FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 38

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 38 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 penultimate GW of the season was a bit of a let down in honesty, with the average being 48 overall and just 41 in the top 10k.

The captaincy proved a difficult one to nail, with the City attacking assets all banking as Man City were bailed out by their captain fantastic, Vincent Kompany, who scored a piledriver from range, tee’d up by Aymeric Laporte, to give City a 1-0 win.

Liverpool attackers, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, were of course well backed, but it was Salah, out of the two, who managed to return, with a goal, but no bonus points, returning an okay 7pts for his backers.

The winners, from a captaincy point of view, were the 5.4% that backed Eden Hazard, who managed 2 assists, a clean sheet and 2 bonus points in his game against Watford. Had it not been for a brilliant Ben Foster save right at the death, Hazard could well have hit 17pts, but it wasn’t meant to be and he returned his owners a decent 11pt haul.

The last GW of the season sees Man City and Liverpool battling it out for the title on the last day, so their assets once again will be popular, but with mini-leagues on the line, there will be a lot looking to differentiate in some way in order to catch those above them, so there should be a decent spread of players being captained.

Let’s analyse the options and see if we can help break it down for you one last time in the 18/19 season.

Results of our poll 

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Sergio Agüero – 41% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 28 penalty area touches
  • 17 total goal attempts.
  • 13 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 0 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 1 assist.

Raheem Sterling – 26% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

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

Mohamed Salah – 17% of the votes

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

  • 44 penalty area touches
  • 23 total goal attempts.
  • 18 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 5 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Sadio Mané – 16% of the votes

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

  • 33 penalty area touches
  • 14 total goal attempts.
  • 13 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 6 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Captain Differentials

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  1. Wilfried Zaha – With 2 goals and 1 assist to his name in the last 5 – and against tough opposition in Everton, Arsenal and Man City – coupled with him playing against Bournemouth, who have conceded 13 big chances (4th highest) over the last 5 GWs, Zaha is a worthy differential captaincy punt on the last day for those looking to chase points in their mini-leagues.
  2. Nathan Redmond – This one is a little more risky, given a lot of regular first teamers last weekend, including Redmond, were benched to give others an opportunity. It could be the same again on the final day, with them playing at home against already relegated Huddersfield, but if Redmond does start this one, he could be a powerful differential captain. Of all the midfielders over the last 5 GWs, Redmond has the highest xGI (expected goal involvement) of any midfielder and has 2 goals and 1 assist to his name. Add in how poor Huddersfield are defensively (18 big chances conceded in the last 5 GWs) and it looks a fantastic recipe for success – it’s all down to whether you think he plays or not. Have the stones for it?

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 13.38.27

… Mohamed Salah.

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 – Mohamed Salah has scored more points than Agüero, Mané and Sterling in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Salah’s Liverpool have created the most amount of big chances (15) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to Manchester City.
  • Fixture difficulty – Liverpool’s opponents Wolves, have conceded the most amount of big chances over the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to City’s opponents Brighton.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Sergio Agüero is the most likely to score.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Sadio Mané 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 a massive 16 goals from his 55 goal attempts at Anfield.
  • Reliability % – Sergio Agüero is the most reliable asset, with him returning in 20 of his 32 matches where he’s been available to play, whilst Sterling has returned in 19 of his 33 matches. Mohamed Salah is also very reliable, with him returning in 23 of his 37 games so far.  Sadio Mané is the least reliable of the lot, with him returning in 16 of his 35 games to date.
  • Explosivity % – Raheem Sterling has returned the most amount of double-figure hauls with 9 so far. Both Mané and Salah have 8 double-figure hauls, but Mané has achieved that many in 2 less games than Salah. Agüero has returned the least, with 5 double-figure hauls in his 32 games.

My view 

The last day of the season is upon us and naturally as a result, it’s always so tempting to go with a differential captain if you’re chasing, but the only variables that won’t change are for Liverpool and Manchester City, who will be fighting it out for the title.

The rest of the teams, don’t have much to play for and thus, the teams become more unpredictable, which makes it more difficult for us to take a punt.

There’s nothing worse than getting all excited for your expertly researched punt that hardly anyone else has spotted, for him then to be benched to give a 17 year old a chance of some Premier League experience.

So my advice here would be to, okay take a punt, sure, but be extremely careful about doubling down on your punt with the captaincy as that really could destroy your rank if they don’t play.

All 4 options in the metric are viable and could easily score well on the last day. We know they are top assets who are all playing for something and given there’s 4 of them, there should be a reasonable spread of backers for each.

Majority of voters in our poll are backing Sergio Agüero to do the business, but his form of recent is a little sketchy and he struggles to perform away from home typically, with only 5 goals scored on the road from 52 shots.

Raheem Sterling performs better than Agüero away from home, but not by that much and his form has tailed off somewhat recently too. Only 1 of Agüero’s double-figure hauls  and 8 of his 31 returns have come on the road, whereas Sterling has 3 double-figure hauls and 11 of his 31 returns away from the Etihad.

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For me however, I think I’d have to agree with the metric this week. Both Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah I’d back to do well, as I can see the Wolves game being more open, giving more spaces for the Liverpool attack, whereas I expect Brighton to sit deep and look to frustrate City.

If I had to pick one though, I’d have to go with the form of Mohamed Salah, despite Mané’s brilliant home goal conversion rate of 16 goals from 55 shots at Anfield, Salah just seems to have that edge at the minute, but either of these I would look to back over the City attackers.

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

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