fantasy premier league focus – Anthony Martial


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Anthony Martial is a big topic over the International Break so here’s an article which looks at his current performance and an analysis of what I think we can expect from him over the coming games and how that compares to similar price players.

fantasy premier league focus – Anthony Martial

There’s a summary at the end if you don’t want to go through all the rigmarole of getting to the end.

Current performance

Martial has been with Man Utd for 4 seasons now so there is a decent amount of data to look at.

Here’s some basic data on his previous 4 seasons.  Using it as a base isn’t ideal due to different managers but it’s better than just the 1 season.



fantasy premier league focus

So we can see his points per 90 minutes is above anything he’s done before.  He has shown year on year improvement and the improvement to this season isn’t inconsistent with the improvement to last season but it’s still a big stretch.

So here’s some other PP90’s:

Salah 6.6, Hazard 9.4, Sterling 8.3, Sane 9.0, Mane 6.3.  So to believe his current level of performance you have to think he’s among and above some of the top performing FPL midfielders.  Something which is a bit of a stretch at this point in time given their histories.  However if you were looking to support his current level of performance you would point to last season when he was very effective when on the pitch.

The underlying stats

So lets look behind the numbers.  Remember FPL looks at assists differently than how “real football” does so the assist numbers won’t be consistent.

fantasy premier league focus

So I’m going to focus mainly on his goal scoring underlying stats.  You will see in my GW13 underlying stats article that in taking his underlying stats and extrapolating them to raw attacking points with an adjustment for average minutes played he was ranked a very lowly 19th.

So starting with his xG90/xA90 it’s behind his 17/18 level but isn’t hugely inconsistent with the 3 years prior to this season average of xG 0.26 and xA 0.24

The % column refers to his over performance of his xG.  The 3 seasons prior to this season he was over performing his xG by 42% on average.  This season he’s over performing it by 145%.  This season’s over performance is not going to be sustainable I would suggest.

In my mind he’s unquestionably a good finisher and I think you can justify an over performance of his underlying stats at the previous 3 seasons level of 42%.

However he is working from a fairly low xG90/xA90 base and that’s mirrored in quite low shot volumes as well.

So what can we expect this season’s level to be?

For me it’s difficult to look at his PP90 when it has risen so drastically year on year and try and say what this seasons would be purely from that data.

As the previous 3 seasons xG/xA aren’t that inconsistent with his current level I think we can use that as a base for future performance and apply that as a way of predicting his future point per 90 this season.

I’m going to analyse the stats as starting from scratch now.

So an xG per 90 of 0.26 with a 42% over performance would give attacking points of (0.26 x 5 points x 38 games x 1.42% over performance) = 69 points

an xA per 90 of 0.24 with no over performance would give attacking points of (0.24 x 3 points x 38 games)  = 27 points

Then we have to make some assumptions on bonus.

From 5779 previous minutes he’s earned 37 bonus points so in 38 games at 90 minutes that would translate to 21 bonus points which seems a reasonable way to do it.

Appearance points 76 plus clean sheet points of say 10 given United’s current defensive issues less yellow cards points of 4.

Total points assuming he played 38 games at 90 minutes = 69 +27 +21 + 76 +10 -4 = 199 points.

That equals a PP90 of 5.2

If you adjust it crudely for average minutes played in the last 4 games of 88 minutes that reduces it to 5.1 per game

So how does that compare to other similar priced midfielders?

Here’s other midfielders in the price range adjusted for minutes played based on the last 4 games:

David Silva £8.6m – PP90 of 6.2, minutes adjusted to 5.6

Richarlison £6.9m – PP90 of 6.4, minutes adjusted to 6.4

Sigurdsson £7.5m – PP90 of 5.5, minutes adjusted to 5.3

Fraser £6.2m – PP90 of 6.2,  minutes adjusted to 5.6

Pereyra £6.4m – PP90 of 5.1, minutes adjusted to 4.6

Bernardo Silva £7.5m – PP90 of 5.3, minutes adjusted to 4.8

So he doesn’t look a particularly great option on this basis.

Why I think this is a negative interpretation.

So I started this by saying that I thought to try and predict a PP90 based on previous years was difficult as they were so different which I think is right.

However to analyse it using the previous 3 seasons ending with a PP90 of 5.2 downplays the improvement of last season and improvement of this season and it’s difficult to believe that he will perform at a PP90 from now on less than the last 3 seasons 8.4, 7.2 and 5.5.

Also it looks at it over a whole season.  It ignores that what we’re doing is looking at Martial as a transfer decision now.   The fixtures are very good so you could make an assumption that he will perform better than his overall season average.  The fixtures are certainly better than the Everton and Bournemouth fixtures that I compared to above.

Here’s Man Utd’s next 9.

Crystal Palace (H)
Southampton (A)
Arsenal (H)
Fulham (H)
Liverpool (A)
Cardiff (A)
Huddersfield (H)
Bournemouth (H)
Newcastle (A)

The FFGeek view

Personally given the fixtures above and his last season performances I think he’s a decent transfer option.  I don’t think he will continue performing at the same levels.  I mean 6 goals and an assist in his last 5 games underpins everything and that’s not going to be sustainable.

However over the next 9 I think he will prove good value compared to others given the fixtures

Remember though he is an injury monitor so that needs to be clarified.

Summary





First remember he’s an injury doubt for GW13 so that needs monitoring.

Martial is currently performing this season at a PP90 of 8.4 which puts him up there with the elite FPL midfielders of Sterling and Hazard and above Salah.  It’s difficult to believe he’s at that level. He’s also out performing his underlying shooting stats by an unsustainable level of 145% compared to an historic over performance of 42%.

Martial has been in the PL with Man Utd for 4 years but it’s still difficult to predict his PP90 based solely on that stat given that it’s risen every year and is now at a level that is hard to think is sustainable.  What is his rest of the season PP90 is a difficult question with that information.

However his previous 3 years underlying stats are somewhat consistent with his current underlying stats which makes it easier to model his rest of the season stats.  That ends up with a PP90 of 5.2.  Minutes adjusted that ends up at 5.1. It ignores what has happened previously.

That’s worse than similar and lower priced options of Richarlison, Sigurdsson and Fraser.

However I believe that analysis is to negative for the following reasons:

It’s hard to believe he will perform at a lesser rate than his last 3 years PP90 of 8.4, 7.2 and 5.5.  It also ignores the great improvement not only in returns but of last seasons underlying stats which were excellent and how he has recently improved them from a very low base earlier in the season .

It also ignores the excellent fixtures he has coming up.  Especially compared to Everton and Bournemouth which were the comparisons.

Personally I think he’s a good option.

Please give me your comments

I hope I’ve looked at this in a logical manner and there’s no maths howlers but please if you have anything to add in a constructive manner please do so in the comments below.  I hope you found it helpful if you’re thinking of him as a transfer option.

See also last season’s 29k finisher and the season before 27k OR Costas Chari’s wildcard article.  Plus the most popular transfers in our bandwagons and sinking ships article, also Andrew Ferguson’s teams. Andrew finished 715 OR last season.

Plus our fixture ease article,  early thoughts on the FFGeek team and the 10 top FPL managers article

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11 thoughts on “fantasy premier league focus – Anthony Martial”

    • Hi Brooky. I think Martial took the penalty in Pogba’s absence on the pitch. It’s probably safe to say he is second in line ahead of Lukaku though.

  1. Hi Geek,

    Great article and thoroughly researched I must say. The extrapolated/projected PPM for the season looks reasonable to me. My only concern with Martial as a transfer target is the imminent return of Sanchez at some point during the busy festive season. Unless there’s definitive news on Sanchez being sold in Jan, I will always be hesitant to bring Martial in, with already a few in our teams from Big 6 who might face rotation. Around this time I would feel safer to invest in someone like Felipe Anderson for that period with great fixtures and no threat for his position whatsoever (based on what I have seen).
    But thanks again for sharing your thoughts. It definitely adds clarity to the situation. Cheers!

    • Hi Max,

      I think Martial will be difficult to displace on the LW position given his form but as you say Sanchez’s main position in recent seasons has been LW so he is direct competition. Sanchez did play 100 of his 141 games for Braca as a right winger so I would have thought he could play there or if Mourinho trusted Pogba enough in a 4-2-3-1 Sanchez could play as the CAM. However you are right it does add an element of risk to him.

      On the subject of Felipe Anderson he is someone I like it’s just whether I would choose him over or as well as Arnautovic as even with the good fixtures it’s a bis g step. Thanks for the comments and good luck

  2. Martial is a bit of a punt. I would say he is a bigger risk factor that some of the elite midfielders and his own price range.
    1. Maurinho will chop and change if they lose a game
    2. Tactics and style of play means that he is less likely to haul meaning lower averaging out of 2 point games

  3. I’m yet to be convinced by Martial. His shooting frequency is a bit low for me to justify his sustainability. I don’t know why this strikes me as a flash in the pan and the worst thing anyone could do now is bring him in when the flash is already gone. I could also be totally wrong. Midfield is a key area and I’d rather be looking at sure bets. I’d look at David Silva before Martial.

    • I do agree that ideally you’d like a midfielder to have a shooting volume higher than Martials. It’s not even as if he’s a tap in merchant like Sterling either. You are going in looking for a serious over performance of his underlying stats albeit he has shown he can consistently do that.

      However the fixtures, his price and baseline form for me make him a gamble worth doing. I agree re David Silva although he is more expensive. I have enough stress with Aguero and a defender over the City team sheet and I sometimes think that 3 City players is adding to that necessarily. cheers

  4. In my opinion I always felt Martial was the real deal. He is still very young and entitled to be improving. He was bought as a striker and I think Mourinho should bite the bullet and put him up there. He is a clinical finisher and doesn’t go missing in the big games.. unlike a certain Lukaku. I think Martial’s returns will continue, albeit probably not at the rate his current form suggests, but somewhere not a million miles away.

  5. The main issue I am trying to get over is his run of form has come while Lukaku and/or Sanchez have not been healthy. Will he be locked in when they both are back? Rashford, Lingard, Mata and those two are a lot to rotate with when there are other great options in mid to pick for FPL. Especially if the transfer to bring him in is right before the busy holiday time AND he has a potential injury. This sort of seems similar to the Ross Barkley frenzy three weeks ago. I do like him a lot though!

  6. I’m a big fan of Tony I think his a very talented footballer, but his only on the watch list for me as I just can’t get excited about Maureen managed players, I would much prefer a Man City (lottery), Everton, Bournemouth or even a Wolves player who are hungry to score goals over MU players, While I recognise he has great fixtures and a decent price I won’t be bringing him in unless there is a change of management or direction at MU….or everyone in my ML gets him and he keeps banging in the goals then I will be on him quick smart….lol

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