International breaks are usually uneventful but this one was far from dull. The headlines from Raheem Sterling’s altercation with Joe Gomez had just begun to dissipate when Spurs made the shock announcement that they had parted ways with their manager of five years, Mauricio Pochettino.
The appointment of Jose Mourinho has taken the entire football world by surprise and his appointment is likely to rejuvenate a Spurs side that has struggled this season. It is probably worth waiting for one more gameweek to see what personnel and setup Mourinho deploys against West Ham, before jumping on their assets for the plum home fixture against Bournemouth.
3 players to Pick
Richarlison de Andrade (NOR)
Norwich City are bottom of the table after a strong start to the season and their visit to Everton presents a great opportunity to take a punt on Everton’s Brazilian talisman. Their leading scorer with three goals, he leads the way for shots (32), shots on target (SoT) (10) amongst their players and trails only Dominic Calvert-Lewin (3.31) for xG (2.70).
He has also created 11 chances with only Gylfi Sigurdsson (25) and Lucas Digne (31) creating more. The Toffees have been far from prolific this season, managing only 13 in 12 games but it is worth noting that eight of these came at Goodison Park. They are ranked sixth both for shots (162) and ‘big chances’ (27) indicating they have been a tad unlucky.
Only Southampton (29) have conceded more goals than Norwich’s 28 this season and no team has allowed opponents more SoT than their 75. They are also second-worst for ‘big chances’ conceded with 38, trailing only West Ham (39). A cheeky captain pick if you’re looking for an explosive differential this week.
Raheem Sterling (CHE)
After making headlines over the international break for the wrong reasons after his bust-up with Joe Gomez, Raheem Sterling should be raring to go for the visit of Chelsea to the Eithad in gameweek 13 and with the suspension to Bernardo Silva, there are no concerns about his starting role. Only Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero (both 40) have taken more shots than Sterling’s 38 this season and only Tammy Abraham (16) has been presented more ‘big chances’ than his 13.
He is also behind only Salah (6.65) for expected goals (xG) amongst midfielders with 5.75. Despite sitting fourth in the table, Manchester City lead the league for goals (35), shots (258), SoT (86), ‘big chances’ (55) and xG (32.40). Chelsea haven’t kept an away clean sheet this season and have conceded 12 goals in six matches.
Only Watford, Aston Villa (both 13) and Newcastle United (14) have conceded more. They are also ranked 11th for ‘big chances’ conceded in away matches with 13. The match promises to be a goal-fest with Chelsea unlikely to park the bus like most sides do at the Etihad and Sterling should find plenty of space down Azpilicueta’s side.