Mohamed Salah – Guest article

Here is another guest article, this time from the guys at the website, who got the assist.

Prospecting the prospects: Mohamed Salah

So far as part of our “prospecting the prospects” series, we’ve run the rule over newcomers like Kolasinac, Bernardo Silva, Klaassen and Knockaert – read these here. This series analyses a selection of significant newcomers to the FPL game by simulating how they would have performed using last season’s stats wherever they played, in FPL, plus our thoughts on the player ahead of the new season.

On 22nd June, Liverpool announced that they had signed Egyptian Mohamed Salah from Serie A runners-up Roma:  3-and-a-half years after seemingly losing out to Chelsea in January 2014 for his signature, it seems Liverpool have finally gotten their man for a reported record fee of £36.9m.

So, how well will he do in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) next season?

In this article, we’ll be using WhoScored data to run the rule over the former Chelsea man in order to assess whether the Egyptian should be worthy of FPL managers’ attention for the forthcoming campaign.

Prospecting the prospect (using last season’s data)

Appearances: 31 appearances (29x played over 60 mins, 2x subbed on/off) = 60 points ((31×2)+3)

Goals: 15 goals (5×15) = 75 points

Assists: 11 assists (3×11) = 33 points

Bonus: To give an estimation of the bonus points he would have got, we need to review the games that he was instrumental in, ie when his goals and assists arrived to come to a rough calculation of how well he did.

(Occasional random bonus points (bps) are sometimes awarded in FPL where a player has bossed it but not actually got on the score card. We’re not estimating these as we’re using pure data rather than contextual data (e.g. watching the games he played in) to make perform this analysis. Plus it’ll only be an extra one or two points either way, which won’t change the story.)

For goals: this is best looked at by breaking down his contribution to games – where he was undisputed difference in the game, we will assign 3bps; where he was involved in changing the result but didn’t win the match, it’s 2bps; where he was on the scoresheet but it wasn’t a telling contribution, we will give the metrics and make an approximation

  • Match winning:  Salah scored a hat trick in the 3-0 win over Bologna on 6thNovember. He scored the 2nd goal in the 4-1 win over Torino on 11th February, which the bonus system would class as a winning goal. On 19th March, he scored the 2nd goal in the 3-1 victory over Sassuolo, as well as assisting the opener. He also scored the equaliser and the 4th goal (classifiable as the winning goal) in a brace against Chievo in the 5-3 goalfest victory on 20th May.

For the hat trick, the goal and assist against Sassulo and also the brace against Chievo we will give him 3bps per game, for 9bps. In the 4-1 win over Torino, Radja Nainggolan’s goal and assist would probably have seen him awarded 3bps, so perhaps 2bps for that game is good, giving him 11bps overall for winning goals.

  • Result change: He scored the opener in the 3-2 victory over Sampdoria on 11thSeptember. He scored the opening goal and assisted the 4th (but received a yellow card) in the 4-1 victory over Palermo on 23rd October. Let’s say he snuck a 1bp here.
  • Contributions: Salah scored 8 other goals last season (in his impressive haul of 15). He added the 4th in the 4-0 win over Udinese on 20th August.  He scored the 2ndgoal (and assisted the 4th) in the 4-0 victory over Crotone on 2nd September. He scored the 3rd goal, and assisted the opener once more, on 15th October in the 3-1 victory over Napoli.  He scored the 2nd in the 3-0 victory over Bologna (the reverse to his hat trick game) on the 9th April. Finally, he turned in a brace (the 3rd and 4thgoals) in a man of the match performance in the 4-1 victory over Pescara on 24thApril. For game with assist (v. Crotone) he may well have received 2bps. For his brace, the 3 assists by Stephen el-Shaaraway might have pushed him down to 2bps. For the other 3 goals, let’s give him 3bps overall. This gives him a total of 9bps from contributions.

          Total guessimated bonus for goals: 21 points

For assists: Let’s assess this in the same way as goals, given the amount of assists (8) Salah contributed. We won’t consider the four games we’ve already mentioned in which he scored and assisted as they have already been counted for goals – these were 4-0 v Crotone (21st September), 3-1 v Napoli (15th October), 4-1 Palermo (23rdOctober), 3-1 v Sassuolo (19th March).

  • Match winning: Salah assisted both goals in the 2-0 victory over Crotone on 12thOctober. Let’s say he’d get 2bps here, given Federico Fazio is deemed by WhoScored to have been man of the match for that game and the goals were spread out.
  • Result change: He assisted the equaliser in the eventual 3-1 victory over Sassuolo on 26th October. He also assisted the equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Atlanta on 7thMay. Let’s give him 1bps for each contribution.
  • Contributions: The Egyptian winger supplied the assist for the 2nd goal in the 2-0 victory over Empoli on 11th April. He assisted the opener in the 4-1 victory over AC Milan on 7th May. Finally, he assisted the 3rd goal in the 3-1 victory against Juventus on 14th May. I don’t think we can award him bonus for any of these.

Total guesstimated bonus for assists: 4 points

Total guesstimated bonus: 25 points

Not conceding: 7 clean sheets (7×1) = 7points

Disciplinary: 2 yellow cards = 2 points0 red cards

Scores on the doors

198 points. This puts him 8th overall, and 5th for midfielders – 1 point below Kevin de Bruyne.

However, this was only in 31 appearances. If we work out our points per game (ppg) this gives us a frankly ludicrous 6.39ppg (198/31), and therefore 243 points over the FPL season. That’s 2nd to Sanchez (!) overall and amongst midfielders. Madness.

Evaluation and conclusion

Wow OK. We need to relax and settle down a minute and remember one key thing: Mourinho didn’t like him. After signing for Chelsea from Basle (as mentioned before, ahead of his new side) he only played in 15 games (8 of which were off the bench) and contributed a solitary goal and assist before being shipped off to Fiorentina to be replaced by Juan Cuardrado… who barely figured either! He then, eventually moved (controversially) to Fiorentina’s division rivals, Roma.

That said, it’s not as if Mourinho’s eye for a player is anything but proven: Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Arjen Robben count as just some of the players he, for whatever reason, didn’t like.

The 15 goal and 8 assist haul last season looks really promising; for a lot of the time, if Roma turned it on, Salah was definitely involved. This sounds a lot like what his new team, Liverpool, are like.

To further help us here, let’s have a look at some comparators to try to help us understand how well Salah might do in his first season.

Firstly, the season following Alexis Sanchez’s move from Barcelona to Arsenal could be a good yardstick to go on, with the Chilean (unfathomably) being let go by the Catalan club after striking 19 goals and nabbing 10 assists in La Liga in 2013/14  – a slightly better output than Salah, albeit in a league where actual opposition is fewer and far between, which would render their performances roughly even. In his first season in the Premier League, Sanchez managed 16 goals and 8 assists, and 204 points – again, just 1 goal more than Salah managed in 31 fixtures in Serie A last season. Could that be what we could be expecting?

Another man worth looking at is Man City wing tyro Leroy Sane. Despite only figuring in 26 matches, he managed 5 goals and 7 assists last term, with 105 points scored. This was off the back of a final season at Schalke figuring 8 goals and 6 assists . Sane’s ppg works out at 4.04, meaning a potential output of 154 points (top 30 overall, and top 20 midfielders; 2 below Sadio Mane). Salah has a few more season’s experience than Sane, which could also be an indicator of where Salah might well end up.

The final comparator is his new club mate Sadio Mane. Following his £36m move to Liverpool in June 2016,  off the back of an 11 goal 6 assist 160 point season for Southampton, he went on to get 13 goals and 6 assists in a 156 point season – but he got injured toward the end, and missed a couple in the middle to due to AFCON, meaning he only played 28 games. This gives him a 5.57ppg, and could’ve seen him score 212 points if he’d played 38 games. That would have meant he was 5th overall and, given how Liverpool floundered without his direct threat, you can see on one hand why he could have achieved that kind of figure and, on the other, why Klopp is trying to sign Salah.

Taking these examples together, it could be feasible to expect something around the 180 point mark from Salah this year.

There are further considerations, though.

The first is cannibalised points, as Liverpool, through Mane, Phillipe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, not to mention Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum, too, have threat from across the attack. Could Salah lose out to the points spread to them? A rejoinder to that could be that Roma has Stephen El-Shaaraway, Radja Nainngolan, Edin Dzeko and others but still managed a huge contribution to their season. Much will depend on the rapport Salah will form, especially with Mane who, to all intents and purposes, is Liverpool’s key goal threat. Salah’s eye for goal could mean either greater output from Liverpool generally, or come at the expense of other areas: it could be that Bobby Firmino’s goal threat could suffer as he might be charged with running defenders out of position to allow Salah and Mane to nip into the space. I expect to see this kind of pacy gambit a fair bit from Klopp’s side, and Salah’s potential does mean he has a good chance to make an impact on the division.

The second point is price. Coutinho will probably be 9.5-10.0 (8.0 from last season seems madness in hindsight), and Mane will probably occupy the same bracket. I personally can’t see Salah below 9.0 but equally I can’t see him above 10.0 – my intuition is that 9.5 “feels right”.

If Salah can really get involved and get producing for Liverpool early, an initial fixture list that’s decidedly mixed after a bright opening duo – wat CPL ARS mci BUR – may go a long way to determining his utility for FPL managers. I’m still likely to look at Mane, who is surely Liverpool’s main goal threat plus always an extra captaincy option, to begin with. But I’ll keep an eye on the proven quality on the opposite flank.

In closing, the stats are in Salah’s in his favour and, in Liverpool’s penchant for early season “heavy metal” football under Klopp, I can’t help but feel a bit excited about the prospects of the Egyptian winger. If he gets a place in the team from the off, and begins doing what he did for Roma, he could be a player pushing for consideration in the eyes of FPL managers. In many ways, this is the first signing of the summmer that feels really relevant for FPL. I’m going to give him a 4, but this is basically a 4.25.

Overall rating: 4 / 5 – A good prospect for FPL

*derived from a completely subjective scale from 1-5, where 1 is bad and 5 is excellent

Caveat: we thoroughly accept this system of evaluating players isn’t flawless. However, we feel that it’s a nice approach to getting a feel for how a player might do.

http://whogottheassist.com/

 

Top Ten teams – Team structure

2016/17 overall top 10 ranked teams: team structure
Guest article by Rob Fraser

Continuing my review of the teams that finished in the top 10 of the overall FPL rankings, this article looks at team structure.

Formation

The graph below shows the average formation for each of the teams in the top 10. This shows that:

– 3-4-3 remains the dominant choice for almost all the teams. Notably by the overall #1 (and #3, #6 and #9) who stuck to it quite rigidly.

– Other managers clearly used 3-5-2, 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 at times but by no means exclusively. This shows you can achieve success not using 3-4-3.

– However, perhaps the most powerful insight is in what the graph doesn’t show. The top 10 were not more successful last season than the rest of us because, say, they were all using four at the back or only two strikers every week.

Squad investment

Taking the average cost for each part of the squad through the season (calculated using player starting prices). For comparison, I’ve also included the patented Triggerlips rule of thumb on squad structure (labelled ‘TL rule’ henceforth). Findings:

– Many managers took advantage of the glut of £4m starting goalkeepers to keep their total cost below £9m. Only two managers (#4 and #7) consistently went for more expensive keepers.

– Defensive investment was higher than the TL rule. #4 and #10 invested the most in their defences (around £27m) – two teams that tended to play 4 at the back more frequently.

– Midfield investment varied quite a bit. From only £34m (#4) to £41m (#3). The average is close to the TL rule though.

– For forwards, a few teams went for relatively cheaper forward lines of around £25m (#2, #3, #5 and #7). Only two teams matched the TL rule guide value of £29.5m. On first sight this seems a bit counter-intuitive given the success of the heavy hitters last season but perhaps just reflects that the most expensive striker (Aguero) was far from essential.

– It’s notable how close the #1 FPL winner’s structure is to Nick’s guide squad spend

Defensive structure

Breaking down how the money was spent in defence:

– Typically teams had two premium defenders (£5.5m+), two budget (£4.5m) defenders plus AN Other.

– #2, #5 and #7 went for three premium defenders, whereas #8 and #9 stuck with only one.

– The uber cheap £4m (often non-playing) defender otherwise known as Jordi Amat was a popular choice to fill space on the bench and release funds for elsewhere in the squad.

 

Midfield structure

The average top 10 team had one premium midfielder (Hazard or Sanchez), two midrange midfielders, a budget fourth mid and a benchwarmer. There was not a huge amount of variation between the managers but:

– #3 and #5 often had two premiums

– #4 went cheap with two or three budget mids

– #2 and #7 shunned the £4.5m perma-bench option as they often

played five in midfield and kept their options open with rotating front eights.

Forward structure

The chart speaks for itself:

– Most managers went with two premium strikers

– #2 and #3 made more use of the midrange and budget options

– #8 went all in with three premium forwards most weeks

Number of premium (£9m+) attacking players

Combining numbers from the last two charts shows that most teams had three premium attackers most weeks (which feels pretty standard to me):

– #8 was the most aggressive in this regard with four premiums, funded by the cheapest GK and defence.

– #2 had fewest – his all-round strategy was markedly different to the rest of the top 10 and I may return to that another time.

Conclusions

So what does this all show? Not much you may think. Well, personally, I don’t feel I’ve uncovered a secret strategy that is a shortcut to success next year. Just solid FPL strategy that could have applied in many previous seasons. Perhaps the lesson is not to get too hung-up thinking the game has changed and managers need to make dramatic alterations. The overall #1 (Ben Crabtree)’s style seems remarkably close to the approach that my generous host has extolled over the years.

 

Fpl captain scores analysis

2016/17 FPL Captaincy Scores
Guest article by Rob Fraser

This article compares the captaincy scores of the final overall top 10 ranked teams against scores from the methods used in the Captain Challenge.

The FPL Statistico tool was used to extract the scores (http://anewpla.net/fpl/). For comparison I’ve also included the weekly top 10k average captain score (from FPL Discovery, https://fpldiscovery.wordpress.com/) and a random sample from the Transfer Hub league.
Heading straight into the numbers, the graph below shows the season totals:

The results show:
• Unsurprisingly the top 10 finishers achieved pretty stellar captaincy scores. The winner (Ben Crabtree is way out in front (755 points), number 2 and number 10 got 713 points and the rest range from 625 to 691 points.
• The FFS poll, Hub poll and bookies odds give inferior but still very solid scores of around 600 points (I’ve assumed the triple captain was played in GW27 as this was overwhelmingly the most popular week to play it for elite managers). Each of these methods significantly outperform the weekly top 10k captaincy average (541).
• Bonkers, Worst Team and Form Tables do not perform so well – scoring 508, 455 and 433 points respectively.
• Reassuringly the Hub sample average (598) is similar to the Hub poll score (607).
So how did Ben Crabtree achieve such a monumental captaincy score. A series of long odds gambles and maverick moves? Not a bit of it. Some key points:
• Looking at his weekly selections it is notable that in only nine gameweeks he picked a player who did not lead either the FFS poll, Hub poll or bookies odds. In the other 29 gameweeks (76% of the time) he picked a player that led in at least one of those sources.
• He was rather efficient at selecting a captain that was one of the highest scoring options from the poll and odd leaders when they varied. I won’t get into the discussion about the relative impact of luck versus superior judgement.
• He limited his captaincy choices to a narrow band of the games top performing players – Aguero (10), Lukaku (8), Sanchez (7) and Kane (6) made up 31 of his captaincy choices (82%).
• Even the other names are established premium players (Ibra, Alli, Costa and Benteke in a double gameweek).
• He made only one really unexpected choice – going for Leighton Baines once (vs SOU). This and Lukaku in GW25 (mid) were the only weeks his choice wasn’t in the top 5 of the polls or odds. Most weeks his alternative choice was second or third in the polls/odds.

 

Looking in more detail at some of the gameweeks Crabtree went against the poll or odds leader and picked up points
• GW4: Lukaku (sun, 17pts) over Hazard/Costa (swa, 1/12pts)• GW20: Baines (SOU, 15pts) over Aguero (bur, 7pts
• GW24: Lukaku (BOU, 21pts) over Kane (MID, 6pts)
• GW34: Benteke (liv/TOT, 14pts) over Rashford/Negredo (dgws, 3/4pts)
Remember that Crabtree is an Everton fan who refuses to pick Liverpool players in his team (luckily for him no Liverpool player led the polls or odds all season!). The choices above show three cases where he picked an Everton player over the polls – could this be the expert knowledge of a fan picking up players from his team are in form and due a big haul. Alternatively he backed his own team and got a bit lucky? In any case, all those captaincy picks are solid choices based on the fixtures. However, going for Everton players did work against him in GW25 when he picked Lukaku (mid, 2pts) over Sanchez (HUL, 15pts).
Overall ranked number 2 manager (Uwais Ahmed) picked the poll or odds leader 27 times (over 70%). His selections were a bit more unpredictable than Crabtree’s but still heavily biased to the same premium heavy-hitting attackers. On the other hand, he twice picked Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino who rewarded him with two blanks – remember Uwais only missed out on the overall FPL title by 5 points in the end.

Overall ranked number 10 player (Milan Petrovic) showed even more faith in the premium attackers with Sanchez (13), Aguero (7), Kane (6), Costa (4), Lukaku (4), Ibra (3) and De Bruyne (1) making up his captaincy selections.
So in conclusion, for the 2016/17 season:
• Following the FFS poll, Hub poll or bookies odds gave very decent results and gives a reasonable chance to challenge for a top 10k finish if you get the rest of your team selection right.
• The overall FPL winners captaincy choices matched a leader in the poll or odds in over three-quarters of gameweeks.
• If you aspire to win the overall title, you need to do more than blindly following one method. However, sticking to the top 5 in the polls and odds seemed to work well.
• Focussing on the heavy hitting players paid off this season (in marked contrast to much of 2015/16).
• A slight bias to players from the team you support can work well, provided your team has a player prone to reliable and big hauls like Romelu Lukaku.
Captain selections (raw scores)

Summer plans

While I am having a break from the blog in the off season, there are still plenty of people dissecting the season just past. I have had a number or requests.

A few people are interested in writing a few guest articles, concerning the season just past, or the next one. So keep an eye out as in the next week or Two there may be some appearing.

I have also been looking at statistico  http://anewpla.net/fpl/ to see which parts of my game let me down. As I suspected it was the poor showing from the keepers, only 140 points, where many on The Hub facebook page were pulling in 180 plus.    Statistico is a great tool. Check out your own teams before the FPL site shuts down for the summer

A new Blog

It is hard work writing a blog, so when I heard that Tom and Nick from the facebook page were starting one up I was more than happy to give them a link.

Their blog is called http://whogottheassist.com  which is sure to have lots of great content, so make sure you check it out. They already have a good article and first podcast up, which is well worth a listen.

Podcast…A look back

Here’s to another FPL season in the history books. Always Cheating hosts Josh and Brandon take a look back at personal highs and lows, our best transfers, the most frustrating players, and what valuable lessons were learned. Thanks to all of our listeners for sticking with us through an incredible year. We’ll be back later in the summer to preview next season and do this all over again.

Simon Humber trophy

The final post of the season wrapping up the Transfer Hub leagues.

The Simon Humber trophy was a very tough competition this season, some weeks there were green arrows in all leagues, except this one, very competitive. Here are the final standings.

Congratulations to Desmond Foo, who in the end won by a decent margin. It was a good season for Desmond who also finished 1st in his country league, Singapore, and was 170th overall.

In second was Phil Ampleford who is now up to Tenth in the hall of fame.

In third spot was David Slade who you may remember as the manager who won our strategy challenge last season with his Five at the back side. Yet another top effort from him.

Beat the Robot league

Around 150 managers signed up to take on the Robot and around 65% managed to beat it. The overall winner and 114th overall and second in the Malaysia league was Karl Chin  a regular on this blog. 106 on the final week ensured a terrific finish to the season.

Kevin Ou was in second spot 217 overall and Third in the Canadian league. While in third spot was Jie Ming Tan 619th overall and Fifth in the Singapore league.

Pretty fierce competition for the Robot, who has vowed to up its game next season. 

Date confirmed for next season launch

The blog will be back on launch day, in the meantime I will be able to focus on my many Fantasy baseball teams, and with daily games and lockouts there will be no time to miss Fpl.  See you 10th July although they will probably tease it out until the end of that week, just to be annoying, and collect more clicks.

https://twitter.com/officialfpl/status/866652758132371461

 

Gw38 review

Eighty one points this week, yet surprisingly it was still not enough for a green arrow. The final position for the season around the 56k mark.   This illustrates just how tough it has been trying to make ground this season.

There are so many good fantasy assets, that not being able to own them all means it becomes all about owning the right ones at the right time, which often boils down to luck, as they all look good

All the front Seven were in the points and the differential captain came good but still it was not enough, due to not having Kane this week, or last for that matter.  Hull like Leicester before them sadly bereft of any desire to put up any sort of a fight.

It was enough for me to scrape home in my mini league, by Two points, the first time at the top all season, so that made for a tense finish. The goal by Davies being the clincher.

Captain challenge

The captain challenge is over for this season, and our poll, the Transfer Hub poll has come out top so  well done all those who have voted throughout the course of the season

The big difference that swung it for the Hub was the poll not opening until all the weeks matches were over.  The Fantasy Scout poll paid the price for starting too early, before all games were finished. If it had waited last week, I am sure Kane would have led rather than Sanchez.

The Bookies missed a chance to snatch second, as they had Costa very slightly shorter than Aguero. Still it was a good effort and showed that following the bookies top selection is not a bad option.

The Robot trailed back in Fourth spot, but has done enough to earn a spot in next seasons challenge, especially given its great performance last season.  The Two other options will be replaced with a couple of new ideas for picking captains.

I thought playing the worst might have done a bit better, but it seems just choosing a player up against the worst team does not perform that well, this season at least.

One of the ideas for next season is to pick the most transferred in player for that week as the captain choice, that will be one of the Two new categories, the other is yet to be decided.

Team Robot

Eighty Eight for the Robot which was enough for a small green arrow. Not bad considering it did not own any Tottenham players.  Jesus was the triple captain and the chip returned Eleven points.

The season was a tale of Two halves for the Robot. The first half was terrible. Around the Million mark at the half way stage. However only Four red arrows in the second half of the season saw it climb to 140k.  I had been hoping to crack the top 1%, the same goal I had set for my own team, but it did not manage it due to that poor first half.

Like the form tables, the data needs time to settle down. Its algorithm  works well when there is plenty of season data to work with, I need to find a way to improve its selections during the early part of the season.

The Questions have started

Some people seem to be more concerned about my own team than I am myself. Why didn’t you take more hits?  The game has changed why havent you?  Why dont you admit you are no good?

These are just some of the more polite reactions to my 50 k finish. Amusingly some of the less polite ones have actual come from people who have finished with a much worse rank.

Why didn’t you take more hits?

I took Nine hits over the course of the season, The overall winner of the competition took Eight. My season was not won or lost by the amount of hits I took

The game has changed, Why havent you ?

Has it really changed? What is so different about it. Every season is different we know that, with Five top One Thousand finishes, I believe I have already shown adaptability.

Yes but that was years ago, you are rubbish now

Two seasons outside the top 20k does not a poor player make. This years winner had a finish of around Three Hundred and Fifty in 2012  Five years later he won it.

 There is big variance in this game, and the range of potential finishes is fairly large, it is extremely over optimistic to expect to finish every season in the top 1k.  With Four Million players, any time at the top is likely to be fleeting.

Is there more competition now

Very much so, the scout providing advice through the Fpl site has basically meant anyone can just follow the advice and put themselves in contention for a reasonable finish. It is all pretty much spoon fed.   Overall numbers are going up, almost double the amount of players than a few seasons ago, and they no longer have  to hunt for information on how to play.

What mistakes did you make this season

The big mistake was not following my own advice in my book. I have always gone with 2x 4.5 keepers. I was all set to begin with Foster and Heaton, but decided to try something different in an attempt to save money and went with Pickford and Jaskelinen.

That decision alone I estimate has cost around Forty or Fifty points, maybe more. Heaton in particular proved very costly. I then compounded the error by being stubborn by refusing to pay extra for him once his price had risen.

much of the rest was down to poor timing/ luck. Eriksen being a prime example began  the season with him, and knew he was a great pick, but he just did not perform, I was more patient with him than most but he still underperformed, then the moment I sold him he started scoring for fun.  It is easy to over analyse these things, fact is 50k is not outside the range of possible finishes.

However it is all relative, and while I see 50k as below average, I know many people who would consider that a good rank. With the increased competition, the variance will only increase further, and the range of potential finishes will grow ever wider.

Locked and loaded Gw 38

All set for the final week in what has been an exciting season of Fantasy.  My One goal this week is to win the little mini league I compete in season after season. Five points behind  I have made my transfer with that in mind.

As soon as I pushed the button on Hazard to Coutinho I regretted it, have that nagging feeling I should have  done Alli to Coutinho instead.

The armband is also going on Coutinho, a bit of a gamble but with them needing to win it seemed the safest option, although Jesus may have been another good option. Even Costa, but cannot be sure he plays much part.

Captain challenge

 

The challenge is going down to the wire.  The top Three competitors are within Five points of each other and  all have selected different options.  The Fantasy scout poll, started too early as usual has Sanchez out in front, while our Transfer Hub poll has Kane well in the lead.

The bookies have lumped on Costa, who is just ahead of the ignored man of fantasy, Aguero.  They have only Five points to make up on the polls.

Team Robot

The  Robot is using its triple captain chip, and it is going on Jesus, I have a feeling it is going to need some divine intervention to profit much from this chip.  It has gone for a defensive transfer and bought Lovren in for the injured Cedric.

    All tonights matches kick off at 2am New zealand time so I am hopefully going to sleep through the whole thing. By the time I wake up it will be all over for another season.

There will be one last Gameweek review and a roundup of the captain challenge results, and a look at the top of the Simon Humber league which has been extremely competitive this season.

Bonkers captain picks Gw 38

All the usual suspects involved at the top of the table. Kane is the winner, his recent form figures are through the roof. He is far from the only option however, as many of the other contenders also score highly on the form and fixture front.

Those trying to chase down mini league victories have plenty of options for differentials. Jesus, Sanchez, Coutinho and De Bruyne look particularly appealing. The Chelsea players less so as there  is a big possibility of rest and rotation before the FA cup final.

Chelsea are a real dilemma, they have a terrific fixture, and any starters could do really well, but all the same I am tempted to sell Hazard this week, maybe even Costa too, although he did at least have rest in the last match. But with his replacement scoring he could well be given another one.

Have Five points to chase down in my main mini league, so will be choosing transfers and captaincy with that in mind.

Form tables Gw 38

It is doubtful that the tables will be very accurate this week as many sides have little to play for, here they are anyway.  Chelsea and Leicester come out on top.

Conte is talking about surprises whatever that means, I am tempted to change Hazard to Coutinho as it could well be his turn for a rest, on the other hand the surprise could be that he puts out his strongest side, and it is a very appealing fixture.

Leicester were woeful against Tottenham, the sort of display that can happen this time of the season, it is a bit of a lottery as it is hard to predict just which sides will fail to show up. Should they decide to make an effort the tables indicate goals for them, Bournemouth concede a fair few on the road.  As the other table shows this could be a high scoring match.

Liverpool are the team we probably want to be loading up on, they have very high motivation to win this match, although it is posssible that results in a nervous display, but chances are they will win comfortably.

At the other end of the table their do not appear to be many good clean sheet opportunities for the away sides

Home goals conceded Vs away goals scored

Bournemouth, Man C and Tottenham look to be the Three away sides most likely to score some goals, although totals are fairly low. Again motivation could play a part.  Man C are the only team that need to avoid a loss, so their assets look a decent bet, while Tottenham do not appear to be on holiday just yet.

There could be plenty of clean sheets for the home sides. Liverpool, Arsenal, Man U, Southampton, Swansea and Chelsea all with a good chance of a shutout.

Triggerlips – The independent voice of Fantasy Football – Telling it like it is