It’s ONE BIG STAT, the Fantasy Premier League article everyone is talking about! Is there anything we can learn from each match in week 1? Read on and find out!
Liverpool v Norwich City
Penalty area touches – Buendía 5, Pukki 6, Firmino 6
The Canaries looked pretty good against Liverpool, particularly Teemu Pukki (£6.5) and Emiliano Buendía (£6.0) and their 11 combined touches in the penalty area. Pukki’s goal is getting him all the FPL love this week, but don’t overlook Buendía’s assist or his absurdly low FPL ownership (just 0.7%). Given their exceptional Championship performances last season and promising week 1 displays, there’s a lot to like about both players.
Roberto Firmino (£9.5) looked excellent last Friday: 6 penalty area touches, 3 shots in the box (1 more than Salah), and 4 total shots (also 1 more than Salah). Had he scored instead of hitting the woodwork early in the 2nd half, we might be thinking differently about Chompers as an FPL asset heading into this weekend.
West Ham v Manchester City
Riyad Mahrez – 5 Key Passes
Are we about to see 2015-16 Riyad Mahrez (£8.5) reborn this season? He was the most creative player in the Premier League this week — his 5 key passes, along with 2 big chances created, lead the way for all players. Plus, he nearly matched Sterling (£12.0) for touches in the penalty area (7 to Sterling’s 8) and shots (3 to Sterling’s 4). Even with Pep Roulette, Mahrez might be worth the FPL risk already.
Bournemouth v Sheffield United
Wilson/King/Fraser – 1 Shot Each
100% of FPL managers who own Wilson (£8.0), King (£6.5), and Fraser (£7.5) agree — 1 shot from each of these guys isn’t going to cut it. Yes, Wilson got an FPL assist, and Fraser did supply 8 crosses in the match. But as FSFC co-host Scott always screams, “How many points are crosses worth?” This match felt too much like the Cherries’ 1-0 loss to Fulham in April — high expectations at home against a “lesser” club, little attacking output. Hopefully, Eddie Howe can find a way to unlock his club’s offense on Saturday against Aston Villa.
Burnley v Southampton
Not so much a stat, really. Also, not quite the start Ings’ (£6.0) FPL owners were looking for – 29 total touches, 0 touches inside the penalty area, 0 shots, and then subbed off after just 66 minutes. He’s likely still the 1st choice penalty taker, but the Saints need him to be healthy, so “subbed off early” will likely be a theme for Ings this season. Perhaps it’s time to think a little harder about Che Adams (£6.0)...
Crystal Palace v Everton
Everton – Just 2 Shots On Target
If you own anyone in the Everton defense or Jordan Pickford (£5.5), you’re happy with the clean sheet. But Everton need to find some offense in a hurry, especially after their nearly scoreless preseason. They managed just 2 shots on target, 1 each from Gylfi Sigurdsson (£8.0) and Seamus Coleman (£5.5). How soon will we be seeing what Moise Kean (£7.0) can really do?
Watford v Brighton
Brighton – 5 Total Shots
Not a typo — the Seagulls crapped out a total of 5 shots against Watford and somehow managed to win 3-0. Just THREE of those turds were on target, and no, Abdoulaye Doucouré’s own goal wasn’t one of them. The real kernel in the log for the Gulls was Glenn Murray (£6.0) managing to be the only player to defeat VAR this weekend, otherwise this match could have been much different. Just something to keep in mind, especially if you’re considering any of their attacking players.
Tottenham v Aston Villa
Christian Eriksen – 8 Crosses
Yes, the big stat is probably Harry Kane (£11.0) shooting, what, like 40 times? However, Christian Eriksen (£9.0) put a spotlight on his importance in the Spurs lineup, then he put a bigger spotlight on that spotlight. In just 26 minutes, Eriksen managed 8 crosses, adding 3 shots and 3 key passes for good measure. Spurs fans can only hope the Madrid rumors dissipate soon...
Leicester v Wolves
James Maddison – 15 Crosses
Again, the very obvious stat is striker-related — 0 shots for Jamie Vardy (£9.0). But who wants to keep crashing that party? I like James Maddison’s (£9.0) league-leading 15 crosses that he managed against Wolves. It’s also worth pointing out that he played all 90 minutes, something he didn’t do enough of for anyone’s liking last season. With numbers like that, Maddison’s FPL attacking returns should be right around the corner.
Newcastle v Arsenal
Alexandre Lacazette – 0 Minutes
If you’re one of the 3% of FPL managers who own Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5), hopefully you had a good player transfer in from your bench. Unai Emery was likely being cautious with Alexandre’s pas bien, très mauvais ankle injury that he sustained over the summer. But could we see more of a home/away split-attack from Arsenal this year? Lacazette was far more effective at home in 2018-19, scoring 9 of his 13 goals there, so Emery may be wise to maximize his home appearances this season, at least until they fully incorporate Pepe (£9.5). The Gunner attack will surely be potent at some point, but you can expect some FPL headaches before it gets there.
Manchester United v Chelsea
Chelsea – 2 Woodwork Hits
Manchester United 4 – Chelsea 0: the scoreline least indicative of a match’s content this weekend. Tammy Abraham (£7.0) and Emerson (£5.5) each hit the woodwork so hard, the sound of either shot could have woken Alexis Sanchez up from his sideline nap. Better days are ahead for this Chelsea attack.
That’ll do it. Good luck in Gameweek 2, everyone!