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FPL tips: Liverpool’s attack and Brighton’s defence the best according to Threat

Liverpool v Midtjylland – UEFA Champions League – Group D – Anfield
(Image credit: Peter Powell)

After eight gameweeks of Premier League action, one glance at the table tells us which teams have enjoyed favourable results – but how can you tell which teams are set to continue to achieve positive outcomes?

The answer lies in the Fantasy Premier League’s own Threat metric, which gives a score to players and teams depending on the strength of the chances they have enjoyed in front of goal – a score of around 100 historically accounts for one goal’s worth of chances.

But by analysing the Threat a team allows the opposition to accumulate as well, one can understand just how well they are truly performing at both ends of the pitch.

A graphic comparing Threat created and Threat allowed per match by each Premier League team so far in the 2020-21 season

The above graphic shows Threat allowed on one axis, with Threat created on the other – any team towards the bottom right can be considered to be performing extremely well at both ends of the pitch.

As such it should be clear to FPL bosses that Liverpool are worth investing in at the front or in defence.

That said, it is the Reds’ attack which is their most effective element, with Mohamed Salah (551) leading the division for Threat accumulated by a single player, while Diogo Jota has earned 179 Threat with not much playing time under his belt.

Everybody knows Liverpool are good – but did you know that Brighton are the best performing defensive team based on Threat?

Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale (left) and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Dan Burn battle for the ball during the Premier League match at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London

Brighton are the best performing defensive team based on Threat (Julian Finney/PA)

The Seagulls are allowing their opponents to score significantly less than 100 Threat per game, by a distance the most impressive figures of any PL side to date.

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan then is worth considering as a £4.5m first-choice player, but so too is Tariq Lamptey.

Reaping all the benefits of playing high up the pitch, as well as earning four points for a Brighton clean sheet, young Lamptey has a goal and three assists this season already, and is the number one ranked defender for Threat accumulated (138).

Elsewhere, Arsenal’s problems are underlined by the data – they rank poorly for Threat created, and are allowing their opponents far too many chances.

Perhaps one reason for their struggles is that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – widely regarded as Arsenal’s best finisher – is currently acting as the team’s main creator, although his 147.8 Creativity score is far from impressive.

As a result the forward’s Threat scores have suffered – unless he learns to cross the ball for himself to head in, Arsenal will continue to find victories hard to come by.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (centre) and team-mates warm up before the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal are struggling at both ends of the Threat chart (Andy Rain/PA)

Newcastle meanwhile are a perfect example of what this data can reveal – while the Magpies are 13th in the division, their reasonably stable results are based on wholly unconvincing performances.

At the bottom for both Threat created and Threat allowed, Newcastle’s best Threat score comes from Callum Wilson at a respectable 292 – their next best is Allan Saint-Maximin at 75.

At the other end of the pitch, they are the only team conceding more than two goal’s worth of chances per game according to Threat allowed to opposition teams – our advice? Unless you’re buying Wilson, take your FPL money elsewhere.