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FPL tips: Chelsea stars unconvincing as Brentford win the Threat battle

Brentford v Chelsea – Premier League – Brentford Community Stadium
(Image credit: John Walton)

Chelsea might be top of the league, but the underlying data suggests Brentford played them off the pitch on Saturday.

Threat is a metric introduced by the FPL to measure the quality of the chances a player enjoys in front of goal, with a score of around 100 usually accounting for a goal’s worth of chances.

By looking at how much Threat a team scored and allowed during a game, one can better understand whether their result aligned with the strength of their performance.

And the Blues looked fortunate to avoid the Bees’ sting on Saturday.

A graphic showing how much Threat each Premier League team scored and allowed this weekend

Lucky leaders?

Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah (left), Ben Chilwell (centre) and Edouard Mendy after the Premier League match at the Brentford Community Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday October 16, 2021

Ben Chilwell (centre) scored the winning goal at Brentford (John Walton/PA)

Brentford managed their highest Threat score of the season as a team against Chelsea, scoring 295 – they conceded just 66.

That 66 score is the third occasion on which the newly-promoted side have kept their Threat conceded tally under 100 – the only teams to do this more often this term are Manchester City and Chelsea.

With just seven goals conceded, the Bees’ affordable defenders could make for useful additions to any squad looking to balance the books.

Chelsea sit top of the table, but look inconsistent – in their last four games they have two Threat scores of over 300 and two under 100.

Star striker Romelu Lukaku has failed to find the net in his last four games, while those who invested in Cesar Azpilicueta and Ben Chilwell will wonder which Chelsea side is going to turn up each week.

With a favourable upcoming fixture list however, including Norwich at home next, patience may prove to be a virtue.

Foxes savage United

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Picture date: Saturday October 16, 2021

Leicester scored two late goals to beat Manchester United 4-2 (Mike Egerton/PA)

While the Blues got away with an unconvincing performance, Manchester United had no such luck, losing 4-2 to Leicester and deservedly so.

United’s defence conceded 336 Threat against the Foxes, their worst score of the season, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side managed just 133 Threat in attack.

It has now been more than a month since the Old Trafford side won a game in the league – and their next three fixtures are against Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City.

A handful of United’s star players have big ownerships despite their recent form – including Cristiano Ronaldo (38.8 per cent) Luke Shaw (25.4 per cent) and Bruno Fernandes (23.8 per cent) – and managers might want to consider whether they are worth sticking with.

Leicester have registered two Threat scores of more than 300 in their last three games, while Jamie Vardy has scored seven goals in eight fixtures.

Mistakes cost Gunners

Crystal Palace’s Odsonne Edouard (centre) celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Monday October 18, 2021

Crystal Palace collected a 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Monday (Adam Davy/PA)

Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace drew criticism in many quarters, but the performance was largely encouraging according to the stats.

The Gunners scored 238 Threat and conceded just 82, their best defensive effort of the season – the goals they did concede came directly from errors.

While mistakes are a cause for concern for any side, if Mikel Arteta’s side iron those out it looks as though the team is starting to function properly in most areas of the pitch.

With Aston Villa, Leicester and Watford up next, there may be more pressing FPL transfer matters to deal with than selling goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (6.2 per cent ownership) or defender Ben White (12.8 per cent) right now.

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