FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 36

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 36 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/

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 14.20.59
Screenshot taken from @FantasyFootyFix

Double Gameweek 35 saw many managers hit the heavenly heights of 3 figures however, when it came down to the captaincy, it was largely disappointing.

City duo Agüero and Sterling, who were collectively backed by just over 35% of managers, could both only muster 1 assist across their 2 fixtures. Backers of Raheem Sterling will be particularly disappointed, as he missed a golden opportunity in both games he played in.

Aubameyang was the next highest backed (9.5%) and after a relatively pleasing start against Palace with a goal and 1 bonus point, he unfortunately missed out on the trip to Wolves with a facial injury and remained on 7pts.

Mohamed Salah (8.4%) and Sadio Mané (5.4%) both picked up decent backings too, given their game was against Cardiff, despite them only having the 1 game. Cardiff however, put up a good fight against Liverpool, and out of the two of them, only Salah came away with any returns, after earning a penalty for his team which was dispatched by James Milner.

There was plenty of optimism for Raúl Jiménez (8.1%), who has been very good at home so far and overall for his price across the season, has been very reliable. However, despite 2 favourable home fixtures, Jiménez failed to produce any returns.

Moving on to Gameweek 36, and with a home time against Huddersfield, it’s going to be difficult to look beyond the Liverpool attackers for this one, but in this article, we consider all stats and reasoning to form a complete picture – let’s get to it!

Results of our poll 

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 15.33.37

Sadio Mané – 54% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 36 penalty area touches
  • 13 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Mohamed Salah – 26% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 46 penalty area touches
  • 21 total goal attempts.
  • 15 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 2 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Raheem Sterling – 10% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks (where he’s been involved in the game):

  • 44 penalty area touches
  • 18 total goal attempts.
  • 15 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 5 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Sergio Agüero – 10% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks (where he’s been involved in the game):

  • 29 penalty area touches
  • 11 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 3 assists.

Captain Differential

Embed from Getty Images

 

  1. Son Heung-Min – Son’s form hasn’t exactly been hitting the sweet notes of his mid-season form in the PL, but he has the potential to get back to that, with Kane being out with his ankle injury, and the fixtures turning nice, starting with West Ham. West Ham, along with Brighton, are the next worst defences over the last 5 GWs, with them both conceding 11 goals and the Hammers conceding a whopping 15 big chances. If they afford this Spurs side that kind of chance creation, then Son could have a field day.

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 14.18.21

… Raheem Sterling. (but this is based on our kicker being ‘Player form’). 

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 – Raheem Sterling has scored more points than Agüero, Mané and Salah in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Agüero’s Man City have created the most amount of big chances (13) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to Liverpool however, Liverpool have scored 1 more goal than City in that time.
  • Fixture difficulty – Liverpool’s opponents Huddersfield, have conceded the most amount of big chances and goals of any team in the league over the last 5 GWs. City’s opponents, Burnley, have conceded the second fewest number of big chances (4) of any team in that time.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, both Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah are the likely to score.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Raheem Sterling has the highest expected goal involvement of the 4 candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Home/Away Goal Conversion – Sadio Mané has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after scoring 14 goals from his 51 goal attempts at home.
  • Reliability % – Sergio Agüero is the most reliable asset, with him returning in 19 of his 30 matches where he’s been available to play, whilst Sterling has returned in 19 of his 31 matches. Mohamed Salah is also very reliable, with him returning in 21 of his 35 games so far. Sadio Mané is by far the least reliable of them all, after returning in 15 of his 33 games.
  • Explosivity % – Raheem Sterling has returned the most amount of double-figure hauls with 9. Both Mané and Salah have 7 double-figure hauls, but Mané has done it in 2 games fewer. Agüero has returned the least, with 5 double-figure hauls in his 30 games.

My view 

Whilst our metric has Raheem Sterling level on points with Sadio Mané, I don’t think we should be going anywhere other than a Liverpool attacker for GW36.

First and above all else, Huddersfield are without doubt, the worst team defensively in the league right now, having conceded 16 goals in their previous 5 games in the PL and with them already being relegated, it’s hard to see them summoning any extra motivation to prevent further goals flying in.

In stark contrast, Burnley have only conceded 5 goals in their previous 5 PL games and City, historically, are much less explosive away from home, as are Sterling and Sergio Agüero.

Adding to this, with the title as close as it is, they can’t afford to make any mistakes and I’ve noticed they’ve been managing games a lot more in recent weeks – keeping the ball without really attacking too much when they’re 1/2 goals ahead, meaning less likelihood of bigger scorelines.

Now obviously, I’m not ruling City out of spanking someone before the season ends and of course they don’t need to spank teams for Agüero or Sterling to haul, but it seems they’re being much more cautious now when they’re winning games, rather than being ruthless and continuing to attack when they’re 1/2-0 up, especially away from home.

Add on top, the fact that Sterling does get rested every now and then, with him having started the last 6 games in all competitions over the last 18 days and playing 90 minutes in all of them, it’s tough to back Sterling with absolute confidence.

Having said that, with them being out of the Uefa Champions League now and the Premier League so close, I don’t think he will rest Sterling, but this is just my personal opinion, and this is Pep Guardiola we’re talking about. Where it didn’t make sense to rest him before, he has done, so I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Sané came in and Bernado continues on the right.

Klopp has been much more constant with his team selection and both Mané and Mohamed Salah have played when they’ve been available and given his recent comments in the press conference today:

“I will not push that wrong mindset with a fresh line-up or whatever, no chance for that. We had enough time to recover from the last game, we have enough time to recover for the next game. Barcelona has nothing to do with the game on Friday.”

I simply can’t see either not starting and at home, versus Huddersfield, both should see plenty of opportunities to score and assist.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Whichever out of Salah or Mané you own, I’d advocate putting the armband on one of those – if you have both, I’d probably edge towards Sadio Mané given his better home goal conversion rate and his xGI being better than Salah’s.

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

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2 thoughts on “FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 36

Add yours

    1. Wouldn’t say huge tbh. Salah and Mane are the ones that score more than he does. He plays as a false 9 which is a very unselfish and physically demanding role. Will likely be first subbed off and is behind the other 2 for likelihood of scoring.

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