FPL Captain Choices: Gameweek 1

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for gameweek 1, who will you choose?

And so it begins. Tomorrow evening, marks the beginning of the new Premier League campaign and with it, a brand new Fantasy Premier League season.

We’ve deliberated, we’ve cried, we’ve sought help, some have lost hair, others have completely ignored the missus – some may have even killed the missus – we’ve deliberated some more and then deliberated all over again.

But the time for deliberation, is over. The time for action, is now.

So stop overthinking it, make your final decisions and lock in that team because the deadline is upon us and it’s not going to wait for anyone. Winter is nearly here!

The Results for the Poll

Captain Poll GW1 Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 20.07.34

As expected Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m and 48.5% Ownership) leads the way here with a mighty 57% of the votes.

Lukaku has a pretty compelling case against the hammers having scored in all but one of his previous eight league encounters with West Ham, with last season’s 0-0 at the London Stadium his only blank – one that I took a punt on with the captaincy last year based on those compelling stats and failed miserably.

That is just one example of how these stats don’t always translate into future prediction.

There’s also the rational point made by our Chief Editor Simon here at FPL Connect (https://fplconnect.blog/2017/08/08/team-preview-manchester-united/), about Mourinho’s propensity to pull up the handbrake when United got a lead last year.

All that being said, his ownership his huge and that alone is scary, let alone his consistently excellent record in a less creative Everton team, but I’m just not convinced he can explode in Mourinho’s controlled set-up – I trust what I can see, when I see it, I’ll believe it.

Next in line, is Harry Kane (£12.5m and 37.7% Ownership) with 21% of the votes.

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Last season’s golden boot winner needs no introduction. He finished the 16/17 season off in scintillating form, with 8 goals in his final 3 games! If he carries on where he left off, no-one is a better cappo than this man, which is why I’m surprised to see such a large gap between Kane and Lukaku in the votes.

However, there are some question marks over how the England striker starts off campaigns.

The fact he hasn’t scored a premier league goal in August doesn’t bode well on first viewing, but if we look further into this, we see that the last two seasons were preceded with some football over the summer.

The Euros with the U21s in 2015 and again in 2016 with the senior squad. With a full pre-season and a lot more rest than in the past, there’s no excuse for Kane to start slow and he’s looked sharp in pre-season,

I expect him to come out firing on all cylinders and put to bed these August blues, starting with revenge at Newcastle – magpies beware, they haven’t forgotten!

Last in line for the main considerations for the armband this week, are the City strikers Agüero (£11.5m and 10.8% Ownership and Gabriel Jesus (£10.5m and 13.4% Ownership).

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Agüero’s legendary status as an FPL asset isn’t doing him any favours right now. Pep has come in and truly ruined our love affair with the little Argentine.

Out of favour, down to the way Pep wants his team to press from the front, Kun seems to be a bit of an outcast despite Pep’s best attempts to assure us in interviews, that he’s a key part of his set up.

The evidence is there, last season and in this pre-season, where Agüero played far less minutes than Jesus and was sacrificed first for Sterling, usually at HT.

I can see this coming to fruition through the season, Agüero getting 60-70 minutes and coming off for the pace and energy of Sterling.

All that being said, this man hit legendary status for a reason. When he plays, he scores.

He’s one of few assets in the game that can always explode – which is what you want from your captain – and I expect him to start alongside Jesus in the 3-5-2 formation City have been running with in pre-season.

Brighton will struggle to get the ball and I can see City banging 3/4 goals, and if they do, I think Agüero will be amongst them.

The other side of this coin is Jesus, Pep’s golden boy.

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At £1.0M cheaper, it’s easy to see why managers are preferring him to Agüero for selection, but are they preferring him for the armband?

Let me try to answer that with another question; Is he as explosive as his counterpart? The truthful answer is, we don’t know yet and because of that, more experienced managers won’t risk giving him the armband just yet, he has to earn it.

His limited experience in the Premier League pales in comparison to Agüero’s. We know Kun well, we know what to expect from him, we know that he can score 4/5 goals in a single game.

We know Jesus started well, we know he has the potential, but I think he’s still too raw an asset to be trusted with the oh so preciously weighted captain armband. It’s a huge responsibility and one I personally feel he isn’t ready for, yet.

However, he could prove to be worthy, as the season progresses.

Other honourable mentions, if you’re looking for a slightly differential captain, are:

  1.  Zaha (£7.0m) who has a lovely fixture at home to new boys Huddersfield and is playing in the Hazard role on the left of a 3-4-3 formation for FdB’s new-look Palace side. Free from the shackles, in the form of defensive duties, that Big Sam put him in when he was in charge, Zaha has the licence from de Boer to attack without defensive constraints.
  2. Kevin de Bruyne (£10.0m) who will be central to all City do from an attacking perspective, in what I’m predicting to be a comfortable win Vs Brighton.
  3. Mané (£9.5m) who faces a potentially tricky away day fixture against Watford under new Portuguese boss Marco Silva. Mané always has the potential to score big and in a Liverpool side that can run riot, Mané is always central to the scoring when Liverpool hit top gear.

 

 

 

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