GW2 Top Three Captaincy Picks
@FantasyFootyFix will cover the stats below
We have yet another clash between the red-hot captaincy favourites from Liverpool & Manchester United, who will be battling it out in the top 3 FPL captain choices ahead of Gameweek 2.
Welcome back to “The FPL Way Captaincy Picks” article, where I will be discussing the Top 3 Fantasy Premier League captain options for the Gameweek ahead, as voted for by the FPL community captaincy poll on Twitter.
What a treat we had last week, with two of our top 3 picks returning substantial points. Let’s take a look at that all-important captaincy decision for Gameweek 2.
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
£12.5 / 55.4% owned
1. Mohamed Salah remains in the top 3 receiving a staggering 62% of your vote.
The Egyptian King returned in top form as we predicted. If you captained him last week he will have provided you with a blistering 34 pts, scoring 1 goal and providing 2 assists against the struggling Norwich City.
Below you will notice two heat maps in the game against Norwich. On the left you will see Salah’s touches, (13) inside the box, on the right you will see he had (5) shots at goal & (4) inside the box. Salah was attacking that right-hand side hard, as he often does for Liverpool. His first assist was provided from inside the box and the other just outside.
Last season the Egypt international averaged 3.4 shots per game and 8.4 touches in the opposition’s box. Bruno provided (3.3) shots per game with an average of (3.4) touches in the box.
I have compared Salah & Bruno Fernandes’ attacking stats in Gameweek 1. There were many highlighted for Salah. Despite the Red Devils star man producing a brilliant hat-trick, the Egyptian produced the most big chances in the league (2) to Bruno’s (0). I feel Salah could or should have had more than 1 goal.
Let’s take a look at Salah’s Projected Points overall for Gameweeks 2-6. He’s expected to get 34.3 points and in Gameweek 2 Salah is projected to have 7.0 points, which is the highest out of all the key players.
Liverpool is up against Burnley at Anfield. The Clarets lost their first game to Brighton by two goals to one. Both goals for Brighton came from inside the box, which would favour our most voted man.
Burnley is joint second in the league for goal attempts in box conceded (12) & their expected goal conceded is 1.73 that puts them in the top six for (most) expected goals conceded.
Bruno Fernandes – Manchester United
£12.1m / 56.2% owned
2. Bruno Fernandes sits in 2nd place with 32% of the vote, after his hat-trick against Leeds on the opening day.
The Portuguese man had an excellent Saturday afternoon scoring three goals and a total of 20pts. Perhaps we overlooked Bruno for the number one captaincy last week. I felt the return of the fans at Old Trafford made a huge difference for him and his teammates.
Bruno was the most clinical player in Gameweek 1. Every shot on target went in, (3) on target 3 goals. All three goals were inside the box. Last season he had an average of 3.3 shots per game & 1.4 shots on target which levels with Salah (1.4) & to Harry Kane’s (1.5).
Let’s look at Bruno’s Projected Points overall for the next 2-7 Gameweeks. He’s expected to get 35.2 points in total & is projected to have 6.1 points for Gameweek 2, which is the second best out of all the key players in the projected table.
Manchester United’s next game is away to Southampton. Southampton didn’t have the strongest of starts after losing 3-1 to Everton. The Saints conceded 11 goal attempts in box, joint 3rd worst in the league and their expected goals conceded were (2.09), the second worst in the league. Selling (and not replacing) Vestergaard has been a huge loss for the Saints. No club have conceded more goals in the Premier League season in 2020/21 than Southampton.
This heatmap shows shot attempts in the game against Manchester United and Leeds. Man United only conceded 3 shots in the box & conceded one goal from outside the box – a fantastic finish from Luke Ayling – not bad for your first goal in the Premier League. The Red Devils had 12 shots in the box, which could be a problem for Southampton after examining how clinical Bruno was, specifically with looking at shots in the box/on target.
Riyad Mahrez- Manchester City
£9.0m / 7.7% owned
3. Riyad Mahrez sits in 3rd place as my Differential pick.
The Man City midfielder had a tough time during his side 1-0 defeat away to Tottenham. Mahrez only managed one shot in the box, which was a big chance that he blazed wide just before half-time.
If we look at the touches Mo Salah had during the Norwich game, you can see how Mahrez and Salah had an almost identical heatmap showing how many touches they produced on that right-hand side, especially where Norwich looked weak. Salah scored once and assisted twice down that section of the pitch.
Mahrez is joint second on highest projected score. This actually ranks slightly higher than Bruno Fernandes and makes him the better option to captain for the week. But with doubts as to his minutes, it will be a tough one to captain him, or even transfer him in. But, if you are like me and own him, then it makes sense to hold him and pray for a start.
As you can see from the poll results, Mo Salah is your favourite choice for the captain’s armband. I too think he’s the best captain. My strategy for the start of the season is to target the Home games for those big premium assets. Salah will be performing in front of a packed Liverpool crowd for the first time since the pandemic. It will be electric.
Bruno Fernandes is also a solid pick, Southampton is looking very poor defensively, conceding many shots inside the box in their last match and losing their key defender will leave a big hole in the back line.
Mahrez is a precarious punt, but a punt that could pay off if he starts.
Thank you so much for reading, wishing you the best of luck for the weekend.