Tuesday 20 November 2012

GW12 Match Centre

I've included indicators to the team match stats for each team, the little arrows.  This is calculated by taking the attacking stat for a team and comparing it against the opposition's average corresponding defensive stat.  If the value is above 1 standard deviation above the mean then it's a green arrow, 1 SD below it's red, in between it's yellow.

For example, in the first game Arsenal's 7 SOT exceeds Tottenham's average SOT conceded away from home of 3.8 by quite a bit, so it's a green arrow (you'll have to account for the red card yourself I'm afraid).  Arsenal's total shots of 13 is not too far from Tottenham's away shots conceded average of 11.9 so that's a yellow arrow.

This adds some context to the stats I believe and tells you how a team performed to the league average.  Again using the first game, you can see Tottenham achieved close close to average shot totals against Arsenal despite being down to 10 men for much of the game.

 As discussed already in the intro, difficult to judge this game with Adebayor sent off after just 18 minutes.  The chances were spread out for Arsenal with the exception of Giroud who is definetly becoming the focal point for the Gunner's attack. 

Have to say Everton's dominance here, especially in the first half,  deservered at least a draw, and Moyes was indeed quite vocal about his team failing to finish off opponents.  Perhaps need to try and fire up Jelavic in this respect.  Le Fondre for Reading was very busy as was Nicky Shorey creating 6 of the home team's chances.

As expected by many of us, Liverpool were in fine fettle here, both offensively and in defence racking up a tonne of chances and conceding very little indeed.  Sterling was amongst the FPL points once again and Enrique's position in midfield needs close attention.  You no longer need me to tell you that Suarez was Liverpool's main goal threat though.


West Brom need to be given great credit for the way they are playing this year and are doing the important things right.  Shane Long is doing superbly this season and when you take a closer look at his stats from last season they compare well.  This was a confusing line-up for Chelsea with them missing a large number of first team regulars in Terry, Cole, Lampard, Mata and Ivanovic.  Sturridge's continued role and performance in the side will need watching.


Total dominance from City here, who really excelled with Tevez stealing the show statistically although it should be noted Aguero played less of the match.  Nasri had a much better game than he's managed of late and Silva looked like he took up a more attacking role than the creative one.  For Villa, well, they can feel hard done by from the penalty decision but would never really have been expected to do much here. 


Southampton dominated the stats here in all areas.  There defensive performance has been on the up recently although midfielder Puncheon stole the show with a very impressive number of shots.  If he can keep his place, even a little, then he becomes a great player to own.  What's wrong with QPR though?  Why can't they score.  Some of the players stats here looked good, perhaps lacking accuracy when in the box (Cisse).

A stunning number of shots overall in this game, almost 50 shots in total, averaging 1 every 2 minutes.  I'm well impressed!  Swansea's Michu and Newcastle's Ba, as their teams central strikers not suprisingly had the most of their teams chances, with Hernandez and Ben Arfa chief amongst creativity.  Ba's totals in particular would usually easily be enough for a brace.

Norwich's defence is much improved and that can be seen in United's shot totals not exceeding Norwich's home averages despite some relatively low looking numbers. In contrast Norwich did not put in a display of great attacking verve but got the all important goal and clean sheet.  Pilkington's winner just reward for his attacking performance.  For United it's still all about Van Persie in the shots department although Ashley Young matching his efforts deserves a mention.  Hernandez managing just 1 shot and from outside the box probably tells you about this game.

Another early red card prevents this results from telling the true strory of this match-up but again, as for the ARS-TOT game, we can see Fulham had a good go at Sunderland despite their 10 men with lots of threat from Berbatov, Sidwell and Petric.  For Sunderland Fletcher got back amongst the goals and Adam Johnos picked up 2 assists but I wouldn't read too much into this result for the Black Cats.

This match finished exactly as many people had called it with neither team impressing in a pure attacking sense.  A few Hammers had chances to score and Nolan could have added a goal to his collection.  Instead it was a rival for his place in the midpriced midfielder's category, Jon Walters, who picked up attacking points.


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  4. Been waiting for this post to add my own comments because I like to hear myself talk (or post)!

    ARS 5 - TOT 2

    As you say, nothing much can be gleamed in a match when one team is a man up for 80% of the game. I did think Arsenal's defense was exposed early as they were pressing as usual and the pace of the Spurs exposed the resulting open space (fastest team in the league upfront IMO when Defoe and Lennon join Bale). On the attack, Arsenal is clearly coming from a wider space these days, looking for Giroud's wide body and accurate heading in the middle. This can be seen in looking at the # of crosses attempted which are up about 13% over the past 4 games. Walcott's impact has been clear. Of course, now he is hurt so who knows...

    RDG 2 - EVE 1

    Everton isn't the most accurate attacking side ever (both Jelavic and Fellaini have many fewer shots on target than expected given the number of shots in the box). With that said, they remain physically dominant, seemingly able to get open in the box at will. The game at Reading was no exception. However, the accuracy remains something to keep your eye on.

    No sure why people are dropping Pienaar so quickly. He remains a major part of the attack and has been unlucky not to have a couple assists and a goal the last few weeks. He remains a solid value at his price especially considering the next two home fixtures.

    For Reading, Shorey was creative, but I still don't think he's an option for a truly putrid defensive side.

    LIV 3 - WIG 0

    Jose Enrique, the winger? If you say so! The clumsy Spaniard was certainly effective last week, although my initial optimism was tempered a bit by further evaluation. Sterling continues to improve and now looks like a legit rotation option. The backline is elite and Wisdom represents a cut rate option presuming he keeps his job (no sure thing). Suarez is the best player in the league right now.

    For Wigan, I think this simply shows how outclasses they are on the road against better teams. Keep that in mind moving forward.

    WBA 2 - CHE 1

    Seems RDM thought his second string could manage a win at the Brommies. No idea why though as West Brom has been a top 10 club all season and have been superb at home. Giving away 3 points here is foolish, even if Juventus and City waiting in the next 7 days.

    Hazard was strong as usual and Mata was superb in his limited time. I would not be at all concerned about either of them other than the occasional rotation (a risk for nearly every elite MID except maybe Bale).

    For Bromwich, Long was superb, but remains a rotation risk with Lukaku. If either of these guys could lock in a spot they would be real assets. As it is, Long is still a viable option especially at his price point. Morrison is my favorite midfielder under 6.5. The Brommie’s backline offers several rotation options although I would probably prefer cheaper options on Stoke, Sunderland or even Norwich.

    By the way, I’d like to complain about the personal impact of RDM’s rotation strategy. I own Mata and had Sterling as my first sub. Resting Mata the entire 90 would have been fine, but bringing him in for 30 did nothing but cost me 10 points. Further, my chief competition for first place in my league had Ivanovic. Resting him created an auto-substitution for his first defender off the bench…who happened to score his first EPL goal on Monday night (O’Brien)! Had Ivanovic played he most likely would have gotten one point, so his resting gave my competition 10 points. Thus, RDM’s substation pattern essentially cost me 20 points. God I hate this game sometimes.

  5. MCI 5 – AVL 0

    Right up there with CHE – NOR and FUL – NOR for most mismatched game of the season. City absolutely destroyed Villa. They had 193 more successful passes in the final third. 193! That difference is more than any single team has recorded by itself except for City’s 2-1 win at Fulham. Ridiculous domination.

    On the attack, Tevez, Silva and Aguero were obviously heavily involved. All represents elite fantasy options understanding rotation risks come with any City players (except Toure and Kompany it seems). Nasri had a good game but is not ownable in my opinion. The backline was a surprise with no Zabaletta, although Nastasic started again and represents another affordable rotation-risked option for those who want to take the plunge. Certainly a viable selection as City has far and away the best defense in the league.

    Nothing to talk about on the Villa side, at least on an individual level (have some comments on team defense that will be saved for my score projection article).

    QPR 1 – SOT 2

    Southampton has been playing much better recently, but this is just a terrible performance by QPR. How Hughes still has a job is beyond me.

    For Southampton, Puncheon, Ramirez, Lallana and Lambert remain interesting options. Puncheon is rotated too much for my taste as you typically want your cheap options to play all the time in case you need them for injury or rotation replacement. The defense has looked better but still is not strong enough for investment in my opinion.

    For QPR, Taarabt, Hoilett and even Granero remain statistically interesting, but I would steer clear until the team starts playing better.

    NEW 1 – SWA 2

    30 minutes into watching my recording of this game and cannot wait for the remaining 60. As SoT indicated the number of shots here were simply stunning. Interesting to see how Newcastle was able to generate so many shots as that has not been their M.O. all season. Ba remains the focus of their attack although Ben Arfa was excellent in this one except for his propensity to shoot from outside the box.

    On the other side, Michu looked a bit more dangerous in his attacking MID role than he has as a true #9. While he is probably a bit overvalued, I think he ranks right with Nolan, Pienaar, Morrison and maybe Ramirez in that second mid-priced midfielder (Fellaini is clearly option 1 in the mid-priced midfield). Keep in mind he won’t create many chances though, so when he doesn’t score he probably won’t generate too many points. He’s also on 4 yellows. Pablo Hernandez has alternated strong games with poor the last five weeks. He is someone to monitor as another mid-priced option.
    I would steer clear from both backlines here. While they aren’t terrible, they are both below average and neither have any particularly cheap players to pique my interest.

    NOR 1 – MUN 0

    Prior to the Chelsea game I posted that Norwich’s season would get better towards the holiday break. Turns out I was right, but for the wrong reasons. While I was expecting the Canaries attack to begin generating some goals, it’s their defense that has improved recently. While their season long defensive ratings remain near the bottom, they have been in the top 10 over the past 6 weeks (more to come on that later). They earned the three points in this one.

    As for fantasy purposes, Pilkington, Snoddgrass and Hoolahan have all had moments of brightness this season, but none have been consistent enough to warrant anything more than monitoring in my opinion. Holt is also overshadowed by other options as well. I do think the backline might be rotation-worthy, with Garrido leading the way.

    For United, there wasn’t much to talk about. Hernandez was knee-jerked in by several hundred thousand owners who were undoubtedly disappointed with his performance. Van Persie was about as usual which is to say well, but not worth 13.7 million in my opinion. I think the team missed Rooney as a creator.

  6. FUL 1 – SUN 3

    Sunderland managed just 11 shots and 6 on target while playing against 10 for 60 minutes and 9 for 10 minutes! They were also fairly fortunate for two of their goals. Cuellar’s goal occurred off a corner with Petric off due to injury. Nine man Fulham struggled to mark Sunderland and Cuellar’s mediocre header found the back of the net. The third goals was a sublime strike from Sessegnon, but one he probably hits no more than once in ten times. I would still steer clear of this side even with a double coming up, though if you are determined to get a Black Cat then go with Fletcher.

    For Fulham, Berbatov was his usual excellent self and Petric performed well subbing for an injured Ruiz. Sidwell had his best game since September. While Fulham is beat up in the midfield (Kacaniklic and Ruiz will be shelved to add to their injury woes) I still like this team’s attack.

    Nothing exciting on the backline for either club. Fulham is probably not strong enough to justify rotation, while Sunderland have rotation options, especially at home, with Cuellar leading the bunch.

    WHM 1 – STO 1

    As mentioned, completely unsurprising result. Stoke was not at all attack minded, especially after the goal. The Hammers were much more forward and did a solid job of attacking the strong Stoke defense. Still though, Stoke was pretty well composed and rarely lost their shape. A plodding game involving two slow-footed teams.

    Nolan remains the primary Hammer attacking asset. Carroll has now scored just 4 goals in his last 107 attempts…needless to say, you shouldn’t be looking at him as a differential right now. For Stoke, Crouch has been pretty mediocre since week 6 and should probably not be considered. Walters scored, but is output is not enough for me right now.

    Options are plenty on the backline of both teams although Demel has yet to regain his spot in the lineup. While O’Brien scored and had an assist last week, he has just 3 shots and 6 chances created all season, indicating attacking returns should not be expected going forward.