With the Double Gameweek for Liverpool and West Ham in Gameweek 24, much of the transfer activity and attention has been focused on Liverpool assets but two more teams certainly warrant discussion – Southampton and Manchester City.
I will start by talking about the Saints first. No team has racked up more points (13) over the last five Gameweeks with four wins and a draw (Liverpool played only four matches). They are joint-top of the form table along with Watford, scoring nine goals and conceding just three.
The 2-1 victory against Leicester last Gameweek epitomised their resurgence after a 9-0 hammering in the reverse fixture. They restricted the most prolific striker in the league to zero shots in the box (SiB), an impressive feat. This warranted a deeper look into their defensive and offensive numbers over the last five Gameweeks – which was also the focus of a recent Members Article.
Furthermore, only Manchester City (15), Watford (11), Manchester United (10) have scored more goals than the Saints’ nine over the aforementioned period. As the table shows, they are ranked fifth for SiB (43) which is again impressive considering the opposition they have faced. They are also fourth for big chances (13), trailing only Liverpool, Man. Utd (both 14) and Manchester City (17).
The Saints are second only to Liverpool in terms of fixtures all the way up to Gameweek 30. I have chosen that as the cutoff point as Gameweek 31 is likely to be the big blank Gameweek due to FA Cup fixtures and I will likely use my Free Hit chip then and Wildcard in Gameweek 32.
I’ve not owned Danny Ings (£6.8m) at any point this season due to his past injury record, but after his recent performance against Leicester, I think he’s almost ‘essential’, if I’m allowed to use that word. No forward has scored more goals (five), taken more SiB (19) or landed more shots on target (SoT) (11) than the Englishman over the last five Gameweeks.
Manchester City’s attacking numbers need no elaboration so I will instead talk about the form midfielder in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) over the last five Gameweeks – Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m).
No midfielder has racked up more FPL points (37) over this period and the Algerian is also top for shots (20), SiB (15) and SoT (seven). Only Anthony Martial (£7.9m) (four) has scored more goals than his three.
As with any Manchester City asset, rotation is always a concern but he has now started each of the last five league matches and the latest comments from Pep Guardiola are encouraging:
“You see his legs it is impossible to be injured because he has no muscles. The final third he has something special, always I have the feeling he can score a goal.” – Pep Guardiola
After a dive into these numbers, I have made three transfers for my team for a -4. Alex McCarthy (£4.3m), Mahrez and Ings have all come in.
Nick Pope (£4.6m), Martial and Neal Maupay (£5.9m) have made way. I am aware that Maupay has a great fixture run but Ings passes both the eye and stats test with flying colours so I decided to make the move.
The captaincy is currently on De Bruyne but given his low ownership (6.6%), a punt on Mahrez appeals. Diego Rico (£4.4m) is next on the chopping block after losing his spot in the Bournemouth starting line-up with Brandon Williams (£4.0m) likely to come in the week after.
Thanks for reading and good luck in Gameweek 23.
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