In this team preview article @Hibbo_FPL assesses the merits of Tottenham Hotspurs’ fantasy options ahead of an enticing but tricky FPL Double Gameweek 26 against Burnley & Fulham.
Season So Far:
On 20th November 2019, Jose Mourinho was appointed as manager of Tottenham Hotspur who sat 14th in the Premier League following a dismal run of results. In his first season Mourinho guided Spurs to sixth place finishing on 59pts.
Spurs started the season in red hot form losing once in their opening twelves games. That purple patch saw Tottenham record seven wins, amongst them notable drubbings of Southampton and Manchester United. Victory over Manchester City even prompted talk of a title tilt for Mourinho’s men.
However, title talk was short lived with a run of five losses in their last six league games. Suggestions that Mourinho’s now infamous toxic third season had been fast tracked into his second term gained traction. Spurs rank third best on the Hub fixture ticker over the next five gameweeks when sorted by attack.
Tale of the Tape(s):
In terms of threat over the last six matches per game Spurs rank 15th for shots, 13th for shots on target, 19th for shots in the box, 19th for big chances, and 19th for xG.
Defensively over the last six matches per game the Lilywhites rank 9th for shots conceded, 16th for shots conceded in the box, and 9th for shots conceded on target, 17th for big chances conceded, 17th for xGC, and 14th for goals conceded.
The goal threat numbers are a manifestation of Spurs’ grim performances over the last six. However, for almost half this period Tottenham were without talisman Harry Kane (£11.1m). Furthermore, this period represented a difficult run of fixtures which saw Spurs play some of best and in-form sides in the division.
One clean sheet since Gameweek 18 does not inspire defensive investment. However, the concession of big chances has been largely self-inflicted through big game defensive errors. Furthermore, the loss of Sergio Regulion (£5.5m) from Gameweek 19 saw Spurs exposed on the left side particularly against Chelsea and Brighton.
Over the last six Burnley rank per game 15th for shots, 20th for shots on target, 15th for shots in the box, 12th for big chances, and 19th for xG. Per game defensively the Clarets rank 13th for shots conceded, 7th for attempts conceded in the box, 10th for shots on target conceded, 5th for big chances conceded, and 6th for xGC.
Burnley are unbeaten in their last four and have looked their old selves recently following a slow start. However, they failed the eye test last time out with West Bromwich Albion squandering a host of big chances (3). Spurs will represent a step up in class from recent matches against some of the worst in the division.
Over the last six Fulham rank per game 8th for shots, 10th for shots on target, 8th for shots in the box, 10th for big chances, and 10th for xG. In defence, over the last six the Cottagers rank per game third best for shots conceded, fifth best for shots conceded in the box, and third best for shots on target conceded, seventh best for big chances conceded, and fifth best for xGC.
Scott Parker’s side have given themselves a realistic chance of beating the drop by ranking eighth for form over the last six. The attacking triumvirate of Ademola Lookman (£5.0m), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (5.9m), and Josh Maja (£5.5m) has breathed new life into a previously toothless attack. Furthermore, the Cottagers look galvanised defensively with three clean sheets in their last six games.
Harry Kane tops the FPL forward point scoring rankings with 13 goals and 11 assists this Premier League season. A change in role whereby Kane combines goal scoring with playmaker duties has seen him return as a heavyweight FPL option capable of high ceiling hauls.
This trequartista like role ranks Kane top amongst forwards this season for key passes (33) and big chances created (12). Moreover, the Englishman ranks second amongst all players for bonus points (28) behind Double Gameweek 26 captaincy rival Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m).
Over their last six matches per game Kane has bettered Bruno for shots, shots inside the box, and big chances received. Furthermore, these numbers include 45 minutes against Liverpool when he limped off with a double ankle injury and a difficult fixture against Manchester City.
|Kane (F) TOT||82.50||3.50||1.17||2.00||0.67||0.41||1.50||0.33|
|Fernandes (M) MUN||90.00||3.33||1.33||1.17||0.33||0.43||2.50||0.83|
Kane returned from injury against the Baggies and the eye test confirmed elements of misfortune. The Englishman was unlucky not to haul against West Brom and smashed the stanchion with a free kick against Manchester City. Moreover, a combined 17 shots against West Ham and WBA demonstrated a greedier Kane who will relish the opportunity to cement his flat track bully status in this basement dweller double header.
Heung-Min Son (£9.5m) ranked second amongst all players for goals (12) up to Gameweek 18. However, the South Korean’s unerring accuracy belied his shot volume. Analysing Son’s per game underlying data shows that while shot volume is comparable his accuracy has decreased with more shots from range and a significant decrease in big chances.
|Son (M) TOT (GW 1-18)||1.88||1.12||1.35||0.53||1||37.5%||0.49||0.71|
|Son (M) TOT (GW 19-25)||1.86||0.86||0.86||1||0.29||7.7%||0.23||0.14|
Son’s early season form was unsustainable and a drop off in conversion (-29.8%) was inevitable. However, the South Korean’s downturn can also be attributed to tougher fixtures, the injury to strike partner Harry Kane, and the long term absence of Sergio Reguilon from the Lilywhite’s left side. The returning Reguilon saw Son take up a more advanced position against West Ham. An improved schedule and the returning creativity should see an uptick in big chances.
Sergio Reguilon has impressed since his arrival from Real Madrid bringing defensive solidity and creativity to the Tottenham left side. Prior to injury per appearance Reguilon ranked amongst defenders 10th for shots (0.92), 5th for big chances created (0.31), 6th for xA (0.16), and 7th for assists (0.23).
The Spaniard will have fond memories from his previous game against Fulham producing a sublime cross for Kane to head home. Furthermore, Reguilon wasted two great chances to score and had a goal chalked off for offside.
In conclusion, Tottenham Hotspur FPL options represent the classic case of fixtures versus form. Their underling numbers for both goal threat & defence make for shocking reading although there are caveats. My gut pick this week is Harry Kane to come out top in the captaincy head-to-head with Bruno Fernandes. Kane has produced solid numbers despite his injury and early return. Furthermore, he has opted out of Europa League action to focus on Premier League affairs.
Heung-Min Son’s underlying numbers early season were simply unsustainable however with Kane and Reguilon back behind him I feel he could go huge. Spurs defence is a do not touch zone given their propensity for errors and lack of clean sheets. Possibly buoyed by a resurgent Gareth Bale the Lilywhites will look to carry their impressive recent Europa league form into the bread and butter of the Premier League.
For those that have read, thank you. Keep an eye for more articles in the near future and good luck for the coming Gameweeks. Drop me a follow on Twitter @Hibbo_FPL.