Premium Midfielders- Fantasy Football Tips

Premium midfielders can be the difference between a good week and a great week, or an okay week and a good week. They offer consistently good captaincy options, getting more points for goals and the added bonus of a point for clean sheets and with the way so many ‘midfielders’ now basically play as forwards they are no brainers to include in you team. The question is; Do I get 1, 2 or all 3 of them. Hopefully this information and comparison will help you make your decision.

Mo Salah, Liverpool (£12.5m)

Mo Salah has been a revelation since joining the Premier League, and even though he saw a slight drop off last year in his output he still managed to tie for the golden boot with 22 goals, and provided the same amount of assists as the year before with 12. He also benefited from Liverpool’s mean defence, raking in 21 clean sheet points, even though he was essentially played as the furthest player up the pitch. Salah is also first choice penalty taker.

Salah had comfortably the most shots for Liverpool with 137 and performed to his Expected goals (xG 21.79). He slightly out performed his expected assists (xA 10.47) and this amounts to an expected goal every 0.6 games and an assist every 0.29 games, so you can expect to receive an attacking return nearly every 90 minutes he plays.

Liverpool have solid fixtures to start, with Norwich (h), Southampton (a), Arsenal (h), Burnley (a), Newcastle (h), Chelsea (a) in their first 6 games. It is not unreasonable to consider him captain material for the first 5 of those! Salah has played in the African Cup of Nations this summer, but Egypt went out at the quarter final stage, so he should be able to carry his momentum through to the start of the season.

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Raheem Sterling, Man City (£12.0m)

Sterling was arguably Man City’s best player last year, really living up to his teenage expectation, and the price tag paid when he moved from Liverpool. Sterling has significantly improved his finishing and is such a danger coming in from the wing, and could be even more dangerous with the introduction of VAR.

Sterling managed 17 goals, 10 assists and amassed 77 shots on goal, only bettered by Aguero. He slightly out performed his xG (15.89) and was slightly unlucky with assists (xA 10.79) however offered a goal every 0.51 games and an assist ever 0.35, so again offering an attacking output nearly every 90 minutes he spent on the pitch.

City also have a good start to the season, playing West Ham (a), Spurs (h), Bournemouth (a), Brighton (h), Norwich (a) and Watford (h) so I expect them to hit the ground running. Sterling is also a solid captain choice for possibly all 6 games, and with a bit of a rest this summer and a full preseason he should be raring to go.

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Sadio Mane, Liverpool (£11.5m)

Sadio has performed so well for Liverpool since his move from Southampton, equalling Salah’s goal tally last year and looking absolutely lethal in the air from Trent Alexander-Arnolds crossing. With two of the best crossers in the league playing in Liverpool’s backline he looks a real threat whenever the ball is in the box.

Last season he shared the Golden Boot with Salah (and Aubameyang) with 22 goals however this hugely outperformed his xG of 16.76, so we could possibly see a regression next season. He surprisingly only managed 1 assist which was a large under performance on his xA of 5.12. This amounts to an expected goal every 0.49 games, similar to Sterling and an assist every 0.15 games, therefore an expected attacking output every 0.64 games.

As with Salah, Liverpool have solid fixtures to start, with Norwich (h), Southampton (a), Arsenal (h), Burnley (a), Newcastle (h), Chelsea (a) in their first 6 games. Mane is going to be a great option in those games with Norwich and Newcastle really standing out in particular. Mane also has been playing in the AFCON where they are currently still playing, reaching the semi finals. This could be a consideration for the start of the season.


As a way of comparing the 3 players I have looked at their points per 90 minutes played.

Mo Salah – 7.2
Raheem Sterling – 7.6
Sadio Mane – 6.8

To make a fair comparison we will look at a points prediction based on all players playing 33 games (allowing for rotation and injury) and their points per 90 minutes last season. The points predictions for the 3 premium midfielders would therefore be:

Sterling – 251
Salah – 236
Mane – 223

If we take this a step further and for comparison purposes in the future with other positions this would amount to the following points per million:
Sterling – 20.9 Points per Million
Salah – 18.9 Points per Million
Mane – 19.4 Points per Million


In my opinion you will need either 1 Premium midfielder and 1 Premium striker, or 2 Premium midfielders in you squad this year. They are consistent captain picks, will play the majority of games and have great attacking outputs as was proven last year.

Clearly from the expected returns, Sterling and Salah both jump out, but if Mane keeps up his performance from last year, the 1 million saving on Salah could be a great saving to make (but possibly after the first few weeks given he is still playing in the AFCON)

An interesting way to look at the points per million for the Premium midfielders and attackers is that as they are consistent captaincy options, and therefore you can bump basically each player by 10 points per million. This makes all 3 options a near 30 points per million pick, up there with TAA and Robertson as real value picks.

I personally can’t choose 2 Liverpool attackers as I am so set on 2 Liverpool premium defenders, but I do have both Salah and Sterling in my current drafts and they haven’t moved. I consider them captaincy options every week, and predict they will be 2 of the top 7 or 8 points scorers this year.

I can certainly see an argument for choosing Mane instead of Salah, but I am slightly concerned by a possibly regression to the expected output, and his lack of rest and pre season.

I’d love to hear you thoughts on this so feel free to contact me on twitter @LotmerFPL

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