FPL Captain Choices: Gameweek 23

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 23 and reveal the results of our captain poll, who will you choose this gameweek?

We are back… again!

It’s been a nice break and we hope you’ve all had a fantastic time celebrating NYE whatever you were doing – we don’t need to know specifics!

It’s time to dive into the second half of the season – a time full of preparation and planning, of blank and double gameweeks and of course, the all important chips.

There’s plenty to look forward to and as we go along, we’ll make sure you’re all best equipped to tackle the challenges coming up with more articles and other varying content on Twitter.

For now though, let’s focus on the next uppermost important decision… the captain for GW23.

Results of our Poll

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Harry Kane – 67% of the votes

A whopping 67% of the votes go to Harry Kane – the infamous triple captain fail, for some.

For others, I think it’s just relief that they’ve still got their valued TC chip in tact and for them, the surrounding negativity amongst Kane doesn’t hit them as hard because of that, so they’re happy to still go with him.

I think not only that, but this week, it’s almost a selection by default with some of the big teams facing off against each other such as, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Saying that, we could have worse players to go for…

In the last 6 gameweeks Kane;

  • Tops the xG (expected goals) stat of any player with a value of 4.96 to second placed Salah on 4.89.
  • Is top for total goal attempts of any player.
  • Is second only to Agüero (25) for shots inside the box with 23.
  • Is joint second for big chances received with 7 to first-placed Salah on 10.

The only worry here for me, is the opposition.

Sam Allardyce knows how to shut teams out and Spurs, as we’ve seen on numerous occasions this season already, especially at Wembley, can struggle against outfits that come with the sole purpose of defending.

Big Sam will undoubtedly do that and the stats suggest they can do it to good effect.

In the last 6 gameweeks, Everton have only conceded 7 big chances, which is the joint 3rd best defence for conceding the least amount of big chances.

By comparison, Spurs, in the last 6 gameweeks, have created 13 big chances, which is the 6th ranked best for that stat.

To give some perspective, Palace and Stoke have created 12 big chances and Leicester (14) and West Ham (18) have both created more.

Having said that, Spurs have managed to score 14 goals in that time, which is a very decent return over a 6 game period and Kane did score a brace the last time they played, so alls not doom and gloom.

It comes down to whether they can score in the first 30 minutes – if they can, it could be a very profitable game, if not, then it could be a repeat of what we’ve seen on many occasions this year.

All or nothing for Kane, that’s what we’re getting used to.

Mohamed Salah – 17% of the votes

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Salah’s low votes will likely come down to the fact that he’s still yellow flagged and on that note, the ever-reliable Ben Dinnery is on hand to provide an on-cue update;

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Most will wait until the press conference to be totally sure, but upon being passed fit, if it is he is ok, I wouldn’t completely rule him out as a captain option just because of the fixture, as I think there will be chances for Salah to get at the City defence.

In the last 5 fixtures between these two at Anfield in the Premier League, we’ve seen 16 goals, with Liverpool winning 4 of them.

The game is likely to be an open and entertaining game, perhaps not as open as the Arsenal and Liverpool match, but I expect both teams to attack.

In terms of attacking threat, you can barely separate the two teams over the last 6 gameweeks.

Both have scored 16 goals in that time and Liverpool just better City for creating big chances with 23 to City’s 22.

I do however believe, that with Coutinho having now secured his big dream move to Spanish giants Barcelona, Liverpool have a huge void of creativity.

Lallana will be the likely replacement and whilst I do rate Lallana, there aren’t many that can replicate what Coutinho did for Liverpool.

It won’t affect the way they play ultimately and they’ll still score plenty of goals, but in the big games where you need a big player to step up, I’m not sure Lallana’s that man.

So perhaps this might be a good game to leave Salah be in terms of the captain and just observe how Liverpool attempt to patch up the hole that Coutinho has left behind and see to what extent he effects their overall output, as well as Salah’s, from an attacking sense.

Having said that, Salah has been unstoppable this year and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him carry on in the same vein in spite of Coutinho’s absence.

Romelu Lukaku – 8% of the votes

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At 22.5% ownership, Lukaku still has a chunky following, but I expect the majority of that 22.5% are dead teams at this point, as Lukaku hasn’t been offering all that much for a while now, but for those who do still own him, this week could be very profitable.

This one is definitely more about the fixture than the player, as Lukaku has only a goal and an assist in his last 7 Premier League games.

In that time, United haven’t been great either, with 4 wins, 3 draws and 1 defeat coming in the last 8 in the PL, as well as being knocked out of the Carabao Cup to Bristol City too.

But the win last time out to Everton, followed up by a 2-0 home win to Derby – where Lukaku scored the 2nd goal – will give them confidence going into the Stoke match.

Over the last 6 gameweeks, Stoke are the joint worst defence for conceding big chances (18).

They top the charts for the most amount of goals conceded away from home (27), as well as topping the big chances conceded stat (32) away from home.

Even though United haven’t exactly been prolific at scoring in recent times, I still expect them to score 3+ goals against a truly awful Stoke defence, who currently don’t have a manager.

Fill your boots Rom.

Differential captain options

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  1. Lingard – For those that aren’t interested in Big Rom, Lingard offers us a fantastic differential captain. We’ve already spoke about how poor Stoke’s current situation and defence is, so we know that’s ticked off, but unlike Lukaku, Lingard has great form. 4 goals and 1 assist in his last 6 PL games and a beautiful goal against Derby in the FA cup to boot, Lingard is playing out of his skin and is hugely high on confidence right now. I think it’s 100% time to get on the Lingard train and giving him the captain armband this week if you fancy a punt could be a great shout given his form and the opposition he’s up against.
  2. Hazard – A player who’s underperforming from an FPL point of view yet who’s getting standing ovations from his beloved support, is Chelsea’s Belgian wizard Eden Hazard. Everytime you physically watch this guy, you’re thinking ‘wow, I need him in my team’, but, like last year at times, he just doesn’t seem to back it up consistently enough for his price-tag, in FPL returns. Saying that, he’s always there or there about in terms of overall points come the end of the season because he does get those returns, it’s just trying to predict when they’re gonna re-appear again, like that really annoying game ‘Bop-it’ where you’ve gotta hit those things on the head with a mini toy hammer, narrowly missing each time until you eventually stick to one specific hole and hold out until it pops up and you get it. Could this be the game for Hazard?
  3. Sánchez – I think Alexis is the stand-out captain choice this week and someone I am heavily considering bringing in. He’s in great form as he – at least it appears this way – ups his game to force a move out of Arsenal. Wenger came out recently however and stated that there’s been no contact or approach made for Sánchez and maintains that he doesn’t believe there will be, in contrast to many journalists and reporters suggesting an agreement is close. The way I see it, the rumours are for Man City mainly, so if he does leave, you get a world-class player who plays for the best team in the league and arguably in Europe, if he doesn’t, he’s still performing very well at Arsenal and has amazing fixtures. Either way, I think he’s a great option and is only owned by 3.0% overall. Over the last 6 gameweeks, he only loses out to Kane for total goal attempts and has 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 4 PL matches. He also likes playing Bournemouth, with 3 goals in his last 3 appearances against them.

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