Hello and welcome back to my series for game week captaincy selection! Each week I will be picking 3 captaincy options for the upcoming game week, broken down as the following –
TOP PICK – The captaincy whom I believe will be the most highly owned and is therefore a risk to go against.
PIPPED AT THE POST – The captaincy which I believe could also haul but may well be a lower EO than we expect.
DARK HORSE – The maverick pick that may have murmurs of anticipation across the community but many will be worried to gamble on.
The picks for game week 9 scored the following points last week –
- TOP PICK – Mo Salah – 24
- TOP PICK (Not Salah) – Kai Havertz – 2
- PIPPED AT THE POST – Harry Kane – 2
- DARK HORSE – Raphinha – 1
As expected, Mo Salah far outweighed any other option this week in terms of captaincy, but it is fair to say that his total of 24 points against Manchester United was far above any of my expectations. Yes, United had been poor defensively going into the game but I certainly did not expect 3 goals and an assist from the Egyptian. If you chose to gamble elsewhere, it certainly would have hurt.Embed from Getty Images
Kai Havertz owners were incredibly unlucky! 7 goals against Norwich and yet Havertz wasn’t involved in any of them, eventually being subbed off for Ross Barkley to stab the knife in a little deeper. As a non-owner I personally found it amusing, but I would have been furious had I owned Havertz. However, all hope is not lost for owners as Chelsea travel to Newcastle his weekend and given Lukaku & Werner are still absent, Havertz could very haul away to the Geordies this weekend.
Harry Kane was a direct replacement option for Lukaku and as noted last week, I didn’t foresee a haul but felt he was probably the best long-term replacement for Lukaku. He then chose to put in a below average performance and gain a solitary 2 points in the process. Finally, Raphinha took a very heavy knock to his ankle and was withdrawn prior to the 60thminute against Wolves, although it seems as though he may well make a very swift recovery and be fit to play Norwich this weekend. If fit, he is a great captaincy shout but given I cannot guarantee his fitness as I am writing this prior to a Bielsa press conference, so I won’t be including him in the 3 options for the week.
Once again, it will take a brave player to go against Salah perma cap this weekend so as I did last week, I am going to provide the alternatives to the obvious Salah choice that could be worth considering.
Now let’s get down to business and select our 3 captaincy picks for GW10.
TOP PICK (Aside from Salah) – Phil FodenEmbed from Getty Images
The injury that stemmed from the Euros certainly put him back in his preparations for the 21/22 Premier League Season but after his start in GW 6 against Chelsea, Phil Foden has been on great form ever since! He has tallied up 3 goals and 2 assists in the 3 games post that Chelsea appearance, with a truly outstanding performance last week against Brighton in which he started through the middle and notched 2 goals and an assist, with an 18-point return! It is fair to say, that could have been an even bigger haul given Foden had 8 shots in the match, with 4 testing Sanchez alongside 2 big chances createdfor his team mates.
Foden has certainly benefitted from Ferran Torres’ injury and he has taken the opportunity with both hands. Both myself and Pep felt that Brighton would have been a tougher opponent than it turned out to be, with Man City looking back to their very best. That is certainly a daunting prospect for any upcoming opponent.
The next fixture for City is a home tie against Crystal Palace. Now Palace have had a good start to the season under new manager Viera and have implemented a style of football that has led them to dominate possession against Newcastle last weekend and create enough chances to comfortably win the game, however they only came away with a 1-1 draw. Palace have also been a little leaky at the back so far, conceding 14 goals in the process but in fairness, they have played Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham, Liverpool, Leicester & Arsenal in that time. I do however fear that they will struggle to handle City’s creative flair this weekend and could very well see a similar result to that of Brighton this weekend.
Foden was given a rest during this week’s Carabao Cup tie, coming on late on to try to get the win for City which didn’t come as West Ham eventually won out on penalties, knocking the 4-time winners off their perch! I feel City will be gunning to put things right this weekend and I am tempted to take a hit to bring Foden in this week… I wouldn’t put anyone off doing the same.
PIPPED AT THE POST – Son Heung MinEmbed from Getty Images
Now it will come as no surprise that I am once again targeting Manchester United this week given in previous articles, I have noted their defensive fragility. 4 goals against Leicester, a poor performance with 2 goals conceded early to Atalanta and then 5 against rivals Liverpool does not make for great reading. In the last 5 weeks, Manchester United have conceded the joint most goals in the league alongside Norwich with 7 of those coming against Chelsea last week for the canaries. That is not a stat that the Red Devils will want to see and I can’t see things changing anytime soon until things drastically change at United.
The man that I feel could cause Manchester United the most problems this weekend is not Harry Kane, but his partner in crime Son Heung Min. As noted previously, Spurs had looked an improved outfit up until the West Ham game and although the weekend performance wasn’t great, they still created a number of good chances. In the last 3 games in which Spurs have looked improved, Son has had 7 shots with 5 coming from inside the box. He has 1 goal and 2 assists in that time too, so it isn’t all bad reading.
If you have the budget then I wouldn’t put you off looking to Son this weekend and his fixtures look pretty decent for the foreseeable too. He is certainly worth a punt!
DARK HORSE – Mason MountEmbed from Getty Images
Now my final pick may seem a little bit like points chasing and to an extent it probably is, but what do I care! Given Mason Mount hadn’t started a game for Chelsea in the league since game week 3, it was somewhat surprising to see him perform in the manner that he did. However, he was thriving alongside Hudson Odoi and Havertz, coming away with 3 goals and an assist and matching Salah’s return of 24 points this week. He was playing with a smile and looked to get forward and create chances at every possibility. Yes, he got a little lucky with the penalty retake after missing the first effort, but he made no mistake the 2nd time round and that takes guts. Mount seems to have found his mojo following the injuries to key players within that Chelsea squad and he has jumped at the chance to show Tuchel what he has to offer.
At only 7.5m, those who currently own have got themselves a bit of a bargain for this run of 3 tantalising games for Chelsea. Newcastle are up next and they aren’t exactly in the best of form at present and until things settle with the new ownership and they appoint a new long-term manager, I feel Newcastle are certainly targetable. They allowed Palace to have 15 shots in the game last weekend and as I said, were very lucky to come away with a point. Chelsea could very well better that tally of attempts and I certainly think Mount will be one of the creative forces at the centre of any good that comes from Chelsea. For the 15% of owners, you should be seeing some very good points again this weekend!
So, in summary, my picks are as follows –
- TOP PICK (Aside from Salah) – Phil Foden
- PIPPED AT THE POST – Heung Min Son
- DARK HORSE – Mason Mount
Get those teams locked in and good luck for the week!
Thanks for reading! Clean Sheet Wipeout – Co Host of the ‘Season Keepers’ podcast.