FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 5

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 5 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/

The Gameweek 4 captaincy was dominated by a certain little Argentine, largely made surplus to requirements by a rather large % of FPL managers who have declared their premium preference at City as Raheem Sterling, with a lot choosing to supplement that with Kevin De Bruyne, who has started the season like a house on fire!

City ran out comfortable 4-0 winners against Brighton at the Etihad. When you see that scoreline, you assume Raheem was involved…  well not this time.

Raheem didn’t even register an assist surprisingly, whilst Kevin De Bruyne (13pts) and Sergio Agüero (16pts) mopped up the points.

Other popular captains Salah and Mané both returned in their away game at Burnley, but it was only 6 and 8pts respectively.

Another overlooked, and a cheaper figure in Bobby Firmino, took the spotlight with a 12 point haul, giving him 2 goals and 2 assists in his first 4 games, offering better value than his counterparts currently.

Jamie Vardy also served us a timely reminder of his credentials and demonstrated that whilst he is normally a solid but not spectacular asset, he can hit the big hauls that we crave when we’re deciding who the armband goes to, after scoring a brace and providing an assist in his home fixture against the Cherries, resulting in a brilliant 16pt haul.

Coming up, both Manchester City (Norwich (a)) and Liverpool (Newcastle (H)) have great fixtures, likely meaning the majority of us will look to their attacking options, but with Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Agüero, Raheem Sterling, Bobby Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané all proving credible options, just who do we go with?

Results of our poll

Screenshot 2019-09-10 at 10.53.35.png

The following underlying statistics are taken from FantasyFootballScout.co.uk. If you want to gain access to these stats yourself, register to become a member here >> https://members.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/

Raheem Sterling – 48% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats:

  • 34 penalty area touches.
  • 12 total goal attempts.
  • 12 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 7 big chances.
  • 5 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Mohamed Salah – 31% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats:

  • 34 penalty area touches
  • 13 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Sergio Agüero – 14% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats:

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

Sadio Mané – 7% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats:

  • 16 penalty area touches
  • 7 total goal attempts.
  • 6 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Differential captain options

Embed from Getty Images

 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – It’s difficult to justify owning Aubameyang right now with 6 forwards currently outscoring him, with only Agüero being more expensive however, the Gabonese International has returned in every game so far for Arsenal and shouldn’t be disregarded. His stats are solid, with 21 penalty area touches, 13 shots, 9 inside the box and only Rashford (5) has had more big chances than the pacey forward (4). He’s also creating, putting in more crosses (14) than any other forward to date.

Watford are up next for the Gunners, who are the joint 3rd worst defence currently. They have just brought in a new manager… well, I say new, but the manager is one they’ve already had, in the form of “Quique” Sánchez Flores, who managed them in the 2015/16 season and was sacked at the end of the year after finishing 13th and reaching the FA Cup semi-finals. I’m not sure he’s the man to stop the leaky defence and I expect Arsenal to create plenty of chances – with Aubameyang in good form, I can see this being another game he returns in.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Nicolas Pepe – Pepe has started the last 2 games and managed an assist, as he begins to climatise to the rigours of the Premier League. He has looked very dangerous, very skilful and has been a very direct inside forward and an OOP striker so far for Emery’s side, firing in 12 goal attempts in his 244 minutes, which is considerably less than the likes of Salah, De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and others around him, yet only Mount (14), Maddison (13) and Salah (13) have had more goal attempts than the former Lille man.

In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before he starts scoring and I believe this Watford game is the perfect one for Pepe to open his Arsenal scoring account given the weak defence they face and as such, could prove to be a brilliant uber differential captain this week.

My view

It goes without saying that an attacker from one of Manchester City or Liverpool look the best options this weekend.

So let’s start with who out of Manchester City or Liverpool is going to score higher.

Manchester City’s opponents Norwich City, whilst impressive, have conceded the most amount goals, as well as shots inside the box.

Liverpool’s opponents Newcastle in contrast, have conceded 5 less goals, 3 less big chances and 12 less shots inside the box.

The key difference for this, is that Norwich manager Daniel Farke has an attacking philosophy, which is evidenced in how many chances they created and how attacking they were away at Anfield on the opening day of the season.

Steve Bruce at Newcastle again in contrast, is much more defensive minded, being a former defender himself and having inherited a team that is used to being cautious and playing on the counter under former manager Rafa Benítez.

Given that Norwich have had their success so far with their philosophy, I feel they are unlikely to change that against Manchester City, and that is going to mean that City will have a lot of space to use, and we all know just how effective they are when it comes to finding and creating space for their players and how ruthless those players are in finishing the chances.

Newcastle will likely sit deep as they did against Spurs and look to really limit the space in behind and keep everything in front of them.

Liverpool however, are much more efficient at breaking these low block defences down than Spurs, so I still expect a fairly comfortable win, but when it comes to who is likely to score more goals, judging on the above, Manchester City will be afforded more space to create chances and thus, they have the better chance to score a higher number of goals.

What about efficiency of creating chances and scoring at home versus away?

Well the top screenshot is Man City’s goal threat, where they have scored 8 goals in 2 away games and created 10 big chances, and the bottom is home goal threat, where Liverpool have scored 7 goals in their 2 home games and have created 7 big chances.

So not only are Man City playing the weaker defensive team, they are more proficient at scoring away from home than Liverpool are at scoring at home so far this season.

Based on this, Man City attackers look to be better captain options this weekend.

All of Agüero, Sterling and De Bruyne could do well and have started the season brilliantly – all are credible captain options and there really isn’t much between them.

Some may be put off by Sterling’s blank last time out, but he is the City asset receiving the most big chances (7) and is the player getting into the penalty area the most of all their attackers.

Embed from Getty Images

 

For me, these are the two most relevant stats when it comes to goal threat and given he is also a midfielder and gets an extra point for a goal and the clean sheet bonus over Agüero, I think Raheem Sterling is the best captain choice for Gameweek 5.

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 next GW so we have 5 GWs of relevant data to consult.

Stats obtained from https://members.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/

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