In this review series, the brilliant AbuBakar shares his data-driven observations and FPL Blank Gameweek 33 tips to help us make decisions for the upcoming Gameweeks.
The Review: Gameweek 32
Greetings everyone, welcome to my latest article where I discuss the upcoming gameweek and the gameweek gone by at length:
Q: In this section, I share my thoughts on how to navigate the upcoming double and blank Gameweek.
Firstly, I’d like to state that I base my assumptions regarding the fixture scheduling on the analysis of my friend Ben Crellin who expects there to be a 70% chance of the fixtures happening as expected.
I'm about 70% sure that this will be the schedule.
If you want to bring in a player in GW33 who will definitely have a Double GW soon then your options are limited: Villa, Everton, Palace and Saints https://t.co/G0R0FCDr6f
— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) April 21, 2021
Whether or not to hold Kane or Son is a very popular question this Gameweek. What is important to note here is that even though Spurs have a blank this Gameweek, they have one of the most favourable fixture run-ins leading into the end of the season (SHU lee WOL AVL). Holding Kane is a no brainer I believe. Spurs play Sheffield United at home in Gameweek 34, a week in which Man United play Liverpool. Whether or not to hold Son is slightly more trickier and team dependent. In my personal opinion, I hold the likes of Trent, Salah, Bruno and Kane in a level above Son when it comes to the pecking order so if you can afford to fit all of them in your team, then holding Son for the run-in is the sensible option. If not, I’d sell Son to prioritise the other four.
Leicester, Man United and Everton are the teams I like the most heading into double Gameweek 35 – Leicester because they have a very favourable run-in prior to the double and Man United because they have a great run in after the double so both have good fixtures long term. Everton meanwhile, have the additional added benefit of being one of the teams who will not blank in Gameweek 36. Even though Everton are likely to face tricky away trips to West Ham and Aston Villa in the double, it is the home fixture against Sheffield United immediately after the double which stands out.
When to Free Hit depends on the structure of your team but in my opinion, Free Hitting in a blank Gameweek is likely to be more powerful than Free Hitting in double Gameweek 35. I say that because most FPL managers are likely to own the Man United and Leicester assets in the double Gameweek anyway. Ideally, you’d want to use the Free Hit when carnage will be at its maximum, which is likely to be the case in the blank immediately after the double.
Q: Who is the best Lacazette replacement?
My first pick here will be Kelechi Iheanacho. He added to his tally with yet another goal vs West Brom and truth be told he could have had many more. Over the past four matches, Iheanacho is joint tied with Kane and Calvert Lewin for big chances and has form behind him. He should be a no-brainer. In case you already own him and are in the market for a Lacazette replacement, I’d go with Calvert Lewin due to his numbers and the fixture scheduling for Everton.
Q: What to do with Edouard Mendy?
Kepa Arrizabalaga has kept a clean sheet in all of his five starts under Tuchel so the concerns of Mendy’s owners regarding the security of his starts are valid. Tuchel was very appreciative of Kepa and his professionalism post game too which further casts doubts on Mendy. I don’t claim to be a Chelsea expert but I base my analysis on the work of two renowned journalists covering Chelsea – Nizaar Kinsella from Goal and Sam Inkersole from Football London. Both expect Mendy to start this week. I think it’s best for FPL managers to ride out the storm this week before choosing to jump ship.
Q: In this section, I talk about Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood.
Greenwood v Fernandes (last 4 matches)
Mins per shot in box: 19.2 v 89.75
Mins per big chance: 72 v 119.6
Mins per big chance created: 96 v 179.5
I run this comparison on popular demand – even though I strongly believe when it comes to the duo that it should be a case of both rather than a case of either/or! Greenwood’s numbers over the previous four games are nothing short of exemplary – he is best among all players in the league for shots in the box and second among midfielders for big chances. What also stands out is the number of penalty area touches he is accumulating. Over the past four games, Greenwood is averaging seven penalty area touches per game. At no stage this season has Greenwood recorded such good numbers. He has historically been a huge overperformer in terms of his xG as he is an extremely clinical finisher – now that he is getting the volume of chances as well, I expect the FPL points to flow!
Bruno, meanwhile, is coming on the back of five blanks in his previous seven appearances. His numbers are still decent though. Even though Bruno has registered just the one attacking return in his previous four matches, he has recorded five big chance involvements during this spell. I expect the points to come sooner rather than later. Leeds at home won’t be a walkover though – their defensive stats at Elland Road have been decent. To put things into context, Leeds have conceded fewer big chances at home than the likes of Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool this season.
Q: In this section, I cover Luke Shaw.
No player created more chances than Luke Shaw (6) this Gameweek so he was highly unfortunate not to come up with more returns against Burnley. Shaw’s numbers for chance creation have been consistent for a while but what also stands out for me is that he is practically playing as a left winger – no defender has registered more touches in the final third than Shaw since Gameweek 26. What’s often frustrating with Shaw is Man United’s inability to keep a clean sheet against weaker opposition – 50% of United’s clean sheets in the leagues have come against the big six. Leeds were top for big chances (6) among all teams this Gameweek and that too against Liverpool so I fancy them to score at least one against Man United – but Shaw’s upside is such that he is simply un-benchable.
Q: In this section, I’d like to highlight the improvement in Trent’s numbers.
Trent GW 26-32 v Trent GW 1-25
Mins per chance created: 29 v 52.4
Mins per big chance created: 110.8 v 323
Mins per xGi: 270.2 v 357.7
Trent’s numbers even when compared to his earlier season averages have gotten far better. Perhaps it’s the Euros to play for which has led to extra motivation in recent times. Since Gameweek 26, Trent has created the highest number of chances and the second highest number of big chances among all outfielders in the league which further highlights his explosive potential. It is no surprise to me that the number of chances Liverpool have been creating down their right (29) since Gameweek 26 is almost 61% more than the chances they have created down their left (16). It is these creative stats which have meant that Trent has accumulated a remarkable 12 bonus points in his previous four starts combined! NEW SOU wba bur CRY is what Trent’s fixtures read like till the end of the season – more points are coming!
Q: In this section, I talk about James Maddison.
CRY sou NEW+mun is potentially a great run of fixtures heading into the double so I can see why you would be tempted. I’d like to base my analysis here on Maddison’s role in Leicester’s 3-4-1-2 formation where he’s playing behind the two strikers. Maddison created four chances, but more importantly, registered no big chance involvements nor shots in the box. Vardy and Iheanacho are the ones most likely to return in this formation, as can be seen in their big chance involvements. I can see Maddison ticking along with a steady stream of points, in a similar fashion to someone like a Mason Mount. I highly doubt he’ll explode though.
Q: In this section, I’d like to highlight the drop in Gündoğan’s numbers.
Gündoğan GW 13-24 v Gündoğan GW 25-32
Mins per chance created: 43 v 54
Mins per shot in the box: 41 v 98
Mins per big chance: 82 v 489
Mins per xGi: 113 v 276
Needless for me to say after the analytical comparison you’ve read that Gündoğan’s numbers have fallen off a cliff. In seven appearances from Gameweek 25 onwards, he has recorded just seven shots inside the box and one big chance. With a variety of mid-priced midfielders available at our disposal, I think it is time to sell – particularly when you factor in the rotation threat looming over Gündoğan with City advancing to the Champions League’s semis. De Bruyne’s injury would further encourage Pep to protect Gündoğan which makes it all the more worse.
Q: In this section, I analyse the Wolves defence.
I run a comparison to shed some light on Wolves’ improvement in the defensive department:
Wolves defence season averages v last four matches
Big chances conceded per game: 1.85 v 1.5
Average xG conceded per game: 1.31 v 0.86
It is interesting to note that Wolves’ numbers have started improving since a switch to the tried and tested three at the back – a formation which they have played over a significant majority of their past four matches. They now stand among the top five defences in the league in terms of big chances and xG conceded over the past four matches. Fixtures have helped too and wildcarders who jumped on Wolves defence can hope for further points to come as BUR and wba await. For people without a wildcard I believe the boat has sailed, as their fixtures get significantly tougher heading into the back end of the season (tot eve MUN).
Q: In this section, I roll the scanner over Leandro Trossard and Danny Welbeck.
A team resigned to relegation with nothing to play for conceding over three big chances per game – I can see why FPL managers want to punt on a Brighton attacker this week. Stats wise though, the numbers for every Brighton attacker look grim and I guess you can attribute that to their recent fixtures which have been stiff to say the least. Over the past four matches, Trossard has had no big chance involvement while Welbeck has had two. Welbeck is also faring best among all Brighton attackers in terms of expected goal involvement – if I was to pick a Brighton attacker, he’d be my man.
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The Review: GW 32 – A thread
— AbuBakar Siddiq (@BigManBakar) April 22, 2021
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