In this weekly article , we answer the most asked questions ahead of Gameweek 11
Q1) Keep or sell Maddison & Vardy?
Leicester’s next 4 upcoming fixtures are BUR, bri, WAT, ful. These look like fixtures where you would expect Leicester to score. Firstly James Maddison started the season very impressively scoring 3 and assisting a further 2 goals in the opening 7 games. However he hasn’t had any returns in the last 4 game weeks picking up only 9 FPL points. Are his stats indicative of his returns?
From a creativity point of view Maddison has created 5 big scoring chances in the last 4 games with no returns compared to 1 in the opening 7 games. He has averaged 2.75 key passes per game over the last 4 compared to 2.1 in the opening 7 games. This clearly shows that he is creating chances they just aren’t being converted.
From a goal scoring potential perspective Maddison has only had 1 from his 8 shots in the last 8 games on target (12.5% accuracy) as opposed to the first 7 games where 7 on target from 15 shots in the opening 7 games (47% accuracy). He has missed one big chance over the last 4 game weeks compared to 0 in the first 7 games.
This clearly shows that Maddison’s creativity has improved remarkably over the last 4 game weeks where he is blanked but his shooting accuracy has been much poorer.
Vardy himself hasn’t produced any attacking returns over the last 4 game weeks after scoring 3 and assisting 1 over the first 7 game weeks ( 2 games of which he was suspended). Again his stats show that he has had 8 shots at goal over the last 4 game weeks with 4, 50%, being on target. Four of these shots were classified as big chances. Creativity wise Vardy’s stats are very similar over the 2 periods but Vardy is not really renowned for his creativity.
Like Maddison the stats show that goals are imminent for the fox’s front man.
My advice for both players is to keep, especially this week when they face the league’s 2nd leakiest defences in Burnley who have conceded 25 goals over the opening 11 weeks. I would monitor on a week to week basis and if you are not happy with each player’s returns then sell both players after the Fulham match (or before if they haven’t scored you any points).
Q2) Sterling (77pts) has only 2pts less than Hazard, is he a must have? Or is Aguero enough from Man City?
I personally think at least 2 attacking options from Man City are a must. Sterling seems to be in great form (even if he does kick the floor instead of the ball). However the same can be said from all of City’s attacking options. D Silva (48 pts), Sane (49 pts), Mahrez (41 pts) and B Silva (46 pts) have all produced this season for the champions. Yes, Sterling in my opinion is the best option but there is also value in the players listed above as they will continue to get goals and assists. They may not score as highly as Sterling does but they are all considerably cheaper, could this extra money be better invested elsewhere? If we knew the answer to this then we would all be winning FPL.
So that being said do I think Sterling is a ‘must have’? Probably not but is Aguero enough from Man City’s attackers? I would say no. They score freely and the points are shared around. Yes there is a risk of rotation with all these players and you have to be prepared for them to miss out in 8-10 matches a season (barring injury) but in the other 30 games or so they will produce. My advice to managers is to choose your city option and don’t okey cokey between them when they are rested because inevitably you will miss your player’s big hauls by knee-jerking to others. This has already been evident this season.
Q3) Mitrovic replacement ?
Most managers have lost patience with the Serbian front man after failing to score since game week 6. As we have all seen Fulham are really struggling in the Premier League, particularly defensively. So if or when we move Mitrovic on whom do we choose? This all comes down to budget but for arguments sake let’s assume your money is tied up elsewhere in your team so you need a player of similar cost. There are several players who fall into this bracket and I will rank in order of whom I think you should buy to replace the Serbian.
1. Callum Wilson (£6.7m) – Second only behind Aguero in the highest scoring forwards with 6 goals and 7 assists and plays for a very attacking team. Yes they do have a difficult run at the moment but they should last time out against United that they will create chances against the big sides.
2. Marko Arnautovic (£7.1m) – West Ham’s talisman and top points scoring player with 5 goals and 2 assists in the 9 games he has featured in. West Ham have a nice run of fixtures and as I mentioned last week that if West Ham are to do well then the Austrian forward is key.
3. Raul Jimenez (5.7m) – started every single game for Wolves this season and has 3 goals and 4 assists. Wolves have stuttered of late but they do play HUDDERSFIELD and Cardiff after the International break and he has potential to score points in both of these games.
4. Wilfred Zaha (6.8m) – Very much like Arnautovic in terms of being the Talisman and if Zaha plays well then so do Palace. His has 2 goals and 3 assist so far this season but Palace have a tricky run of fixtures coming up.
5. Danny Ings (£5.5m) – 4 goals to his name this season which is more than 50% of the teams total which is why I only rank Ings in 5th place. I do think he is a good player but he is playing for a poor Southampton team. Fixtures for the Saints are mixed but I just don’t see them scoring a lot of goals.
6. 6. Glenn Murray (£6.6m) – Yes Murray has more goals than everyone mentioned above (tied with Wilson) but I don’t like Murray as an option. He is really only going to get you points at home ( previous history suggests) and I feel that Ings and Jimenez offer better value for money and Wilson, Arnie and Zaha will all outscore Murray over the season.
Q4) Most reliable 2 strikers for upcoming fixtures?
It is impossible to say who will be the most reliable over the upcoming fixtures but I feel the following should be considered.
Form wise Aubameyang leads the way with 5 goals and 1 assist over the last 4 games (37 points). Wilson then comes in second with 4 goals and 2 assist (35 points) over the same period and. The surprisingly Morata comes in 3rd with 4 goals in his last 4 games (25 points). Finally Aguero is 4th with 2 goals and 2 assists over the last 4 games (22 points).
However does this mean this is the order I would rank them in? No.
Aubameyang (WOL, bou,TOT and mun) has some difficult fixtures coming up but he may become an option from GW 16 onwards. For the moment I don’t feel he will be so reliable.
Wilson (new,ARS, mcy and HUD) has also got some tricky fixtures but he has had attacking returns in 8 of the 11 opening fixtures. I don’t think we have seen enough consistency from Bournemouth over the last 3 seasons to consider them reliable.
Aguero (MUN, whu, BOU and WAT) on the other had does play for a team who are VERY reliable. City have now scored 12 goals in a week and are the only team in the premier league that can consistently score 4+ goals in a game ( 4 times already this season). Kun’s away form is worrying but he is the main striker in undoubtedly the best team in the league and I would consider him to be reliable.
Morata ( EVE, tot,FUL and wol) has again a mixed bag of fixtures but has now started the last 3 games for the Blues leaving Giroud on the bench. With the creativity of Hazard and co around him I would expect him to get chances, but is he reliable enough to put those chances away. Previous form doesn’t convince me. That being said it may be worth a punt as he is only £8.7m and is playing the No. 9 role for one of the best teams in the league.
Kane (cry, CHE, ars and SOU) has only scored 1 in his last 4 league games but did bag a brace against PSV in the week. When it comes to the term ‘reliable’ I don’t think anyone can argue that Kane is exactly this. The supporting cast of Alli and
Eriksen are working their way back to full fitness and from GW 15 onwards Tottenham have a great run of fixtures.
In a nutshell in my opinion both Kane and Aguero are the most reliable strikers for the upcoming fixtures but both of these will eat a large portion of your budget and would suggest to have Aguero for now and look at bringing in Kane from GW 15 onwards either for Aguero or as well as Aguero. Sacrifices will have to be made elsewhere in your squad but it may prove to be beneficial
Q5) Triple captain Salah Vs the worst defence in the league- Fulham?
My rule of thumb is to always use the triple captain in a double game week as the potential for points should be better. That being said many managers triple captained Salah last year with his massive haul against Watford and outscored any double game week option so there is a case to be made. It is tempting to put the triple captain armband on Salah given that Fulham look woeful at the back and they play a style of football in my opinion which will make them very vulnerable against the way Liverpool play. Hopefully for Fulham fans Jokanovic will know this and will try to miss out playing through the midfield the way they like to do. But Liverpool from an attacking perspective just don’t seem to be clicking in the same way they did last season. Maybe the defeat to Red Star in the week will give them a kick up the rear end. Who knows? I do think that Liverpool can get 3 goals against Fulham and maybe even 5,6 or 7 given Fulham’s recent defensive displays. My advice would be definitely captain Salah if you have and only consider triple captaining if you have considerable ground to make up on your mini league rivals or you are languishing in the 2,000,000 overall rank position. It could turn out to be a real differential pick given I suspect the higher ranking managers who are looking to consolidate their positions won’t be using the triple captain armband.
Q6) Keep or sell Firmino?
Sell, Sell Sell. As a Liverpool fan I love Firmino but do I think he is a good fantasy option? No. Liverpool as an attacking unit as mentioned above don’t seem to be clicking in the same way as they did last year and Firmino seems to be playing a lot deeper with Salah often playing through the middle. Firmino has only 2 goals and 2 assists this season and hasn’t produced any attacking returns in his last 6 PL games. At £9.2m there seems to be several better options available at the moment.
Q7) Richarlison in? despite his upcoming fixtures – che, CAR, liv, NEW. WAT, mci, TOT.
Everton have scored 11 goals in the last 5 game weeks and they have won 4 of their last 5 games. They have a few difficult fixtures coming up with away matches against Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City. Would I be transferring Richarlison in for this run of fixtures, No. However if I own him ( which I do) I wouldn’t be thinking of selling him just yet. He has been playing out of position
for the last 4 matches as the lone striker in place of Cenk Tosun and has produced 3 goals and an assist during this time. Marco Silva seems to have found his favoured line up and we know is mentality is to play attacking football so you would expect Richarlison to get chances. In my opinion, given that he is only £6.7m I would keep hold of him at least till after the Watford game and then re-assess.