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Stag’s Take - Gameweek 38

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Stag’s Take – Gameweek 38

 

 

Here we are, Gameweek 38 – the end of the season.

 

 

Double gameweek 37 was by far the highest scoring gameweek of the season. Breaking the 100 points boundary indicated very little, and instead the gameweek was defined by your captaincy decision. Jesus bagged 19, de Bruyne behind him got 15. Sanchez notched up 3 goals in his two games to score 27 points, while Harry Kane stole the headlines late on, with a quad on Thursday against Leicester adding to one against Manchester United in the finale at White Hart Lane. Who did I pick? Eden Hazard. 5 points.

 

 

Rather than wallow in misery, instead I’ll try to follow a quote credited to Nelson Mandela: “I never lose. I either win, or learn.” Thus, what is there to learn from the Gameweek just gone? One thing stands out to me – when using chips, prioritise the deployment of your Triple Captain pick. The few FPL managers who were brave enough to forgo using their TC until now reaped unimaginable rewards if they chose Sanchez or Kane in particular for the armband this week. The vast majority followed the collective wisdom and used their bench boost this gameweek. It seems that this hasn’t worked out well for the most part. Next season when double gameweek season rolls around, make your Triple Captain decision the most important thing you do and definitely don’t use it on a player whose team has already won the title – maybe just give it to Kane and be done with it!

 

 

If you close your eyes and think back to seasons gone by, you, if you’re like me, probably think that final gameweeks are goal-filled and rich pickings. One member of the FPL community, Luke Maunder of fplbet.com has gone and gathered stats on GW38s gone by. He kindly supplied me with his findings as he never had time to complete his own article.

 

The average goals per game for a Premier League season is 2.679. The last 10 seasons' final days have hrown up a significantly higher 3.1 goals per game average though. At the other end of the field, we’ve seen an average of 4.8 clean sheets over the past decade in GW38.

 

As for the race for the golden boot, how had the leading trio traditionally fared? The empirical evidence says that the Golden Boot leader, now Harry Kane on 26 goals, has an 80% chance of scoring in GW38. Second placed Romelu Lukaku has just a 50% chance and Sanchez in third trails further behind with a 40% likelihood of finding the net. Obviously, these stats are undermined by the assumption that this season will go as those before them have. However, they are as good an indication as any of how much weight can be given to any potential underlying motivation for a player seeking the golden boot.

 

Multiples of goals are the jackpot in any gameweek. A shrewd move for this weekend may complete that comeback you were dreaming of in your mini-league or just cap off your season in style. Usually, there’s just 0.31 hat-tricks per gameweek in a season, that’s roughly once every three gameweeks. Final day figures are significantly higher, with 0.8 hat-tricks netted on average. That means we have had a hat-trick 8 times in the previous 10 closing weekends. Braces are obviously more common. We’ve seen 1.4 home braces per GW this season while the last decade’s finales have presented us with an average of 1.9; again higher. Braces from players from visiting sides have historically been much rare, occurring only three times in the preceding 10 Gameweek 38s.

 

All in all, what is quite clear is that Gameweek 38 has historically oozed opportunities for FPL managers. More goals, more home braces and hatties, a smattering of clean sheets but curiously small returns from the top goalscorers of the given season. The final gameweek of the season is unique, with so many teams playing for nothing but pride, and many more mentally on the beach, while some teams are rotating for important meaningful games to come - Manchester United in the Europa League final and of course Chelsea and Arsenal contesting the FA Cup final. Make the most of the impending statistical anomaly, it’s your last chance to get green arrows!

 

 

 

Captaincy Corner

 

Alexis Sanchez (Everton H)

 

The Gunners are facing the prospect of no Champtions League football for the first time in the Wenger era if results don’t go their way. However, if they are to qualify they must play their own part and overcome Everton at the Emirates. Sanchez and his Arsenal colleagues have delivered their classic end of season form in the last few gameweeks, recording comfortable wins in Gameweek 37 against Stoke and Sunderland, with Sanchez netting three times in that period. Alexis is the safe bet, and sure to be the most popular choice alongside the next name among live teams.

 

 

Harry Kane (Hull A)

 

It’s impossible to ignore the Premier League’s top scorer going into the final day especially after he single-handedly destroyed Leicester only days earlier. Hull are without key man Harry Maguire in the heart of their defence, and may capitulate with their fate determined for next season. Even if the Tigers put up a good fight, it’s difficult to envisage Spurs not winning at the KCOM and Kane is the most likely source. As I alluded to earlier, golden boot winners have netted in 8 of the last 10 closing days. Furthermore, they’ll be keen to make up for last season’s humiliating final day defeat to Newcastle too as the sequel to their “statement” for next season which they revealed at the King Power.

 

 

Fernando Llorente (West Brom H)

 

For once this season, Swansea fans can celebrate their team with surety at the Liberty Stadium. The Swans secured their Premier League status with a 2-0 with over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in GW37. What better way to celebrate their success than getting another win against the Baggies? Tony Pulis’ side who have been “on the beach” since passing the 38 points barrier – securing just 5 points in 11 games since passing that threshold. Pulis’ teams have consistently collapsed at this point. Across the Welsh manager’s career, his sides earn 1.24 points per game up until they reach what is viewed as “safety” before relaxing to a paltry 0.85 points per game (H/T @DanKennett). Fernando Llorente has overtaken Siggy in the second half of the season as their main goalscorer, netting 3 times in the last 5 gameweeks alone. It’s not a coincidence either; in the last 6 gameweeks, the Spaniard has had more shots in the box than any of his teammates with 9 (Gylfi had 8), also touching the ball in the area on 10 more occasions than his Icelandic compatriot. While Siggy has better pedigree and wins out on a number of metrics, his conversion rate has dropped off considerably. If you’re feeling brave and chasing points, Llorente may be your man.

 

 

Other honourable mentions for captaincy are:

 

Coutinho fighting to confirm Champions League football for Liverpool next season at home to Middlesbrough.

 

Wayne Rooney perhaps lining out for Manchester United for the final time at Selhurst Park. He’s on 198 Premier League goals, and has notched up three in five despite his dire overall performances.

 

Christian Benteke at home to a heavily rotated Manchester United. Mourinho has promised that a number of youngsters will be blooded on Sunday, some of whom have never even made a senior appearance. Joel Pereira will be in goal too for the Red Devils.

 

Last but not least, Chelsea captain John Terry, the highest scoring defender in Premier League history. It will be his last hoorah for the Blues as it’s unlikely that he’ll be fielded in the FA Cup final and Chelsea face Sunderland at the Bridge. Wouldn’t it be poetic for the club legend to bow out with a goal and clean sheet combo?

 

 

 

 

You can contact the Rotoworld Premier League team on Twitter: Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag | Ben | Galin | Nik |

 

 

Stag has been providing #FPL Tips since July 2015 and has been a contributor for Rotoworld.com since August 2016. He is a self-proclaimed wannabe fantasy football genius, student, and die-hard tea enthusiast.

 






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