In this edition of Breaking the Fantasy Premier Leaue Template, @Hibbo_FPL examines the FPL options of Spurs following the appointment Antonio Conte ahead of their favourable run of fixtures.
This article will provide FPL tips to help managers break the template and achieve that desired top 10k finish. All data used is courtesy of the Hub’s OPTA Stats tool.
The Data: Breaking The FPL Template Gameweek 11
Lasting just ten Premier League games, Nuno Espirito Santo was relieved of his duties following the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United. The Portuguese started his tenure with three wins, including an opening day victory over Manchester City, and manager of the month for August.
Spurs suffered a sharp downturn in performance and tasted defeat in five of their next seven league matches, conceding three goals on four separate occasions. The underlying numbers made for abysmal reading. Spurs ranked joint-worst for shots (103) and fourth-worst for shots conceded in the box (97).
Despite ranking ninth-best this term for successful final third passes (836), Spurs struggled with their final ball. They ranked second-worst for key passes (70). Notably, only Norwich have scored fewer goals in the league than Spurs who have notched a mere nine times.
Antonio Conte: Breaking The FPL Template Gameweek 11
The appointment of combustible authoritarian Antonio Conte represents a significant coup for Spurs’, who struggled to fill the position following Mourinho’s exit. The Italian arrives with an exemplary managerial record as a four-time Scudetto winner and Premier League champion from his time at Chelsea.
Tactically astute and an expert man-manager, Conte is expected to deploy a three-man defensive system with wing-backs and twin-strikers. In transition, Conte’s formation morphs into a 4-2-4 with the wing-backs in the system playing high as part of a four-man attack.
The Fixtures: Breaking The FPL Template Gameweek 11
Spurs rank second on Hub’s fixture ticker over the next six and the immediate visit to out-of-sorts Everton could kick-start Conte’s reign. Over the last four, Everton have failed to register a clean sheet, ranking worst for big chances conceded (15) and second-worst for expected goals conceded (8.7).
Spurs then host Leeds United who rank joint-worst for shots conceded (158) and second-worst for shots on target conceded (55). In Gameweek 13, Spurs travel to face Burnley who this term rank worst for shots conceded in the box (105) and fourth-worst for shots on target conceded (50).
Brentford have adjusted to Premier League life and will provide a sterner test. They rank third-best in the division for expected goals conceded (11.8). However, Norwich have been abysmal, ranking worst this term for shots on target conceded (59) and goals conceded (25).
The Attack: Breaking The FPL Template Gameweek 11
Harry Kane (£12.1m) has cut a disconsolate figure this season after Daniel Levy scuppered Manchester City’s summer efforts to sign him. Renowned for his volume shooting, England’s captain has been off-colour this term ranking amongst all players 28th for shots (19) and returning just one goal.
Kane’s data from last season reminds us of his potential. He was first amongst all players for shots (126), shots on target (53), and goals (23). Notably, no forward bettered Kane for key passes (49) and big chances created (15) underlining the high point-ceiling that FPL managers crave.
Heung-Min Son (£10.2m) has recorded double-digit hauls on three occasions this term, ranking joint-third amongst midfielders for FPL Points (53). Furthermore, the South Korean demonstrated premium-level production last term. He was joint-third for goal involvements (28) and fourth-best for FPL points (228).
The partnership of Kane and Son should complement Conte’s system. Kane will provide hold-up and creative link play and Son is a willing runner beyond. Conte has been quoted as saying that Kane is “the complete striker” and “it’s in the box where he’s clinical, I would always keep him here”.
During Conte’s recent Scudetto win at Inter, the Nerazzurri demonstrated an attacking style-of-play ranking second for goals (84) and expected goals (74.8). The goal involvements of Romelu Lukaku (35) and Lautaro Martinez (23) bode well for the production of the Spurs’ duo under Conte.
Given the price structure of our squads, the majority of FPL managers will own just one Spurs attacker and captaincy could be the tiebreaker. The recent status of Mohamed Salah (£12.9m) as “perma-captain” could make backing against the Egyptian difficult with possibly Norwich in Gameweek 15 the main opportunity to attack.
Opting for Heung-Min Son and spreading funds could be wise given the stand-out big-ticket defenders such as Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) and Reece James (£5.8m). However, the lack of premium striker slot to interchange based on form and fixtures is a negative with the fixtures for Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.4m) improving from Gameweek 16.
The Defence: Breaking The FPL Template Gameweek 11
Defensively, Inter’s performances under Conte suggest that Spurs will tighten up and the wing-backs in his 3-5-2 system could appeal in time. Impressively, the Nerazzurri ranked best in Serie A for goals conceded (34) and second-best for expected goals conceded (38.6).
If Conte deploys full-backs such as Sergio Reguilon (£5.0m), Emerson Royal (£4.9m), or Matt Doherty (£4.7m) at wing-back they could be of fantasy interest. However, Conte deployed specialist wing-back Achraf Hakimi and reverse out-of-position winger Ivan Perisic in these roles at Inter due to the desire to play high.
In terms of attacking output, this term Eric Dier (£4.5m) has produced the best-expected goal involvement (1.4) among defenders at the club. However, amongst all defenders, Dier ranks 20th for this metric. This shows how far Spurs’ defenders lag behind alternative options offensively in this position.
Expect Antonio Conte to dramatically improve Spurs in both attack and defence. However, given the lack of pre-season and new signings, this process could take time. While I expect a new-manager bounce given the ease of their immediate opposition, I prefer a watching brief against Everton to assess Conte’s league line-up.
Should Heung-Min Son partner Harry Kane as assumed in a front-two, I prefer the South Korean as a fantasy option given his more budget-friendly price point. Spurs’ options in defence are a wait-and-see for now given the plethora of big-ticket options among the divisions elite defences.
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