GW04 – Dream Team

Welcome again to my weekly series of articles which provides an analysis of last GW dream team. I will provide you with some stats and information about each player in the dream team, analyze their and give my opinion on the player.

EXPLANATION OF STATS:

  • xG is expected goals,
  • xA is expected assists,
  • xGA is expected goals against,
  • xG/shot is expected goals per shot and xA/key pass is expected assists per key pass.

Goalkeeper:

Hart, Burnley, £4.5M, played vs: Manchester United, 10 points.

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, penalties saved 5 points, saves 2 points, 2 bonus points, goals conceded -1 point.

Burnley’s fixtures for the next few gameweeks are quite mediocre and besides that they are defensively not the same team they were last year – conceded already 9 goals in 4 games with only 1 clean sheet and xGA above 7; Hart’s total tally so far equals 21, with most points coming from one clean sheet vs Southampton and penalty saved in the last game; What’s more Hart can’t be sure of his starting spot as he got into the team because Pope and Heaton were injured; Pope is still out however Heaton is already back and can threaten Hart’s spot; In my opinion there are some more nailed on choices for a starting goalkeeper than Hart (at this price level), who also have easier fixtures in the next games.

Defenders:

Cedric, Southampton, £4.4M, played vs: Crystal Palace, 12 points

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, clean sheet 4 points, assists 3 points, 3 bonus points; xG: 0.04, xA: 0.68, xGA: 1.37, shots: 2, key passes: 3, xG/shot: 0.02, xA/key pass: 0.23.

Cedric was a disappointment at the beginning of the season returning only 3 points in the first three games; However he has showed what he is capable of in the match against Crystal Palace; His underlying stats were quite good and getting a clean sheet + an assist allowed him to get maximum bonus points; However xGA of his team was far more than one so Cedric was quite lucky to keep a cs; Also his fixtures for then next games are quite bad with Brighton (H), Liverpool (A) and Wolves (A) (followed by Chelsea at home); Although Cedric’s price might be quite tempting, I would say there are other good teams with better fixtures that have £4.5M defenders with some offensive potential (like Wolves or Crystal Palace) and I recommend looking there for some bargains.

Walker, Manchester City, £6.5M, played vs: Newcastle, 10 points

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, goals 6 points, 2 bonus points; xG: 0.06, xA: 0.00, xGA: 0.55, shots: 2, key passes: 0, xG/shot: 0.03, xA/key pass: 0.00;

He might have scored a goal, he may play for one of the best teams in England and he might have good fixtures ahead (Fulham at home, Cardiff away and Brighton at home); However I am still not able to find enough arguments for bringing him in; With bad underlying stats (2 shots, 1 goal from xG of 0.06), high price, rotation risk and better option in Mendy, I think Walker is not a way to go this year; I would only buy him if you want to double up on City’s defense but in that case you might need to have a reliable cover on the bench that can provide you with some points when the rotation comes.

Holebas, Watford, £4.8M, played vs: Spurs, 10 points

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, 2 assists 6 points, 2 bonus points; xG: 0.05, xA: 0.23, xGA: 0.58, shots: 1, key passes: 2, xG/shot: 0.05, xA/key pass: 0.12.

Is Holebas the best option right now when it comes to cheap defenders? In my opinion he can be one of the best but there are some factors lowering his potential; Watford’s fixtures are quite bad with Manchester United (H), Fulham (A) and Arsenal (A); Besides that underlying stats of Holebas are not as good as he got two assists from xA of only 0.23; However he has already accumulated 34 points and is on many set pieces while Watford score quite a few goals from corners and free kicks; With price of Holebas being only £4.8M and Watford performing really well I think he makes a great addition to every players squad.

Cathcart, Watford, £4.5M, played vs: Watford, 11 points

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, goal scored 6 points, 3 bonus points; xG: 0.10, xA: 0.00, xGA: 0.58, shots: 1, key passes: 0, xG/shot: 0.10, xA/key pass: 0.00.

Cathcart is an alternative for Holebas who is £0.3M cheaper; He has scored a goal last gameweek from a shot with xG of only 0.10 which I don’t think can be achievable very often in the next GWs; His main disadvantage comparing to Holebas is that he is not on set pieces which takes away huge assists potential – so far Holebas got 13 points more thanks to that; Their cs potential is the same as they are playing for the same team; To sum up I think that even though Holebas is a little more expensive, he is worth it because of taking set pieces; Cathcart with his upcoming fixtures does not look like a good pick with some other teams having good fixtures and £4.5M defenders with potential.

Midfielders:

Hazard, Chelsea, £10.7M, played vs: Bournemouth, 11 points

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, goal scored 5 points, 3 bonus points, clean sheet 1 point; xG: 0.09, xA: 0.20, xGA: 0.95, shots: 2, key passes: 5, xG/shot: 0.05, xA/key pass: 0.04.

Fixtures: Cardiff (H), West Ham (A), Liverpool (H)

Hazard is one of the players who seems to be included in almost ever wildcard template; However is that decision justified? For sure he has good fixtures in the next three and is an amazing player; But if we take a look at his underlying stats from the last game, they do not look very promising; He has scored a goal from a low xG shot and got some key passes but they also were of low xA; In the previous games he got 5 points from penalty scored – of course it is a good thing that he is on penalties but it is hard to predict if Chelsea will get many of those; Besides that with Willian and Pedro in the team, Hazard may tend to be subbed off quite early if the game goes in the right direction; In my opinion Hazard is a great player in a great team but so far he didn’t do enough to justify buying him as he had better stats when playing only 20 minutes and while players like Mane have slightly better underlying stats (even if Mane is overperforming).

Mane, Liverpool, £10.0M, played vs: Leicester, 10 points

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, goal scored 5 points, 3 bonus points; xG: 0.25, xA: 0.11, xGA: 0.83; shots: 2, key passes: 1, xG/shot: 0.13, xA/key pass: 0.11.

Fixtures: Spurs (A), Southampton (H), Chelsea (A)

Liverpool has really tough fixtures in the next few playing against top6 clubs; However we could have already seen last season that playing versus top clubs is not an issue as Liverpool smashed Manchester City; It remains to be seen if they will be able to do it again; Mane’s underlying stats so far are fine, he is a little overperforming but in a good form in a team with momentum; For me the decision is simple – he should stay in your team if you are not on wildcard; If your wildcard is active then it depends on the structure of the rest of your team but in my opinion Mane is better premium option than many other players and his fixtures should not be such a big issue;

Sterling, Manchester City, £11.0M, played vs: Newcastle, 10 points

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, goal scored 5 points, 3 bonus points; xG: 0.27, xA: 0.07, xGA: 0.55; shots: 3, key passes: 2, xG/shot: 0.09, xA/key pass: 0.04.

Fixtures: Fulham (H), Cardiff (A), Brighton (H)

Sterling was amazing last season – should we maybe bring him in also this time? I would say no; His fixtures might be good but he is still a rotation risk; You can be sure he will play now and then, be benched a few times and sometimes even not included in the squad; From a player of his price I would expect at least a start every game (which also provides more possibilities for points scored); Last season Sterling was much cheaper and despite the rotation risk he was performing well enough in the games he played in; This season that role is fulfilled more by Bernardo Silva who is also a rotation risk but has offensive potential and is much cheaper; Also Sterling’s underlying stats were not so good last game; All in all I would stay away from him at least for now

Forwards:

Lacazette, Arsenal, £9.4M, played vs: Cardiff, 12 points.

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, goal scored 4 points, assists 3 points, 3 bonus points; xG: 0.37, xA: 0.11, shots: 5, key passes: 3, xG/shot: 0.07, xA/key pass: 0.04.

Fixtures: Newcastle (A), Everton (H), Watford (H)

Finally a player from Arsenal was able to score or assist some goals; While Aubameyang keeps disappointing his owners (although much less in the last game), Laca starts playing some games and finds the net; The main question is had he done enough to convince Emery to play him in the first eleven or will he be dropped again; With some great fixtures coming and price much lower than those of players like Aguero or Lukaku I think that Laca may be a good pick if he keeps his starting spot; Another issue might be his underlying stats as they were not the best (average xG from quite a few shots resulting in a low xG per shot, same for xA an key passes) and it is not sure if he can keep his scores so high

Lukaku, Manchester United, £11.0M, played vs: Burnley, 12 points

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Points decomposition: playing time 2 points, two goals scored 8 points, 3 bonus points, -1 yellow card; xG: 1.28, xA: 0.26, shots: 5, key passes: 4, xG/shot: 0.26, xA/key pass: 0.07.

Fixtures: Watford (A), Wolves (H), West Ham (A)

Great potential; Lukaku is an amazing striker and even though United is doing not as good as everyone expected he was still able to score a few; His fixtures are quite good and his underlying stats are really above the average; I think he is quite widely overlooked and might be a good pick for the next few GWs (also you can consider him a differential as his TSB is only around 7.6%); If you are on wildcard then you should definitely include him in your squad and for me it is Lukaku > Hazard (at least for now) all day long.

Article written @TheFPL_Analyst if you like what you’ve read give him a follow on twitter.

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