Form Analysis: Liverpool vs City

With such fine margins at the top of FPL how do City and Liverpool's form compare?

In yesterday’s article looking all team’s fixture outlook we saw that Manchester City and Liverpool were neck and neck at the top of our expected goals table. In this article we’ll try and take a closer look at the goal scoring form of both teams.

The charts below show the current goal threat of each as determined using our Expected Goals model. The bars are per fixture, the line is a 3 week rolling average.

As you can see both teams have been excellent this season after a relatively slow start for them both. Man City clicked into top gear first, around GW8-10, with handsome wins over Everton and West Ham before annihilating the likes of Norwich and Spurs. Liverpool took a while longer to get going, not really excelling ‘til Luis Suarez returned from his ban in GW6. From here they really kicked on with Suarez and Sturridge both in great form. Despite Sturridge’s injury from GW13, Suarez’s incredible midseason rampage saw them hit new heights, but this couldn’t last forever. Only when Sturridge returned in GW20 with a superhero costume of his own did the Liverpool goal machine flourish once more.

Are City in bad shape right now? Their 3 week average is close to their lowest all season and recent performances don’t look great, a home defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup looks shocking. Liverpool’s own slump from GW18-20 can at least be explained away by fixtures against City and Chelsea. City’s last three include Stoke and Norwich which is not so excusable. A lot will be made of Aguero’s return. We’ve marked City’s average goal threat with Aguero in the team with the blue dots on the chart. Since his absence in GW19 there’s not been as significant a dent as you might first suspect although they have been much less consistent and perhaps lack that spark he brings against a determined opponent. Aguero's withdrawal against Barcelona last night with another muscular injury has to be a concern for City, not just the player, but the team's prospects as a whole.

We’d be mad to suggest City are not going to bounce back. but there are fine margins in fantasy football. Backing both teams for your squad would be our advice of course, but at some point along the line you may be forced to make a choice between the two. If we could only afford one from Suarez and Aguero for example (fitness permitting), or between Gerrard and Silva, we’d probably err on the side of the Liverpool option right now.

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