FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 20

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 20 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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Gameweek 19 was a high scoring one, with the average a whopping 59pts and many in the community achieving scores in the 80’s or more – some even hit the magic tonne! This was down to some huge scores from popular assets and the top captains all delivering something bar Sterling.

Salah was the top captained player amongst live teams with the Magpies coming to Anfield and he duly delivered for them with a goal from the penalty spot and an assist, resulting in another 12pt haul.

Aubameyang was the next highest captained player with the Gabonese international facing a Brighton side that aren’t that easy to break down at home, but Aubameyang expertly took his chance and gained 2 bonus points resulting in a decent 8pt haul for his owners.

Despite Kane’s excellent 15pt haul at Everton and his very strong fixture against Bournemouth, a team they tend to take to the cleaners, Kane was the 3rd most popular choice, but it proved a correct decision for owners of both Salah and Kane, as even though Spurs put 5 past Bournemouth, Kane only managed to score the 1 goal and couldn’t grab any bonus – a disappointing return considering the number of goals scored.

The 8.8% of managers that backed Hazard rejoiced, as the brilliant Belgian smashed in an excellent brace and subsequent 15pt haul away at Watford in Chelsea’s 2-1 win.

Sterling blanked again whilst Man City slumped to their 3rd defeat in their last 4 matches in the PL, causing many to question the credentials of their Man City assets.

Moving on to GW20 and the captaincy decision might look easy for Kane owners, but let’s see what the stats say.

Results of our poll 

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Harry Kane – 47% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

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

Eden Hazard – 22% of the votes 

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

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

Mohamed Salah – 21% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 41 penalty area touches
  • 14 total goal attempts.
  • 11 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Raheem Sterling – 10% of the votes

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

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

Differential captain options

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  1. Son Heung-Min: I simply have to go with the smiling-faced assassin again. There’s always a chance he gets dropped for Moura if Alli is back, but I think with him going to the Asian games after GW22, Poch will want to get the most out of the explosive South Korean and I can see him featuring in all of the games he has left. No player has scored more goals than Son in the last 5 matches (6) and Spurs look on fire right now. Wolves, despite an opening to the season that displayed defensive stability, have shown frailties, even against weaker opposition, so with Spurs purring like a kitten right now, I can’t see them having any trouble scoring 3 or more in this one and if they do, this man is likely to amongst the goals again.
  2. Felipe Anderson: This guy has given incredible value for his price. Last GW’s 15pt haul was his 5th double-figure haul of the season and with West Ham winning 5 of their last 6 matches and good fixtures on the horizon, I can’t see his form running out anytime soon. Given his propensity to return double-figure hauls and the fact Burnley have uncharacteristically been poor defensively this season, it makes Felipe Anderson a very tempting differential captain option this week.

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 10.47.04

… Eden Hazard. 

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 Hazard in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool and Eden Hazard’s Chelsea have created the most amount of big chances (15) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to the Spurs however, Spurs have scored the most goals (17) in that timeframe.
  • Fixture difficulty – Eden Hazard’s opponents, Crystal Palace, have conceded the most amount of big chances (8) in comparison to Salah and Kane’s opponents.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Harry Kane is the most likely to score.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Mohamed Salah has the highest expected goal involvement of the 3 candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Home/Away Goal Conversion – Eden Hazard has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after bagging 5 goals from 25 goal attempts away from home.
  • Reliability % – Eden Hazard has returned in 13 of his 18 matches where he was available to play, whilst Kane has returned in 12 of his 19 matches and Salah has returned in 11 of his 19 matches.
  • Explosivity % – Eden Hazard has returned the most amount of double-figure hauls with 6 in his 18 matches, whilst both Kane and Salah have returned 4 in their 19 matches.

My view 

If you have Harry Kane, it really should be simple, and perhaps it will be for a % of you, but I can’t help be irked somewhat by the fact Kane drops deep in some games.

If you look at the underlying numbers for the Bournemouth game, Kane only had 4 penalty area touches – this does worry me however, I do believe it coincides with when both Son and Lucas play with Kane, as both players seem to be tasked with running beyond Kane.

When Alli plays with Eriksen and one of Son/Lucas, I think Kane’s role changes a little and he becomes less a creative striker and more the goalscorer we know and want. I don’t think him dropping deep sometimes in games is an organic thing that Kane is doing himself, I think it is a deliberate tactical ploy from Pochettino based on the personnel or depending on the opposition.

I may well be reading too much into it and it could just be coincidence that he didn’t get more involved in the scoring against Bournemouth, as we know it can and does happen, but at the price we pay for him, I think it’s hard not to read into it.

Mohamed Salah is well and truly firing now and after going 6pts clear at the top of the league, Liverpool will be as confident as they have ever been when Arsenal come to town. We know Arsenal’s backline isn’t the strongest and given the way Emery likes his Arsenal team to play, I can see goals in this one, so Salah is definitely a strong candidate this week.

Given Eden Hazard’s strong numbers in terms of form and the slightly easier fixture in comparison to the other two, he smashes the metric this week, yet I’m not jumping at the chance to captain him for some reason. There’s no doubt he’s a very strong candidate this week, but with Spurs’ excellent form and the fixture for Salah, I’m not sure Hazard is the top pick for this weeks fixtures.

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If I had Mohamed Salah, it would be going on him. I can see this game being very open and Salah is on fire right now. I back him to tear the frail Arsenal backline to shreds.

If you want to go differential with your captain, then it has to go on Son Heung-Min.

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

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