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FPL tips: Saints’ immaculate performance is hidden in the data

By April 6, 2021No Comments

While the scoreboard suggested a lucky escape for Southampton as they came from two goals down to beat Burnley on Sunday, the underlying data shows they were worthy winners.

Fantasy Premier League’s official Threat metric measures the goalscoring potential of every chance, and Saints’ tally of 352 was the highest of any club in gameweek 30.

Danny Ings’ individual total of 122 was bettered only by Harry Kane (126) and almost matched that of the entire Burnley side (125) – and there is plenty more to uncover in the week’s statistics as you plan your strategy.

Tons of fun

  1. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) GW1 – 161
  2. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) GW2 – 144
  3. Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) GW15 – 140
  4. Harry Kane (Tottenham) GW3 – 138
  5. Harry Kane (Tottenham) GW30 – 126

The triple-digit Threat totals registered by Kane and Ings were only the 22nd and 23rd times a player has hit 100 in a single match this season.

The Southampton striker smashed his previous best for the campaign of 82, while Kane racked up a whopping 138 back in gameweek three and now has two of the season’s top five Threat scores – Ings’ effort this week ranked seventh.

With a double gameweek on the horizon for Spurs in gameweek 32, not having the England captain in your squad feels like a huge risk.

Spurs not so hot

FPL tips: Saints’ immaculate performance is hidden in the data PLZ Soccer
Southampton and Newcastle led the way in gameweek 30’s Threat metrics (PA graphic)

While Kane shone in front of goal, it was his opponents who looked the more potent overall.

Struggling Newcastle surprisingly created the second biggest Threat total of the week with 338 – comfortably their best of the season and only the third time Steve Bruce’s side have broken the 200 barrier.

Dwight Gayle led the way with 78 but with a tough run of games coming up for Newcastle, perhaps the more relevant lesson for fantasy managers is to stay away from Tottenham defenders for the remainder of the season.

Can Reece banish Chelsea’s blues?

FPL tips: Saints’ immaculate performance is hidden in the data PLZ Soccer
Reece James, centre, was a rare Chelsea bright spot against West Brom (John Walton/PA)

There were few reasons to be cheerful for Chelsea as they were blown away by relegation-threatened West Brom, but Reece James produced more Creativity than any other player in the league this gameweek (66).

Creativity is to assists as Threat is to goals; it measures the potential of a player’s passes to become assists, so a defender topping the rankings is no mean feat.

The 10 men of Chelsea were one of two sides who produced more Threat than their opponents but came away with no points.

The other was Wolves, who looked to get the better of West Ham despite a sluggish start. Nuno’s side now have four matches in a row with a fixture difficulty rating of two, so perhaps now is the time to take a punt on one of his players?

Time for Trent?

FPL tips: Saints’ immaculate performance is hidden in the data PLZ Soccer
Diogo Jota, left, thanks Trent Alexander-Arnold for his assist against Arsenal (Catherine Ivill/PA)

The other two players who racked up more than 50 Creativity this week were Trent Alexander-Arnold and Pedro Neto. Alexander-Arnold’s assist total has failed to live up to the heights of the previous two seasons but he has still produced more Creativity than any other defender in the league this season and was finally rewarded with his first assist in 10 matches.

Liverpool themselves conceded 68 Threat against Arsenal, putting their defence second only to Manchester City this week, who only allowed 53 despite lining up against Champions League-chasing Leicester.

Unsurprisingly, City have the lowest average Threat faced this season (101 per match) but despite faring much worse in the league, Liverpool’s defence is not far behind, with just 119 Threat faced per match.

A relatively easy run of remaining fixtures for the Reds means now could be a good time to stock up on Alexander-Arnold and some of his team-mates.