Saturday, August 20, 2011

Defensive Fixture Combinations

I've posted at length before about the GK rotation strategy, with the basic idea being that good keepers with great fixtures tend to perform better (and score more points) than great keepers with average fixtures. To maximise the strategy you need two teams' fixtures to 'gel', that is, maximise the number of home fixtures and weak opponents and minimise the number of times both teams face a tough opponent.

Though I have always focused this strategy on keepers, there is no reason it cannot be used for defenders, and I'm sure many of you do it already. The availability this year of players from good mid-range teams for a budget price suggests that this strategy might be even more fruitful this year. With that in mind, I have expanded the GK-ranking combinations to include all teams which contain a regular starter available for 5.0m or less (thus excluding 6 teams - Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea). I know Liverpool do have a 5.0m starter in Jose Enrique but I figured you are realistically going to start him every week and including an elite side like Liverpool would potentially skew the data a bit.

The below shows the average number of goals per game predicted to be conceded, having taken the best fixture from the two teams each week. The period reflected is the next 10 gameweeks. I will update these pairings each week and you will be able to find the table in the 'Strength of Schedule' tab.


As with all early season data, it is largely backwards looking with only minor tweaks made for player transfers and manager movements. The promoted teams numbers are based on their Championship performances, adjusted by a historic ratio of how teams perform when promoted. Hence, don't put too much stock in a certain combo being 0.02 better than another, but rather note where a combo clearly doesn't appear to work.

As a basis for comparison, here are the average predicted goals conceded over the next 10gameweeks for those six excluded teams:
  • Man City 1.17
  • Chelsea 1.19
  • Arsenal 1.22
  • Man Utd 1.23
  • Liverpool 1.27
  • Everton 1.32
It isn't quite as simply as this, and there's something to be said for being able to plug in a Kompany or a Ashley Cole every week, but at least in theory, picking the best fixture from a Stoke/Villa combo should outperform playing a City defender every week (the difference between conceding less goals and keeping clean sheets is an argument for another day). As I say, it is full proof and shouldn't be used as a iron clad rule, but I hope it provides some guidance when filling out your squad players.

7 comments:

angryratman said...

statssss fap fap fapfap

Colin said...

Well I think that's about it for me and Torres. He had a great chance. Ideal match-up vs poor opposition and nothing. I knew there was some risk attached to captaining him, but after that, it's the Aguero bandwagon for me!

Rey said...

I agree with you about Torres, but I'd make sure to see what Aguero does tomorrow before hopping on that bandwagon.

Simon G said...

Suarez did well but only played 20 mins. He must deserve a start now, so I'm gonna leave it for 1 more week, if he starts on the bench again, I'm getting aguero. Will potentially swap silva for yaya toure this week to free up the funds to get aguero. All depends on today's game though.

Robin Hood said...

Hello, thank you for sharing your information. Keep up your quality post.

Davefevs said...

What have I learned from GW1 to GW2? Not a lot....made a host of transfers yet had I kept the same players would've scored the same points. Okay might be a few points better when the bonus points get allocated. The surprising think is that I've had two poorish scoring weekends yet have picked up a few places in my other league. New reality programme advertised on TV tonight...."How do you solve a problem like Fernando" :-)

Arseshavin said...

It'd be great to see an updated defensive fixture combination cross-tab for gameweeks 24 onwards.