Looking at results can only tell Fantasy Premier League managers so much – looking at the underlying data can indicate how well a team truly performed.
This season’s first midweek round of Premier League matches delivered its share of surprising results for managers to ponder.
But by delving into the game’s official Threat metric – which awards points for each attempt on goal proportional to the likelihood of scoring – we’ve cut through the noise to understand how teams actually performed.
Manchester City’s players collectively racked up more Threat than any team except a seemingly inexhaustible Leeds in midweek.
After a laboured start, their second-half barrage of shots went almost completely unanswered by West Brom, who somehow held firm to leave the Etihad with a point.
Pep Guardiola may have instructed his players to conserve their energy in the first half, but he gave no such order during the interval as they ran riot. Raheem Sterling led the charge with 86 points of Threat, the third highest of any player this week.
Sterling also has the third highest total across the last three gameweeks combined (193) and could continue to benefit from his teammates’ creativity while Sergio Aguero continues to work his way back to full fitness.
Anyone tempted to invest in West Brom players after that unlikely draw should consider that their combined Threat total of 33 was the fourth lowest that any club has recorded in a Premier League match this season.
Furthermore, only Burnley have generated less Threat per match overall, so it’s worth waiting to see what impact Sam Allardyce has on their attacking performances.
Sam Johnstone may be the exception after his six saves on Tuesday night. He has made five more stops than any other Premier League goalkeeper this term, and eight more than anyone at the same price point.
Another side who looked unlucky to draw were Aston Villa, who dominated Burnley to a similar extent without a goal to show for it.
With the Baggies up next and Crystal Palace to follow, transferring out Villa players based on results alone could be premature.
Blades not blunt
Few managers will be coveting Sheffield United’s players after their winless start to the season was extended on Thursday night.
However, while their shock opening goal was the fortunate outcome of a howler by ex-Blade Dean Henderson, overall they looked unlucky not to take a point off Manchester United.
Chris Wilder’s side generated slightly more Threat over the 90 minutes than their victorious visitors and could well break their duck with some winnable fixtures in their festive schedule.
Bosses in search of a cheap differential could do worse than David McGoldrick at £5.2m, who racked up more Threat (98) than any other player in GW13.
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