1. xFPL review
xFPL is calculated primarily using expected goals (xG), assists (xA), which combine as Fantasy Premier League (FPL) involvements (xG + xA = xI), as well as expected clean sheets (xC). These numbers are a result of underlying statistics (i.e. shot type and location will give a probability of scoring = xG). xFPL is the combination of these statistics and factors in appearance and bonus points to give an overall expected FPL point score.
Salah topped the Custom Stats xFPL Table after gameweek 24 with a score of 18.5, the Egyptian took 11 shots over Liverpool’s two matches with seven of them being taken in the box. He created two ‘big chances’ and was afforded one himself indicating he could have got a bigger Fantasy Premier League (FPL) score than the 16 he registered. Mooy, Emerson and Mata were the most creative players with five attempted assists apiece. The trio notched xFPL scores of 8.4, 4.9 and 3.9 respectively. The Leicester duo of Pérez and H. Barnes posted impressive numbers as well, with xFPL scores of 10.4 and 10.1. The Spaniard carried the bigger goal threat with three shots on target (SoT) while the Englishman attempted four assists and landed one SoT. Firmino and Maupay (both four) landed the most SoT and each registered xFPL scores of 9.1 and 6.2.
2. Is the Vardy party over?
The golden boot front runner has now registered just one FPL return over the last six gameweeks, an assist against Southampton in gameweek 22. In that fixture he failed to attempt a single shot. Using the Fix Heatmaps feature, Vardy’s numbers over gameweek 19-24 are compared to the six gameweeks prior (13-18). Since his minutes were limited over the more recent period due to injuries, more attention should be paid to the average numbers. The average attacking radar highlights the alarming dip in form. His expected goals (xG) is down to 0.36 from 0.98 per match and he is taking a third as many shots in the box (SiB) (1.15) as he was earlier (3.67). His creativity numbers have shown a slight improvement to 0.86 from 0.83 which may not be that significant, but maybe it indicates a dip in his earlier goal-scoring confidence. The upcoming fixtures are difficult, with Chelsea, Wolves and Man. City their next three opponents. Losing Vardy for the short term could be beneficial, but do note his fixture run after those three matches is pretty good with Norwich (which he no longer misses given Villa’s progression to the Carabao Cup Final), Villa, Watford and Brighton being Leicester’s subsequent opponents which sees the Foxes rank sixth in our Fixture Analyzer.
3. Mo Mané mo problems?
With Mané's injury, managers are posed with the dilemma of where to reinvest the cash and with the Reds in such rampant form maximising the quota of three players seems wise. With Alexander-Arnold and Salah obvious and popular options, Liverpool’s lower-ownership players – Robertson and Firmino are put under the microscope. The Brazilian has been in sparkling form of late, as the Stats Sandbox shows, no forward has attempted more shots (24) over the last six gameweeks. He also leads the way for SoT (10) and attempted assists (12) and he only trails Deeney (42.84) for xFPL (40.96). Jiménez (37) and Agüero (46) are the only forwards to have registered more FPL points than his 36. A look at the Stats Sandbox for defenders over the same period shows that Robertson comes in second for xFPL score (39.54), only trailing his teammate Alexander-Arnold (42.59). While Digne (12) and Alexander-Arnold (13) have attempted more assists than the Scot’s 10. He was the third-highest scoring defender with 44 points in this period., trailing only his team-mates Van Dijk (48) and Alexander-Arnold (66). Given that Robertson is 2.6 cheaper than Firmino and is posting similar xFPL numbers and has a higher FPL score, he appears to be the wisest choice.