FPL, FanTeam

2 months ago

FPL & FanTeam: Gameweek 32 Captaincy

Son was at it again this week out of the standout captaincy shouts with a goal and an assist. While my own captain pick Kane somehow just managed an assist in a 5 goal rout! That quickly wiped my smugness for overlooking a dejected Salah who blanked against Watford (who also lacked his usual lustre against Benfica midweek). Gameweek 32 is an exciting one for captaincy as there are no standout candidates. So I will give you my thoughts and stats on who I believe are the best choices.

Prices are FPL and FanTeam respectively.

 

Manchester City v Liverpool

This is the big one — a title six pointer. City are in first place courtesy of a single point and whoever wins this is in the driving seat. When it comes to captaincy, I tend to steer away from such challenging fixtures as with such highly contested, tactical spectacles, it is difficult to pinpoint where the goals will come from.

However, given the lack of captaincy options this week you may be tempted to throw the armband on Salah (£13.3m, £13.5m) or Kevin de Bruyne (£11.7m, £11.2m). This fixture has not failed to impress in the past, with their being an average of 3.5 goals in their last 12 encounters.

Looking at Salah first. Since the international break, he looked lacklustre against Watford and Benfica, being subbed early in both games. You can be assured he will play a full 90mins this game, but will he find his vein of form that has him a distant top goal scorer in the league this season? His 20 goals a comfortable 6 ahead of teammate Jota. Salah has the pedigree and form against City, scoring 7 goals in their last 11 encounters. But as mentioned, the laser penalty shootout dramatic exit from the World Cup and losing the African Cup of Nations just 2 months ago may be stinging him at the moment.

However, his counterpart Kevin De Bruyne is in hot form since the international break, scoring against Burnley and Athletico Madrid. De Bruyne is a world class player and can return in any game. However, if you are a numbers person then looking at below Salah is the better pick. This does support the Salah underperformance argument though, as his 4 goals do not match his xG of 5.4. While De Bruyne is relying on his elite finishing from a longer range.

 

Aston Villa v Spurs

Since Gameweek 26 Spurs have scored a whopping 24 goals, 8 better than Liverpool who are next best (although Spurs did play 2 more games). Nevertheless, this equates to 3 goals per game, beating everyone including Liverpool’s 2.67. But Villa have been no pushovers over this time horizon, conceding only 6 goals from 7 matches (tied 5th best), just under 1 goal a game. Their fixtures were relatively kind, aside from Arsenal at home where they lost 1-0. Perhaps this is a good guide for the Spurs game.

In my Gameweek 30 article, I looked at the numbers behind Son (£10.9m, £10.2m) and Kane (£12.5m, £11.7m) and came to the conclusion that Kane was the better captaincy pick. He did manage 3 assists, but Son just pipped him with his 2 goals. Learning from my lesson, I looked at their home stats in my Gameweek 31 article, where again Kane came out on top. However, this time Son comfortably beat Kane’s 1 assist with a goal and assist himself. In their last 6 matches, Son has 5 goals and 1 assist and Kane 5 goals and 4 assists. Kane also trumps Son over the course of the season.

In the previous two articles, I did a lot of stat checking and still got it wrong. So if you still want some, this is how they compare over these last 2 games alone. And wahey! Son finally pips Kane on the stats! Marginally. This is too short a time horizon in my opinion, but yes Son is currently in great form. But perhaps third time’s the charm with Kane? If you have only one, easy, your decision is made for you. If like me you have both, you just have to trust your gut.

 

Elsewhere

Manchester Utd play a terrible Everton. Their assests if you got them ahead of the double gameweek are a good punt, but Manchester Utd have also been poor of late. Arsenal play Brighton but there are no standouts for captaincy. Likewise in a rotation prone Chelsea who play Southampton. While Leicester’s fixture at home to Palace does look enticing, it is important to highlight over the last 6 games only Liverpool better Palace’s 3 goals conceded. And again, there is no standout options at Leicester.

 

Conclusion

As I said, I am not so keen in backing players in tough fixtures. Having said that, not captaining Salah against Manchester Utd at the start of this year backfired greatly! But there’s no comparison between the Manchester clubs. Son and Kane are my favourite picks. Personally, I will probably go Kane. For the usual reasons, penalties and over the course of the season he is the better player, fantasy wise at least. But if your gut says Son go for it! Nevertheless, although Salah’s form has dipped, it has only been a meagre 2 games! He will be pumped for this huge fixture. He has the history and stats to back him up as well. So, although he is my 3rd pick, he is still a fine pick! Whoever you pick in the end – best of luck!

FPL_Pup
Author

FPL_Pup

Sports fan and FPL addict from Ireland (still has not forgiven Thierry Henry). Loves numbers in both studies & profession and has incorporated this into FPL in recent seasons. Has played FPL for 8 seasons, finishing in the top 40k 5 times, with the best finish of 8k. Find on Twitter @FplPup if you have any questions

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