Double Gameweek 24 is almost upon us now, the time of year we have all been waiting for, even more anticipated than Christmas for Fantasy Premier League managers – the first Double Gameweek of the season. As you know, we have a Double Gameweek 24 with Liverpool and West Ham both playing twice.
As you can see from our fixture ticker it isn’t the best looking double Gameweek on paper for either team. West Ham face Leicester (a) and Liverpool (h), whereas Liverpool have a tough fixture at Wolves (a) and then travel to The London Stadium to face West Ham who have just started to pick up a bit of form under their new manager Moyes. Also, it does look like most will be going with at least three Liverpool assets. Fabianski would have been owned by quite a few but his untimely injury has put an end to that. The big question though which will no doubt be talked about for the next few weeks is which Liverpool trio to plump for – double midfield, or double defence. Let’s go through the pros and cons of both and also look at what chip to use in this double Gameweek also.
Midfield or Defence Double up in Gameweek 24?
Double midfield is basically Salah and Mane (can’t see any other Liverpool midfielders worth the investment) paired with a Liverpool defender which will most likely be TAA, or Robertson.
- Ownership wise you are covering the most selected with Mane and TAA, and at the same time covering yourself for any Salah hauls.
- You are saving yourself from picking the ‘wrong one’ from Salah and Mane and then kicking yourself and losing hours of sleep.
- Because of the price of the two not many will be able to afford them without taking hits and/or compromising other positions.
- It’s easy to move one of Salah or Mane along after the Double Gameweek if you wish and downgrade to any other midfielder in the game.
- Extremely expensive. Having both Salah (£12.3m) and Mane (£12.4m) adds up to £24.7m and throw in TAA (£7.5m) that’s a total of £32m+ which is over 1/3 of your budget. That’s a hell of an investment that will no doubt compromise another position or two in your team depending on your team value. (Some with really high TV will be able to get away with it but most will not)
- On the chance that Liverpool blank its two premium spots wasted.
- Arguably not value for money, as compared to the double defence.
If you are going down the double defence route in double Gameweek 24, then it’s either one of Salah or Mane and TAA and Robertson in my opinion. I think there attacking threat makes them more than worth the extra pounds over VVD and Gomez.
- A lot easier to fund a double defence and you can no doubt have a better overall squad. So value-wise its better.
- Liverpool’s recent run of six clean sheets in a row and also there defensive stats away from home (will talk in more detail about this later) make the double defence a much more attractive option. (stats wise)
- TAA and Robertson have more points than any similarly priced midfielder and can arguably provide as much, or more of a point ceiling than Salah and Mane.
- One goal conceded is worth at least eight points so even though TAA and Robertson have good attacking potential it’s still a factor.
- Arguably could cover the second Liverpool defender with a Leicester defender. Leicester still have the joint-most clean sheets (8) in the league and have a decent short term run of fixtures and overall until the end of the season is good too as they rank fourth-best according to our fixture ticker. It also depends on how you invest the money saved. PPG (points per game) so far, for example for Soyuncu has 3.9, Robertson 5.0 and TAA 5.6. You can use that extra £2m to make up the points elsewhere.
Liverpool defence and attack stats
Liverpool’s defensive stats are actually by far the best in the league. They indicate they have been unlucky not to have kept more clean sheets and it seems with their latest run of six on the bounce in all competitions (four in a row in the league) it’s reverting back to the mean. Let’s have a look at their numbers:
The Reds have the least Shots in the Box Conceded (In) – 120, the least Shots on Target Conceded (OT) – 55, the least Shots from Set-Pieces (SP) – 8 and also the least Big Chances Conceded (BC) – 29. They have now kept eight clean sheets in total which is the joint most in the league with the Blades and the Foxes.
Diving even deeper if we look at Liverpool’s away stats, they are even more impressive.
As you can see even with playing a game less they have kept the most clean sheets away (5), conceded the least goals – 5, least Shots in the Box (In) – 58, least Shots on Target (OT) – 23 and least Big Chances (BC) – 14. It’s not even close when you even compare to those close to them, broad daylight between them and the rest of the pack this season.
Now before you triple up on the Liverpool defence, the flipside is their attacking stats have been just as good.
They have the second most Shots on Target (OT) – 131, Shots in the Box (In) – 241, Big Chances (BC) – 67 and also total goals scored – 50, trailing only to Manchester City in all these metrics.
Even looking at the players individually on who to pick between Mane and Salah we can see both have excellent attacking stats. Salah does edge it though with more shots on target (OT) and shots in the box (In). Mane, on the other hand, has had more big chances (BC) and has been more clinical this season. Worth bearing in mind also Salah has played two games less than Mane.
This may seem like it is no help at all in terms of a definitive answer but the truth is there is no right or wrong answer. The main thing to look at is what is best for YOUR team. Who you are selling is just as important as who you are buying. Both avenues have their merits and can score well. The highest ‘Mane and Salah’ combined scored this season is 24 points (GW5) and the highest combined TAA and Robertson score is 31 points (GW19). Also, Salah and Mane’s highest combined two week score is 38 (GWs 4&5). Trent and Robertson’s is 45 (GWs 19&20). (Thanks to @FPLHeskibo for this info). Probably surprising to see that the ceiling is higher for the two defenders but on any given week it’s too close to call.
What also might come into play is where you are ranked and where you want to be ranked come GW38. Of course, if you are highly ranked you might want to play it safe with the highest ownership players when it comes to selecting and also captaining. If you want to play catch up you can go down the less popular route and player. Looking at the ownership totals below it will be a big help in deciding who you want to captain. Salah’s ownership in the top 10k is really low so if you are ranked say 500k or lower going into the Double Gameweek then you might want to bung it on him or Trent, or even Firmino! Although Trent Alexander Arnold has a 78% ownership in the top 10k I can’t imagine he will be captained anywhere near as much as Salah and Mane.
|Player||Total Ownership %||Ownership top10k %|
Ownership figures as of 13th January 2020.
Triple Captain in DGW24?
Many will be playing the TC chip in this double Gameweek 24 and with good reason. Firstly you have Liverpool the best team in the league with two of the biggest hitters (Mane and Salah) in the league. Also, the big double Gameweek will most likely be in GW37 and the Bench Boost will be best used then. Who to captain/triple captain? I think has to be either Salah or Mane but would not advise against captaining TAA also. When looking at the stats as I stated earlier Salah does edge it and the fact he now has penalties with Milner injured for the foreseeable, it makes sense to give the Egyptian armband.
Another reason why this is a good time to use the TC chip is the time between the double Gameweek fixtures. West Ham play their first fixture against Leicester on Wednesday the 22nd of January and Liverpool play their first game against Wolves on Thursday the 23rd of January. The second fixture is on Wednesday 29th of January so that means a full seven days rest for West Ham and six days for Liverpool. Therefore rotation will not be a factor, whereas for the majority of double Gameweeks it is as the fixtures are piled into the same week,
Now if you really want to go down a different route for the double Gameweek which has its merits you can plump for Firmino. He has one of the best stats away from home in the league and more importantly his away form is a lot better than both Mane and Salah so far this season.
The Brazilian has more Shots on target (OT), shots in the box (OT), big chances (BC) and has scored more goals – seven to Mane’s four and Salah’s one. With only a 9.6% overall ownership and 1.36% in the top 10k, he is the ultimate differential. In fact, it’s so enticing I am actually considering it myself. It’s hard not to get sucked into the social media and forums herd mentality who will no doubt be either double midfield or defence strictly. However, its opportunities like this which only present themselves a few times a season and if you fancy a punt this a calculated and merited one.
Don’t get double vision
One thing I would say in preparing for the Double Gameweek 24 is not to get too wrapped up in it. Yes prepare for it beforehand but remember there is still Gameweek 23 to go before it and also 14 Gameweeks left after it. Plan for the double but also for the long term.
If you want to stay on top of Double Gameweek 24 and any upcoming Double Gameweeks check out Ben Crelin’s Planner. It’s really all you need to navigate the doubles and blanks.
All the best folks!
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