Carlo Ancelotti has already had a positive impact on Everton since arriving at the club – but he may have some work to do if he is to convince Fantasy Premier League managers to trust his players.
The Toffees have often set traps for those of us playing FPL in recent years but can the appointment of a truly elite-level manager finally spell an end to all that.
We will go over recent matches under Ancelotti to find out whether or not he has already helped some assets establish themselves on the Fantasy radar.
As this article uses data from the Fantasy Football Scout Members Area, only those who are signed up either on a season-long or monthly Membership can access it in full.
What has Ancelotti changed?
After Duncan Ferguson introduced a Mike Bassett-inspired 4-4-2 system for his period as interim manager, Ancelotti has made further changes.
That formation was rolled out for the 2-1 win at Newcastle in Gameweek 20 but in the other three matches, the Italian has taken charge of he has preferred a three-man defence and wing-backs.
In his first game at the helm, Ancelotti went with a 3-4-1-2 with Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.9m) and Richarlison (£8.0m) up-front, but for the Gameweek 21 defeat at Manchester City he tweaked it to a 3-5-2.
A 3-4-2-1/3-4-3 was used against Liverpool in the FA Cup although considering it led to a largely full-strength Everton side were poor against a Liverpool’s second-string line-up Ancelotti may be unlikely to stick with that formation.
Although he has preferred to tinker from one game to the next, which, considering the fixtures he has been faced with so far, seems sensible, there are a few consistent elements which should be of note to Fantasy managers.
Calvert-Lewin has featured up-front in every match so far, while Richarlison has featured heavily too. However, the Brazilian has not always been up-front. He played in a two-man front-line against Burnley, Newcastle and Manchester City but was on the flanks at Anfield in the FA Cup.
When Ancelotti has rolled out a three-man defence it has always included Mason Holgate (£4.4m), Yerry Mina (£5.3m) and Seamus Coleman (£5.3m) with Djibril Sidibé (£5.4m) and Lucas Digne (£5.7m) used as advanced full-backs.
These changes, among others, have largely led to positive results, if not necessarily performances to match.
Ancelotti won both of his first two matches in charge, against Burnley and at Newcastle but then lost at Manchester City and Liverpool, although some would argue there shouldn’t be huge shame in that if it weren’t for relatively poor displays at the Etihad Stadium and Anfield respectively.
Either way, there have been improvements across the board so far.
After registering just 1.1 goal per game in the first 18 matches of the season, Everton are up to 1.3 per game since Ancelotti took over.
Clean sheets have risen from 0.2 per game to 0.3 while goals conceded have dropped from 1.6 per game to 1.0.
The question on Fantasy managers’ lips is, of course, what impact Ancelotti can have on Everton assets long-term, which is why we need to go deeper than these numbers.
In order to do that we’ll be delving into the underlying statistics, although there are one or two caveats on the data used.
Ancelotti has been in charge at Everton for three league matches, so far, a slightly smaller sample size than we had to assess Nigel Pearson at Watford earlier this week.
Furthermore, of these three Premier League matches, only one has taken place at Goodison Park, Ancelotti’s last three all taking Everton on the road to Newcastle, Manchester City and Liverpool.
What has happened to Everton’s goal threat?
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