By Matthew Milton aka @LeafyDragon_FPL
Ahoy! I’m back after a long break to share with you my six best picks for this gameweek purely based on a player’s shots in the box data and their upcoming opponent’s shots in the box conceded data. However, this week it’s special because it’s a double frickin’ gameweek ya’ll!
SPOILER ALERT: It’s all about the fixtures. We get a little Liverpool and Manchester City heavy here.
Six: Sadio Mane (£11.9m) v MUN (h) & BUR (h)
Sadio has only managed one double digit haul all season (I know right?). However I expect that to change this gameweek considering he has the fourth highest amount of shots in the box of all players, in the last 6 GWs (14). He plays Manchester United first of all, who have conceded the third highest amount of shots in the box from GW13-18 (53) and Burnley, who have conceded 46 shots in the box in that time. I fancy Sadio to grab at least a goal and some clean sheet points this gameweek.
Five: Roberto Firmino (£9.3m) v MUN (h) & BUR (h)
I was surprised by this one. Firmino has the same number of shots in the box as Mane (14) but a far greater xG (2.8). Like Mane, Firmino only has one double digit haul to his name this season. Firmino is not exactly known as prolific but as a striker for one of the best teams in the league, in a double gameweek, you’d expect Firmino to be heavily involved.
Four: Tomas Soucek (£5.3m) v BUR (h) & WBA (h)
Why don’t I own this guy yet? My biggest failure this season was buying Jarrod Bowen over Soucek in GW13 (9pts – 28pts). Soucek has 8 shots in the box in his last 6 games, which is not exactly amazing. Although, his fixtures are particularly enticing. He plays West Brom, who have conceded the highest amount of shots in the box (61) and the highest amount of headed shots (18) in the last 6 GWs. 3 of Soucek’s 8 shots in the box have been headers. With both fixtures being at home, Soucek could get on the score sheet in either fixture.
Three: Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) v CRY (h) & AVL (h)
Troll alert. The fume this week was intense. WHY DIDN’T KDB TAKE IT? Anyways, Raheem has 8 shots in the box in the last 6 gameweeks. He has an attacking return in 5 of the last 7 gameweeks. Manchester City’s fixtures are favorable with both being at home. Crystal Palace have conceded the fourth highest amount of shots in the box in the last 6 GWs (51) and have conceded 12 goals. Aston Villa have a far more resolute defence having only conceded 31 shots in the box in 6 GWs and have conceded 3 goals. Will Sterling repay the faith in those who he burned in GW18?
Two: Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) v CRY (h) & AVL (h)
Those City fixtures ey? I have had a really poor time captaining Kev this season (2 double digit hauls in 8 captaincies). He doesn’t seem to be able to take his chances. He has had 8 shots in the box in the last 6 GWs and has one goal and three assists in that time. He should really have more. Historically De Bruyne has done well against his DGW19 opponents (3 goals and 7 assists in 9 appearances v CRY and 3 assists in 3 appearances v AVL). That is a total of 13 attacking returns in 12 games. Many will be triple captaining Kev in DGW19, will you?
One: Ilkay Gundogan (£5.5m) v CRY (h) & AVL (h)
So yeah, this is odd. Gundogan was a shrewd pick in GW18 and narrowly missed out on an assist. He has had 9 shots in the box in the last 6 GWs. He has scored 36 FPL points in his last 5 fixtures. In games where Gundogan may need to push forward to expose some stubborn defences, he could reward his 2.8% ownership. Was Ilkay’s recent hauls a flash in the pan or a sign of more to come?
Enjoy the double game week folks!
Until next time,
Matt 🌿🐲 @LeafyDragon_FPL