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FPL tips: Fantasy metric says West Ham and Brentford are the real deal

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

With the season roughly at its halfway point, the statistics show that West Ham and Brentford are happily punching above their weight in the Premier League.

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.

Furthermore, by tallying these scores up throughout the season, we can analyse which teams are performing well overall in the long run.

The below graphic ranks teams by subtracting average Threat conceded this season from average Threat scored this season.

A graphic showing the average Threat created and allowed by Premier League teams in the 2021-22 PL season

What is clear is that Manchester City are top of the league as the result of an attack which competes with Liverpool’s, and a defence which is superior to that of their rivals.

City’s average Threat conceded comes in at 88 per match – Liverpool’s record of 124 per match is the next best in the division, but is a distant second.

This is further illustrated by the fact that the defending champions have conceded less than 100 Threat in two thirds of their games this season, compared with Liverpool’s record of three in 10.

At the other end of the table, Burnley might sit above two teams in the Premier League but they languish bottom for Threat scored and Threat conceded.

The Clarets score an average of 125 and concede an average of 227 – they are one of just three teams (including Leicester and Watford) – to have failed to concede less than 100 Threat in a game.

File photo dated 04-12-2021 of Burnley manager Sean Dyche who will miss his side’s FA Cup tie against Huddersfield on Saturday after testing positive for coronavirus, the Premier League club have announced. Issue date: Thursday January 6, 2022

(Richard Sellers/PA)

Another claret and blue side however have the underlying numbers to show they are worthy of their lofty position in the league.

West Ham currently sit just outside the Champions League places behind Arsenal, and rank seventh on our list based on Threat scored and conceded.

Furthermore, David Moyes’ side have the fifth-best average in the division for Threat scored, averaging 184.9 per game this season.

The Hammers have twice managed to register more than 300 Threat in a single game, while they have a higher average than Manchester United and Tottenham.

At the other end of the pitch, three of the best defensive records this term, according to Threat conceded, belong to Brentford (152 Threat conceded per game), Wolves (153) and Brighton (161).

Respectively, those scores rank fourth, fifth and sixth in the division, higher than Arsenal, Manchester United or Tottenham’s averages.

Perhaps the most surprising score of the three belongs to Brentford, who sit 13th in the actual Premier League table, but have a defence which appears worthy of a Champions League spot.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank applauds the fans after the Premier League match at St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton. Picture date: Tuesday January 11, 2022

(Andrew Matthews/PA)

The Bees have managed to concede less than 100 Threat in 25 per cent of their games this season, not bad for a newly-promoted side.

They rank 11th however for Threat scored, and have managed just 24 goals in 20 games.

That said, if Brentford continue to perform at that level for the rest of the season, they should find themselves comfortably clear of the relegation zone.

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