FPL

2 months ago

GW 37+: Captaincy Candidates

GW36+ was a weird one to say the least. Leicester defender Luke Thomas (£4.0m) who was not even listed on FPL being the joint 2nd highest scorer in the week with 12 points says it all. As of writing (ahead of the West Ham v Watford match), the average points this GW in the top 10k is 48. This adds a shine to the modest 7 points return from Ings (£7.5m), 6 points from Bruno (£9.1m), and Pulisic (£7.4m) who I recommended as captains last week. But of course, my other pick Sterling (£11.8m) was stricken by Pep roulette and VAR taking his spot-kick away – of course, he was the one I chose out of the bunch for my team!

GW37+ looks like another strange one without a ball being kicked yet. The two Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Arsenal will be battling it out in the FA Cup before playing their Premier League matches on Tuesday and Wednesday. Captaining any players from this bunch have the additional risk of rotation or injury given these matches in the interim, particularly Manchester City assets. Hopefully, this article helps you tiptoe through this minefield!

 

Martial (£8.4m) & Bruno (£9.1m)

The last 3 GWs I have suggested Bruno over Martial in the captaincy picks. There has been little between these 2 assets in these games, with Martial racking up 27 points (2 goals & 2 assists) while Bruno has accumulated 25 (1 goals and 3 assists).

Looking at the expected data, there is little between the two either. Assists are similar, Bruno is more likely to score thanks to penalties, but then looking at shots on target (which takes into account the quality of the shot), it indicates Martial is the more likely to score. Using the eye-test I agree with the latter.

 

Bruno

Martial

Assists

1.17

0.96

Goal

2.16

1.18

Goals Non-Penalty

1.37

1.18

Goals Shot on Target

1.98

2.47

 

 

Goal attempts and attempts in the box do not differentiate the pair either. But in the last 4 GWs Martial has had 32 touches in the box which is superior to Bruno’s 18, heightening Martial’s threat in the box. But as we know, Bruno has set pieces and creativity in his locker creating 12 chances to Martial’s 6. Interestingly though, Martial did create 2 big chances compared to 1 for Bruno.

To summarise, there is nothing between the two. If your gut prefers one over the other then trust your gut. 

Personally, I have been impressed by Martial of late and his home form is incredible (21, 14 and 13 points since the restart)

Focussing on the opposition, now we see that West Ham, who are fighting for survival, is not as mouth-watering a fixture as it may look on paper. Their defensive statistics in the last 4 matches have been quite impressive. This could be aided by the fact they faced Chelsea (h), Newcastle (a) followed by toothless Burnley (h) and Norwich (a). Nevertheless, they are the 3rd best team for big chances conceded with 4.

Although they sit mid-table for goals conceded (5) and goal attempts in the box (29). These numbers may deter a few from captaining Manchester Utd assets. However, this team is on flying form and will have to play a full-strength squad in an attempt to qualify for the Champions League. This is particularly important as many top assets will be playing in the FA Cup this weekend.

Jimenez (£8.1m)

Having strayed of late, Mr. Reliable has returned and all is forgiven! 2 goals and 5 bonus in the last 2 matches have set him up nicely ahead of a tantalising fixture in the shape of Crystal Palace at home.

Palace conversely to West Ham have had tough fixtures in the last 4, having faced Leicester (a), Chelsea (h), Villa (a) and Manchester Utd (h). Regardless their defensive numbers look appeasing for Jimenez owners. They have the worst record in the last 4 matches for big chances conceded with 16! Averaging 4 a match looks good for Mr. Reliable. They are also joint 5th worst with 40 shots conceded in the box and second-worst for goals conceded having seen 10 hit the back of their net.

Jimenez has been a peripheral figure at times over the last 4 GWs. He has managed only 1 big chance in his last 4 matches as well as 7 shots, 4 of which were on target. His numbers alone are not breathtaking, but combining this with Palace’s defensive woes, it looks like he will inevitably score at least one. Those looking for a safe 9 pointer should have him at the top of their list.

 

Wood (£6.1m)

 

Not one for the light-hearted. For those looking at a differential, this GW should consider Chris Wood. He has just returned from injury and has only played 155mins where he has fired 3 shots (2 in the box). But it is the big chances that make Chris Wood so appealing having been on the receiving end of 2 since his return. 

29 big chances this season puts him joint 4th alongside Rashford (£8.9m) and Mane (£12.2m). Incredible for an inexpensive Burnley forward who is also on penalties

What really makes him appealing is that he faces a leaky Norwich who are already relegated. They sit 4th worst for big chances conceded (12), shots in the box conceded (46) and goals conceded (8) in the last 4 matches. This makes Wood a worthy differential and captaincy option. I foresee another Giroud (£6.7m) like performance, plenty of chances but can he put them away.

Final Thoughts

You can’t go into any GW without considering a Manchester City asset as a captaincy candidate on their form. However, Pep roulette is impossible to predict at the best of times. Throw in a FA Cup semi-final before they play Watford and the water gets a lot muddier. Sterling came back to bite me last week, so I won’t try and predict who will start. But below is their minutes and starts over the last 4 GWs, and from this De Bruyne (£10.7m) owners will be confident that he starts, making him a strong candidate.

 

GW 33+

GW 34+

GW 35+

GW 36+

Total

Starts

D. Silva

90

90

26

90

296

3

Jesus

90

60

63

76

289

4

B. Silva

90

29

90

45

254

3

Mahrez

58

74

90

13

235

3

Sterling

58

29

90

45

222

2

Foden

31

60

26

90

207

2

De Bruyne

31

90

63

0

184

2

 

 

But with Pep roulette and FA cup games for a number of top teams, we may see some unusual team sheets later in the week. De Bruyne owners would have learned that their vice-captain picks are highly important and the same holds this GW. If you are captaining someone who is a rotation risk, ensure you choose someone who isn’t as vice-captain.

As always, best of luck to everyone, and if you want to reach out to me with any questions DM me on Twitter or create a thread on the website.

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