FPL Dilemma – Redmond vs Tadic – Fantasy Football Tips

Southampton’s opening fixtures are undeniably attractive. In their first eleven fixtures, they play SEVEN of them at home. Coupled with this, they face only one side that finished above them last season (United in gameweek 6) and play all three newly-promoted sides in the opening run of games; Mauricio Pellegrino could scarcely have wished for a better run at the start of a new campaign. As a result, you will be hard-pushed to find an FPL draft without at least one player from the South Coast outfit in it, whereas many contain the full quota of three.

On the other hand, as we well know, things aren’t always as straightforward as we may expect on paper. Granted it was under different management last season but, under Puel, Saints went 455 minutes without scoring a goal at the back-end of the campaign – a run that turned many supporters into jittery, angst-ridden casualties and thus having voiced their concern at St Mary’s, ultimately contributed in some way to the Frenchman’s departure.

With certain starters in defensive positions, the key FPL Dilemma managers now face is choosing between a pair of 6.5m midfielders that both have the ability to light up a fixture: Nathan Redmond and Dušan Tadić. Let’s compare…

Nathan Redmond

Last season saw Redmond’s most productive return in terms of Fantasy Premier League points (126 compared to Tadić’s 110). Playing regularly as a false-nine and heavily favoured by Puel, Redmond scored 7 goals – his highest return in the top flight in 3 years at that level.

Starting 32/38 games, he’s now getting the minutes you would want from an FPL player, however consistency seems to be the key challenge for Redmond. Last season, he produced a return (goal or assist) every 362 minutes – basically one every four games; compare that to his previous season with Norwich in which he produced a return every 234 minutes. Frustrating from an fantasy football perspective.

As we know, the numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Saints had an indifferent season in 2016/17: they took part in a Europa League campaign which affected their early season form and stretched the intensity of play within all fixtures; they had to contend with key injuries (van Dijk & Austin) and the style of play prompted a level of fan unrest that clearly affected some of the players.

For Redmond, he was averaging 2.2 shots-per-game last season (previously 1.5 spg in 2015/16). If he can add regular returns, calls for his ownership seem valid. What remains to be seen is the role in which Pellegrino views the young Englishman – checking his role over the next few friendlies could be crucial.

Dušan Tadić

At times last season, Tadić cut the image of a hugely frustrated figure. Constantly substituted during large chunks of the season, he ended up with 3 goals and 5 assists – his lowest return in his 3 years in the Premier League (a return every 303 minutes). Compared to 2015/16 (7 goals, 12 assists – an FPL return every 120 minutes), he was barely in consideration throughout the season.

So what are the prospects of the 28-year-old this season? So much depends on how Mauricio Pellegrino views the Serbian’s role within the side. There is no doubt he is a huge talent – he will produce moments in a game that can take the breath away from even the most seasoned viewer. From an FPL point of view, Redmond appears a more attractive proposition.

Tadić has started both pre-season games in the number 10 role, which suggests this is where the manager views his strengths and possibly the perfect role in which to thrive.

The Verdict

With those opening fixtures, picking either of these players should bring you a return however it will be crucial to look at the remaining three friendlies, particularly Sevilla on August 5th. The potential rotation of Tadić and Boufal remains a looming issue (though there is certainly no reason why both cannot be accommodated); the big issue over Redmond is whether he can produce consistently in front of goal.

At this point of the summer, Redmond just edges it for me, however an extra factor worth considering that Redmond has played an extra month of football with the England U-21’s. By the time gameweek 1 comes around, the landscape at St Mary’s may look a little different.

Written by FPL Swot
Follow @FPLSwot on Twitter for regular FPL dilemma’s and analysis.

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