FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 8

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 8 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our captain metric – who will you choose this Gameweek?

BEFORE WE BEGIN: If you haven’t already seen, we released an article last year introducing the new ‘Captain Metric’, which explains the concept fully and it can be viewed here > https://fplconnect.blog/2018/08/07/the-captain-metric-explained-2/

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It was a fairly decent week for captain returns, as 3/5 of the highest captained players returned.

Those who captained Sir Harold of Kane however, reigned supreme in Gameweek 7, as the Spurs and England International striker went on to bag his first brace of the season and subsequently, his highest return to date, against Huddersfield at the John Smith stadium.

The 7.8% who trusted that Hazard would continue his scintillating form were rewarded with his 3rd double figure haul of the season, after his pacey breakaway down the left hand side led to him slotting the ball passed a helpless Alisson resulting in a lovely 10pt return after being awarded max bonus.

The majority went for Agüero, who had the plum fixture at home versus Brighton, but he could only manage the 1 goal before he was hooked off around 65 mins. His 2 bonus helped the cause and led to an okay 8pt return, but I think most were likely hoping for more.

Salah owners and especially those who gave him the armband, were left extremely frustrated as he was unable to produce any returns despite having numerous good chances, including one where he rounded the keeper only to have his tame effort blocked on the line, before being hooked off on 65 minutes.

Mané came close with an effort inside the box which was excellently saved by Kepa, but also went on to blank to disappoint his owners and the 2.6% that chose him as their captain.

This week, Harry Kane looks the best bet, but lets dive into the stats and see if that’s really the case!

Results of our poll (in progress)

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 16.11.15

Eden Hazard – 43% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 36 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 11 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 6 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Harry Kane – 40% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 33 penalty area touches
  • 14 total goal attempts.
  • 14 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 6 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Mohamed Salah – 9% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 40 penalty area touches
  • 19 total goal attempts.
  • 14 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Sergio Agüero – 8% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 42 penalty area touches
  • 26 total goal attempts.
  • 20 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 big chance.
  • 2 goals.
  • 3 assists.

Differential captain options

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  1. Alexandre Lacazette – Lacazette is back again, featuring in this section for the third time in a row. He’s not blown the doors away each time we’ve recommended him, but he’s been solid with an 8pt and 5pt return. He’s ticking along nicely and now faces a side that have conceded a massive 18 big chances and 11 goals in the last 5 GWs. With 4x 90 minute appearances in the last 4 PL games, it seems Emery favours Lacazette as his striker in this formation and since being the main man, Lacazette has scored 2 and assisted 3. Could the haul be right around the corner?
  2. Jamie Vardy – Vardy came back from his suspension like he was never away, with 21pts in the 3 games since being back. Leicester aren’t the most prolific attacking team, but they have scored the 3rd most amount of goals (10) in the last 5 matches and have a beautiful run of fixtures now that you have to think Vardy will be pivotal for, if they’re to take advantage. Everton have been fairly leaky so far under Silva, so a decent return for Vardy here looks a good bet. Owned by roughly 5% of players at the time of writing, a haul from the party lad could see you fly up the ranks.
  3. Heung-Min Son – Even less owned than Vardy, is Heung-Min Son at 2% at the time of writing. If you don’t own Kane, or simply can’t get him or don’t want to, yet you want to take advantage of the fixture against Cardiff, then you could bring the South Korean in. He’s proven in the past to be just as explosive as Kane, with numerous double figure hauls to his name in the last couple of seasons. Kane in and captain looks like the obvious move, be could Son in and captain be the smart move?

The Captain Metric says… 

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 14.47.38

… Eden Hazard.

Despite Kane’s amazing fixture, Eden Hazard takes it down with our new ‘Metric Score’ in place.

Breakdown:

  • Player form – Hazard has scored more points than either Kane, Agüero or Salah in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Agüero’s Manchester City have created the most amount of big chances (18) in comparison to Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea.
  • Fixture difficulty – Hazard’s opponents (Southampton) have conceded more big chances (11) than either of Kane, Agüero or Salah’s opponents however, Cardiff (Kane’s opponents) have conceded the most amount of goals in that time (14).
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Harry Kane is the most likely to score of the four of them.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Salah has the highest expected goal involvement of the four candidates.
  • Actual goals/assists (xGI Delta) – Hazard is over performing to the highest degree of the four candidates.

Important note: even if we were to use ‘goals conceded’ as a measure for ‘Fixture difficulty’, Hazard would still win down to his other superior stats.

My View

I’ve said this from the very start – I think Cardiff are poor and that they would finish last and be the Premier League’s whipping boys. Huddersfield are currently matching them for that, but I fully expect them to get relegated this year and continue to be dispatched comfortably when the bigger teams play them.

I expect Spurs to win against them, but Spurs simply haven’t done enough yet to convince me that they’re ready to destroy a team 4-0 or some score along those lines.

After losing their first game against Inter Milan from a winning position, heavy emphasis will be placed on them getting through to the latter stages of the UCL.

Last season it took it’s toll on the Spurs players, as they had Real Madrid and Dortmund in their group and they performed extremely well, but then weren’t completely at the races when it came to the Premier League as they had expanded a lot of energy mentally and physically for their UCL matches – I can see it being similar this year with them now having to face Barcelona twice and Inter Milan again.

They play Barca tomorrow evening, and then their match against Cardiff is on Saturday. That’s only a 2 day recovery. Will they be fully at the races against a fully energised Cardiff side that will likely come and park the bus? I’m not so sure.

In addition to that, they have quite a few injuries to key players in key areas:

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 16.22.27

Last season at Wembley, they struggled over the line against the newly promoted sides, beating Newcastle by just 1 goal and Huddersfield and Brighton by 2 goals to nil – I can see a similar scoreline this weekend, especially with the above players confirmed out.

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In contrast, Chelsea host MOL Vidi at Stamford Bridge, and considering Sarri left Hazard out of the squad for the difficult trip away to PAOK, it’s hard to see Hazard featuring in that one, leaving him fresh for Southampton and he is THE form player.

I’m not saying Kane isn’t gonna score this weekend, but I don’t envisage that game being as easy as people are making out for the above reasons.

I’m personally between Hazard and my differential captain suggestion of Alex Lacazette and those are the players I’m advocating this weekend.

Stats obtained from fantasyfootballscout.co.uk
Odds obtained from williamhill.com

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