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Sarri-ball Has Arrived

Chelsea top Premier League passing table as we look ahead to GW4

Maurizio Sarri couldn’t have asked for a better start to his Stamford Bridge career, with Chelsea picking up 9 points from their opening 3 Premier League games.

Last Sunday, his side monopolised possession against Newcastle United and such was their dominance of the ball that it was enough to see them shoot above Liverpool and Manchester City in terms of the number of passes made this season.

New signing Jorginho was at the centre of it all and we now have a much clearer picture of exactly how Chelsea can be expected to play as the season unfolds.

Sarri-ball

Recording 82% possession in any game is about as one-sided as it is likely to get but the former Napoli midfielder, who strung together more passes than any other player in Serie A last season, looks a great bet to mirror those statistics this time around and it will be a surprise if any other Premier League player sees more of the ball.

Chelsea still need to find a cutting edge up front but goals are expected at Stamford Bridge on Saturday when Bournemouth are the visitors.

The Cherries have got off to a flying start themselves and Eddie Howe’s men will be more than happy with the 7 points they have accumulated so far. 3 goals from set pieces suggests that they have continued to work on an area of the game that they have excelled in previously yet still it doesn’t get as much attention as it should.

However, judging by our GW4 goal projections, keeping Chelsea at bay this weekend is likely to be a problem for the South Coast outfit.

EPL - GW4

In fact, only Manchester City have a higher expectancy than the Blues this weekend.

Sergio Agüero will still be kicking himself for not getting on the score-sheet in City’s 1-1 draw with Wolves last weekend but the majority of Fantasy Premier League managers will be more than happy to hand him the armband again, now that he is back on home soil.

City’s Argentine forward tops the projected GW4 goal contribution table but a number of Chelsea players feature prominently as well.

GW4 Contribution Expectancy (Goals & Assists)
Player 0 1 2 3+
Sergio Agüero 24.88% 34.61% 24.07% 16.44%
Álvaro Morata 28.27% 35.72% 22.56% 13.45%
Raheem Sterling 30.99% 36.31% 21.27% 11.44%
Gabriel Jesus 31.76% 36.43% 20.89% 10.92%
Mohamed Salah 35.63% 36.77% 18.97% 8.63%
Willian 38.13% 36.76% 17.72% 7.38%
Eden Hazard 38.77% 36.74% 17.40% 7.09%
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 39.48% 36.69% 17.05% 6.78%
Harry Kane 39.73% 36.67% 16.92% 6.67%

 

Álvaro Morata is included among them but if there is any indication that Sarri might be about to lose patience with the misfiring striker then Olivier Giroud could be a very interesting differential.

The World Cup winner has some smart underlying stats but as always with the former Arsenal attacker, game minutes remain a problem.

It could be worth keeping a close eye on Sarri’s upcoming press conferences. Don’t expect him to light up while’s he’s talking but his team do seem more than capable of catching fire anytime soon.

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