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Why FPL managers should pay attention to the return of home fans

Gameweek 1 is out of the way and what I’m genuinely feeling is a lot of relief. After the poor season I had last year, I was just lacking confidence in my decision-making ability and was dreading another poor start. But I’m sitting here on 107 points and the self-belief is slowly starting to come back. It also helps that you have to make one decision this week and not 15.

I’m going to, as usual, freestyle with this article and talk about a few things that stood out to me in Gameweek 1.

HOME ADVANTAGE: GOALS

Brentford impress as Arsenal devoid of ideas without attacking stars 4

The first thing I noticed was the quality of the football that was on display with the fans back. It was a lot more intense and miles better than what we witnessed last year. The impact of the supporters was witnessed in Gameweek 1 itself: there were 21 home goals scored and 13 away. You might argue that most of the favourites won in Gameweek 1 but the home advantage is real, as cited by this brilliant article written by our Editor, Neale (ED: I did not add this compliment in).

I was inspired by this piece and decided to take a closer look at how the teams with the big hitters do when it comes to the home-away goal distribution – and the findings are very interesting.

pro-pundits-the-home-advantage

As you can see in the data above, last season was very much an anomaly. There was a close split between home and away goal percentages. The biggest difference can be seen in Liverpool’s numbers. They normally score around 50 goals at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp but last year they found the net on only 29 occasions. Their defenders being injured for most of the season might also have a part to play here but the key takeaway is that more often than not, the big teams score 55-60% of the goals at home.

HOME ADVANTAGE IN FPL

Five-time top 1k FPL finisher Tom Freeman on Calvert-Lewin, Wolves and his Gameweek 2 plans 6

How do you use this in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), you might ask? Just make sure you are weighing the home factor in the decision-making process, would be my suggestion. I personally expect this home factor to be even greater in the first few Gameweeks because the players were craving for strutting their stuff in front of the home fans. If you don’t believe me, just listen to what Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) had to say in his post-match interview on Match of the Day:

“It was special, it was special, man. Having them back, it felt like I was making my debut again, when I was 19 years old. Just that atmosphere and raw emotion is what you play football for. Scoring goals, last season I scored a few with no fans there, that was my favourite one by a mile.”

We hear you, Dom, we hear you.

SALAH CAPTAIN?

Captain Sensible – Gameweek 1 2

There are home crowds and then there is the atmosphere at Anfield. It is for this reason that I will likely be captaining Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) in Gameweek 2.

I said in my previous article that I want to refrain from trying too many different things early in the season and while the upside of the Manchester City game versus Norwich City is very enticing, I don’t think I’ll be going there with my captaincy. Bruno Fernandes (£12.1m) makes a strong case for the armband as well because as long as Edinson Cavani (£8.5m) is not starting up front, the strikers that Manchester United have tend to drift wide and make a lot of infield runs – which opens up the space for Fernandes. We saw this on display in the pre-season friendly against Everton as well as in the game against Leeds United.

Solskjaer specifically talked about this in his post-match interview:

“I know that the headlines will probably be about Bruno or Paul but this is a team effort. The space Mason [Greenwood] creates for Bruno when the two open up the channels has been worked on this week.”

Fernandes makes an enticing captaincy candidate against a team that conceded 11 shots in the box in Gameweek 1 but I am expecting Liverpool to be a lot stronger in their home game against Burnley (who allowed Brighton and Hove Albion 12 attempts in the area), primarily because I thought their midfield was light in the first game and they were visibly stronger once Fabinho (£5.5m) and Roberto Firmino (£9.0m) were on the pitch. What I love about Salah as a captaincy option is that more often than not, Liverpool’s opposition is chasing a game in the final 20 minutes and Salah scores a lot of his FPL points in that period when the game is stretched.

FPL PLAYERS ON THE RADAR

Antonio, Benrahma and Son among eye-catching FPL assets as De Bruyne returns 5

There are four players who are very high on my radar at the moment: Son Heung-min (£10.0m), Mason Greenwood (£7.5m), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) and Jack Grealish (£8.0m) are ones I am closely monitoring as I sit here contemplating the sale of Diogo Jota (£7.5m). Thankfully, Liverpool are the first game of the weekend and I’m hoping to get some news on this front. I expect Firmino to start against Chelsea in Gameweek 3 which is why I’m expecting Jota to get 90 minutes across the next two Gameweeks combined.

Greenwood had poor statistics in the match against Leeds United but I thought he was pivotal in how Manchester United performed and I was very convinced by the runs he was making. Manchester City are a wounded animal, as well, and I liked what I saw with Grealish, especially when Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m) was on the pitch. Son having a free role close to goal and being on all set pieces is very enticing as a prospect given his next three fixtures but getting him requires a four-point hit and a downgrade for Ivan Toney (£6.5m).

That is all from me for this Gameweek. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and wish you the best of luck in Gameweek 2. If you want to know more about Gameweek 1, we do an in-depth review on The FPL Wire, linked below.

398 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Gundo seen in the nets bowling leg spin, shoulder should be fine for the weekend

    1. The 12th Man
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Howzat

      1. My heart goes Salalalalah
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        After reviiew, out!

    2. Colby
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Steve - how do you feel your boys will do away to Wolves this weekend? Son owner here but considering bringing in Grealish or Mahrez for one week for Norwich.

      1. Steve The Spud
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Don’t do it mate, sonny can get on a roll especially at the start of season

        1. Colby
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Cheers Steve!! Wolves looked pretty good defensively last week but that more mobile forward line of Spurs will really test them. Moura really impressed last week but glad Tanganga got MOTM - that was an immense performance against Grealish and Sterling!!!

  2. Totalfootball
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Has Son trvalled to Portugal?

    1. My heart goes Salalalalah
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Saw pics of him and 2 girls there on a yacht in 2012. Good times

      1. NateDog
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 10 days ago

        2 girls 1 son?

        1. My heart goes Salalalalah
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Wrong site

  3. Slitherene
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Made an early transfer...

    Sanchez | Steele
    Digne Shaw Dier
    Salah Bruno Son Jota Fraser
    Antonio Toney
    ¦ Ayling White Scarlett

    1 ITB

    G2G?

    1. Carlton P
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      We know, you’ve mentioned it a few times

  4. Doctor Evil
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Any changes needed?

    Sanchez/ Steele

    Tsim Shaw Cresswell / White Livra

    Raphinha Salah Bruno Mbeumo / Brownhill

    DCL Lukaku Antonio.

    Would love Son & TAA but can’t have them all.

    1. sumatera
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      How many have you made already?

    2. fantasyfog
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      I like it, having the same TAA dilemma, decided he's a good bet for 160+ as much as 220 if he's flying, so he stays...for now

    3. Carlton P
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      On WC? Raph/Salah/Antonio might be unavailable gw4
      I would go Son over lukaku personally

  5. g40steve
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    How many have moved Barnes to Benny?

    Or hold?

    1. Atimis
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      I’m holding

    2. Colby
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      I’m keeping him too. Rodgers thinks SO highly of him and given his injury-ending season it wouldn’t look great dropping him after one match. I don’t think WHU are particularly watertight atm either.

    3. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Cheers

    4. Balls of Steel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 9 days ago

      Keeping for at least this week.

  6. sumatera
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Who to play?

    A) Gilmor MCI
    B) Amartey WHU
    C) ESR CHE

    1. fantasyfog
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Toss a coin, draw straws...all equally iffy

      1. sumatera
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        So is your logo

        1. fantasyfog
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          That's Maradona and his fam, how very rude

          1. sumatera
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            ROFL

  7. Totalfootball
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Play Tierney or Coufal?

    1. fantasyfog
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Tierney stats where pretty darn good, coufal also good though.

      You're welcome

    2. sumatera
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Coufal I reckon
      Chelsea looking deadly

  8. Thecube
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Hi all. Slightly Tempted by Son & Dennis for Barnes & Bamford for a hit or should I do the sensible thing & hold ?

    Sanchez
    TAA, Shaw, Tsim
    Salah, Bruno, Benrahma, Barnes
    Ings, Antonio, Bamford

    Steele, Ayling, White, Brownhill

    1. Corgzzzz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Hold

    2. fantasyfog
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Hold, if barnes scores you'll regret it

      1. Thecube
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Thanks both.

  9. Corgzzzz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Guys, I have both Salah and Bruno, however I am seriously thinking of making Mahrez my capt home to Norwich......I know it sounds mad and Salah was my planned Capt........but ......

    1. sumatera
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Good luck with that
      Risky but could pay off
      Pep lottery

    2. Colby
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      While Mahrez had an impressive pre-season he’s hardly hit the ground running in the Community Shield and away to Spurs. Yes there’s a chance they could floor Norwich but there’s too much uncertainty around City’s starting 11, hence their shape is not as honed as I’d like after 2 competitive fixtures. How long will KDB play and who plays with Mahrez up front IF he plays, while Grealish is still settling in. I don’t think this is as crucial a game for City coverage as some feel. They have not looked great.

      1. Corgzzzz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Thank you for an excellent reply.....if I dont go Mahrez who would you pick between Salah or Bruno ??

  10. Andy_Social
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Just caught up with this article and Lateriser's belief in the significance of home advantage based on a sample of one gameweek. On Tuesday in the Championship there was 1 home win, one draw and FIVE away wins. They have fans back too.

    1. Ginkapo FPL
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Fans have work on a tuesday

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        4 away wins on Saturday then. 13 home goals, 18 away goals

        1. Ginkapo FPL
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          And which teams won away from home? Looks like the much stronger teams to me

          1. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            Well exactly. That's my point. I won't be selecting starting XIs on the basis of home and away. I'll be looking at which is the better side on the day.

            1. Chandler Bing
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 10 days ago

              You're not wrong but I believe when the two are combined, the odds of the home team get even better.

              Per example, Liverpool are already heavy favourites against Burnley. Having the game at Anfield only adds to the appeal as they're likely to keep going for goal regardless of how big the margin is.

              Last week's games featuring Watford, Everton and Spurs are prime examples of what fans can do for the home team.