Another Double Gameweek for Everton but have we learnt our lesson? Plus some Liverpool numbers


It’s official, both Everton and Liverpool have a Double Gameweek in Gameweek 28.

Everton face off against Spurs and Liverpool while Liverpool play Sunderland and Everton.

Last time out

An Everton Double Gameweek? That sounds eerily familiar doesn’t it? That’s because in Gameweek 20, Everton previously had one and saying it ended in flames is a complete understatement!

The fixtures back then were against Spurs and struggling Bolton. Many fantasy owners doubled or in many cases tripled, such as myself (guilty as charged), on Everton players thinking that they would walk over Bolton and possibly put up a fight against Spurs.

A surprise Bolton win and an easy Spurs win realised our worst nightmares. The top scorer out of both games being a goal scoring Tim Howard with 8 points… enough said!

This time out, they face Tottenham (again) and Liverpool. Tough games for Everton. Surely we’ve learnt our lesson and should avoid their players all together?

It’s a case of “Been there, done that, never going through that again!”

Then again, maybe not as we find out later in the article!

Liverpool

The team with the better fixtures of the two – in Sunderland and Everton, many fantasy managers are much more likely to invest in Liverpool players than Everton.

However with Sunderland in impressive form despite a shocking loss to West Brom and Everton hardly being pushovers, it’s not the most appealing investment.

Let’s take a look at the previous 4 meetings between Liverpool and Everton in the league:

Everton 0-2 Liverpool
Liverpool 2-2 Everton
Everton 2-0 Liverpool
Liverpool 1-0 Everton

Not the most exciting of scorelines and definitely proving that Everton are far from being pushovers.

Having said that, Liverpool ended their 6 year drought for silverware when they beat Cardiff in a dramatic Carling Cup Final last week. Confidence will be high as Liverpool push for a Champions League spot.

Statistical Analysis – Key Liverpool players to consider

Defenders

Since Everton vs Liverpool games are not the most high scoring affairs and Liverpool are hardly firing in goals, perhaps a Liverpool defender is the way to go? Added to the fact that only Manchester City (19) has conceded fewer goals than Liverpool (25).

Martin Srktel – £6.2m

Has an attacking threat. Goes up for corners and set pieces. Doesn’t come cheap though. With goals in his last two games (both Carling Cup matches) the man is definitely in form.

Liverpool has scored a total of 30 goals in the league this season. The good news is that 10 out of those 30 goals have been scored from set pieces. The bad news is that Everton have conceded the lowest number of goals from set pieces (4 in total).

Stat Attack: Skrtel has a total of two goals in the league, the highest of any Liverpool defender. Potential for more goals?

Jose Enrique – £5.8m

Attacking potential. Mid-priced option. Racked up 2 assists so far.

Stat Attack: Enrique has delivered a total of 100 crosses with 27 of them being accurate. This is easily the highest for any Liverpool defender in the league, underlining his assist potential.

Glen Johnson – £6.8m

Again provides an attacking threat and has an eye for goal. Despite just the one goal Johnson has hit the woodwork several times.

In his last 4 games in all competitions (Cardiff, Brighton, Man United, Spurs) Johnson made an impressive 8 shots, however only 3 of them were on target. Worth a punt at 6.8? Possibly.

Stat attack: Johnson has the highest ‘shots per game’ than any other Liverpool defender in the Premier League at 1.1 (20 shots overall in the league).

Also consider Jamie Carragher – £5.7m

Cheapest of the lot. With Agger injured for up to a month, Carragher will be his likely replacement.

Now I do think that defenders are the way to go in this Double Gameweek but are we in for some late frustration? Worrying stats here: Liverpool has conceded a total of 15 goals (out of 25) in the last 30 minutes of a match.

On top of that Everton has the league’s highest % of second half goals scored (73%).

Sunderland also has a high percentage of 2nd half goals scored (59%). Slightly worrying for those clean sheet chances.

Midfielders and Forwards

Not exactly impressing on this side with only 30 goals scored (13th highest) and that’s on a par with the likes of Villa and Bolton. If you fancy a punt though you could consider the following.

Steven Gerrard – £9.9m

At 9.9 you’re going to have to splash the cash for Stevie G. Gerrard has only completed 90 minutes on 6 occasions so far for Liverpool. Out of those six Liverpool have won none, drawn 4 and lost 2.

However the potential is definitely there and you can never count him out. He could be a key differential. He’s also on penalties and most set pieces.

Whether he’s a rotation or an injury threat is another question though. Probably the only Liverpool midfielder worth buying, perhaps Adam being another option?

Stat attack: Since his return from injury Gerrard has only surpassed 3 points on one occasion when he racked up 8 points at home to Newcastle. Is he due a big haul?

Charlie Adam – £8.5m

An alternative to Gerrard, Adam has racked up 2 assists in his last 4 league games. Is he finally showing some consistency? Maybe… his passing accuracy has improved recently and he’s being far more creative (check out the stat attack).

If Gerrard is injured or not playing, Adam takes over the set pieces – which may include penalties after Kuyt’s miss against Arsenal.

Stat Attack: In his recent games against Wolves, Tottenham and Man United, Adam has created a total of 12 chances – the same amount of chances he made in his last 11 (you heard me right, 11!) league games prior to Wolves. Sign of things to come?

Luis Suarez – £9.2m

Back from suspension, Suarez is another option having scored 2 goals and an assist in his last 4 games in all competitions.

However his early season form suggests he is far from reliable and has one of the lowest conversion rates in the Premier League – at about 7%.

Some good news for potential Suarez buyers is that he has played a total of 2 games against Sunderland and scored a goal in each one.

Stat attack: Despite his suspension of 8 games Suarez has a mammoth total of 89 shots in the league with a ‘shots per game’ ratio of 4.3 (only van Persie and Rooney are higher) but his conversion rate is a worry.

Craig Bellamy – £7.2m

An Injury and a rotation threat but when started, Bellamy has been very consistent. In the last four times that Bellamy has started a match in the league, he has gone on to score 13, 8, 7 and 2 respectively. Worth a punt? Perhaps.

Stat attack: Bellamy has a 19% conversion rate, the highest out of all the Liverpool players.

Another interesting fact for you to consider, despite scoring just 30 goals Liverpool have had on average a massive 18 shots per game! That’s higher than Manchester United and only 2nd to the likes of Man City and Spurs.

Liverpool’s fixtures dramatically improve from Gameweek 30 so you might want to think about getting Liverpool players for not only the Double Gameweek – but for the long term fixtures as well!

Rotation Threat?

It is also worth noting that both Everton and Liverpool only have 3 days in-between their two fixtures so that could mean plenty of rotation and more misery for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers. This is why I personally think that going with a defender is the way to go.

What if you had a hard fall and immediately fell in love with Tim Howard’s shiny bold head?

That must have been a seriously (seriously!) hard fall!

Well having won 4 out of their last 6 games in all competitions, Everton are finally finding some form and consistency. Are they worth it though? After their previous failing… probably not!

Last time out we had our January wildcards to fix our mess but this time out only a lucky few who have saved their wildcards will have that opportunity.

For what it’s worth, the only Everton players I’d even remotely consider are: Drenthe, Howard and Baines.

Please do note that stats only show one part of the picture but I hope I’ve given you a good insight into potential buys for the Double Gameweek. Thoughts and comments appreciated!