FPL Gameweek 13 preview from veteran Fantasy Premier League manager BigManBakar.

He shares his data-driven observations to help us make effective decisions for Gameweek 13.

You can also watch the Gameweek 13 preview on YouTube:


Q: Who are the best Ben Chilwell replacements?

Reece James:

If you don't have him, then Reece James (£6.1m) is the obvious Chilwell replacement.

He's averaging one attacking return in his previous seven starts for club and country, having scored four times and assisted thrice.

Since Gameweek 7, James is averaging 13.25 FPL points per start. When you look at Chelsea play, at no point will you feel as if he has under-achieved.

It’s no coincidence that over 40% of Chelsea’s goals this season have been contributed by their defenders one way or another.

I see no reason not to own him at this point as he's in the form of his life. I would suggest getting him in, even if takes a hit to get there. The points will be made up in no time!

Most Touches in the final third per 90 among defenders (Last six Gameweeks, minimum four starts)

1) James: 38

2) Cancelo: 36

3) Chilwell: 33

4) Alexander-Arnold: 29

Expected goal involvement per 90: (xGi per 90)

1) James/Alexander-Arnold: 0.6

2) Chilwell: 0.5

3) Cancelo: 0.4

I think the set of statistics above should be self-explanatory. In my opinion, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m), Joao Cancelo (£6.6m) and Reece James (£6.1m) are all must haves at the moment.

Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea are the top three defences for xG conceded this season which further strengthens their case:

xG conceded:

1) Man City: 7.9

2) Liverpool: 13.2

3) Chelsea: 13.4

I think an under-rated thing about James has been his ability to accumulate bonus points. He has the best minutes to baseline bonus point system ratio among the Chelsea defenders this season.

This is why you saw him register three bonus points at the weekend despite Chilwell and Rudiger matching him for attacking returns.

James was fortunate to have registered an assist vs Leicester with an expected goal involvement of just 0.1. However, his underlying numbers in every match he has played so far have been a bit mental! See for yourself:

Reece James this season:

GW2: 8 pen area touches, 1.2 xGi, 2 big chance involvements

GW9: 3 pen area touches, 0.6 xGi, 1 big chance involvement

GW10: 7 pen area touches, 1.1 xGi, 1 big chance involvement

GW11: 6 pen area touches, 0.7 xGi, 1 big chance involvement

Once again, the fixture against Man United is a matchup in his favour. No team has conceded more chances down their left than the Red Devils in the last six Gameweeks.

Chances are that those FPL managers who buy James this week could be rewarded immediately.

Marcos Alonso:

"Yeah, it’s my fault. Hopefully Marcos doesn’t take this personally. I wanted Azpi on the field. Every game we have the conversation, does he play or not. He's been so unlucky since a pain in his shoulder. We said we were bringing him on for Reece James then we had to bring him on the left and somebody said it was Marcos so I am sorry to him."

Thomas Tuchel cleared the air on why Marcos Alonso (£5.6m) wasn't brought on for Ben Chilwell last night. It seems as if he didn't give much thought to the fact that Alonso was the like for like replacement for Chilwell as Azpilicueta was all set to come on.

The Spaniard has three goals and two assists in 14 league starts under Tuchel, averaging an attacking return almost once every three games.

His underlying numbers in six starts this season have been decent, but still fall short of the high standards that the other wing backs have set:

James v Chilwell v Alonso (Stats per 90)

Shots in the box: 1.3 v 1.6 v 1

Chances created: 2.8 v 1.7 v 2

Touches in the final third: 35 v 33 v 26

xG: 0.3 v 0.5 v 0.2

Expected goal involvement (xGi): 0.6 v 0.5 v 0.3

If Chilwell is to be out for a run of games, then Alonso would become very tempting as you'd expect him to play most of the games during the festive period.

Sergio Reguilón (£5.1m):

This is the differential route if you want to go down this way. Reguilón has been playing as a wing-back under Antonio Conte and has found himself in really promising positions since the Italian has been in charge.

Reguilón, by his own admission, has been told to get into threatening positions by his manager and could represent a good option ahead of a good run of fixtures for Spurs:

“I’m enjoying the position because I can attack more! He [Conte] wants me to be solid in defence but at the same time I have to arrive in the box, help the strikers, score goals, give assists. Now I have more of a chance to score goals and give assists so let’s work.”

Conte has had a lot of success working with the likes of Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses and Achraf Hakimi in the past.

At Inter Milan, around 45% of his league goals were contributed in one way or the other by his two wing backs. If the trend is to continue, both Emerson and Reguilón could be very appealing.

So far, Reguilón has bettered Emerson for touches in the final third (47 v 37), chances created (2 v 0), big chance involvements (2 v 0) and penalty area touches (8 v 6) in both of Conte's games in charge.


Q: In this section I cover Diogo Jota, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva.

With Roberto Firmino sidelined with injury, Diogo Jota (£7.5m) becomes an option that is simply too good to ignore.

Liverpool have been statistically the best attack in the league this season when it comes to shots in the box, big chances and xG.

Having a piece of that pie for just £7.5m makes me think that getting in Jota is a transfer of the highest priority at the moment.

With Champions League qualification already secured and the possibility of Mane and Salah leaving early around late December, he could turn out to be an option for the long term.

I would wait till Pep Guardiola's press conference before deciding what to do with Phil Foden (£8.3m).

If he’s fit, I would keep him. I have seen quite a few considering Foden to Jota but for me, it's a case of both and not one or the other.

I like what I have seen from City and fully expect them to go on a run. It's evident that Foden is first choice. He might be rested in a game here or there but will make it up in the weeks he plays.

Foden v Bernardo (Stats per 90)

Shots in the box: 2.2 v 1.3

Key passes: 1.6 v 1.3

xG: 0.43 v 0.34

xGi: 0.8 v 0.6

Bernardo Silva (£7.2m) is a good option in isolation. He’s second only to Cancelo for FPL points this season and seems to have gone under the radar.

I wouldn't sell Foden for him (if fit) though, not even to release funds because Foden is the better and more explosive pick.


Q: Should Michail Antonio be sold ahead of a tough run of fixtures?

This is the most difficult decision of the week. Michail Antonio (£8.2m) has tough upcoming fixtures and his recent numbers have dropped:

Antonio GW1-6 vs GW7-12 (Stats per 90)

Shots in the box: 4.2 v 1.6

Big chances: 1.6 v 0.4

xG: 0.96 v 0.22

xGi: 1.5 v 0.3

On paper, it looks like an easy sell but there aren't too many forwards who are standing out at the moment.

Despite his drop in numbers, Antonio still remains top among forwards for xG and big chances this season.

There’s also the fact that you would want him ahead of West Ham’s fixture swing in Gameweek 18 and would have to use an extra transfer to sell him and then buy him back at possibly a higher price.

Whether you should sell him is team dependent. I would want Harry Kane (£12.2m) ahead of his next few fixtures, so if Antonio is your route to the likes of Kane, James and Jota, I’d sell. Otherwise, I don’t think he’s a hard sell.


Q: Who are the best budget midfielders to own?

Gallagher v Bowen v Smith Rowe v Mbeumo v Cornet (Stats per 90)

Shots in the box: 1.5 v 1.8 v 1.2 v 1.6 v 1.6

xG: .38 v .35 v .18 v .25 v .37

Key passes: 2 v 1.7 v 1.4 v 1.3 v 1

Expected involvement (xGi): .7 v .6 v .3 v .4 v .5

Maxwel Cornet’s (£6.1m) underlying numbers are great for a budget midfielder.

However, his current level of returns when compared with his expected data suggest over-performance and they make current rate of returns unsustainable.

He has already scored five in six starts despite an xG of 1.85.

Conor Gallagher (£6.0m) seems to be the best option from the bunch. He created two big chances against Burnley and could have actually come out of that game with two assists rather than one.

Jarrod Bowen (£6.4m) is another one I like but I’d look at him once West Ham’s fixtures improve.


Q: Who are the best budget forwards to own?

Big chances among forwards (Last four Gameweeks)

King/Benteke: 7

Aubameyang: 4

Jiménez: 3

Toney/Vardy/Ronaldo: 2

As you can see, the numbers that the forwards have been putting up in recent times are uninspiring.

Christian Benteke (£6.4m) and Joshua King (£5.6m) are the names who stand out. It’s worth noting that during this spell of four Gameweeks, Palace and Watford are ranked fifth and fourth for xG respectively.

There’s a feel good-factor around Palace at the moment. Only Salah has more goals than Benteke in the last five and by his own admission:

“As you can see, it’s going fantastically for the club in a short space of time. The way we are playing is nice to watch. We are creating more chances, so for me as a striker, it is a pleasure to be up front.”

He’s not completely nailed as Patrick Vieira likes to tinker with his forwards but he should start at home to Aston Villa.

Chances are that new owners might be rewarded immediately as Palace have been averaging 2.5 big chances per home home this season.

King has played every minute that he has been available for under Claudio Ranieri so far and has recorded at least one big chance in three of the previous four games.

He’s perhaps more nailed than Benteke in the long run as the African Cup of Nations could impact the availability of Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis.

There’s a good chance that King might be on penalties too after Sarr failed to take his opportunity versus Man United.


Q: In this section, I cover Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbeumo and emphasize on the importance of a playable bench ahead of the fixture congestion.

Big chances conceded (Last six Gameweeks)

1) Everton: 21

2) Man Utd: 17

3) Aston Villa: 16

Everton's chances conceded:

Centrally: 44%

Left flank: 24%

Right flank: 32%

This collapse in defensive numbers for Everton coincides with their injuries who will be weakened further this Gameweek as both Demarai Gray and Richarlison are set to miss out.

I don't think this is the week to be benching or selling either Bryan Mbeumo (£5.6m) or Ivan Toney (£6.7m).

Toney missed a big chance to score against Newcastle while frustratingly, Mbuemo hit the post for the seventh time this season.

I still think they will offer good value though. They play for an attacking team and are cheap enough to be benched when need be.

With the fixtures coming thick and fast, squad depth will be very important which is why I like owning these kinds of assets at this time of the year.

With quick turnarounds, the significant majority of assets will get rested in the Christmas period. In my opinion, a stronger bench than owning Tino Livramento and two fillers will be required.


Q: Should Raphinha be sold ahead of a tough run of fixtures?

This is a tough discussion to be had particularly after a player has delivered nine points in his previous two starts.

Raphinha (£6.7m) for me still remains the best midfielder in his price range. The Brazilian has amassed 20 big chance involvements in 28 matches this calendar year.

He has scored five times despite an xG of just 2.7 which makes him one of the most over-performing midfielders this season.

Having said that, he has no assists from an xA of 2.5 so is performing on par when it comes to his expected goal involvement (xGi).

The fixtures coming up are tough – four of his next five fixtures are against Brighton, Chelsea, Man City and Crystal Palace who have been some of the better defences this season.

I think Raphinha is a perfectly reasonable hold, but if you have no other route to fund the likes of Jota, I’d sell.



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