GW4 Top Three Captaincy Picks
@FantasyFootyFix will cover the stats below.
Gameweek 4 won’t be so straightforward to select a captain as there is a wide variety of assets to choose from. Deadline day proved to be one of the best for many years; Cristiano Ronaldo is back, and from what I’m hearing, FPL managers are considering him as their captain out of fear. Who will be battling it out in the top 3 FPL captain choices ahead of Gameweek 4?
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. I will also be adding the “worthy mentions” player list ahead of the Gameweek.
Let’s have a quick reminder on how we did in GW3, our top 3 most voted returned a decent 45 points. It was yet again a disappointing Gameweek for Bruno, as he’s now blanked in two game weeks. As for our differential pick, Michail Antonio was the best pick out of the top 3. Anyway, let’s move forward and take a look at that all-important captaincy decision for Gameweek 4.
Romelu Lukaku- Chelsea
£11.5m /21.5% Owned
- 1. Romelu Lukaku sits in 3rd place with 14% of the vote.
If we go back to Gameweek 3 where Chelsea played Liverpool at Anfield, it ended 1-1. The Blues took the lead through a clever Kai Havertz header and was seemingly in control of the game until Reece James was sent off just before half-time for denying a goalscoring opportunity by handling Sadio Mane’s shot on the goal-line.
The Belgium international only managed two shots and one on target. Despite only playing 2 games, Lukaku high on the charts when it comes to shots, he has produced nine shots in the box with three on target & his expected goals are (1.76) to Salah’s (1.39).
Chelsea host Aston Villa in GW4. Villa is the second-best in the league when it comes to Expected Goals Conceded (2.31) just below Manchester City at the top of the table with (1.35).
The downside for the Villans is that they will have Martinez & Buendia unavailable due to travelling to Argentina, A red-list country – to take part in two of their three World Cup qualifiers.
Perhaps with a lot of attention elsewhere, Lukaku may be being overlooked. He has a decent record when it comes to Aston Villa; played eight, won (5), Drawn (2) & Lost (1). Scoring six goals & one assist.
One thing to keep an eye on is his fitness. He’s struggling with a minor injury that will require a scan before he returns to Chelsea later this week.
Mohammad Salah- Liverpool
£12.5m / 53.1% Owned
- 2. Mohammad Salah sits in 2nd place with 32% of the vote.
The Egyptian has returned two goals in three games, with two assists and averages 10.0 points per game. Yet again he has started another season very well. Liverpool will be frustrated that they didn’t get more than 1pt against the 10 men of Chelsea, especially after dominating the second half. Nevertheless, Chelsea defended very well due to the circumstances. Salah scored Liverpool’s only goal in a 1-1 draw from the penalty spot.
Liverpool travels to Elland Road (Leed United). Salah has played two, drawn one and scored a total of three goals against Leeds United.
Salah is up against a team that concede many shots inside the box (30). The Liverpool star has (11) shots inside the box which is 2nd best in the League, below Antonio’s (13). Leeds have Conceded (8) goals, which is joint 3rd worst in the league.
Cristiano Ronaldo- Manchester United
£12.5M / 14.9% Owned
- 3. Cristiano Ronaldo sits in 1st place as your favourite captain, with 44% of the vote.
First of all, I need to take a moment to enjoy writing this part… Cristiano Ronaldo is now once again a Manchester United Player. As a Man United Fan myself, I’m absolutely ecstatic about his return. Ronaldo has played 186 Premier League matches, scored 84 and assisted 34. At 36 years old he’s proven to be one of the best goal scorers in the world. Scoring a total of 780 in 1,100 professional career appearances.
Ronaldo has scored 101 goals for Juventus in Three seasons. He finished the 2020/21 season with 29 goals in 33 appearances and assisted two.
The Red Devils are home to Newcastle United. The Portuguese international has played them ten times, won nine, drawn one and has not lost a game against The Magpies. Scoring five and assisted one.
The FPL Community are saying they are frightened of not owning him and think he’s the best captain going into gameweek4, despite not playing a game yet for United and the uncertainty on whether he will start. In my opinion, I think he will start against Newcastle. Ronaldo arrived in Manchester last Wednesday after his international duties, he will have had over a week worth of training with the United lads, and as quoted by Ole “we have not brought him to be sat on the bench”.
How does Ronaldo Compare?
Below you will see a table showing how Ronaldo compares to some elite premiums from last season.
As you can see, Ronaldo scored more goals than any other player with 29 goals in Serie A.
How Ronaldo compared against the Bottom and Top Half Teams in the Serie A 20/21 season:
The Stats table shows Cristiano Ronaldo goals scored and assists from the whole season of Serie A season 20/21.
The table below shows that Ronaldo favoured the Bottom half teams. Scoring 20 goals with 2 assists.
The table below shows that Ronaldo doesn’t Favour the top half teams as much as the bottom half. Scoring 10 goals with 0 assists.
Looking at the chart below, you will see that out of the top 3, Mo Salah has the higher expected FPL involvement (2.6), Lukaku is down to only (2.2) while the worthy mentions Antonio is way ahead in the lead by (4.6).
Looking at the chart below, you will see that out of the top 3, Salah and Lukaku have an equal amount of Big Chances (2), as for the worthy mentions, Antonio leads with (6) Big Chances and Torres (3).
Looking at the chart below, you will see that out of the top 3 Lukaku has a higher Expected goal (1.7) and Salah (1.5). Worthy mentions are Fernandes (1.0) Torres (1.7) and Antonio massively in the lead by (3.2).
Looking at the chart below, you will see out of the top 3, Salah has (11) shots inside the box and Lukaku (13). Worthy mentions are Greenwood (9), Jota (7) and Antonio (13).
Fix Comparison Matrix:
By analysing all the charts, Antonio and Salah are the standout assets out of the top 5 players listed below. Antonio scoring 4 goals with 4 assists, and Salah with 2 goals and 3 assists.
Who deserves a mention and Fixtures to Target:
Antonio- Attacking stats are very good of course. The upcoming fixture is Southampton (A). I think Antonio has every chance to return as The Saints are 3rd worst in the League for Big Chances Conceded (8). As highlighted before in the charts, Antonio has the most Big Chances (6).
Torres- Interesting Differential for sure. Upcoming fixture Leicester (A). Leicester are the 3rd worst for Goal Attempts in Box Conceded (32), as mentioned in the charts, Torres has had (2) shots in the box and his Expected Goals (1.7). Not going to be an easy game for both teams, I don’t think there will be many goals but Torres is in good form, I would be surprised if he gets some kind of return.
Son- The South Korea International attacking numbers may not be as good as the top 3 or worthy mention’s, but his consistency has been the key, (2) goals in 3 games. The upcoming fixture is Crystal Palace (A). One thing to look out for, he returned back from international duty this week because of a calf injury. No news on how serious it is.
Greenwood- The Englishman for sure deserves a mention, scoring 3 goals in 3 games. Upcoming fixture Newcastle (H). in terms of poor defensive numbers, The Magpies are way up there. They are second-worst for Big Chances Conceded (11), second-worst for xG Conceded (8.05) and 3rd worst for Goals conceded (8). So it’s understandable that the United assets are worthy candidates for the armband. Decent differential.
Jota- A nice differential. Firmino looks to be out for a couple of weeks, so that would mean we should see Jota start and have a good run of games. As we know, when Jota gets a decent run of games he compares amongst the premiums when it comes to attacking stats. The Portuguese International has (2) goals in 2 games, both from inside the box and has (7) shot’s inside the box. Upcoming fixture Leeds United (A) they are 6 worst in the League for Goal Attempts in Box Conceded.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin- Worthy shout in my opinion, If he’s declared fit. He’s currently orange flagged for a tight quadriceps. I think he should be available to play against Burnley (H). Calvert-Lewin has the highest Shot Accuracy percentage (65.6) which is the best amongst the other worthy mentions assets. (3) goals in 3 games. Burnley have the worst Goal Attempts in Box (42) and have an xG conceded (6.03) which is the 3rd worst in the League.
Underlying attacking stats in the last 3 matches (games, where he was out injured/ rested, are not included):
Fixtures to Target:
The Top 3 most voted Opponents VS and Worthy Mentions:
Leeds vs Liverpool
Leeds have not won a game in their last eight matches against the Reds in the Premier League, Drew 3 and Lost 5. Liverpool have lost just one of their nine away league games against Leeds in all competitions, finding the net in each of their last 15 against the whites.
Liverpool Full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has created more chances than any other player in the Premier League this season (15) while no player has provided more successful open-play crosses than The Englishman.
Liverpool has more off-ball runs into the box than any other player in the Premier League this season (42). Meanwhile, 17 of Leeds striker Patrick Bamford’s 32 off the ball runs into the box saw a teammate try to find him with a pass, the most targeted runs of any player in the division.
Chelsea vs Aston Villa
Chelsea has lost just one of their last 16 home league games against Aston Villa, won 11 and drawn 4. Aston Villa won their last Premier League meeting with Chelsea, winning 2-1 on the final day of last season. They have not won consecutive league games against the blues since October 1993.
Since Thomas Tuchel took charge of Chelsea, only Manchester City (51) have won more Premier League points than the blues (45- Won 13, draw 6 and lost 3).
Only Manchester City (1.4) have a lower xG against figure than Aston Villa (2.3) in the Premier League this season. Thus, the Villans have conceded around 2 goals more than would have expected based on the quality of chances they’ve faced.
Lukaku has scored in each of his last five Premier League appearances against Aston Villa, netting six goals in total in this run.
Danny Ings has been involved in eight goals in his last nine Premier League starts (6 goals, 2 assists), registering a goal in all three of his appearances for Aston Villa so far (2 goals and 1 assist).
Manchester United vs Newcastle United
Manchester United have lost just one of their last 36 home league games against Newcastle (Won 26 and Draw 9). Newcastle have opened the scoring in six of their last eight Premier League meetings with Manchester United but have gone on to win just two of those (Lost 4).
Manchester United have scored at least once in each of their last 14 Premier League home games, netting 40 times in total (2.9 per game). However, they’ve only kept three clean sheets in that run (19 conceded), shipping at least once in each of their last six at Old Trafford.
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 48 hat tricks in all competitions in his club career- the first of these came against Newcastle United, in a Premier League match in January 2008.
Southampton vs West Ham United
Southampton has lost two of their last three home league games against West Ham (Draw 1), as many as they had in their previous 16 against the Hammers at St Mary’s Won 8, Draw 6 and Lost 2.
West Ham has won more Premier League games against Southampton (19) than they have against any other opponent in the competition. Meanwhile, the Hammers have only scored more Premier League goals against Newcastle (60) and Tottenham (60) than they have against the Saints (58).
Southampton has kept just one clean sheet in their last 24 Premier League games, conceding in each of their last 14 since 2-0 win Sheffield United in March.
Southampton have lost more Premier League games than any other side in 2021 so far (16), Saints have also won fewer points than any other Premier League side this calendar year (19).
Michail Antonio has both scored and assisted in each of West Ham three Premier League games so far this season, and he could become the first-ever player to score and assist in four consecutive games in the competition.
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham
Crystal Palace is winless in their last 12 Premier League meetings with Spurs (draw 2 and lost 10). The Eagles have scored just four goals in this run, failing to find the net on eight occasions. Tottenham have only failed to score in one of their 12 Premier League away games against Crystal Palace ( Won 7, Draw 3 and Lost 2).
Palace has managed fewer shots (20) and fewer shots on target (5) than any other team in the Premier League this season. Tottenham are looking to win five consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2008 under Pochettino. Spurs have lost three of their last five Premier League London Derbies (Won 2).
Since the start of the season, no player has scored more winning goals in the Premier League than Tottenham’s Son Heung-min (8), with both of the strikes this season proving decisive.
So who will you captain for Gameweek 4? Not going to be an easy decision, as I think there are many decent assets to choose from. As voted in the poll, the favourite candidate is Cristiano Ronaldo, I think he is a great captain for this Gameweek. In my opinion, he will start, whether he will get the full 90 minutes I’m not too sure about that.
Mohammed Salah, in my opinion, is the more sensible pick between himself and Ronaldo. Guaranteed to start and has been consistent in regards to his attacking returns.
I wouldn’t be against captaining Lukaku if he’s declared fit. Aston Villa’s Goalkeeper Martinez will miss this weeks game due to international quarantine regulations. Their Defensive numbers are good, but without their star Goalkeeper, it would tempt me to target Lukaku for the captaincy.
Thank you for reading and good luck for Gameweek 4.