FPL GW12 is nearly upon us, all eyes will be on Liverpool versus Man City. The top of the table clash will have season long repercussions if either side are to be victorious. I imagine most managers will have at 3 players in this game and some will have the full quota of 6. The last game of the week will undoubtedly be the one that catches most peoples attention but where should we be looking this week for the value?
Liverpool vs Manchester City
The match of the week, it does however have a few more layers to it. Man City have massive issues with their defence, they have had problem after problem with their centre backs getting injured. Fernandinho, Otamendi and John Stones are now all available for selection. However in last nights European match Ederson picked up an injury and had to come off. The Brazilian keeper is such a huge part of how City play and Bravo although a handy keeper in his day is not in the same bracket.
When you consider all of City’s defensive woes you would have to say Liverpool are in the box seat when it comes to this fixture, however Salah has not been in the best form and also has question marks over his fitness. It is all set up for an intriguing match up at Anfield. If you were to make me pick which players I would be bringing in it would have to be Liverpool attacking assets. Let’s have a quick look at some of the players in display in this match.
As you can see from the shot map and heatmap Mane is still starting in the left hand berth however he is getting central at will, majority of his chances are coming inside the box too. He currently sits on 6 league goals and is the in form player of the front 3. Averaging 2.49 shots per game, with an accuracy of 53.8%, averaging 4.99 touches in the box power game he managed 11 and 9 in his last 2 fixtures against Villa and Spurs respectively. He came up with the goods in the last 10 minutes against Villa rescuing the match setting one goal up and finishing one too.
Although he did not score from this opportunity this is an example of what a fox in the box Mane has become. I would hugely fancy him to come up with the goods against City. City have shown themselves to be suspect at the back since they lost Laporte. With someone like Alexander-Arnold feeding Sadio, he could be one of the ones to bag, speaking of Trent…
As you can see from the above heatmap, Trent is doing the majority of his work in the opponents half of the field. I personally was not sold on having either Liverpool fullback at the start however after a conversation with @HinduMonkey on twitter he changed my perception. The short version was that I should treat Trent as a midfielder who picks up extra clean sheet points.
He has good numbers too as well as great positioning on the pitch. 1 goal, 4 FPL assists and 2 clean sheets have contributed to his 50 points. But his statistics are really good also, the most important one for Trent is that he is averaging 0.3 xA per game (0.4 in the league). To put this in perspective, 2017-18 Kevin De Bruyne that registered 28 assists was averaging 0.33 per game.
Trent is currently averaging 8.06 passes to the box per game and also 6.81 crosses and 2.44 shot assists. Short version he is Liverpools most creative player and Mane is one of the main benefactors.
I think that the time for going big at the back could just be round the corner. Robertson bagged a goal last week against Villa but Looking at the fixtures above those elusive clean sheet returns could be imminent. The City game is not really that attractive for a double up in my opinion but this week it will pay to make some forward planning. I was quite outspoken in the early part of the season regarding going big at the back, but have been vindicated by the limited returns. I did covet that it would have its time at some point in the season and I think that this could be it. I will look into this more next week but if you’re rolling your transfer then the Liverpool double could be the next move especially when supported by the likes of Lundstram, Rico, Tomori and Soyuncu.
I am not even going to profile one single player because of the rotation threat. I have totally given up second guessing Pep this year. I have had Aguero, Sterling, KDB, Otamendi and Mendy at various points of this season. All have had their minutes managed at various points.
I think that Aguero probably looks nailed on for a start given he was benched midweek. But even then I’m not that confident. A lot has been made of the fixture run approaching for City with much of that down to the FDR but is it as bad as made out?
Liverpool will no doubt be a tough fixture for them but the ones thereafter I am not so sure. Chelsea concede goals for fun, and only have a better defensive record than 5 teams in the league. Newcastle are Newcastle although they have improved things of late. Burnley is always a tough match, then its United and Arsenal who are both in dire straights, unless a manager change has been made at either of those teams I would be confident of a city result.
The point I am trying to make is do not be so quick to bin off City assets, they are the defending champions and can score at will when in form, bin Aguero & co at your peril.
Even though Vardy is in the twilight of his career he is still an FPL hero. 19 goals in his last 21 games have seen his ownership shoot up. I am quite enjoying the debate on twitter as people try to rationalise not owning The Foxes hitman. Personally I do not try to question these things too much especially with some one like Vardy. He has matched Messi’s record of scoring in 11 consecutive fixtures in the past so that is all the vindication I need to keep owning him. Loves a goal against a top 6 side and will be a real thorn in the side of a soft Arsenal defence.
He may be massively overperforming his stats as people on twitter keep on informing me, however I do not see any reason why this run cannot go on a little while yet. Just look at those fixtures!
As you Can see when the table is sorted for xG for, Leicester although aided by that 9-0 victory against Southampton have performed well so far. I would expect that they have a good chance of extending this run of results in the upcoming games. With the pressure on Unai Emery to turn it around and rumours abound he has lost the dressing room I would not be surprised if Leicester turn Arsenal over. Arsenal have conceded on average 14 shots per game, if they concede that many against Leicester they will lose that match given how clinical Vardy has been.
Tielemans – flying under the radar
Youri Tielemans is somewhat still a differential this season, he currently sits on 8.5% ownership, sitting on a steady 50 points and valued at £6.6m. The midfielder has been in superb form for Leicester, Tielemans and Maddison have really been the engine for the Leicester attack.
He has scored 3 goals this season and I expect he will keep adding to it, however do not expect him to be prolific. As you can see from the shot map the majority of his efforts come from way out. Currently he is performing just about where he should be in terms of his assist output, he is averaging 0.17 assists per game with an average xA of 0.14. If he can just push that number up slightly and maintain his goal output he will be a very shrewd buy given Leicesters turn in fixtures.
My Team and Future Planning
One thing that has come out of twitter recently is to talk more about my own team and what plants I have going forward. Well this week I will almost certainly be rolling.
This is my team for the coming gameweek, nothing is set in stone right now but I will almost certainly be captaining Mane. There is a couple of fires I need to put out Hudson-Odoi and Wilson being the priority. I am not overly concerned about Mendy I believe his minutes will increase as he improves his fitness and I also have the bench to deal with his rotation.
I fucked up last week not getting Mousset in for Callum Wilson as he bagged some assists. I think that is possibly still my move going forward, then I will look to turn Rico into Robertson with the spare cash. It does not deal with the Hudson-Odoi situation but it gives me another starter capable of big returns. I could also opt for a hit next week too but I wilL see after I have watched the matches. But yeah barring any massive news out of the press conferences I will be rolling my transfer with a view to getting Robertson next gameweek, it just remains to be seen how I get him but more on that next week.
Thanks for reading!