FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 34+

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 34+ 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 4 GWs of relevant data and the metric is based purely on 5 previous GWs worth and we have a double GW still in the last 4 GWs, I cannot do the metric yet as it doesn’t work with double GW data.

Results of our poll

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 15.42.28

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 the first 4 GWs. Note that KDB/Mahrez have played an extra game over the other candidates and Salah has played 1 game less.

Kevin De Bruyne – 52.7% of the votes 

  • 15 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 7 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 12 chances created (4 big chances)
  • 3 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Bruno Fernandes – 32.3% of the votes

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

Sadio Mané – 9.1% of the votes

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

Harry Kane – 12.3% of votes

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

Son Heung-Min

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

Mo Salah 

  • 28 penalty area touches.
  • 10 total goal attempts.
  • 7 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 7 chances created (1 big chances)
  • 1 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 2 assists.

Anthony Martial

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

Marcus Rashford

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

Analysing the Candidates 

Kevin De Bruyne – Newcastle (H)

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 21.09.01

We all know we cannot ever profess to know what Pep will do with his starting line-ups, but we can logically assume, having benched KDB for the Southampton game and him only playing 31 mins in the second half, that he will start this one – that of course, like always, makes him a strong captaincy option.

Since the restart, Newcastle rank 8th on the xGC (expected goals conceded) chart with a value of 6.05. If we consider the opposition they have played since restart is, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Sheffield United, none of which are known for their attacking proficiency, it doesn’t exactly look that great.

And to add to that, Man City, rank top for open play xG (expected goals) by a value of 8.36, which is a full 2+ goals higher than second highest xG ranked by Chelsea.

All of the above make it very difficult to argue against the Belgian prince.

Bruno Fernandes – Aston Villa (A)

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 21.24.04

Whatever KDB is to City, the early signs are that Bruno Fernandes is looking like he may well be that for United and from an FPL perspective, they both are their talisman.

Both take all set-pieces and are very good at them, with Fernandes showcasing his free kick talents, scoring a lovely free kick keepers side against Bournemouth.

There’s no need to doubt Bruno and United’s attacking credentials right now; only City (13) have scored more goals than United since the restart, and they have played 1 extra game than United too.

The main thing is, just how well have Aston Villa defended since the restart? Because last night, they appeared to defend very well against Liverpool, keeping them out until the 71st min and overall, limited Liverpool to just a mere 6 goal attempts at home.

Looking at the stats, they actually rank very well for xGC, with a value of 3.70. Only Man Utd, Wolves, Everton and Brighton have a better xGC and Villa have played 1 more game than all these sides. Additionally, in their 5 games since the restart, they’ve only conceded 4 big chances.

So whilst it looks like another Bruno haul on paper, it might not be as straight forward as you would think, like with Salah against them last night.

Sadio Mané – Brighton (A)

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 21.44.43

One that’s perhaps being overlooked is Sadio Mané.

Although Brighton have displayed that they can be robust, with them only conceding 1 big chance since the restart, Man Utd did put 3 past them and with relative ease. So if Liverpool turn up, then they can easily do similar, the problem is knowing if they’ll turn up or not.

Because against Villa last night, they were way off the pace. Laboured and inaccurate passing, poor touches, lack of movement and an all round decrease in intensity. It took Firmino, Henderson and Wijjnaldum’s introduction to spark them into any kind of life and even then, they still struggled a little.

Having said that, of all the players, Mané was the one constantly trying to make something happen, even dropping in deep to pick it up and play forwards on occasion, trying to take the game by the scruff of the neck and he did that to good effect and deserved the goal he scored.

If Liverpool do show up, it could be a good one for Mané, especially as he’s largely being overlooked it would seem, for the captaincy.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min – Bournemouth (A)

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 22.14.44

Solely down to the fact Bournemouth are shocking, both Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min are considerations for the armband in GW34+.

Having just finished watching them in their 1-0 win against Everton, I can say that I saw what most did, and that was that on the whole, Spurs looked pretty poor attacking wise.

They scraped a pretty shoddy deflected goal and simply looked to hold onto it. They didn’t look to attack Everton and kill the game off, they were passive and allowed Everton to come onto them, but luckily for them, Everton were just as poor in attack and couldn’t break them down.

It was clear Mourinho has instructed them to hold onto the lead and not look to attack as I saw on numerous occasions in the last 10 minutes where they could have countered, Kane not even running forwards to support the ball carrier, and looking to hold possession instead.

Son looked the more dangerous of the two in this game, firing in 4 goal attempts, 2 of which inside the area. I can’t recall Kane getting a chance. All of his efforts were blocked.

This all doesn’t sound great however, the opponent will change the way Mourinho approaches the game and with it being Bournemouth, they will attack more like they did against West Ham and because Bournemouth need to win, they will have to attack Spurs somewhat too, so there should be spaces for the likes of Son and Kane to work.

Conclusion 

(my personal take NOT to be taken as fact)

Given all of the above, it has to between Bruno Fernandes and Kevin de Bruyne.

I think anything else feels like overthinking. The rest of the candidates have question marks over them but these two, do not.

Liverpool look off the pace with nothing to play for, evidenced in last night’s 2-0 victory v Villa where they really struggled to create.

Spurs don’t fill you with confidence under Mourinho, with his defensive tactics restraining the attacking potential of Kane and Son.

It’s difficult to trust Mahrez and Sterling with their minutes being managed.

Marcus Rashford doesn’t quite look 100% yet still and needed a penalty again to return some points for owners.

Anthony Martial is likely the closest to Bruno/KDB for the captaincy, but between him and Bruno, Bruno just has more ways of scoring points than him, with him on corners, free-kicks and penalties, so he has to be preferred to Tony in my opinion.

Out of the two above, it’s a 50/50, but I would opt to go for KDB, simply down to the fact that Newcastle haven’t been as good as Villa defensively since the restart, and they don’t really have anything to play for other than moving up mid-table in the league.

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

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