Stat Corner: Blank Gameweek 31

Our newest contributor, Aditya Iyer, is going to be exploring the world of statistics, ahead of blank gameweek 31, to bring you the most interesting and relevant stats to help you make more informed decisions with regard to your FPL teams

I (Simon) decided that it was time for a change!

‘Connect Picks’, whilst relatively fun for us I felt, just wasn’t giving you anything you couldn’t get elsewhere.

Differentials and key players are done to death in this saturated market – I wanted to provide you with something more interesting and likely far more useful.

So, I sat down with our new writer Aditya and together, we have come up with something we feel will satisfy those two things.

Without further ado, here is Aditya with the first of our brand new ‘Stat Corner’ series. We hope you enjoy this latest feature.

Gameweek 30 Review

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Well, gameweek 30 was an intense gameweek for the Premier League sides.

There were a total of 29 goals scored and 30 players were booked by the referees in the 10 fixtures (28 YC’s, 2 RC’s).

The most disappointing aspect however, has to be that the 3 preferred captaincy choices blanked, with Kane and Agüero suffering injuries and Salah being kept quiet by a rather shockingly outstanding Young!

The Terriers had a monumental 30 shots against Swansea, out of which 18 were inside the box, yet somehow, they failed to break the deadlock.

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Huddersfield’s defender Florent Hadergjonaj showed adventure in creating a whopping 7 chances for his side, with their striker Steve Mounie unable to find the back of the net despite having 8 shots inside the box.

Manchester City managed a total of 847 passes against Stoke City, with a 90% pass success rate.

Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessey made the most saves with 7, after Chelsea bombarded the goal, particularly in the first half, at Stamford Bridge.

Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard both created 6 chances for their respective sides. yet both ended up with just 3 points.

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino had 65 touches in the opponents half, but failed to have any real influence in those areas, with United relatively untroubled at the back.

Blank Gameweek 31 Preview

Looking ahead

Defensive Point of View

Liverpool have managed 8 clean sheets at home so far, only Man United (10) and Chelsea (9) have kept more.

Bournemouth are one of the worst teams at home defensively, with the least amount of clean sheets kept along with Palace (2) and second highest amount of goals conceded (25) – odds say, that as poor as WBA have been recently, they’ll likely knick a goal.

Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion have all conceded 8+ goals over the last 4 gameweeks.

Both Everton and Stoke have conceded 4 goals and 6 big chances in the last 4 gameweeks and given the way both managers operate, it’s likely to be a tight affair between the two.

Attacking Point of View

There’s just one standout team this week in terms of attacking potential and that’s Liverpool.

The added advantage, is that the Reds are playing at home, where they have scored 12 goals in their last 4 home games and can only be matched by Arsenal and Manchester City with regard to that.

In that time, the Reds have registered a total of 60 shots, out of which, 25 were on target meaning a shot accuracy of 42%.

Out of the other teams, Bournemouth have good potential on paper against opponents WBA, who have conceded the most amount of goals of any side (20) in the last 10 gameweeks.

Palace, who have still been managing to find the net despite a run of fixtures thats seen them play against Spurs, Man United and Chelsea in the last 4 games, might get some joy against a Huddersfield side that have conceded 8 goals in their last 4 home games.

Must-haves and considerations: BGW31

Goalkeeper

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Jack Butland, over the past few weeks, has put in some eye-catching performances. He has made a total of 19 saves over the last 4 weeks, with 10 coming from inside the box, plus a save percentage of 90.5%, conceding just 3 goals. This week he faces an Everton side who have scored just 2 goals in their last 4 away games.

Defenders

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While checking out the stats, 2 defenders caught my eye; Patrick van Aanholt and Leighton Baines.

Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt has scored 2 goals in his last 4 gameweeks from 5 touches in the penalty area. He has also attempted 7 shots on goal in that time, out of which 4 were on target, meaning a shot accuracy of 57%. The clean sheet potential isn’t great, but if there’s one player that might just grab an attacking return, it’s this man.

If we look at Baines’ performance last week: he had 4 touches in the penalty area, created 2 chances and assisted 1 goal and could also be handed the penalty spot responsibility after Rooney missed a penalty against Brighton. This week, he plays a Stoke side who aren’t the most prolific scoring team under Lambert, with just 3 goals scored in their last 6 Premier League games.

Midfielders

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There’s only one player that immediately springs to mind in this category; Mohamed Salah. Over the last 4 home games, he has had 37 touches in the penalty area, attempted 20 shots, created 4 big chances and has scored 5 goals, more than any other player. He is simply a must-own and certainly for this week, where the majority of FPL managers will be captaining him.

There are a few other midfield options to consider: Sadio Mané, Xherdan Shaqiri and Junior Stanislas.

Forwards

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The main man in this category is Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian forward has created 10 chances for his side over the last 4 home games with 3 big chances, registering 2 assists. He’s had 22 touches in the penalty box, scoring 2 goals out of 8 attempts. This week the Reds face Watford, who have conceded 7 goals in their last 4 away trips, conceding 39 shots in the process.

Other forward options to consider: Steve Mounie, Christian Benteke and Joshua King.

Starting next time… 

From next gameweek onwards, there will be a new segment in this article called Predicting Bandwagons: On The Radar.

As the name suggests, I will be looking for those all important bandwagons and trying to use the underlying stats to predict those players who are likely to come exploding into form, in an attempt to get ahead of the curve.

As any FPL manager worth his salt will tell you, getting on a bandwagon before it becomes a bandwagon can have MASSIVE implications at the right end of the overall rankings for you, so it’s something that could prove extremely useful however, my suggestions are not to be taken as fact, just because I suggest someone, doesn’t mean they’re going to score 3 consecutive double-figure hauls – they are suggestions based on the stats, nothing more.

This brings me to the end of the article – I hope you have all enjoyed reading it and we wish you the best of luck for BGW31. May your arrows be green.

Stats obtained from fantasyfootballscout.co.uk

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