You’ve survived another International Break. How was it for you? Personally, I found a small cave on the outskirts of Norwich filled with discarded needles and empty packets of Quavers and hibernated there for two weeks.
Whilst disputes between footballing spouses were conspicuous in their absence, the men dutifully stepped in. Gareth Southgate spent the majority of his front-of-camera time talking about why Sterling and Gomez’ spat is absolutely not worth talking about, and whilst it was hardly a seismic event, it succeeded in killing a few, FPL-less hours. For that I’m sure we’re all grateful.
I’ll be honest: the outlook isn’t great for the bookies’ odds this week. In fact, if they had turned up at England’s training facility last Monday, I’m pretty sure Sterling would’ve attacked them. But heck, after the fortnight we’ve just endured, it’s just nice to have them back. Right?
Gameweek 13 Clean Sheet Odds & To 2.5+ Goals Odds
Everton in unchartered territory
The last time Everton were this high up on a list, it was titled “the biggest disappointments of the 19/20 season”. Football hasn’t been kind to the Toffees so far, but a home fixture against struggling Norwich is a great opportunity to change that.
Norwich are quickly becoming the piñata team. You can beat them and beat them and the points will continue to drop out. They’ve scored just 1 goal on the road so far – 3 less than the next nearest team. They’ve conceded 28 goals too – just 1 less than Southampton, who have conceded the most goals in the league so far.
In other words, it’s not hard to see why Everton have been backed as the second most likely team to keep a clean sheet and the joint-second most likely team to score 2.5+ goals.
Those who have taken a punt on Richarlison or kept the faith in Digne might finally reap some serious rewards.
Bookies too generous to United?
On Sunday, the team currently in seventh will visit the side in fifth. It’s surprising, therefore, to
see that the away side have been given the better odds for keeping a clean sheet and scoring more goals.
Sheffield United have been phenomenal this season. They were unlucky not to win against Spurs in Gameweek 12, and, on current form, deserve to be above the likes of Man United and Arsenal.
Solskjaer’s men, meanwhile, have struggled to find momentum. Anthony Martial’s return to injury should bolster their hopes, but it’s still surprising to see them in the top half of teams to score 2.5+ goals.
Man City top 2.5+ goals despite fixture
Man City have scored just 8 goals in their last 5 Premier League matches. For many teams, that’d probably be alright. But given Guardiola’s outfit have scored 8 goals in 1 match already this season, it’s a bit of a drought.
Despite their barren spell, I think the bookies are right to give them the highest likelihood of scoring 2.5+ goals. Other usual suspects – Liverpool being the obvious one – have challenging away fixtures, and Arsenal are in no state to match City’s goal scoring potential as things stand.
It’s unusual for City to play a team that will try to match their aptitude for scoring goals, but from what we’ve seen of Lampard’s Chelsea so far this season, we might well be in for a classic on Saturday evening.
Gameweek 13 Anytime Goalscorers By Position
No player over 60% to score
Speaking of barren spells and droughts, the anytime goalscorer odds are looking positively Saharan. No player tops a 60% likelihood of scoring in Gameweek 13.
I don’t think this means the bookies are forecasting a lack of goals. Rather, I reckon it reflects the lack of talismanic goalscorers in the Premier League this season. Even the top scorers like Tammy Abraham and Jamie Vardy have had to share goals with their teammates: a fact that has made picking consistent goalscorers harder than ever for FPL managers.
That so many top teams visit other top teams in Gameweek 13 only makes it more of a lottery. No doubt we’ll see a return to the more stratospheric odds in the weeks that follow.
Raul Jimenez a concern for owners?
You might not have noticed, but people are talking about Raul Jimenez at the moment. The hubbub of excitement that surrounds him is nothing compared to last season, but still, it’s enough to be a talking point on this week’s Fantasy Weekly podcast.
I’ll be honest with you: I only included him in these odds because so many people are interested in his progress. I could’ve chosen other, less trendy players. Moise Kean, Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes…the blue collar workers of the mid-priced forward bracket. The types that probably still get the bus to training. They’re just as likely to score as Raul Jimenez.
Considering Wolves visit Bournemouth, it’s surprising to see their nailed-on forward in that kind of company. The problem is with Jimenez is that, unlike some of the names above him this week, the Mexican seldom scores with the prolific ease that you might expect from such a gifted footballer. That was fine last season when he only cost £5.0m, but his increased price-tag poses more of a dilemma.
It’s a fact reflected by his non-penalty xG, which, as things stand, is around the same as the likes of Aaron Connolly, Joshua King and, perhaps most disconcertingly for Jimenez owners, Che Adams.
Burnley not the defensive force they used to be
The bookies have latched on to Burnley’s uncharacteristically leaky away defence this season. That and that alone must explain why Watford’s assets, struggling though they may be, have found themselves in and amongst such esteemed goalscorers.
Holebas and Dawson rub shoulders with Alexander-Arnold, Lundstram and Schar. Deulofeu shares an armrest with Son and Pepe and laughs at the likes of De Bruyne and Yarmolenko beneath him.
These are players who have been underwhelming this season. Yet, it is they who are 8th most likely to score 2.5+ goals. It is they who are 7th most likely to keep a clean sheet and it is their players – poor though they have been – who the bookies are backing to return in Gameweek 13.
Pope owners, you’ve been warned.