The Promoted

What to expect from Norwich’s defence and attacking full-backs in FPL

Norwich City defensive options do not necessarily look like they will be hugely popular in the early stages of Fantasy Premier League 2019/20.

Daniel Farke’s side fought their way to the Championship title largely by scoring more goals than their opponents, rather than keeping them out of their own net.

In this article, we will be assessing how their defence got on in 2018/19 and whether they stand a chance of keeping clean sheets in the Premier League.

We have also gone through each of the key personnel to analyse their potential to benefit from other points avenues next year.

What is Norwich’s clean sheet potential?

Norwich built their success on attacking football rather than a solid base at the back in 2018/19

It does look as if Norwich’s chances of keeping regular clean sheets in the Premier League are quite low. Across their title-winning 2018/19 season, they conceded a total of 57 goals in 46 matches, at an average of 1.23 per game.

There was a slight improvement in the last 12 matches of the season as the Canaries shipped 13 goals during that period, at an average of 1.08 per game. However, it was not a drastic change as in the last six, Norwich were breached nine times (1.5 per game).

All of that led to a total of just 13 clean sheets for Farke’s men (in 28% of their matches), which ranked them as low as joint-eighth in that particular department. Among the seven teams to record more shut-outs than them were Queens Park Rangers (14), who finished in 19th place, Stoke City (18), who ended the campaign in 16th and Sheffield Wednesday (14) who secured a 12th-place finish.

Interestingly, it was actually at Carrow Road where Norwich were more susceptible to conceding: 34 of the goals they allowed were in home matches, at an average of 1.5 per game, with just seven clean sheets banked in the process. Incredibly, 14 Championship clubs recorded more than that across the campaign.

On their travels, the Canaries looked slightly more solid at the back. They conceded just 23 times away from home all season, averaging one per game, and making for six clean sheets. That number of shutouts saw them ranking seventh compared to the rest of the division in such fixtures.

The fact that Norwich conceded more goals at home than they did away could indicate how much of an attacking approach they took at Carrow Road this season. We know that Farke preferred an attractive pass and movement style but also that there were occasional mistakes at the back that allowed their opponents in. In fact, no Championship team registered more dispossessions per match this season than Norwich (11.5).

Given his comments about keeping the same style next season, it looks as if we may see Norwich conceding on a fairly regular basis, which would obviously make it hard for their defensive options to shine too much. However, there are still aspects of their key players in this area of the field worth considering.

Player-by-player

Tim Krul

Goalkeeper

Starts: 46 | Substitute appearances: 0 | Goals: 0 | Assists: 0

Tim Krul has been one of Norwich’s most important players in 2018/19

Former Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul has enjoyed a hugely successful season with Norwich in 2018/19 and has certainly returned to his best form following a serious ACL injury a few years back.

The Dutchman had to prove plenty of doubters wrong but he ended the most recent campaign described by Norwich Evening News reporter Paddy Davitt as the “beating heart” of the Canaries’ promotion-winning squad. The local press has also praised the signing of Krul as being “just as vital” as that of top goalscorer Teemu Pukki.

“To be honest, I’m glad that I also made the switch to other clubs, because that’s how I found pleasure at Norwich. We have a fantastic team, with a mix between young and experience. I have confidence in my body again. It is true that I have gained more confidence in my body (now since the injury). I spent thirteen, fourteen months out of it. You have to go through that. Also mentally.” – Tim Krul

With clean sheets looking potentially hard to come by for Norwich in 2019/20, it looks as if save-points will be the primary appeal of Krul in the Premier League. The Dutchman’s tally of 136 stops across the course of the campaign was the fourth-best in the Championship, but it also serves to demonstrate how many shots they conceded, and how that may increase in the top flight.

Where Krul’s saves were recorded offers an interesting piece of further insight. In 2018/19, only West Bromwich Albion’s Sam Johnstone made more stops from shots that were taken outside the box than the Norwich man. That suggests that the Canaries did a better job than most of limiting their opponents to efforts from range. We have historically seen goalkeepers using these sorts of stops to rack up save points and benefit their Fantasy owners even more if they do also keep a clean sheet.

Furthermore, as we found out last week, Norwich manager Farke likes his goalkeeper to start attacks from the back and act as a distributor. That is almost certainly why Krul finished the 2018/19 season ranked second for total passes (1,541), behind only West Brom’s Johnstone (1,549). Crucially, the Dutchman excelled in completed short-range passes, underpinned by Farke’s style, finishing top in the division for that statistic by some margin. His total of 631 was 42 more than second-placed Johnstone.

Therefore, Krul’s ability to combine completed passes with a large number of saves could see him perform very well for bonus points when Norwich do keep clean sheets. As he will probably be priced at £4.5m, he could rival Lukasz Fabianski as a viable option for regular save production and really reward his owners if they trust him long enough to capitalise on the Canaries’ shutouts when they come.

However, we should be cautious before tipping Krul as a completely nailed-on option in this Norwich defence. Yes, he has had an incredible season but it has been widely reported that Farke is keen to bring in reinforcements, primarily to provide competition for the Dutchman. Fantasy managers interested in him should, therefore, track that situation over the summer and see who Norwich bring in and what chances they have of ousting Krul.

Max Aarons

Right-back

Starts: 41 | Substitute appearances: 0 | Goals: 2 | Assists: 6

Max Aarons has already attracted the interest of the Fantasy community ahead of Norwich’s return to the Premier League

There has already been plenty of interest from the Fantasy community in Norwich’s attack-minded full-backs, especially right-sided option Max Aarons. He recorded two goals and six assists this season to warrant significant attention ahead of his Premier League bow.

The 19-year-old’s eight attacking returns is the same number that Matt Doherty managed when he won a Championship title in 2017/18, although the Wolves man had a greater focus on goals (four scored, four assisted). Either way, the Irishman’s continued progress in the Premier League has some thinking that Aarons could follow suit.

However, we should be a little wary of jumping in on the Norwich man straight away, especially considering the Canaries’ relatively low chances of regular clean sheets.

His offensive potential is obviously impressive but it should be pointed out that Aarons was not necessarily the dominant figure for attacking underlying statistics in the Championship this year.

11 defenders in the league created more chances than his 31, while his total of 17 shots in the box was only the joint-18th best in the division. Factor in the increase in difficulty for Norwich as they face tougher opposition next season and caution definitely seems the best approach with Aarons, even if he does eventually taste success in the top flight.

Admittedly, the right-back also performed fairly well for defensive statistics compared to his colleagues this year, offering more than just attacking threat in the day of modern full-backs. Only Krul recorded more recoveries than Aarons in 2018/19, while he also finished joint-top for tackles won and joint-second for interceptions.

As the Norwich defender with the most number of attacking returns this season, Aarons does stands a chance of being priced £0.5m higher than his colleagues at the back, as was the case with Huddersfield’s Tommy Smith in 2016/17. That could be even more of a reason to hold off and see how he settles into Premier League life before seriously considering investing.

Jamal Lewis

Left-back

Starts: 42 | Substitute appearances: 0 | Goals: 0 | Assists: 4

Jamal Lewis has been a key figure for Norwich this season

Left-back Jamal Lewis has, by all means, had a very successful season for Norwich and, like his colleague on the opposite flank of defence, was included in the Championship team of the season.

However, it must be said that, at this early stage, his Fantasy potential is a little way behind that of Aarons.

Lewis still managed four assists, the fourth best in the Norwich squad this season, but was actually the only outfield player to make more than eight league appearances and not get on the scoresheet once.

He did miss two golden chances against Aston Villa on the final day, so there is definitely potential there, but if we’re urging caution over Aarons, we should be encouraging an equally wary approach towards Lewis also.

The 20-year-old will almost certainly be priced up at £4.5m, which is more than can be said for Aarons who could be more expensive. However, it is clear that Lewis could offer less than his colleague in terms of attacking potential.


Jamal Lewis Max Aarons
Total shots 22 24
Shots in the box 11 18
Shots on target 6 8
Big chances 2 4
Chances created 26 31
Big chances created 2 4
Clearances 55 65
Blocks 7 13
Interceptions 39 46

During the 2018/19 season, Aarons was ahead of Lewis for total shots, efforts in the box, shots on target, big chances, chances created, big chances created.

Furthermore, the right-back also bested Lewis for several defensive statistics too, including clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI).

The only areas that Lewis edged past Aarons were for his superior number of attempted crosses and successful crosses.

One additional consideration for Fantasy managers is how the youngster, and the 19-year-old Aarons too, to be fair, will settle into Premier League life. They have at this early stage of their career enjoyed a season of success but will have to get used to being on the front foot considerably less often next season. Experienced goalkeeper Krul has insisted that he has already got to work on managing this situation for his young full-backs.

“I’ve already started with Jamal. I said to him we love each other at the moment – and then we’re going to hate each other next year because it’s going to be hard, hard graft and we’re going to shout at each other. But that’s what it’s all about.” – Tim Krul

It must also be said that January signing Philip Heise, who is yet to make an appearance for Norwich, is expected to have a greater involvement next season so Lewis may have to hold off competition from him too.

Christoph Zimmermann

Centre-back

Starts: 39 | Substitute appearances: 1 | Goals: 2 | Assists: 2

Christoph Zimmermann has become a hugely popular figure at Norwich for his commanding performances in defence

It took a little while for centre-back Christoph Zimmermann to prove his worth to Norwich this season, but once he had established himself in the side, he quickly became a key player for the Canaries.

After playing just 16 minutes of the first six Championship matches, the German was involved in every league minute possible, only injuries bringing him off early at Bristol City in December and forcing him out of the starting line-up for a Boxing Day clash with Nottingham Forest.

For the first half of the campaign, the 27-year-old was largely a defensive contributor to Farke’s side, and he remained a key rock at the box for them, hence how he was able to rack up 56 more clearances than any of his colleagues.

However, in the final 14 matches of 2018/19, Zimmermann registered two goals and two assists, the latter often coming from his long-ranging passes out from the back, an increasing sign of Farke’s style being implemented.

The German is now easily the most nailed-on of Norwich’s two centre-backs after making 39 starts for them in their title-winning season but given that his attacking underlying statistics don’t compare too favourably either with the marauding full-backs or the other centre-backs, it looks as if the likelihood of starts is his main appeal.

Ben Godfrey

Centre-back / central midfield

Starts: 26 | Substitute appearances: 5 | Goals: 4 | Assists: 2

Ben Godfrey is seen as a real rising star for Norwich

Injuries to Timm Klose and Grant Hanley were what opened the door for Ben Godfrey to move into central defence this year, but his exceptional performances there helped him keep his place even when his stricken colleagues returned to full fitness.

Going into 2019/20, there is very little doubt that Zimmermann and Godfrey are the preferred central defensive pairing, subject to any summer signings.

While the data points to Zimmermann’s largely defensive contribution, Godfrey appears to be the more attack-minded option.

He found the net four times in just 26 starts, chipping in with a further two assists.

Underpinning that was 23 shots and 19 in the box, both totals proving more than left-back Lewis was able to offer from 1,327 extra minutes.

Furthermore, Godfrey was third for big chances among all Norwich players this season, behind only attacking midfielder Marco Stiepermann and top goalscorer Teemu Pukki.

Also, out of the eventual first-choice back-four, Aarons was the only member to fashion more big chances than Godfrey’s four.

The 21-year-old’s ability to add attacking returns even from centre-back seems to stem from the fact that he has experience playing further up the field.

It was only this season that Farke transitioned him from a holding midfielder into a centre-back, claiming he had the ability to be a world-class player in that particular position.

The introduction of Godfrey into the back four, forming a strong partnership with Zimmermann, seems to be cited as one of the reasons behind a slight firming up of the defence in the second half of the season – so if they continue to make progress in the summer, maybe the two of them could work towards more clean sheets than we initially predict.

The former York City and Shrewsbury Town man has made incredible progress in his short career so far and is definitely one to watch in the Premier League next year.

Timm Klose

Centre-back

Starts: 23 | Substitute appearances: 8 | Goals: 4 | Assists: 1

Timm Klose was at Norwich the last time they were relegated from the Premier League

Klose’s four goals and one assist from centre-back might look fairly attractive to potential Fantasy owners in 2019/20, but he endured a tough second half to 2018/19 and might struggle to offer much to us in the Premier League.

The Swiss international was a key player for the first 23 matches of Norwich’s title-winning campaign, offering a great deal of attacking threat, but a knee injury reduced him to nothing more than a few cameo substitute appearances after that.

Admittedly, Klose wasn’t helped by the incredible partnership formed between Zimmermann and Godfrey, as both of them ensured even when back to full fitness he couldn’t get back into the side.

His potential for attacking threat could be unlocked if either one of those two first-choice options picks up an injury at some stage in the season, or if the interest from potential suitors in Godfrey continues to increase and he is snatched away.


Mins per chance Mins per shot in the box Mins per shot on target
Timm Klose 84.8 113 254.3
Ben Godfrey 103.9 125.7 217.2
Christoph Zimmerman 249.7 291.3 1165.3

Klose actually managed better minutes per chance and minutes per shot in the box averages than both Zimmermann and Godfrey during the 2018/19 campaign, hence how he managed to get on the scoresheet so many times.

For now, though, we have to highlight both his likelihood of providing nothing more than the competition at centre-back and indeed the chance that he might not even be at the club. The 30-year-old was signed by the Canaries in January 2016, a few short months before their last relegation from the top flight so he certainly has unfinished business here but has admitted he is open to the possibility of a move.

“That is the choice I would prefer. The Premier League is the best league in the world and it would be great to return. But many other doors are also still open and I will give myself the time to make the best decision. There was really a great atmosphere this season here and a good level of play, and the coach and several players being a small clan of Germans within the team also brought a little something extra.” – Timm Klose

Other options

Grant Hanley has not featured much since picking an injury up earlier in the campaign

The six players we have mentioned here are the ones most likely to see significant game-time in the Premier League next season, provided Farke doesn’t strengthen in their respective positions.

However, there are a number of other fringe players, most notably Hanley. The centre-back is still the Canaries’ official club captain, although the armband has most often been worn by Zimmermann. Hanley was an important part of the Norwich defence for the first six games before picking up an injury in training and has proven to be another player unlucky enough to see Zimmermann and Godfrey dominating their position.

Meanwhile, deputy right-back Ivo Pinto has now left the club to join Dinamo Zagreb, while Ben Marshall and James Husband combined for just 333 minutes in the league this season.

104 Comments Post a Comment
  1. diesel001
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    The blue side of Manchester are getting ready for the parade.

    1. Syd.
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      There is no blue side

      It is all blue

  2. Saint Steve-O (@EliteFPL)
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Unlikely, but, maybe first season I avoid promoted teams, unless Villa get promoted, if Derby do, I feel maybe all three to be be relegated

    1. Saint Steve-O (@EliteFPL)
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      From the start that is

    2. Numb
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      I think people thinking that the likes of Norwich or Sheffield United are going to be this year's Wolves, with the likes of Doherty and Jiménez, are going to be disappointed

      1. Jarvish
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Yep - bookies had Wolves to finish 7th before the season started last season - unlikely any of the promoted teams are going to be predicted higher than 16th or 17th I would have thought.

        1. Numb
          • 4 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Yep

      2. Saint Steve-O (@EliteFPL)
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Are people thinking that? That's crazy

  3. RedLightning
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Adam Hopcroft suggested earlier that Salah, Jota and Son might all possibly be reclassified as forwards next season.

    Which other players do we think might be reclassified?

    1. Saint Steve-O (@EliteFPL)
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Zaha back to midfield perhaps... Zinchenko gotta be def next yr.

      1. RedLightning
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        That sounds like a couple of good suggestions.

      2. Super Saints
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        No way Zaha should be a midfielder! When can I create next season's team? I'm bored already.

        1. _sidney_will
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          https://www.fantasyfootballfix.com/preseason/

          sadly does cost £8

    2. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Zaha and Milner back to being midfielders.

      1. RedLightning
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Milner's already a midfielder. Do you mean back to being a defender?

        Zaha could be quite tempting as a midfielder.

        1. diesel001
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Sorry - forgot Milner got reclassified this season.

          Deulofeu as a forward? Rice as a midfielder?

        2. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          How much is a good price for Zaha?

          1. RedLightning
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 9 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Maybe 7.5 or 8.0 as a midfielder.

    3. Amey
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Zaha - Midfielder
        Deulofeu - Striker
        Zenchinko - Defender
        Schlupp - Midfielder
        AND
        Hurricane - Midfielder 😛

      • AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Not a hugely interesting one but I suspect Masuaku will be a defender again whilst Rice will be a midfielder.

      • AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Will Doherty and Jonny still be defenders?

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 10 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Doherty 20 games mid, 18 defender.
          Jonny 17 mid, 15 left back, 1 right back.

          Probably defenders for both seeing clean sheets aren't common.

      • Numb
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Perez should be reclassified as a midfielder as Rondon was the sole central striker

    4. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Any under the radar types you will look at next season if they get a low(er) price?

      I'll start off with Ryan Fredericks. Can see him being 4.5 potentially, very attacking and finally looked to have become first choice.

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Staying in East London, Andriy Yarmolenko could be interesting. He arrived with a hefty price tag (£17.5m) and seemed to be hitting form before his season ending achilles injury. Should be back for pre season, I could be tempted if the early fixtures fall kindly and he’s priced around 6m.

      2. Stats Døn't Lie
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Fredericks a good shout

        Gk: Leno, Ddg, heaton
        Def: Fredericks, Mina, Arsenal Def, maguire, mendy, Bertrand
        Mids: gross, Kdb, alli, eriksen, yarmolenko, lanzini, the ox
        Fwds: kane, lukaku, giroud

      3. _sidney_will
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Fredericks also on my radar, aswell as these: (doubt many of them from GW1 but at some point in the season)

        Alli
        Gross
        Meyer
        DCL
        Travers (could be 4m first-choice GK, you never know)
        Rico (Bournemouth DF, could be 4m)
        Emerson
        Ghezzal (could get a run at some stage in the side)
        Ox
        Mendy
        Romero (DDG likely to leave, great back-up GK in Romero)
        Armstrong
        Chalobah

    5. tambourineman
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Swansea, under Graham Potter, in the Championship this season

      Short passes - 1st (most)
      Long balls - 1st (fewest)
      Pass completion - 1st (highest)
      Possession - 2nd highest
      Scored 11 of 65 goals (17%) from set pieces
      Conceded 24 of 62 goals (39%) from set pieces
      Committed the fewest fouls per game
      Second youngest average age

      Brighton, under Chris Houghton, in 2018/19

      Short passes - 4th fewest
      Long balls - 3rd most
      Pass completion - 5th lowest
      Possession - 5th lowest
      Scored 14 of 35 goals (40%) from set pieces
      Conceded 10 of 60 goals (17%) from set pieces
      Committed the most fouls per game
      Second oldest average age

      Quite a dramatic change of direction from Brighton, interesting to see whether Potter sticks with his style of play or is forced to adapt

      1. CloudSky
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Theres quite a dramatic difference in the competition played too to be fair.

        1. tambourineman
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          True but the Swansea data is for a mid-table Championship team so you wouldn't expect them to be top for passing. As a comparison Brighton when they promoted from the Championship under Houghton were 6th in the league for possession, 6th for pass completion, 12th for short balls, 6th most for long balls and scored more than they conceded from set pieces.

    6. Jacky boy
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Which gk are you considering right now?

      1. TorresMagic™
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        None.

      2. FPL Pillars
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Bit early for this

      3. Chenku╰☆╮
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        i bought in de gea.. will sell him tomorrow after match..

      4. I Member
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Impossible to say until the fixtures are out. Will probably go cheap.

      5. _sidney_will
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Henderson if he signs for Sheffield United and they have decent Fixtures

      6. Bobby Digital
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Ederson or Becker.. depends who's cheaper.

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 10 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          What if both 5.5m?

          1. Jacky boy
            • 3 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Both at 6.0
            5.5 not possible

            1. TorresMagic™
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 10 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

              Ederson did worse than last season and was 5.5m
              Agree Allison will probably be 6m like DDG was with similar numbers.

              1. Jacky boy
                • 3 Years
                4 months, 2 days ago

                169 this season
                158 last one
                He will rise because of consistency imo

                1. TorresMagic™
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • Has Moderation Rights
                  • 10 Years
                  4 months, 2 days ago

                  Played 225 more minutes. Similar to last season but will probably be 6m or he's a bargain.

    7. _sidney_will
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Whichever club gets Hakim Ziyech are incredibly lucky, top player & a Release Clause of 25mil

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bup8WFY4_IY

      1. Amey
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Very good talent. United should be in contention for him being a RW.
          But, knowing United nowadays, we'll end up with Bale for 50m£ + 600k/week salary >>> Another flop !!
          😀

      2. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Who do we think will gain the biggest price rise for next season to what they started at the start of last season lads???

        1. Stats Døn't Lie
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Jimenez, Fraser, Wilson or TAA

        2. Brosstan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Jimenez

          1. AB.
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Yep, agreed. Jiménez.

        3. The Rumour Mill
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          has to be jiminez. 5.5m to 8.0m?

          1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Yea Jiménez to
            Me would be the stand out maybe 7.5? I would suggest Fraser maybe upto 6.5 if not 7 would be my guess, be interesting to see
            If TAA is to be priced the same as Robbo and VVD or not ?

          2. Brosstan
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            He could even be 8.5. What are they going to do with Vardy? He had high ownership at 9.0 and scored less points than Jim. Hard to price down players who were very popular picks at their current price, but it also seems a bit strange if he costs more than Jimenez after scoring less points.

        4. Amey
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Jimenez
            Taa
            Mane
            Fraser
            Wilson
            Brooks
            Rondon
            Doherty

        5. CloudSky
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Bernardo City's player of the season.

          1. POLSKA GOLA
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Fully deserved for the ‚Have a nice’ goal celebration alone 🙂

        6. Lovren an elevator
          • 4 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Godfrey and Aarons early additions to the pre season watch list then.
          Anyone thinking about Enda Stevens at Sheffield United too?

          1. MeatPieSausageRoll
              4 months, 2 days ago

              Everyone, it seems

            • TorresMagic™
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 10 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

              50/50 chance for Stevens to be a mid or defender.

              1. Flaming Flamingo
                • 3 Years
                4 months, 2 days ago

                Why would he be a midfielder if he plays as a wing-back?

                1. TorresMagic™
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • Has Moderation Rights
                  • 10 Years
                  4 months, 2 days ago

                  Plays in a 352.
                  Similar to Doherty, played 40 out of 45 at left mid.
                  Played 4 at CB and one at LB

                  1. Flaming Flamingo
                    • 3 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Wing backs in a 3-5-2 have never been classified as midfielders in FPL though. Doherty, Jonny, Alonso and Moses are examples of this.

                    1. TorresMagic™
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • Has Moderation Rights
                      • 10 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Masuaku is currently a mid.

                      1. TorresMagic™
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • Has Moderation Rights
                        • 10 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        In 17/18, 18 as left mid, 8 as left back.

                      2. Flaming Flamingo
                        • 3 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Fair point. Although I'm guessing it's because he also played as a winger in a 4-2-3-1 in the same season? Which makes sense given Zabaleta was classified as a defender.

                        That said, I would have classified him as a defender if using the criteria above, so maybe you're right.

                        1. TorresMagic™
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • Has Moderation Rights
                          • 10 Years
                          4 months, 2 days ago

                          Alonso was a left mid all 17/18 in a 3421 mostly.
                          Seems 4 at the back is needed to be a mid so Stevens should be fine. Would expect an extra 0.5m

                          1. Flaming Flamingo
                            • 3 Years
                            4 months, 2 days ago

                            Agreed 🙂

          2. Scheister
            • 7 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            ManCity buying titles again got me to wondering how much PL clubs have spent on transfers recently. It appears none have been as "frugal" as Spurs. Also CL final isn't too shabby for being the first club in PL history to make 0 signings two transfer windows running.

            https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/premier-league/fuenfjahresvergleich/wettbewerb/GB1

            Sure hope we can at least spend Enough to keep Poch around ...forever

          3. Jacky boy
            • 3 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Would you prefer mane at 11 or salah 13 ?

            1. MINUS FOUR
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

              I'm actually leaning towards a Liverpool defensive triple-up! VVD, TAA and Robertson all offer incredible value, and I'm not sure I want to go without any of them.

              Imo no other defensive assets can replicate what those 3 offer, whereas I can definitely find ways to spend my 11-13m from the vacant Mane/Salah spot. I'd probably have Sterling (C) plus one of Aguero, Auba, Kane instead of a Liverpool mid.

              It basically comes down to whether any 7m mid or forward can score more points than my 3rd-choice Liverpool defender, and I don't think they can. VVD alone has the potential to score 5-6 goals a season. Fraser scored 7.

              1. Amey
                  4 months, 2 days ago

                  Playing 4 atb should be fashionable thing next year with Taa Robbo Laporte Vvd Digne Doherty Periera all available !!

                  1. MINUS FOUR
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Definitely. My early drafts are 5 atb. A 5-4-1 formation with Vardy up top in fact. I just feel I'm finally going to play the stats and not worry about how it looks or buzz words like 'flexibility' that are basically meaningless if you play like me and are happy to take hits as required. My team will be completely inflexible, but if starts the season well that's all I care about.

                    1. Amey
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Yeah. We can always use WC if it goes wrong. But as I've noticed this season, defense do give lot of points than similarly priced Midfielders.
                        I'm also looking @ 442/433 formation if fixtures for the attractive Defenders are good

                        1. MINUS FOUR
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 2 Years
                          4 months, 2 days ago

                          I truly believe defenders will once again outscore mids and forwards of the same price. If you're prepared to go with that logic, then it makes complete sense to load up on as many as possible. The other major benefit of 5 atb is that the rest of your teams looks very strong - sure you have less attackers, but you have mostly quality attackers not enablers. I'm prepared to try it and back down with an early WC if necessary. My GW5 WC last season changed everything, I went from a mediocre start to top few thousand inside a couple of GWs and never looked back. Early WC doesn't phase me, you play it when you need to. If the Liverpool defensive triple up works, wow it could be huge.

                          1. Amey
                              4 months, 2 days ago

                              Good points.
                              Agree with you mate 🙂
                              Enablers like Redmond,Jota,Pukki do excite me though.

                              1. MINUS FOUR
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 2 Years
                                4 months, 2 days ago

                                Yep, me too. And depending on price my Gross pick (seemingly the one major weak link) could become any of those - either as a direct mid swap or in an easy formation switch to 5-3-2. Plenty of options, it's the rest of the team I'm keen on, and the 6.5m attacking slot is basically reserved for any standout option come the start of the season.

                      • MINUS FOUR
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 2 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Just messing around with predicted prices and currently on the following:

                        Henderson
                        Laporte - TAA - VVD - Robertson - Digne
                        Gross - Sterling - KDB - Sigurdsson
                        Vardy

                        Bench fodder.

                        Any Liverpool CS, plus any attacking returns for the defenders, and it green arrows could be massive. Of course if they concede, the red arrows could be just as massive.

                        1. Amey
                            4 months, 2 days ago

                            I won't go for pool triple up in defense. Robbo Taa for me. Like the look of Mane tbh. 11.5 is my prediction of price & he gives a brilliant © option @ home matches.
                            Like your draft except Gross though.
                            Leicester if get Tielemans permanently (which i want United to do 😛 ) Vardy + Tielemans double up will be great throughout the season

                            1. MINUS FOUR
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 2 Years
                              4 months, 2 days ago

                              Yeah, I've ignored Tielemans for now as I don't think he will stay. If he does, I agree he becomes a great option especially in a double up with Vardy. Tielemans vs Gross is a headache I'm happy to have, and would simply start with whoever has the best fixtures then reassess.

                            2. MINUS FOUR
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 2 Years
                              4 months, 2 days ago

                              My issues with Mane at 11.5 is he would have to match last season just to break even on value at that price. I'm not sure he will. If his conversion rates drops, so will his points, and conversion rate was a big part of his success. Even after what he's just done I don't see Mane as an 11.5 asset. He scored 18 more points than Robertson.

                              1. Amey
                                  4 months, 2 days ago

                                  Robbo was phenomenal this season. But i feel bad when i © a Defender 😀
                                  That's why I'm thinking about Mane,Raz,Kun as my 3 big hitters for © alongside cheap players.
                                  One thing i successfully did last season was swapping big hitters for © with constant Defense. Might look at that too.
                                  Strong Defense + 2 cheap attackers and Rotating big hitters according to fixtures

                                  1. MINUS FOUR
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 2 Years
                                    4 months, 2 days ago

                                    I did something similar with big hitters, and it worked a treat. I'm not ruling that strategy out again next season, although I might start off trying to take less hits if possible. It really was a great tactic though, it meant I virtually never had a seriously bad GW. Not once did I hit 100 points in a GW over the whole season, but the consistency of good solid scores every GW was the key. Constantly swapping around the premium attackers played a major part in that.

                                    1. Amey
                                        4 months, 2 days ago

                                        Yeah.
                                        I think swapping big hitters (scoring wise) is more useful instead of defensive changes.
                                        I did many bad FT last season like swapping GK, awb to Bennett & reverse etc. Want to remove that from my game.
                                        Set Defense with GK & awesome Defenders is something I'd do. Helps avoiding disaster gw's as good defense gives CS points in many gw's at least to create a good platform.
                                        Re © swapping, i think I'm IN for it as i think i stuck with my big hitters for far too long. Keeping faith in Auba through gw 23-28 instead of jumping on Kun for example.

                                        1. MINUS FOUR
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          • 2 Years
                                          4 months, 2 days ago

                                          I definitely recommend it. Have a quick look through my season if you want to see just how frequently I was trading premium attacking assets according to form and fixtures, often taking hits if necessary. There are so many points on offer by not staying overly loyal or patient when there are genuine reasons to make a move. At various stages I caught big hauls from Hazard, Salah, Kun, Sterling, Auba, Mane, Kane and Son, and often didn't own them for lean spells. The willingness to chop and change made that possible.

                                  2. pingissimus
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    4 months, 2 days ago

                                    Agreed

                                    His conversion rate was phenomenal wasn’t it? He’d have to do brilliantly to match that again.

                                    1. MINUS FOUR
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 2 Years
                                      4 months, 2 days ago

                                      It was. And very likely unsustainable. And then even if I'm wrong, and it is sustainable, that would only be enough to just about prove value for money, but not exceed it. If you're going to captain Mane a lot, and he does well, then I think you can justify 11.5m, but I would be unlikely to captain him anywhere near as often as I would Sterling.

                                      To me, something like Son (9m) + VVD (7m) looks a lot better than Mane (11.5m) and 4.5m defender.

                              2. Holmes (specialist in failu…
                                • 5 Years
                                4 months, 2 days ago

                                who is buying Gross?

                                1. MINUS FOUR
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 2 Years
                                  4 months, 2 days ago

                                  I will be if the price is right. Possibly on pens, all set pieces, new manager, back from injury, underlying stats superb when he has played, mops up bonus points just for taking the field. Better value than Mili I feel, but probably more of a differential.

                                  1. Holmes (specialist in failu…
                                    • 5 Years
                                    4 months, 2 days ago

                                    oops, sorry. I meant which team is buying Gross.

                                    For some reason, I thought Brighton has been relegated

                                    1. MINUS FOUR
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 2 Years
                                      4 months, 2 days ago

                                      Haha that explains it. Either way, Gross might end up being Pukki for me in a 5-3-2, which would be considerably more balanced and maybe just better in general if Pukki has good fixtures and makes the step up.

                              3. pingissimus
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                4 months, 2 days ago

                                I’m looking at something very very similar also with triple Liverpool defence.

                                I have Ederson over Laporte simply because I think he offers better value and Laporte was flattered by his late rush. Prefer Pereira over Digne simply because I don’t trust Silva. My fifth defender is reserved for a bolter - looking at promoted sides or possibly Newcastle/Palace.

                                Siggy and KdB at the right price of course feel really attractive as an alternative to Mane plus another.

                                1. MINUS FOUR
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 2 Years
                                  4 months, 2 days ago

                                  Go for it! The value is quite astonishing, even if they're all priced at 7m.

                                  Laporte is an odd one for me. I didn't own him once last season and he basically cost me a top 100 OR. I just refused to budge on him and paid the price. Still don't totally rate him as an FPL asset, but I might get him next season based on ownership stats as a 'shield'. If Stones looks semi-nailed though, I'll take the savings.

                                  The other thing I like about my current draft is that either Siggy or KDB can become Son in GW3 without changing anything else, if I want that. You can get such a strong looking 11 without Salah, but just like the season gone it will depend on how well you spend the extra cash to decide if it works or not.

                                  1. pingissimus
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    4 months, 2 days ago

                                    The problem I had with Mo this season gone wasn’t just poor value for money but the urge to captain him. I think he cost me as much in lost captaincy choices as anything else last season. (I didn’t of course captain any of his big weeks!)

                                    1. MINUS FOUR
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 2 Years
                                      4 months, 2 days ago

                                      I can relate. I was lucky enough to captain him for all his really big hauls, but there plenty of GWs where I gave him the armband and probably shouldn't have. The player I owned regularly who payed the price for those decisions was Sterling, who I hardly gave the armband at all. I even brought Sterling in for a hit in GW11 vs Southampton when he scored 21 points, but captained Salah away to Arsenal for a blank. That was just silly, and if I didn't own Salah I definitely would've given it to my VC Sterling. There are plenty of ways to make back the points Salah will inevitably score.

                                      1. pingissimus
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        4 months, 2 days ago

                                        Yep

                                        I captained Kun Kane Haz Sterling between 3 and 6 times last season looking for times when form and fixture coincided and they all averaged better with the armband than Mo for me who I captained 12 times - often when form just said no.

                                        The one I barely captained was Mane (just once for 30 points) even when he had the golden form and fixture combination.

                                        It’ll go wrong of course but next time I’ll be looking at captains much more flexibly.

                          • Jacky boy
                            • 3 Years
                            4 months, 2 days ago

                            I had it this season you can check my history. It's a disaster. You want an attacker to captain
                            I took a hit to remove alisson and get salah

                            1. MINUS FOUR
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 2 Years
                              4 months, 2 days ago

                              Fair enough. I would never go for a GK though. I'm interested in the huge potential upside of the defenders with both CS and attacking returns. VVD, TAA, Robbo having 180+ seasons would make it more than viable imo. There would have been many, many games this season where that trio outscored Salah (C) and Mane combined. If anything not having a Liverpool mid would simplify my captaincy choices - Sterling (C) with the next best option each GW given the VC.

                            2. MINUS FOUR
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 2 Years
                              4 months, 2 days ago

                              No offence but your triple up included Alisson and Matip. I don't think that's the way to triple up. If you're going big you go really big, you get the premiums with attacking threat and you hope for monster hauls, which they did deliver.

                              The GWs where TAA and Robbo are assisting VVD headed goals, combined with a 3 x CS, will mean massive differential and GW scores. I won't have Salah or Mane, but I'll still have Sterling (C) and quality mids and forwards.

                          • King Kohli
                            • 6 Years
                            4 months, 2 days ago

                            Will most likely join you on the pool defensive triple up as I think they are great value.

                            Probably two players who are good captain picks are enough to go with players who are good value.

                            1. pingissimus
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              4 months, 2 days ago

                              Part of my calculation is that in a triple up Liverpool defence can be a possible captain option in home fixtures if nothing else looks tasty.

                              It goes against the grain I know but if Liverpool look like repeating home defensive form it does feel viable. Robbo and TAA both have fairly high ceilings - not far off Vardy and Son say. They can also of course return without cs. It’s not really comparable to captaining Duffy!

                              1. King Kohli
                                • 6 Years
                                4 months, 2 days ago

                                Absolutely.
                                Hopefully can get them for 21m or under.
                                Even if they get 15 cs, they will be great value.

                            2. MINUS FOUR
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 2 Years
                              4 months, 2 days ago

                              That's how I'm looking at it. Choice is good, but how much of it do we really need for a captain each week? It's hard enough picking one, it could almost be preferable to narrow yourself down to only 1 or 2 genuine heavy hitters, and you only look outside those two players if there's a special reason to.

                          • Fire Chief Moe
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 9 Years
                            4 months, 2 days ago

                            I certainly wont be tripling but the double up is more than likely. To answer OP Mane at 11, though I think that is unlikely, I can see 11.5 Mane and 12 Salah

                        2. Amey
                            4 months, 2 days ago

                            Mane @ 11.5 😉

                          • Holmes (specialist in failu…
                            • 5 Years
                            4 months, 2 days ago

                            depends on fixtures

                            set of strong fixtures over 5-6 GWs and I would prefer to double up. During tough period, I would avoid both at that price