All posts by Bakchod FPL

Two football fans from Bangalore, playing and writing about Fantasy Football in our spare time.

FPL: The Watkins Dilemma

Diaby vs. Watkins is a common question for FPL managers but who is actually better? Bakchod FPL share their thoughts through an analytical lens.

With Diaby coming in, will that reduce the output of Watkins? Based on the data, it actually seems to be the opposite. Watkins becomes a better pick. Here’s why:

Watkins definitely had a Talismanic role last season at Aston Villa. While Ings looked like the focal point earlier, it was definitely Watkins in the second half.

Watkins in the last three seasons – Share of team shots – Share of team xG:

  • 22-23 – 20% – 33%
  • 21-22 – 16% – 26%
  • 20-21 – 18% – 28%

Now let’s look at these same numbers for Diaby:

Diaby in the last three years – Share of team shots – Share of team xG:

  • 22-23 – 18% – 21%
  • 21-22 – 12% – 13%
  • 20-21 – 11% – 10%

While he did play a supporting role to Patrik Schick in 21-22, he stepped up in 22-23. Okay, based on this it looks like there will now be two Talismans up top for Aston Villa. And Watkins’ output should decrease. So why do we think it won’t?

Well, we looked at the different formations used by Villa under Emery.

Under Emery, there were two formations that were commonly used:
1. 4-2-3-1 with Watkins as the number 9
2. 4-2-2 with Watkins and Buendia or Bailey playing the second forward (which will now be taken up by Diaby)

Surprisingly Watkins’ share of xG in 4-4-2 was 52% despite the second striker, much higher than the 33% which was the number for the complete season. Meanwhile, in 4-2-3-1, his share of xG was 34%, closer to the overall season number. Similarly, in 4-4-2, he accounted for 28% of the shots, while in 4-2-3-1 he took 22% of the shots taken by the team. One major reason is that Emery likes to create artificial spaces and Watkins has a good eye for exploiting them. This could be even better with a player like Diaby coming in.

Secondly, Villa also either baits a press from the opposition defenders and then:

  • Move the ball via quick passes in the midfield with players like Buendia, McGinn, Luiz and now Tielemanns
  • Or they move the ball over the last line, with Watkins as the target

And getting a second player opens up another option for the midfielders, which in turn leads to better chances for Villa. This could be seen in the friendlies as well. All three goals vs Newcastle comprised a lot of intricate passes that were created right from the back. The same could be seen again in the goal vs Lazio. Alternately, Diaby’s goal vs Fulham was played by Luiz over the opposition’s defence.
Lastly, we also looked at the formations played by Villa in the pre-season friendlies. Interestingly, they used the same 4-2-3-1 in the games against Walsall, Newcastle and Fulham. Meanwhile, once Diaby came in, they shifted to a 3-1-4-2 vs Brentford and Lazio. This looked like a more attacking version of the 4-4-2, the formation in which Watkins performed better.

To conclude, Watkins is still a good pick and could actually be even better with Diaby coming in. Other transfers like Tielemanns and Pau Torres will only strengthen Emery’s Villa further. On a personal level, I am really excited to see how Aston Villa play this season. Definitely one of the teams on my watchlist.

Thank you for reading. All feedback is welcome. Please like/share if this was helpful. Do follow us @BakchodFPL for similar threads and analysis.

You can find Fantasy Premier League (FPL) resources for the 23/24 season here.

FPL: Planning for GW25 (Blanks and Doubles)

With a massive double gameweek coming up in FPL GW25, tipster FPL Bakchod shares his insights, data, and strategy on how to make the most of it. 

Who do we keep on the bench? How do we optimize it without compromising GW25 performance? Also who do we get in for the players that we are moving out? Read on for these answers and more.

I will be evaluating basis the following factors:

– Current ownership/performance of MUN, NEW, BRE, and BHA players
– Who to bench/Transfer Out
– Who to transfer in?
– GW24-25 fixtures/teams to target
– GW26-28 fixtures to target
– Doubles in GW25 – Key picks
– GW25 Captain Options

Current ownership of MUN, NEW, BRE, and BHA players in FPL (10%+):

  1. Trippier – 69%
  2. Rashford – 54%
  3. Almiron – 30%
  4. Toney – 29%
  5. Shaw – 27%
  6. Pope – 25%
  7. Schar – 17%
  8. Mitoma – 13%
  9. Fernandes – 12%
  10. Mee – 12%
  11. Sanchez – 11%
  12. Gross – 10%
  13. Raya – 10%
  14. De Gea – 10%

Performance of top owned players from these teams (Player – Points post GW17 – GWs with 5+ Points post GW17):

  • Trippier – 49 – 5/7
  • Rashford – 74 – 7/7
  • Almiron – 31 – 2/7
  • Toney – 37 – 4/7
  • Shaw – 54 – 5/7
  • Pope – 38 – 5/7
  • Schar – 34 – 5/7
  • Mitoma – 46 – 5/7
  • Fernandes – 54 – 5/7
  • Mee – 37 – 4/7
  • Sanchez – 31 – 3/7
  • Gross – 26 – 2/7
  • Raya – 43 – 5/7
  • De Gea – 40 – 5/7

Team-Wise Top Picks

Manchester United

Rashford is definitely the top pick and has to be retained – 74 points in FPL since the restart (highest), Mahrez next at 60. Shaw and Fernandes are both at 54 points (tied 5th for points since restart).

FPL Points at a team level since GW17 (before the Arsenal-City fixture*)

  1. Manchester United – 491
  2. Fulham – 394
  3. Brentford – 390
  4. Newcastle – 362
  5. Brighton – 361
  6. City – 359*
  7. Chelsea – 348
  8. Spurs – 337
  9. Arsenal – 318*

Manchester United are almost 100 points greater than the next team. They have had easy fixtures (and an extra fixture) but they have also faced Arsenal and City in this period. United double-up is the minimum after GW25.

After Rashford, personally, I am inclined toward Shaw over Fernandes. Shaw is the highest-scoring defender since GW17 at 54 points. In fact, only two other defenders have got >40 points in this period – Trippier (49) and Ream (47). Meanwhile, there are equally good and even cheaper options in the midfield (Fernandes is at 9.9m). Midfielders with >40 points after GW17 – eight players, of which three have got more points than Fernandes. As for De Gea, he is the 3rd highest-scoring keeper since the restart and can be retained as well.


Just like Rashford, Trippier definitely should be retained. As we mentioned in our last thread, he is a season-keeper alongside Haaland and Kane. He is third highest with regards to points across all GWs, in fact, the only defender in the top 15 players by points.

If we look at the Newcastle forwards or midfielders, not a single player from Newcastle is in the top 20 forwards and midfielders by points since the restart. I would recommend moving those out over the next few GWs and not utilizing a spot on the bench for them.
Pope, like De Gea, can be retained. He can easily be your keeper till the end (I am planning to move to him whenever I wildcard as well). With regards to defenders, Schar/Botman/Burn can all be retained. However, they come after Rashford, Trippier and have to compete with Shaw/Fernandes and Brighton/Brentford assets.


Of the top 20 players by points since the restart, there are two from Brighton and three from Brentford:

  • March – 59
  • Mitoma – 46
  • Raya – 43
  • Toney, Mee – 37

The upside for Brighton/Brentford assets over United/Newcastle ones are the confirmed doubles for each of these teams in GW27 (and both against FDR 2-rated teams). In case you have Mitoma or March, you should definitely hold on to them as you might anyway get them back for GW27 and may even want to double up with Estupinian being another contender. While I do have Mitoma, between the two I would recommend March now. Since the restart, March is higher than Mitoma for shots, goals, assists, chances created, xA, and similar for xG, and SoT. Estupinian can also be retained, though low on priority.

With regards to Brentford assets, I think Toney definitely can be retained. Just like Mitoma/March, if you have him then you should definitely keep him in the 3-4 non-playing assets in GW25. He is the 5th highest-scoring forward by points since the restart, only one point behind Nketiah (38). Mee can be retained, with similar priority as Newcastle defenders but lower than Shaw. With regards to keepers, Sanchez and Raya definitely should be retained and your other keeper should play in GW25.

To summarise, retain priority (for outfield players):

  1. Rashford, Trippier
  2. Toney, Mitoma, March
  3. Shaw
  4. Newcastle defenders, Mee, Estupinian

FPL GW24-GW25 Fixtures/Teams to Target

Now that we have looked at which players can be retained and transferred out, let’s look at which teams we target to bring in players.

If you haven’t tripled up on Arsenal in FPL as yet (or have slightly weaker links now like White or Martinelli), you should definitely focus on getting the right triple-up.

Arsenal fixtures: AVL (A), LEI (A), EVE (H) in GW24 and 25.

For xG against since GW17 – AVL are 2nd worst, LEI are 3rd and EVE are 9th.

City have NFO (A) and BOU (A). While BOU are 5th worst, however, NFO are 5th best.

NFO have an XG against of only 8.5 since the restart. Only Newcastle (5.9), City (5.9), Brentford (7.3) and Chelsea (8.3) have been better.

Everton have LEE (H), AVL (H), ARS (A). Leeds and AVL are in the bottom 5 with regards to xG against.

Meanwhile, Liverpool play NEW (A), CRY (A), and WOL (H). Palace worst with regards to xG against, Wolves are 6th worst. As mentioned earlier, Newcastle are the best with regards to xG against since the restart.

Also, Newcastle are still unbeaten at home – 6W 5D 0L (the only team in the PL unbeaten at home). Newcastle will be a difficult fixture but the double in 25 definitely looks exciting.

Despite their performances, Liverpool still are 4th highest for xG since the restart (13.4), however, they are 12th for actual goals scored (6).

FPL GW26-GW28 Fixtures/Teams to Target

  • ARS: BOU (H), FUL (A), CRY (H). Also LEE (H) in GW29
  • BRE: FUL (H), EVE (A), SOU (A), LEI (H)
  • BHA: WHU (H), LEE (A), CRY (H), MUN (H)
  • LIV: MUN (H), BOU (A), FUL (H)
  • MCI: NEW (H), CRY (A), WHU (H)
  • TOT: WOL (A), NFO (H), SOU (A), EVE (A)

United does have tricky fixtures from GW26: LIV (A), SOU (H), BHA (A), NEW (A)

Doubles in GW25 – ARS, EVE, LIV, WOL – Key picks:


Odegaard and Saka preferred over Martinelli. xGI for Odegaard and Saka from GW17-23 is 4.2 each, for Martinelli, it is at 3.2. Also with regards to minutes, Odegaard and Saka have played 610+/630 minutes, and Martinelli meanwhile has played 545 mins (data prior to the City-Arsenal fixture in GW23).

The third Arsenal pick is either Gabriel or Nketiah. I am inclined toward Gabriel over Nketiah. While no clear return date for Jesus as yet, He should be back in the first half of March as per the latest reports. That will then mean reduced minutes for Nketiah. Meanwhile, Gabriel is the best pick among Arsenal’s defenders. As a White owner myself, I am planning to upgrade to Gabriel. White has had fewer minutes and he didn’t even start the City game last night. Gabriel is the 6th highest defender by points. He is highest across defenders for xG. Also, Trippier-Shaw-Gabriel is a back three that I can see myself settling down to for the medium term.


From GW17-22, there is not a single Everton player in the top 70 players by points. Gray is highest at 25 points, Tarkowksi next at 21. Tarkowski is 4th highest across defenders for shots though in this period (6 shots) and is priced at only 4.2m. He looks like the only player that you can consider getting in. Although he will be permanently on your bench after the double as Everton don’t have great fixtures from GW27: BRE (H), CHE (A), TOT (H), MUN (A). nHowever, at 4.2m, he is not a bad bench pick. He has played all minutes since the restart (compared to other bench picks like Bueno or Nico). That is the only reason I am considering him.


Salah looks like the best pick, although Darwin has more xGI since the restart. xGI for Salah at 4.5 (630 mins) and for Darwin at 5.6 (453 mins).
Salah and Allison are the only two players who have played all minutes since the restart. Personally, I have KDB and Kane. I will be making the KDB to Salah move but definitely not the Kane to Darwin move.

Two reasons – Firstly as a former Darwin owner, I have a feeling that points from one fixture from Kane should be similar or not much lower than two fixtures of Darwin.n Secondly, Kane has a good run of fixtures from GW26 and while many other owners have transferred him out, I am keen on holding him and getting the gains.

After Salah, I might actually consider TAA or Robbo as the next-best Liverpool assets. Darwin is a good pick, no doubt. There is no ceiling and he could get a huge number of points in a DGW. Other than Salah and Allison, the next two players based on minutes for Liverpool are Robbo (551 mins) and TAA (541 mins). However, they are tough to bring in given their pricing (premium defenders).

xGI/90 – Key Liverpool Players:

  • GW1-8: Salah (0.8), Firmino (0.7), Robbo & TAA (0.3 each)
  • GW9-16: Darwin (1), Salah (0.6), Robbo (0.4), TAA (0.3)
  • GW17-23: Darwin (1.1), Salah (0.6), Gakpo (0.6), TAA (0.4), Robbo (0.3)


Similar to Everton, there are no Wolves players in the FPL top 50 players by points since the restart. Sa is highest at 29 (52nd rank), followed by Kilman (26) and Podence (25). Just like Tarkowski, Kilman has played all minutes and is priced at only 4.3m. However, I already have Bueno and so I am inclined towards Tarkowski over Kilman just to hedge the risk (avoid double Wolves).

GW25 Captain Options:

  • Saka/Odegaard vs LEI (A) and EVE (H)
  • Salah vs CRY (A) and WOL (H)
  • Haaland vs BOU (A)

Personally, I will definitely be going with either Salah or Saka but I haven’t decided yet. Hopefully, GW24 helps me decide that.
Haven’t done the math but am inclined towards Salah as I will have only one Liverpool player and three Arsenal assets so captaining Salah will be like a cover for other Liverpool assets, while I already will have cover for Saka with the Arsenal triple up.

Salah vs Saka since the restart (s

FPL: Discussing Formation and Triple Up Strategy

Which is the best formation in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) right now? Which are the best teams to triple up on? Bakchod FPL answers these questions in his latest article.

Best FPL Formation

Is it time to move from 3-4-3 to 3-5-2?

Like most players, I have had Andreas Pereira from day one. And while Andreas is 30th on the overall points tally, I have rarely started him. He has come on as a substitute on a few occasions. I have also started him on a few occasions (in case of a blank or a double for Fulham). But that’s it. As he has been my 5th midfielder, I have never considered playing a 3-5-2. I started with 4-4-2 initially with Haaland-Jesus up top and then moved to 3-4-3 with a rotation of various forwards like Mitrovic, Toney, Darwin, and Martial.

I have never considered playing five midfielders, initially thinking I would get more points from defenders (big at the back) and then moving to forwards. However, now I am strongly considering moving to a 3-5-2. Let’s look at some data first.

Top 20 players by Points from GW1-20* (before DGW fixtures in GW20) – Positions:

  • Forwards – 3
  • Midfielders – 11
  • Defenders – 5
  • Goalkeepers – 1

The forwards are Haaland, Kane, and Toney (all in the top five, along with Trippier and Odegaard). For the midfielders, there are three from Arsenal and Brighton and one from City, United, Newcastle, Leeds, and Liverpool. Of course, one can argue that there are more midfielders overall (leading to the higher number), but many midfielders actually play in the front three for their teams. But then, why don’t we select these over a third forward? Haaland and Kane are essential, but why not a midfielder in place of a third forward? Let’s look at some recent points data.

Midfielders vs Forwards – Points from GW17-20* (before DGW fixtures in GW20) for players who have played 300+ Mins:

  • Midfielders – 55 players, 883 points – 16.1/player
  • Forwards – 10 players, 185 points – 18.5/player

However, if we look at just the top 10 midfielders – 10 players, 293 points – 29.3/player. There are 15 midfielders with 20+ points in this period as compared to five forwards.

What About Double-Digit Hauls?

43 double-digit hauls in FPL from GW 17-20:

  • Forwards – 8
  • Midfielders – 23
  • Defenders – 7
  • Goalkeepers – 5

The ratio of forwards to midfielders is 1:2.87. And what about overall double-digit hauls till now?

Meanwhile, 174 double-digit hauls in FPL from GW 1-16:

  • Forwards – 28
  • Midfielders – 97
  • Defenders – 28
  • Goalkeepers – 21

The ratio of forwards to midfielders is 1:3.46.

While I initially thought that just recently, midfielders seem to be doing better than forwards, in the long run, they have done even better. For every double-digit haul by a forward, almost 3.5 midfielders have got a double-digit haul. I am not sure why I didn’t move to five midfielders earlier. Andreas at £4.6M has always been a good option, especially when trying to fit in three premiums from Haaland, KDB, Salah, and Kane. While I am okay with three premiums going forward (Haaland, KDB, and Kane), the majority of my starting players are also in the 5-6.5m range, like Almiron, Rashford, Martinelli, White, Shaw, and Trippier.

I don’t want to upgrade Andreas to an £8M midfielder, and I have my eye on lower-valued players like Odegaard (£6.8M), March (£5.1M), or Mitoma (£5M). And with Martial and Cancelo still in my squad, I can downgrade one of them to upgrade Andreas to a player under £7M—a midfielder who will be a regular starter for me going forward.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Many of our followers have requested that we write about Brighton assets. While my partner on @BakchodFpl will be doing a detailed thread on Brighton assets later this week, I am just mentioning a few key points here. Firstly as per @BenCrellin (definitely follow him if you aren’t already), Brighton could blank in GW25 (along with United, Newcastle, and Brentford), so it is probably not the right time to get in Brighton assets.

In fact, if you already have >5 assets from these four teams, you will have to start planning over the next few GWs on how to move these out for suitable replacements. Brighton are also favorites to get the highest number of DGWs in the final 10 GWs.

At the same time, can I wait till after GW25 to get a Brighton asset in? I am not sure. They have an excellent run of fixtures from GW21-24: LEI (A), BOU (H), CRY (A), and FUL (H)—three teams in the bottom half. As a team, Brighton players have got the fourth highest points (227) from GW17-20 after United (273), Newcastle (246), and Fulham (246). At the same time, they have faced Southampton, Arsenal, Everton, and Liverpool—two teams in the top half and two teams in the relegation zone. Later this week, we will look at the stats for key Brighton players in a thread.


There have been phases over the season. Initially, Martinelli was the top pick (Odegaard marginally behind). Then Saka took over, and currently, Odegaard is undoubtedly the top pick.

  • GW1-5: Martinelli (34), Odegaard (32), Saka (21)
  • GW6-10: Saka (33), Martinelli (21), Odegaard (8)
  • GW11-16: Odegaard (37), Martinelli (22), Saka (22)
  • GW17-20: Odegaard (35), Saka (24), Martinelli (23)

Overall GW1-20 Stats/90:

  • Odegaard – xG: 0.3, xA: 0.3, Shots: 2.6, SoT: 0.9, Points: 7
  • Martinelli – xG: 0.3, xA: 0.3, Shots: 2.6, SoT: 1, Points: 5.9
  • Saka – xG: 0.3, xA: 0.2, Shots: 2.0, SoT: 0.7, Points: 5.9

Arsenal triple-up definitely looks obvious, given the DGW as well coming up in GW23 (Brentford and City, both at home). We would recommend two midfielders and one defender here.

Strategy for My FPL Team

I currently have Martinelli and White. With the plan of moving to 3-5-2, I will mostly be getting Odegaard in for Andreas as my fifth midfielder and third Arsenal asset. I just have one free transfer for GW21, and I might hold on for this week as I will need two moves (either Martial/Cancelo out to get in Odegaard + one player). With Arsenal facing United this week, I think it will be a low-scoring tight game. I can wait a week before getting in Odegaard for the Everton (A) fixture in GW22.

This will also give me time to decide between who to move out—Cancelo or Martial. As I am going to move to a 3-5-2 with Haaland and Kane as my other two forwards, I will mostly be moving out Martial. With Weghorst coming in, there could be a risk to his minutes. United could also blank in GW25 (as mentioned earlier), so this will also reduce that risk. At the same time, they could have a double in GW22 with both home fixtures against Palace and Leeds.

Meanwhile, Cancelo did look better vs. United (than earlier). The fact that Pep picked him for such a key fixture also gives me some hope that he will continue to start. However, is he worth £7.2M? Definitely not at the moment. Also, small sample set, but two of Martial’s three goals this season came in the 6-3 loss to City at Etihad. I don’t mind starting him vs. Arsenal (at the Emirates) in GW21. City meanwhile play Wolves (at home). I don’t mind Cancelo for that fixture, either.

Which teams should one triple up? Which should be avoided? As mentioned earlier, Arsenal triple-up is certain for me with DGW23 coming up. Are there any other teams that I am considering?

If we look at the total points per team (sum of points scored by all players in FPL) from GW17-20:

Key teams:

  1. Manchester United – 273
  2. Newcastle – 246
  3. Fulham – 246
  4. Brighton – 227
  5. Arsenal – 213
  6. City – 166
  7. Spurs – 157
  8. Liverpool – 135

Let’s look at the same numbers in FPL from GW1-16:

  1. Newcastle – 828
  2. Arsenal – 827
  3. City – 822
  4. Spurs – 695
  5. Liverpool – 654
  6. Brighton – 605
  7. Manchester United – 596

Top 20 players by points in FPL from GW1-20* (before DGW fixtures in GW20) – Teams:

  1. Arsenal – 6
  2. Newcastle – 4
  3. Brighton – 3
  4. City – 2
  5. Spurs/United/Leeds/Brentford/Liverpool – 1 each

Definitely United have had better fixtures from GW17 as compared to earlier. ETH has also made them a stronger unit, and they have started playing better in the later part of the season. However, after Rashford and Shaw, I am not sure which is the third asset that I could get in. Fernandes definitely is the best option, but at 9.8m, he is slightly expensive. I will have to downgrade KDB, but I don’t want to at the moment—he is one of the nailed players for City, and I am keen on keeping him.

Eriksen and Casemiro are options, but there are better midfield options (as discussed earlier). Dalot can be considered once he is back to starting regularly. However not sure if I want to have 2/3 starting defenders from the same team with the exception of really good fixtures with a high probability of clean sheets.

Similarly, for Newcastle, I am currently on Trippier and Almiron. Not sure if I should double up on Newcastle’s defence either. Actually, the only way I could triple up on City, United, or Newcastle at the moment will be via Goalkeeper. Currently on Kepa-Ward and Chelsea’s fixtures continue to be decent, but Chelsea aren’t playing well to give me confidence in Kepa. He did get me 10 points in GW20, but only three in DGW19 (one of the main reasons I got him in). Currently inclined towards moving to Pope. Newcastle have a decent run of fixtures. Even difficult teams like Liverpool, Brighton, United, Arsenal, and Spurs are all home fixtures right up to GW38.

Definitely not a priority transfer right now, but Pope looks like a good bet for the remainder of the season. I will definitely be moving to him at some time, either via FT or WC. Brighton do have three players in the top 20 players based on overall points, but these are all midfielders. Also, as mentioned earlier, I am not sure if I should get in one, let alone two midfielders from Brighton right now.

Anyway, to conclude, triple-up doesn’t look like a great choice except for Arsenal. However, in the case of United/City/Newcastle, a triple up with a keeper can be considered.

You can find Fantasy Premier League (FPL) resources for the 22/23 season here.

FPL Tips: Planning for DGW20 and Potential DGW21

With plenty of potential double gameweeks in FPL, there will be a lot of questions on your mind. FPL Bakchod is here to answer all of them in his latest article.

City and United Top Picks? Liverpool attackers – hold or sell? Should we consider any Spurs players? Read on for these answers and more.

We will be looking at one team at a time before sharing our final recommendations. Metrics we are looking at:

Team stats:

  • Home/Away performance.
  • xG/xGC.
  • Fixtures and doubles.
  • GW17-GW19 performance.


  • GW17-GW19 mins.
  • xGI.
  • Comparison with other players for shots, CC, xA, xG.

Manchester City

GW20 and GW23 double.

  • Fixtures (double in GW20 and GW23): MUN (A), TOT (H), WOL (H), TOT (A), AVL (H), ARS (A).
  • Arsenal and United will be difficult games, Arsenal are still unbeaten at home (7W 1D), meanwhile United have just one defeat at home (6W 1D 1L).
  • City have a good home record as well, 7W 1D 1L – 3/6 are home fixtures and two of these are against bottom-half teams (Wolves in fact is 19th).
  • City highest for shots (54), SiB (39), and xG (8.2) since the restart.

Performance of City assets from GW17-GW19:

  • From GW17-GW19, only six City players have played 265+ out of the possible 270 mins – Ederson, Ake, Stones, KDB, Rodri, and Haaland.
  • In this period, KDB is highest across City players for xA (1.9) and chances created (12); he is second only to Haaland for shots (11, Haaland has 13) and xGI (2.7, Haaland at 3.5).
  • Mahrez and Grealish are next for xGI, 2.5 each; Mahrez is second for City for chances created (11).
  • Cancelo and Foden have only played 67 and 79 minutes respectively.
  • Stones and Ake look like the only City defenders that can be considered, however, they are low for xGI from GW17-19 (0.1 each); there are 45 defenders in this period with an xGI > 0.1.
  • At the same time with the fixtures coming up, clean sheets could be difficult.

Should one triple up on City? If already tripled up, should one continue?

  • Without Cancelo, should one triple up on City? The ideal triple-up would be three attacking assets – Haaland, KDB, and Grealish/Mahrez/Foden; however similar to the difficulty in clean sheets, these fixtures could be low scoring as well.
  • While they did beat United 6-3 in the first half, this is a different United now and the match is also at Old Trafford.
  • Also, this will mean 3/7 forward players in your team will be City players.
  • At the same time, there will always be the fear of rotation for the third asset.
  • However, of the three, Mahrez is definitely the best pick at the moment; he was excellent in the FA Cup win vs Chelsea.
  • Personally, I was thinking of moving from Cancelo to Ake earlier; however, now I am reconsidering it. I don’t think I will be continuing with the City triple-up.
  • I am considering another Newcastle defender (they don’t have doubles, but good fixtures till GW23) or Dalot or a punt like Doherty.

Manchester United

GW20 and potential GW21 double.

  • Fixtures till GW23: MCI (H), CRY (A), ARS (A), LEE (H). Potential Double in GW21 – CRY (H), LEE (A).
  • They could effectively play Palace and Leeds twice in the next six games; Palace is 12th while Leeds is 14th in the table.
  • Since the restart, Palace and Leeds are 17th and 18th for xG for; they are 5th and 1st respectively for xG against.
  • United have won their seven last games across all competitions, they have scored 18 goals and conceded only four across these fixtures.

Performance of United forwards:

  • Only four players have played all 270 mins since the restart – De Gea, Shaw, Fernandes, and Casemiro.
  • From GW 17-19, Rashford is highest for United for shots (8), SoT (5), and goals (3); Fernandes is highest for chances created (11), xA (1.7), and xGI (2.3).
  • Rashford has played only 220 mins vs 270 for Fernandes, also he is 2.8m cheaper than Fernandes.
  • Martial and Casemiro are joint 3rd for xGI after Fernandes and Rashford (1.6) at 1.5 each.
  • GW17 onwards, Martial and Casemiro have the same number of shots (6), SoT (2), goals (1), and xGI.

United Defenders?

  • From GW17-GW19, Shaw is the highest-scoring defender across the premier league in FPL – 32 points (15 in GW19 vs BOU).
  • United have had three cleansheets in each of the last three games.
  • Dalot vs Shaw stats/90 from GW1-GW19: Shots – Dalot 0.9, Shaw 0.4; chances created – Dalot 1.6, Shaw 1.3; equal for xA (0.1), xGI (0.2).
  • I don’t mind a United double-up on defence given the form and fixtures; there could be three clean sheets in the next six, also Dalot and Shaw could give attacking returns as well.

United Triple up?

  • United triple-up can strongly be considered if you don’t already have three United assets; they could get another double game week and overall fixtures are not as tricky as the other top teams.
  • Personally, I am inclined towards two attackers and one defender; Shaw and Rashford are essential picks.
  • For the third attacker, Fernandes > Martial > Casemiro; however getting Fernandes in won’t be as easy as Martial (easy move from Mitrovic).


Potential GW21 double.

  • Fixtures till GW23: BHA (A), CHE (H), CHE (A). Potential double in GW21 – WOL (A), EVE (H), NEW (A), CRY (A), WOL (H). Potential double in GW23.
  • Two potential doubles for Liverpool, currently a 50% chance for a double in GW21 and a 10% chance of a double in GW23.
  • If both doubles go ahead, that will be five away fixtures and three home fixtures for Liverpool till GW23.
  • Liverpool don’t have a good away record (2W 2D 4L), they have been better at Anfield (6W 2D 1L).

Salah and Núñez – hold/sell?

  • Núñez and Salah are 1st (tied with Haaland) and 2nd respectively across all players for xGI since the restart; Núñez at 3.5 and Salah at 3.2.
  • In this period, Núñez is highest across all players for shots (16), SoT (6), and SiB (7); however he has returned only eight points in these three games.
  • With the law of averages, it is high time that Núñez owners should get rewarded for their patience.
  • In case you own both Salah and Núñez, I would keep Núñez and move Salah out. With doubles for City and Spurs, moves to KDB or Kane (or even Son as a punt) can be considered.
  • Liverpool have the second-highest shots (53) and xG (6.9) though since the restart, they could start scoring and it will be safer to keep at least one of the two.
  • I own Núñez in FPL, I will be keeping him for now; there are other priority transfers at the moment and there is still a chance of a double in GW21.
  • I am not looking at any other Liverpool players at the moment, TAA is looking better but I still don’t think he is worth the price.


GW20 double.

  • Fixtures till GW23: ARS (H), MCI (A), FUL (A), MCI (H), LEI (A).
  • Only one confirmed double for Spurs, GW20 – however, they play the best two teams in the league; also they play City again in GW22.

Second Premium – Kane vs Son vs KDB vs Salah?

  • xGI/90 from GW1-19: Salah (0.8), KDB (0.7), Kane (0.6) and Son (0.5).
  • xGI from GW17-19: Salah (3.2), KDB (2.7), Kane (1.7), Son (1).
  • In the 18 games till now, Kane has >5 points in 13 fixtures in FPL; double-digit points in four fixtures.
  • The only Spurs player I am considering is Kane; he has been very consistent, he is owned by 30% of teams and I would like to hedge the risk of not having him.
  • Kane is on four yellow cards though and just like Mitrovic in GW19, it could happen that he plays the first fixture, receives a yellow, and is unavailable for the second fixture against City.
  • Mitrovic captainers (us included) got lucky this week because Haaland didn’t return; however, I am not looking at Kane as a captaincy option for GW20.

Which other Spurs Players?

  • Since the restart, Doherty is highest across defenders for touches in the penalty area (12), second highest for shots (7), and fourth highest for xGI (0.9).
  • Currently owned by only 0.7% of teams, priced at 4.6m.
  • Perisic meanwhile has 10 touches in the penalty area (second highest across defenders), one shot, and an xGI of 0.7.
  • Son numbers haven’t been good, KDB is preferred over Son.


Potential GW21 double and confirmed GW23 double.

  • Fixtures till GW23: TOT (A), MUN (H), EVE (H). Potential double in GW21 – EVE (A), BRE (H), MCI (H).
  • 4/6 home fixtures, Arsenal are still unbeaten at home this season. Of the two away fixtures, one is against Everton (18th in the league).

Arsenal Trio for DGWs?

  • xGI/90 from GW1-19: Jesus (0.8), Odegaard (0.6), Saka (0.6), Martinelli (0.5), Nketiah (0.5).
  • I have Martinelli and White, currently inclined towards upgrading Almiron to Odegaard for the DGWs.
  • The optimum Arsenal trio at the moment will consist of two midfielders and one defender.

Other teams – Brighton, Leeds, Palace

Players that can be considered in FPL (and TSB):

  • Brighton and Hove Albion – Mitoma (0.8%), Gross (11.5%), March (0.9%), Mac Allister (2.9%).
  • Leeds – Rodrigo (6.9%).
  • Crystal Palace – Zaha (11.8%).


  • United triple-up in FPL looks like a clear decision, Shaw and Rashford are essential picks; Fernandes > Martial > Casemiro in case of attackers, and Dalot the clear pick in defence.
  • City triple-up is not recommended, however in case one does want to triple up on City then three attackers can be selected – Haaland, KDB, and Mahrez/Grealish/Foden; Mahrez is definitely the best pick of the three at the moment.
  • In the case of both Salah and Núñez, Salah can be sold and Núñez can be kept given the chance of a double in GW21.
  • Kane and Doherty look like the only Spurs players that can be considered in FPL at the moment, Spurs don’t have a good run of fixtures though.

You can find Fantasy Premier League (FPL) resources for the 22/23 season here.

World Cup Fantasy: Observations from the Group Stage and RO16 Plan

The knockout stages of the World Cup is here, and tipster Bakchod FPL shares his observations and plans for the World Cup Fantasy round of 16.

We look at each of the knockout fixtures one by one and mention the key picks based on their performances in the group stage.

Factors that we are looking at:

  • xG for/xG against at a team level
  • xG+xAG/90 mins for key picks
  • Shots/Key Passes
  • Rotation risk


🇳🇱 Netherlands vs. USA 🇺🇸

  • While the Netherlands have scored five goals and the USA have scored two, xG and SoT are similar for the two teams after three games.
  • USA has a higher xG of 2.6 with seven SoT, while the Netherlands has an xG of 2.4 with eight SoT.
  • Netherlands and USA are evenly matched for xG against as well, both have an xG against of 2.7 and have conceded one goal each.
  • xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Depay – 0.6 (139 mins), FDJ – 0.36, Klaasen – 0.32 (145 mins), Gakpo – 0.22; Pulisic – 0.49, Weah – 0.34, Dest 0.26.
  • Depay has six shots (two on target) despite the fewer minutes, Gakpo is next with four shots (three on target); Gakpo has scored three times and has the highest xA as well for the Netherlands across three games – 0.5 (on corners as well).
  • Pulisic highest for shots (6), SoT (2), xG (0.6), xA (0.6), and key passes (5) for USA.
  • Noppert has a save% of 90.9% (10/11 SoTA saved).

🇦🇷 Argentina vs. Australia 🇦🇺

  • Argentina has an xG of 6.00 after three games, 17 SoT; meanwhile, xG for Australia at 1.7, seven SoT.
  • Argentina have the lowest xG against (in the group stage) of 0.7, three SoT; Australia have the fourth highest xG against at 5.6, 13 SoT.
  • xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Messi – 1.03, Tagliafico – 0.99 (102 mins), Alvarez – 0.65 (138 mins), Lisandro Martinez – 0.62 (122 mins), Mac Allister – 0.38 (151 mins), De Paul – 0.23, Di Maria – 0.22 (216 mins).
  • Messi was highest for SoT at six, Alvarez next at four (138 mins); Messi highest for key passes as well at nine, Di Maria next at six.
  • Only four Argentina players have played all minutes till now – Messi, De Paul, Otamendi, and Martínez.

🇯🇵 Japan vs. Croatia 🇭🇷

  • Japan and Croatia have both scored four goals in the group stages; however, Japan did score two each vs. Spain and Germany, while Croatia scored all four against Canada.
  • Croatia has a slightly higher xG at 3.8, Japan at 3.6; Croatia has 15 SoT vs. 10 for Japan.
  • Japan has conceded three goals (xG against of 4.3), and Croatia has conceded once (xG against of 3.8).
  • xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Kramarić – 0.5 (205 mins), Kovačić – 0.32 (252 mins), Perišić – 0.27, Modrić – 0.26, Sosa – 0.16.
  • Meanwhile, for Japan, xG+xAG/90 mins: Mitoma – 0.92 (108 mins), Sakai – 0.75 (73 mins), Asano – 0.75 (108 mins), Tanaka – 0.52 (156 mins), Doan – 0.41 (131 mins).
  • Kovačić has five key passes and an xA of 1.00; Perišić next with four key passes (xA of 0.6), followed by Modrić with three key passes (xA of 0.5)
  • Modrić has taken seven corners till now, and Kovačić has taken five.
  • There is a lot of rotation in the Japan team. Only three players have played all minutes till now – Goalkeeper Gonda and defenders Itakura and Yoshida.

🇫🇷 France vs. Poland 🇵🇱

  • France has an xG of 7.2 after three games, 15 SoT; Poland has an xG of 2.8 with only four SoT.
  • xG against of 1.6 for France (only six SoT), 5.9 for Poland (18 SoT).
  • xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Mbappé – 1.35 (205 mins), Griezmann – 1.25 (197 mins), Giroud – 1.23 (150 mins), Rabiot – 0.77 (208 mins), Dembele – 0.71 (162 mins) Theo Hernandez – 0.64 (164 mins).
  • Mbappé highest for shots (16) and SoT (7); Griezmann highest for key passes (10), followed by Theo Hernandez (9).
  • For Poland, Lewandowski has the highest xG+xAG/90 mins at 0.75; Zielinski at 0.19.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England vs. Senegal 🇸🇳

  • England have scored nine goals in the group stages, xG of 5.2 and 17 SoT; Senegal have scored five goals at an xG of 3.8, 11 SoT.
  • England have had four SoT against them, xG against of 2.3; Senegal have had 10 SoT against them, xG against of 2.5.
  • xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Rashford – 1.12 (108 mins), Foden – 0.9 (110 mins), Kane – 0.77 (222 mins), Saka – 0.43 (146 mins), Luke Shaw – 0.22; Sarr – 0.55, Sabaly – 0.23 and Dia – 0.22.
  • Rashford has the most shots with nine, Foden next with five; Maguire, Saka, and Kane have four each; Shaw is highest for key passes with five, followed by Kane with four.
  • Sabaly is highest for Senegal for key passes (7) and xA (0.6).

🇲🇦 Morocco vs. Spain 🇪🇸

  • Spain have scored nine goals (just like England), xG of 5.3, and 15 SoT; Morocco has scored four with an xG of 2.3, and eight SoT.
  • Morocco have conceded 1 goal in this WC, xG against of 2.9; Spain have conceded 3 with an xG against of 2.5.
  • xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Morata – 0.91 (127 mins), Torres – 0.75 (143 mins), Olmo – 0.61, Asensio – 0.55 (167 mins), Azpilicueta – 0.45 (135 mins) and Alba – 0.38 (167 mins).
  • Only three players have played all minutes till now for Spain – GK Simon, Rodri, and Olmo.
  • Olmo is highest for Spain for shots (10), SoT (5), xG (1.4), and key passes (5).
  • For Morocco, Ziyech has the highest xG+xAG/90 mins at 0.27; Saiss next with 0.26, followed by Hakimi at 0.15.
  • Ziyech is highest for Morocco for shots (6) and key passes (4); Hakimi is second for key passes (3) and has two shots.

🇧🇷 Brazil vs. South Korea 🇰🇷

  • Brazil have 21 SoT (2nd highest after Germany), xG of 5.7; South Korea has an xG of 4.2, 12 SoT.
  • At the same time, Brazil have the 2nd lowest xG against (0.9) and have conceded only one goal till now; South Korea have an xG against of 3.6, 10 SoT against.
  • xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Raphina – 0.8 (170 mins), Vinicius Jr – 0.64 (165 mins), Richarlison – 0.6 (150 mins), Marquinhos – 0.36 (216 mins).
  • Rodrygo has six shots till now; Richarlison, Bruno G, Vinicius Jr, Casemiro, and Antony have five shots each.
  • Vinicius Jr is highest for key passes at six, followed by Raphinha at five; Fred, Jesus, and Marquinhos have four key passes each.
  • For Korea, Guesung has the highest xG+xAG/90 mins of 0.52 (196 mins), Son at 0.4, and Kim Young-Gwon at 0.32.
  • Gue-sung is highest for South Korea for shots (9), SoT (5), and xG (1.1); Son is highest for xA (0.6) and key passes (6).

🇵🇹 Portugal vs. Switzerland 🇨🇭

  • Portugal have 12 SoT, xG of 4.7; Switzerland have 10 SoT, xG of 4.00.
  • Portugal have an xG against of 4, 12 SoT against; Switzerland have an xG against of 3.1, 14 SoT against.
  • xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Bruno Fernandes – 0.79 (180 mins), Ronaldo – 0.63 (232 mins), Félix – 0.29 (168 mins); Embolo – 0.77 (235 mins), Shaqiri – 0.68 (139 mins), Vargas – 0.39 (220 mins).

To summarise:

  • Emiliano Martinez looks like a good choice for a keeper; Noppert and Lloris are other good options.
  • 2/3 forwards are to be taken from Messi, Mbappé, and Kane (the former two preferable), and the 3rd can be in the lower range – Gakpo, Depay, Richarlison, Alvarez.
  • Midfielders: Olmo, Saka, Ziyech, Rabiot, Pulisic, Bruno Fernandes, and Perišić can be considered.
  • Defenders: Alba, Shaw, Theo Hernandez, Hakimi, Sosa, and Marquinhos are all good picks.
  • With a higher budget, it is possible to have a Messi-Mbappé-Kane front three without compromising other positions.

All data is taken from fbref.

You can find additional World Cup Fantasy resources for the 22/23 season here.

World Cup Fantasy: MD2 Observations and MD3 Plan

The final matchday of World Cup Fantasy group stages is here and tipster Bakchod FPL takes a look at the best performers in matchday 2 and the top picks to consider for matchday 3.

14/16 games done in MD2, sharing our observations and early plans for MD3 in this post. We are looking at the MD3 fixtures and the teams to target.

Group A

🇪🇨 Ecuador vs Senegal 🇸🇳
🇳🇱 Netherlands vs Qatar 🇶🇦
  • Netherlands haven’t sealed their spot yet, they will also be taking on one of the weakest teams in the tournament; this will be a fixture to target.
  • Two attackers could be picked, front three of Depay, Gakpo, and Bergwijn could be expected as Depay could get 60 minutes as per a few reports.
  • Bergwijn has zero shots across two games (123 minutes), Gakpo has two and Depay has one though he has only played 74 minutes till now; Gakpo and Klaasen have the highest xG+xAG, 0.23 each.
  • Gakpo has four key passes as well (highest for the Netherlands) and is on corners (nine CKs till now).
  • Noppert looks like a good choice for MD3, he has seven saves in two games and will be going against a Qatar side that have just scored once in two games.
  • Dumfries/Van Dijk are also good picks as there is a good chance of a clean sheet; the Netherlands do have the highest xG against in this group though, at 2.6.
  • Enner Valencia has three goals till now, but there are still doubts about his fitness at the moment; Preciado has four shots (none on target) and three key passes.
  • Ecuador have the lowest xG against in this group at 0.4, they have conceded only one SoT and one goal after two games.

Group B

🇮🇷 Iran vs USA 🇺🇸
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Wales vs England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
  • England still haven’t sealed their spot; they will be going against a Wales side that has looked like the weakest team in this group.
  • Wales have also scored only once this tournament (via a penalty), they have just five SoT across the two games and an xG of 2.4.
  • Trippier and Shaw have made three key passes each; Shaw has an xA of 0.6 (highest for England).
  • Kane has the highest xG+xA/90 mins at 0.59, Saka next at 0.43; they have made two key passes each.
  • Taremi has the highest xG+xA/90 mins for Iran at 0.91, with nine key passes till now for him; USA have been good defensively though, they have conceded only one goal (penalty) and five SoT across two games.

Group C

🇵🇱 Poland vs Argentina 🇦🇷
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia vs Mexico 🇲🇽
  • Al Owais or KSA defenders can be considered, Mexico are yet to score and have an xG of 1.00 after two games; Saudi Arabia does have the highest xG against though in this group (3.7) after facing Argentina and Poland.
  • Messi has an xG+xA/90 mins of 0.68, Di Maria at 0.2, and Lautaro at 0.11; Messi has made four key passes, the same as Di Maria.
  • Lewandowski meanwhile has the highest xG+xA/90 mins for Poland at 1.06.
  • Poland is yet to concede in this WC, and have conceded eight SoT; Meanwhile, Argentina has conceded two goals and three SoT.

Group D

🇹🇳 Tunisia vs France 🇫🇷
🇦🇺 Australia vs Denmark 🇩🇰
  • France has pretty much sealed the top spot, reading many posts that the squad could be rotated so France players can be avoided for MD3.
  • However, there is a risk in not going without Mbappe – 13 shots, xG of 2.3, and six key passes as well; Theo Hernandez can also be considered, with nine key passes and two assists till now.
  • Meanwhile, Australia has the worst xGA of 5.00 after two games (majorly because of the game against France); Denmark will need to win against Australia to go 2nd in the group and qualify for the KOs.
  • Eriksen has the highest xG+xA/90 mins at 0.26 (no returns yet), Andreas Christensen at 0.18; Maehle at 0.04, and Olsen at 0.00.
  • Eriksen has seven key passes and an xA of 0.3; Cornelius has the highest shots (4), followed by Eriksen and Andersen (three each).

Group E

🇯🇵 Japan vs Spain 🇪🇸
🇨🇷 Costa Rica vs Germany 🇩🇪
  • Germany and Spain have an xG of 4.3 and 4.1 respectively, with Japan at 2.3; Costa Rica has the worst xG against in this group at 4.4, Japan next with 3.2, followed by Germany (2.3) and Spain (1.3).
  • Germany have 36 shots (12 on target) across two games; second only to France (44, 12 on target) for teams that have played two games till now.
  • Gnabry has eight shots (three on target), Kimmich is next at six (three on target) followed by Gündoğan (five, two on target) and Rüdiger (five, one on target).
  • xG+xA/90 mins for key Spain assets – Torres (0.84), Morata (0.84, 71 mins), Olmo (0.75), Asensio (0.64), Alba (0.41).
  • xG+xA/90 mins for key German assets – Gündoğan (0.84), Musiala (0.71), Gnabry (0.56), Kimmich (0.36), Raum (0.21) and Rüdiger (0.16).

Group F

🇭🇷 Croatia vs Belgium 🇧🇪
🇨🇦 Canada vs Morocco 🇲🇦
  • Belgium have the worst xG against in the group (3.9), followed by Canada (3.4) and Morocco (1.5); Croatia have the lowest xG against (0.8) and the highest xG (3.1).
  • Morocco just beat Belgium 2-0 and will now be facing a Canada side with two losses; they haven’t conceded a goal until now in the tournament (after facing Croatia and Belgium).
  • Canada have conceded 13 shots on target till now (highest before the MD2 fixtures of groups G and H); at the same time, they have also taken 29 shots (third highest after France and Germany for teams that have played two games).
  • Ziyech has the highest number of crosses (8) and attempts at goal (5) for Morocco.
  • Croatia have 11 SoT across two fixtures, Kramaric and Livaja with three.
  • xG+xA/90 mins for key Croatian assets – Kramarić (0.67), Kovačić (0.42), Perišić (0.33), Modrić (0.32).

Group G

🇷🇸 Serbia vs Switzerland 🇨🇭
🇨🇲 Cameroon vs Brazil 🇧🇷
  • If Brazil win today, their situation will be similar to France and they might want to rotate as well; will have to decide on Brazilian players after the game vs Switzerland.
  • Cameroon defender Castelletto had a goal and an assist in the game vs Serbia today, priced at only $4M as well.
  • Meanwhile, goal-scorers for Serbia were Pavlović, Milinković-Savić, and Mitrović; however, Switzerland had an xG against of 0.7 in the game vs Cameroon.

Group H

🇰🇷 South Korea vs Portugal 🇵🇹
🇬🇭 Ghana vs Uruguay 🇺🇾
  • Portugal’s win tonight against Uruguay should help them qualify for the KOs.
  • Ghana did get two goals against Portugal and they just achieved a 3-2 win vs Korea.
  • Kudus (6m) definitely can be considered vs Uruguay, with one assist in the first game and two goals today vs Korea.
  • Korea did play well today, they had 22 shots (seven on target) vs Ghana (seven shots, three on target); they had 64% of the possession as well.
  • However, I don’t think I will be considering any Korean player, Gue-sung did get two goals today and he is a forward at just $5M; however, there are much better options available.

To summarise, currently considering (wildcard in MD3 for me):

  • Triple Netherlands (Noppert, Dumfries/Van Dijk and Depay/Gakpo).
  • Triple England (three of Trippier, Shaw, Saka and Kane).
  • Double Germany (two of Gündoğan, Musiala, Gnabry, Rüdiger).
  • Messi will definitely be picked; others being considered – Alba, Olmo, Perišić, Ziyech, Eriksen, Di Maria, Bruno Fernandes, Mbappe/Theo Hernandez (based on early Franc team news).

End of post. All data taken from fbref.

You can find additional World Cup Fantasy resources for the 22/23 season here.