FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 30

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 30 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our new captain metric, who will you choose this gameweek?

BEFORE WE BEGIN: If you haven’t already seen, we released an article earlier introducing the new ‘Captain Metric’, which explains the concept fully and it can be viewed here > ‘The Captain Metric Explained…’

GW29 proved a success for the metric and the people, with Salah scoring 8pts to Kane’s 5 and Agüero blanking in his game against Chelsea.

It was a tough one on paper, displayed in the tight votes between the two in our poll, but ultimately, Salah’s incredible form continued to shine once again.

In terms of differential captains, my pick of Riyad Mahrez managed to score a dramatic, injury-time free kick to bring home his owners a lovely 10pt return.

GW30 sees the high-flying, free-scoring Egyptian go up against one of the best defences in the league in Mourinho’s United and Tottenham’s main man face a pretty leaky Bournemouth defence.

It’s a classic tale of ‘form vs fixture’, ‘consistency v potential explosion’, but will we remain faithful to Salah, or drop him for the ever-tempting gazes of Harry Kane and the promise of a double-figure wonderland?

Results of our poll (in progress)

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 10.17.26

Mohamed Salah – 17% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats over the last 4 gameweeks:

  • 37 penalty area touches
  • 17 total goal attempts.
  • 15 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 6 big chances.
  • 5 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Harry Kane – 68% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats over the last 4 gameweeks:

  • 27 penalty area touches
  • 21 total goal attempts.
  • 18 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 8 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Sergio Agüero – 12% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats over the last 4 gameweeks:

  • 29 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 12 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Differential captain options

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  1. Riyad Mahrez – Last week I went with the Algerian as my differential captain pick and he duly delivered, albeit in controversial circumstances, as he scored a free kick in the 97th minute when there was only actually 4 minutes added on. This week I fancy him again against a Baggies side that have conceded the joint most amount of goals (12) of any Premier League team, with West Ham, over the last 5 gameweeks. 
  2. Leroy Sané – Sané hasn’t played too much recently because of an injury, but back in the squad now the last two gameweeks has rendered a goal and an assist against Arsenal and a very good performance against Chelsea, in which he was by far the most dangerous looking attacking player and who had a brilliant effort cleared off the line. Across those two games he’s had 11 penalty area touches and 6 goal attempts, with 5 of those coming inside the box. If he’s in the starting 11 against Stoke, then he could be a great alternative captain option, as he’s looking on fire at the minute.
  3. Christian Eriksen – Eriksen hasn’t been brilliant this season and certainly not in the last few, but he does tick along nicely and this is a game owners can expect some returns. Bournemouth play an expansive game, especially at their own stadium and it historically ends badly for them against the big teams (Arsenal result aside), with the higher quality players taking advantage of the space their expansive game creates. Eriksen is one of those that can take advantage of the space and with him being the most influential player from an attacking perspective for Spurs, the potential is there for him to post a decent score in this one.

My view…

If I take my club bias out of it (Man Utd), then I have to say that this week is probably a lot closer than people might think.

Mourinho knows how to shut games down and he especially likes to do it in the big games, but he won’t be able to play that negatively at Old Trafford in front of a crowd of 75,000.

He will have to go for it somewhat and that could ultimately play into the hands of Liverpool, with Salah, Firmino and Mané up against the likes of Smalling, Lindelof and Young – hardly a defence the Liverpool trio will be worried about – especially after United’s defensive performance against Crystal Palace.

The positional play of Young, Lindelof and Smalling is quite poor in my opinion and they will struggle to contain the fluid movement of Salah, Firmino and Mané.

Not only that, but they didn’t have to expand much mental or physical energy in dispatching Porto in their UCL tie, with Salah getting a much-deserved rest, leaving them fresh of body and mind for the weekend’s clash.

Kane and co in comparison, had a gruelling and majorly disappointing night at Wembley, losing to the Old Lady after dominating the majority of their tie, leaving them demoralised.

However, I think the ceiling is lower for Salah than for Kane based on how compact and controlled Mourinho will attempt to play it and I can see Salah either blanking or getting 1 attacking return, whereas I see Kane’s max potential as 2/3 attacking returns vs The Cherries.

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Because of that, I’m going with Harry Kane, but I’m not convinced that it’s actually the better choice for GW30 on paper, as Kane has been much more likely to blank vs the consistent Salah and we can’t be sure how much their UCL exit is going to affect their minds.

In terms of a differential captain punt, I’ve got to go with that man Riyad Mahrez again.

WBA are really struggling right now, with pressure growing on Alan Pardew and with the confidence flowing after his brilliant late free-kick last gameweek, I expect the Algerian to pile on the misery for the Baggies.

The Captain Metric says… 

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 15.30.46

Mohamed Salah.

For the second time since it’s inception, we have a draw, between Kane and Salah on the metric.

Both win out on 2 of the key relevant stats associated with picking a captain, but as I have identified in the explanation article of the Captain Metric (link at the top), I have chosen ‘Player Form’ as the kicker in the event of a draw – my subjective choice based on what I believe is the most relevant statistic.

As you can see from the screenshot above, Kane doesn’t even have twice as many points as Salah in the last 5 gameweeks and not only that, but Liverpool are currently better at taking their big chances than Spurs, with Spurs only scoring 8 of their 18 big chances created in comparison to Liverpool scoring 13 of their 19 big chances in that time.

Salah also posts a very similar ICT Index score to Kane, with only 1.8pts between them, suggesting they’re both equally as threatening, creative and influential as each other.

The other key difference between the two, is the fixture of course and we know Manchester United are a much better defensive team than Bournemouth, with the stats backing that up.

However, they were very poor defensively against Palace and should they play that way against Liverpool, Salah will have no problem helping himself to some attacking returns.

So for GW30, the people say Kane (potential explosion), the metric says to stick with Salah (consistency).

Stats obtained from fantasyfootballscout.co.uk

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