As for many, last week was a tough week for the Bookies Advantage XI. Between hidden injuries (thank you Eddie Howe) and under-performance from favourites we scored a bang average 49 points.
This week is a very interesting week as last season’s top two play each other making other assets more viable, especially for captaincy. Some high upside differentials make our team this week as the bookies predict clean sheets to be hard to come by.
We use bookmakers’ odds to pick the perfect FPL team for the upcoming gameweek, including selecting the best captain.
Bookmakers make a living from predicting the future. Simply put, bookmakers set odds to represent what they believe is the most likely outcome of an event. It gets a bit more complex, but in a liquid market (many bettors), the odds should accurately predict the likelihood of an outcome. If the odds are way off, that creates arbitrage that will be exploited quickly by traders.
We translate bookmakers’ odds into likelihood to help you pick your team.
- We don’t remove the variable bookmaker’s margin, so the likelihood is realistically a few percentage points lower than in our projections.
- The odds are assuming the player starts. Most bookies operate with a rule where the bet is refunded if the player isn’t in the starting lineup.
Goalscorer odds gameweek 8
|Alex Mac Allister||13%||7.5||LIV||MID|
|Virgil van Dijk||8%||13||LIV||DEF|
Son Heung-min (51%) vs Mohammed Salah (48%) as an alternative captaincy to Erling Haaland (47%) has been the question on everyone’s lips going into Gameweek 8 as the chasing pack look to gain an advantage on those ahead. While it’s always a risky strategy to back against the Norwegian Terminator, if you are going to take him on this weekend, the bookies slightly favour the South Korean over the Egyptian.
In comparing the two’s underlying data over the last four gameweeks we see that Son wins out in terms of non-penalty expected goals (NPxG) 2.66 vs 1.32, while Salah dominates in terms of expected assists 2.19 vs 0.56.
Salah has had more touches in the final third (99 vs 61) as well as more penalty area touches (34 vs 26), while Son has had a much better goal involvement percentage (75 vs 40) and has a much better minutes per attempt ratio, taking a shot every 19 minutes vs Salah’s shot every 31 minutes.
The pair are incredibly hard to split but by looking at their opponent’s defensive data we see where Son may have the edge as Brighton have conceded less shots, less shots on target, less big chances and less xGC when compared to Luton.
For this reason, the South Korean just edges out Salah for captaincy this week.
Erling Haaland (47%) still makes the XI however as leaving the City striker out altogether seems nothing short of madness as he continues to lead in nearly all attacking metrics this year and while Arsenal continue to look less robust defensively when compared to last year.
Even last year they still conceded seven goals in their two games against City last season with Haaland grabbing two goals and two assists over the course of the two games.
Darwin Nunez (46%) is also included for a Liverpool attacking double up. With Gakpo injured and Jota suspended, the Uruguayan looks assured of a starting place and with Brighton’s failure to keep a clean sheet so far this season Nunez should be afforded plenty of opportunities. Whether he’s capable of taking them is another question.
Evan Ferguson (42%) may be a surprise inclusion in the list but with Liverpool failing to keep an away clean sheet so far this season it may look more understandable. Add to this the fact Brighton have scored eight goals in their last three games against Liverpool and the young Irishman looks like an interesting punt ahead of Gameweek 8.
Marcus Rashford (42%) takes up the last place on our starting attackers. Despite poor form in recent weeks the Bookies continue to back the mercurial winger. No attacking returns in his last three games will give managers itchy fingers but an xGI of 1.36 in that time suggests he’s been slightly unlucky.
His opponents this week Brentford have been in poor form of late, especially defensively, conceding seven in their last four. He’s worth rolling the dice on again this week.
On the bench for us this week are Douglas Luiz, as well as Marvelous Nakamba.
Clean sheet odds Gameweek 8
|Team||Clean Sheet Probability||Odds|
Fulham (44%) sit top of the rankings for clean sheets ahead of Gameweek 8 as Bernd Leno continues his stint as the highest scoring goalkeeper so far this season.
It’s somewhat paradoxical as their underlying defensive data is poor but often that’s what makes the German keeper such a good pick. Fulham concede a lot of chances but Leno’s ability at shot stopping allows him to score highly.
This week, their odds are reflective of their opposition as they take on last place Sheffield United. Heckingbottom’s side sit rock bottom for goals, shots, shots on target and xG.
Bernd Leno is an easy choice for us in goal this week, and he is joined by team mate Timothy Castagne who has decent FPL pedigree.
Spurs (42%) sit second in the stakes for clean sheets having kept just two in their first seven so far this season, albeit, with tough fixtures.
This week they travel to Luton Town, who sit firmly bottom half of the table for goals (16th), attempts (12th), big chances (13th) and xG (13th).
Spurs defensive data is nothing too impressive though it is worth noting they have played Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal in their first seven
Pedro Porro is our choice in Spurs defence this week as he has the highest xGI of all the Spurs defenders and loves to get forward especially in games like these.
Chelsea (40%) may be finding their defensive groove as they kept their 3rd clean sheet of the season last weekend, running out 2-0 winners away to Fulham.
Only six goals conceded (3rd) whilst sitting fourth for xGC (7.46) may be somewhat deceptive as they have had a kind run of fixtures so far but with Burnley at home this week, Chelsea defenders look a decent hold for one more week.
Six goals in seven games, with a xG of 5.82 shows how Burnley have struggled to create at this level and may continue to struggle in a tough away game this weekend.
Crystal Palace (39%) are another one of the five teams on three clean sheets as they managed an impressive away win against Manchester United last week. Roy Hodgson has got Palace back to their old reliable defensive selves again.
Joint fourth for goals conceded (7) as well as third for shots on target conceded makes the Eagles a formidable defensive unit who this week hope to hold out Nottingham Forest looking better this season continue to have poor underlying attacking data away from home.
Joachim Andersen is the top scoring defender in FPL so far this season with two goals to his name. He gets the nod in our XI this week, On the bench for us this week is Matt Turner (£4.0m) who still looks the best sub keeper to own as well as Issa Kabore (£4.0m)
Odhrán Brennan is a data journalist for a sports data company, living in Finland. He’s been playing FPL since the 06/07 season and is a long-suffering fan of both Arsenal and the Republic of Ireland national team. You can follow him on Twitter here