James has picked a team to line-up in a 4-4-2 formation, but how many Posh players did the data suggest he picked?
GOALKEEPER: JACK STEVENS (Oxford United): The 23-year-old has been a revelation since breaking into the Oxford United first team this season, dislodging experienced number one Simon Eastwood in December. He has outperformed his expected save percentage (based on difficulty of shots faced) by 7.6%, saving his side six goals compared to post-shot expected goals this season. Of goalkeepers to play more than 20 League One games this season only Lee Burge of Sunderland has better shot stopping data than Stevens, but the Oxford man gets the nod in this side due to his superior shot prevention (he’s an excellent sweeper) data, while also posting very respectable short and long passing stats. Photo: Getty Images.
RIGHT-BACK: JOSH EMMANUEL (Hull City): With my full-backs I was looking for players who had contributed consistently defensively, ball progression and creativity. Hull’s Josh Emmanuel certainly ticks those boxes. The speedy right-back loves to run with the ball to get his team up-field. No right-back has completed more than his 2.48 progressive runs per 90 minutes. He’s also been a fantastic crosser. His 3.93 crosses per 90 minutes is bettered only by three right-wing backs in League One while his crossing accuracy of 49.47% is also outstanding. Emmanuel has also beeen excellent defensively, at right back or right wing back with only Northampton Town loanee Peter Kioso bettering his defensive duel success rate of 72.09%. Photo: Pete Norton Getty Images.
LEFT-BACK: HARRY PICKERING (Crewe Alexandra): Harry Pickering has been an all-round creative machine in a Crewe Alexandra side who have had something of an up and down first season back in the third tier. No player playing solely at full-back (in a back four as opposed to wing-back) can match his 0.21 expected assists (xA) per 90 minutes. He’s also vital to Crewe’s ball progression. No player still playing full-back in League One can match his 13.3 progressive passes per 90 minutes. Defensively he ranks above average for successful defensive actions, defensive duels per 90 minutes and defensive duels win percentage. Pickering’s form in the first half of the season earned him a move to the Championship with Blackburn who loaned him back to Crewe. Photo: Pete Norton/Getty Images.
CENTRE-BACK: JACOB GREAVES (Hull City): 20-year-old Greaves has been a key defender for a Hull City side with the best defensive record in the league this season in terms of both goals and expected goals against. Greaves ranks ninth for defensive duel success rate (75.31%) and sixth for aerial duel success rate (70.91%) demonstrating his ability to defend both on the ground and aerially. Being the statistically best defender in the best defence in the league get Greaves the nod in this side. Greaves pipped Gillingham’s Jack Tucker who posted excellent defensive and aerial duel success rate numbers, as well as some impressive progressive passing numbers. However, his side’s overall poor defensive data was a black mark. Photo: Getty Images.