Welcome to our Comparison Series which utilises the Hub's Comparison Tool available on the website and in the app. FPL_Junior will be comparing sets of similar positioned and priced players to help us determine which asset we should seek to have in our FPL teams.

This time around we have two of the most in-form and best players in the Premier League. Pep roulette was in full swing at the end of last season but these two came out on top and in my opinion are the closest to being nailed on when it comes to the Sky Blue's attacking assets. One of these two will be in the majority of manager's teams in the coming weeks as FPL bosses will want an option to give the armband to a Man City attacker. Pep's men hit a century of goals last campaign and that's why manager's should be willing to chance their arm in his roulette.

The midfield slots this season are going to be heavily contested so you're going to have a very tough decision as to who to splash your cash on in the premium range. These two men should be high on your list of consideration but you might opt for just one in order to cover your bets and captaincy options as the season gets underway. Below I'm going to compare these two players statistics from last season in an attempt to spot trends and help you decide if either of these two should get a valuable place in your FPL team.

Player Comparison

Sterling v De Bruyne Comparison

 

Price

The two midfielders have been priced the same this season at £11.5m, £0.5m cheaper than the games most expensive player. Kevin De Bruyne (now £11.6m) has seen a price hike of £2.0m after he managed to have his best FPL campaign tallying a massive 251 points in his 35 appearances. However, Raheem Sterling has seen his value drop from £12.0m last campaign. It's hard to argue that these players are overpriced after their form in the back end of last season. With the two having matching prices they're on a level playing field for manager's to decide which blue's midfielder they prefer.

 

Position

Sterling is clearly the more advanced of the two. He's predominantly played down the left of Pep's front three this season but played in the false nine on three occasions, netting once. De Bruyne has been kept central and started as either a centre mid or a central attacking midfielder. De Bruyne has thrived when playing further forward which he's done on 21 occasions.

De Bruyne Heat Map - Source: SofaScore

Sterling's touches are condensed heavily down the left where he either enters the box and gets to the byline or cuts inside. De Bruyne roamed around the centre of the pitch but tended to drift towards the right of the park, allowing him to whip in crosses with his right foot towards the striker and Sterling.

Sterling Heat Map - Source: SofaScore

 

Goal Threat

Player Comparison

Sterling v De Bruyne Goal Threat

Using the Hub's OPTA Stats tool, we can see both players aren't afraid to have a shot and after all was said and done they both were one shy of a century of shots over the season. Only Mohamed Salah attempted more shots than the pairs 99 shots. As can be imagined, more of De Bruyne's came from range with 59% of his coming from outside of the box. In comparison, Sterling attempted nearly 84% of his shots inside the box over the season.

Sterling accumulated 20 goals for the campaign outperforming his xG of 18.52. In total, he had a massive 33 big chances, more than any other midfielder in the game. De Bruyne on the other hand just had 6, yet scored 13 goals! The Belgian massively outperformed his xG of 8.4 with his accurate free-kicks and finishing. Clearly we can see the former is getting more chances to score and more likely to find the back of the net of two. Some may believe De Bruyne overperformed, bagging a double-figure number of goals for the first time in his career but he may also have penalties to his name next campaign which will add a significant number to his tally. Man City have averaged eight penalties a season over the past five campaigns.

Clearly Sterling has a significantly higher goal threat and will continue to have more big chances and clear cut opportunities than his teammate but the Belgian isn't afraid to shoot and try his chance from range. Sterling takes this one.

 

Creativity

 

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