Fantasy Premier League

FPL season lessons: Attacking stars thrive under new bosses

By The Scout 30 May 2024
Solanke, Son

The Scout highlights the clubs whose Expected Goals totals improved the most in 2023/24

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The Scout continues to highlight the standout statistics, trends and lessons from 2023/24 Fantasy Premier League.

AFC Bournemouth

Dominic Solanke’s displays in 2023/24 show why a change of head coach can transform the fortunes of a club’s key players in Fantasy.

Bournemouth recorded a lowly 39.46 Expected Goals (xG) in the 2022/23 campaign, the third-worst total in the league. But the appointment of Andoni Iraola last summer resulted in a significant upturn in their attacking potential. 

The Cherries' xG total has jumped to 56.59 this season, with their improvement of 17.23 ranking third-best in the league season-on-season. 

Best xG improvement from 22/23 to 23/24
Club 2022/23 2023/24 +/-
Chelsea 50.1 75.3 +25.2
Liverpool  70.8 89.4 +18.6
Bournemouth 39.5 56.7 +17.2
Aston Villa 49.5 64.7 +15.2
Spurs 57.7 68.9 +11.2
Nott'm Forest 39.7 50.4 +10.7
Wolves 37.6 47.6 +10.0
Crystal Palace 39.9 49.1  +9.21
Everton 45.8 54.9 +9.1
Arsenal 72.1 77.4 +5.3
Fulham 47.0 51.6 +4.6
Newcastle 73.4 77.3 +3.9
West Ham 50.7 52.9 +2.2
Brentford 57.7 59.8 +2.1
Man City 80.4 81.9 +1.5
Man Utd 68.7 56.9 -11.8
Brighton 74.4 58.0 -16.4

The underlying numbers help explain Solanke’s marked improvement.

The forward had only nine big chances in 2022/23 and, with an xG of just 9.20, he converted a mere 7.9 per cent of his shots. 

But Iraola’s tactics have ensured Solanke has been supplied with a steady stream of gilt-edged scoring opportunities this season.

The 26-year-old has had 28 big chances and an xG of 19.6 in 2023/24, and as a result he has scored with 17.9 per cent of his attempts. 

Solanke's 19 goals and three assists have helped him finish in third place in the forward standings in Fantasy on 175 points, smashing his previous career-high by 45 points. 

Solanke's goal threat, last two seasons
Season Big chances xG Goals Goal conversion
2022/23 9 9.2 6 7.9%
2023/24 28 19.6 19 17.4%

Similarly to Iraola at Bournemouth, the arrival of Ange Postecoglou has helped to boost Spurs’ goal threat, despite the loss of their top scorer Harry Kane to Bayern Munich last summer.

Spurs had an xG of 57.74 in Antonio Conte’s final campaign at the helm, but this has risen to 68.95 under Postecoglou in 2023/24.

Their improvement of 11.21 is the fifth-best in the league and has helped Son Heung-min get back to something approaching his best.

Son's all-round style of play has resulted in 17 goals, 10 assists and 213 points. That is 61 points more than he recorded in 2022/23, when he managed only 10 goals, six assists and 152 points.

The South Korean has been involved in 43 per cent of Spurs’ goals under Postecoglou, compared with a mere 28 per cent for Conte in 2022/23.

Again, the underlying statistics show why he was such a big success.

Son’s big chances has risen from 14 to 19, while his big chances created have more than doubled from eight to 20.

Son's attacking threat, last two seasons
Season Big chances Big chances created Goals and assists Goal involvement
2022/23 14 8 16 28%
2023/24 19 20 27 43%

The assessment above of every club’s xG totals over the last two seasons shows that eight of the nine most-improved in 2023/24 have been down to a change of head coach or manager.

Along with Bournemouth and Spurs, both Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers started 2023/24 under new management.

Aston Villa and Everton have enjoyed big success in their first full seasons under Unai Emery and Sean Dyche respectively - Ollie Watkins is the top-scoring forward in 2023/24 Fantasy and Jordan Pickford is the top-scoring goalkeeper.

Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest changed their managers midway through the campaign and could improve further in 2024/25, in their first full seasons under Oliver Glasner and Nuno Espirito Santo respectively.

Meanwhile, Chelsea, along with Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United, will be hoping for similar upturns under their new managers when 2024/25 Fantasy begins.

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