FPL Captain Article: Double Gameweek 35

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Double Gameweek 35 and reveal the results of our FPL 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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Well, for a lot of us in the FPL Twitter community, it was a DGW to forget, as our brilliantly structured and well-researched Wildcard teams were completely dismantled by the FPL gods to serve us with a timely reminder that Lady Luck plays a pivotal role in this game of ours.

With Brighton having back to back Double Gameweeks, with the first being 2 decent home fixtures against the out-of-form Bournemouth and Cardiff, those on Wildcards focused our defensive picks on the BHA backline, choosing to forget that whilst they are stronger at home, they had still only kept 6 clean sheets all season (4th worst).

On top of that, given his attacking threat, Shane Duffy (captained by 2.4%) was someone that was identified as a good option for the captaincy given the clean sheet potential and added attacking threat (5 goals and 2 assists) however, Brighton were annihilated 5-0 by Bournemouth and then were defeated 2-0 last night by Cardiff, meaning a grand total of 1pt across the two games for Duffy, as well as Dunk and Ryan – an unmitigated disaster.

By comparison, the 13% of players who gambled on Son starting against Huddersfield, who were at first disappointed by his benching, managed to get 4pts from just the 3 minutes he was on the field after being subbed on in the 89th minute.

Both Salah and Mané were well-backed in their crunch tie against Chelsea and both managed to deliver, with Mané scoring a header at the back post to earn himself 9pts and Salah firing in a potential goal of the season contender to earn himself 8pts.

Vardy was also trusted to get the job done against Newcastle, but Rafa’s men displayed their resilience once more and kept the Foxes at bay meanwhile, those who backed Paul Pogba got rather fortunate with a big 15pt haul, after United were awarded 2 penalties in their tough match against West Ham.

Backers of Raheem Sterling ended up delighted, as the England forward scored a brace in City’s 3-1 over Palace whilst the highest backed captain of them all, Sergio Agüero, couldn’t manage a single attacking return.

We now turn our attention to the big Double Gameweek and who our captain will be for it. Let’s delve into the stats and see what we can find out.

Results of our poll (in progress)

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Raúl Jiménez – 48% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

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

Sergio Agüero  – 23% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

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

Raheem Sterling – 18% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 41 penalty area touches
  • 21 total goal attempts.
  • 16 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 5 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Mohamed Salah – 11% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 52 penalty area touches
  • 22 total goal attempts.
  • 14 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 big chance.
  • 2 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Other highly owned considerations

Sadio Mané

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 32 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 12 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 6 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Captain Differentials

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  1. Diogo Jota – Given Brighton have just conceded 7 goals to Bournemouth and Cardiff and Arsenal’s away form being as poor as it is, Wolves attacking assets look a good bet for DGW35. Whilst Raúl Jiménez is the preferred option, Jota should not be overlooked and does get the extra points for goals and clean sheets. With 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 PL games, he’s in decent form too and is the out of position midfielder being deployed up front as a striker – he could be a great call for a differential captain if you fancy Wolves to take advantage of their fixtures.
  2. Callum Wilson – Bournemouth are a little unpredictable at the moment, but Howe got the result and performance he was demanding of his team last week as they obliterated Brighton’s backline 5-0, with Wilson, Fraser and Brooks running riot. Wilson took home a 15pt haul with his goal and 2 assists and has been a brilliant asset all year when fit, firing in 23 attacking returns, including 5 double-figure hauls for a small price of £6.0m at the start of the season. Betting on him against the  poor defence of Fulham, who continue to struggle defensively, with 11 goals conceded in their last 5 games, seems a logical move and could prove a decent differential captain shout with whats likely to be a great variety of captain choices this GW.

My view

As we can see above in our captaincy poll, most in the FPL Twitter community favour Mexican forward Raùl Jiménez to get the job done against Brighton and Arsenal at Molineux.

In terms of rotation risk, I would rate his likelihood of being benched for one of these games as pretty minimal. He’s only been benched in the league on two occasions out of a possible 33 games he was fit to play, with one of those benchings down to their FA Cup involvement, which isn’t a factor in this DGW.

With him returning in 18 of his 33 games (54.5%), he’s also quite reliable for returns for an asset at his price and with 4 double-figure hauls to his name, a big return isn’t out of the question either however, Wolves’ last performance against Saints wasn’t exactly convincing.

City pair Sergio Agüero and Raheem Sterling face a tough DGW in Spurs (H) and Man United (A) and with the added rotation worries, you can understand why a lot in the FPL Twitter community are looking to Jiménez.

But given the magnitude of these games, I’m not sure either will be rested for these matches. There are examples where Sterling – the one more prone to missing out – has played numerous back to back games over a short period of time, GW18-21 being a good example, the Christmas period, where they played on the 22nd Dec, the 26th Dec, the 29th Dec and then the 3rd Jan – he started all of these games and played 90 minutes in 3 of them.

The main difference between the two is that, whilst Agüero is probably more likely to start both, Sterling is far more explosive than Agüero, with an incredible 9 double-figure hauls in comparison to Agüero’s 5.

Even without a Double Gameweek, I don’t think we can write Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mané out of the captaincy equation, given their propensity to haul and their opponents.

Up against the Bluebirds, it represents a tantalising prospect for attacking returns. Even with their victory against Brighton, I simply can’t see Liverpool’s attack not putting the Cardiff defence to the sword and after their excellent performance against Chelsea, they look well up for finishing this season strong.

On top of that, it looks like Mo Salah has got his mojo working again at a crucial time. I thought Liverpool were brilliant against Chelsea but Salah in particular, looked sharp and far less error prone. He looked like he was playing with confidence again and the wonder-goal displayed that emphatically.

Additionally, Mané (6 big chances in his last 5 GWs) still looked at his best too and does seem to be getting more of the better chances than Salah (2 big chances in his last 5 GWs), so I still believe he’s much better value than Salah going into the final few GWs of the season and would be just as good a choice for the captaincy as Salah for DGW35.

It really is a difficult one again this week, with regards to the captaincy, that’s likely to see a large variety of captain choices.

Raúl Jiménez does have the best combination of minimal rotation fear, good fixtures and the backing of a reliable player, but it comes down to how much you trust Wolves as a whole and whether you believe they can up their game again after a poor performance against Saints last GW, as BHA, as bad as they were last GW, have to fight for their lives now, with just 2pts in the relegation battle, they’ll be giving everything to keep the score down and could easily go there with a very defensive plan to stifle the game.

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If you trust that Wolves can up their form again and score the goals against BHA and ARS, then back Raúl Jiménez, if you don’t, then I would back Sergio Agüero, as he has a good record vs top 6 teams and plays for a much more reliable team for creating chances and scoring goals than Wolves and is more likely to start both than Sterling, who isn’t as prolific against top 6 teams.

Stats obtained from members.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk

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