Managers in Fantasy Premier League are rushing to bring Raheem Sterling (£7.1m) and James Maddison (£7.6m) into their midfields for Gameweek 4.
Most-bought players in GW4
Some 345,000 managers have turned to Sterling ahead of a very kind run of opponents.
According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), four of Chelsea's next five matches score only two.
Chelsea’s next five matches
Spurs' next two matches
The duo’s displays handily come at a point where managers in Fantasy are starting to reassess their options in midfield.
Although Sterling has a slight advantage by 23 points to the 22 of Maddison, the underlying statistics tell a different story.
Sterling v Maddison, first three GWs
|23/24||Sterling||Chelsea rank||Maddison||Spurs rank|
|Touches in box||35||1||14||4|
|Shots in box||6||2||7||=1|
Maddison has recorded an expected goal involvement (xGI) score of 2.88, more than double Sterling’s 1.38.
He also surpasses Sterling for shots, shots in the box and chances created.
When assessed against their respective team-mates, the Spurs star dominates further.
Maddison’s eight shots and nine chances created both rank top for Ange Postecoglou’s side, while his seven shots in the box are joint-first with Pape Matar Sarr (£4.5m).
Sterling’s six shots, six shots in the box and four chances created, meanwhile, all rank among Chelsea’s top three players.
His most noticeable statistic is 35 touches in the box, which was a league-high after Saturday’s matches.
Assessed against their displays in the previous campaign, it’s clear that both Maddison and Sterling are boasting a greater threat inside the opposition penalty area.
Although Maddison’s shots and minutes per shot are near-identical to his 2022/23 season at Leicester City, his shots in the box per match have climbed from 1.3 to 2.3.
Maddison 2023/24 vs 2022/23
|Touches in box||4.7||3.6|
|Shots in box||2.3||1.3|
It’s a similar story for Sterling across those same three statistics, with his shots in the box up from 1.2 to 2.0.
Sterling 2023/24 vs 2022/23
|Touches in box||11.7||4.6|
|Shots in box||2.0||1.2|
When it comes to creativity, though, Maddison has the clear upper hand.
His 28 minutes per key pass is quicker than his average of 36 minutes from last season and is more than twice as fast as Sterling’s 65 minutes for Chelsea this term.
Overall, then, Maddison looks the standout pick of the two.
Handed more freedom to attack under Postecoglou, he has immediately established himself as a central figure for Spurs in the first season of the post-Harry Kane era.
His potential for both goals and assists looks to have improved from last term, suggesting he can return to the form of 2021/22, where he recorded his career-high 181 points.
Although Sterling is overshadowed in the analysis, his improved goal threat in the box under new head coach Mauricio Pochettino offers plenty of encouragement for Chelsea's favourable schedule.
Also in this series
Part 2: FPL Lessons: Why five-man midfields are the way to go for managers
Part 3: Whose FPL prospects have improved after Gameweek 3?
Part 4: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 4 Ones to watch
Part 5: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 4 Differentials
Part 6: FPL experts: Keep or sell Arsenal and Man Utd midfielders?
Part 7: FPL long view: Time to consider Newcastle in Gameweek 5?
Part 8: Scout Selection: Best FPL team for Gameweek 4
Part 9: Best alternatives to Haaland as FPL captain in Gameweek 4