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FPL tips: the under-performers you should avoid when play resumes

(Image credit: PA Images)

We've all been there; plumping for an FPL striker who hasn't found the net in a while in the hope he'll start banging them in and provide a key differential. Or perhaps there's a striker on a decent run of form and you hop on the bandwagon - at the worst possible time. 

Analysing a player’s goal tally is one way to work out what sort of form they’re in, but FPL actually has a number of handy metrics to help managers look beneath the surface-level data.

The "Threat" metric measures the quality of chance a player enjoys in front of goal, with a combined score of 100 historically equating to a goal’s worth of chances.

By looking at a player’s Threat scores then, one can find out whether their performances should have yielded more goals.

A graphic showing which Premier League players have the biggest difference between actual goals and the goals they should have scored according to Threat

The above chart shows that some players have been letting their sides down when it comes to the simple art of sticking the ball in the onion bag. 

Striker strife

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino attempts a shot on goal during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: Sunday February 28, 2021

(Oli Scarff/PA)

Leading the chart is Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, who should have scored 5.3 goals more than he has done this season according to his Threat tally.

The £9.1m man ranks third of all forwards for Threat, but just 17th for goals scored after a difficult season which has seen the Reds mount a weak title defence.

The Brazilian has scored especially highly in the Threat stakes since his last goal , registering a huge score of 124 against Leicester in GW24 for example. He failed to hit the net in a 3-1 defeat, however. 

Averaging 20.2 FPL goal involvements (goals or assists) over the past five seasons, Firmino’s current tally of six goals and six assists this season is very poor – but if his luck in front of goal turns, his Threat scores suggest he could be in for a purple patch. 

Elsewhere, Timo Werner has endured a similarly frustrating season in front of goal – but things look a little more difficult to turn around for the Chelsea man.

Like Firmino, Werner should have scored around double his actual goal tally this season in the Premier League and, having scored just once since GW8, his problems look more serious.

Werner has managed high Threat scores during his lengthy drought, including five scores of 50 or more – his status as a new player at Stamford Bridge, however, should be taken into account. 

Misfiring midfielders

File photo dated 14-03-2021 of Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. Issue date: Wednesday March 24, 2021

(Dan Mullan/PA)

In midfield, two pricey options are also underperforming in the goals department: Sadio Mane (£11.8m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m).

Mane, though, has managed 120 FPL points despite his profligacy – he has scored seven goals when his Threat numbers say he should have scored 11.6.

Assist king Kevin De Bruyne meanwhile falls 3.9 goals short of his Threat numbers, but with a brace against Southampton in his latest PL appearance, could make up for it in the final gameweeks of the season.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka - albeit a far cheaper option - has also underwhelmed of late. 

The young winger scored four goals in six games from GW15 to GW20, but hasn’t found the net since. He has managed five goals this season, but his Threat total suggests he could have scored 8.8.

Wolves’ Adama Traore has failed to hit the heights of last season, with zero goals despite consistent time on the pitch.

Traore has registered just one Threat score of more than 50 this season, despite almost 2000 minutes of playing time. He's not only failing to score, but not even finding himself in decent positions. 

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