With both Agüero and Morata likely to return this weekend for GW9 ahead of great fixtures and Lukaku and Jesus both proving their value at their premium price, is it time to part ways with the most expensive asset in the game?
Manchester City are arguably the form team in Europe right now, catching the eyes of football enthusiasts all around the world with their high-pressing, high-tempo attacking football.
Scorelines and performances like the one last week (7-2 vs Stoke), are making it difficult for us fantasy managers to ignore.
With a Agüero return imminent, having not been used in last night’s win against Napoli from the bench, some in the FPL community are considering taking the force that is Harry Kane, out of their teams in light of the many blanks in easier fixtures so far this year, like the one against Bournemouth last GW in which he was the most captained player in the game.
Is this a naive move? Or is it simply logical?
The Fixtures (next 10)
Certainly over the next 5 matches, Spurs have it the toughest of all the fixture schedule’s of the sides with the premium forwards up for consideration (Lukaku, Kane, Jesus, Agüero and Morata).
But if we break it down, can we really say with any confidence that we can’t see Kane scoring in the games against Liverpool and Arsenal?
Kane has scored 6 goals in his last 6 appearances against Arsenal and both Liverpool and Arsenal have demonstrated over the years that they can be shaky in defence at the best of times.
The game against United is the only game I would be confident predicting Kane not to score in, but the rest of the fixtures don’t shout to me, ‘Kane blank’.
The fact is, and rather unfortunately so far this season, we can’t predict when Kane’s hauls are coming, we simply don’t know, but what we do know, is that when he returns, he returns big and it really hurts when you don’t own him.
He just doesn’t have a ceiling, whereas someone like Lukaku this year in Mourinho’s United team, has a ceiling. I don’t feel like he can score 3/4 in a game this year, whereas Kane has so many shots and chances that he really could, as we saw last season – the underlying stats also back this up, which we’ll touch on later.
Kane can score against anyone, – perhaps not against Mourinho’s double decker – which was proven last night when he made the run across Varane and cleverly flicked the ball toward goal with Varane’s touch diverting it into the net. It went down as an own goal in the end but it was Kane’s run and clever flick (which looked on target to me) that created the goal.
This is Real Madrid at the Bernebau we’re talking about here.
What about the ‘Wembley factor’?Embed from Getty Images
The Wembley factor is a myth in my opinion for both Spurs and Kane.
Spurs have registered 90 goal attempts in their 4 matches at home (Wembley), with Liverpool the only team to have more with 95.
They also have a minutes per chance ratio of 4.3, with again Liverpool being the only team to better that with a chance every 4 minutes exactly.
It seems like they are struggling to break teams that sit deep, down as effectively as they were last season, but I don’t believe Wembley plays that large a role in it. They’re dominating the ball and creating plenty of chances and one game, they’re going to explode and blow a team away 4/5-0, it’s a matter of when, not if.
They’ve played teams that have all defended deep at Wembley thus far and the one time a team came at them to attack rather than defend, in the form of Dortmund, they picked them apart in a 3-1 win having just 12 goal attempts.
Liverpool are up next and have a brilliant record against Spurs (Won 7, drawn 3, lost 0) in the last 10 meetings across all competitions, so Liverpool will be unlikely to sit deep like the teams have done so far at Wembley this year and it should be an open game in my opinion, just like the Dortmund game was where Kane netted his brace… oh and that’s right, at Wembley!
Kane: The Stats
These statistics are key performance indicators registered for the last 4 games Kane has played home (Wembley) and away in the Premier League.
These don’t look like stats of a player I would want to be getting rid of.
Jesus for example pales in comparison to Kane when it comes to these stats:
- Jesus has had half the amount of goal attempts to Kane in the last 4 games (10)
- Jesus has a minutes per attempt ratio of 27.5 in comparison to Kane who is having an attempt every 16 minutes.
The main difference in favour of Jesus is the goal conversion rate, where Jesus has netted half the chances in comparison to Kane who’s only managed to convert 18% of his attempts, but given that Kane has had more than double (22) the amount of goal attempts as Jesus, it makes it an unfair comparison.
If you look at Jesus’ goals, the service is absolutely impeccable to the point that most of his goals are tap ins or simple finishes, whereas Kane isn’t getting those tap in chances, but rather creating the opportunity to shoot for himself.
Saying that, when he gets a big chance, he’s taking 75% of them with 3 big chances scored from a total of 4 over the last 4 matches.
We also need to remember that, despite Kane having blanked in 5 of his 8 matches to date, he’s still only 5 points off the top scoring forward (Lukaku/Agüero – 52 points).
Having looked at every aspect of this as objectively as possible, I can’t see any rational reason to be taking Kane out right now.
When I look at the upcoming fixtures without the deceptive fixture difficulty rating colours, I can see games with good potential for Kane goals.
When I look at the underlying stats, I see a player that is putting in the best key attacking stats of any forward in the game right now over the last 4 games.
When I look at the total points he’s achieved in comparison to the other premium forward options in the game so far, I see a player that’s only 5 points off the top.
When I look at the performances at Wembley with my own eyes, no I’m not completely impressed, but what I can see is Spurs creating numerous chances and Kane having plenty of goal attempts in which he’s been very unlucky not to have scored a few.
I do however, understand the allure of City right now and with Agüero only occupying a 7.9% ownership at the time of writing, the temptation is strong to make the swap, but I don’t feel Kane is the one to take out, as I can easily see him scoring at the weekend, and certainly not for a hit.
Are we even that sure Agüero gets the start this weekend?
That’s the problem when you switch to a City player. You’ll always be sweating on the team sheet and with Kane, you know he will largely play every minute of every game as long as he’s fit and is the focal point for his team.
He might not be consistent this year and it’s proving difficult to predict when it’s coming, but he’s still proving he’s explosive and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another Kane-like explosion against Liverpool this weekend.
Agüero in this week? Sure. For Kane? No.
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