Even the most casual of Premier League observers will know that something is wrong with Manchester City.
Indeed, for those of us who captained Kevin De Bruyne (MID, £11.9M) in Gameweek 13, Tuesday’s encounter with a struggling West Brom was a frustrating, and somewhat depressing, affair. Man City’s impotence in front of goal belied a worrying set of numbers that have led many to question whether KDB is even a sensible FPL pick this season.
Pep Guardiola’s side have had a total 31 Big Chances so far this term (3rd most in the league), and sit behind only Liverpool and Leeds for Total Goal Attempts. Yet the Citizens rank just 12th this term for goals scored (below Crystal Palace) and have the fourth-worst shot accuracy percentage in the league. Their xG of 18.89 comes close to matching their actual goal tally, but every other club, bar the league’s basement dwellers, is outperforming its xG – and in some cases, by a lot (Southampton +10, Spurs +6).
So, should this make FPL managers wary of holding onto Kevin De Bruyne?
Perhaps not. The good news for De Bruyne owners is that things seem to be improving. Over the last four gameweeks, Man City have amassed the second-highest xG in the league – and they’re close to matching it, with an xG Delta of -0.11 (compared with their season total xG Delta of -0.89). They’ve also created the most Big Chances in the league over the same period, and are second only to Aston Villa for goal attempts.
What’s going on with Man City? 🧐
Over the last four games, they rank:
1️⃣ Goal attempts
1️⃣ Big chances total
1️⃣ Big chances scored
1️⃣ Minutes per big chance
1️⃣ Attempts in box
2️⃣ Goals scored
1️⃣7️⃣ Shot accuracy 😱😱😱
— James (@FPLTok) December 16, 2020
While they might not be as clinical as their rivals, they simply don’t have to be with numbers like that. City will start scoring with more frequency, even if they have to take an attritional approach that relies on De Bruyne’s outstanding distribution.
The chances are certainly coming for City. They’re just lacking that final touch. Gabriel Jesus (FWD, £9.3M) has been a glaring weak link in City’s attack. With the worst shot conversion in the league among regular starters, his appearances have done De Bruyne no favours. There’s no doubt that De Bruyne missed Riyad Mahrez (MID, £8.4M), who ranks inside the top 10 midfielders for xG Delta (+1.9), in Tuesday’s contest with West Brom.
If De Bruyne can maintain his current assist potential (second in the league among midfielders for Chances Created), the goals will come – particularly if the likes of Mahrez and Sergio Aguero (FWD, £10.3) start to receive more minutes.
How am I lining up for Gameweek 14?
Gameweek 13 was probably my best of the season so far, with returns from everyone bar De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes (MID, £11M). My 74 (-4) points took me up to an overall rank of 15K.
With no injuries this week, I have the luxury – for the first time this season! – of making no transfers. Charlie Taylor (DEF, £4.4M) comes in for Stuart Dallas (DEF, £4.6M), who faces an increasingly in-form Manchester United attack. But other than that, it’s been a quiet, and stress-free, build up to Gameweek 14.
Good luck out there!
For more FPL commentary, follow James on Twitter and on TikTok (@Jamesadamshaw)