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FPL: GW30 Match Stats

GW30 Match Centre

Stats from all the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) GW30 matches.   You can see the Top Ranked players from this week, the last 6, and full season on the Top Players page.


Eden Hazard & Chelsea
The top ranked player overall  Hazard created 4 chances and had 4 shots from within West Ham’s penalty box, all on target, scoring 14 points from a goal, assist, clean sheet and 3BP.

Aston Villa & QPR
Despite the defeat for Rangers both teams went for it, the stats will tell you registered decent shot numbers and goals were deserved.  Weimann and Benteke Villa’s main output, Remy and Jenas looked likely for the away team.

 The Saints made Liverpool look very ordinary indeed and will have deflated a lot of the mounting hyperbole around the visitor’s form.    Rodriguez is starting to look a nice alternative to Lambert at £5.1m but truth be told it’s probably a little late to go for a player like him, especially with upcoming fixtures.  Lallana is back in his stride after injury.

Arsenal and Monreal (15pts) deserves a quick nod of appreciation too.


Swansea  Failing to register a single SoT at home is something I am always keen to castigate.  Fair enough Reading didn’t manage to hit the target away at United but even against a top club like Arsenal you’d expect a team to make the ‘keeper work, at least a little. It’s bad news for Michu owners whose had 9 shots in his last 3 games without any on targetA blank GW33 has people selling already.

Also worth a mention:  The Stoke attack, but what’s new. 



Premier League: Fightback Statistics! (Part 1)

Many thanks to @JonnyGrossmark for providing this excellent guest post. If you are not following him on Twitter already – get on it!

As always, Guest posts are welcome on the FantasyYirma page. If you have an idea for a new article or would like to promote a recent piece contact Ryan at for more information.


How Well Does Your Team “Fightback” When Conceding 1st? Stats Analysis

The phrase “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” is certainly appropriate when discussing football data at a time when data is now readily available to the public should they be inclined to look at it. Manchester City have tried to raise the bar by offering data in the hope that some bright blogger/analyst will be able to add to the debate about improving performance via analysis of the data.

In this article I want to show how important the analysis of data is but at the same time I am hoping to push the boundaries in terms of stimulating interest in raw football data by looking at data from the 2008-2009 onwards including the current season to  find out if there is a correlation between conceding and the strength of a team.

If we look at teams that regularly occupy the Championship League spots and the Europa League places we see a level of consistency that the other teams cannot produce. But are there any variables that preclude established sides such as Spurs from considering winning the EPL?

The Top 6 Sides “FightBack” Analysis


We can see that Arsenal and Manchester City have both conceded first 59 times in the sample and Man City have been the team that have consolidated their position as a Top 2 team while Arsenal have declined in status but have maintained their levels in terms of being consistent regarding the the number of games a season where they concede first.  We can also see that although Manchester  City have drawn a higher % when conceding first (27%) , it is Arsenal who have  only lost 49% of games when conceding first, which is much better than Manchester City as they have  lost 57% of the games.

Manchester United  have conceded the first goal of the game, the least amount of times (45) and Everton the most (76). There are some key issues to discuss.

  1. Why have Manchester United conceded the first goal so many times this season (11 at just over the half-way point) compared to 8, 8 ,12 and 6 in the previous seasons in the sample?

I could discuss that the Manchester United midfield is not good enough to protect the defence or that this is a random event that I cannot explain but I will leave that to other football bloggers because as long as Manchester United win their games when they concede first, the relevance of  this new trend is weakened. It means that in the EPL when Manchester United concede then there is still expectation that they will win but this is dependent on so many factors so we cannot just put a value on Man United beating Fulham when Fulham scored on 3 minutes to lead 1-0.

– What is the expectation of further goals given that Fulham have scored the first goal on 3 minutes and are the away team?

– Will the expectation of goals increase (greater then calculated before the game started) or impede for both the teams or will the early away goal have an effect on just one team?

What value do we put on Carrick having to play as the emergency centre-half in that game or the laughable own goal by Vidic in the game or the fact that Rooney started on the bench due to lack of form and Nani did not even make the bench for the game?

It is easy to put a figure on the expectation of Man United winning at 1-0 down but much harder to justify that figure without the inclusion of several other variables such as the pitch conditions, the strength of the shots, the accuracy prevention of both teams, the weather conditions, the motivation of both teams and the possible under performance of players on the day plus the fact that Carrick had to play in a position that I do not think he is best suited to. But when Carrick has played centre-back what % of games have Manchester United lost compared to the average which also is irrelevant unless you look at the strength of the team that they play each time Carrick has played in the role.

I remember reading in the paper on the last game of the season(2010-2011) to be advised that Manchester United do not score many goals during the last game of the season. The final score was Manchester United 4 Wolves 2 . The flaw of the argument is that the strength and motivation of both teams and the time of the first goal and the goal expectation and any rain or beach balls or referee blunders or freak goals or Red cards could alter the course of the game.

As  Man United are winning 72% of their games when conceding first this season then I do not believe Sir Alex will be losing too much sleep. A  problem may occur if they are losing 1-0 to a team like Dortmund or Bayern Munich as they will find it rather tougher to get back in the game than they did against teams at the level of Fulham.

Sir Alex Ferguson has acknowledged that the biggest mistake he made was letting Stam go who I would consider to be one of the best defenders in the History of Manchester United.

Do we believe the story that Sir Alex was advised that Stam was tackling less in games and as a result a perceived view  that his best days were behind him or was it as Stam has publicly said that Man United were in financial difficulty and needed the cash flow urgently.

At the petrol station he parked his car and got in with me. He told me that I had to be transferred. Then he said: “Will you please move to Lazio quickly?”

If we look at Everton they have consolidated their position as a top 6 side as far as I am concerned, but recently I was listening to the radio to be advised that “Everton have over achieved this season” and that this is a blip and  their levels of performance will drop.

They did not offer any data to back up their prediction and I offer the following in the case for the defence of Everton

  1. Everton have in Baines and Fellani –  two of the best players in the EPL in their positions and I would argue the case for Fellani to be player of the season with the qualities that he brings to the game. If Fellani and Baines were sold then I would re evaluate my thoughts on this by waiting to see who Everton Purchased as replacements. Players such as Howard, Neville and Distan have years of experience but I appreciate that the squad does not have youth on its side.
  2. Historically Everton have been very consistent finishing no lower then seventh since the 2008-2009 season and Moyes is a fantastic motivator of his squad and I can see him in charge at Old Trafford one day.
  3. If we look at Everton conceding first which is an excellent indicator of the strength of the team. I am not personally concerned by how many times a team concede but by how they react to the event.

Everton have conceded the first goal in 76 games during the sample but the levels remain very consistent and it has not impeded them from a high finish as they have only lost this season 9% of games when conceding first and in the sample overall they have drawn 34.66% and avoided losing 53.94% of the time. Only Manchester United in the sample of games can boast a better % which is 60.

By Jonny Grossmark

Follow Jonny on twitter @JonnyGrossmark



The Gameweek 5 review, by @shots_on_target

After advising that you should take a look at Leighton Baines (11 points this Gameweek), Demba Ba (nine), Dimitar Berbatov, Kevin Nolan (both eight) and Glen Johnson (five) on Friday, Yirma’s favourite stats man @shots_on_target is back, not to gloat, but instead to provide a thorough review of Gameweek 5.


Swansea 0 – 3 Everton

Although the Swans had their moments in this game, Everton bossed throughout with an incredible 22 shots with 11 on target, a figure more reminiscent of City at home to Wolves last year than a team away at the Liberty. The star fantasy performers from Everton’s point of view were the goal scorers Mirallas, Anichebe, and The Great Fellaini TM, with a combined 23 shots between them, 11 on target.  Good value for their 3 goals, in fact they should have scored more.  Anichebe is a great one week punt for the Toffees next home game against Southampton but you will have to fancy Jelavic’s chance of regaining the striker role on return from injury (1-2 weeks).  Fellaini, Mirallas are established in the side, as are Pienaar and Leighton ‘9 Points’ Baines.  All are strongly expected to pick up point further points and Mirallas would be an excellent differential choice.

Swansea to their credit almost scored – with 18 shots in total but just 4 on target.  Their failure to score is perhaps due to Everton’s well-drilled defence rather than Swansea’s poor attack and I wouldn’t give up on Swansea’s offensive or defensive options given their immediate fixtures – STO (A) RDG (H) WIG (H) – except for Nathan Dyer.

Fantasy Force:  Everton’s Attack and Defence.

Fantasy Flops:  No-one.

West Ham 1 – 1 Sunderland

West Ham peppered Sunderland’s goal here with 24 shots, 4 on target, compared the visitors 5 with just 1 on target.  Sunderland as is their style, scored from their only shot on target.  These stats are actually similar to Sunderland’s goalless draw at the Emirates on the opening day (ARS 23 shots, 3 on target, SUN 5 shots, 2 on target) indicating that Sunderland have the ability to weather a storm quite nicely and West Ham should not feel too disappointed, getting more out of this fixture than Arsenal did.  Steven Fletcher provided more evidence of his finishing ability with 1 goal from only shot on target (3 shots in total).  This kind of form cannot continue however and Sunderland really do not create enough chances for to warrant buying their forwards at the moment.  They have two fixtures in the next 8 that attract attention (Home games against Wigan and Villa) but other than those it’s not so good and I can’t really see Fletcher get more than 2-3 goals over the month or two.  Kevin Nolan’s goal for Wet Ham was just reward for his display, he really is a good prospect and West Ham’s main source of fantasy points.

Fantasy Force:  West Ham’s Attack (Nolan), Sunderland’s Defence.

Fantasy Flops:  Sunderland’s Attack (despite Fletcher)

Southampton 4 – 1 Aston Villa

Villa are in trouble.  They can’t defend and it’s going to take a while for Paul Lambert to get this team playing the way he wants, and by then it could be too late.  Stephen Ireland looks like he’s broken his arm and could be out for a while and has been one of their most creative players so far, albeit not creating that much.  Southampton on the other hand seem to have no problem finding the back of the net with Rickie Lambert the chief threat,  They managed 6 shots on target so 4 goals is slightly flattering scoreline, but if you want a £6.1m forward then you could not do much better and with upcoming fixtures home against Fulham and Tottenham and away at Everton and West Ham you’d be disappointed if he didn’t get 2-3 goals over this period.

Fantasy Force:  Southampton Attack

Fantasy Flops:  Aston Villa – attack and defence.

Wigan 1 – 2 Fulham

A pretty even game this one with both team’s creating plenty of chances, Wigan with 19 shots , 5 on target, and Fulham doing better with 12 shots and 7 on target )on target is best!).  Dimitar Berbatov was again at the sharp end and this results, as well as the 2 goals at Old Trafford, demonstrates Fulham’s new found capacity to score goals away from home.   Wigan failed to turn majority of both possession and scoring chances into anything more than 1 goal which need not be a major worry to fantasy managers given the budget price tags attached to their forward players.  Defensively, this was a good result for Fulham and a bad one for Wigan.  Allowing 7 shots on target from 12 attempts is not indicative a tight defence.

Fantasy Force:  Fulham Attack & Defence

Fantasy Flops:  Wigan’s Defence.

Chelsea 1 – 0 Stoke

Despite the pressure Chelsea heaped on the Stoke defence the Potters held firm and gave a good account of themselves, creating a few chances too with 13 shots, 3 shots on target compared to Chelsea’s 19 shots and 4 on target..  Big players such as Hazard and Torres failed to impress (zero shots on target between them) and with just one promising fixture on the horizon (Nor (H) GW7) it’s perhaps time to re-evaluate their place in your teams.  Stoke are doing well.  Despite a torrid run of fixtures so far they have defended resolutely and have only conceded 2 goals in games vs. City, Arsenal and now the European Champions Chelsea. Their fixtures don’t let up for a little while but take a look in GW9 after their game with Manchester United.

Fantasy Force: Stoke Defence

Fantasy Flops:  Chelsea Attack

West Brom 1 – 0 Reading

A fair result from two teams who are not going to be atop of the scoring charts at the end of the season.  Albion’s 4 shots on target from 11 attempts yielding the game’s only goal.  With Reading managing just the solitary shot on target all game there’s no wonder they didn’t score, and bearing in mind they only hit the target against Tottenham in their last home game the prospects do not look good for Reading’s attacking players like Pogrebnyak and Guthrie.  Lukaku grabbed the game’s only game and the immediate fixture list offers  hope of a few more – AVL (A) QPR (H) – but I would not hold out too much hope on them ripping it up.

Fantasy Force:  No-one
Fantasy Flops:  Reading’s attack.

Liverpool 1 – 2 Man Utd

Many people’s highlight match-up of the weekend, Liverpool managed to dominate the scoring chances in this game despite Shelvey dismissal late in the first half, almost doubling United’s  chances created (14 attempts, 6 on target to 8 attempts, 3 on target).  I think Liverpool can take some optimism from this game and their fixture list should offer hope –  (Nor (A) Sto (H) Rdg (H) – however long-term injuries to Agger and Kelly, a niggle for Borini,  plus Shelvey suspension throw this into doubt somewhat.  United looked poor but, as always,  put away the chances they got  to win the game.  The team is yet to gel though and with Rooney’s return imminent and rotation around Champions Leagues games a concern it’s going to be a risk owning their attacking players this season methinks.

Fantasy Force:  Liverpool’s Defence

Fantasy Flops:  No-one

Man City 1 – 1 Arsenal

Arsenal controlled the game in large spells and their customary possession game melded with a new-found defensive resolution means their defensive players are arguably the best of all fantasy assets right now, particularly with Gibbs and Metesacker coming in at £5.6m and £5.1m respectively.    The omission of Carlos Tevez would have caused heartache to over 1 million FPL managers this weekend and, with City’s available attacking options plus probable rotation for Champion’s League games, owning elite options from the blue half of Manchester could prove a tad frustrating at times.  Santi Cazorla and David Silva were the stand out players from an attacking point of view, and Aguero showed what he’s about too.

Fantasy Force:  Arsenal’s Defence

Fantasy Flops:  No-one

Tottenham 2  – 1 QPR

Tottenham have been very creative in all their matches so far this season, with this one proving no different, with 20 attempts on goal, yielding 8 shots on target and two goals not a bad result at the end of the day.  However, they don’t fill you with confidence.   Does anyone else think AVB does not know what he’s doing?  Does he think he is still playing Championship Manager in his bedroom?   QPR did really well and are staring to play for Hughes now after the opening day calamity against Swansea.  They mustered  4 shots on target from 9 attempts which is not bad going for a team away at one of last season’s Top 4.  Whilst home games against West Ham and Reading in the next 6 offer potential it’s probably too early to get excited about anyone.  As for Spurs, Gareth Bale and Jermaine Defoe (as long as he’s in the team) maintain their promising form.

Fantasy Force:  Tottenham and QPR attack – maybe

Fantasy Flops:  None.

Newcastle 1 – 0 Norwich

Newcastle have been a very “efficient” team under Pardew, not requiring a lot of the ball or many chances to score their goals. That they managed good but not great  6 shots on target  against Norwich from 18 chances created.  There should have been more goals but the best chances, including a penalty, fell to Cisse and he’s clearly struggling at the moment, perhaps feeling a bit poorly!   Demba Ba took his chance well and continues to be a good option up front, as does Ben Arfa,  with game away against Reading the next fixture.  Following this though games at home against United, and a solid West Brom plus an away match at local rivals Sunderland aren’t the best in the short term.  As for Norwich, it’s hard to call as to whether Newcastle just misfired up front or Norwich defended well.  I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and opt for the latter but they aren’t a strong defensive option yet.

Fantasy Force:  No-one

Fantasy Flops:  No-one

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