of 5 places fairly locked in. The possible changes, at time of writing, are Justin to another 4.5 M or Justin to Robertson or Doherty which will be requiring sacrifices elsewhere.

Next up, MIdfielders in a couple of days… stay tuned

Chris Turner aka FPL MARINER

FPL Season 20/21 Team Selection – Shom Biswas

You’ve already met Chase Blocker and Gabriel Penaloza in our last video but this time we are glad to present Shom Biswas aka BaganboyFPL along with them in this presentation.

Shom has finished in the TOP OR250 twice and has had 6 top 10K & 8 Top 20K finishes. Having been on the Global GFCT chat with us for over a year I can personally guarantee that I never spoken with someone who is so kind to share their thought process and be as helpful as he is to someone like myself.

He defends his 5 at the back strategy to Chase on this video and it ends up being a very interesting conversation on how one can shift team structure and use price points to your advantage. Enjoy!

As always please go ahead and subscribe to Blocc FPL’s youtube channel so that you do not miss any of our GFCT videos when released:

Twitter handles of our guests today:

Shom Biswas aka BaganboyFPL

Chase Blocker

Gabriel Penaloza

FPLMariner Musings : Goalkeepers

Last season, apart from the 3 GW’s around my Wildcard and subsequent Bench Boost when I owned Dean Henderson, Nick Pope was present in my team so it is hardly surprising that I am again looking for that hidden gem at the 4.5 or 5.0 M value.

Using my data which all of you would have seen on Twitter by now and with my aim not to spend more than 9.0 Million (5.0/4.0 or 4.5/4.5), I’ve created a short list based on extrapolating last seasons points from minutes played and then factoring in rotation post the lockdown. This gave me the following list of options:

Goalkeepers of Interest

I also have a rule that the Goalkeeper shall be the cheapest playing option when considering the defence and should definitely be the first choice keeper. So we have four options that stand out for us to discuss:

McCarthy (SOU) – Started all but one match after the restart and now according to correspondents appears nailed between the sticks. I have therefore adjusted his rotation risk to zero giving him a PPMR of 31.4 which suggests a return over the season of 141 Points based on last years data.

Post lockdown Southampton only conceded 8 goals in 9 matches and were particularly strong away from home. This may be a sign of things to come given that they have also strengthened their defence signing left back Kyle Walker Peters from Spurs and Centre back Mohammed Salisu from Real Valladolid.

Southampton early season fixtures are somewhat favourable which suggests possibly enhanced PPM returns between GW 1 – 10 and i predict a good season for the Saints stopper with improved returns. SHORTLISTED

Ryan (BHA) – Was ever present in 2019/20 with no competition as such producing 135 points at 30.0 PPMR and making 117 saves in the process.

Clearly a great shot stopper, and he needs to be given how leaky their defence have been particularly during project restart. Brighton however now have Ben White back from Leeds and have been buoyed by Lewis Dunk signing a new long term contract which might provide for some upside to 2019/20.

Another factor in Ryan’s favour is that Brighton are also not very prolific going forwards so he may get more bonus points (14 BPS in 2019), if or when they keep a clean sheet. SHORTLISTED

Fabianski – (WHU) He doesn’t need any introduction to FPL players. 2019/20 Season was one to forget due to an injury with him only returning 83 Points (26.8 PPMR) given he was missing 38% of the season. However, he was present post lockdown and if we project his points over the season he would have scored 133 points.

David Moyes is not known for his expansive football and his teams are often hard to break down but to me however he is 0.5 Million a tad too expensive. REJECTED

Ramsdale (SHU) – Managed a very respectable 126 Points or 25.1 PPMR for a very poor Bournemouth side last season and has now moved to what was a very solid defensive unit at Sheffield United. It remains to be seen how much they will miss Dean Henderson but it would be fair to assume that there is some upside for Ramsdale over last season despite what some of the bookies say in that they will struggle (this also shows on Ben Crellin’s fixture difficulty sheet which i have used). A hint of his bonus point potential is also in his 2019/20 statistics where he achieved 13 BPS. I expect this season will be no different given the blades blunt attack (at time of writing) so i will estimate 150 points, or 30.0 PPMR. SHORTLISTED

So we now have our shortlist of Goalkeepers:

Goalkeeper Shortlist

We also have the potential returns for 1,3,5 & 10 weeks and between GW2-5 and 6-10?

Potential returns

So on the basis of the PPM value, rotation and factoring in the fixture difficulty I predict basis value and projected returns that provided McCarthy (SOU) can hold his place in the team he should return 32.1 PPMR in the first 10 weeks which should provide for 38 points. Given the other factors he therefore shades it for me over Ryan (BHA) and a more expensive and adjusted Ramsdale (SHU).

As for my bench keeper, if I go for a 4.0 keeper I will not go for one who may start and lose his place, eg. Nyland (AVL) who despite being 18.7% owned has initial competition from Steer and then Heaton waiting in the wings. My thinking behind this is he will be potentially quite highly owned and people will jump off resulting in a rapid price drop. My choice would therefore be Peacock-Farrell of Burnley who is the No.2 behind Pope, currently 1.6% owned

BUT…. There’s always a but right?!

For the first time in three seasons and due to COVID19, rather than simply rotating (which I am not generally in favour of) and the spectre of possible last minute postponements I am tempted at the time of writing this to go with 2 x 4.5 GK’s and rotate between them. If this is the case, Ryan will definitely be my substitute keeper. This really would be a last minute decision based on the number of cases in the country and also whether I need another 0.5 million elsewhere.

And what do the Twitter Community think?

Well in short, three quarters of the twitter-sphere do not like the idea (or headache) of rotating (& selection of) keepers and by default given the question also see more value in hoping for the best with COVID issues rather than planning for the worst..

Interestingly less than 10 percent of the community are considering a 5.0 / 4.0 rotation strategy and only 2 percent are considering a 5.5 million + keeper, preferring to spread these funds into value picks across the pitch.

So as it stands, my draft is still set on the tried and tested 4.5/4.0 strategy but let’s see what the news headlines are like in a weeks time.

Next up, Defenders in a couple of days… stay tuned!

Chris Turner aka FPL MARINER

FPL Season 20/21 Team Selection – Dhillon’s 11

As a financial market participant I have seen various types of participants who have been successful. Each had their own method to the madness. Some were Technical Analysts, some were Fundamental Analysts and some simply read the screen for price action. Everyone thought that their method was the best, not realising that it was not the method itself but the process of sticking to that method in the face of adversity and over long periods of time which helped them gets the odds in their favour.

A lot like our own FPL managers, some who look only at data such as xG & xA, some that trust their eye test and some who like to form over fixtures, some who like fixtures over form etc.

In each case the participants/risk takers have been humbled several times and despite that have been able to be consistent winners by embracing a process which they stick to no matter what because they know that outcomes cannot be accurately predicted but we can make the odds favourable by doing the right things over and over again.

This my friends is my first post on this blog sharing with you the process I am looking to imbibe and hopefully I will stick with this season. While I think I understand the sport well, I can make good decisions and see value picks ahead of time, it was the lack of process that saw my rank tank from 80K to 250K in the restart last season. That was a humbling process but I learnt a lot in that failure and I cannot wait for the new season to start so that I can have another go at achieving a fantastic rank!

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth – Mike Tyson

Basically stating that no matter the context, what they’re all saying is that your first plan is probably wrong. While it is the best starting point you have right now, you must revise it often based on real life feedback.

So let’s get straight into it! I recently read the book “The Expected Goals Philosophy” by James Tippet. I can’t recommend the book highly enough and I feel it has helped build my confidence significantly while looking at the stats. It has also helped me understand that how one looks at the Team statistics is different from how one should look at the Player statistics. While Players can continue to outperform their stats from the short to medium term it is extremely rare for a Team as a whole to do so. The Team will eventually revert to the underlying statistics while a player who outperforms his data is considered to be an elite finisher.

So what did I learn from the Team statistics of last season?

TEAM ATTACKING DATA FOR SEASON 19/20

The table shows that City is miles ahead of any other team when it comes to their attack. Liverpool outperformed their attacking stats and while we could see a reversion they are still expected to score a lot of goals as they continued to create a lot of Big Chances.

If you look at the difference between the expected data and the actual conversion then its clear to see that Everton, Brighton, Burnley & Sheffield are very wasteful and could easily have had a lot more goals considering the Big Chances Created.

On the other hand Spurs & Arsenal significantly outscored their BCC and their expected goals and assist data showing that they could see a sharp reversion if they do not improve their attacking game play.

We can also see that most teams scored between 40 to 60 goals in this season. Its the teams that crossed the 60 barrier which are the teams that we would like to be involved with while choosing our attacking assets.

TEAM DEFENSIVE DATA 19/20

The defensive data (sorted by big chances conceded) shows that Wolves are a very difficult team to score easily against. In fact Liverpool, Burnley, Sheffield all who’s assets seemed like excellent FPL assets actually gave a lot more Big Chances to their opponents.

Chelsea massively underperformed their defensive data and conceded a lot more goals than they should have. On the other hand Arsenal & Sheffield massively outperformed their defensive data and could have conceded a lot more goals than they actually did. Spurs gave very few Big Chances but also managed to keep just 7 clean sheets.

We can also see that even the worse defensive teams get around 7 to 9 Clean sheets a season. So the real advantage only comes in when our defensive assets start to accumulate more than 10 CS’s plus attacking returns.

Strategy:

Now that we have an idea about how teams performed with regards to their underlying statistics we can have a look at the upcoming fixtures:

PERSONALLY CREATED FDR FOR SEASON 20/21

The first Wildcard is expected to be used by GW16 latest hence after looking at the FDR’s I’ve only looked up till GW16. Further when we break the FDR in batches of 8 GW’s then we can see a very large swing in FDR rating changes for teams as well from GW9. For example City, Leeds, SHU all have much better fixtures from GW9 to 16 as against Spurs, Fulham and SOU who’s fixtures deteriorate significantly as compared to the starting 8 GW’s.

I have used a couple of FDR’s and added my own tweaks to come up with these ratings. (Please use your own for your analysis)

I have further shortlisted the teams from which I would want to build my opening GW team from using the article – “Season Review by FPL Poker Player” that was released yesterday on our blog. If you haven’t already read it please do so after finishing this article. It’s a must read!

I have kept FPL Poker’s conclusions in mind regarding the last 8 GW’s and the positive xG difference for teams both home & away. To that I have added my own observations from the above table for teams throughout the seasons. This has helped me shortlist the following teams to choose players from minus the GK & place holders for now. These are MCI, LIV, WOL, MUN, EVE & CHE.

The reason I will initially stay away from EVE & CHE assets are that Chelsea have too many new assets and I feel it warrants merit for my conservative start of play to watch them in action, understand Lampard’s rotation process and then bring in a few assets as their fixtures improve dramatically from GW9. With 5 subs expected again this season we should get to see all the assets get decent minutes for us to make a much more informed decision. Everton have simply been poor. Very wasteful in attack and underperformed in defence as well. And while I am very optimistic with them getting reinforcements in their midfield, them being well priced assets and Ancelotti at the helm, I’m going to see how they gel in the first 8 GW’s before making a decision.

I am currently looking to build a squad that will play till GW 8 atleast. I am not looking to use my WC early currently.

Formation & Price points:

I will be making sure that I have as many price points covered so that I can easily switch players in case of injury or covid postponements.

I have chosen to go with a 4-4-2 formation which I can change to a 3-5-2 formation when a few value picks evolve. At the moment keeping in mind the team and player stats I am only happy with a 4-4-2 structure that will evolve and finally be where I want it to be by GW4.

GOALKEEPER:

With the premium picks all very expensive this year I have decided to go with a 4.5 mln Keeper. There is not much between them as far as the data goes as one can see:

GOALKEEPERS PER 90 TABLE

McCarthy has less saves than Ryan per 90 but faces less shots even in the box. Ramsdale is now at 5 mln but its tough to decide looking at his CS’s per 90 whether SHU will be able to be the defensive mammoth it was with Henderson.

Keeping this decision simple I’ve decided to go with Ryan & Button because if there is an injury Button can come on without me having to waste a transfer. With Ryan having consistently averaged around 3.55 points over the years I would expect a target of around 135/140 points for the season. I will have a relook on my WC.

DEFENSE:

DEFENDERS DATA AND PER 90 MIN POINTS RETURN FOR 19/20

While Doherty and Robertson are right up there with Trent and Van Dijk, I’ve decided to see how Doherty settles in with Spurs first. If he continues to be as offensive as he was with Wolves, there is no doubt that come GW9 he will be in my team. The fact that Spurs has not been good defensively is also putting me off for the moment. Robertson is as good as TAA as far as I am concerned but I’ve gone with TAA because he is the more expensive option. In case he gets injured it will be easy for me to move to Robbo rather than the other way around.

Saiss & Vinagre are my way into the Wolves defense and it helps me maintain my price points. They have fantastic fixtures till GW8 which will give me time to scout the other teams. I do not expect the departure of Doherty to affect their defense and till Boly remains healthy I continue to believe that they will remain rock solid in defense.

Mitchell is a place holder for Ferguson of CRY. I expect Ferguson to play regularly once fit.

DHILLON’S 11 DEFENSIVE LINEUP GW1

MIDFIELD:

MIDFIELDER DATA PER 90 MINS FOR SEASON 19/20

The above table is sorted by Goals per 90 but by expected attacking returns Salah is clearly far ahead of the others. While my eye test states that Mane is the type of player I will enjoy watching due to his finishing but Salah is the consistent point scorer for three years in a row and with him being the leader in the Big Chances per 90 he should do well. Aubameyang as a midfielder now should do really well and with his great first two fixtures he is the place holder for KDB to join the team in GW3. KDB’s Assist per 90 and chances created is so far ahead of anyone else in the league its impossible to ignore him. He is also one of the only players that does consistently well no matter who the opponent is. Unlike other premium assets who rack up the big scores mostly against the weaker teams.

Greenwood can make a stats person scratch their head due to his lack of big chances and xG levels but his xGI Delta (G+A – Goal Involvement) is the highest amongst the midfielders. He passes the eye test with ease but unlike other players that I like he has not returned both on the goal and the assist front. This is something I will have to remain watchful off. However, at his price and his points per match return of 8+ it’s impossible for me to ignore him. JWP is a place holder with 5 goals and 3 assists last season. He is on set pieces and penalties & I am comfortable holding him till GW4 when Foden will be taking his place. Foden is my punt at the start of the season. He really impressed me during the restart and with 5 subs allowed again I expect him to get game time. I might have to suffer a few sub points but at his price point if he does settle in well he should be great value in a team that scores for fun.

DHILLON’S 11 MIDFIELD LINEUP GW1

FORWARDS:

FORWARDS PER 90 MINS STATISTICS FOR SEASON 19/20

In the above table you can see the 4 strikers I have zeroed down to for consideration. The list is sorted by Assists. Its a surprising factor which most managers might not look at but knowing myself I would like to have a striker that can get some kind of attacking return even if he doesn’t score a goal himself. It keep the returns ticking and its easier for me to remain patient.

Jimenez takes an aweful lots of shots but has a poorer strike rate than the others but with his expected attacking returns topping the table he is the first one that will be in my team. Martial and Ings both pass the the eye test very well but Ings will only be the place holder till my first transfer for Martial in GW2. Martial gets nod for the second spot as he is a part of a team that scores a lot of goals and I do not see that changing any time soon. He also contributes via assists which Ings does not do much of.

DHILLON’S 11 FORWARDS LINEUP GW1

THE FINAL LINEUPS:

Greenwood will be on the bench for GW1 and in his place we will have Bissouma (BHA) facing Chelsea.

GW2 Transfer will be Ings to Martial

GW3 Transfer will be Aubameyang to KDB

GW4 Transfer will be JWP to Foden

GW1 TEAM WITH GREENWOOD ON THE BENCH

GW4 TEAM INTENDED TO BE KEPT FORWARD

I recently read an article by lukejerdy on FFHUB titled – “Picking my FPL team the Maths approach.” Its a fascinating read & I highly recommend it!

Anyway long story short he stated that the winner last year won with a whopping average point score of 67.76 points!

Yes, you read that correctly and just for the fun of it I have taken the average scores for various players from the same article to see where I stand if I were to use those averages and set and forget my team which I intend on having in GW4 onwards. Here’s the result:

Thats a whopping 71.18 points on average per week!

Not bad haha…

Thank you for reading till here and as a manager dedicated to improving and learning I look forward to your constructive feedback on my team.

I intend on keeping this team minus any injury or covid postponement.

I wish all of you all the best this season and I will look to publish my next season review in the break between GW8 & GW9 where we can together study the updated stats for teams and players alike.

Regards,

Ajit Dhillon.

Credit: Data has been used from FFScout & FFHub

2019-20 season review of my spreadsheet’s rolling 8GW data

During the course of last season, I established that an 8 gameweek data was optimal for my spreadsheets.  From GW17 onwards, my spreadsheet’s better than bookies odds predictions were based on each team’s last 8 home or away games, whichever was relevant for the upcoming gameweek.

Recently, I found myself wondering to what extent teams’ attack and defence strength ratios fluctuated throughout the season.  And I wondered if looking more closely at how these values changed would reveal which teams showed the most improvement post lockdown.

So I coloured each team’s best to worst 8 game sequences on a scale of blue to red, and was pleased to discover it was easy to see where in the season each team’s best and worst xG form was from the start of the season to the finish (left to right).  In the end column I highlighted in blue the teams that performed to their best levels in terms of xG during the run in.  The table below is how it looked for xG expected to be scored at home vs an average defence.Rolling xG HDisregarding relegated BOU, this table suggests ARS BUR CHE LEI and SOU finished the season strongly in terms of attacking threat at home, but it is important to understand that the blue to red scale was applied to each team separately.  The table below is the same as above, but with the same scale applied to all teams relative to each other.  Now we see that we should not perhaps be getting too carried away with the attacking strength of ARS and SOU at home just yet.Relative xG H

xG H rankingsNext I ranked each team according to their highest, lowest and average (mean) ratios. The table to the right shows these rankings for xG expected at home.

As can be seen, CHE were a force to be reckoned with at home. Their best 8 gameweek attacking spell at Stamford Bridge was bettered only by MCI, whilst on the defensive side of things (see table below), the xG they conceded in their closing 8 home games ranked as the best 8GW sequence recorded by any team last season. Away from Stamford Bridge they ranked only 5th and 10th best respectively.

WOL ranked 4th best in terms of their xG ceiling at home, but drop to 8th place with regards to their xG floor. This does not account for why they finished behind TOT in the league, however, as they bettered Spurs in every category (highest/best, mean, lowest/worst) for xG scored and conceded both Home and Away.xGC H rankings

CRY were a top 8 side for keeping things tight at home (see left), but this might be a euphemistic way of describing their lack of attacking threat at Selhurst Park, which ranked 2nd worst across all 3 categories (see above).

Surprisingly, BUR‘s best attacking spell at home, during the second half of the season, ranked 6th highest in the division (see above), but appears to have come at the expense of the defensive side of their game. Certainly, they consistently conceded less xG in the first half of the season (see below).

Rolling xGC H - BUR

LEI‘s game appears better suited to playing away from home. The Foxes’ best 8 gameweek attacking spell on the road ranked 2nd best in the league, and the xG they conceded during their worst sequence of away games was comparably better than any other team managed.  On average, they had the 3rd best away attack and 4th best away defence (see below), whereas at home these only ranked 13th and 9th best.xG & xGC A rankingsThe overlapping between different teams’ highest, average and lowest ratios can be better visualised in the following charts.  First off, here’s the 8GW sequences of xG at home.  The number on the Y axis represents the number of xG that teams would be expected to score vs an average defence.Home ATTACKAnd here’s the 8GW sequences of xG expected to be conceded at home vs an average attack.Home DEFENCEAnother piece of information conducting this exercise provided me with was the difference between the average number of xG teams would be expected to score and concede vs average opposition.

Strangely, only 7 teams had a positive average xG difference at Home. In descending order these were MCI LIV CHE MUN WOL SHU and EVE.  Counterintuitively, 9 teams had a positive average xG difference playing Away.  These were MCI LIV LEI WOL EVE MUN SOU CHE and ARS.

Of the teams above, only LIV and SHU were not amongst the teams highlighted as having strong finishes to the season in terms of attack and/or defence at home and/or away.  The inclusion of EVE in the ranks of strongest finishers (Away defence) is the biggest surprise here, but can probably be explained by the fact that half of their last 8 away games came before lockdown.  If EVE can recover their pre-lockdown form, however, their defenders might represent good value if FPL Towers base their price points on the poor form shown after the Restart.

Hopefully, the insights gained from this exercise, combined with an accurate assessment of the difficulty of fixtures faced by teams at the start of the 2020-21 season, can give us a flying start.

Good luck, everyone!

Coley aka FPL Poker Player

 

Team Selection – Gabriel Penaloza

From time to time this season we will have members of the GFCT Core Research Team discussing their team selection with Chase on his youtube channel Blocc FPL.

Our first video has Gabriel discussing his team selection with Chase. In this video he discusses what stats he uses in his selection process, his methodology and his punt at the start of the season. Chase tries to help him find any unforeseen problems the team might have and it ends up being a must watch discussion! Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed that discussion and you can follow and subscribe to the channel and put on the notifications so you do not miss any of his Chase’s personal updates or the GFCT updates as well.

Please leave your questions below and we will try and reply as soon as possible!

Core Research Members in the video:

Gabriel Penaloza

Chase Blocker

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