Is there an optimal Goalkeeper Rotation Strategy strong enough to be implemented?
Let’s dive in!
The following teams are ranked as per FFS Football Scout’s Fixture Difficulty Rating tool for GW31 to 38:
Let’s talk a look at team stats – season, home & away – for Expected Goals Conceded.
Key Takeaways from the table:
~ Leicester is plain bad
~ Arsenal is good
~ Southampton is rock solid at the back at St. Mary’s (albeit in their last 2 games)
Easy to say we have our 1st GK in Aaron Ramsdale (5.1m)
Search continues for the 2nd one…
Let’s see how the fixtures fall for the other GKs on the list?
The table is sorted by the # of games left till the end of the season.
(Coloured cells are the possible DGWs yet to be announced )
Key takeaways from the table:
~ Everton have the toughest fixtures among all
~ Burnley with 6 home games out of the 11 remaining
~ Burnley with games vs EVERTON / norwich /watford /NEWCASTLE to come
~ Tough away games for Arsenal vs palace / Southampton / chelsea / west ham / tottenham
Applying the season defensive stats for the goal-keepers on the list and the attacking prowess of their opposition, this is my reading on the clean sheet potential
White cell signifies a clean sheet in a single game week
Green cell signifies a clean sheet in a double game week
~ Arsenal with 5 clean sheets
~ Burnley with 4 clean sheets
~ Man United & Southampton to keep 3 clean sheets
Arsenal’s toughest phase in fixtures falls during GW33 to GW35. They have 3 away games and a home game.
Their away games against Southampton, Chelsea & West Ham are tough – especially the London derbies. I expect a solitary clean sheet from these 4 as the opposition’s xG is equally strong at their respective homes.
In order to look deeply into ARS’ 33-35 dilemma, let’s look at other teams’ games during the same phase.
(Problem Ares is highlighted in orange)
~ BUR to play 4 games: 2x home & 2x (away)
~ MUN to play 4 games: 2x home & 2x away
~ SOU to play 4 games (2x home & 2x away)
~ LEI to play 4 games (1x home & 3x away)
With Leicester’s involvement in Europa Conference League (they play PSV Eindhoven in Quarter Finals), there is a high chance Brendon Rodgers will give the tournament more priority than the Premier League. Yes, they finally have their main defenders returning from long injury lay-offs, I feel with the high number of games left in the Premier League, we will witness a lot of rotation at the back.
Let’s look at some metrics for the goalkeepers from Burnley, Manchester United and Southampton.
Total number of home games:
Pope – Southampton & Wolves
DDG – Norwich & Brentford
Forster – Arsenal & Crystal Palace
Total number of away games:
Pope – West Ham, Aston Villa & Watford
DDG – Liverpool & Arsenal
Forster – Burnley & Brighton
Shots on Target Conceded (Rank)
Manchester United – 16th
Southampton – 13th
Saves per 90
Pope – 3
DDG – 3.58
Forster – 3.25
So, what are the conclusions?
With Manchester United’s penchant to concede a high number of SoT coupled with 2 easy home games, DDG at 5.1 looks to be the most suitable partner to Ramsdale
With one of the lowest GK prices (4.4), a home game vs Palace, and 2 away games against teams with home xG rank of 13th (Brighton) and 18th (Burnley), Forster is 2nd best. Yes, they have seen numbers dip defensively in the last 3 games, I feel with no other competition to concentrate on, Ralph and his men will still like to finish in the Top 10.
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If you didn’t like it, do share feedback on how we can make the rotation argument stronger!
Talk to you guys next week!
Here is it in thread format which I published a few hours back.
Feel free to drop in your suggestions about anything to do with FPL. Always up for a chat!