Big wins for… wait who are these guys? The weekend showcased the different ways a match day can go on the Football Index. 

On Saturday the favourites came in, yesterday… not so much. 

Winning dividends is hard. With hundreds of players in play and only four winning slots, it is fairly easy for an unknown player to have the game of his life and leave the more established names in the dust.

This can be frustrating but it also makes FI what it is. There’d be no joy in picking obscure players out of nowhere if they didn’t go on to win every so often!

It’s definitely true that over a season, quality rises to the top over but anything can happen on a given match day and frequently does. 

My approach is generally to concentrate on finding the consistent high scorers to stack the odds in my favour and then let the dividends take care of themselves.

Risers

Sergio Aguero

Aguero is absolutely on fire. 

Partly he is getting a lot of chances but he is outperforming his expected goals in the last 5 games by a significant margin. It’s quality not luck. 

His involvement is not bad for a striker, not great, but there are far worse. So why didn’t he win performance with a hat-trick? (He did scoop the media win, though). 

It’s a touch unlucky. Usually if you get a hat-trick that is going to include the match winner, and yesterday it didn’t as Chelsea got demolished.

He just got pipped by a better hat-trick that included the match winner from En Nesyri. But note that if Aguero had been a bit luckier and got the match winner, he would have scored 240 and thrashed En Nesyri. 

Over the long term, quality will win out but there are a lot of variables and it won’t always happen. 

No games for a while though and with the Champions League (rotation?) and FA Cup up next it might be better off waiting if you do want him for the title/European run in.

Lucas Paqueta

I’ve been watching Paqueta with great interest as he made his start to life in Italy. 

Yesterday he bagged his first goal and this builds on some very encouraging first performances. I thought he might cruise the win on a soft day for midfielders at half time but in the second half he went really off the boil. 

His involvement dropped remarkably. He had 37 touches in the game and just 9 of those came in the second half. 

If you read the match reports he was widely considered to have a very good game. 

I didn’t get to watch this game, but I noted that in the last game he tired in the second half too. This probably reflects him going straight into the Milan team after a long season with Flamengo.

Still, all the stats of a good performance player are there and this is just another encouraging performance to add to the list. 

Fallers

Nicolas Pepe

A bit of a beating for recent Index darling Pepe. 

This could reflect a few things.

His price has been rocketing, so a pull back is always fairly likely. He didn’t have a great game last night vs Guingamp, a game which Lille could have been expected to score more in.

And perhaps people are believing his team mate Leao might emerge as the better player since he is rising. (Not to put too fine a point on it, but Leao isn’t even close to Pepe’s quality in FI suitability terms).

And with no European competition for Lille, you can see why people may be cooling on him. 

However, he is a fantastic talent and is near nailed on for a big club move in the Summer, where he will almost certainly be a strong dividend returner if playing at his normal level. And with an increased frequency and quality of chances at a big side, he should only get better. 

So the long term outlook remains solid in my view.

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FIT

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