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Mourinho tactics can help Doherty thrive in FPL

The Scout 30 Aug 2020
Matt Doherty

The Scout on why Spurs’ new right-back should still be a major target for Fantasy managers in 2020/21

Jose Mourinho's tactics can help Matt Doherty (£6.0m) remain a prominent figure in Fantasy Premier League this season.

Tottenham Hotspur’s new signing has been among the most attacking defenders in FPL over the last two campaigns.

Playing as a right wing-back for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Doherty produced four goals, seven FPL assists and 144 points in 2018/19.

He then finished as the fourth top-scoring defender last term. The 28-year-old combined four goals and eight assists with 12 clean sheets, totalling 167 points.

Doherty is now likely to play in a back four for Spurs.

But, crucially, Mourinho looked to push Serge Aurier (£5.5m) high up the pitch from right-back when Spurs were attacking last term.

Indeed, the Ivorian was the top-ranked Spurs player for a number of statistics. 

Aurier under Mourinho 2019/20
Statistic Total Spurs rank
Touches in final third 527 1
Passes received in final third 350 1
Successful passes in final third 218 1
Crosses 105 1
Chances created 24 4
Shots 8 =10

In the final third, Aurier had more touches, received more passes and completed more passes than any team-mate after Mourinho was appointed head coach in Gameweek 13.

The Ivorian's total of 105 crosses was also a team-leading total and placed fifth among all defenders in FPL.

A comparison between Aurier and Doherty from Gameweek 13 onwards last term shows how the Irishman interprets the role differently.

Aurier v Doherty
GW13-38 Aurier Doherty
Touches in final third 527 514
Succ. passes in final third 218 215
Crosses 105 34
Chances created 24 17
Shots 8 24
Shots in box 6 22

In the final third, the pair were almost identical for touches and successful passes.

But, rather than staying out wide and providing crosses from the flank, Doherty will offer a significant goal threat.

He had three times as many shots as Aurier, and produced 22 shots inside the box compared to the Ivorian’s six.

Spurs’ kind opening schedule gives Doherty an immediate opportunity to make his mark at Spurs.

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), six of the north Londoners' first eight matches score only two.

That suggests Doherty can retain his status as a vital source of points at both ends of the pitch in 2020/21 FPL.

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