FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 24

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 24 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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Last GW seemed a no-brainer in terms of the captaincy, and for the vast majority of players actively playing, it was a similar story.

Mohamed Salah was heavily the highest backed player for the captaincy and once again, he delivered with a brace, taking his total double-figure haul tally to 7 this season, 5 of which coming in the last 6 GWs!

Elsewhere, managers looked to the resurgent Man United at home to Brighton for their captaincy, with Pogba and Rashford both receiving decent backing which was justified, as both scored a decent enough 8pt haul.

Aubameyang and Hazard faced off against each other at the Emirates and were the next highest backed for the captaincy, but neither managed a return – both of which have now blanked in 3 of their last 5 matches in the PL.

Despite an excellent fixture, interest in Agüero wasn’t too high for the captaincy, given Salah’s unrelenting form and Jesus’ resurgence recently, and even after playing all of the 90 minutes, Agüero could only add an assist to City’s 3-0 win at the John Smith stadium, so the low interest ended up reasonably justified.

With Salah in red hot form, it’s going to be difficult for anyone who owns him to look elsewhere for the captaincy this coming week, but with some decent fixtures in GW24 and the potential introduction of a good striker up front for Chelsea in Gonzalo Higuain (£9.5m), there are definitely some very solid differing options.

Let’s dive into the stats and see if there’s any merit in going against Salah.

Results of our poll (in progress)

Screenshot 2019-01-27 at 17.56.06.png

Mohamed Salah – 75% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 46 penalty area touches
  • 10 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 7 big chances.
  • 5 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 15% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks (includes 2x sub appearances):

  • 27 penalty area touches
  • 17 total goal attempts.
  • 15 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 7 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Marcus Rashford – 6% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 30 penalty area touches
  • 23 total goal attempts.
  • 15 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Eden Hazard – 4% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 34 penalty area touches
  • 11 total goal attempts.
  • 9 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Other highly owned considerations

Paul Pogba 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

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

Sergio Agüero

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 27 penalty area touches
  • 13 total goal attempts.
  • 11 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Differential captain options

Embed from Getty Images

 

  1. Roberto Firmino – If you don’t own Salah or simply don’t fancy him to continue his unrelenting form, then Bobby could be a great differential captain. No forward has scored more goals than the Brazilian in the last 5 GWs (5). With a fragile Leicester side up next who have been knocked out the FA cup by Newport County, lost to Southampton at home and shipped 4 goals to Wolves in their last game, it’s hard to see Liverpool not tearing them to shreds and Firmino getting in on the action.
  2. Gonzalo Higuain – This may be slightly premature, as we don’t know if he’s ready to start PL games yet, but if he does start, I can see him having a very good PL debut against a Bournemouth side who have conceded more big chances (14) than any other side in the last 5 GWs. At Napoli, under Sarri’s guidance, Higuain managed 71 goals in 104 appearances, including the 15-16 season where he notched a whopping 36 goals in 35 games in Serie A. Now re-united with Sarri again, I expect him to hit the ground running in the Premier League with the world class Hazard there to facilitate his transition.

The Captain Metric says…

screen shot 2019-01-27 at 14.04.44

… 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 Aubameyang, Rashford or Hazard in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool have created the most amount of big chances (18) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
  • Fixture difficulty – Eden Hazards opponents, Bournemouth, have conceded the most amount of big chances (14) in comparison to Salah, Rashford and Aubameyang’s opponents.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Salah 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 – Mohamed Salah has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after bagging 9 goals from 34 goal attempts.
  • Reliability % – Mohamed Salah is the most reliable asset, with him returning in 15 of his 23 matches, whilst Aubameyang has returned in 12 of his 23 matches. Eden Hazard is still very reliable, with 14 returns in his 22 matches where he was available to play and Rashford is the least reliable, with 10 returns in his 19 matches where he was available to play.
  • Explosivity % – Mohamed Salah has returned the most amount of double-figure hauls with 7 in his 23 matches. Hazard has 6 in his 22 matches, Aubameyang has 4 in his 23 matches and Rashford has 3 in his 19 matches.

My view 

When you look at the fixtures that are on offer, with Arsenal at home to Cardiff and Chelsea playing a Bournemouth side that have shipped a lot of goals and big chances in recent times, it seems a bit strange to be so dismissive of Aubameyang and Hazard yet, our poll suggests managers are doing exactly that.

Mohamed Salah has, just like last season, been on another level in the last 8 games, amassing a ridiculous 87pts in that time, an average of 10.9pts a game if we round up.

If we couple these facts with Leicester’s recent form, then we can understand why the vast majority are looking to Salah for the captaincy in GW24.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Even if you’re chasing, I don’t think going against Salah is a good idea, despite very solid alternative options. There will be plenty more opportunities to go differential with your captain before the end of the season, so my suggestion is that you wait for those opportunities and simply captain Salah again this week.

The potential risk and likelihood of a haul is far too great to go differential this week.

However, if you’re hellbent on going differential with your captaincy this week, then I’d say that going with either Aubameyang or Hazard will be differential enough given the likely very high backing of Salah.

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

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