FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 29

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 29 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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Mohamed Salah was the top captained player by live teams in GW28 with a plum home fixture versus Watford despite his pretty poor form – that poor form continued for Salah, as Liverpool destroyed Watford 5-0 and Salah wasn’t even able to get an assist.

Agüero was the next highest captained by live teams and he duly delivered for his owners, with a decent 9 point return versus West Ham after a well converted penalty in the only goal of the game, giving him max bonus.

Both Pogba and Aubameyang were well backed and both were able to get something for those who captained, with Pogba registering an assist and Aubameyang a goal and 1 bonus, although Aubameyang backers might have felt a little short changed given Arsenal put 5 past the Cherries at the Emirates.

GW29 looks interesting for the captaincy, with the previously trusty Salah very much off the boil right now with only 1 return in his last 5 games. With many options on the table, let’s try and break it all down.

Results of our poll

Screenshot 2019-03-01 at 09.24.13.png

 Paul Pogba – 35% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 20 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 9 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Sergio Agüero – 28% of the votes 

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

  • 40 penalty area touches
  • 19 total goal attempts.
  • 16 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 9 big chances.
  • 8 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Mohamed Salah – 19% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 44 penalty area touches
  • 18 total goal attempts.
  • 9 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 0 assists.

Other highly owned considerations

Raheem Sterling

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 30 penalty area touches
  • 9 total goal attempts.
  • 6 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 3 assists.

Eden Hazard

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 30 penalty area touches
  • 11 total goal attempts.
  • 8 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 2 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Captain Differentials

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  1. Gonzalo Higuain – Higuain has had an okay start to the Premier League with Chelsea, scoring 2 goals in his first 4 Premier League games, but it has coincided with Chelsea’s overall form being very strange. But after a decent performance in the Carabao Cup final versus Man City, only losing on pens, and then beating Spurs 2-0 after that, they may just be turning again ahead of good fixtures, a likely double in GW32 and no blanks. With Fulham up next, who have conceded the most amount of goals (12) of any team in the last 5 GWs, Higuain has a great chance of adding to his 2 goals in the PL and could prove to be a great differential captain this week.
  2. Sadio Mané – Aside from Agüero, no player has scored more goals (5) than Mané in the last 5 GWs. The Senegalese left forward has been on fire recently and looks brimming with confidence right now., evidenced by his cheeky back heel finish against the Hornets. Although he doesn’t get into the box as much as Salah, with only 22 penalty area touches in comparison to Salah’s 44, he is currently taking his chances which might be down to the fact that he’s getting more big chances than Salah at the moment, with him receiving 4 of them in comparison to Salah only receiving 1 in the last 5 GWs. If Liverpool score, right now, Mané is the man most likely to be getting it.

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2019-02-28 at 14.36.37

Sergio Agüero. 

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 – Sergio Agüero has scored more points than Pogba and Salah in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Agüero’s Man City have created the most amount of big chances (22) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to Manchester United and Liverpool.
  • Fixture difficulty – Salah and Agüero’s opponents Everton and Bournemouth respectively, have conceded the most amount of big chances (11) in comparison to Pogba’s opponents Southampton however, Bournemouth have conceded the most amount of goals (11) of the 3 opponents.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Sergio Agüero is the most likely to score.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Sergio Agüero has the highest expected goal involvement of the 3 candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Home/Away Goal Conversion – Paul Pogba has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after bagging 8 goals from his 47 goal attempts at Old Trafford.
  • Reliability % – Sergio Agüero is the most reliable asset, with him returning in 16 of his 24 matches where he’s been available to play, whilst Salah has returned in 16 of his 28 matches. Pogba is only just the least reliable, with 14 returns in his 25 matches where he was available to play.
  • Explosivity % – Mohamed Salah has returned the most amount of double-figure hauls with 7 in his 28 matches. Pogba has 5 in his 25 matches and Agüero has the least, with 4 in his 24 matches.

My view 

Whilst the metric makes it look a no-brainer, it cannot factor in what Pep said in his post-match press conference about Agüero:

“We cannot live, for example, with just Sergio. The last 10-15 minutes he was exhausted. We need Gabriel as quick as possible to come back.”

To add to this, Gabriel Jesus has been spotted in training. Pep will speak to the media at 1:30 GMT this afternoon (we will cover all press conferences and publish our summary late today around 3:00 GMT), so perhaps we might get some further information there, but it does add a slight worry.

From my perspective, I don’t think Jesus comes straight back in to start the game, I think Agüero gets the start but will come off around 70-75 mins for Jesus. With no mid-week fixture next week, I don’t see too much of an issue here and with 1 point in the title, Pep can’t afford to drop points and Agüero is the man of the moment right now.

But of course, second guessing Pep, as we have all come to know, is nearly impossible – let’s hope he provides some clarity for once in his press conference.

As far as the other options go, Sterling could perhaps be the next best option if you’re worried about Agüero not starting, as with him being benched in the previous PL fixture, he should be fresh to start this one. Not only that, but he does love a goal against the Cherries, with 5 goals in his last 5 appearances against them.

Liverpool attackers Salah and Mané are both worthy of some interest, but given Salah’s form and the fixture in general, where the affair between Everton and Liverpool has been quite tight in recent times, it’s fair to say that other candidates might be better options this week.

Pogba looks a good bet too this weekend with United playing at home against Southampton and the Frenchman being in great form, but for me, the City assets feel superior with Bournemouth’s tendency to get a spanking from the big boys!

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I’m going with Agüero right now, as I don’t believe Jesus will come straight back in and I don’t feel he can afford to play a F9 in this one with Agüero on fire. 70-75 mins versus Bournemouth should be plenty of time for him to do damage and I’m backing him to do just that.

If you don’t like what Pep has said and are too nervous to go with Agüero, then I’d be backing Sterling.

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

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