FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 19

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 19 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/

Quick Christmas Message

I’m back after a wonderful week away in Scotland with the new missus! Thank you for bearing with me whilst I was away, attempting to convince her that FPL and football wasn’t my entire life and that I’m really not a sad bastard… not sure I totally got away with it but she seems to be happy with me!

On a serious and slightly sloppy note, as much as we love our FPL and football, we must remember what’s more important in life – spending time with loved ones. I know it’s a completely clichéd sentiment, but I just wanted to take this time to remind you all that FPL and football isn’t everything – don’t allow it to get in the way of cherishing the moments with the people you care about, because when you’re feeling low, it’ll be those individuals who pick you back up, not FPL/football.

Have a very, merry Christmas from myself and everyone here at FPL Connect!

Anyway, back to FPL!

Screen Shot 2018-12-24 at 12.18.28

GW18 produced some big swings in scores. It saw a healthy average of 55, yet there were plenty who saw some very low scores down to a number of popular players blanking.

Man City’s surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Crystal Palace and Chelsea’s surprise 1-0 defeat to Leicester were the main shocks and those who captained City assets and Hazard all failed miserably, as Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne scored the goals with Delph and B.Silva getting the assists for City, and Chelsea couldn’t break Leciester’s defence, despite Hazard getting through on a couple of occasions, only to hit the bar.

Aubameyang was backed by the most and he duly delivered for his owners with a brace and maximum bonus against Burnley at the Emirates to continue his fantastic strike rate.

Salah was also backed well and he had a hand in both of Liverpool’s 2 goals away at Wolves, finishing off one and setting up Virgil van Dijk for the other, resulting in a lovely 12pt return to keep his form ticking over nicely.

And finally, Harry Kane, having scored back to back braces against Everton in his last 2 games against them, was backed by 8.6% of canny managers, who walked away with a massive 15pt return from Spurs’ brilliant 6-2 win.

Once again, with most premium options delivering currently and with some decent fixtures, GW19 could be split in terms of the numbers for captaincy but I’d expect Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah to be the two mainly battling it out for your armband. Let’s delve into the stats and find out more…

Results of our poll 

Screenshot 2018-12-25 at 09.05.48

Harry Kane – 52% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 24 penalty area touches
  • 16 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 3 assists.

Mohamed Salah – 27% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks (where he’s been involved in the match):

  • 37 penalty area touches
  • 14 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 14% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 24 penalty area touches
  • 16 total goal attempts.
  • 14 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 8 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Other highly owned viable options

Eden Hazard 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 28 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 9 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 5 assists.

Raheem Sterling

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks (where he has been involved in the match):

  • 32 penalty area touches
  • 7 total goal attempts.
  • 7 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Differential captain options

Embed from Getty Images

 

  1. Marcus Rashford – Even before Ole’s impact, Rashford was ticking along nicely, with a goal and 4 assists in his previous 4 matches. He added to this, scoring a brilliant knuckle free kick against Cardiff in United’s impressive 5-1 victory to kick off Ole’s reign in style. They were fast, fluid, expansive and looked exciting going forwards for the first time in a very long time. It’ll be Ole’s first game at Old Trafford as manager against favourable opposition in Huddersfield and with Rashford in brilliant form, it looks likely that he’ll continue to start and looks set to add to his recent purple patch.
  2. Son Heung-Min – This one feels risky with Lucas waiting in the wings, but we all know what Son can do when he starts – his ridiculously good performance at Everton being the latest example where he bagged a massive 21pt haul. He did come off in the 78th minute, so he did get some rest. Whether that’s enough to start the game on Boxing Day I’m not sure, but a lot of players will be at risk of rotation anyway and if he does start, it could be a fantastic differential captain to have, as he’s scored 3 in his last 3 against them and Bournemouth have been beaten by Spurs by 3 or more goals in 4 of their 6 matches against them in all competitive competitions.

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2018-12-24 at 13.41.16

Mohamed Salah.

Important Note: We have twigged the metric slightly once more. At the end of the metric, you’ll find two new relevant stats.

First one (Reliability %), basically gives us the percentage of games the player has provided a return (goal or assist) in out of the games he was available for selection (not injured) – so this includes games where the player has scored 0 because of being on the bench/rested, but not those where the player has scored 0 because he was injured or unavailable for some other reason, like personal circumstances for example. This can give us an idea of how likely the player is to return and how reliable he has been.

The second (Explosivity %), as the name suggests, gives us the percentage of games the player has ‘exploded in’, or in more accurate terms, has provided a double-figure return. In the same way as before, it can give us an idea of how likely a player is to return a double-figure haul and a clear view of how good he’s been at providing double-figure hauls in the past.

Breakdown:

  • Player form – Mohamed Salah has scored more points than either Kane or Aubameyang in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool have created the most amount of big chances (16) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to the rest of the candidates teams.
  • Fixture difficulty – Kane and Salah’s opponents, Bournemouth and Newcastle, have conceded the most amount of big chances (11) in comparison to Aubameyang’s opponents. Whilst Bournemouth have conceded more goals (10) than Newcastle in that time (6), Bournemouth have played City and Liverpool whilst Newcastle’s toughest opponents were West Ham and Everton.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Mohamed Salah is the most likely to score.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has the highest expected goal involvement of the 3 candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Home/Away Goal Conversion – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after bagging 5 goals from 20 goal attempts away from home.
  • Reliability % – Both Kane and Salah have 11 returns in their 18 games so far whilst Aubameyang has only 10 in that time.
  • Explosivity % – Kane and Aubameyang both currently have the better explosive rating having hit double-figure returns in 4 of their 18 games in comparison to Salah having only hit 3 double figure hails in his 18 games.

My view 

Most of the premium assets are in good form and are viable captaincy candidates this week.

Raheem Sterling came off early in City’s shock defeat so that should see him safe to start against Leicester and after losing in such shocking fashion, Pep will be demanding an instant response. Leicester won’t be an easy game though, as they’ll be hugely motivated after a brilliant 1-0 away win at Stamford Bridge. He’s also only fired in 7 goal attempts in his last 5, so I can’t see huge returns for Sterling in that one.

Eden Hazard looks near enough back to his best in recent matches and was very unfortunate not to have another return last GW. He had some great opportunities and really should have scored after being played through on goal, but he could only hit the top of the crossbar. Watford have conceded 12 big chances in their last 5, so that could see Hazard get some more chances and if he does, you’d have to think he’ll take 1 of them.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also in good form after he continued his brilliant strike rate against Burnley with a well-taken brace, but they play away against a team that have only actually conceded 4 big chances in their last 5 matches. Whilst the teams they played, Chelsea aside, aren’t that proficient in attack, their defensive numbers at home overall suggest they aren’t easy to break down, with only 10 goals conceded and 14 big chances conceded in their 8 home games.

For me though, the captaincy should lie between Harry Kane or Mohamed Salah.

Kane loves to play Bournemouth, with 6 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 appearances against them, and in his last appearance, he was subbed off injured in the 34th min before the goals started flying in – a game Spurs ran out 4-1 winners.

In contrast, Salah and Liverpool struggled against Newcastle last season, only beating them 2-0 at Anfield and drawing 1-1 with them at St James. Salah did score 1 of the 2 goals at Anfield however.

Embed from Getty Images

 

If you only own one of them, then captain the other, if you own both, I personally fancy Harry Kane.

In terms of a differential, then I do fancy Marcus Rashford in Ole’s first game at Old Trafford. The atmosphere will be buzzing and I can see United, if they play the same way as they did against Cardiff, cutting through Huddersfield’s backline with ease.

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

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