fantasy football tips

The Weekend Numbers – Gameweek 30

In Tommy We Trust Fantasy Football Tips, Reviews

Another exciting Gameweek is in the book meaning one thing; another edition of the Weekend Numbers. In a week where referee mistakes opened the door for Manchester City but not for their main protagonist, ATFPL takes to the Opta statistics to gleam the best from the action for Fantasy managers to digest ahead of Gameweek 31.

43 Goal Attempts from…

Manchester City as Manuel Pellegrini’s men got back to winning ways at the expense of West Brom. Peppering the Baggies goal with an insane amount, the performance was mainly conducted by the brilliance of David Silva who numbers are equally as incredible. Involved in 21 goal attempts, more than any of the other 19 Premier League clubs in gameweek 30, the Spaniard managed ten goal attempts, five inside the box hitting the target a gameweek high four times in a demonstration that confirmed his new found goal threat this season. Add that this change in assignment hasn’t reduced his creativity with 11 key passes, a stupidly high 82 successful final third passes along with 142 touches and Silva if not essential before this display is now very hard to ignore. However the biggest story was the continued drought suffered by Sergio Aguero as the forward made it four games without a goal despite nine goal attempts registered against the baggies. In total since returning from injury Aguero has converted just three goals in ten appearances which has lead fantasy managers to finally cast the Argentine to the transfer page. But is this the correct decision for a player who as we all know is the most explosive fantasy option available? Let’s utilise a fairly sedate gameweek and investigate.

Sergio Aguero Pre and Post injury

First off before we can cast judgement on Aguero’s recent displays, we must take a look and compare his performance levels to what he was achieving before the injury sustained against Everton. Has the injury curtailed a blossoming season or are there other factors to consider?

Gameweek rangeMPMins per key passMins per chanceMins per goal# goals involved in% involvement of total goalsGoal conversion
1 - 15105370.2014.2375.211753%19%
21 - 3077570.4519.87258.33633%8%

MP = Minutes Played, KP = Key Pass, BC = Big Chance, GA = Goal Attempt, SoT = Shots on Target, SiB = Shots inside Box, Pas FT = Successful passes in the Final Third, PPG = Points per Game 

Immediately what is apparent is the lack of conversion since returning to action in gameweek 21 as the striker’s minute per chance has reduced just slightly to a still impressive 19.87 minutes per chance which put into context ranks fourth behind Daniel Sturridge, teammate Edin Dzeko and Crystal Palace’s Glen Murray from forwards who have played 300 minutes or more in the last ten gameweeks. The issue as alluded is the pitiful 8% conversion ratio from Aguero. Compare this with high flying Harry Kane (28%) and the the gap in points becomes valid between the pair. So why has Aguero’s normally customary sharpness in front of goal suddenly disappeared? Looking at the goal threat numbers could highlight some truths.

Goal Threat

Gameweek rangeGAs per game SiBs per game%SiBSoT per game%SoTBC scoredBC missed
1 - 154.933.9380%2.2745.95%89
21 - 303.902.9074%1.3033.33%23

MP = Minutes Played, KP = Key Pass, BC = Big Chance, GA = Goal Attempt, SoT = Shots on Target, SiB = Shots inside Box, Pas FT = Successful passes in the Final Third, PPG = Points per Game 

3.90 goal attempts per game since gameweek 21 ranks third behind only Harry Kane (4.3) and Charlie Austin (4.0) from players making more than one appearance so the issue if there is one isn’t opportunity but there is a glaring difference in the numbers and that is the reduction is shots on target. Not only in number but also in percentage, Aguero has simply failed to test the opposing goalkeeper with enough regularity to sustain the points per game witnessed pre injury. However, taking the 1.30 shots on target number and comparing with Diego Costa who a considerable number of  fantasy manager’s are considering as a replacement and the discomfort in the reduction is somewhat subsided as the Chelsea forward also averages just 1.33 shots on target per game in the same time frame. Indeed 13 shots on target from Aguero is only bettered by you guessed it, Harry Kane again! Perhaps more alarming is the reduction in big chances to fall the forwards way? Down from 17 from 1053 minutes played to just 5 from 775 minutes, the drop off of gilt edge chances has severely reduced Aguero’s output but again when comparing with the rest of the forwards around the league, five combined big chances ranks fourth to Romelu Lukaku’s (under the radar option?) and in form Oliver Giroud’s 7 big chances and you guessed it, Harry Kane’s 13. So what else could be hindering Aguero’s points production?

Is the system affecting Aguero’s performances?

per GameGASoTSiB%SiBBC involvementPas FTTouchesPPG
Lone striker3.502.003.0086%1.008.0029.58.00
Strike partner4.001.132.8872%0.6316.6351.253.38

MP = Minutes Played, KP = Key Pass, BC = Big Chance, GA = Goal Attempt, SoT = Shots on Target, SiB = Shots inside Box, Pas FT = Successful passes in the Final Third , PPG = Points per Game

Finally some movement into a reason why fantasy managers have suffered at the captaincy hand of Aguero in recent times and that is the Manchester City system. Manuel Pellegrini has only played less than 45 minutes in a single match with just Aguero as a lone striker twice since gameweek 21 – Chelsea and Stoke City away – and in these games Aguero has delivered mainly off the back of a great percentage of shots arriving from inside the box – 86% compared with 72%. This has lead to the Argentine being involved in more big chances and thus has recorded 50% of his goal involvement in the two encounters since injury. Conversely when playing with a strike partner Aguero’s change in assignment within the system can be portrayed by more than double the completed final third passes suggesting a more withdrawn role to a central striker. Also his touches indicate this as when playing upfront as a focal point to City’s end game, Aguero averages 29.5 touches per game while in the other eight appearances this increases to 51.25. The Fantasy result is evident as a drop from 8 points per game to just 3.38 is not acceptable for a player priced at 12.8 million.

That said looking at Aguero’s goal threat in isolation the four goal attempts per game – second only to <insert Mr 2015> – tells us fantasy managers that opportunity for points is still rife among Aguero’s game.

Sergio Aguero v David Silva

PlayerMPKPBC InvolvementGASoT%SoT
Sergio Aguero775117391333.33%
David Silva805385271037.04%

MP = Minutes Played, KP = Key Pass, BC = Big Chance, GA = Goal Attempt, SoT = Shots on Target, SiB = Shots inside Box, Pas FT = Successful passes in the Final Third, PPG = Points per Game 

Player Comparison Tool – Aguero V Silva

Finally and to conclude the investigation we return to the form player from Manchester City David Silva and directly compare the two. Taking aside the 21 goal attempts involvement from the weekend they are very evenly matched and this kind of proves the findings, Aguero and Silva are occupying the same areas of the pitch or at least production wise and if only going forward with one Manchester City attacker then Silva has to be the choice on price alone but for those that look at opportunity to score, while Aguero’s chance for points has reduced post injury from a terrific opening to the campaign and the system seems to be a negative, his overall statistical production is only bettered by Harry Kane since returning and with a fixture list that includes Crystal Palace, West Ham, Aston Villa and QPR in the next six, the 46,000 managers at the time of publication to transfer him out could well regret their decision. Add that two of those favourable games arrive before Chelsea’s double gameweek 34, giving Aguero the next three gameweeks to prove his worth and if failing switching to Diego Costa is my personal conclusion on the subject. Come on, we aren’t talking about Graziano Pelle, Aguero’s accuracy in front of goal will return.

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