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Guest writer and Ligue I expert Genesis returns for this week’s Sorare Academy column.
Remember, there are now 15 chances to win a real Sorare card every week with this free-to-play game – don’t miss the 11am BST Friday deadline for your latest opportunity.
European football is back! Congratulations to last weeks’ winners, especially our overall winning manager LaBridouille who scored a massive 476 points with this stunning team:
New season, new scoring matrix
Hey all! I hope you’re well and ready for another season of the Sorare Academy and some more ramblings from me.
The scoring for the Academy largely follows the same rules as the main Sorare scoring and there are slight changes coming into effect in about a month’s time. With that in mind, I thought it was worth having a look at them through my usual French prism.
The big winners, in general, have been attacking full-backs and box-to-box midfielders.
Below I take a look at some of the biggest French winners (winning = rising the most places in the L15 rankings [L15 = average score over the last 15 games]) and discuss why they’ve ‘won’. I will also add some context as to what that may or may not mean going into 2022/23.
Let’s dive into the list.
Mike Maignan +79 places
The biggest mainstream French riser I could find, with a whopping 79-place rise in the rankings. This will be as a result of two things. Firstly, other goalkeepers are being punished more heavily for historical goals conceded. Secondly, Maignan is a great shotstopper, gaining points for saves made. Of all the players in this list, I think Maignan is most likely to maintain this scoring. He remains on the same team under the same manager who will almost certainly utilize the same system, and exert a similar level of dominance over most teams in the league.
Aurelien Tchouameni +79
Another big riser. Tchouameni was an interception machine for Monaco last season and did not lose many duels. Thus he benefits from the big boost to points awarded for interceptions and avoids getting hit too hard by the increased negative score for duels lost. However, as I’m sure you’re all aware, Tchouameni changed clubs this summer and, at Madrid, he is not projected to be a starter. However, he hasn’t suddenly become a worse player and his style and strengths won’t change. Thus, he should still very much benefit from the matrix changes, when he starts.
Quentin Merlin +59
My crowing about Merlin has intensified since the matrix changes. Why? Well, he’s classified as a forward on Sorare but plays as a wing-back in real life. One of the boosts for forwards in the matrix update was rewarding them (finally) for some defensive actions, although still not for tackles (weird). Thus, a defender classified as a forward on the matrix gains well.
Merlin loves a dribble and so benefits from the bump to ‘duels won’. Add to that the departure of Wylan Cyprien and likely Ludo Blas, and Merlin is in the running to take all set pieces and even penalties! He will remain an every week starter for Nantes when fit. Big season incoming?
Boubacar Kamara +42
Kamara is a funny one. First of all, he rejected some of the world’s biggest clubs to join Aston Villa. Secondly, he received a big boost in his scoring on the new matrix, unlike most other ball-playing centre-backs. Look a little closer and this is likely because his classification has changed on the Sorare website from defender to midfielder. Thus the boost he has received in the rankings is with him playing as a midfielder.
While I’m firmly in the ‘Kamara is world class’ camp, I do expect his scoring to be capped as he adapts to the Premier League. Villa are also not nearly as strong a team compared to Marseille in their respective leagues either. However I do think Kamara retains the potential to be a big SO5 scorer in the medium term though slinging passes from deep all over the pitch.
There you have it. There is no denying that the matrix changes do greatly benefit some players (mostly called Trent). However, it’s really important to take a bit of a deeper dive into a player’s current situation and even the tactical system they’ll play in and not just to rely on past data to project future scoring.
In this case, Maignan and Merlin look best placed to repeat last season’s data and thus benefit as projected. Tchouameni and Kamara might need to be faded a little, at least initially.
One last thing: for 2022/23, I’ll be running an experiment on the Academy. I’ll enter a PSG stack in each Gameweek where it’s viable and track my finishes to see how overpowered (or not) it may be. Here’s how it did last weekend…
I’ll be rolling with the same team line-up this weekend and I’ll be posting on Twitter how the rest of the season unfolds, so stay tuned – and don’t forget to set your team before Friday’s 11am deadline!