Welcome to a new post series from AbuBakar. He’ll be taking you through the key takeaways from the previous Gameweek

Greetings everyone! With Gameweek 29 coming to a premature end due to the postponement of Man City vs Arsenal, I look back at the key events of the weekend gone by in this week’s review:

1) No team conceded more shots inside the box than Spurs this Gameweek – which brings me to the point that I highlighted in one of my earlier threads. The dissimilarity in the defensive numbers between Jose Mourinho’s first eight weeks at the helm at Spurs and what followed later couldn’t be more apparent. From GW 13-20, Spurs were conceding shots inside the box at ≈6.89 per game which have leapt up alarmingly to ≈10.78 per game between GW 21-29. Correspondingly, big chances conceded per game have risen precariously from ≈0.75 to ≈2.78.

2) The main beneficiaries of Spurs’ defensive woes this week were Jay Rodriguez and Chris Wood. Burnley’s forwards are considered to be unfashionable hence often tend to go under the radar but it is important to highlight that Wood has averaged a big chance per game in the last six games he has started while no player in the league has recorded as many big chances as Rodriguez over the past five Gameweeks! Both can be good options going into Gameweek 31.

3) No player has recorded as many big chances as Michail Antonio over the past two Gameweeks. He was one of the most underperforming players according to the xG model this week. His position map has been very encouraging as he’s been West Ham’s most advanced player so is one to definitely keep an eye on going into Gameweek 31 when he comes up against a Spurs defence that have been all over the place of late.

4) Another player to look at for Gameweek 31 is Spurs’ Dele Alli, who has the best big chances per game ratio of all players in the league over the past six Gameweeks. Over this period, he is ranked top for xG for midfielders too yet has only managed to score twice. It is fair to expect regression with Spurs’ injuries but a point to note is that Alli’s goal involvement has shot up from his season average of ≈21% to ≈75% ever since Son and Kane have been injured – he is taking responsibility of being the main man.

5) In games that De Bruyne has started this season, City are averaging ≈13.44 shots in the box (vs ≈10.33 without him) and ≈3.84 big chances per game (vs ≈2.33 without him). In games that he missed last season, they averaged ≈13.36 shots in the box and ≈3.86 big chances per game. Which begs the question, why are City so dependent on De Bruyne this year when without him last year they had similar numbers for creativity?

6) Loss in form can be highlighted through minutes per chance created: (19/20 vs 18/19)

Sterling: 62 vs 44

Bernardo: 55 vs 44

Gundogan: 51 vs 46

Mahrez: 29 vs 59

Mahrez only one who has improved this season. Loss of Sane and bizarre absence of David Silva huge factors for regression too.

7) No team conceded more big chances this Gameweek than Southampton – which is extremely alarming despite the fact that they were down to ten men given that Newcastle before this week were ranked bottom for big chances in away games all season. Between GW 14-24, the Saints conceded the fewest big chances in the league at ≈1.27 per game. But from GW 25-29, they have conceded the second-highest number of big chances in the league at ≈3.80 per game.

8) Another big chance recorded by Dominic Calvert Lewin against Chelsea means that he is the only player in the league this season who has been on a streak of recording at least one big chance per game for eight successive Gameweeks. At £6.4 he’s still a steal.

9) 18 shots in the box, nine big chances, 47 penalty area touches – best for forwards in all categories, yet just a single goal over the past six GW’s with an exceptionally low conversion rate of ≈5%. Ladies and gentlemen, Roberto Firmino taking FPL underperformance to another level.

10) Only three teams have conceded more big chances than Liverpool over the past three Gameweeks. This has coincided with the absence of Jordan Henderson – Liverpool’s defensive numbers with and without this season tell their own story. Shots inside the box conceded per game with Henderson have been ≈5.68 (vs ≈10.10 without him) while big chances conceded per game with him have been ≈1.24 (vs ≈4.33 without him).

If you’re looking to follow my work, you can follow me @bigmanbakar on Twitter and on Instagram. Computations and analysis my own. Take care of yourselves and don’t get too upset over the football – health and safety comes first!

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