Fantasy Football Analysis:Baines Vrs Ivanovic

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 at 10:40 am by Phil Mc Grath

As we approach fixture week 5 of The Irish Times Fantasy Premier League many fantasy managers will be aware that it is at this point in the season that teams settle down as managers find their first eleven and it is at this point that fantasy managers can begin to patterns in play and dare I say it somewhat more predictable results and performances.

In this latest article our coaches have begun to analyze the form, stats and fixtures in an attempt to separate those players who have similar prices,attributes and of course price which will allow fantasy managers to make that all important decision.

The focus of our attention this time round is the full back battle, Branislav Ivanovic and Leighton Baines are two full backs that have been fantasy favorites over previous season and so far this season both have begun their respective campaigns with some excellent performances and points returns. Now many managers will argue that you can easily have both in your team, but with both player priced at £4.7 and £4.5 respectively managers may not have the budget or the space, given the two man rule.

So let’s take a look at their stats and prospects in a bid to differentiate the two and see where your funds would be best invested.

 

Name Team Starts Mins Played Goals Conceded
Clean Sheets Yellow Cards Red Cards
Ivanovic CHE

4

381

2

3

0

0

Baines EVE

4

381

5

1

0

0

 

Looking at their initial key stats there is very little separating the two full backs, Chelsea and Ivanovic have managed 3 clean sheets compared to Everton’s one, but looking at the fixtures it is fair to say that Chelsea have yet to really face a stern test at the back, where as Everton have had some tough games so far this season and it is worth noting that their only clean sheet so far this season was against Manchester United, so it would seem that despite only having one clean sheet to their name Everton have been tested at the back and come out on top.

Speculation about the resilience of the Chelsea defensive line aside the fact are simply this, Ivanovic has two more clean sheets to his name and as we know clean sheets are so important as they not only bring in the points but they stop you loosing out on points as well.

The popularity of the two full backs is not completely based on their defensive ability, both are capable of getting forward and gaining attacking points. Both like to get down their perspective wings and get the ball into the box, so with that in mind let’s have a look at their assist potential.

 

Name Passes Final 3rd Crosses Successful Crosses Through Balls
Chances Created
Mins Per Chance Created Assists
Ivanovic 31

15

2

0

3

127

0

Baines 53

34

13

0

19

20.1

1

 

Now it is in this part of analysis where thing become interesting and differences begin to appear between the two, as you can see when it comes to getting forward, Baines leads the running in a big way with some impressive stats that would rival many a midfielder.

Baines has created far more chances that his Chelsea counterpart and probably the most surprising stat is the fact that despite the fact that Baines created a chance every 20 minutes he only has one assist to his name. But on the other hand for all the leg work done by Ivanovic he has a rather poor rate of successful crosses. Now one stat that is not on the board and has to be taken into consideration is the fact that Leighton Baines does take corner kicks and as a result you would expect him to have a higher cross rate but either way the stats don’t lie Baines clearly offers managers better odds on picking up some assists, but what about scoring some goals?

 

Name Penalty Area Touches
Goal Attempts Attempts In Box Shots On Target
Shot Accuracy
Mins Per Attempt
Goals
Ivanovic 11

5

5

3

60%

76.2

2

Baines 8

4

2

2

50%

95.3

1

 

When it comes to goal scoring potential the tables have been somewhat turned, as we can see Ivanovic has had more attempts on and off target, he has gotten into the box more and is more accurate with his shooting than Leighton Baines and as a result has scored one more goal than Baines. Another interesting stat is that fact that Ivanovic is also more accurate that Baines which I must admit came as somewhat of a surprise to me, but given the fact that all of his attempts were inside the 18 yard line you would expect it to be that way, where as only half of Baines shot have come from inside the penalty area.

So it would seem that while Baines is far more prolific when it comes to creating chances and possibly gaining assists, Ivanovic is more likely to score.

Of course Ivanovic finds himself on a greater points tally largely due to three clean sheets and this is undoubtedly a huge attribute that fantasy managers will be on the look out for, but they key question is this, are either of these two full backs likely to keep clean sheets over the coming weeks?

Well let’s have a look at their respective fixtures and see what waits in store for the two.

Chelsea

 
Date Fixture week Opponent
22 Sep 15:00 week 5 Stoke City (H)
29 Sep 12:45 week 6 Arsenal (A)
06 Oct 15:00 week 7 Norwich (H)
20 Oct 12:45 week 8 Tottenham (A)
28 Oct 16:00 week 9 Man Utd (H)
03 Nov 15:00 week 10 Swansea (A)

Everton

 
Date Fixture week Opponent
22 Sep 12:45 week 5 Swansea (A)
29 Sep 15:00 week 6 Southampton (H)
06 Oct 15:00 week 7 Wigan (A)
21 Oct 16:00 week 8 QPR (A)
28 Oct 13:30 week 9 Liverpool (H)
03 Nov 15:00 week 10 Fulham (A)

 

As you can see over the next six fixture weeks Chelsea have undoubtedly harder fixtures as they face Arsenal at the Emirates,Tottenham at White Hart Lane and also welcome Manchester United to the Bridge, where as Everton’s toughest game will be at home against Liverpool and they way Liverpool are playing at the moment you would back against Baines scoring against them.

So all in all we have two similar player with two similar price tags but with very different attributes, as far as making a decision goes between the two I think that Leighton Baines just shades it for me. Baines will get forward more create more chances, take free kicks and corners and  based on the upcoming fixtures and form of not only Everton but the teams they face has a higher probability of keeping more clean sheets than Ivanovic, not to mention the toll the Champions League may take on the Cheslea team as a whole.

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Categories: Managers Notes

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