Anthony Martial (7.7) and Marcus Rashford (8.5) are the two key players when it comes to scoring goals at Manchester United, and when they’re on form, they’re quite a force to be reckoned with. While the form of Utd as a whole has been somewhat off recently, the underlying stats are fantastic and suggest they’ll be back and firing again soon. I’ll be doing a deep dive into the duo’s statistics to find out which is the better Fantasy option going forwards.
So far, there is nothing to separate the two of them when it comes to raw goal involvements, with both of them scoring 2 goals and providing 1 assist, as of Gameweek 4. Keep in mind however, that Martial has only played 3 matches to Rashford’s 4, due to a thigh injury.
Now lets take a look at the underlying statistics, to see if there’s something to separate the two. So far, Rashford has generated 3.30 xG in 358 minutes of Premier League action, indicating a significant under-performance of 1.30 expected goals. In the same time he has also provided a meager 0.28 xA, which suggests his 1 actual assist is a bit of an over-performance. He shoots an amazing 4.02 times per game, which is verging on elite territory! He also provides a respectable 1.01 key passes per 90, which makes him look like quite the option in the sub-premium price bracket.
Anthony Martial is somewhat less impressive, albeit in a somewhat smaller sample size. Over 270 minutes, the Frenchman has generated 1.17 xG, indicating an over-performance of 0.83. However, elite finishers commonly over-perform their expected goals tally, and anyone who has watched Martial play knows he is talented at slotting the ball away, more so than the sometimes wasteful Rashford. In his three matches, Martial provided a poor 0.14 xA, which leads me to believe that both of these players have little to offer outside of goalscoring. Martial takes a solid 2.67 shots per game but only lays on 0.67 key passes per 90 for his teammates.
One significant thing that needs to be discussed is penalties, of which Rashford has taken two, scoring one and missing one. While I think that this should not count against him, it certainly is beneficial to have a player sharing penalty duties in your fantasy team, it does skew the statistics a bit as each penalty adds 0.75 xG. The non-penalty expected goals generated by Rashford is actually 1.78 over 4 games, which can be expressed as 0.445 xG per 90, which is just slightly better than Martial’s 0.39 xG per 90.
To summarize what I’ve learned from this, I believe that Marcus Rashford is the superior option of the two. While Martial does have the benefit of being 0.8 million cheaper, as well as receiving an additional point for each goal and a potential clean sheet point if United could ever keep one, I still don’t think he quite measures up. Rashford’s huge shooting numbers, stronger underlying expected statistics and shared penalty duties suggest to me that he is going to be a much more reliable points scorer over the rest of the season.