FPL

FPL team rankings: Expected goals vs fixture difficulty

With all 20 Premier League clubs having now played at least six fixtures, the underlying stats tables we pore over in the Premium Members Area of Fantasy Football Scout start to become that bit more reliable.

Six/seven matches is still a small sample size, granted, but already we are seeing some predictable patterns emerge: title-chasing Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are among the top five clubs for both expected goals (xG) and expected goals conceded (xGC), for instance, while newly promoted Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest languish in the bottom five for each.

Something to consider when studying these figures, however, is fixture difficulty.

Crystal Palace may be towards the wrong end of the table for xGC, for instance, but look at who they have played in the opening six Gameweeks:

With this in mind, we’ll take a quick look at how all 20 Premier League teams are doing on the expected goals front when compared to how ‘easy’ or ‘difficult’ their opening set of fixtures were.

Establishing Fixture Difficulty

What constitutes an easy/difficult fixture is hugely subjective, of course.

To establish some form of grading system, we have ranked teams by the following criteria:


  1. Average fixture difficulty rating (FDR) on the official FPL site, using the current ratings
  2. In the event of a tie, clubs are ranked according to who came highest on our very own Season Ticker, again using the current ratings

Why not just use the Season Ticker and the ‘sort by difficulty’ function for the whole thing? In short, the Gameweek 8 postponements. The six clubs who blanked in the Gameweek just gone have plummeted down the Season Ticker as a result of their non-involvement, even though in some cases (eg Liverpool, Chelsea), what went before could definitely be described as ‘favourable’.

While you may certainly quibble a place or two here and there (Brighton and Hove Albion probably ought to be higher than 10th, given that they encountered Manchester United and West Ham United at good times), the rankings at the very least provide us with a rough, at-a-glance guide when we’re trying to put the xG/xGC figures below into some context.

Expected Goals (xG) v Fixture Difficulty

TeamMins per Expected Goal (xG)Fixture Difficulty Ranking (Easiest = 1st, Toughest = 20th)
Man City44.22nd
Liverpool49.75th
Arsenal507th
Brighton53.110th
Spurs53.93rd
Leeds59.16th
Newcastle61.915th
Brentford62.64th
Man Utd66.712th
Chelsea74.41st
Fulham80.617th
Crystal Palace81.120th
Everton85.59th
Leicester85.518th
West Ham88.616th
Nottm Forest88.911th
Wolves98.513th
Southampton100.18th
Aston Villa110.714th
Bournemouth205.219th

Who played the most minutes over the March international break?

349 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Nate(U)dog(ie)
    • 3 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    https://mobile.twitter.com/BenDinnery/status/1574703035204636673

    Reports say Patterson is out for 6 weeks

      1. Nate(U)dog(ie)
        • 3 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        Well, my work is done here

  2. Ëð
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Is Jesus -> Toney a bad move? Or better to save FT? Still got WC to navigate BGW12.

    Ramsdale
    Cancelo, James, Trippier
    KDB, Diaz, Martinelli, Andreas
    Haaland, Jesus, Mitro

    Ward, Williams, Gross, Botman

    1FT, £0.5m ITB

    1. Ruudy Van
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      I intend to sell Arsenal players 10 or 12 then wildcard 13.

  3. Saïss Doesn't Mat…
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Final WC desicion boils down to:
    a. Salah + Madders
    b. KDB + Diaz

    If I go B I'll leave funds for a direct kdb>salah swap in 12

    1. Ruudy Van
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      If you fancy a calculated gamble of Diaz keeping pace with Salah

    2. goneill79
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Diaz won’t start v Brighton & now has competition in Jota & Nunez

      1. Saïss Doesn't Mat…
        • 7 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        hmm... why won't he start?

        1. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 2 Years
          1 year, 6 months ago

          Colombia friendly on Wed night I suppose. But I don't think its as clear cut as Goneill does. Only played 60 odd mins the other day & I believe he's comfortably 1st choice over Jota/Darwin for LW

          1. Saïss Doesn't Mat…
            • 7 Years
            1 year, 6 months ago

            thank you

          2. goneill79
            • 12 Years
            1 year, 6 months ago

            Game finishes at 5am tomoro plus 10 hour flight from California.Put my house on it being Jota,Firmino & Salah

  4. Ruudy Van
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    With plans to wildcard in GW 13.

    Do you think Saliba to James for -4 is a good move?

    Defence currently
    Raya
    Saliba TAA Cancelo Trippier (Williams)

    1. Ëð
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      I don't think I'd do it for a hit

  5. goneill79
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Vardy to save Rodgers

    1. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      From the bench?

  6. EL tridente
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Rate this WC please
    Pope, Ward
    Cancelo, James, Trippier, Kilman, Neco
    Diaz, Maddison, Zaha, Martinelli, Andreas
    Kane, Haaland, Mitrovic

    1. Ruudy Van
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      2 premiums
      2 big defenders
      Pope
      Smattering of 8 mil mids

      EL TEMPLATE

    2. Saïss Doesn't Mat…
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Solid, but you'll have hella benching headaches

      1. Cheeky Onion
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        Kilman, Andreas, Neco?

  7. Junks
    • 2 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Thoughts... Should i WC this squad to...

    Current squad:
    Sanchez Ward
    Cancelo James Trippier Perisic Neco
    Martinelli Diaz Bowen Andreas Bailey
    Jesus Haaland Kane

    WC Squad:
    GUAITA Ward
    Cancelo James Trippier Neco GUEHI
    Martinelli Diaz ZAHA MADDISON Andreas Bailey
    MITRO Haaland Kane

    Yay or Nay?

    1. TKC07
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      No for GW9.. but I might WC GW10. Current squad looks alright.
      Not so impressed by GW9 fixtures of most of the new players selected on WC squad, but have good fixtures from GW10.
      If you can get Maddison with FT this week, I would wait at least by a week to assess before WC.

      1. Junks
        • 2 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        Thanks... very useful. I really want Maddison... would you do Bowen to Maddison?

    2. Marty McFly
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Nope. I would just do Bowen to Maddison.

  8. EL_FENOMENO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    On WC which premium mid to go for:
    a) Salah
    b) Kdb
    c) Son

    1. Gon Freecss
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      From a former commenter: KDB GW9-10, sell for Son for 11, sell for Salah for 12

      1. Marty McFly
        • 11 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        This

    2. Gon Freecss
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Although, I quite fancy Salah against Brighton. That being said, I'm currently choosing between KDB or Kane on a WC

    3. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      I think Son is third choice. I'd have to think on the other two a bit more and consider other players in the team probably

  9. Gon Freecss
    • 2 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    A) Pope, KDB, Martinelli, Toney, Saliba

    vs

    B) Guaita, Daiz, Foden, Kane, Vest

  10. Saïss Doesn't Mat…
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    with chilwell back is cucurella still a good option on wc?

    1. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      I'm interested in this too.. predictions on Chelsea backline welcomed!

    2. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      With the caveat that we're all guessing at this point...
      I think Cucurella will be a regular starter but mostly at LCB.

      1. Pegboy
        • 13 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        I agree. My guess is Chilwell will start 60%+ games LWB and Cucu will rotate LWB/LCB.

        1. Pegboy
          • 13 Years
          1 year, 6 months ago

          In which case, I wouldn't touch Chilwell, yet.

  11. Differentials for GW9 and beyond
  12. Danstoke82
    • 9 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Which move -4?

    A) KDB > Salah (and play Andreas/Neco over Isak)
    B) Isak > Toney

    1. Saïss Doesn't Mat…
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      no (B)rainer

  13. Gandalf
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 13 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    A. Kane + Bailey
    B. Toney + Maddison for -4

    1. Start Pope
    2. Start Iversen (albeit presumably still Ward starting)

  14. trinzoo
    • 9 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Isak replacement:
    A) Toney
    B) Mitro

    1. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Mitro for me

    2. Deulofail
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Mitro for me

  15. Pegboy
    • 13 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Pope (Ward)
    James Cancelo Trippier (Neco Patterson*)
    Diaz Saka Martinelli Andreas (Reed)
    Kane Haaland Jesus

    1FT £1.6m WC left

    a) WC and get rid of Arsenal players and Patterson (feels a bit of a waste of WC)
    b) Saka > Maddison
    c) Jesus > Mitro
    d) Roll FT and reassess next week

  16. cigan
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    A) KDH > Zaha
    B) Gross > Maddison
    C) play Bailey, bench Gross, save FT

    A - allows me to bench Gross and offers more flexibility - could either keep, move to another similarly priced mid or downgrade to someone like Andreas & use cash elsewhere
    B - as straightforward as it gets
    C - lets me re-evaluate next week with 2FT

    Sanchez (Ward)
    Cancelo James Perisic Trippier (Neco)
    Diaz Martinelli Gross (Bailey KDH)
    Haaland Kane Jesus

  17. Gon Freecss
    • 2 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    These are my current WC drafts, which is your favourite?:

    A): Guaita
    James, Cancelo, Trippier
    Foden, Zaha, Maddison, Diaz,
    Kane, Mitro, Haaland

    Iver, Andreas, Vest, Tanganga

    B) Pope
    Cancelo, Trippier, James
    Diaz, KBD, Martinelli, Zaha
    Mitro, Haaland, Toney

    Iver, Longstaff, Vest, Neco

    C) Guaita
    Cancelo, Trippier, James
    Mad, Salah, Martinelli, Zaha
    Mitro, Haaland, Toney

    Iver, Saliba, Andreas, Neco

    1. Gon Freecss
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      *B) should have maddison rather than martinelli

  18. EffPeeEll
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Where is the GW Captain poll please?

    1. DBW - Slug's Mortgage …
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Got to be Haaland no matter what. Putting it on Salah would be an unnecessary risk.

      1. EffPeeEll
        • 4 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        Funny you should say that because it's my intention to captain Mo 😉

        1. DBW - Slug's Mortgage …
          • 3 Years
          1 year, 6 months ago

          I don’t think you’ll get any true reading from the poll.

          I only put my wrong captain in there.

          1. EffPeeEll
            • 4 Years
            1 year, 6 months ago

            If salah is slightly differential it may justify the punt. Just looking for a guide of sorts

      2. Deulofail
        • 8 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        Risky to ignore Leicester's fixture for captaincy!

        1. DBW - Slug's Mortgage …
          • 3 Years
          1 year, 6 months ago

          You think Maddy will get many?

          1. Deulofail
            • 8 Years
            1 year, 6 months ago

            Leicester might, and you'd expect him to be heavily involved if they do. Fourth best option according to RMT. I'll probably stick with Haaland but ready to switch for any minor reason I can think of 😀

  19. Deulofail
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Thanks Neale! Half a sentence into the article and I've already learnt something: how to spell 'pore over'.

  20. Deulofail
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    How to say:

    A) How big is the sample?
    B) How big is the sample size?

    Everyone seems to prefer B, and simultaneously seemingly not understand what it means 😀

    My understanding is that 6-7 games may result in vastly different sample sizes depending on what you're measuring/observing. If you're measuring 'number of apps vs non-apps', then your sample (size) is relatively tiny. If you're measuring number of touches with the left foot versus the right, then your sample is bigger (possibly much, much bigger), assuming your player(s) touched the ball more than 7 times.

    Statisticians tell me I'm wrong, please.

  21. Deulofail
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Why can't you just take the average FDR from FFS's ticker? I'm struggling to understand why "the six clubs who blanked in the Gameweek just gone have plummeted down the Season Ticker as a result of their non-involvement".

  22. dustbin89
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    WC decisions

    A) Salah, Zaha, Bailey, 4.0m def
    B) Salah, Martinelli, Bailey, Fofana
    C) Sterling, Zaha, Martinelli, Fofana

    All 3 would plan to shift in KdB GW13

  23. helpfpllllll
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Thoughts on switching out Odegaard for Maddison for a -4 point hit?