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We’re six Gameweeks in and I feel we are getting there in terms of understanding what to expect from each team.
The underlying data may still be in the small sample size territory but I thought why not note down what we have observed so far from eight of the most popular teams and whether that conforms to our general eye-test view?
This will hopefully be of help for the many FPL managers in the process of, or are thinking about, Wildcarding.
So here are my “lessons learned”, team by team.
|Mins per chance||5.6||6.1|
- The fixtures have been kind so far but the bottom line is that Man City are as lethal in attack and as solid in defence as we have known them to be. Injuries, sales, new signings – they just don’t impact the Pep juggernaut.
- Erling Haaland (£14.1m) is averaging 88 minutes per appearance so far, so expect this to regress to 79 minutes (last season’s average) as City go deeper into the cup competitions. But an xG of 1.3 vs 0.8 per 90 minutes is ominous. Despite some predictive models suggesting so, it will be hard to go without Halaand even for this run:
- Despite becoming collateral damage for the Rodri (£5.7m) red card, Julian Alvarez (£7.0m) has the sixth-highest minutes played for all forwards, higher than Ollie Watkins, Michail Antonio, Taiwo Awoniyi and others. He remains a very viable second striker for the foreseeable future.
- Phil Foden (£7.6m) remains a good option but given the prime real estate territory that FPL midfield is at the moment, his 0.39 xGI per 90 pales in comparison to Messrs Maddison (0.73), Fernandes (0.72), Mbeumo (0.66), Mitoma (0.65), Rashford (0.63), Son (0.62) and Saka (0.59). Even the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Eberechi Eze and Raheem Sterling are higher.
|Mins per chance||6.6||6.2|
- Arsenal’s xG is level with last year but helped by three penalties received in six games. This is obviously not a ratio that will be sustained over the season.
- So far, the attacking numbers suggest a drop-off. This may, of course, normalise as Gabriel Jesus (£7.9m) returns to playing 90 minutes and Gabriel Martinelli (£7.8m)/Leandro Trossard (£6.6m) are back fit.
- Martin Odegaard (£8.5m) has seen quite a tail-off in numbers, especially in expected assists (xA). Is it either a function of him playing a more withdrawn role due to the presence of Fabio Vieira (£5.4m)/Kai Havertz (£7.1m) or merely a small sample size – time will tell. I am not complaining, though, as it looks like we have one fewer midfield headache thus far.
- The defence remains solid, with a minutes per xGC of 108.3 second only to Man City. I suspect Gabriel Magalhaes (£4.7m) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) may come into people’s thinking again from Gameweek 10 onwards.
- There’s a question mark over the goalkeeper so far but perhaps if/when David Raya (£4.8m) cements his place, he’d be someone many FPL managers would look at as their perma-goalkeeper.
That’s it from me. Maybe we can revisit these tables around the Gameweek 12-13 international break to see if some of these observations continue to hold true.