FPL Captain Choices: Gameweek 21

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 21 and reveal the results of our captain poll – with Harry Kane out, who will you choose this gameweek?

Welcome back! We hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas with their family and friends, but it’s time to turn your attention and focus back to FPL again.

So put your Christmas crackers, your Turkey sandwiches – but not your drinks – down and lets get back to it!

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Kane’s back to back hat-tricks proved devastating to those who got rid of the Spurs man, but it’s the kind of form we all wanted to see heading into the upcoming double gameweek, with the triple captain on the agenda.

Salah continued his superfluous form by notching 2 assists for his Liverpool teammates in their destruction of Swansea, although with the Kane hat-trick, Salah captainers may have just wanted that bit more.

Elsewhere Sterling netted 11 points, bagging the only goal in the 1-0 win against Newcastle and Hazard disappointed his owners with yet another blank – that’s 4 blanks in the last 5 gameweeks now for the Belgian.

Lukaku couldn’t manage a return in United’s home match against Burnley, ensuring that interest in him stays low and KDB could only manage an assist for the solitary Sterling goal for City, in a game where he should really have got more, including Agüero, who had a lot of decent chances.

Results of our poll

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Mohamed Salah – 48% of the votes

Salah is relentless.

Another 9 points to his tally against Swansea makes it 154pts for the season from 15 goals and 7 assists – and we’re only half way through!

If Salah continues at this current rate and doesn’t get injured, he’d be on for 300 odd points!

Over the last 4 gameweeks, Salah;

  • is joint second highest for big chances (5) with only Kane and Sterling bettering that with 6.
  • is joint 3rd highest for goal attempts inside the box (13) with Sterling and only Agüero (18) and Kane (17) are bettering that.
  • is 3rd highest for xGI (expected goal involvement) with a figure of 3.34 to Kane’s 5.32 and Agüero’s 3.60.

Liverpool, in the last 4 gameweeks, are joint best for creating big chances (17) along with Manchester City.

They’re also matching City for goal attempts inside the box with 50 over that time, City having 51.

They’re playing Leicester next, who haven’t been all that solid recently, with 8 goals conceded in their last 4 games.

Salah was also withdrawn early in the Swansea game on 67 minutes, so there shouldn’t be any worries about him starting.

All this adds up to a very comprehensive captain choice all round indeed.

Eden Hazard – 29% of the votes 

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Hazard really hasn’t been great FPL wise over the last 5 gameweeks with only one return in that time, but he has been performing well as a player for the team if you actually watch his performances.

Of course this doesn’t help us as FPL managers, but if you’ve held onto him, it does give us the chance of a decent differential captain this week.

Chelsea, though they haven’t actually scored too many goals, have been good attacking wise over the last 4 gameweeks with them topping the goal attempts during that time of any team.

They also have the best ‘minutes per chance created’ ratio of any team over that time.

Hazard himself has had 9 goal attempts, 6 coming inside the box with none of them being big chances, as well as creating 11 chances for his teammates in the last 4 gameweeks – so not too bad, but definitely a drop from his previous performances.

Stoke are up next though for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, who are without Zouma (ineligible), Martins Indi (injury), Pieters (injury), Johnson (injury) and are unsure of Shawcross who picked up a knock.

Even with those players available, Stoke have been poor defensively but without, Chelsea could really do some damage.

Raheem Sterling – 12% of the votes 

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Over the last 4 gameweeks, Sterling has collected the most points of any player having amassed 45pts from 4 goals, 3 assists and 5 bonus points.

Sterling has 136pts this year and is the second highest point-scorer in the game to Salah.

The vast improvement in his game has been impressive under Pep, particularly his positioning, where he seems to have that knack of being in the right place at the right time.

His finishing could do with some work still, having missed some very, very easy chances, but aside from that, he’s been extremely good and has provided incredible value as an FPL asset.

As was stated earlier, Sterling is joint top with Kane for big chances (6) over the last 4 gameweeks and has an xGI value of 3.25, which is only beaten by Agüero, Kane and Salah. 

City are the best team in the league and are still continuing to show us this with 13 goals scored in the last 4, as well as being mostly top of all the relevant team attacking stats like ‘big chances created’ and ‘minutes per chance created’ etc.

They go away to Palace next, who aren’t in too bad form themselves having picked up wins against Watford and Leicester.

But City are just in a league of their own right now and Palace will struggle, as most teams have this season, to contain City’s attacking talent, with their only real hope being that City have an ‘off day’.

Differential captain options

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  1. Morata – As was stated in the Hazard section, Chelsea are creating chances fast and often. Morata was back in the starting 11 in the Premier League last time out against Brighton and got himself back in the goals. With chances being created thick and fast, Morata should do well in this one against a depleted Stoke defence who are without key men at the back.
  2. Coutinho – The little Brazilian magician is on fire and has 56pts in his last 6 PL games from 4 goals and 5 assists. Liverpool’s attacking stats are always good and they’re currently very good too. There are normally goals in this fixture, with 19 coming on the last 5 occasions these two teams have played against each other. Liverpool also won 4-1 the last time they played them at Anfield, so everything is set for Coutinho to have another ingressive game.
  3. Lukaku – To be honest, Lukaku and Man United haven’t been great at all, but I’m putting big Rom in here as I thought Southampton were SO poor defensively against Spurs. I watched the game live and saw the horrendous defensive mistakes they made – simple things like, not getting goal side of your man etc. United have to turn things round and they normally aren’t out of sorts for too long. I expect them to win this one comfortably and Lukaku to be back in the goals.

Stats found at www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk

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