xELO: GWs 7 & 8 – Nerves

by @FantasianPL

On the surface, Gameweek 7 felt fairly normal, a good amount of the “regulars” returned with a couple of the others adding some spice into the mix. However, based on the xElo Experiment model, it was more of a defensive week, and less of an attacking week.

The Leicster and Leeds match had high xG on both sides, Aston Villa got back into their attacking form, Newcastle showed some attacking promise, and Fulham have already started fighting for Premier League survival with a good showing vs West Brom. 

The Liverpool vs West Ham and Arsenal vs Manchester United games both had less xG than predicted on all the teams involved. Brighton, Burnley, and West Brom the other teams to underperform the prediction.

Looking at the season as a whole, Some of the extremes are starting to normalize. That said, Aston Villa, Leeds, Tottenham, Everton, and West Ham still outperforming the predictions this season. It is worth noting that over the last 4 GWs, Leeds and Aston Villa have been extremely attacking with Tottenham also outperforming, but to a lesser extent, while Everton and West Ham have been pretty much equal to their predictions

As for the defensive season averages, the top six predicted xGC teams have all underperformed their predictions, Manchester City and Wolves to the greatest extent. Fulham and West Brom are the other teams underperforming, but only slightly. There are a number of teams to highlight for outperforming, but the top meations:

Chelsea: Not great on the season, but to performance over the last 4 Gameweeks 

Arsenal: Looking decent on the season, but second best performance in the last 4 Gameweeks, despite being rating 14th for predicted. Looking forward, Arsenal are ranked 9th for predicted xGC in upcoming fixtures (~next 7-10).

West Ham: Predicted to have the worst xGC, but actually performed 6th best this season. These rankings are the same for the last 4 GWs as well. Looking forward, they are ranked 13th for the upcoming fixtures starting with a home match vs Fulham and away to Sheffield United.

This upcoming week may be a bit tough to predict with some big matchups. Manchester City is predicted to have the highest xG, however, their attack has not been rolling this season, so an underperformance of that number would not surprise me. Chelsea are next on predicted but also have had mixed results, however, the prediction is a high probability of a clean sheet. The match ups of Everton vs Manchester United and Leicster vs Wolves could have early implications on the spots in Europe next year and could be hard to predict matches. Aston Villa vs Arsenal is another example of an in form attack vs an in form defense, and these have gone several ways this season. Southampton, Arsenal, West Ham, Tottenham, and Everton are the next teams and all stand a decent chance of a good performance based on their prediction and form (well, form is less good for Arsenal and Southampton). After Chelsea, the defensive predictions are a bit atypical. Brighton in second with Wolves, Leicester, and Tottenham next. As discussed earlier, I wouldn’t completely write off Liverpool for a clean sheet (or at least defensive attacking returns). 

I feel nervous about a lot of my FPL assets this upcoming week, so let’s have some fun with some bold predictions:

West Ham will be one of the top xG teams, but Fulham will put up a fight and outperform their xG prediction

Wolves and Leicester will both surprise and score high on xG.

Arsenal will struggle against Aston Villa and end up underperforming on their xG.

That’s all for me, best of luck!