Fantasy Premier League

Why Salah's improving creativity can make him a Fantasy must-have

17 Sep 2023
Salah lead graphic

Liverpool star's minutes per xGI is his best in first five Gameweeks of any season since 2017/18

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Mohamed Salah’s (£12.5m) improved creativity has proven vital to his flawless start to 2023/24 Fantasy Premier League.

His two assists in Liverpool’s 3-1 comeback victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers means Salah is the only player to both start and produce returns in each of the first five Gameweeks.

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The Egyptian now sits in fourth place in the overall player standings, earning 33 points thanks to two goals and four assists.

By comparing the Expected Goal Involvement (xGI) statistics over the same period in each of Salah’s seven seasons at Liverpool, it’s clear why he has enjoyed such a strong start to 2023/24.

Salah's first five GWs of each Liverpool season
Season Mins/xGI xGI xG xA
17/18 88.50 3.90 3.25 0.65
18/19 98.8 4.32 3.38 0.94
19/20 100 4.38 3.11 1.27
20/21 91.30 4.93 3.23 1.70
21/22 99.80 4.51 3.26 1.25
22/23 122.60 3.67 2.37 1.30
23/24 89.20 4.81 2.73 2.08

His 89.2 minutes per xGI this season is his best since the opening five Gameweeks of his debut campaign in 2017/18, when he record 88.5 minutes per xGI.

In addition, Salah's xGI score of 4.81 is his second-best start to a season.

The Expected Goals (xG) and Expected Assists (xA) highlight Salah’s changing role under Jurgen Klopp.

Although his xG of 2.73 is his second-lowest in the first five Gameweeks of any of his seasons at Liverpool, his xA of 2.08 is his best-ever score. 

Salah's second assist v Wolves

Salah’s weekend display continues a remarkable run of consistency that coincides with a change of formation by Klopp in Gameweek 30 last season. 

The winger has blanked only once in 15 appearances during that period and has amassed 111 points, just behind the 114 of Erling Haaland (£14.1m).

Further analysis shows why Salah’s all-round potential has been lifted by the Reds’ tactical switch.

Salah's big chances and big chances created since last season
  22/23, GW1-29 22/23, GW30-38 23/24, GW1-5 Since GW30, 22/23
Big chances 21 13 4 17
Mins/big chance 114.80 67.80 107.50 77.10
Big chances created 10 5 6 11
Mins/big chance created 241 176.20 71.70 119.20

He recorded 21 big chances and created 10 big chances in the first 29 Gameweeks of last season.

Since then, his averages for both statistics have significantly quickened.

Salah’s minutes per big chance have dropped from 114.8 to 77.1, while his minutes per big chance created has more than halved, from 241 to 119.2.

Granted, he has yet to rediscover the goal threat shown towards the end of last season, when he averaged a big chance every 67.8 minutes in his final 10 outings.

Yet Salah’s big jump in creative potential has more than atoned, taking him to only two points off the top of the midfield standings.

Kind fixtures add to appeal

Liverpool’s upcoming schedule only adds to the Egyptian’s appeal.

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), four of their next six matches score only two.

Liverpool's next six matches
GW Opponent FDR GW Opponent FDR
6 West Ham (H) 2 9 Everton (H) 2
7 Spurs (A) 3 10 Nott'm Forest (H) 2
8 Brighton (A) 3 11 Luton (A) 2

Although he’s unlikely to persuade many to move the captaincy off Haaland, Salah improved potential will make him a key figure in Fantasy for many Gameweeks to come.

View all the latest FPL tips ahead of Gameweek 6 in Fantasy Premier League

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