Last week we focused exclusively on Watford ahead of their swing in fixtures and with their new manager bounce. Our predictions were richly rewarded in their 3-0 win over Bournemouth but it was perhaps our forgotten man Doucoure (only featured in our Poll on twitter) who came out with the best result. This week we will take a man at a similar price point and also at a club quietly increasing in popularity…
Southampton are quite popular at the moment. A turn in form and the goal scoring acumen of Danny ings have catapulted the South coast team to the forefront of managers minds. The aforementioned Ings and also Goalkeeper McCarthy have proved the most popular but we should keep our minds open to James Ward-Prowse (5.8m) who is leading our Set Piece tables for Gameweek 16 to Gameweek 22. Lets explore some of his stats:
Attempts from Set Plays – 7 (Level with Rashford at the top of the charts)
Corners – 43 (2nd behind Wolves’ Moutinho)
Successful Corners – 11 (2nd behind Norwich’s Buendia)
Crosses – 64 (1st ahead of Moutinho, Alexander-Arnold and Buendia)
These stats alongside back-up penalty duty and his reliance in Southampton’s team make James Ward-Prowse a good long term option.
To continue with a look at James Ward-Prowse vs a similar type of midfielder in the league is the extremely popular James Maddison. While a few key stats exemplify the difference in price between the two England players such as minutes per pass received and goal involvement percentage; Ward-Prowse does stick out in a few ways. Firstly, his Set-Pieces as we covered above puts him ahead of James Maddison with more crosses especially which is interesting with the Southampton man sticking more central to the pitch than Maddison across these 6 gameweeks. Next up we find that Ward-Prowse’s baseline for bonus points is higher than Maddison’s (this being the points they accrue in the game towards their total BPS score which doesn’t include goal contributions), Maddison has 51 in 6 Gameweeks, while Ward-Prowse has 68 – this is probably due in part to the centrality of Ward-Prowse’s play seeing him hit more passes and successful passes in the 6 gameweeks than Maddison. Finally we look at the shot accuracy of the pair with Ward-Prowse hitting 57.1% accuracy compared to the 50 from Maddison leading to a higher xG for Ward-Prowse of 0.47 to 0.37 from Maddison.
More clean sheets and more assists in this time also for James Ward-Prowse exemplify why we are looking at him for the long term especially with Southampton playing in the first Blank Gameweek in gameweek 28.