Our write-ups of the Gameweek 11 action continue with the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Saturday’s fixtures.
The numbers you see in this article are from our Premium Members area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.
MADDISON OUT OF GAMEWEEK 12
James Maddison (£8.3m) made Blank Gameweek 12 that little bit trickier for many FPL managers after picking up his fifth booking of the season in Leicester City’s draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Maddison’s stoppage-time simulation saw him collect a third caution in as many matches, so will now sit out the Foxes’ appealing-looking home fixture against Leeds United.
He’ll be a ‘sell’ for many FPL managers, not just because of the suspension. In the four remaining pre-World Cup fixtures after his suspension is over, he faces a clash with Manchester City and a trip to a West Ham United side who boast the division’s third-lowest expected goals conceded (xGC) tally.
Maddison at least was in the thick of things, registering four shots, but it was an off-day for Crystal Palace attacking-wise. They have the lowest expected goals (xG) total of any team in Gameweek 11 so far, while they’re also bottom for xG since Gameweek 5. Many pundits have pointed out their tough start but they have faced less-than-watertight defences in Brentford, Leeds and Leicester in their last five matches, without too much improvement.
Marco Silva told us on Friday that Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.7m) had only had one day of full training going into Saturday’s clash with Bournemouth but the Serb was thrust straight back into the starting XI, netting from the spot and registering an encouraging five shots in all.
Mitrovic admitted after the game that he still wasn’t 100% fit:
“I’ve been in a lot of pain. Painkillers helped a lot. I still haven’t completely recovered but managed to get the goal today. I had one or two chances where I could have done better, but that’s football.” – Aleksandar Mitrovic
“We are not here to take risks with the players. We want to take care of them and get them in as good a condition as possible. Yesterday he trained with the team and he gave me the feedback that he was ready to start.” – Marco Silva on Aleksandar Mitrovic
Mitrovic lasted the full 90 minutes, at least, and the good news is that the Cottagers have a generous five days of recovery time before they go again in the Premier League, with their match against Aston Villa not taking place until Thursday.
One word of warning is that Silva’s pre-Gameweek 12 press conference may not be held until after Tuesday’s FPL deadline, so there’s a good chance that we won’t know the latest on Mitrovic’s fitness until it’s too late to do anything.
SOLANKE: XG BUSTER
Andreas Pereira (£4.6m) continues to provide excellent value and he collected his fourth attacking return of the season when assisting Issa Diop‘s (£4.3m) header. But both the budget midfielder and Mitrovic were outscored on Saturday by Dominic Solanke (£5.7m), who is now averaging over 5.0 points per match this season.
Whereas Mitrovic’s output is backed up by some solid underlying numbers, Solanke continues to defy the expected goals.
Mitrovic and Solanke v other FPL forwards in 2022/23 (min 5 apps)
|Shot||20.8 (4th)||55.8 (=33rd)|
|Shot in the box||25 (3rd)||74.4 (34th)|
|xG||135.6 (7th)||670 (35th)|
|xGI||124.6 (8th)||418.8 (34th)|
Solanke is now outperforming his xGI to the tune of +3.40, likely not a sustainable rate when we look at his ‘underachievement’ on the xG front in an inferior league last season (expected assists admittedly aren’t measured in this linked article).
But we can only repeat what we wrote of Solanke in last week’s Watchlist article: he’s a playable/benchable third forward option with good short-term fixtures, particularly in Gameweek 12 when Arsenal and City assets blank. What he also gives you over these back-to-back Gameweeks is security of starts, something you couldn’t say for certain about myriad other forwards. It should be mentioned that he’s on penalties, too, and has yet to have one of those in 2022/23.
CONTE PRAISES DOHERTY
Ivan Perisic (£5.5m) gobbled up two bonus points on Saturday, with his tally of four chances created not beaten by anyone else in Gameweek 11 so far.
We didn’t learn anything new about the veteran Croatian in Gameweek 11, in all honesty, as he is always a big threat when he’s on the pitch; it’s just how often he makes it onto the grass, with rotation rife in the wing-back department.
Matt Doherty (£4.6m) wasn’t part of the picture in those positions until after the September international break but now, it seems, he’s started to win back his manager’s favour. The Irishman had the best minutes-per-xG average of any FPL defender after Antonio Conte’s appointment last season and, while not as advanced as Perisic on Saturday, did provide his usual back-post goal threat.
Of course, he’s no safer a pick than Perisic in terms of guaranteed game-time, especially when Emerson Royal (£5.0m) returns from a ban in Gameweek 13. But if £5.5m is too much to pay for a rotation risk with a big attacking upside, could managers swallow that jeopardy for nearly a million less?
“About Matthew, honestly I’m really happy, really happy. He played a good game against Brighton but today he played better than the last game. He played well in the last game and I was happy also with it but today I have seen again the Matt Doherty of last season. I was really pleased and said to him ‘finally now you are the player that I know!’.
“Also, Ivan Perisic today played in the way that I know him. Also Ivan for his injury before he struggled a bit to have a good performance. Yes normal performance but my expectation about him are like today, to play like the top.” – Antonio Conte
KANE: A SEASON UNDER CONTE
Harry Kane (£11.4m) marked a full season’s worth of games under Conte by scoring yet again against Everton.
Just to underscore how impressive his start to 2022/23 has been, this is the quickest he has got to nine league goals in his 10+ seasons at Spurs.
Life under Conte started, coincidentally, against the Toffees in Gameweek 11 of 2021/22, with Kane plundering 37 attacking returns in the next 38 games. He even blanked in eight of his first 12 starts under his current boss.
Kane under Conte: FPL record
|Points per match||6.3|
Kane and Son Heung-min (£11.8m) seem set to be paired in a front two in Gameweek 12, with Richarlison (£8.5m) already ruled out of that match with a calf injury he picked up on Saturday evening. Dejan Kulusevski (£8.0m) is a doubt for that game and Lucas Moura (£5.8m) is only just back from a lengthy lay-off, so probably won’t be risked from the start.
“Yeah for sure [Richarlison] is out against Manchester United, for sure. He felt something in his calf and he won’t be available for that game. I don’t know but I think he needs a bit of time to recover. It’s a pity because we are talking about a player that gives us a lot of quality but at the same time also is strong and he improves our intensity.
“The problem with Kulusevski also needs time to recover. Fingers crossed for the next games because we have to play many many games in a short period. If you have the squad penalised with injuries it becomes a bit difficult but today we showed that we are ready to overcome every difficulty.” – Antonio Conte
Spurs did actually look better in a 3-5-2 once Richarlison went off, with a resolute Everton defence finally broken down (they’re ones to consider from Gameweek 12 onwards), so it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
WILLIAMS TO START IN GAMEWEEK 12?
Serge Aurier‘s (£4.5m) decent first two performances for Nottingham Forest and Steve Cooper’s positive pre-match comments suggested the game-time of popular budget defender Neco Williams (£4.1m) was under some threat.
But Williams was back in the Forest starting XI on Saturday, raising hopes that he might also be a starter in Gameweek 12 when many FPL managers with a player shortage need him to make an appearance.
Aurier wasn’t even in the squad and at the time of writing, we haven’t heard exactly why that was. Some Forest fans on social media suggest it was injury-related, and a complete matchday absence would also imply this, but neither the club nor local journalists have ratified that so far.
Even if Williams does take to the field on Tuesday, we’ll have to temper our expectations: he’s averaging a miserable 1.5 points per match this season, with even the division’s lowest scorers in Wolves deservedly finding a way through the visitors’ backline via a Ruben Neves (£5.5m) penalty.
Brennan Johnson (£5.8m) missed a spot-kick of his own, with Jose Sa (£5.1m) now the top-scoring goalkeeper of 2022/23 thanks to his penalty save, clean sheet and maximum bonus. That’s the second time that’s happened this season; had Sa conceded both spot-kicks, he’d now be sitting on 30 points instead of 55.
Only Manchester City (five) have kept more clean sheets than Wolves (four) this season.
All of Wolves’ starting defenders cost £4.6m or less on Saturday, with Rayan Ait Nouri (£4.3m) catching the eye in some advanced positions and twice going close with shots in the box. The downside to him is that whoever the new head coach is going to be, they might have a preference for another full-back pairing. Similarly, budget asset Toti Gomes (£3.9m) started for the second game in a row but now hitherto regular Matthew Collins (£4.5m) returns from a three-match ban. Max Kilman (£4.6m), who agonisingly hit the post against Forest, remains the safest route into the defence.