FPL Captain Article: Double Gameweek 32

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Double Gameweek 32 and reveal the results of our captain poll – who will you choose for your captain 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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Liverpool attackers Mohamed Salah and the in-form Sadio Mané were centre stage inn Blank Gameweek 31 for their fixture against Fulham and as such, they were the highest captained players with Salah the more popular of the two.

News of Mané missing training probably lessened the % of backers for him but in the end, he was still well backed and it ended up being the correct choice, as he went on to score and assist in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory whereas the out of form Salah, wasn’t able to capitalise on the numerous chances he had to score or assist.

On another day, it could have been different, but form told the story and it was to those who held firm with Mané as their captain, who greatly benefited.

Elsewhere, Agüero, despite not even playing a game, was backed by nearly 9% of managers who clearly missed a trick but might well have got lucky with their vice captains.

The punters, who knew about the Blank Gameweek, put their faith in Vardy and Hazard, but neither were able to register a return in their respective games.

So now the International Break is over (thank thee lord!) – that means we can now focus our attentions again to our teams and specifically our captains ahead of the first big Double Gameweek of the season, with Manchester City set to heavily feature in our choices for the captaincy/triple captaincy and those on a free hit.

Results of our poll

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Sergio Agüero – 62% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 4 Gameweeks:

  • 31 penalty area touches
  • 17 total goal attempts.
  • 13 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 6 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Raheem Sterling – 28% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 4 Gameweeks:

  • 28 penalty area touches
  • 13 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 5 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Eden Hazard – 7% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 4 Gameweeks:

  • 20 penalty area touches
  • 9 total goal attempts.
  • 6 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 0 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 1 assist.

Paul Pogba – 3% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 4 Gameweeks:

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

Other highly owned considerations

Marcus Rashford

Underlying attacking stats the last 4 Gameweeks:

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

Captain Differentials

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  1. Romelu Lukaku – With 4 goals in his last 4 PL games, the Belgian brute is back and bang in form again for United. No player has received more big chances (8) than Lukaku in the last 4 GWs and only Raheem Sterling and Sadio Mané have scored more goals than him in that time. On the eye, he’s looking much fitter and much more confident in front of goal than he did under Mourinho and at just 4.9% ownership at the time of writing, could prove a powerful differential captain for those wanting to be different with two fixtures with the potential to see high returns.
  2. Harry Kane – At £12.5m, considering the price of Man City assets and the fixtures Spurs have for the double, Kane might get overlooked largely, but he has a fairly decent goalscoring record against Liverpool with 3 goals against them in his last 3 and their first game in their new stadium against Palace could be a big occasion and could see them extra motivated. It would be a risky punt, but fortune favours the brave and you know you’ll get 180 minutes out of him and solid returns with the potential to go big.

My view 

Quick note: Down to it being a Double Gameweek, it’s extremely difficult use the Metric for this, as some relevant statistics are skewed with the players having 2 fixtures and as such, there isn’t one this week.

So, it’s the best attack in the league versus the worst defence in the league, and then the 3rd worst defence in the league.

I would consider it ludicrous for anyone to look anywhere other than either Sergio Agüero or Raheem Sterling for the captaincy for DGW32 for the above reason alone.

The real question is, which of these two should we go for?

Well, it really boils down to Pep Guardiola. Because he has been resting/benching Sterling during the busier periods sporadically throughout the season and quite often recently.

In DGW25, Raheem saw 90 minutes in the first game against Arsenal, but was then benched for the Everton game and saw only 31 minutes 3 days later.

And a little more recently, Sterling started their game away in Schalke on the 20th April, then 4 days later in the EFL Cup final 4 days later, but was benched for City’s home game against West Ham 3 days after the final.

In contrast, Agüero started both games in DGW25 and saw 80 and 79 mins respectively and has only been benched the one time in the last 10 PL games against Wolves which was 5 days after a cup game against Burton that Agüero didn’t even start, so it was a rather strange one.

Typically, when Agüero is fit, he starts, the problem is, the last 4 times Sterling has started in the PL, he’s scored a 21pt, 18pt, and a 10pt haul – he’s far more explosive than Agüero, with 8 double-figure hauls to Agüero’s 3 so far this season.

The other factor in this, is that Agüero wasn’t called up for International Duty, whereas Sterling played 70 minutes in England’s first game against Czech Rep and then 90 minutes in Montenegro 3 days later.

He scored 4 goals and registered 1 assist across those games however and will have had 4 days to recover having played the 2nd match on the Monday night, with City playing Fulham on Saturday at 12:30 GMT.

City have the FA Cup home tie against Brighton on the 6th, 3 days after their match against Cardiff before they play Spurs in the Champions League on the 9th.

With a bigger gap from their match against Fulham (30th March) to them playing Cardiff on the 3rd April, than from Cardiff to Brighton, the logical move would be to rest/bench for the FA Cup before the UCL match against Spurs, but again, this is Pep and as we all know too well, it’s virtually impossible to second guess him, so don’t take that as gospel.

The above makes sense to me, and with them needing to win both games in order to move ahead of Liverpool in the league, I simply can’t see him not fielding his strongest 11 for both games.

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Raheem Sterling is more explosive and is in red hot form for club and country and gets extra points for goals scored and clean sheets, so for me, he is the better choice for DGW32, but if you want to play it safe, then Agüero is your man.

Stats obtained from members.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk

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