Following on from our Salah vs. Mane comparison, we shall now look at Raheem Sterling vs. Sergio Aguero. We’ll be using the new OPTA Tool to assess all the relevant stats from last season.

We will compare them across parameters like:

  • Goal scoring ability
  • Chance creation ability
  • ICT Analysis
  • Game time
  • BPS Analysis
  • Conclusion

Goal Scoring Ability

Aguero’s lethal finishing made him City’s top goalscorer with 21 goals. The Argentine also hit the woodwork eight times in comparison to Sterling’s three indicating that his goal tally could have been even higher. Sterling was far from goal shy though, finding the back of the net on 17 occasions – a personal record.

Aguero has far superior shot numbers, almost double that of Sterling, despite the fact that he played almost 300 minutes less than the winger. However, the two showed similar shots on target highlighting Sterling’s superior accuracy.

Sterling may not be as clinical a finisher but has the ability to get into great positions. City’s attack relies strongly on its width to deliver cutbacks and passes into the box to feed their attack. Typically, the Englishman pulls the opposition player towards himself to exploit the space between the fullback and the centreback.

Chance Creation Ability

While Sterling may have lagged in the goals department, he made up for it with his assist tally. With 15 assists, Sterling matched Aguero’s total goal involvement of 32 goals each.

       Manchester City Goals Breakdown: Premier League 2018-19

With 12 big chances, double that of Aguero, Sterling’s increased assist tally is backed up by the underlying numbers. The Englishman also had 12 successful crosses compared with 0 from his Argentine teammate, further highlighting Sterling’s ability to get behind the defender and deliver that crucial cutback.

ICT Analysis

The ICT Index is a condensed stat that broadly shows FPL potential. As mentioned in our previous piece, the index is a little ambiguous but can be trusted on a broad level.

Unsurprisingly Aguero leads Threat, which expresses the probability of a player scoring a goal.

In line with the chance creation stats is Creativity, which encompasses attacking passes and crosses. Sterling absolutely crushes his teammate with a staggeringly high number.

And lastly Influence, which quantifies the impact a player has on the final result.  The two post similar numbers but Sterling just edges past Aguero to further bolster his case for inclusion in our squads.

Game Time             

If there is one person from Manchester City that frustrates FPL managers, it is Pep Guardiola. The Pep roulette often discourages managers to invest in the City midfield. However, when you look closely this danger is largely overstated. Especially, when it comes to Aguero who is often cited as a 60-minute player. At the same time, when you shell over 10% of your budget on one player you certainly expect a lot more.

While it is true that compared to other clubs, City premiums do get fewer minutes, the points output is quite similar. From the attacking players within the City team, the duo does have the highest gametime after Bernardo Silva.

BPS Analysis

A glance at Sterling’s attacking numbers would lead someone to assume that he would be the likely contender for BPS. The Englishman got more minutes, created more chances and had a superior conversion percentage compared to the Argentine. Even in terms of defensive statistics, he got the better of Aguero in tackles, interceptions, blocks and clearances.

However, the actual BPS greatly differed from this assumption. In reality, Aguero narrowly won the duel earning 26 bonus compared to Sterling’s 25, especially remarkable considering the forward played less than Sterling.

As we all know, in comparison to a forward, FPL rewards midfielders more points for scoring a goal. However, the same logic does not stand true when it comes to bonus points. In fact for scoring a goal, forwards are given 1.5x the BPS awarded to midfielders. A high number of fouls committed and times dispossessed added to Sterling’s woes when it came to BPS.

My Verdict

Aguero builds a strong case for himself due to his goal-scoring exploits and ability to get bonus despite the limited game time. Let’s not forget that he is City’s first-choice penalty taker and could gain due to VAR.

However, the chances of him outscoring Sterling do not look bright. The winger has scored more points than Aguero in his last two campaigns and I expect the trend to continue. My final vote goes to Raheem Sterling who I expect will once again be among the top five scorers in the game and the highest scorer for Manchester City.

 

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