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What to do with Jordan Pickford

Its been four Gameweeks of frustration for owners and many within the community have had enough. We take a look at what to do with Jordan Pickford with the help of the fixture ticker and underlying stats from the Fantasy Football Scout members area.

Ahead of the new 23/24 campaign some managers within the community felt that Jordan Pickford was the best goalkeeper option, at least for the first several Gameweeks. Unfortunately that has not been the case so figuring out whether to replace him or not could be extremely helpful for transfer planning.

Jordan Pickford

We can see from the graphic above that in the four matches Pickford has played so far he has failed to pick up any significant returns. In fact, the Everton goalkeeper has collected just five points so far when many expected at least two clean sheets from his games against Fulham, Wolves and Sheffield United.

To find out why Pickford isn’t returning it could be worth looking into the Everton defensive data.

The Everton defence

Looking at the Toffees’ defensive data could give us a much better insight into how Pickford keeps failing to deliver points. Firstly amongst all teams in the league so far Everton rank in the worst seven teams for goals conceded (eight).

What is interesting however is that Everton are maintaining some other strong defensive data points. In fact they sit fifth best for shots in the box conceded (33), joint fourth best for total attempts conceded (46), joint fifth best for shots on target conceded (18) and third best for attempts from set plays conceded (11). So where is it all going wrong for Pickford?

Comparing goalkeepers

Below we can see every goalkeeper in the Premier League. They have been ordered in terms of expected goals prevented. The players at the top have been the best at preventing expected goals whilst the players at the bottom have been the worst for expected goals prevented.

We can also see that Pickford ranks amongst the worst seven goalkeepers for expected goals prevented which suggests he is out of form. For comparison, last season Pickford ranked as the third best goalkeeper in the league for expected goals prevented (+3.50).

Fixtures

Below we can see the fixtures are in difficulty order from Gameweek 5 to Gameweek 9 (where many managers are looking to use their wildcard).

Amongst those teams with the easiest fixtures are Luton, Newcastle, Fulham, Manchester United and Aston Villa. Teams with the worst fixtures for the period ahead include Brighton, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Arsenal.

Using the fixture ticker and underlying stats we can now take a look at alternatives.

Is there a standout goalkeeper option?

  • Thomas Kaminski (£4.5m) – Luton have great fixtures but have been conceding some of the worst defensive data in the league so far.
  • Nick Pope (£5.5m) – Newcastle also have great fixtures. However, they are yet to show the defensive strength they maintained last season. In addition, not many managers will be looking to spend £5.5m on a goalkeeper.
  • Bernd Leno (£4.5m) – Fulham have a great batch of matches ahead but they too have been conceding some hugely concerning defensive data.
  • Andre Onana (£5m) – Onana has arguably been a worst option than Pickford and at £0.5m more. Key injuries to the Manchester United backline makes it wise to avoid.
  • Emi Martinez (£5m) – Aston Villa also have good fixtures but Martinez ranks worse for expected goals prevented and costs £0.5m more. This number could well improve however with better fixtures.
  • Robert Sanchez (£4.5m) – The Chelsea fixtures are ok and they also rank the third best team in the league for expected goals conceded. The issue with Sanchez is that Chelsea are conceding goals and many own left-back Ben Chilwell and may not want to double up on the defence.
  • Ederson (£5.6m) – Manchester City have great fixtures and maintain some of the best underlying defensive data in the league. However, many would avoid spending that amount on a goalkeeper.
  • Mark Flekken (£4.5m) – Brentford rank amongst the best four teams for expected goals conceded. However, Flekken ranks worse than Pickford for expected goals prevented so far this season.

The Matt Turner/Jordan Pickford rotation factor

Many who chose Pickford at the start of the campaign paired him with Matt Turner of Nottingham Forest. Now although the fixtures still look good to go ahead with that the arrival of former Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos could mean Turner dropped in the coming weeks. This could mean managers are stuck with starting Pickford against the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool in the period ahead.

What to do with Jordan Pickford

The lack of form from Jordan Pickford is concerning from a expected goals prevented point of view especially considering most of his opponents have been weaker teams. Nottingham Forest signing a new goalkeeper also weakens holding Pickford because it could mean starting him in fixtures we may not want to.

Alternatively there are not many standout options to make the switch to. A lot of the better options cost considerably more than Pickford but if budget allows and your not looking to make expensive upgrades elsewhere then moving him on could be a good option. These options include Ederson and Nick Pope.

Managers could also decide that they want to give a player with a similar price-tag an opportunity to improve or convince. These options could include Mark Flekken and Robert Sanchez.


What are the lessons learned from FPL so far? Check out our article here.

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