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 11 scored the following points last week –
TOP PICK – Ivan Toney – 1
PIPPED AT THE POST – Jamie Vardy – 2
DARK HORSE – Joao Cancelo – 14
We are finally back after another international break in the schedule! Thankfully there isn’t another for a while as we move into the busy period leading up and into the festive calendar. Last time round the 2 ‘top’ picks aside from Mo Salah failed to deliver, with Toney being a particular disappointment as Norwich got their first win of the season away to Brentford. This of course was not enough to save Farke from the sack, with the ex-Norwich boss now being replaced by the ex-Villa boss Dean Smith, who also faced the chop after a 5th defeat on the bounce away to Southampton.
However, dark horse Joao Cancelo game up trumps with a 14 pointer against Manchester United, coming away with a clean sheet, 2 assists and maximum bonus points. He could well have gotten even more had he scored from one of his shots on target. It was certainly a game which looked as though City really took their foot off the gas once they affirmed their dominance in the game.
Once again, I see little point in telling you all to captain Mo Salah as most will, so I will be providing 3 alternative options that are certainly at least worth considering this week if you are looking to go against the masses.
So, let’s get down to business and select our 3 captaincy picks for GW12.
TOP PICK – Cristiano RonaldoEmbed from Getty Images
Aside from his goal and assist against Tottenham prior to Nuno’s sacking, it is fair to say that Ronaldo hasn’t exactly been at his best. He has blanked in 5 of the last 6 games and Manchester United have looked a far cry from the team who used to dominate team’s week in week out. Over the last 6 weeks United have very much been middle of the road in terms of shots and shots on target which is why I don’t doubt that Ronaldo will get chances in the upcoming game against Watford. However, their defensive record has been far worse! They have conceded the joint most goals alongside Aston Villa with 13 and have the 3rd worst record for expected goals conceded (xGC). This is an area that I will want to see serious improvement before ever considering United defensively moving forward.
One positive for United this week is that the team that they come up against have a very similar xGC sitting as the 4th worst team and have conceded 11 goals over the same period that United have conceded 13. Ronaldo hasn’t exactly been shy of a shot either, taking 15 over the last 6 but his accuracy will need to improve if he is to haul this week as only 4 of those have been on target. I am targeting Ronaldo from game week 16 onwards as a direct replacement for Kane, but if you are on the man already then I think this game against Watford could be a fruitful one for owners.
PIPPED AT THE POST – Harry KaneEmbed from Getty Images
Tottenham come up against Leeds this weekend who have been and continue to suffer with injuries across their squad. However, Leeds have still be defensively solid given the circumstances but this could be the ideal game for Conte’s Tottenham to find some league form. Harry Kane may not have been in the bets of form for Spurs this season with only 1 goal and 1 assist to his name, but he is still incredibly clinical when a chance presents itself Infront of goal. We only have to look at his performances during this latest international break where Kane came away with 7 goals in the 2 games!
Yes, the opposition wasn’t exactly the toughest but 7 goals in 2 games at international level is still a brilliant return. You only have to watch the highlights of Kane’s goals to see that he hasn’t lost his eye for goal with some brilliant skill involved in several of the finishes. If his partner in crime Heung Min Son can find some form at the same time then the pair could reignite their devastating partnership that tore through the league last season. This Leeds fixture starts a run of 4 very good games for Tottenham and Conte will be sure to be targeting maximum returns in all of them. Get on them early and if they do come up trumps then it could be very well rewarded in terms of rank rises.
DARK HORSE – Phil FodenEmbed from Getty Images
My final pick is very much a dark horse, but given how good Manchester City can be and how poor Everton have been, I am going with Phil Foden this week. Over the last 3 weeks Foden has had 9 shots with 4 of them on target. He has scored twice and also has an assist to his name in that time too. Man City sit 2nd to only Chelsea during that time for shots and shots on target, however I am sure Pep will want to ensure they are more clinical as in that time they have only scored 6 of the 53 shots they have had.
Whilst writing this, it has been confirmed by Guardiola that KDB has tested positive for Covid and will therefore miss the game on Sunday. Grealish has also been confirmed out and whilst Foden does have a knock, I would expect him to be fine for the weekend come Sunday. Given Everton’s defensive frailties as of late and their continued issue with injuries, I think Foden could lead through the middle for City this weekend and come away with a few FPL points for his troubles.
So, in summary, my picks are as follows –
TOP PICK – Cristiano Ronaldo
PIPPED AT THE POST – Harry Kane
DARK HORSE – Phil Foden
Get those teams locked in and good luck for the week!
Thanks for reading! Clean Sheet Wipeout – Co Host of the ‘Season Keepers’ podcast.