FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 9

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 9 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/

The International break isn’t over just yet, but we’re on the back end of it (thank christ) and it’s good to be back writing about FPL after what has felt like an eternity!

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GW8 was mainly won by those who went with form (Hazard) over fixtures (Kane) and those who gambled on a differential captain in the form of Lacazette.

Many scrambled to acquire the Spurs front man after picking up some form, heading into a game against a very poor looking Cardiff team, but unfortunately for them, Spurs were unable to get themselves going and slumped to a lacklustre 1-0 win (which was predicted by us https://fplconnect.blog/2018/10/02/fpl-captain-metric-gameweek-8/) with Kane unable to contribute, leaving him on a measly 1 point return after he acquired a booking.

Looking at the high backing of Agüero, it would appear that quite a few may have missed the Friday night deadline, leaving their captaincy on Agüero who had never scored a goal at Anfield going into the game, and of course, once again, he wasn’t able to score and was subbed off after 65 minutes.

Salah was well backed once again, but his poor form continued with another blank leaving owners confused about what to do with him with very good fixtures approaching.

Both Eden Hazard and Alexandre Lacazette hit double figure returns to continue their good form and reward their owners with a priceless captaincy haul, and in a Gameweek where big numbers captained 2 players that blanked, it saw huge jumps in overall rank.

This week looks like a fairly straight forward decision, but with Agüero being brought off early, people are questioning whether, given his and United’s form, Hazard might be the better option – let’s dive in and find out!

Results of our poll 

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Sergio Agüero – 58% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 34 penalty area touches
  • 22 total goal attempts.
  • 18 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 big chance.
  • 2 goals.
  • 3 assists.

Eden Hazard – 19% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 40 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 13 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 6 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Harry Kane – 13% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 34 penalty area touches
  • 18 total goal attempts.
  • 15 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Sadio Mané – 10% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 23 penalty area touches
  • 11 total goal attempts.
  • 8 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 0 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 0 assists.

Mohamed Salah 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 34 penalty area touches
  • 16 total goal attempts.
  • 12 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 0 assists.

Differential captain options

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  1. Raheem Sterling – Sterling is finally getting some attention, but at £11.1m, people are fearing that it will be too large a price to pay for someone that could be rotated, but the fact of the matter is, Sterling has started every PL game bar one so far and has collected a healthy 50pts. In the last 5 GWs, he’s registered more penalty area touches (47) than any other player and put in a brilliant performance for England scoring a brace against Spain. His finishing appears to be getting much better and City will need his movement if they’re going to break Burnley’s defence.
  2. Alexandre Lacazette – After repaying the faith we showed in him, Lacazette makes the list again. I know you’re probably getting sick of seeing him pop up in this section but he keeps delivering and will continue to be a differential captain option at his ownership. Arsenal are in fantastic form, winning all 9 of their previous 9 games in all competitions scoring 27 goals in the process (average of 3 a game). They face Leicester at the Emirates next and as well as being in great form, Lacazette loves playing at the Emirates, so it’s hard to see him not getting involved in the scoring again in this one.
  3. Aleksandar Mitrovic – No returns in the last 2 PL games for Mitrovic, but that didn’t stop him banging in a brace for his country in their match versus Montenegro. Fulham’s attack isn’t the issue, it’s the defence, so against a team that have only managed to score 4 so far (the joint worst in the league), as well as the second least amount of big chances (9), Fulham will feel confident about out-scoring them this weekend and when they score goals, it’s usually this man that’s on the end of them.

The Captain Metric says… 

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… Sergio Agüero. 

As probably expected, Agüero wins, but it was a close run thing given Hazard’s superb form.

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 (17) in comparison to Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea.
  • Fixture difficulty – Agüero’s opponents (Burnley) have conceded more big chances (11) than either of Kane, Hazard or Salah’s opponents however, Burnley have only actually conceded 5 goals in that time.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Sergio Agüero is the most likely to score of the four of them.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Kane has the highest expected goal involvement of the four candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Actual goals/assists (xGI Delta) – Hazard is over performing to the highest degree of the four candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.

Important note: We put Salah into the metric instead of Mané as we put our poll up yesterday before the news about his injury (broken thumb), but we ran the numbers and his metric score came out as 1. Both players seriously out for form despite the good fixture.

My view… 

I think it’s an easy one this week. Hazard’s form is undeniable, but Man City at home are imperious.

In their 4 matches at home so far, they’ve created a massive 19 big chances, scoring 13 goals, the highest of any team at home in the league and they will have Kevin de Bruyne back, a fully 100% again Agüero and a fully rested David Silva to boot.

Burnley don’t seem to be as defensively solid as in recent years, but you could argue that it was really down to the Europa League, as their defensive numbers have improved since going out of the competition.

They have only conceded 3 in the last 4, but that could be more down to the fact they have played against Wolves, Bournemouth, Cardiff and Huddersfield in that time – yet they still conceded goals to both Huddersfield and Cardiff.

They’ve also conceded 11 big chances in the last 5 games and that’s not a good ratio going into a game against City, as they won’t be as wasteful with their chances as other opponents and will likely create more.

I can see both Agüero and Hazard returning, but the likelihood for Agüero to return and the ceiling for him feels higher when compared to Hazard, as Mourinho could go there and man mark Hazard/park the bus and try to stifle the game – which we know he’s capable of doing.

With clouds over Salah and Mané’s fitness for the Huddersfield game, it’s difficult at this stage to bring them into the equation, that’s without even considering their huge apparent lack of form despite what looks a good fixture – as we saw with Kane last GW, the fixture isn’t everything.

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So I’m comfortably with Agüero in this one and for those looking for a differential, then I think the same game should be picked and Raheem Sterling should be your man.

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

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