Jan Vertonghen has recently been ruled out of a significant proportion of Tottenham’s pre-christmas schedule. James discussed the impact of this on last week’s bonus pod so I thought I’d have a look at some stats on a Vertonghenless Spurs. Since the start of the 15/16 season Vertonghen has missed 16 of a possible 122 Premier League games with those 16 games resulting in 8 clean sheets. In games where the Belgian started Spurs kept clean sheets 37% of the time. This percentage is slightly lower than that of his teammates Davinson Sanchez (42%) and Toby Alderweireld (39%) who are expected to form a defensive partnership in his absence. In the 12 Premier League games where Sanchez and Alderweireld have both started Spurs have kept 6 clean sheets. They’ve kept a clean sheet in 4 of their last 5 games without Vertonghen. Although only a small sample these numbers suggest Tottenham’s defensive FPL returns might not be diminished by Vertonghen being sidelined.
However their upcoming fixtures could give more cause to move away from any Spurs assets you may be holding. The table below shows the combined FPL points against so far this season of each team’s forthcoming opponents over varying ranges from 2-8 gameweeks.
So for example Brighton face Newcastle and Wolves in their next 2 games.
Teams have scored 411 points against Newcastle so far this season.
Teams have scored 253 points against Wolves so far this season.
Giving a total of 664 points against their next two opponents and ranking their next two fixtures as 11th toughest.
Spurs next 8 opponents have conceded 2428 FPL points which makes their fixtures the 2nd toughest over that period. As James mentioned on the pod it may be sensible to hold off on Tottenham investment until early December once this sequence of fixtures is over which may coincide with Vertonghen’s return from injury.
Arsenal look to have the toughest fixtures over the coming period although this hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for Lacazette (9.6m) who has nearly 200k transfers in ahead of gameweek 9.
Brighton have the easiest fixtures in terms of points given up by opponents over the next 8 gameweeks. Murray (6.6m) is their top scorer so far with 39 points while Duffy (4.5m) is their top scorer over the last 4 games with 21 points and could offer value in defence.
Liverpool’s injury concerns ahead of what appears to be one of their easiest runs of fixtures of the season will be a cause of frustration for FPL managers. Despite playing no part against Man City in gameweek 8, Alexander-Arnold (5.2m) is still Liverpool’s highest scoring player over the last 4 gameweeks with 19 points.
Bournemouth face Man Utd, Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool in their next 8 but surprisingly still rank 5th for total FPL points against their opponents over that period. Holding Fraser (6.0m), King (6.4m) or Wilson (6.4m) through these fixtures may be a less popular strategy but with plum ties against Southampton, Fulham, Newcastle and Huddersfield it could pay dividends.
Every FPL transfer is different. Everyone is looking for different things. Some people want a two week punt, others are looking for a season keeper, a cheap rotating defender or a premium captaincy option. Hopefully the above table showing FPL points against ranging from 2 gameweeks to 8 gameweeks can help to inform some of those decisions.