FPL Captain Metric: Blank Gameweek 33

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Blank Gameweek 33 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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So the big Double Gameweek has come to a close and with the expectancy so high, it ended up slightly disappointing for a fair majority, especially from a captaincy point of view.

With Manchester City playing Fulham and Cardiff, Agüero and Sterling were the clear front runners for the captaincy, but despite a great start made by Agüero with a goal and and assist in the first 55 minutes, he then picked up an injury and had to be substituted on 56 minutes and subsequently, this led to him missing out completely against Cardiff.

Raheem Sterling played 87 minutes against the Cottagers, but was unable to influence the scoring himself, leaving those who captained him extremely disappointed. He was then a victim of Pep’s roulette, as he was rested against Cardiff, meaning a dismal 3pts across the two games!

The 8.6% of live managers that captained Salah, who had a single game against Spurs, actually faired better than those who decided to back Sterling, as Salah’s header late on, which was saved by the keeper only for it to be turned in by Alderweireld, meant an assist for him.

The winners, in terms of the captaincy, were those who backed Eden Hazard. After being benched for his first match against Cardiff, he then returned 14pts in his second game against Brighton, giving his backers a tasty 15pt return overall.

We now turn our attention to another Blank Gameweek and with Liverpool featuring, their attackers will likely be popular, but given the poor form of Salah and the other fixtures on offer, it might be an interesting opportunity for a differential captain.

Let’s delve into the stats and see what’s what.

Results of our poll

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Mohamed Salah – 34% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

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

Sadio Mané – 32% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

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

Eden Hazard – 24% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 31 penalty area touches
  • 12 total goal attempts.
  • 9 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 0 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Captain Differentials

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  1. Jamie Vardy – Given his excellent form (5 goals and 1 assist in his last 5 games) and his ownership being a relatively small 10.2% at the time of writing, this alone should be enough to give the party animal some serious consideration, but throw in the fact that they’re playing the already relegated Huddersfield, and it’s an extremely tasty recipe that looks difficult to ignore. His underlying stats are strong too, with 6 big chances received and him having fired in 15 goal attempts in the last 5 GWs.
  2. Bobby Firmino – Salah and Mané look like they’re going to be well-backed in BGW33, but if you like the fixture and want a differential, then Bobby Firmino could be your man. The Brazilian has 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 3 GWs and is much less owned at 16% than Salah and Mané, who are both owned by above 32% of players overall.

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 14.11.11

… Eden Hazard. 

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 – Sadio Mané has scored more points than Hazard and Salah in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Mané and Salah’s Liverpool have created the most amount of big chances (17) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to Chelsea.
  • Fixture difficulty – Eden Hazard’s opponents West Ham, have conceded the most amount of big chances (21) in comparison to Salah and Mané’s opponents, Southampton.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Eden Hazard is the most likely to score.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Sadio Mané has the highest expected goal involvement of the 3 candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Home/Away Goal Conversion – Eden Hazard has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after bagging 9 goals from 38 shots at home.
  • Reliability % – Eden Hazard is the most reliable asset, with him returning in 18 of his 31 matches where he’s been available to play, whilst Salah has returned in 18 of his 32 matches. Despite great form, Sadio Mané is the least reliable overall, with 14 returns in his 30 matches.
  • Explosivity % – Eden Hazard has returned the most amount of double-figure hauls with 9 in his 31 matches. Salah has 7 double-figure hauls and they’ve come in his 32 matches. Mané also now has 7 double-figure hauls, but they have come in just 30 games.

My view 

Those who are in the higher echelons of the FPL rankings, will likely go with either Mané or Salah because of their ownership and pedigree – this represents a great opportunity, in my opinion, to go with something a little different.

Mohamed Salah looks so out of form and in complete contrast to his form in the middle of the season and last year. His asking if the own goal, clearly scored by Toby Alderweireld in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory, was his, wreaked of desperation.

He’s severely lacking in confidence right now and Saints have toughened up since their change of manager, so I really don’t fancy him for this one – the metric backs this up also.

Sadio Mané is the more credible option of the two for Liverpool. He’s having his best season and is looking sharp and confident on the ball and in front of goal, with 5 goals and an assist in his previous 5 GWs.

Having said that, I prefer Eden Hazard this week. West Ham have conceded a mammoth 21 big chances in their last 5 GWs and look to have their sunnies and swimming gear on already, sipping Piña Coladas in the sun.

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After a confident performance from Chelsea and Hazard against Brighton last time out, I expect them to take full advantage of the Hammers on Monday night and so, I will be captaining him and he’s my recommendation this week.

If Hazard isn’t enough of a captain differential, then Jamie Vardy has to be the one you go for against the already relegated Huddersfield, but a small word of warning, don’t be too surprised if Vardy doesn’t go big, as Leicester don’t often score 3+ goals, and Vardy has only returned 2 double-figure hauls all season.

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

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