FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 30

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 30 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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The average in GW29 ended up a pitiful 40pts – this was largely down to the fact that, of the top 6 players captained, only 1 was able to provide any returns, and it was still only an assist.

Agüero was the highest backed amongst live players and despite City absolutely dominating the game to the point that Bournemouth didn’t even register a single shot on goal, Agüero couldn’t provide any returns and City went on to win the game just 1-0.

Sterling was also well backed, but he played no part in City’s only goal and subsequently blanked too.

Pogba was however, by far the most disappointing after playing quite deep in United’s victory over Southampton at Old Trafford. He was given a gift late on in the game when Rashford was fouled in the penalty area, but he stepped up to take the penalty and missed, resulting in a -2 for that and then to add insult to injury, was booked a few minutes after to give those who captained him a -2 score overall.

Salah also blanked in the Merseyside Derby. Not only that, but he was very poor, missing a couple of great opportunities as well as generally giving the ball away a lot.

Eden Hazard was the only player to provide any returns out of the top 6 captains, teeing up Jorginho for Chelsea’s second goal, as Marcus Rashford was unable to play a part in any of United’s 3 goals and Pogba missed the penalty that Rashford would have been awarded the assist for.

Going into GW30 and it looks to be a two horse race between Salah and Agüero, but with Salah in very poor form, City boys Agüero and Sterling will be heavily considered for this one.

Results of our poll

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Mohamed Salah – 48% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 46 penalty area touches
  • 18 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 2 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 0 assists.

Sergio Agüero – 35% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 35 penalty area touches
  • 20 total goal attempts.
  • 15 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 8 big chances.
  • 7 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 3% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

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

Other highly owned considerations

Raheem Sterling

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

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

Son Heung-Min

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 25 penalty area touches
  • 12 total goal attempts.
  • 4 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Captain Differentials

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  1. Harry Kane – After returning from his ankle injury fairly sharply, it hasn’t taken Kane long to get back into the swing of things. Despite that time out, he’s looked sharp since coming back and has registered 2 goals in his 3 Premier League games, including a goal in Spurs’ 1-0 win over Dortmund last night. Spurs actually boast the best attacking record on the road, with 31 goals in 15 away games, whilst Southampton have the joint 5th worst home defensive record in the league, with them conceding the 2nd highest amount of big chances at home so far this season – the makings of a great differential captain choice.
  2. Jamie Vardy – Down to blank Gameweek preparation and some half decent form, Jamie Vardy has come onto our radars. The English forward has 3 goals in his last 5 games, doesn’t blank and has some very good fixtures, with Fulham, Burnley, Bournemouth and Huddersfield in the next 4. Vardy is typically the kind of striker that gets you a consistent 6-9pts but isn’t typically explosive, but under new manager Brendan Rodgers who favours an attacking and more direct approach, and considering the fixtures, we may see Jamie hit double-figures soon.

The Captain Metric says…

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… Sergio Agüero. 

Important Note: We have included Sterling in the metric instead of Aubameyang down to the popularity of replies to our poll.

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 Sterling 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 Liverpool.
  • Fixture difficulty – Sterling and Agüero’s opponents Watford, have conceded the most amount of big chances (12) in comparison to Salah’s opponents Burnley.
  • 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 – Sergio Agüero has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after bagging 15 goals from his 55 goal attempts at the Etihad.
  • Reliability % – Sergio Agüero is the most reliable asset, with him returning in 16 of his 25 matches where he’s been available to play, whilst Sterling has returned in 16 of his 26 matches. Salah is the least reliable, with 16 returns in his 29 matches.
  • Explosivity % – Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling have both returned the most amount of double-figure hauls with 7. Sterling’s have come in just 26 matches however in comparison to Salah, who’s 7 have come in his 29 matches. Agüero, despite being the most reliable, has only had 4 double-figure hauls so far in his 25 matches, making him the least explosive of the 3.

My view 

I was quite surprised to see that Salah was favoured over Agüero in this weeks Captain poll.

Salah has just 1 return in his last 6 PL appearances and looked very poor in the Merseyside Derby. He missed a very good 1 on 1 chance and overall, gave the ball away a lot throughout the match.

In stark contrast, Agüero has hit 8 goals in that time and despite Pep’s comments about him being exhausted after their match against West Ham last week, will have had a full weeks rest this week, with no mid-week action.

Not only that, but he’s a monster at the Etihad this season, with 15 goals in his 13 home appearances. Salah boasts a good home record too, with 10 goals in his 14 appearances, but Agüero clearly has the upper hand in that stat battle.

City have scored 18 goals in their last 5 matches against the hornets and Agüero has scored 7 goals and bagged 2 assists in his last 5 appearances against them.

Liverpool have scored 8 goals against Burnley in their previous 5 encounters and Salah has 1 goal and 1 assist in his 3 appearances against them to date.

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I personally think given Salah’s form, I’d be looking to Agüero or Sterling this week for the captaincy. 

City are the best home attacking team with 50 goals scored and 62 big chances created in their 15 games at the Etihad. The next best is Liverpool, with 40 goals and 44 big chances created, so I think favouring their assets this week seems a safe bet, with both Sterling and Agüero being more reliable than Salah so far this season.

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

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