Our Premier League team of week 16 has four debutants, and three of them play for Manchester United. See what happens when you try to attack, Jose? Playing the side with the worst defensive record in the division clearly helps, in fairness.
The last time Carlo Ancelotti came to Anfield he ended up leaving it with a Premier League trophy in the bag. This time around, the former Chelsea boss will attempt to secure a place in the elimination stage of the Champions League and he promises his current side will try to boss the Liverpool game.
His counterpart will, however, have a different agenda in mind. Read More
Previewing Manchester City games is like reading Romeo and Juliet for the first time: you know how it ends even if you don’t know how it will quite get there.
Pep Guardiola’s team are favourites to take home the Premier League trophy again this season. If you doubt this fact, then maybe the data will convince you. Take, for example, expected goal (xG) values from the 12 games so far this season. Of the top six teams, Manchester City are the only side who have consistently produced a greater xG for than their opponents have produced against them.
If this isn’t impressive enough as it is, City’s average xG For – hovering, as it is, just below the 3 xG per 90 line – has only been bettered by Manchester United in one of their games so far (against Bournemouth away). Guardiola, then, is producing an average xG For better than Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have managed in 11 of their 12 games. Read More
Six of the top nine performers on our leaderboard for this week are centre-backs, so our team has switched to three at the back. Our XI contains seven ‘team of the week’ debutants, but two players from last week retain their place. Here’s our full Premier League team of week 12, and we begin with a goalkeeper who did his damnedest to earn his team three points.
Goalkeeper: Jonas Lössl. Huddersfield Town 1-1 West Ham United.
Huddersfield lead for 68 minutes on Saturday. That’s almost half of their tally for the whole season, so shouldn’t be underestimated. That they were ahead for so long was in no small part thanks to Lössl, who saved two clear-cut chances.
With over a quarter of the season gone, it may seem odd that, when Arsenal and Liverpool clash on Saturday evening, there still remains uncertainty about how good either of the sides are. But neither of the opponents from Matchday 11’s most intriguing tie have lived up to the sort of numbers they have been posting in the Premier League so far this season.
In many respects, Arsenal are to this season what Manchester United were to last season. Despite finishing second in the league last year, Jose Mourinho’s United scored nine goals more than their expected goals (xG) values suggested they would, conceding 15 goals fewer than the same metric projected they should have conceded. As any statistician worth their salt will tell you, over- or under-performance against xG values is unsustainable in the long run and, lo and behold, this season, Manchester United find themselves regressing towards the norm with wild abandon. Read More
It’s time to review our selection process for the Draft Kings game. Last week’s team was not very successful, but neither was it entirely without merit. We suggested Mohamed Salah was due three goals and he duly obliged this week. Sadly for this competition two of his tally came against Crvena Zvezda, but he still bagged 19 fantasy points with his goal against Huddersfield.
Asmir Begovic got 13 points for his clean sheet against Southampton, but those two aside our team was a flop. So we’ve revised our strategy, but before we get to that, here are the matches from which we have to select our eight players this week.
Mohamed Salah’s 50th goal in English football and the Reds’ 200th victory on the road in the Premier League era were a perfect introduction for the Champions League clash against the Serbian champions Crvena Zvezda.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp might be pleased to be “winning average games” for the first time in his career following his team’s hard-fought 1-0 win at Huddersfield but the Reds will need to up their game in order to remain in the running for major honours this season.
Klopp’s men need to be winning average games with more ease in order to gain mental strength and boost optimism both within the squad and around it.
With another potentially ‘average’ match on the horizon, Liverpool have a chance to hit top gear again, following a string of low key performances and results which have not been up to the standards Jürgen Klopp has introduced at Anfield. Read More
Liverpool’s season is at something of an interesting crossroads. On the one hand, they’ve had their hardest start to a campaign in 25 years. The Reds have got through it largely unscathed, all things considered, and have 20 points after eight league matches for only the third time in the Premier League era.
But the goals and great results have also dried up recently. Liverpool haven’t won any of their last four games in all competitions, scoring just twice along the way. When the opposition reads Chelsea (twice), Napoli and Manchester City, the sky isn’t exactly falling in. What is concerning Kopites, though, is the lack of goals from their fabled front three.
Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah have nine league goals between them. This is the same tally as they had after eight games of 2017/18, so it’s far too soon to be overly worried. However, Mané hasn’t scored in his last seven starts, and Salah only has one goal in his. The Reds’ four game win-less run is comprised of their only matches this season where none of their first choice front trio has found the net.
Will they find their feet now their fixture list softens over the next few weeks? Or are they genuinely out of form? Read More
After our winning effort in week seven, we came crashing down to earth last time out. Callum Wilson may have picked up 20.5 points on Draft Kings’ game, but Joe Hart and Harry Maguire scored zilch, zip, zero. With four other players posting single figure points scores, our team fell well short of the cash prizes.
There’s always next week, though, and these are the matches in the selection pool for week nine.
Mohamed Salah was the scourge of Manchester City last season. Sadly for the champions, if they were savouring reports of his decline, those may have been exaggerated.
Jürgen Klopp has substituted last season’s 44-goal top scorer when Liverpool required a goal against both Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea and admitted the obvious, that the Egyptian is not at the peak of his form. Yet Twelve Football’s leader board still shows Salah as the sixth most effective player in the Premier League so far this season.
The numbers are, in part, a sign of prominence and persistence. Salah has the highest expected goals total in the Premier League (5.14) and the third most shots this season, behind only Aleksandr Mitrovic and Sergio Aguero. Read More