Salah vs Mane: Who are the 2019/20 Premier League “Secret Players”?

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ohamed Salah and Sadio Mané both scored 22 goals in the 2018/19 English Premier League. 

Both Liverpool players won top scorers with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) who also scored 22 goals.

From the perspective of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game , Salah is the most expensive player of the season for £ 12.5. Meanwhile Raheem Sterling (£ 12.0), Sergio Agüero (£ 12.0), Mané (£ 11.0), Aubameyang (£ 11.0) and Harry Kane (£ 11.0) are under Salah.

Will the price of the six of them be well reflected in their FPL points at the end of the season? There is no guaranteed guarantee. But through statistics, we can peek who would be the key players if we had to choose one.

Having premium players on FPL cannot be squandered. For the sake of creating synergy , we might only be able to have two or three premium players in our FPL squad. At present the FPL manager will mainstreamly choose one Liverpool premium player (Salah or Mané) and one Manchester City premium player (Sterling or Agüero).

If in general the election of Sterling vs Agüero will make managers tend to turn to Sterling for reasons of his position as a midfielder, then this is not the case with the election of Salah vs Mané.

Salah and Mané are classified as midfielders at FPL. Both are also the top scores last season.

Actually it is legitimate to have Salah and Mané in our FPL squad. But having two premium players from the same team is considered risky. Moreover, Man City (Sterling vs Agüero) has an interesting schedule on 11 early gameweek .

We can also actually exchange Salah and Mané periodically, even though it’s not practical. The problem is, the selection of the right premium players can be the key to success at the end of the season. Therefore, if you have to choose between Salah and Mané, who might be better?

One is more consistent in away games and when fighting big teams

If we review this comparison last season, maybe there will be many managers who choose Mané because their price difference at the start of the 2018/19 season is £ 3.5.

However, the difference in the price of Salah and Mané in FPL this season is “only” £ 1.0 (Salah is more expensive). Salah experienced a decline in prices compared to last season, while Mané has increased.

Expensive prices reflect performance. Last season Salah became FPL’s top score with 259 points, followed by Sterling (234 points) and only later Mané (231). Although both of them became the top scorers, Salah recorded more assists (12 to three).

Looking at the number of matches, Salah is also superior because he managed to record 6.8 FPL points per match compared to 6.4 owned by Mané. Even so, because Mané prices are much cheaper, Mané has better price effectiveness than Salah.

Two striking differences between Salah and Mané lie in their game when away and when facing teams ” big six ” (Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, and Manchester United).

Incorrectly recorded 7.7 points per home game (13 goals and 7 assists from 19 matches), while Mané 8.2 points (18 goals and zero assists from 19 matches). 

Then when away, Salah recorded 5.9 points per away (9 goals and 5 assists from 19 matches), better than Mané who recorded 4.5 points (4 goals and 3 assists from 17 matches).

Furthermore, if against ” big six “, Salah recorded 2 goals and 2 assists last season, Mané 3 goals and zero assists. For this category, Salah is better by FPL points than Mané, but still far behind when compared to Sterling’s record when facing the ” big six ” last season (3 goals and 7 assists).

Conversely, when fighting teams not ” big six “, Salah is also better with 7.8 points per game (20 goals and 10 assists from 28 matches) compared to Mané with 7.3 points (19 goals and 3 assists from 26 matches).

In the first six gameweek , Liverpool will only face two teams ” big six “, namely host Arsenal (GW3) and visit Chelsea (GW6). The rest, the Reds will face relatively lighter teams such as entertaining Norwich City (GW1), away to Southampton (GW2), away to Burnley (GW4), and entertaining Newcastle United (GW5).

From the perspective of the FPL point, this sub-discussion concludes if Salah is more consistent than Mané, whether during a home match, away games, against strong teams, or against weak teams.

Mané Is More Effective and Excellence in Liverpool Tactics Schemes

The sub-discussion above only looks at the influence of Salah and Mané in terms of FPL points which are strongly influenced by goals, assists, minutes played, yellow / red cards, and bonus points . Digging deeper, there are statistics that can open our views to the influence of Salah and Mané on the game.

Incidentally, Salah and Mané have opposite play areas. One of the heatmap is on the right wing, while Mané is on the left wing.

Despite playing on the wing, both of these players often get the ball in the opponent’s penalty box: Incorrect 8.5 

penalty area touches per match, Mané 5.7. Again Salah is superior.

This is also directly reflected in the shots in their penalty box, namely Salah 2.5 shots in the penalty box per match (1.7 on target ) – as well as the best in the league – and Mané 2.0 (1.2).

Not only on the wing, both players can play as a central attacker, as Salah often plays when Jürgen Klopp puts up a 4-2-3-1 formation between gameweek 12 to 24. Even in those times, the statistics of Salah are not as good as when he play on the right wing.

Not just cool, Salah is also superior in the number of chances created (68 vs. 45), big chances created (16 vs. 7), crosses (57 and 39), and successful crosses (16 vs. 6).

From earlier Salah always seemed to be superior to Mané. 

One is not only fluent in scoring goals, but also in creating them. But there is one thing that makes Mané superior. The thing that has to do with Liverpool’s tactics under Klopp: opportunities from a header.

Mané scored 6 header goals (out of a total of 22 shots via header), while Salah never (out of a total of only five header shots). This is not just any numbers, because since Klopp ensured his players were fluent in 4-3-3 formation, Liverpool full-backs were more often flooding opponents’ penalty boxes with crossing .

All (22) Mané goals have been scored from inside the penalty box (False 21). Four of them are headers. Mané’s four headed goals were scored by Trent Alexander-Arnold (two), Andrew Robertson (one), and James Milner (one) from the wing-back position. While the remaining two were based on Jordan Henderson .

Over the past season, Liverpool recorded 173 successful crosses (third best in the league) out of a total of 721 businesses (fifth best). This figure increased in the last 14 gameweek (when Liverpool was fluent in attacking) with 286 crossing attempts (best with Man City).

If this trend continues, it is not impossible that Mané can actually be more prolific than Salah, because he can immediately use a cross and excel in the air; while Salah only relies on second balls . Moreover, Salah who acts as a creator should also make Mané easy to score goals.

Then in terms of percentage conversion, Mané is also far superior to Salah. Mané recorded 48.3% shot accuracy (False 46%) and 25.3% goal conversion (False 16.1%). This means, Mané is more effective.

It’s Better to Choose the Wrong Than the Wrong Choice

Considering that Salah shoots more (potential goals) and creates opportunities (potentially asis), Salah should be superior from the FPL perspective. As long as the player has scored a lot of goals and assists in FPL, a bad time with low effectiveness.

Then unlike last season, the price difference between Salah and Mané also leaves managers with no “guilt” if choosing Salah.

FPL managers also usually prefer consistent players. So far Salah can always be consistent, at least in the last two seasons.

Salah also has two other factors that make him superior: (1) This Egyptian player acts as Liverpool’s second penalty taker after James Milner, and (2) Salah is fitter if we review his involvement in the 2019 African Cup.

Regarding penalties, Liverpool received 7 penalties last season, five of which were produced by opposing players who violated Salah (at FPL, this will result in an upset if the player in question did not become the executor).

As Liverpool’s main penalty taker, Milner managed to score three penalty goals, while Salah scored three penalty goals. 

But Milner is elderly and has many competitors in the position either as a midfielder or defender-wing will make One of the main penalty taker has the potential to become the Reds .

But Salah needs to be careful, some clever action (read: diving ) last season could indeed produce a penalty for Liverpool. This season, he could get a yellow card because of the VAR .

Furthermore, Salah’s involvement with the Egyptian National Team in the 2019 African Cup which only reached the Round of 16 allowed him to rest longer than Mané who reached the final with Senegal (losing 0-1 against Algeria).

In physical terms (Salah is fitter) and mental (Mané lost in the final), Salah is superior to his Senegalese counterpart.

Other FPL Dilemmas

For FPL measurement, the dilemma in choosing either Salah or Mané is not the only common dilemma of two players in the same team.

For cross-position dilemmas such as Sterling vs Agüero (Manchester City) or Roberto Pereyra vs. Gerard Deulofeu (Watford), managers usually tend to prefer players who are in a deeper position.

Then for those who are in the same position, several other FPL dilemmas present this season include (sorted according to the potential to gain points subjectively according to Pandit Fantasy Premier League scouts, with the players mentioned earlier we consider superior):

  • Everton: Gylfi Sigurðsson (£ 8.0) vs Richarlison (£ 8.0); who have an okay schedule in the first six weeks ,
  • Everton: Lucas Digne (£ 6.0) vs. Seamus Coleman (£ 5.5),
  • Liverpool: Andrew Robertson (£ 7.0) vs. Trent Alexander-Arnold (£ 7.0), plus Virgil van Dijk (£ 6.5),
  • Bournemouth: Joshua King (£ 6.5) vs Callum Wilson (£ 8.0),
  • Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£ 11.0) vs Alexandre Lacazette (£ 9.5),
  • Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha (£ 7.0) vs Luka Milivojevic (£ 7.0),
  • Burnley: Chris Wood (£ 6.5) vs Ashley Barnes (£ 6.5),
  • Southampton: Nathan Redmond (£ 6.5) vs. James Ward-Prowse (£ 6.0),
  • Leicester City: Youri Tielemans (£ 6.5) vs James Maddison (£ 7.0),
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers: Raúl Jiménez (£ 7.5) vs Diogo Jota (£ 6.5),
  • Manchester United: Luke Shaw (£ 5.5) vs. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£ 5.5).

Although there are many dilemmas that can make our heads dizzy, Salah vs Mané is a dilemma that we consider the biggest and most important ahead of this new FPL season. The selection between these two players (if you don’t want to have both) we consider to be a “key” or “secret” of success in undergoing the 2019/20 season.

This paper continues the content of the “secret player” of the English Premier League which has been around since 2016/17. 

The statistical aspect is at the forefront of these writings, but this time we decided to review it specifically from statistics directly related to FPL points. What is the meaning of the numbers if the FPL points are not optimal … He he he .


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