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AUGUST 2017

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Everything FPL managers need to know this season!

The

Essential 17/18 Guide

20

Comprehensive Premier League Squad Profiles

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EGERSDORFF’S XI YAHOO CUP 16/17 STUDY PT2 FIXTURE TRACKERS


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Foreword

FANTASY FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

tanding on the precipice of the new Premier League season and peering into the impending abyss can feel a little daunting for even the most hardened FPL enthusiast. If our last release was the safety net to catch those falling into the chasm, this edition is the strong and sturdy bridge that will guide managers across the ravine and into the land of fantasy football glory.

In other words, we firmly believe that discussing how to make important decisions is far more valuable than simply telling you which decisions to make. As with all our releases, we want this edition to provide you with the tools you’ll need to take control of your own FPL fortunes. In the astute words of James Egersdorff, “you’re the manager, it’s your team”. Indeed it is.

Anyone who has immersed themselves in the abundance of tips and punditry that tends to emerge prior to Gameweek 1 will already know that doing so can often pose more questions than answers. After an evening of research, managers can find themselves transformed from clear-thinking, self-assured decision makers into panicking, fretful overthinkers.

We’ve mixed underlying strategy with up-to-the-minute advice to create an allencompassing source of FPL guidance. You’ll find 20 individually crafted team profiles, Egersdorff’s XI, fixture trackers, set-piece takers, the 2nd half of our huge 16/17 statistical study and much, much more. It’s all been tailored to get you off to the best possible start. We hope to see you at the top of our mini-league soon.

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The FFMAG Team

FFMAG has always sought to find a balance between complimenting and questioning our readers’ convictions.

Director

Jamie Reeves

Managing Editor

James Copeland

CFO

Aleksander Rosnev Layout Design

Mirko Nestorović

Sub Editors

Jack Sexton & Clarke Hutchison Online Content

Luke Maunder

Social Media

Mark McGettigan

Pictures

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Swallowtail Print Contributions

Keeds Ellis, Will Partridge, Joshua Goldsmith, Daniel Mallory, Will Downham, Darryl Light, Omkar Tiwaskar, James Meacher, Dima Rebrov, Mitch Murphy

CONTENT 4 6 8 10

Egersdorff’s XI: The early musings of the world’s best.

When to Kneejerk: Bandwagon or worth having? The New Forwards: What the new boys bring to the table. Daily Fantasy: The Yahoo Cup & £1,000,000 prize.

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Thanks To

Team Profiles: A unique breakdown of all 20 teams. Peter’s Study: Part 2 of his in-depth 16/17 study. GW1-5 Forecasts: Expected goals and clean sheets.

Magic Mirko, Thomas Braun, Dan Vernon, Josh Holman, Gareth Nicholas, Alex Kalli, Rachel Stephenson, Neil Wood General

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Set Piece Takers: A guide to the dead-ball specialists.

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Egersdorff’s

GW1 Squad The Guru returns with some sage advice for the new season Writing exclusively for FFMAG in the 2nd instalment of his monthly column, 8-time top 5k pundit James Egersdorff discusses the approach to his 11th season as an FPL manager ou don’t need me to tell you that getting off to a good start is crucial in FPL. Not only because you want to see yourself well positioned in the rankings (it’s easier being an FPL front-runner than playing catch up) but also because team value is so key, particularly towards the end of the season. An FPL team that starts well will quickly garner some extra capital, but one that starts poorly is likely to struggle as managers seek to ship out their flops. If you want to get out of the blocks quickly, keep the following principles in mind.

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Strategy is Key Firstly, I always approach the season by looking at the first 6 gameweeks only. These weeks are going to lay down the foundation for

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your entire year so you need to look at the fixtures and plan carefully. The huge benefit of two wildcards and the Free Hit chip means that holding a Wildcard in case of fixture postponements or an injury crisis is less important than it was last season. Therefore, there’s strong justification to play an early Wildcard to (hopefully) build on a good start or put right a bad one, without having a detrimental impact later on in the season. You need to ask yourself ‘who is going to get off to a good start?’, ‘who is going into the season with high expectations?’, ‘which teams underperformed last year?’, ‘who ended the season on good form?’. On the contrary, we must also consider questions like ‘which teams have lost key men?’, ‘who have added distractions like Europe to consider?’, ‘which teams have changed manager?’ and ‘who ended the season poorly?’. If you apply these questions to the 2017/18 season, for example, I’d expect both Manchester clubs to get off to a good start – high expectations, big player investment and players who underperformed last season. Consider these factors for every team whilst analysing the fixture list to help identify which teams will start the season strongly. From there you can identify the players you need

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for the opening weeks. WBA have a very favourable first few fixtures and likewise Southampton play 3 out of their first 4 matches at home. The challenge when selecting your GW1 squad boils down to the fact that, unlike other gameweeks, the data simply isn’t available to inform your decision making. As such, I think it’s essential to pick a team with little risk, mainly going for players with a solid track record of FPL success who play in a team with good fixtures and a reason to start the season well. For me, this formula is key. If a player doesn’t meet one of those 3 criteria then, with the exception of a few calculated risks, it is unlikely I will sign them for my GW1 team. Maximum value Structuring your 15-man squad to get the maximum amount of value into your first XI is important but it’s imperative to include reliable “bench-warmers” who are going to score positively if called upon. If nothing else, you want to avoid players likely to decrease in value. n James reveals the inner workings of his FPL mind throughout the season in his monthly column for FFMAG. Stay tuned to see if his strategy pays off and follow him on Twitter @JEgersdorff

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picture by: David Davies/EMPICS Sport

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£4.5m

£4.0m

Alonso

Walker

Mee

Simpson

Lascelles

Chelsea

Man City

Burnley

Leicester

Newcastle

£7.0m

£6.5m

£4.5m

£4.5m

£4.5m

Silva

Ward-Prowse

Fabregas

Loftus-Cheek

Man City

Southampton

Chelsea

Crystal Palace

£9.5m

£8.0m

£5.5m

£7.0m

£4.5m

Lukaku

Gayle

Kane

Newcastle

Tottenham

Man Utd

£6.5m

£12.5m

£11.5m

STR

Ozil Arsenal

DEF

Myhill West Brom

MID

Foster West Brom

GK

Figure 1

Goalkeepers

Defenders

Midfielders

Forwards

 I like to spend as

 I like to have two premium and three budget priced defenders in my GW1 team. I prefer attacking minded defenders because they offer greater potential to catch a big haul within Gameweeks 1-6. Walker (MCI), Mendy (MCI), Alonso (CHE), Clyne (LIV) and Valencia (MUN) could tick all the premium-option boxes, whilst Simpson (LEI), Mee (BUR) plus defenders from newly promoted sides could provide excellent budget value. The likes of Lascelles (NEW), Schindler (HUD) and Dunk (BRI) could all be good buys at £4.5m given their strong likelihood of a full 90 minutes each week.

 In midfield, Ozil (ARS), Eriksen (TOT), Alli (TOT) and De Bruyne (MCI) provide solid premium options but despite some impressive 2016/17 stats I’m treating Liverpool’s midfielders with caution, given that they have CL playoff matches before and after GW2. With that being said, I do think Lallana could be a bargain at £7.5m this season. In the midprice section, the injury to Eden Hazard (CHE) could open doors for the likes of Willian, Fabregas and Pedro to cement a regular starting spot. Elsewhere, newly promoted Knockaert (BRI), Ritchie and Atsu (NEW) could provide value with Phillips (WBA) and Ward-Prowse (SOU) showing attacking and set piece returns last season. I like to have a base price 5th midfielder as one of my substitutes. I’m hoping that £4.5m LoftusCheek’s loan move to CPL could catalyse his immense potential.

 My front 3 needs

little as possible on goalkeepers. I look for the two cheapest first choice options because it means I can spend more on my outfield players. I’ve also been known to pick a cheap goalkeeper and his £4.0m understudy in the past, if, for example, I felt their opening fixtures were particularly favourable. For me, this applies to WBA duo Foster and Myhill who offer excellent value this season.

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to include 2 premium strikers who are likely to score consistently plus a 3rd striker with high scoring potential. At the top end of the market, I’ll consider 2 of Kane (TOT), Morata (CHE), Aguero (MCI), Lukaku (MUN) and Lacazette (ARS) and fill the 3rd space with one of Gayle (NEW), Austin (SOT), Deeney (WAT), Murray (BRI) or Berahino (STO); all of whom are available for under £7m and all of whom have scored PL goals in the past.

Of course, FPL is a fluid game and decisions can be made right up until the deadline on August 11th. Figure 1 shows a solid looking team as things stand - barring injury, almost all of those lads are likely to make my GW1 line-up.

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How to Validate a Knee-jerk King of the bandwagon or a pile of Capoue? Jack Woodfield’s de-stressing knee-jerk litmus test is our way of lifting the FPL weight from your shoulders. Both devilishly simple yet devastatingly effective, it’s time to stop sprinting for the hype-train

t’s a Friday evening. You’re sat with friends or loved ones, or possibly on your own (which is fine). Then it hits you: that pervasive insistence that because X player recorded a double figure-point haul last week, he’s destined to repeat said heroics. You make a knee-jerk decision. Confirm transfer. What have you done? We’ve all been there. Knee-jerk reactions can lead to beautiful nostalgia when your chosen player replicates their form for another few weeks, but also harrowing regret in the aftermath of a gamble that didn’t pay off. So what separates a valuable differential from a momentary point scorer? How can you identify when to jump on the bandwagon and if, in fact, the bandwagon is even worth

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jumping on? Through arduous experience, I have discovered there is a way. Capoue: Never Forget Like many, I was particularly baffled by the curious case of Etienne Capoue last season. The Watford midfielder seemingly convinced himself he was Zinedine Zidane pre-season and bagged four goals and an assist in the first five GWs. I couldn’t understand it. Here was a player renowned for not being renowned, yet as the weeks passed I felt increasingly under strain to transfer him in. I knee-jerked. Capoue went

on to score just three more goals all season. I successfully repressed my angst over what had happened for several months, until GW33. This was a quite strange GW where Ander Herrera, Xherdan Shaqiri and Vincent Kompany, fresh off his 37th return from injury, all scored in double figures. Consequently trite headlines appeared advocating the trio as game-changing additions. Again, I couldn’t understand it. What possible reason was there to suggest these three players, all of whom had attained insipid point tallies for the season, would continue this form?

Knee-jerk reactions can lead to beautiful nostalgia when your chosen player replicates their form for another few weeks, but also harrowing regret in the aftermath of a gamble that didn’t pay off

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picture by: Adam Davy/PA Archive/PA Images

Keep it Simple

Did they know something I didn’t? So I put my detective hat off and got to investigating. I started by examining Capoue’s attacking statistics between GW1-GW5, and the findings were enlightening. Capoue’s four goals came from just seven goal attempts – almost half the amount of Alexis Sanchez (13), Raheem Sterling (13) and Robert Snodgrass (13), who had all scored three goals in that period. It’s therefore easy to see why Capoue’s run was short-lived. His nascent goal-scoring form was atypical of his overall game as a defensive midfielder and, even though he was being deployed higher up the pitch, no logical basis existed to validate Capoue as a valuable short-term differential other than ‘he might score again’. But there is a second key variable: his cost. Beginning the season at just

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I couldn’t understand it. Here was a player renowned for not being renowned, yet as the weeks passed I felt increasingly under strain to transfer him in

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£4.5m, Capoue’s appearance in GW1 squads was attributable to being a regular starter. Those who gambled on him for GW2 did just that – gambled – but given his low price, many deemed it a risk worth taking. Of course, Capoue is just one example. Analyses of Joe Allen and Leroy Fer, two other ephemeral point scorers last season, would likely yield varying results. But the broader implications of these findings suggest a method exists of discerning whether a knee-jerk transfer can be validated.

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The method concerns positive statistics vs. cost-effective gamble. And it’s actually pretty straightforward. Scenario #1: A surprise player has returned a high recent point haul(s) and their stats reflect significant defensive/attacking influence. Verdict: Valuable short- to mid-term differential. Scenario #2: A surprise player has returned a high recent point haul(s) but their stats do not indicate significant defensive/attacking influence, rather a brief purple patch. Verdict: Big gamble. Should you knee-jerk?: In scenario #1, evidence suggests a worthwhile investment. In scenario #2, the player’s cost may establish them as a worthy risk, depending on your financial cut-off point. This method does not require a sophisticated formula or a blackboard-filling equation, but it should provide you with the confidence to reject irrational posts advocating X player – ‘he’ll help you win your mini-league!’, following one doublefigure haul - when there are no salient statistics to back this up. For Capoue, whose unimpressive statistics still rendered shortterm gains, cost really was important. Gambling on a £4-5m player following one (or two) weeks of big points is less of a risk than if that player costs £6-7m. Then, of course, one could ask ‘why would a player cost £6-7m if they aren’t likely to yield points?’ but that’s best saved for another article. There will inevitably be some players who defy this method: those with mediocre, if not great nor uninspiring statistics; and those whose cost is just above whatever arbitrary figure you deem to be “a big gamble”. In these instances, go with your gut. But at least when you next sneak off to the pub toilet on a Friday night out and anxiously battle over a knee-jerk transfer, you’ll now have a guideline to ascertain whether it’s worth it. n We’re privileged to have Jack on board as an FFMAG regular. Keep your eyes peeled for more from Jack throughout the season.

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The

NEW

Goalsco

Can the new boys live up to their lofty expectations? With a host of star-signings flooding the Premier League this summer, we asked FPL aficionado Ken Rooney to take a look at the new strikers that could really hit the ground scoring hose new to the game won’t know this, but once upon a time playing FPL entailed picking the best goalscorer in the league to captain every week (Ronaldo, van Persie, Aguero) and simply building a team around him. After Aguero’s fall from grace, it seemed like Harry Kane was ushering in a return to those simpler times, but his Spurs record at Wembley - a single goal in four appearances - has given many the jitters. Thankfully for those spooked by The Wembley Factor, the summer transfer window has seen some big-name strikers arrive (both physically and metaphorically) - each making an intriguing case for inclusion in those all-important GW1 squads. Could this be the season to ignore the conventional wisdom of having a “balanced” team and start off with two or even three premium strikers upfront, downgrading as need be in the following weeks? Here we take a look at some of the big moves that have been catching the eye of FPL managers looking for that new armband-hogger - as well as some cheaper alternatives in the midfield for the unconvinced.

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After finally buying a proven goalkeeper last season, there was a sense that Arsene Wenger was beginning to slowly put the

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Midfield alternative: Aaron Ramsey has been lurking far up the pitch for Arsenal in pre-season, and while any notions of a repeat of his 2013/14 return of 10 goals and nine assists are fanciful at best, that £7m valuation is certainly tempting. Alvaro Morata

picture by: Steven Paston/EMPICS Sport

Alexandre Lacazette

pieces of the Arsenal jigsaw together. Although Alexandre Lacazette is far from the final one, he should at least fit. The Gunners have been crying out for a pacey, off-the-shoulder finisher with real goalscoring pedigree after years of failed experiments with the likes of Theo Walcott. The 26-year-old is no flash in the pan, having netted 100 times in 203 league matches for Lyon (not to mention 32 assists), finishing in the top two of the French goalscoring charts for the past three seasons. Critics will say that the Premier League is a different beast to Ligue 1, but that didn’t stop the likes of Hazard, Kante and most recently Ibrahimovic making the adjustment in some style. Lacazette took 12 penalties for Lyon last year, so won’t be giving up spot-kick duties without a fight. The Arsenal’s opening fixtures are a bit of a mixed bag (Leicester, Stoke, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Chelsea) however, and he has struggled to make his mark in pre-season matches. The goals will come, though perhaps with greater frequency once he has fully adapted to the Wenger philosophy.

Over at Stamford Bridge, £58m acquisition Alvaro Morata will be tasked with replacing the goals and presence of cult hero Diego Costa - no mean feat for the 24-year-old. His recent goalscoring record for Real Madrid is deceptively strong, however. He‘s scored 25 goals in 63 La Liga matches - but started only 12 - registering an impressive rate of a goal every 92.5 minutes. His seasons with Juve were less notable 15 goals in 63 Serie A matches (27 starts), or a goal every 185 minutes. The pessimists among us might well opine that he’s unlikely to enjoy much in the way of penalty or free-kick duties at Chel-

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corers Block on the

picture by: Haruhiko Otsuka/AFLO/Press Association Images

course. When you’re the Man United centre-forward, facing a lucrative set of opening fixtures (West Ham, Swansea, Leicester, Stoke) he should get his fair share at least. United created 447 chances under Mourinho, but only had 54 goals to show for it. If Lukaku can replicate last season’s 22.7% goal conversion rate he could have an outstanding season. His ownership is a huge factor to consider also, as well as the noticeable tendency for in-form United players to attract new owners by the boatload. But the more ambitious FPL managers who really wish to make their mark early on will know the huge rewards that can await those brave enough to break from the herd.

sea, could struggle in their tough opening fixtures, and has failed to fully win the trust of managers at either of the big clubs he has played for. That last factor shouldn’t be something he’ll need to worry about in his new surroundings - Conte clearly fancies him, having signed the striker when he was manager of Juventus in 2014 before departing to take charge of the Italian national team. Blues fans will be hoping that the confidence and momentum of a regular starting place will be the making of Morata. His 6’ 2” frame is built for the Premier League and although he offers little in the way of assist potential (15 in three league seasons), his 27.2% goal conversion rate in 2016/17 is up there with the very best. In this cosmopolitan era of Premier League football, the out-dated FPL adage of never buying a fancy-Dan foreigner right away tends to become less relevant the higher up the transfer-fee ladder you climb. And Morata’s £10m FPL price-tag could appeal to those shopping for a premium forward, whilst still hoping to be left with a little loose change for investment elsewhere. A note of caution here though: he played on the left of a 3-4-3 on his Chelsea debut against Bayern Munich. It‘s early days of course, but if

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Conte opts to continue with the in-form Michy Batshuayi in the centre as Morata fills in for the injured Eden Hazard, that £10m begins to look a whole lot pricier. Midfield alternative: Willian (£7m): The Brazilian has been looking dangerous in pre-season, and the injuries to Chelsea’s midfield should cement his place for now. Romelu Lukaku In contrast to Morata, you’d think we’d know what to expect from a striker we’ve been watching for the past six Premier League seasons - but Big Rom is a one-man exercise in adjusting expectations. His FPL rise from being dubbed ‘Blankaku’ to the top-owned player in the game has been a suspiciously rapid one. Last season’s impressive 25-goal tally certainly caught the eye, but it was his first 20+ return of his senior career, after registering 18 in 2015/16 and a mere 10 the season before. You could argue he’s a maturing player on an upward trajectory, but in terms of minutes per goal, his best season actually came way back in 2012/13, when it took him 117.9 minutes on average to score, compared to last season’s 130.6. That’s not to say he won’t get returns, of

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Midfield alternative: One way of attempting to ‘cover’ Lukaku’s points could be to bring in United’s other much-hyped FPL prospect Paul Pogba. The expected arrival of Nemanja Matic would free the £8m midfielder from the double-pivot to be within dabbing range of his poolside buddy. Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez Still (just about) south of 30 years old and generously priced at just £7m, the Mexican is no stranger to the Premier League, boasting three 10+ goal seasons at Man United. His overall scoring rate in the Premier League clocks in at a rate of a goal every 131 minutes - far superior to higher-priced alternatives like Defoe (221), Benteke (209) and even the almighty King (170) last season, for instance. He didn’t exactly dry up at Bayer Leverkusen these past two seasons either - 28 goals and five assists in 51 league games are testament to that. Decent price, Premier League pedigree, presumably nailed on - The Little Pea could be scoring big in FPL this season. n Midfield alternative: Manuel Lanzini will be vying to build on a strong showing lastseason, and with the clinical Hernandez to aim for, there’s every chance he could be a useful acquisition. You can find more of Ken’s wisdom on Twitter @KenRooney.

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Not tried Yahoo Daily F Now’s the time. The Yahoo Cup is here, and they’re giving away £1 million for playing fantasy football With Daily Fantasy emerging as the ultimate way for managers to cash in on their vast FPL know-how, Yahoo haven’t just joined the party, they’ve completely overhauled it. Suddenly, picking the perfect team really can make you a millionaire

f you’re still out of the loop, Daily Fantasy Football works in much the same way as the regular season-long format, only new teams are created each and every gameweek from scratch. In many cases, cash-leagues are formed with other part-time managers, whose carefully curated teams battle it out for a share of the prize-pool. Needless to say, it can be great fun, and very lucrative too. This season sees internet lothiathans Yahoo enter the ring with their own offering, the Yahoo Cup - and, much like a cordial guest at a dinner party, they haven’t come empty handed.

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How does the Yahoo Cup work? Daily Fantasy users on the Yahoo platform are invited to create a team of 2 Forwards, 4 Midfielders, 3 Defenders and a Goalkeeper, plus one “utility player” who can play in any outfield position to complete their starting 11. With a tantalising budg-

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fantasy football magazine

et of £200m at their disposal, users can choose a maximum of 6 players from each Premier League team, and must include players from at least 3 different sides. Once the potential point-scorers have been selected, it’s time to enter the Yahoo Cup. The Yahoo Cup is a special Premier League tournament running alongside the huge range of fantasy contests they run on a daily basis. It’ll last 19 weeks; from the start of the season until your mince pies need to go into the oven at Christmas time, with users building their teams anew each gameweek, reacting to fixtures, form and that dastardly gut-feeling. Like many Daily Fantasy games, Yahoo have embraced a range of metrics to determine how many points a player scores. Unlike many Daily Fantasy games, the detail is quite astounding - with blocks, crosses, fouls and tackles (we could go on) all jostling to determine an overall score. The result is a scoring

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y Fantasy yet? giving you some leeway if you find yourself marooned on an island and unable to find a decent Wifi hotspot. It’s a format that can work for everyone. Whether you’re a serial tinkerer who spends hours refining your team or a busy part-timer who’d rather let the fantasy Gods decide your team’s fate, Yahoo have succeeded in creating something we can all enjoy. Step aside Chris Tarrant, because there’s only one way we’re going to be vying for £1,000,000. We’ll see you in the Yahoo Cup. n system that has been fine-tuned to reflect the reality of a player’s performance, not just his headlinegrabbing stats. Why should you enter? When Yahoo told us how much money they were intending to put on the proverbial table for the Yahoo Cup, we were reduced to cliched cartoons: rubbing our eyes, blinking aggressively and then staring at the screen once more for confirmation. Create a team on the Yahoo platform and you could grab yourself a cool £1m (no, that “m” wasn’t a typo). All you have to do is select the 11 top performing players on any particular gameweek, and you’ll have enough money to buy one of Romelu Lukaku’s toes. Quite simply, there will never be a better chance to become a millionaire from playing fantasy football. But that’s not all Yahoo are giving away. Every entrant will be competing for a not-so-token consolation of

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£40,000 in prize money, with a huge £10,000 going to the overall winner after 19 weeks and the remaining £30,000 being spread among the top 5,000 managers. They’re also giving away up to £1,000 each week to the winners of individual gameweeks too. Did we mention it’s free to enter? Because it is. There is literally nothing to lose...apart from, perhaps, your pride.

gambleaware.co.uk 18+ and terms and conditions apply.

Scan the QR code below and enter the Yahoo Cup today. There are plenty of daily contests running each and every day over there too - you’d be a fool not to get involved.

We all have bad weeks Uniquely, Yahoo have opted to turn a blind eye to those weeks you’d rather forget. Whilst a howler of a score would haunt the rest of your season under the traditional format, the Yahoo Cup’s scoring system ignores your 3 worst weeks across the 19 gameweeks,

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Arsenal Fan's Voice

The Lacazette litmus test he Alexis Sanchez saga has cast a shadow over our pre-season this year, but one way or another, it’ll reach a conclusion soon. With PSG and Man City continually rumoured to be lurking with intent, all we really know at this stage is that Alexis has so far rejected all contract offers put on the table by Arsenal. Nonetheless, it’s looking more and more likely that the Chilean will wait until next summer, when his contract expires, before he departs the club. Call me optimistic, but I’m quietly confident we’ll keep hold of him until then. Regardless of what happens, Arsenal are a strengthened side going into the new season. Our two summer signings thus far, Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette, are excellent first-team additions and proof that Arsene Wenger can still attract top quality talent with his influence alone, despite the absence of Champions League football this season. I have high hopes for our two new boys. Kolasinac bagged 3 goals and 5 assists last

season, and beat the likes of David Alaba to the Bundesliga left-back of the season in the 16/17 campaign. He should slot right into our backline, and could prove to be a fantastic differential early in the season. Lacazette is the prolific striker Arsenal fans have been waiting for ever since RVP’s departure. Lacazette arrives with an amazing shot to goal conversion rate of 39%, the best in the whole of Europe last season.

Questions might be asked about his ability to transition from Ligue 1 to the Premier League, but we start our campaign with fixtures against Leicester and Stoke two classic English sides in terms of physicality and style. These should hopefully be the perfect litmus test for the Frenchman. If he excels in these matches, there’s no reason to assume he’ll struggle with the Premier League in general. n

D E F ENS I V E R A T I N G

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

60%

 Away Points %

40%

 Clean Sheets (H)

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 Clean Sheets (A)

4

 Goals Scored Per Game  Goals Conceded Per Game

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picture by: Steven Paston/EMPICS Sport

T

2.03 1.16

lll If there’s one thing that Arsenal do well, it’s putting away their chances. Last season they had the second highest shot conversion rate (13.7%) in the league. The issue has been their chance creation and there’s certainly room for improvement with just 1 big chance created every 45 minutes. Defensively, Arsenal conceded more headed goals than any other team last season which coincides with 74% of all their conceded goals coming from the wings.

fantasy football magazine

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

29%

LEI (H)

2.05

26%

STO (A)

1.62

13%

LIV (A)

1.22

21%

BOU (H)

2.74

7%

CHE (A)

1.14

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Bournemouth Fan's Voice

Has Jermain still got it? ermain Defoe, aged 34, hit 15 goals in the Premier League last season, meaning he scored a ridiculously prolific 54% of Sunderland’s goals on his lonesome. Despite his age, there seems little doubt in his ability. When we consider the service that the likes of Junior Stanislas, Charlie Daniels, Ryan Fraser and Josh King can provide, it’s fair to expect his goal/assist tally to be at least equal to last season’s effort. Defoe enters this new FPL season at the standout price of £8.0m. This fee puts him firmly in the mid-priced striker category, alongside the likes of Benteke, Chicharito, Rooney and King. For my money, he’ll certainly compete with those mid-priced options. Last season, Benik Afobe linked up very nicely with Josh King and they formed a partnership that Eddie Howe may wish to reignite at the start of the coming season. But Bournemouth aren’t the sort of club to offer a 3-year contract worth £20m for a bench-warmer.

picture by: Steven Paston/PA Wire/PA Images

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Whether Defoe can hit 20 league goals will be dependent on whether Eddie wishes to stick with him as his number 9 throughout the season. With the likes of Callum Wilson and Mousset also coming back into the fray, Defoe may see his chances being limited. Despite conceding 67 goals last season, many expect the aforementioned Charlie Daniels to be another popular choice

among FPL managers this season. His 4 goals and 3 assists in 34 matches last season will doubtless make him a tempting prospect for £5.0m, and combined with Defoe’s poaching credentials, he could be the dark-horse you’ve been so desperately looking for to complete your backline. Let’s not forget he’ll be joined by Nathan Aké, who will surely help to waterproof the leaky Bournemouth backline. n

D E F EN S I V E R A T I N G

A TT A C K I N G R A T I N G





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

67%

 Away Points %

33%

 Clean Sheets (H)

6

 Clean Sheets (A)

4

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.45

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.76

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

lll Bournemouth completed a paltry 18.7% of their crosses last season - the worst of any team in the league by some margin. 78% of the 554 chances they conceded were done so away from home too, which doesn’t bode well for their travels this season. With that being said, only the top 6 teams could beat The Cherries for big chances created, and incredibly, they had a higher pass completion rate in the final 3rd (82%) than Arsenal. Chin-stroking stuff.

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Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

18%

WBA (A)

1.15

26%

WAT (H)

1.89

7%

MCI (H)

1.13

4%

ARS (A)

1.04

27%

BRI (H)

1.89

13


Brighton Fan's Voice

The stubborn newcomers fter 34 years we are finally back in the top flight. Chris Hughton’s first focus is always the backline. Like a strict army general, expect clean sheets to be his main mantra. Forget the progressive 3-4-3, we’re likely to be playing a 4-41-1 system for much of the year with new signing Pascal Gross destined for the number 10 role behind a lone forward. Record signing and two-time Belgian Pro League Goalkeeper of the Year Mathew Ryan will take his place between the sticks. At £4.5m, Ryan looks like a steal and could be a great set and forget option for a side that prides itself on clean sheets and defensive solidarity. Shane Duffy and the fantastically named Lewis Dunk are set to protect him at the heart of the back line, with 36-year-old Bruno and new signing Markus Suttner flanking the pair on the right and left respectively. Suttner at LB looks particularly tempting he’s a nailed-on starter and a real danger on set pieces. In our midfield, Anthony Knockaert is

the catalyst, with 15 goals and 8 assists last season. He did, however, pick up an ankle ligament injury and is subsequently a doubt for Gameweek 1. Pay close attention to the Frenchman in later gameweeks, however. We’re still in the market for a striker, which makes the much-discussed Glenn Murray a slight risk. The 33 year-old has had a fleeting stint in the Premier League

before and scored 23 goals last season, but our search for a new forward doesn’t bode well for the Englishman. One final mention to the lesser-known Solly March, who has been lethal in preseason already. The England U21 is a promising talent, and will be sure to grab any Premier League opportunity that comes his way with open and grateful hands. n

D E F E N S I V E R A TING

A TT A C K ING R A TING



Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

58%

 Away Points %

42%

 Clean Sheets (H)

12

 Clean Sheets (A)

9

 Goals Scored Per Game  Goals Conceded Per Game

14

picture by: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

A

1.61 0.87

lll Brighton were a fortress at the back during their promotion season, picking up a whopping 21 clean sheets from 46 matches. However, it’s at the other end of the park where they are most likely to encounter problems. 60% of their shots missed the target and they only managed to average 9 key passes per game last campaign. The Seagulls appear to be the most typical of English teams; physical and stern, but ultimately lacking the clinical edge.

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

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

8%

MCI (H)

0.84

8%

LEI (A)

0.82

21%

WAT (A)

1.07

30%

WBA (H)

1.22

12%

BOU (A)

1.10

august 2017

EDITION 3


Burnley Fan's Voice

Life without Michael Keane t’s common knowledge that Sean Dyche will settle for nothing other than no nonsense, hard working personnel (and preferably from the United Kingdom too). Michael Keane was the perfect fit, and a major contributing factor to our 10 clean sheets last season, despite finishing the campaign in the bottom five. We relied heavily on home form, with 60% of our clean sheets and 67% of our goals coming at Turf Moor. If we want this home dominance to continue, then either Tarkowski or Long will have to step up to the plate alongside Mee, or else a search party must be sent to the market for a suitable Keane replacement. We caught a glimpse of life without Keane at the end of the 2016/17 season and the outlook was concerning, with our defense conceding 2 goals in each of the 3 games he was absent. Evidently, major work still needs to be done. A quick glance at our opening fixtures is enough to put off many FPL managers,

picture by: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport

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but it’s worth taking a closer look at the encounters sandwiched between tough away trips to Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and Everton. As I touched upon before, our home form is most worthy of note, and we host West Brom, Crystal Palace and Huddersfield within the first six gameweeks. These fixtures rotate perfectly with West Brom, providing an attractive home

schedule of BOU, WBA, STK, CRY, WHU, HUD, WHU. So in summary, keep a close eye on our defence in pre-season. Ben Mee is the obvious choice at 4.5m, but Matthew Lowton also provides a decent alternative. It’s guaranteed that Sean Dyche will have them well drilled by Gameweek 1, so a defensive rotation with West Brom could prove useful. n

D E F EN S I V E R A T I N G

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

83%

 Away Points %

17%

 Clean Sheets (H)

6

 Clean Sheets (A)

4

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.03

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.45

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

lll Unsurprisingly, Burnley’s resilience at Turf Moor sits at the heart of all that is positive about their stats last season. Dyche’s side boasted more headed clearances at home than any other team; they also had the highest cross completion rate (27%) too. Their travels tell a different story, however. They conceded more attempts from set plays than any other side, and a scoring chance was created against them every 4.8 minutes. A team of two distinct halves.

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Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

5%

CHE (A)

0.49

30%

WBA (H)

1.01

3%

TOT (A)

0.49

29%

CRY (H)

1.14

8%

LIV (A)

0.63

15


CHELSEA Fan's Voice

he majesty of Chelsea’s saunter to the Premier League title seems a long time ago. Lots has happened since losing the FA Cup final to Arsenal in May. Eden Hazard broke his ankle, Antonio Conte all-but-sacked Diego Costa from the first team and we missed out on yearlong target Romelu Lukaku, who moved to rivals Manchester United. The stress of it all reportedly drove Conte to quit, twice. But in the end he just signed a new, improved contract. After all, spending upwards of £120m is enough to raise anyone’s spirits. And Conte loves a good blowout. Record signing Alvaro Morata speedily arrived following Lukaku’s aborted homecoming in a £60m deal from Real Madrid. The Spaniard’s lethal finishing combined with a big game pedigree are among the tools which should help him replace Costa’s goals this season (Should Costa eventually move on, that is. It’s almost as if big clubs don’t want to gamble on the striker equivalent of Mad Max). One man inevitably less enthused with

picture by:Haruhiko Otsuka/AFLO/Press Association Images

The changed champions T

Morata’s arrival, though, is Michy Batshuayi. Having ended the season (or began, in his case) with a spate of goals, of which one won us the title, the Belgian likely knows his imperious pre-season form of four goals in three games will be scant consolation when he starts on the bench against Burnley. On the whole, things still look rosy for the Blues. Hazard will return in early September, Willian’s been touting his inter-

im services with pre-season goals, Antonio Rudiger joined from Roma to provide competition for David Luiz and Gary Cahill, while Tiemoue Bakayoko’s arrival from Monaco shores up the midfield ahead of Champions League duties. We have some tough opening games with Spurs and Everton, but survive those and we’ll be poised to resume our titlewinning form once again. n

DEFENSIVE RATING

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

55%

 Away Points %

45%

 Clean Sheets (H)

8

 Clean Sheets (A)

8

 Goals Scored Per Game

2.24

 Goals Conceded Per Game

0.87

16

lll Unbelievably, Chelsea conceded the most amount of goals from set pieces in the Premier League last season. They also conceded the most goals from counter-attacks, and fall into the bottom 3 for crosses completed. But don’t be fooled: their shot conversion rate (14.7%) was the highest in the league, and they had a higher pass completion rate in the final 3rd (84%) than any other team. Champions indeed.

fantasy football magazine

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

40%

BUR (H)

2.42

9%

TOT (A)

1.07

28%

EVE (H)

1.95

18%

LEI (A)

1.76

24%

ARS (H)

1.96

august 2017

EDITION 3


Crystal Palace Fan's Voice

Renovation begins at Palace ig Sam’s spell as Palace boss was as short lived as his England job, and whilst he didn’t step down following another drunken pub upskirt video, his reign was spent arguably as criminally with the £9 million signing of Jeffrey Schlupp on arrival. Did Allardyce have a say in his successor? I doubt it. But it’s no coincidence that if you open Bergkamp‘s wonder goal from ‘98 on Youtube, the top comment is from a user named ‘BigSam69’ which simply states “behind every great goal, is a better lofted ball. #justicefordeboer”. Frank de Boer has stated he intends to carry over Ajax’s famous ‘total football’ style. He wants his side to play ‘tactical and technical’ football and dominate matches. Perhaps hard to envision, but we are now looking to knock the ball about and hold onto it even if there are no opportunities to go forward, rather than getting it out of the danger zones as quickly as possible. Pre-season has looked promising. His brand of 4-3-3 has made the likes of Jason

picture by: Steven Paston/PA Wire/PA Images

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Puncheon more involved and able to feed Wilfried Zaha & Andros Townsend on the wing. The defence feels calmer with new signing Jaïro Riedewald (who worked with FdB at Ajax) starting ahead of Damien Delaney. In true Ajax fashion, de Boer has also promised to “give the youth a chance” and not in the conceptual Jose Mourinho way. During the Asia Trophy, the Eagles lined up with numerous youngsters, we’ve seen

the likes of 19-year-old Belgian winger Jason Lokilo line-up with the first teamers. This bodes well for new loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek who looked very promising during his run out against FC Metz. The Chelsea midfielder, like Riedewald, is strong and comfortable on the ball which suits the new style of play. If de Boer can grind out some good early results, it could be a promising campaign for us. n

D E F E N S I V E RAT I N G

ATTA C K I N G RAT I N G







Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

49%

 Away Points %

51%

 Clean Sheets (H)

5

 Clean Sheets (A)

2

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.32

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.66

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

lll Crystal Palace are the unfortunate holders of the team-most-dispossessed award, needlessly losing the ball on 496 occasions last season. Away from home, their mistakes lead to more goals than any other team in the league too. At Selhurst Park however, the Eagles are far more resilient. Last campaign they conceded a big chance every 95.4 minutes; Allardyce seemed to have them well drilled on home soil, but can de Boer fix their leaky away record?

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

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

36%

HUD (H)

1.75

9%

LIV (A)

0.80

30%

SWA (H)

1.50

26%

BUR (A)

1.29

30%

SOU (H)

1.37

17


Everton Fan's Voice

Life without Lukaku hen a club sells a player who contributes close to 40% of their goals a season, they usually take one of two routes to cover the gulf left behind. They either reinvest the entire transfer fee on a single replacement, or spread it across numerous hot prospects. Everton (much like Tottenham did when they sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid) have gone for the latter. Sandro Ramirez has the best YouTube video out of our new signings and we all know that translates perfectly to FPL ability. At £7.5m he is absurdly tempting. If you believe the rumours in regards to who they beat for his signature, he’s nailed on. To convince him to sign, Everton will surely have had to promise the young Spaniard game time, a fancy apartment within walking distance of the city centre, and probably the new SNES mini without the need to pre-order too. Davy Klaassen arrives at Everton with an Eredivisie goal scoring record good enough to give Middlesbrough fans Afonso Alves

picture by:Simon Bellis/Sportimage/PA Images

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flashbacks. The box-to-box midfielder is likely to play as part of a midfield three, with the odd cameo further up the field. Also priced at £7.5m, Klaassen could turn out to be one of the sleeper picks of the season. As much as my heart wants to believe that Wayne Rooney still has it, my brain won’t allow it. With that being said, the part-time boxer has looked sharp in preseason. If you’re a sucker for a comeback

story, love a bit of romance, and have money left over for a decent third striker, bring him in. It could turn out to be the most wonderful story FPL has to offer this season. Nobody expects life without Lukaku to be a walk in the Goodison Park, but don’t be fooled into assuming we lack a goal-scoring threat now. Our new signings will see that we remain potent in front of goal. n

DEFENSIVE RATING

A TT A C K I N G R A T I N G





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

70%

 Away Points %

30%

 Clean Sheets (H)

8

 Clean Sheets (A)

5

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.63

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.16

18

lll Everton conceded a worrying 69 attempts from set pieces at home last season, the highest of any team in the Premier League. It looks as though Koeman’s side struggle to clear their lines. Very high shooting accuracy (38.6%) and the 2nd highest shot conversion rate at home (15.2%) last season is impressive, but it’s worth noting that Romelu Lukaku bolstered many of those stats. It would be unsurprising if we see a significant drop-off next season.

fantasy football magazine

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

34%

STO (H)

1.73

10%

MCI (A)

0.99

8%

CHE (A)

0.85

13%

TOT (H)

1.22

19%

MUN (A)

0.88

august 2017

EDITION 3


Huddersfield Fan's Voice

The undisputed underdogs The simple answer is yes, Huddersfield deserve the undisputed underdog tag. It’s frankly impossible to come through a Championship season with negative goal difference and 15 losses and be called otherwise. David Wagner is a flamboyant manager with coaching parallels to his good friend Jurgen Klopp. However, the top flight is a different challenge altogether and if he strolls in with his beloved gegenpressing system things will only end in tears. So there’s the first point we need to adapt, and fast. Last season we conceded an average of 1.26 goals per game, whilst Newcastle and Brighton both averaged 0.87. In other words, facing us in the Championship was not a daunting task, so we definitely won’t be a hurdle for any Premier League opposition. In 52% of our wins last season we let a goal slip, though more worryingly, 88% of these victories were secured by a single goal deficit. This pattern of keeping our heads just above water doesn‘t bode well

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for our ambitions at a higher level. The question of adaptation still remains. Is David Wagner brave enough to step out of his comfort zone and away from his ‘on the front foot’ strategy or will he enter the new season with all guns blazing? Unfortunately, for the sake of the team and score lines, the latter seems to be the only answer. Wagner is “totally convinced about this way of playing. I like speed, I like

passion, I like this style of football, I have the players here to do it.” With this in mind, I wouldn’t advise even hovering over a Huddersfield goalkeeper or defender when selecting your team. Your only hope, and a perilous one at that, is selecting one of Thomas Ince or Aaron Mooy and hoping Huddersfield outscore their opposition. Nobody, not even Huddersfield fans, would bank on that. n

DEFE N SI V E R A T I N G

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

58%

 Away Points %

42%

 Clean Sheets (H)

6

 Clean Sheets (A)

6

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.22

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.26

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

lll Huddersfield tallied up an alarming 90 yellow cards in the Championship last season - a stat that’ll need to decrease if they want to finish their Premier League games with a full team intact. They converted a measly 7 of their 295 shots from outside the box, but recorded an average of 55.6% possession and a not insignificant 78% passing accuracy last season. Though impressive, one might struggle to imagine them controlling games in the top flight.

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Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

5%

CRY (A)

0.80

16%

NEW (H)

1.04

15%

SOU (H)

0.9

4%

WHU (A)

0.93

4%

LEI (H)

1.06

19


Leicester Fan's Voice

The prodigal pair return? he 2015/16 season was a thing of beauty for Leicester fans, as well as the hundreds of thousands of FPL managers who jumped onto the Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy bandwagons early. Mahrez bagged the P.O.T.Y award thanks to 17 goals and 11 assists, while Vardy narrowly missed out on the Golden Boot with 24 goals to his name. Fast forward a year, and the change is apparent. Mahrez managed just six goals and three assists and Vardy’s goal tally almost halved to 13 last season. There’s no mistaking that Leicester’s Champions League venture had a negative influence on their minutes, energy levels and FPL returns; they have decidedly failed to rediscover that spark which catapulted them towards the title. As the late Johan Cruyff once said “after you’ve won something, you’re no longer 100 percent, but 90 percent. It’s like a bottle of carbonated water where the cap is removed for a short while. Afterwards there’s a little less gas inside” . It’s clear that the pair

picture by: Nigel French/PA Archive/PA Images

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might have experienced similar symptoms of post-achievement blues. The question is whether they can rediscover that 10%, and whether Shakespeare is capable of squeezing it out of them? Well, the numbers say that he’s already made big strides with Jamie Vardy. Before Shakespeare’s arrival on March 12th, he had scored just five times in 22 Premier League appearances, but subsequent-

ly managed to find his feet and rack up eight goals in the remaining 13 matches. On the other hand, Mahrez’s form didn’t drastically change, so there’s an argument for both sides. The pair face Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool before Gameweek 7, so keep a close eye on the duo and if you see any of that spark, re-evaluate your options for their run of attractive fixtures. n

D E F E N SI V E R A TI N G

A TT A C K I N G R A TI N G





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

77%

 Away Points %

23%

 Clean Sheets (H)

7

 Clean Sheets (A)

2

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.26

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.66

20

lll Leicester conceded a chance every 6.5 minutes last season - an unfortunate metric that puts them on par with the relegated Middlesbrough. They also enjoyed the 2nd lowest number of goal attempts from open play. Of course, that could all change under Shakespeare. Unsurprisingly for the exChampions, they created the 2nd highest number of chances from their trademark counter-attacks, and will doubtless be looking to build on that in this campaign.

fantasy football magazine

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

5%

ARS (A)

1.02

31%

BRI (H)

1.85

15%

MUN (A)

0.75

9%

CHE (H)

1.14

23%

HUD (A)

1.69

august 2017

EDITION 3


Liverpool Fan's Voice

Value, but rotation looms hilst I‘d like to say that our attacking coverage is essential, last season‘s winner - and Everton fan Ben Crabtree managed to avoid our assets for the entire season. So though one attacker is strongly recommended, I‘ll avoid using the E-word for fear of next season’s winner proving me wrong again. Our key player this season will likely be the electrifying Sadio Mane (£9.5m). Injuries permitting, there’s no reason why he can’t bag 20 goals and 10 assists this season. It’s a bold statement, but with no AFCON to worry about this season it’s certainly feasible. The next best option is Philippe Coutinho (£9.0m). There is both rumour of a departure and hushed whispers of a move into a deeper midfield role, but his capacity to score points is undisputed. Mohamed Salah (£9.0m) is an interesting prospect, scoring 15 and assisting 11 last season at Roma. Like all new arrivals, it remains to be seen if he can continue that fine form in the Premier League.

picture by: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

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One player I‘ll be avoiding for the time being is Roberto Firmino (£8.5m). His positional change has further narrowed his already slim chances of making my Gameweek 1 squad. I’m sure he’s heartbroken. James Milner (£6.5m) is already a muchdiscussed defensive option. A defender for a top four side, and he‘s on penalties. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, with the recent arrival of professional doubt-

thrower Andy Robertson (£5.0m), his spot in the team has been called into question. . Let’s not forget that Liverpool must wrestle with the Champion’s League playoffs: a gold-leafed invitation for Klopp to tinker and rotate. If you‘re planning an early Wildcard, Gameweek 5 could be the ideal time to seriously look at our offerings. By that point, you’ll have a clear idea of where the land lies. n

D E F E N S IVE R A T I N G

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

54%

 Away Points %

46%

 Clean Sheets (H)

6

 Clean Sheets (A)

6

 Goals Scored Per Game  Goals Conceded Per Game

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

1.11 2.05

lll Liverpool were punished for every single error that lead to a chance last season, which, if nothing else, highlights their failure to settle on a strong goalkeeper. They did, however, concede the least amount of chances from open play (193), which somewhat makes up for their fragility between the sticks. Liverpool’s attacking fluency is such that they top the goal attempts from open play table (489). It’s not a League title, but it’s not bad either.

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Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

29%

WAT (A)

1.92

32%

CRY (H)

2.09

28%

ARS (H)

1.65

13%

MCI (A)

1.26

44%

BUR (H)

2.44

21


Man City Fan's Voice

Expect Pep’s own stamp hough Guardiola and friends are still dusting themselves down after a rather anticlimactic 16/17 campaign, Man City fans have reason to be optimistic following an exciting summer of spending. From a team that conspicuously lacked the electrifying fullbacks that graced the league last year to a squad with more of them than a Manchester-based massage parlour, the conundrum for FPL managers has morphed. Where once there was a lack of choice, now there is too much. The much-discussed Mendy (£6.5m), the world’s most expensive defender, is likely to play when fit. One must consider Guardiola’s propensity for rotation, but one must also bear in mind that Mendy, along with Walker, Danilo and Jesus, are Guardiola’s own big-money acquisitions. They represent the new, bespoke furniture that now adorns the Man City household, replacing the cobweb-filled cabinets that will soon be left to gather dust on the bench. Guardiola will favour them if for no other reason than

picture by: Steven Paston/PA Wire/PA Images

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because he picked them himself. With this in mind, it’s hard to foresee a scenario in which Jesus is left out either, barring injury or religion-based commitments. Pre-season has, if nothing else, been intriguing, with Aguero and Jesus sharing a place in the starting lineups as they did towards the end of last season. It looks to be a harmonious arrangement that suits everyone: Guardiola has married 2 of his fin-

est players, and FPL players can sleep easy at night, knowing neither of their prodigal sons should face the axe. Of course, all of this assumes an intimate knowledge of Pep’s inner workings, something that not even his own wife can claim. The writing seems on the wall, however, we belong to Pep now, and his resolute determination to make us his own bodes well for new signings and old favourites alike. n

D E F E N S I V E R ATIN G

ATTA C K IN G R ATIN G





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

51%

 Away Points %

49%

 Clean Sheets (H)

5

 Clean Sheets (A)

7

 Goals Scored Per Game  Goals Conceded Per Game

22

1.03 2.11

lll “We are the best team in the league when it comes to creating chances, there is no competition” said Pep Guardiola regarding Manchester City’s attack. He couldn’t have been more correct. Manchester City created 101 chances last season - 15 chances more than second placed Spurs. Interestingly, they have the biggest disparity between chances conceded at home and away - if there is a weakness in City’s squad this season, it’ll be exploited away from home.

fantasy football magazine

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

24%

BRI (A)

1.90

29%

EVE (H)

1.95

19%

BOU (A)

1.96

20%

LIV (H)

1.79

27%

WAT (A)

2.28

august 2017

EDITION 3


Man Utd Fan's Voice

ith a squad finally befitting of a Mourinho side, there are a host of exciting FPL acquisitions peppering United this season. Forget the hidden differentials our big names should be grabbing your attention as we head into Gameweek 1. Priced at £5.5m, David De Gea is the cheapest and safest way into the Manchester United defence. A proven shotstopper with a formidable backline protecting him, Dave will almost certainly be hovering near the top of the GK rankings come the end of the season. Plagued with injuries and not settling in the league quickly meant there were natural doubts over Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s propensity for the Premier League last campaign. Regardless, he seems to have won the faith of Mourinho, and with an impressive pre-season under his belt, he could be a steal at £8.0m. Paul Pogba is another player that’s worming his way into GW1 squads across the world. When discussing Pogba, I feel

picture by:Maria Lysaker/Zuma Press/PA Images

Expect the stars to shine W

it’s imperative to stress that the Frenchman didn’t choose to be the most expensive player in the world. Riding a wave of expectation - among United fans and FPL managers alike - he may have disappointed some, but his performances last season hinted at the player so many believed he could be. Valued at just £8.0m, he’s definitely one to keep an eye on. Romelu Lukaku is the highest owned

player at this stage and is a near necessity for FPL managers who don’t want to get left behind. With the creativity of Mkhitaryan, Pogba and Mata behind him, it’s not unreasonable to expect a second consecutive 20+ goal season from the striker. If Lukaku can convert even half of the wasted opportunities that Zlatan squandered last season, he’ll secure the golden boot with games to spare. n

DEFENSIVE RATING

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

49%

 Away Points %

51%

 Clean Sheets (H)

8

 Clean Sheets (A)

9

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.42

 Goals Conceded Per Game

0.76

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

lll Jose Mourinho is the master at keeping out opponents, and this translates in Manchester United’s stats too. Conceding a chance every 165 minutes at home, United are head-and-shoulders the most watertight team in the league. They also created the 2nd highest number of chances, which is somewhat surprising for such a defensively solid side. It’s not all rosy for Mourinho though - his side lost the most number of tackles in the top flight last season.

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Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

46%

WHU (H)

2.17

35%

SWA (A)

1.60

41%

LEI (H)

1.89

33%

STO (A)

1.64

44%

EVE (H)

1.91

23


Newcastle Fan's Voice

e may not have the greatest strikers, midfielders or defenders, but Newcastle possess a weapon far greater than the sum of its playing parts adopted: Geordie Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard may as well have been lounging on a sunbed in the dugout drinking pina coladas throughout much of last season, such was the ease in which the Magpies coasted to promotion, and eventually the Championship title. Understandably, there’s widespread optimism among fans and curiosity among experts regarding our prospects this season. Key to our success last year was the overhaul of the squad Benitez inherited. Benitez’s legacy as a transfer magician is already established – this is, after all, the man who bought Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso to England – but his shrewd signings of Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie set the framework for promotion, and while the duo have experienced middling top flight success to date, their finishing and vision respectively will unlock even

picture by:Steve Drew/Press Association Images

Rafa is our secret weapon W

the sternest of Premier League defences. This summer’s transfer activity hasn’t been perfect, however. Benitez has reportedly been frustrated with Mike Ashley for a perceived lack of spending – of course Ashley’s summer has mostly consisted of explaining the finer art of vomiting into a pub fireplace – but we have at least bought in some exciting arrivals. Christian Atsu turned his loan into a per-

manent deal, and along with fellow winger and new signing Jacob Murphy, we possess pace and dribbling in abundance on the flanks. Florian Lejeune’s strength will improve our centre-back options and it will be interesting to see how, and if, loanee Mikel Merino can play alongside Jonjo Shelvey. Benitez will look to build on his 55% win percentage in the Premier League after a tricky start against Spurs. n

D E F E N S I V E R AT I N G

ATTAC K I N G R AT I N G







Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

51%

 Away Points %

49%

 Clean Sheets (H)

8

 Clean Sheets (A)

11

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.85

 Goals Conceded Per Game

0.87

24

lll Newcastle’s Championship stats are unsurprisingly complimentary, the question will be whether they can retain their form this season. Scoring 26 goals from set pieces last season is a good start; a metric that tends to see less fluctuation when teams transition leagues. They were defensively impressive on their travels in the Championship too, conceding 17 goals in 23 away games. The sort of form they’ll need if they’re to survive in the Premier League.

fantasy football magazine

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

6%

TOT (H)

0.79

29%

HUD (A)

1.17

22%

WHU (H)

1.36

17%

SWA (A)

1.1

27%

STO (H)

1.35

august 2017

EDITION 3


Southampton Fan's Voice

ew manager, transfer sagas, players on strike. It all sounds like a pretty standard summer for the Saints. All that is certain is that nothing is certain. Picking a Saints player for the upcoming FPL season is a daunting task, but with fantastic early fixtures, it seems like a must. Fraser Forster is nailed on between the sticks after signing a new 5 year contract this summer, but at £5.0M he commands a premium fee. If you plan to set and forget a keeper for the first 10 or so weeks, he’s a great option. Maya Yoshida will likely be a starting CB this campaign, and has shown he has an eye for a few goals too. At £5.0M he’s not quite the bargain he was last season, but makes a great alternative to Cedric, who could miss Gameweek 1 following the Confed Cup, despite his 15% ownership. As far as the midfield goes, there are a great many options offering very little substance. With a dearth of information on how our Pellegrino will harness our

picture by: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

New manager, similar outlook N

midfield, the best advice I can offer is to wait and see. Dusan Tadic feels like the most gifted of our relatively uninspired choices. Though Manolo Gabbiadini arrived to the league with a bang last season, a brief injury stopped him firmly in his tracks. Pre-season friendlies have hinted at a pairing of Charlie Austin and the Italian, so there is a small chance that FPL man-

agers will have a choice this season. As with any club going through a managerial transition, there are a host of unknowns at Southampton this season. Managers tend to have their favourites, and Pellegrino will be no different. It’ll take time before our FPL prospects rise to the surface, but what we do know is that Pellegrino is a tinkerer, and tinkerers are never to be trusted. n

DEFENSIVE RATING

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

52%

 Away Points %

48%

 Clean Sheets (H)

8

 Clean Sheets (A)

6

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.08

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.26

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

lll Southampton only converted 33% of their big chances last season - compared to Hull’s 49% and Sunderland’s 44%. Indeed, it was the lowest of any team. Somewhat uniquely, Southampton actually scored 7 more goals away from home than they did at St Mary’s; though it should be noted that their home scoring record was actually the lowest of any non-relegated side. If they can find the back of the net at home, they can be real contenders this season.

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

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

38%

SWA (H)

1.50

31%

WHU (H)

1.55

30%

HUD (A)

1.33

39%

WAT (H)

1.91

24%

CRY (A)

1.21

25


Stoke Fan's Voice

Rainy nights of hope s with most years, nobody is expecting anything too exhilarating from Stoke for the 17/18 campaign. In selling Arnautovic and recruiting the likes of Josh Tymon from Hull and Kurt Zouma on a season-long loan, Mark Hughes’ intention seem to be fairly clear: keep goals out. Needless to say, our summer window has created a sense of gloom among fans, with a general feeling that our efforts should be focused on replacing Arnautovic as well as bolstering our defense, not instead of. But it’s the sturdy defense that we’re known for. Parodied for, in fact. I expect us to take full advantage of that fact this season, with an aim to frustrate opponents where possible. Despite losing arguably our biggest asset there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Stoke supporters, however dim it may be. New signing Darren Fletcher won’t replace Arnie, but could well prove useful in the centre midfield. He made headlines for comparing the talismanic Xherdan Shaqi-

picture by: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/PA Images

A

ri to Lionel Messi this summer, which, despite ridicule, is a somewhat valid point. The Swiss playmaker is to Stoke what Messi is to Barcelona: any good football from Stoke this season will likely have Shaqiri at its heart. Of course, we retain the services of bandwagon favourites Peter Crouch and Joe Allen. Both enjoyed brief but promising spells last season and if either can find that sort of form again in this campaign,

it might not be as painful as many of the Stoke faithful expect. Any FPL funds spent on us should, for the meanwhile, be cautiously invested in our defence. With the legendary Jack Butland back from injury and a few exciting new signings at the back, clean-sheets look like they could be the only saving grace among some ominous warning signs for the Potters. n

DEFENSIVE RATING

A TT A C K I N G R A T I N G





 

Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

61%

 Away Points %

39%

 Clean Sheets (H)

7

 Clean Sheets (A)

4

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.08

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.47

26

lll Stoke won the 3rd most aerial duels in the league last season and had the highest cross completion rate at home. There’s one explanation for this: Peter Crouch. Unsurprisingly to many, Stoke’s pass completion rate in the final 3rd was a measly 75% and they had more bad touches (544) than any other team too. They are the classic longball side, and all of the stats are a testimony to that cliche. The departure of Arnautovic surely won’t alleviate that reputation.

fantasy football magazine

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

11%

EVE (A)

0.84

13%

ARS (H)

1.01

21%

WBA (A)

0.94

30%

MUN (H)

0.82

20%

NEW (A)

1.06

august 2017

EDITION 3


Swansea Fan's Voice

Like a swan in a thrift shop here’s no shame in acknowledging that we are the thrift shop of the FPL market. If managers are prepared to wade through the musty hasbeens and antique tat, they might well unearth a hidden gem at an affordable price. Last season, the likes of Amat, Mawson and, for a fleeting moment, Leroy Fer, bought unbridled joy to cash-strapped managers in search of a bargain. Gylfi Sigurdsson - criminally underpriced and outstandingly influential - proved to be another oasis of affordability in a dessert of pricey premium midfielders. The same can be said for this season. Under Paul Clement, Swansea are a club transformed. Forget the dower days under budget James Bond villain Bob Bradley’s tutelage; we’re a new team now. To illustrate, let’s take a look at Clement’s record since arriving in South Wales. Prior to his arrival, we had conceded 44 goals in 19 games. The mathematically astute among you will have spotted that that’s more than 2 goals a game on aver-

picture by: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

T

age. After Clement (or AC as our most devout disciples like to refer to it), we leaked just 25 goals in 18 fixtures that included visits to City, Liverpool, United and Chelsea. To put it another way, if the season had began when Clement was appointed, we’d have finished in 8th. Our season will largely depend on whether the “Clement Effect” is a real phenomenon or - much like poor Leroy - a

temporary flash in the pan. By extension, our FPL potential hinges on the same condition. No pressure Paul. But regardless of the unknowns, the latter half of the last campaign is reason enough to take some relatively risk-free punts. With only 2 players clocking in at over £5.5m, bargains should be an inevitability, and those early season gambles could well morph into mid-season must-haves. n

D E F EN S I V E R A T I N G

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

66%

 Away Points %

34%

 Clean Sheets (H)

6

 Clean Sheets (A)

2

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.18

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.84

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

lll Swansea had less goal attempts (170) than Sunderland across the season, but it’s worth remembering that their campaign was very much a tale of two halves. They finished with the highest number of successful crosses (229) and created a leaguehigh of 43.6% of their chances from the right wing. With Llorente heading up their attack, we don’t expect these numbers to drop anytime soon.

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Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

17%

SOU (A)

0.80

23%

MUN (H)

0.71

14%

CRY (A)

0.93

28%

NEW (H)

1.33

2%

TOT (A)

0.63

27


Tottenham Fan's Voice

ngland’s national stadium and our new home has a bigger pitch area than White Hart Lane. Wembley Stadium’s pitch measures in at 105m by 68m and dwarfs Spurs’ former residence which, at 100m by 67m, truly offered a home advantage to the North London side. White Hart Lane was actually smaller than the Premier League regulations, but couldn‘t be expanded due to lack of space. For a team like Tottenham - who concentrate through the centre of the pitch this is potentially crippling. Expanding their pressing game to accommodate a wider flank leaves more room through the middle, which exposes the defence due to the high line Pochettino likes us to implement. But there is a more subtle disadvantage at play here too: the effect that Wembley itself has on visiting teams. It is a theatre, and the added emotional impetus associated with such a famous stadium could inspire away teams where they would otherwise crumble.

picture by: Mike Lawrence/Zuma Press/PA Images

New pitch, same Spurs E

With that being said, it’s not all doom and gloom. On the last day of the season we beat Hull 7-1, and guess what? Hull have the largest pitch in the Premier League (the same size as Wembley, in fact). Some may argue Hull were very poor, but it does provide evidence that Spurs aren’t completely incapacitated on a larger pitch. A quick word to the wise. If you’re de-

bating between Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, choose Alli. He’s suspended from the first 3 European fixtures and therefore should avoid Premier League rotation. If you’re unsure over whether to include Harry Kane given his infamous slow starts, just commit. His slow starts are mere coincidence: the man is a proven goalscorer, and no amount of superstition will ever change that. n

DEFENSIVE RATING

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

62%

 Away Points %

38%

 Clean Sheets (H)

12

 Clean Sheets (A)

5

 Goals Scored Per Game

2.26

 Goals Conceded Per Game

0.68

28

lll Tottenham can boast the least amount of goals conceded last season, with a tiny 7% of opponents’ attempts on goal finding the back of the net. The north London side also had the most goal attempts, the highest number of shots on target and the most goals scored from outside the box. It’s not all great news, however. They made the most errors leading to a chance (19) and had a woeful aerial duel success rate of 47%. It’s a bit embarrassing, really.

fantasy football magazine

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

33%

NEW (A)

1.77

33%

CHE (H)

1.44

41%

BUR (H)

2.48

28%

EVE (A)

1.67

41%

SWA (H)

2.62

august 2017

EDITION 3


Watford Fan's Voice

any share the belief that when a new manager is appointed you can throw previous results, trends and tactics out the window and approach with a fresh point of view. From an FPL perspective, I for one couldn’t care less if we conceded an average of 1.8 goals per game last season and won’t get bogged down by the six-point relegation escape. Similar to the boost Leicester players were handed when Shakespeare was given the reigns at the King Power, Marco Silva, who is obviously a level above in terms of managerial experience, will undeniably make it clear that our squad also have a clean slate. Although the commitment to invigorate us doesn‘t end with a new coach and an open-minded squad. Marco Silva has cleared out the backroom staff and replaced them with his own. Just as he did during his brief - yet arguably successful - stint at Hull City; despite his inability complete the mammoth task of saving them from relegation. In comes Assistant Head Coach Joao Pedro Sousa and First Team Trainer Goncalo

picture by: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

Marco Silva can fix it M

Pedro. Both have filled the footprints following Marco Silva to each of his five clubs in as many years. Goalkeeping Coach Hugo Oliveria also links up with ‘Team Silva’ having known Marco since 1998 and helped progress the careers of Julio Cesar and Jan Oblak. “We will bring our commitment, attitude and ambition. I’m really excited, it’s an important step for us and we are looking for-

ward to working with the boys.” The frequent mention of ‘we’ in Silva’s first interview goes to show that Watford have not only recruited a quality manager, but a close-knit unit with years of experience working together. Yes, with tough opening fixtures we will hit obstacles in the early stages, but I do believe Marco Silva has what it takes to smooth things out longterm and provide ample FPL options. n

DEFENSIVE RATING

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

70%

 Away Points %

30%

 Clean Sheets (H)

5

 Clean Sheets (A)

2

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.05

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.53

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

lll Watford conceded more fouls (517) than any other team last season, and lost 1419 ground duels - the most of any side. The stats reveal a scrappy team, struggling with the physicality of the league and doing their best to cope. There’s every chance Marco Silva will turn that around, however. The new manager will want to capitalise on their strength down the flanks; the Hornets created 34.8% of their chances last season from the left-wing alone.

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Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

10%

LIV (H)

0.88

6%

BOU (A)

1.06

27%

BRI (H)

1.34

15%

SOU (A)

0.88

6%

MCI (H)

0.94

29


West Brom Fan's Voice

Changing the furniture nlike numerous clubs where things remain up in the air, we all know what to expect from a Tony Pulis side. A pre-season on the FPL site is usually accompanied with sweaty palms and severe migraines, but swapping in a West Brom player is a quick log-in-log-out job you know what you’re there for and what to expect from your new addition. For goalkeepers, select Foster/Myhill and you have a popular combination amongst fantasy managers, a guaranteed goalkeeper for the whole season and just £8.5m out of your war chest. In defence, pick up one of Craig Dawson or Gareth McAuley at £5m for an ever-present clean sheet gatherer and aerial threat. The pair managed 10 goals between them last season. Moving into midfield, there are two options in the £6m bracket - Matty Phillips and Nacer Chadli. Although West Brom are conservative, this pair individually gathered double-figures in goals + assists last season. Chadli is the designated pen-

picture by: Scott Heavey/PA Archive/PA Images

U

alty taker, while Phillips has corner taking duty to thank for three of his assists in the 2016/17 campaign. Up top, it’s agreed that service is once again limited, but their newest addition Jay Rodriguez is an accepted option who seems to find the net wherever or whenever he gets minutes. He will be the most advanced player in support of Rondon, although he is now classified as a forward.

Finally, a note of caution. It’s possible the ageing FPL legend, Gareth McAuley, won’t be able to keep up with the pace. Enter new signing and standout pre-season performer, Ahmed Hegazi (4.5m). Reshuffling will likely have a negative effect on clean sheet potential, reasserting Dawson as the most sought after defender with four goals in back-to-back seasons n

DEFENSIVE RATING

A TT A C K I N G R A T I N G





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

64%

 Away Points %

36%

 Clean Sheets (H)

4

 Clean Sheets (A)

2

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.13

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.34

30

lll Strangely, West Brom conceded more goals from corners than any other club last season. Conversely, they topped the number of goals scored from corners too. It appears that West Brom are much happier attacking corners than they are defending them; something that Pulis will be keen to stamp out. They had a league-low of 32.7% possession in the opponent’s half, but know how to clear a ball, with 14 more clearances than the next top 4 teams combined.

fantasy football magazine

Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

25%

BOU (H)

1.38

27%

BUR (A)

0.99

31%

STO (H)

1.88

26%

BRI (A)

1.12

27%

WHU (H)

1.42

august 2017

EDITION 3


WEST HAM Fan's Voice

Reasons to be hopeful ollowing a rather shocking 16/17, West Ham fans look to the season ahead with a fair amount of optimism following some significant summer signings in the form of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and the star striker we have so desperately needed - Javier ‚Chicharito‘ Hernandez. Slaven Bilic has been spending, and the sense of relief among fans is palpable. Now, of course, our new signings need to deliver. Looking at West Ham’s FPL credentials, a few of the new signings must be considered. Joe Hart looks decent value at £4.5m in goal. He faces a tough few games at the start the season, but this is a goalkeeper who, had Pep Guardiola not arrived at Man City, would likely still be playing for a Top 4 side. He benefits from a bolstered West Ham defence, which only improves his clean-sheet prospects more so. Javier Hernandez‘s price was expected among many to be in the zone of £88.5m (we’d be terrible at Bruce Forsyth’s

picture by: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

F

The Price is Right), so it was a pleasant surprise to see him come in at £7.0m. Let’s not forget that this is a player who had one of the best goals/minutes ratios from his earlier stint at Manchester United. He’s been through the Premier League ringer and emerged unscathed - better, in fact. Nothing about his return suggests this time will be any different. Always a wonderful player to watch,

£7.0m Manuel Lanzini would be my goto midfield option at West Ham. Arguably West Ham‘s best player who mans most of our set pieces, the Argentinian has been the creative flair in our squad since Payet’s premature departure. With a quality striker in front of him, Lanzini’s huge potential for assists as well as goals has increased even further, making him a potential bargain. n

DEFENSIVE RATING

AT TACKING RATING





Standout Stats

16/17 In Numbers  Home Points %

56%

 Away Points %

44%

 Clean Sheets (H)

8

 Clean Sheets (A)

2

 Goals Scored Per Game

1.24

 Goals Conceded Per Game

1.68

www.fantasyfootballmag.com

lll West Ham can boast the most interceptions in the league with 614, and mustered 156 aerial chances on their travels: the 3rd highest of any team. However, the East London club had the lowest shooting accuracy (27%) of any side in the league, made the least number of tackles (910) and made the most errors that lead to goals (11). Concentration needs to improve, and Bilic will be hoping that Hernandez can improve their accuracy in front of goal.

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Opening Five Clean Sheet Probability

VS

Expected Goals For

13%

MUN (A)

0.70

14%

SOU (A)

1.03

18%

NEW (A)

1.19

35%

HUD (H)

2.07

18%

WBA (A)

1.26

31


i h C d n a k c u L Part 2 of our y d u t S 7 1 / 6 1 e v i s mas

e biggest post-season th of t en m al st in al fin In the 2nd and role Blake delves into the er et P d, te uc nd co er study ev contentious issue over e th d an s es cc su L of luck in FP both chips. The results are us io ec pr ur yo ay pl to when ng in equal measure tli ar st d an e bl ta ic ed pr contact made before on whether there was fothe t tha r yea the s wa ? the free kick was given ed otball authorities cav co ns en su s is rar ely a y wh n so rea e Th aft er ye ars of rel en tle is because a consenll tba forthcoming in foo the t tes ly ive tat to ten the human experienss pressure and began sus is seldom found in is it as R VA the or ee, thing as objective reVideo Assistant Refer ce, for there is no such ich wh in es gam the the world will of e On How one person views commonly known. ty. ali rcou of I gy, technolo person standing the technology (and by subtly different from the be ) een scr ter pu a com storic man saw a rose mean a man watching next to them: one pre-hi etw be ly nd frie 7 201 e on. was used was in the Jun ck, another saw a weap . This is an extract from urosis this is a disconne my of e eon som en England and France r Fo t firs ’s nd gla sis of En ich is why I devote my the BBC website’s analy certing proposition, wh . tem nal energies to the seexperience with the sys personal and professio vid es iev bel ate thg Sou in the language of staEngland boss Gareth arch for objective truth right“ % 100 it get night a fantasy ays alw ’t aly : by day a data an st, by eo technology „won ics tist 3-2 ir the in yer sent off rse, the search for the after France had a pla football player. Of cou . ris Pa in e because statistics win over the Three Lions objective truth is a mirag ing ng bri for d sse mi dis s elves; they need conRaphael Varane wa cannot speak for thems rry Kane Ha ich wh y, alt vided by the subjecpen a pro down Dele Alli for t, which can only be tex e ere ref the e „I assum sy Football terms, an scored. Southgate said: tivity of viewer. In Fanta a it’s n the , can he d if iker who has scored for wanted to make sure an example might be a str nt me ele an be l stil l wil h a 50% conversion rasensible decision. There three straight games wit t.“ tha in ent gem k at the same objective of one person’s jud te. Two viewers may loo added that ps am sch De ier e a subjective context: Did vid ch pro l France coa data, but both wil “. rsh ha ite r-performing and will the sending off „was qu one says the striker is ove asep o tw d an s ger na other will believe that We have here two ma regress to the mean, the e-changam gle sin a t jus n of form. m rate opinions fro the striker is in a rich vei thing new no rse cou of is Football Magazine I y is tas Th . Fan ging decision In Edition 1 of n see u yo ve ha when discussing the es tim touched on this principle in football; how many ng eei agr dis its nd pu y two Match Of The Da

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32

fantasy football magazine

august 2017

EDITION 3


picture by: Nick Potts/PA Wire/PA Images

! e s a e l hips, P

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33


16/17 in Stats

reading of underlying metrics in order to assess player potential, arguing that without sufficient data the perception of the FPL manager can be warped by statistics that tell an untrue story if not handled with the correct context. In the pre-season special I introduced evidence from the FPL community via surveys I conducted at three stages of the season which showed that circumstances can alter how an FPL manager views the world, and even how he thinks about the game. Although not the main thrust of the article, I briefly showed that: - FPL managers’ collective attitudes towards taking point hits for extra transfers were more liberal in the mid-season than they were at the start or the end of the season. - The mid-season saw a swing from managers trying to build team value towards actively trying to protect against it falling. This was almost assuredly as a result of the chaos and uncertainty that pervades the game when the Christmas schedule arrives, and the managers are neither experiencing the control they feel at the start of the season or the resolution they encounter as the conclusion comes into view. In essence, our experience of the game changes during the mid-season, and this affects our actions in a different way as it would have done at the start or end of the season. In this article I want to further explore this concept by delving again into the survey results. How does the circumstance of the season affect our perception of control, and how do our expectations affect our satisfaction with our performances? Methodology I published three surveys in total to Google Forms, and embedded these in my blog (www.mathematicallysafe.wordpress.com), and promoted them on Twitter only. I understand that some generous souls in the community pushed news of this out further into the web, for which I am thankful. • Pre-season survey – 302 respondents • Mid-season survey (GW19) – 254 respondents • Post-season survey (GW38) – 278 respondents I asked a series of questions all designed to understand how managers approach the game from a strategic perspective. A selection of these questions are highlighted below (for further findings, see Fantasy Football Magazine’s pre-season special). In each case, the metrics have been cross-referenced with others that measure the success of the team and strategy. I’d like to again publicly offer my thanks to @FPLStatto for lending his expertise in sourcing the additional data. Approximately, how much of a role do you feel that luck plays in an FPL manager’s season? I was interested to understand how much control FPL managers feel they have over their team’s performance. Therefore, I asked the question: • 0% • 25% • 50% • 75% • 100% The data in Figure 1 shows that the less a manager believes in luck, the higher his points total is likely to be

34

fantasy football magazine

august 2017

EDITION 3


Figure 1: Dis tribution of points

by Luck atti tudes, all re spondents

Average of Pts

2700

Final Points Total

2500

Min of Pts

Max of Pts

2300 2100 1900 1700

1500

ance am perform in luck vs. te ts f lie e b e g en vera all respond Figure 2: A pectations, ex to e v ti la re

75% (n=26)

50% (n=93)

POST-SEASO N

FPL manager ’s

100% (n=2)

of a role do yo u feel that lu ck plays in an

25% (n=130)

(n=2)

100% (n=0)

75% (n=46)

50% (n=116)

(n=1)

25%  (n=91)

MID-SEASO N

0% 

Approximatel y, how much

0% 

PRE-SEASON

100% (n=0)

75% (n=25)

50% (n=119)

25% (n=154)

0% 

(n=4)

1300

season?

at the end of the season. There is an ever-decreasing average points total in each of the three surveys from 0% to 25%, 25% to 50%, and so on. It suggests that a __ Managers manager is best advised to disavow luck and leave performing nothing to chance. e ov ab ns io at ct However, there are anomalies in the data. At the pe ex end of the season, the ceiling for those that think __ Managers 75% luck (e.g. a lot of luck is involved) is raised aboperforming below ve others. We also see 100% (e.g. complete luck) for ns io at ct expe the first time in the post-season survey from two managers; this indicates there are some managers who believe their good rank is linked entirely to their good fortune, which is very humble of them. If we look at the average attribution of luck in each of the surveys we see that the season is bookended by almost identical attitudes; in pre-season the average attribution is 38.8% and in the postseason it is 39.7%. However, as we have seen with team value and with the attitude towards hits, the mid-season chaos of the game leads to an increased belief in the role of luck, up to 45.4%. Figure 2 shows a probable explanation for this decreased belief in our own predictive powers; when we feel out of control, it is because our teams are performing below our expectations. What the chart shows is that as more teams start performing above the expectations of their managers, belief in luck diminishes. The mid-season period appears to be the phase in which FPL managers suffer a crisis of confidence and, with their teams under-performing, are more inclined to blame it on bad luck (although to suggest that we are all completely in denial about our own role in our downfalls would be stretching the truth). By the end of the season, when the dust settles and the final totals are in, FPL managers are no longer contending with the chaos of the season and can appreciate the role of luck in much the same way that they did at the start of the season. It is in this postseason slumber, when they know that they have done everything they can and there is nothing left to predict, that the perception

__ Role of Luck (average)

60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% PRE SEASON

N mid-SEASO

N POST-SEASO

picture by: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire/PA Images

0%

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There are some managers who believe their good rank is linked entirely to their good fortune, which is very humble of them

35

â–¸


16/17 in Stats

of how the team has performed increases (although notably ‘above expectations’ is still lower than ‘below expectations’). Key insight: the more a manager rejects luck as a factor in his FPL season, the more likely he or she is to prosper. However, the data suggests that there is an increased tendency to blame underperforming teams on bad luck during the season. The best advice here is to reject this notion; know that probability sometimes lands in your favour and sometimes not. If you continue to have certainty in your decisions, data shows that you are more likely to turn it around. Is it favourable to play the Bench Boost/Triple Captain chip in a double gameweek? Most of us are aware that the conventional wisdom demands that the Bench Boost and Triple Captain chips be played during a double gameweek. Of course this rationale will be challenged this season with the introduction of the ‘Free Hit’ chip, but during the 2016/17 Pre-Season I asked: Is it favourable to play the Bench Boost/ Triple Captain chip in a double gameweek? • Yes • No • I don’t know / maybe The verdict was overwhelmingly clear that they should be played in DGWs; 87% for Bench Boost, 91% Triple Captain (n=302). The logic is fairly simple: if your triple captain is playing in two games, he has twice the opportunity to get attacking points, and even if he doesn’t then at least the 4 appearance points are better than the 2 he’d score in a single gameweek. The same goes for the 12th-15th players in your squad during a bench boost. However, during the Post-Season I endeavoured to find out whether the logic was true by asking:

a double gameweek. Figure 3 looks at how happy the managers were with the performance of their chips, broken down by when they actually played them. Bench Boost was considered 75% okay or very useful by those who played it in a double gameweek, compared to 59.5% who played it at other times, which is what we would expect to see. However, when playing the Triple Captain outside of a double gameweek, 81.3% said it was okay or very useful, even slightly beating those who used it in a double gameweek

Figure 3: How useful did you find the Bench Boost/ Triple Captain chip this season? 100% 80%

11.9% 27.3%

The results were not exactly as one would have thought considering the overwhelming favourability of playing them during

36

fantasy football magazine

35.2%

47.5%

n It was a disaster

47.6%

60%

How useful did you find the Bench Boost/ Triple Captain chip this season? • Very useful • Okay • Not very useful • It was a disaster

(78.2% okay or very useful). If we look at the numbers from the perspective of ‘very useful’ only, we see that Bench Boosting in double gameweek is by far the best option, whereas managers who Triple Captain in a non-double gameweek are more likely to rate the chip as being ‘very useful’ than those who used it during a double gameweek. It is the favourability of the non-double gameweek Triple Captain that is the most curious of all the data in this article, however there is a theory that can be attributed

n Not very useful

50.5% 40%

39.0%

33.8%

n Very useful

23.8% 20% 0%

15.2%

10.0% 8.8%

7.1%

Non-DGW

DGW

Triple Captain

n Okay

17.8% 16.7%

8.1%

Non-DGW

DGW

Bench Boost

august 2017

EDITION 3


picture by: Dave Howarth/PA Wire/PA Images

42.0 5%

0%

10%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

hing less than a haul can fail to meet the elevated expectations. Therefore, whilst the absolute value of the chip might not be any better during a single gameweek than a double gameweek, the expectations and relative impact to the team can seem more significant during a single gameweek, hence the high satisfaction rating for them. Key insight: logic dictates that two games are better than one, and for the perceptions of the Bench Boost this holds true, but with the Triple Captain chip those who used it during a single gameweek report it as being more beneficial, arguably due to the lower expectations assigned to it relative to the double gameweek. Summary

to it. The non-double gameweek Bench Boost was less likely to drive satisfaction because although it increases the points total for the gameweek, it is dependent on the 12th-15th players in the squad performing which is a difficult thing to accomplish considering the cheap options that populate one’s bench. However, when played in a double gameweek, the team’s score for the manager would likely have been very high owing to most managers bringing in double gameweek players; Gameweek 37, for example, saw scores of 200+ throughout the game. So even though the increase from the bench may have been marginal in the context of the overall squad performance, the contribution to a very high score can make a manager feel very pleased with the outcome. By contrast, the Triple Captain in a nondouble gameweek would have been a big hitter within the game and far more likely to return something significant, unlike the 12th-15th men in the squad. Even modest returns from a captain can have a big impact in a gameweek where the average score is, say, 60 points. However, during a double gameweek, when we are expecting our big hitter to go on a rampage, anyt-

5%

15%

The data displayed here over this twopart series shows that we FPL managers are apparently influenced subtly by our experience of the game. There is not an objective reality despite it being a statistics-based game because our subjective perceptions warp our viewpoints. The mid-season period brings about a different mind-set to the beginning and end of the season because we feel that circumstances are more out of control and our gameplay changes accordingly. Similarly, our definition of success can alter according to circumstance; satisfaction with the Triple Captain chip can be influenced as much by our expectations of it as with the total points it delivers, for example. A telling finding from these surveys has been how an absence of luck is prevalent in the beliefs of managers with a higher average point total. This appears to be the foundation upon which an FPL season can be built; the belief that you are in control. However, as we have seen, that control and self-belief is something that can be

Satisfaction with the Triple Captain chip can be influenced as much by our expectations of it as with the total points it delivers

difficult to retain in the heat of a season. The aspect of disavowing luck is a concept that troubles me somewhat. My believe is that the enjoyment of playing FPL is akin to the thrill felt by a gambler. It draws on the dichotomy inherent in predicting an event that one has no direct control over: we are essentially trying to foresee order in the unfolding chaos. By removing belief in luck we are essentially removing our belief in chance, of the surprising, of the unpredictable. Is it not the uncertainty that draws us in and makes the game addictive? Personally, I have always had a significant belief in ‘luck’ because I understand there are countless variables that go into a football match. Nonetheless, my work in analysis has effectively been an attempt to tame it and to transform it from luck into probability which gives me at least some chance of anticipating it, even if I know it won’t always work in my favour. The fear is that if we keep going down this road and - as analysts and machines - get smarter, then we will effectively ‘solve’ the game, killing the uncertainty as happened with the online poker boom a few years back. However, I don’t think we are there yet, nor will we be for quite some time. Football is far too complicated to be completely predictable, certainly on a game-bygame basis, and it is this uncertainty and our attempts to operate within its parameters that give the game its appeal. Like the England and France managers and the VAR officials, we are all seeing the same information, but our infinite diversity allows us to interpret it in different ways depending on our context. Retaining objectivity within this environment can be extremely difficult as the game moves on regardless of our actions. In other words, are we playing the game or is the game playing us? For more fascinating FPL insight, be sure to follow Peter on Twitter @artemidorus_1

Footnote: when completing the surveys the reader was informed that there was ‘no commercial incentive’ for the author. In that spirit, the author wishes it to be known that the fee for this article has been donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

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37

45%


ISLE OF SHITE FESTIVAL 2017-18 THE MANE STAGE FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Kuns & Moses Blink 1-Atsu McQueen of the Stone Age Son 41 Fall Out Mooy King Krul

Red Hot Chilli Pieters The Stokes Passive Attack Matic Street Preachers Canned Heaton Kendrick Lamela

Fleetwood Makelele Lallanas Morrisette Earth, Mings and Fire Destiny‘s Wollscheid Wengerboys Simply Redmond

TENT ALEXANDER ARNOLD FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Ozil Osbourne Marvin Gueye The Flamini Lips Jesus & Mendy Chain Cech Son 5 Siggy Pop Forster The People Dyer Straights Rodriguez y Gabriel The Psychedelic Fers Holy Fuchs Kylie Mannone

BBC INTRO-DUSAN STAGE FRIDAY

SATURDAY

The Notorious RLC P-N’Didi Childish Firmino Public Elneny Run the Paul Jewels So Solid Crewe Inspectah Cech KaRiuS-One

SUNDAY Tupac Shaqiri A$AP Totti Post Maloney DeLaScholes


THE FFMAG FIXT Clean-Sheet Forecast

clean-sheet predictor, developed by Paul Morgan, is probably the most thorough clean-sheet forecast ↓ Our in the world. Quite simply, it simulates every event in every game, and repeats that simulation thousands of

times to calculate how a fixture will pan out. Remarkably, it had an accuracy of over 85% last season. Needless to say, it's time to pull out the magnifying glass and study this table vigorously before you make another transfer.

TEAM

Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur Southampton Liverpool West Bromwich Albion Crystal Palace Chelsea Manchester City Newcastle United West Ham United Arsenal Stoke City Swansea City Everton Leicester City AFC Bournemouth Brighton Burnley Watford Huddersfield Town

GW1

GW2

GW3

GW4

GW5

WHU (H)

SWA (A)

LEI (H)

STO (A)

EVE (H)

46%

35%

41%

33%

44%

NEW (A)

CHE (H)

BUR (H)

EVE (A)

SWA (H)

33%

33%

41%

28%

41%

SWA (H)

WHU (H)

HUD (A)

WAT (H)

CRY (A)

38%

31%

30%

39%

24%

WAT (A)

CRY (H)

ARS (H)

MCI (A)

BUR (H)

29%

32%

28%

13%

44%

BOU (H)

BUR (A)

STO (H)

BRI (A)

WHU (H)

25%

27%

31%

26%

27%

HUD (H)

LIV (A)

SWA (H)

BUR (A)

SOU (H)

36%

9%

30%

26%

30%

BUR (H)

TOT (A)

EVE (H)

LEI (A)

ARS (H)

40%

9%

28%

18%

24%

BRI (A)

EVE (H)

BOU (A)

LIV (H)

WAT (A)

24%

29%

19%

20%

27%

TOT (H)

HUD (A)

WHU (H)

SWA (A)

STO (H)

6%

29%

22%

17%

27%

MUN (A)

SOU (A)

NEW (A)

HUD (H)

WBA (A)

13%

14%

18%

35%

18%

LEI (H)

STO (A)

LIV (A)

BOU (H)

CHE (A)

29%

26%

13%

21%

7%

EVE (A)

ARS (H)

WBA (A)

MUN (H)

NEW (A)

11%

13%

21%

30%

20%

SOU (A)

MUN (H)

CRY (A)

NEW (H)

TOT (A)

17%

23%

14%

28%

2%

STO (H)

MCI (A)

CHE (A)

TOT (H)

MUN (A)

34%

10%

8%

13%

19%

ARS (A)

BRI (H)

MUN (A)

CHE (H)

HUD (A)

5%

31%

15%

9%

23%

WBA (A)

WAT (H)

MCI (H)

ARS (A)

BRI (H)

18%

26%

7%

4%

27%

MCI (H)

LEI (A)

WAT (A)

WBA (H)

BOU (A)

8%

8%

21%

30%

12%

CHE (A)

WBA (H)

TOT (A)

CRY (H)

LIV (A)

5%

30%

3%

29%

8%

LIV (H)

BOU (A)

BRI (H)

SOU (A)

MCI (H)

10%

6%

27%

15%

6%

CRY (A)

NEW (H)

SOU (H)

WHU (A)

LEI (H)

5%

16%

15%

4%

9%

AVG

40% 35% 32% 29% 27% 26% 24% 24% 20% 19% 19% 19% 17% 17% 17% 16% 16% 15% 13% 10%

For more player and team projections, head over to fantasyfootballfirst.co.uk

40

fantasy football magazine

august 2017

EDITION 3


XTURE TRACKER Expected Goals Forecast

Expected Goals Forecast uses a sophisticated algorithm that assigns each team with ↓ The a number of how many goals they are expected to score each fixture. Conceived by our stats expert Antti Hyppänen, this is the definitive way to predict expected goals, making it an indispensable tool for planning your attacking and defensive options alike.

Tottenham Hotspur Manchester City Liverpool Manchester United Chelsea Arsenal Southampton AFC Bournemouth West Bromwich Albion Crystal Palace Leicester City West Ham United Newcastle United Everton Watford Brighton Huddersfield Town Stoke City Swansea City Burnley

GW1

GW2

GW3

GW4

GW5

NEW (A)

CHE (H)

BUR (H)

EVE (A)

SWA (H)

1.77

1.44

2.48

1.67

2.62

BRI (A)

EVE (H)

BOU (A)

LIV (H)

WAT (A)

1.90

1.95

1.96

1.79

2.28

WAT (A)

CRY (H)

ARS (H)

MCI (A)

BUR (H)

1.92

2.09

1.65

1.26

2.44

WHU (H)

SWA (A)

LEI (H)

STO (A)

EVE (H)

2.17

1.60

1.89

1.64

1.91

BUR (H)

TOT (A)

EVE (H)

LEI (A)

ARS (H)

2.42

1.07

1.95

1.76

1.96

LEI (H)

STO (A)

LIV (A)

BOU (H)

CHE (A)

2.05

1.62

1.22

2.74

1.14

SWA (H)

WHU (H)

HUD (A)

WAT (H)

CRY (A)

1.50

1.55

1.33

1.91

1.21

WBA (A)

WAT (H)

MCI (H)

ARS (A)

BRI (H)

1.15

1.89

1.13

1.04

1.89

BOU (H)

BUR (A)

STO (H)

BRI (A)

WHU (H)

1.38

0.99

1.88

1.12

1.42

HUD (H)

LIV (A)

SWA (H)

BUR (A)

SOU (H)

1.75

0.80

1.50

1.29

1.37

ARS (A)

BRI (H)

MUN (A)

CHE (H)

HUD (A)

1.02

1.85

0.75

1.14

1.69

MUN (A)

SOU (A)

NEW (A)

HUD (H)

WBA (A)

0.70

1.03

1.19

2.07

1.26

TOT (H)

HUD (A)

WHU (H)

SWA (A)

STO (H)

0.79

1.17

1.36

1.1

1.35

STO (H)

MCI (A)

CHE (A)

TOT (H)

MUN (A)

1.73

0.99

0.85

1.22

0.88

LIV (H)

BOU (A)

BRI (H)

SOU (A)

MCI (H)

0.88

1.06

1.34

0.88

0.94

MCI (H)

LEI (A)

WAT (A)

WBA (H)

BOU (A)

0.84

0.82

1.07

1.22

1.10

CRY (A)

NEW (H)

SOU (H)

WHU (A)

LEI (H)

0.80

1.04

0.9

0.93

1.06

EVE (A)

ARS (H)

WBA (A)

MUN (H)

NEW (A)

0.84

1.01

0.94

0.82

1.06

SOU (A)

MUN (H)

CRY (A)

NEW (H)

TOT (A)

0.80

0.71

0.93

1.33

0.63

CHE (A)

WBA (H)

TOT (A)

CRY (H)

LIV (A)

0.49

1.01

0.49

1.14

0.63

AVG

2.00 1.98 1.87 1.84 1.83 1.75 1.50 1.42 1.36 1.34 1.29 1.25 1.15 1.13 1.02 1.01 0.95 0.93 0.88 0.75

Antti’s Expected Goals Forecast is a living, breathing organism, changing accordingly after each fixture. To keep up-to-date, visit allfantasytips.com www.fantasyfootballmag.com

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41

picture by: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

TEAM


42

fantasy football magazine

Ritchie, Gayle, Mitrovic

Austin, Gabbiadini, Tadic

Bojan, Adam, Shaqiri

Sigurdsson, Llorente, J. Ayew

Kane, Janssen, Alli

Newcastle

Southampton

Stoke

Swansea

Spurs

picture by: DANIEL MUNOZ/AAP/PA Images

Noble, Lanzini, Chicharito

Lukaku, Pogba, Martial

Man Utd

West Ham

Holebas, Zarate, Capoue

Aguero, Jesus, Y. Toure

Man City

Deeney, Zarate, Watson

Milner, Sturridge, Coutinho

Liverpool

Chadli, Morrison, Berahino

Mahrez, Vardy, Slimani

Leicester

Watford

Lowe, Mooy, Ince

Huddersfield

West Brom

Eriksen, Kane, Lamela

Baines, Rooney, Klaassen

Lanzini, Snodgrass, Arnautovic

Brunt, Chadli, Morrison

Sigurdsson, J. Ayew, Montero

Shaqiri, Adam, Allen

Tadic, Ward-Prowse, Van Dijk

Ritchie, Shelvey, Gayle

Pogba, Mata, Young

De Bruyne, Y. Toure, D. Silva

Coutinho, Henderson, Milner

Mahrez, Fuchs, Drinkwater

Ince, Mooy, Lowe

Rooney, Mirallas, Baines

Milivojevic, Puncheon, Townsend

Everton

Willian, Luiz, Alonso

Brady, Arfield, Gudmundsson

Milivojevic, Benteke, Cabaye

Gray, Vokes, Barnes

Burnley

Knockhaert, Suttner, Groß

Crystal Palace

Murray, Hemed, Knockhaert

Brighton

Stanislas, Arter, King

Hazard, Fabregas, Batshuayi

C. Wilson, Stanislas, Defoe

Bournemouth

Sanchez, Ozil, Cazorla

Direct Freekicks

Chelsea

Lacazette, Cazorla, Sanchez

Penalties

Arsenal

Team

Lanzini, Snodgrass, Noble

Brunt, Phillips, Rodriguez

Holebas, Zarate, Cleverley

Eriksen, Lamela, Alli

Sigurdsson, Carroll, Routledge

Shaqiri, Adam, Allen

Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Davis

Ritchie, Shelvey, Colback

Mata, Blind, Herrera

De Bruyne, D. Silva, B. Silva

Milner, Henderson, Coutinho

Mahrez, Albrighton, Fuchs

Mooy, Lowe, Ince

Mirallas, Rooney, Baines

Cabaye, Puncheon, Milivojevic

Willian, Fabregas, Luiz

Brady, Arfield, Hendrick

Knockhaert, Groß, Suttner

Arter, Stanislas, Fraser

Ozil, Cazorla, Sanchez

INdirect Freekicks

Snodgrass, Lanzini, Feghouli

Brunt, Phillips, Chadli

Holebas, Cleverley, Capoue

Carroll, Antonio, Reid

Dawson, Rondon, McAuley

Prodl, Britos, Deeney

Alderweireld, Kane, Dier

Mawson, Llorente, Fernandez

Sigurdsson, Montero, Routledge Eriksen, Son, Lamela

Shawcross, Martins-Indi, Crouch

Yoshida, Van Dijk, J. Stephens

Lascelles, Clark, Lejeune

Pogba, Lukaku, Fellaini

Stones, Otamendi, Kompany

Matip, Lovren, Firmino

Maguire, Huth, Slimani

Hefele, Schindler, Kachunga

Keane, Williams, Jagielka

Benteke, Dann, Tomkins

Luiz, Cahill, Batshuayi

Mee, Vokes, Barnes

Dunk, Duffy, Murray

S. Cook, Ake, King

Mustafi, Koscielny, Giroud

Aerial Threats

Shaqiri, Adam, Allen

Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Davis

Shelvey, Ritchie, Atsu

Mata, Blind, Mkhitaryan

De Bruyne, D. Silva, Sane

Coutinho, Milner, Henderson

Albrighton, Mahrez, Gray

Mooy, Ince, Lowe

Mirallas, Rooney, Baines

Puncheon, Cabaye, Townsend

Fabregas, Willian, Hazard

Brady, Arfield, Defour

Knockhaert, Groß, Suttner

Fraser, Stanislas, Ibe

Ozil, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Corners

SET PIECE TAKERS The players set for a piece of the dead ball action this season

some of us have managed ← Whilst to catch a few rays of summer sun, Clarke Hutchison has been cooped up, wading through Match of the Day recordings and plotting the Premier League's set piece takers. These stats might be deliciously insightful, but they aren't free range.

august 2017

EDITION 3


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FOOTBALL FANTASY - 210 x 297 V2.indd 2

31/07/2017 11:09

Profile for FFMAG

Fantasy Football Mag - Edition 3  

Fantasy Football Mag - Edition 3  

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