This is our fix up look sharp series, which will look to profile a selection of Premier League teams for their FPL potential. We’ll give some key info on the players, talk about their first five fixtures and pick out key individuals from that side, then offer a verdict on them at the end.
In this article, Nick (matamatics) runs the rule over Spurs FPL chances for next season.
After two fantastic seasons in the Premier League, albeit without winning any silverware, fans will be hoping for more of the same this season with Tottenham mounting another title challenge. A number of challenges exist, however, for Spurs this season, including hanging onto their best players over the summer of speculation and adjusting to playing at Wembley. Here’s our rundown on the team’s fantasy prospects heading into 2017/18:
Tottenham were resolute in defence last season, conceding only 26 goals all season, which was an average of only 0.68 a game. They boasted the best attack as well, with 86 goals scored (1 more than Chelsea), an average of 2.26 a game. It was therefore no wonder that many an FPL manager was tripling up with Spurs assets, with the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Kyle Walker and later on in the season Ben Davies filling out our fantasy squads. As Tom correctly predicted in our future trends series in his article on the importance of choice, affording the likes of Kane (12.5), Eriksen (9.5) and Alli (9.5) all in one team is just untenable now as that will be a third of your budget spent on just three players!
With concern developing amongst the fans due to the lack of summer signing, FPL managers are understandably sceptical when it comes to spending too much of their tight budget on Spurs assets.
Player in focus: Harry Kane
A number of superlatives have been used to describe this player’s performances in the last few FPL season and they will continue to be used no doubt next season. Kane has consistently delivered in the Premiership, making those who accused him of being a ‘one season wonder’ or ‘two season wonder’ look foolish. He also ended the season on fire, delivering owners an incredible 48 points (96 for captainers) for the final two game weeks of FPL! This was thanks to a goal against Manchester United, a hattrick against Leicester and incredible four goals against Hull, cementing his position as the golden boot winner over (then) Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.
Still, the doubts remain, with many now highlighting the fact that Kane has never scored in August.
Let’s examine that for a second. So, his first season in Spurs’ senior squad in 2013/14 does not count because he wasn’t in the first team (FIFA didn’t even have his face scanned!), but he did in fact score in August in the Europa League!
He did struggle to hit the ground running for the last couple of seasons though, taking him until Gameweek four to find his shooting boots in the 16/17 season (though he did manage an assist in game week 2).
However, it is worth noting that he has had the summer off this year for the first time in two years, having played in the European Championships last summer and the U21s World Cup the summer before that, which seems a valuable piece of contextual information that the doubters ignore. That might prove the difference; a fully rested Kane might be a different proposition this time round, especially with him keen to impress in a World Cup year.
Given a hefty price tag of 12.5, he’s the most expensive player in the game this season, meaning many managers will be reluctant to shell out the cash for the dominant Spurs forward. However, despite only playing 30 games last season, Kane finished the season with 224 points, a return of 7.46 ppg unchallenged by any other player in the Premiership over that kind of period of time.
Just to highlight the ludicrous nature of Kane’s output, I’ve taken a look at, arguably, the most important stat of them all for strikers – shot accuracy – for Kane in the context of the highest scoring strikers in Europe last season using Squawka data. This further reinforces just how good Kane is:
As we said on the pod, Kane is making both Tom’s and my team, and I am definitely looking at him as a captain option as well for game week 1.
The first five fixtures
Spurs first five fixtures are a mixed bag, with kindly fixtures against Newcastle, Burnley and Swansea but also sandwiched by tricky matches against Chelsea and Everton.
FPL’s ticker counts the first few fixtures for Spurs like so:
But how good are they?
Well, let’s see, by using the Premier League’s own “head to head” meter to gauge United’s record against those each of these teams and see if that is truly the case. Any semi-predictions come with big caveats, as we have transfers and pre-season to shake things up, but here’s 2 or 3 lines on each with some general observations.
Newcastle (A): 44 games played in PL, 17w Spurs, 6d, 21w Newcastle
15/16 season: TOT 1-2 new, NEW 5-1 tot
Now, that final match is one that sticks in the craw of many a Spurs fan and Poch and the team will be seeking revenge. Expecting Spurs not to go easy and to issue Newcastle an uncomfortable welcome back into the top tier.
Chelsea (H): 50 games played in PL, 5w Spurs, 19d, 26w Chelsea
Last season: CHE 2-1 tot, TOT 2-0 che
A tricky second fixture for the Spurs, which is no doubt putting many people off from overloading on them. We know that Harry Kane isn’t afraid of Chelsea, however, with 4 goals and 2 assists in the 8 games he has faced them. Expect an exciting match that will give an early indication of Spurs’ chances in the league next season!
Burnley (H): 6 games played in PL, 4w Spurs, 1d, 1w Burnley
Last season: TOT 2-1 bur, BUR 0-2 tot
Kane famously blanked in this home fixture last season, but Spurs still beat Burnley both home and away. Expecting another win for the team here, though it might not be as easy as the 1 FPL have given it.
Everton (A): 50 games played in PL, 23w Spurs, 19d, 8w Everton
Last season: EVE 1-1 tot, TOT 3-2 eve
Like the fixture against Chelsea in game week two, the new look Everton will not be a pushover. They won’t be facing Lukaku this time, but keeping a clean sheet will be a challenge for the Spurs defensive assets with much hanging on how Koeman’s new-look side have started.
Swansea (H): 12 games played in PL, 10w Spurs, 2d, 0w Swanse
Last season TOT 5-0 swa, SWA 1-3 tot
Spurs love a game against Swansea, with 8 goals in 2 games against them last season, expect goals a plenty. Swansea have never beaten Spurs in the Prem. With West Ham, Huddersfield and Bournemouth then to follow, this may be time to double up in the Spurs offense.
The key players
The top targets
As well as the aforementioned Harry Kane, the main guys who will be infiltrating our teams throughout the season are as below:
Spurs’ no.10, Mr. Alli had an incredible campaign last season with 18 goals and 11 assists to achieve grand total of 225 points, the second highest point socre in the game last season. Avoiding the 10.0 price tag that many predicted, the 9.5 makes him a finely priced asset. Alli is likely to have another season of success as he continues to improve with age – by January of last season he had already been involved in more Premiership goals than Lampard, Gerrard and Beckham combined had managed before turning 21!
Also priced at 9.5, Eriksen or Alli is a big FPL question for many as to which Spurs midfielder to invest in. Like Alli, Eriksen also had a fantastic campaign last season with 8 goals and 20 assists and finishing the campaign with 218 points. Second only to Kevin de Bruyne (21) for assists last season, we at WGTA are obviously big fans! However, one thing we mentioned on the pod, is in a choice between Alli and Eriksen, we prefer Alli due to his higher ‘point ceiling’ as he is more of a goalscorer whilst Eriksen is more of an assist provider. Eriksen however does score higher on the FPL ‘ICT’ index due to his greater chance creation stats, this resulted in Eriksen outscoring Alli in terms of bonus points, with Eriksen receiving 30 bps compared to Alli’s 17.
Perhaps not the key man in defence as far as the club are concerned but the signing of Kyle Walker to Manchester City this summer for a record £50 million has meant many an FPL manager is casting their eye onto Trippier due to his kindly 5.5 price. As Tom mentioned in our 5-asides article, ownership of this cheap Spurs defensive asset already stands at 13.5%. Although he only played 568 minutes last season, he managed 5 assists as well as achieving 3 clean sheets, scoring 51 FPL points in total which is an impressive 8.1 points per 90 minutes played.
No signing for Spurs as of yet, but with stories in the press linking Spurs to Porto’s Ricardo Pereira is there a risk that Kieran Trippier’s minutes in the Premiership be limited? Spurs have also linked with a purchase of Everton’s Ross Barkley, but with Everton supposedly demanding £50 million and Barkley’s wage demands being £150,000 I can’t see Daniel Levy agreeing to this sort of valuation for the mercurial midfielder.
Although he only played more than 60 minutes in 22 of the 38 games last season, the South Korean winger still managed to score 14 goals and get 9 assists. His overall points total of 174 was higher than more poplar assets like Ozil, Coutinho and Mane, all who played more minutes than him! Priced generously at only 8.0, Son offers a cheaper route into the Spurs attack. He has an arm injury at present which means he is a doubt for the opening fixture, but come game week 5, we all may be clamouring to bring him in!
Last summer, Spurs spewed £30 million on Moussa Sissoko, beating Everton to the punch in regards to the purchase of the Newcastle attacking winger. Having impressed for France in the European Championships, many had high hopes for the winger, under the belief that his performances for Newcastle, which hadn’t been particularly impressive, were just a blip. However, Sissoko was a non-entity for Spurs last season, achieving his worst ever FPL campaign with 0 goals and 3 assists. With the likes of Erik Lamela returning to fitness and Heung-min Son continuing to impress, Sissoko’s minutes are likely to be further numbered next season and will possibly be out of the door shortly, having been left out from the US tour, with Pochettino showing in the past that he is has no patience for passengers within the Spurs squad.
There are concerns amongst Spurs fans that there will be a regression back to the norm next year. With the Manchester clubs strengthening again this summer, and with the added challenge of playing at Wembley where performances last year were abject, we will have to wait and see whether they can carry on the momentum that has been building within the club for the past couple of seasons.
Much depends on key personnel remaining fit. An injury to a key central defender like Toby Alderweireld or the likes of Kane could be a test, as there really isn’t much depth within the squad with Kevin Wimmer and Vincent Janssen not providing adequate back up. We may see Spurs strengthen in these positions but with Daniel Levy closely monitoring the purse strings as Tottenham seek to continue to pay off their debts as part of the new stadium build, we’re not expecting to see much investment this summer.
For FPL managers, though Spurs assets have once again seen price hikes, with their fantastic performances last season owning at least one Spurs asset at the beginning of this season appears essential, but few will doubling up in the attack until at least Gameweek 5.