There are few people that will argue that Mohammed Salah and Raheem Sterling are two of the most valuable players in the Fantasy Premier League game, and will have been among the first picks in your FPL Draft.
These first round picks are often seen as ‘set and forget’ players. You start them every week and expect for some sort of return. These players are almost never traded…
..But I want to explore which pick has the upper hand? Is it worth rocking the boat in your FPL Draft League by offering the trade of the 24 year old Man City midfielder vs the 27 year old Liverpool midfielder?
There are so many similarities in the players that it could be seen as a complete 50:50, but we will interrogate the stats to see who comes out on top.
The first similarity is that both players have really come to the fore over the past 2 seasons, starting in 2017/18.
For Liverpool, the Egyptian Mo Salah had a monster debut season – driving the club forwards with an incredible 36 performances, amounting in 32 goals and 10 FPL assists. Liverpool scored 84 goals, meaning Mo Salah Scored or assisted 50% of Liverpool’s goals that season. Liverpool’s focal point was clearly Mo Salah, which aided the gargantuan 303 points.
|Minutes Per Attacking Return||66.4||74.1|
Raheem Sterling, 22 years old in the 2017/18 season amassed 229 points, a leading score by anyone’s measure. This was his breakout season where he was in a squad that scored 104 Premier League goals. In a team with Aguero, De Bruyne, David Silva and Sane, Sterling managed to have a hand in 33.6% of Man City’s goals.
18 goals and 17 assists is a return any manager would bite your hand off for.
Going in to last season, the stats looked like this:
|Minutes Per Attacking Return||95.8||86.8|
Salah was still the main man for Liverpool playing every single Premier League game having a hand in 34 of 89 goals (39%) meaning he was much less influential for the side. It is also worth noting that he shared golden boot with teammate Sadio Mane. Last season, Liverpool became a much more balanced side, less reliant on Salah and with the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold and introduction of Virgil Van Dijk.
Sterling’s season, unlike Salah’s was an improvement on the season before. He became a favourite of Pep’s and featured in 34 games, only being rested ahead of important games in other competitions. His attacking returns however were still less than Salah, contributing to 32 of Man City’s goals – exactly the same proportion as the year before (33.6%).
This is intriguing – although Salah scored 259 FPL points, 25 more than Sterling who scored 234 – Raheem Sterling scored more attacking returns per minute. Without taking penalties or corners, Raheem Sterling’s attacking contributions were still more potent than Salah’s
Both Liverpool and Man City are competing for the Premier League title again this year, and look to continue last year’s form.
From Sterling, age is a good thing. He is expected to improve on his returns this year and we can expect 33 – 40 attacking returns from the England favourite.
Mohammed Salah is the safe bet, he has always been tasked with Penalties and is now on Corners, increasing his assist potential further as demonstrated in Liverpool’s opener against Norwich.
If you’re looking for consistency, we would recommend vying for Salah who is likely to play more games and always has the potential for points – beating Sterling on points in the last 2 years. If you are looking for the big win, with some risk, we would pick Sterling. His 4 goals in 2 games may be a sign of things to come as he has started to adopt a more central role in attack.