Captain and Triple Captain Thoughts: Double Gameweek 25

I provide my thoughts for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Double Gameweek 25 and whether or not the Triple Captain chip is best deployed in this Gameweek 

So unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complete the usual ‘Captain Metric’ article ahead of Double Gameweek 25 down to time constraints with me being away, but I thought, ahead of what could be a pivotal Gameweek for many, I would provide you with some of my thoughts at least for you to chew over.

Given Manchester City have a double Gameweek, I’m assuming everyone is captaining one of Agüero, Sané or Sterling – if you’re not, why? – so I will focus on these 3 candidates.

Sergio Agüero – 24.8% ownership (15.2% in the top 100k)

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Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 30 penalty area touches
  • 14 total goal attempts.
  • 12 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 2.35 xGI (expected goal involvement)
  • 3 goals.
  • 1 assist.
  • 26pts

As you can see above, Agüero’s numbers are solid, the problem and worry with him, especially given it’s a Gameweek where City play twice within the space of 3 days, is the game time.

He has played back to back 90 minutes for the first time since GW3 and has only completed 90 minutes in the Premier League on 7 out of a possible 20 occasions – not exactly what you want in a captain in a Double Gameweek.

Not only that, but despite his pedigree, he’s only actually managed to score two double-figure hauls all season, with the majority of his scores between 5-9pts – again, not ideal when looking for a Double Gameweek captain.

Having said that, the potential is always there for him to explode, but you have to think that he will see limited game time like he did earlier in the season when the UCL group stages were in swing (match on the weekend and one in mid-week), where Gabriel Jesus came on early in the second half of matches.

I believe the above (start both games but come off early) is a best case and most likely scenario for Agüero with it being a slight possibility that Jesus starts one of the games too. As we’ve all experienced at some point, you can never really know with Pep.

The good thing though with Agüero, is that he’s been quite reliable in terms of getting returns, with 13 in the 20 matches he was physically available to play, so when he plays, he’s currently operating at a 65% chance of return, which is very good, but as we’ve discussed, those returns whilst regular, aren’t high scoring.

Leroy Sané – 18.4% ownership (43.5% in the top 100k)

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Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 20 penalty area touches
  • 7 total goal attempts.
  • 5 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 big chance.
  • 2.57 xGI (expected goal involvement)
  • 2 goals.
  • 2 assists.
  • 33pts

With Benjamin Mendy injured, Leroy Sané has enjoyed a run of 11 starts out of a possible 12 in the Premier League with him having completed 90 minutes on 7 occasions in that time.

With Mendy having been out for so long and having a reaction after making a substitute appearance the other week, I very much doubt we’ll see him start either of the games in this Double Gameweek, meaning that Sané will be the only natural left footer that can provide the creativity from the left wing.

Of course Pep can still find solutions with the personnel he has however, we can see how important Sané has been to the way Pep likes his City side to play with Sané starting every PL game bar one since Mendy’s injury, so I expect Sané to start both given there are no natural replacements for him.

With 7 returns in 12 games, Sané is operating at a 58.3% chance of return which is lower than Agüero however, he has scored twice the amount of double-figure hauls (4) as Agüero and is less of a risk in terms of game time.

Raheem Sterling – 11% ownership (14.4% in the top 100k)

Embed from Getty Images

 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 46 penalty area touches
  • 6 total goal attempts.
  • 6 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 3.48 xGI (expected goal involvement)
  • 1 goal.
  • 3 assists.
  • 28pts

Raheem Sterling has played the most minutes out of the 3 candidates. He’s only actually been benched for one PL game against Everton, has been rested for 3 games and has completed 90 minutes on 14 occasions.

So of the 3, Sterling has been the most reliable for starts and minutes. Even during the period with Mendy out, Sterling has still played more minutes than Sané.

In terms of reliability of returns, Sterling is operating at a 66.67% chance of returns in the matches that he has played in (21 games) however, when assessing reliability, we must look at the fact that he was available to start the 3 he missed out and was simply being rested by Pep which of course, affects his reliability.

So in reality, he’s returned in 14 of the 24 matches he was available to play in which is a 58.3% chance of return, the same as Sané but, Sterling has had 5 double-figure hauls.

The worry for Sterling, is that he has both Bernado Silva and Riyad Mahrez that can play in his position, so the chances of a rest are higher than a rest to one of Agüero/Sané.

Conclusions

The above analysis looks good for Raheem, but with 6 consecutive 90 minute appearances in the PL, Mahrez and Bernado both waiting in the wings and a match against Arsenal and then Chelsea after Everton, I fear a rest could be on the horizon.

I do personally expect Agüero to start both games in the Double Gameweek, but with Jesus in the wings and in good form, with so many games coming up, Pep will want to keep him fresh, so I really wouldn’t be surprised to see Jesus get one of the two games in the game, but I do think Agüero will start both and Jesus will come on early in the second half in both.

With both Arsenal and Everton either playing with high full backs or wing backs, width will be key in Manchester City’s attack and with no natural replacement, I think Leroy Sané is the man to captain. I believe he’s the best mix of safe in terms of minutes (without Mendy), reliability in terms of returns and explosiveness, of the 3.

Triple captain? 

I’m very reluctant to put my triple captain on any City asset and whilst I argue above that Sané is the most reliable for minutes, it is in comparison to the other 2 City assets. This is Pep and we know he can throw surprises in at any time, so a Sané benching in one of these games wouldn’t shock me either.

For me, the triple captain chip is simply far too precious to gamble on a team that has a manager who is well-known for messing about with his team on a regular basis.

Rule number 1 for me when it comes to the triple captain is, is he nailed on to start both games? If the answer to this is no, then I’m simply not interested.

I think there will be other opportunities further down the line such as Chelsea’s Double Gameweek and with the latter stages of the UCL (expecting 1/2 to go to the quarter finals at least) for the triple captain chip and even using it on Salah in a single Gameweek near the end of the season where we know motivations can come into question, which can throw up some crazy score-lines.

Having said all that, I do think these fixtures are good for City, as Arsenal and Everton both play fairly expansive games and this will be perfect for City to exploit space, it’s just whether you believe Pep will give two starts to the man you’re interested in.

If I was going to do it, I’d put it on Leroy Sané, but it simply feels too risky for me, so I won’t be doing it and will wait for another opportunity.

Stats obtained from members.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk

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