FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 31+

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 31+ and reveal the results of our captain poll – 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/

ADDITIONALLY: Because we have only 1 GW of relevant data and the metric is based purely on 5 previous GWs worth of relevant data, I’m not going to do the metric as it would mix up the GW data from pre-lockdown with post-lockdown.

Similarly, the underlying stats would also get mixed up with previous pre-lockdown data which would invalidate the post-lockdown data, so I will just display this past GW data for what it’s worth.

Results of our poll

Screen Shot 2020-06-22 at 17.20.45

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/

All underlying stats are taken from this current gameweek, which is double gameweek 30+ because of what is mentioned above.

Bruno Fernandes – 38.5% of the votes

  • 3 penalty area touches.
  • 5 total goal attempts.
  • 2 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 2 chances created (1 big chances)
  • 1 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 0 assists.

Sadio Mane – 17.2% of the votes

  • 5 penalty area touches.
  • 0 total goal attempts.
  • 0 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 2 chances created (0 big chances)
  • 0 big chances.
  • 0 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 15.9% of the votes

  • 2 penalty area touches.
  • 2 total goal attempts.
  • 2 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 chances created (0 big chances)
  • 0 big chances.
  • 0 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Richarlison – 15.9% of the votes 

  • 5 penalty area touches
  • 5 total goal attempts.
  • 4 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 chances created (0 big chances)
  • 0 big chances.
  • 0 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Son Heung-Min

  • 2 penalty area touches
  • 4 total goal attempts.
  • 2 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 0 chances created (0 big chances)
  • 1 big chances.
  • 0 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Jamie Vardy

  • 4 penalty area touches
  • 2 total goal attempts.
  • 1 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 2 chances created (0 big chances)
  • 0 big chances.
  • 0 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Raul Jimenez

  • 6 penalty area touches
  • 4 total goal attempts.
  • 3 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 2 chances created (0 big chances)
  • 1 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 0 assists.

Analysing the Candidates 

Okay so this gameweek, given the information we now know, it’s become a free for all with regards to the captain whereas, perhaps before this GW, we would have all been saying either Mo Salah or Sadio Mané hands down.

But after watching Liverpool labour to a 0-0 draw against Ancelotti’s Everton, where they were in fact quite fortunate not to lose the game, and the fact Salah didn’t feature at all in the game, AND that Crystal Palace seem to be somewhat of a slight bogey team against Liverpool, it has caused some to look elsewhere in search of their GW31+ captaincy.

The last 5 Premier League games at Anfield have finished:

  • Liverpool 4-3 Crystal Palace
  • Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace
  • Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
  • Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
  • Liverpool 1-3 Crystal Palace

The fact that Palace ran to a comfortable and typically solid 2-0 victory away at Bournemouth also doesn’t help.

Given Salah didn’t start, it’s hard to know if he’ll start and if he does, how many minutes? Also, how sharp will he be, given he was left out last night meaning he wasn’t 100% fit?

With Mané, he started and if you’re going to go with a Liverpool asset, I think it has to be him now. He’ll be sharper than Salah, if the Egyptian International does start, however, it’s worth noting Mané didn’t register a single shot against Everton.

A lot on Twitter seem to think that without Henderson, O’Connell and Egan, Sheffield United might be defensively weakened enough for United to win that comfortably, following their 3-0 loss to Newcastle, but they were down to ten men.

Screen Shot 2020-06-22 at 17.23.11

So new United star Bruno Fernandes is topping the poll in light of the above and his excellent start so far this season – and quite rightfully so. Having confirmed he’s United’s number 1 pen taker ahead of Rashford and Pogba, and putting in a typically great all-round performance against Spurs, FPL managers are now seemingly happy to hand him the armband for this one.

I do have a concern that Sheffield United will still be difficult to break down regardless of them losing those 3 defensive assets, as their whole system and philosophy has been drilled into them by Wilder over a fair few seasons, so they will still set up the same and it will make it tough for United to break down – I don’t see it as a high scoring affair.

Spurs, who haven’t been the best defensively under Mourinho, managed to limit United to a couple of half decent chances and I expect the Blades, especially with those defenders and Henderson missing, to set up just as defensively, so chances could be few and far between although, if anyone is gonna pick the lock, it’s very likely to be Bruno.

Screen Shot 2020-06-22 at 17.25.43

Elsewhere, Everton striker pair Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are of interest with them up against a pretty bleak looking Norwich side who look like they’re just about down and out, following their 0-3 home defeat to Southampton. In that game, they conceded a huge 22 shots, 14 inside their box. For reference, Aston Villa who played twice, conceded 24 shots.

Both Richarlison and DCL had good chances against Liverpool with Richarlison looking particularly sharp. He registered 5 goal attempts (4 inside the box) against Liverpool and was a constant danger on the counter attack. Norwich were extremely toothless against Southampton and if they don’t up their game soon, then Everton will do just as much if not more damage than Southampton did.

Mexican forward Raul Jimenez is another that people are looking at, with him in great form and up against another side that seem to be struggling in Bournemouth. The slight problem with Raul Jimenez, is that he’s not the most explosive asset, with just 3 double-figure hauls this season, all 13pts or lower.

Screen Shot 2020-06-21 at 14.21.03

Highest scoring forward Jamie Vardy isn’t being talked about too much but needs to be considered also with a home fixture to Brighton. Yes, Brighton beat Arsenal 2-1 but they did allow Aubameyang 7 shots and although Leicester weren’t completely at the races against Watford, you can’t completely write them off doing some damage in this fixture.

Son Heung-Min may well feature in a lot of Free Hit squads and some wildcard teams with Spurs’ fixtures looking great for the run in, including this home fixture to West Ham up next. West Ham have been one of the worst sides defensively this season and looked fairly toothless against Wolves, although perhaps it was more the well-organised work of Nuno and his side.

Regardless, Son could be a great differential captain against West Ham having hit 18 goal contributions in 22 games, amassing 5 double-figure hauls in the process.

Conclusion 

(my personal take NOT to be taken as fact)

Like a lot in the Twitter community, I’ve been put off captaining a Liverpool player for this GW, which then does cause me to question what’s the point having a Mo Salah/Sadio Mané in my side? But I think, because we know the kind of damage these assets can do, it’s probably worth having 1 just in case, unless you have cojones the size of water melons.

So I will have Mané in my free hit side but I am unlikely to captain him, just because I think others may do better.

Screen Shot 2020-06-22 at 17.28.32

For me, the two players that are interesting me the most currently, are Son Heung-Min and Richarlison, particularly the former, and this is simply because of how explosive I know this guy can be.

Calvert-Lewin is a great option too, but given he and Richarlison both play up front and one gets an extra point for goals scored and a potential clean sheet bonus, it makes sense to me to go with the midfielder playing as a striker.

Lots of the above considered players have good fixtures this gameweek, but it’s about picking the type of player who we know can go big, and Son is one of those.

That combined with how poor West Ham have been defensively this season (conceded the joint most amount of big chances on the road this season at 47 along with Aston Villa) makes Son a tough proposition to turn down.

Richarlison is close behind him, simply because Norwich are shocking and I think they have more or less given up the ghost and accepted relegation. On top of that, I was impressed with him pre-lockdown and thought he looked very sharp against Liverpool.

Poll topper Bruno Fernandes, is interesting me less. He’s so dangerous and I still expect him to do well, but I just feel like this is going to be the kind of game, similar to what we saw against Spurs, where Sheff United will set up defensively and United will have to find a way to break the low bank of defenders down, which is never easy, regardless of personnel available.

If United are to break down their counterpart United, it will almost certainly come from Bruno or Pogba however, I see it as a game with a lower ceiling for Bruno in comparison to Son/Richarlison, which is why I’ll be going with one of Son/Richarlison.

Wishing everyone the best of luck for GW31+!

keep-calm-and-thanks-for-reading-7

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