FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 3

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 3 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our new 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 ‘FPL Captain Metric’, which explains the concept fully and it can be viewed here >> https://fplconnect.blog/2018/08/07/the-captain-metric-explained-2/

In stark contrast to Gameweek 1, decent captain returns in Gameweek 2 were difficult to come by.

All of Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were expected to perform well and between the 3 of them, could only muster 15pts, a score Sterling surpassed on his own in GW1 by 5pts!

Kane and Agüero were well backed too, with the latter getting on the scoresheet, but Kane couldn’t influence the game much at the Etihad and played no part in Spurs’ 2 goals.

Even those trying to be a little savvy came short, with punts on Richarlison at home against Watford failing and those backing Cherries’ ace Callum Wilson, just getting the 5pt return for his assist for King’s penalty.

Screenshot 2019-08-20 at 15.16.59

Gameweek 3 will likely be a two horse race between Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, who face Bournemouth and Newcastle respectively, but with a crazy average of 5 goals a game between the two teams since Klopp took over, Mo Salah and Sadio Mané should not be overlooked in their home game against Arsenal.

Results of our poll

Screenshot 2019-08-20 at 17.19.41.png

Raheem Sterling – 47% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats:

  • 20 penalty area touches.
  • 10 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Harry Kane – 37% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats:

  • 13 penalty area touches
  • 9 total goal attempts.
  • 6 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Mohamed Salah – 11% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats:

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

Differential captain options

Embed from Getty Images

 

Sadio Mané – With Liverpool scoring 23 goals in their last 7 meetings with Arsenal in the PL since Klopp took over, I’d expect them to score goals in this one. Their last 3 games against them at Anfield have seen Liverpool run out 5-1, 4-0 and 3-1 winners. Sadio Mané has come back into the team with a bang, scoring a brace in their Super Cup penalty win over Chelsea and a goal and assist against his former team Southampton, where he also created 5 chances, 2 of them being ‘big chances’, so he couldn’t be in much better form going into this one.

Kevin de Bruyne – De Bruyne was simply outstanding against Spurs. He produced 2 assists, 1 of which, a wonderful first time cross to the back stick for Sterling to head home which accumulated in him gaining all 3 bonus points. He was extremely good value for those 3 bonus points as he created more chances (9), and more big chances (3), than any other player last GW. Not only was he a creation machine for City, but he got into the penalty area on 6 occasions and took 4 shots at Spurs’ goal, 2 of which, inside the area. Bournemouth conceded 22 shots against Villa but luckily only conceded the 1 goal – if they afford this kindness to City, they certainly won’t be so wasteful.

Son Heung-Min – Slightly more of a punt, with Son now back from his suspension, as we don’t know if he’ll go straight back into the starting 11 and we don’t have previous form as a variable, but we all know his quality and they play at home against Newcastle in GW3, who attended the ‘Pukki Party’ on the weekend and got schooled. Spurs are much more potent with Son in their side and if he does go straight back into the team, I see goals for the ‘Smiling Assassin’.

My view

Given the attacking prowess of Liverpool and Manchester City over Tottenham, if I had all 3 of Salah, Sterling and Kane, I’d still be picking between Salah and Sterling.

Not only because Liverpool and Manchester City are better at breaking teams down than Spurs, but because they are essentially forwards listed as midfielders.

You only need to watch the game against Villa at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium to see that Spurs were struggling to create clear-cut chances against them, and had it not been for a fortunate deflected shot that fell perfectly into the path of Kane for the second Spurs goal, I believe Villa would have likely held out for the draw.

That’s not to say that Kane won’t do well against Newcastle as, even in the Villa game, he still came away with 13pts despite playing pretty poorly and Spurs struggling to create clear-cut chances, but I feel the ceiling is higher for Salah/Sterling than Kane and the chances of a blank for Kane is higher than Salah/Sterling.

Screenshot 2019-08-20 at 16.15.38

We’ve seen the H2H between Arsenal and Liverpool at the beginning of this article with 35 goals scored between the two sides in their previous 7 meetings with Klopp in charge, with Liverpool winning convincingly when at Anfield against Arsenal, in contrast, as seen above here, you can see that City haven’t beaten Bournemouth by more than 2 goals at the Vitality stadium under Pep – the 4-0 was under Pellegrini.

Bournemouth are typically much stronger at home defensively than away from home and Manchester City aren’t anywhere near as strong in the goalscoring department away in comparison to when they play at the Etihad, with 20 goals less last year away from their home.

So in summary:

  • Liverpool’s home scoring record is significantly stronger than Manchester City’s away scoring record in general, if we look at last season.
  • Liverpool score more goals against Arsenal at Anfield than Man City score against Bournemouth at the Vitality stadium, if we look at previous meetings.
Embed from Getty Images

 

So with this in mind, I’m currently favouring Salah/Mané over Sterling, as I expect Liverpool to score more goals against Arsenal than City against Bournemouth.

Captain Metric

Because our metric is based on previous Gameweek data, we don’t have access to all the stats we need to complete it.

We also want to base the stats for it on this season rather than last season to reflect the most relevant statistics, so we’ll be starting this section in GW5.

Stats obtained from fantasyfootballscout.co.uk

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