FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 22

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 22 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our new captain metric – who will you choose this FPL Gameweek?

BRAND NEW METRIC EXPLAINED: This article (hit the link) explains the concept and working fully >> https://fplconnect.blog/2018/08/07/the-captain-metric-explained-2/

Results of the Poll

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

Mo Salah

Underlying attacking stats the last 6 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 6 appearances
  • 49 penalty area touches
  • 1 big chance created
  • 4 big chances
  • 2 goals
  • 0 assists

Bruno Fernandes

Underlying attacking stats the last 6 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 7 appearances
  • 26 penalty area touches
  • 3 big chances created
  • 3 big chances
  • 1 goal
  • 2 assists

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Underlying attacking stats the last 6 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 3 appearances
  • 14 penalty box touches
  • 0 big chances created
  • 0 big chances
  • 0 goals
  • 0 assists

Raheem Sterling

Underlying attacking stats the last 6 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 5 appearances
  • 41 penalty box touches
  • 0 big chances created
  • 2 big chances
  • 2 goals
  • 2 assists

Ilkay Gundogan

Underlying attacking stats the last 6 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 6 appearances
  • 27 penalty box touches
  • 1 big chance created
  • 4 big chances
  • 5 goals
  • 0 assists

Captain Metric

The winner of this weeks Captain Metric is Ilkay Gundogan.

Important notes: Individual bias (IB), highlights how balanced their score is between team and individual form. A score below 50% suggests the team has contributed the most weight to their score, while a score above 50% shows individual performances that outweigh that of the team.

Individual total has now been adjusted to account for other KPIs that can help identify a strong captaincy candidate. These include FPL points (as usual), xGI (expected goal involvement), penalty box touches, big chances, big chances created). These metrics have been adjusted so each metric carries similar eight to the overall individual score.

Please note that the metric scoring system reflects the structure of the double gameweek. This means that were a players has two fixtures, both games have been accounted for within the calculation.

Metric results explained

The metric results show that Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling and Harvey Barnes are the top three statistical choices for captaincy in Gameweek 22.

Key attacking stats for captaincy contenders between Gameweeks 17 & 21

Even with a number of high profile injuries causing headaches within our FPLs teams – Kane, Vardy and De Bruyne to name a few – there are still plenty of strong performers when it comes to the captaincy debate.

Gundogan (£5.8m) has been a consistent driving force for the Man City attack over the past five gameweeks, scoring five goals. He even has more touches in the penalty box than Son, Harvey Barnes, Bruno Fernandes and Grealish in this time.

Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) runs Gundogan very close in the metric this week, who has only scored twice but is registering a higher xG90 (expected goals per 90 mins) than any other candidate recently.

Sterling was rested for the full 90 minutes versus Sheffield United over the weekend, meaning he is fresh for the Burnley fixtures in gameweek 22.

Average xG (expected goals) for and against per 90 minutes between Gameweeks 17 & 21

Looking at team form over the past five gameweeks (above graphic), Man City are streets ahead of the rest.

Averaging nearly 2.4 xG90, Man City pose the greatest attacking threat, while conceding fewer than 0.5 xG90 at the other end.

No other team comes close to matching either of these stats, which is why Man City players continue to perform well in the captaincy metric calculation.

Other teams who are posting strong xG90 stats in recent weeks are Arsenal, Aston Villa, Liverpool, West Ham and Man United.

From these clubs, Bruno Fernandes (£11.4m) stands out as the player with the best underlying stats, despite struggling to score consistent FPL points. His 22 shots and 13 key passes in the past five gameweeks are signs that those points may be around the corner.

Ideal fixture to target?

Of all the fixtures being played in Gameweek 22, one stands out above all others – Burnley vs. Manchester City.

Average xG (expected goals) for and against per 90 minutes between Gameweeks 17 & 21

As we have already drawn on, Man City possess the greatest attacking threat in the league right now, having recently demolished West Brom 5-0 at The Hawthorns.

You may question their consistency given they only beat struggling Sheffield United 1-0 at the weekend, but they have proven stiffer opposition than others recently – just ask Man United!

Burnley are bottom for xG90 in the form table, having created <0.6 xG90 across the past five gameweeks.

At the other end only West Brom have conceded more xG90 in this time, showing their reliance on Nick Pope to keep them in matches.

Burnley have conceded 62 SITB (shots inside the box) in their last five games – more than any other club. In the same period, Man City have attempted 72 SITB, more than any other team by a comfortable margin.

With the rested Joao Cancelo and Raheem Sterling likely to return for the game against Burnley on Wednesday, either of these players should be considered for captaincy if owned.

Cancelo in particular will take up some very attacking positions if selected, which makes him a very interesting option for the armband.

Given Man City have a crucial game against Liverpool on Sunday, Gundogan may be at a higher risk of rotation following his 90 minutes against Sheffield United this weekend gone.

Who are the other options?

At this point you are probably wondering about a certain Egyptian midfielder.

Looking at the data for the past five gameweeks, Salah (£12.6m) (and Liverpool to a certain extent) don’t stand about above the other options.

Before the West Ham game Salah had ‘blanked’ in six consecutive gameweeks, including a double gameweek, scoring just 13 FPL points. As the most expensive player in the game, it is little surprise he came under scrutiny for this poor run of form.

Things have started to turn quite dramatically for Salah over the past week or so. Firstly, a brace against rivals Man United in the FA Cup will have injected him with confidence; despite his side falling to a 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford.

Salah then scored in a Premier League game against Spurs, only to have it ruled out following a VAR review of a handball in the build up.

Finally, in Mane’s absence, Salah spearheaded the Liverpool attack against West Ham by scoring another brace in a 3-1 victory. His second goal in particular was taken beautifully; a player back in form for sure.

My view

Gameweek 21 felt like the perfect opportunity for a punt, which yielded mixed results for many. Those who captained Harvey Barnes versus Leeds will have been delighted, unlike those who went for Calvert-Lewin against Newcastle.

Neither Sterling nor Cancelo featured at all against Sheff United, while Salah and Bamford scored big.

Whilst differential captains are still an option this week, it is hard to discount either a Man City player or Mo Salah. Man City have already destroyed Burnley 5-0 this season, and that was when they were still working through the gears.

Yes, Nick Pope wasn’t involved that day, but the underlying data suggests it will be another siege on the Burnley goal. Pope will have to perform a miracle or two to keep the score respectable.

Both Joao Cancelo and Raheem Sterling are the standout captaincy options for Man City in this fixture. While clean sheets are Cancelo’s ‘bread-and-butter’, he will also be heavily involved in attacking play which makes him a very interesting player to own this week.

Sterling will get plenty of the ball in and around the box, constantly providing a direct goal threat for himself and his teammates.

While Liverpool’s fixture versus Brighton isn’t quite as tasty as Man City’s, Salah is still a very strong captaincy contender this week.

Liverpool have scored six goals in their last two Premier League games, both away from home against opponents with strong defensive reputations (Spurs and West Ham).

It appears that things are just starting to click for Liverpool in their build up play; including some slick counter attacking football which was so effective for them last season.

With Mane likely out again for the game against Brighton, Salah will need to take on the scoring responsibility for Liverpool against a tricky side who will likely ‘have a go’.

One of the biggest challenges in FPL is anticipating when certain players are about to hit a good streak of form; the early signs suggest Salah may just be about to do just that. Currently owned by 41.6% of FPL players, he is already back on the radar for many and likely to be trusted with the armband by the masses once again.

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