FPL GW9 – 3 Shades of Captaincy!

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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 8 scored the following points last week – 

  • TOP PICK – Mo Salah – 13
  • PIPPED AT THE POST – Neal Maupay – 2
  • DARK HORSE – Kevin De Bruyne – 11

2 out of 3 isn’t too bad right? Mo Salah producing another world class display and continuing in his rich vein of form, picking up a goal and assist to further increase his tally this season. We wont dwell too much on Neal Maupay given Brighton failed to put anything past Norwich in what was a pretty dull 0-0 draw. However, dark horse KDB looks as if he is slowly getting back to his best with a commanding display against Burnley and although it wasn’t a 5th 5-0 home win in a row, he managed to get himself on the scoresheet and pick up 3 BPS in the process. Picking Man City midfielders is always tricky, but if you can afford it then KDB may well start to rise in ownership over the next few weeks. 

Now moving onto the picks for GW9, thankfully I am writing this after the champions league fixtures have taken place. I say that because Romelu Lukaku would have been the standout choice against Norwich this week, but he looks to have picked up a painful ankle injury against Malmo. Now, we do not have clarification on whether he will definitely miss the upcoming game but I would be amazed if his name was on the team sheet. To top that off, Timo Werner then picked up a hamstring Injury in the same game.

This makes Mo Salah probably the go to captaincy option purely down to his expected ownership. He also comes up against a Manchester United side that conceded 4 to Leicester and 2 to Atalanta in the Champions League and look to be shipping goals week in, week out. However, I don’t want to write the obvious about Salah again, so I will be providing my thoughts on 3 alternative picks this week that I think could be worth the gamble.

Now let’s get down to business and select our 3 captaincy picks for GW9.

TOP PICK (aside from Mo Salah) – Kai Havertz
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With the injuries noted earlier that Chelsea picked up in their Champions League game, surely this opens the door for midfielder Kai Havertz to once again lead the line for Tuchel’s blues. He hasn’t featured too much this season with only 317 minutes from 8 games, but he is still Chelsea’s 2ndhighest scoring midfielder. Although his 19 points is almost doubled by Kovacic’s 35 points which says a lot about Chelsea’s midfield FPL options this season more than anything. 

However, we all know that Havertz is a very talented player and he did score the winner against City in the Champions League last season! At only 8.1m, if we get confirmation that both Lukaku & Werner are out for an extended period then I would expect his 4.1% ownership to rise over the coming weeks. Havertz tallied 4 goals and 6 assists last season and with the fixtures coming up for Chelsea, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at least match that goal tally over the next 3 games if he is indeed starting up top. 

Chelsea come up against a Norwich side who have drawn their last 2 games 0-0, albeit these were against Burnley & Brighton. Chelsea are certainly a class above those sides and I expect them to put Norwich to the sword, even without their 2 starting forwards. Norwich have an xGC of 10.7 which is the 3rd worst in the league only to Newcastle & Watford. Yes, they may have stemmed the tide in the last 2 but when you compare Maupay & Wood to Havertz, I can see the latter getting the better of the Norwich backline this weekend. The question will be, are you brave enough to take the punt? 

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Given the Lukaku injury, I had to select an option that many may now be considering as a direct replacement. Jamie Vardy is certainly one option given his rest in the Europa League and the fact Leicester have now changed formation, bringingIheanacho back into the fold and of course Vardy is also on a hot streak. However, I feel Brentford have been exceptional defensively so far so my pipped at the post pick this week is Harry Kane

It feels strange that Kane has taken 8 weeks to finally get his first goal and assist of the season against Newcastle last time round, but it has essentially taken that length of time for Nuno to establish what now feels to be Spurs’ best formation and starting 11. Kane looked good in the cup game against Wolves and he was then very unlucky not to get on the score sheet against Villa, so it was only a matter of time before he broke his duck and of course it had to come against Newcastle following their takeover. 

Another reason for selecting Kane this week is the fact that Nuno has already stated that the 11 players who played against Newcastle will not be travelling for the Europa League tonight. Therefore, you would expect the same 11 that played well against Newcastle to play West ham this weekend. On the flip side, West Ham may well rest a few players but I can’t see them playing a whole different starting 11. It will also be dependant on Coufal’s fitness as if he doesn’t feature at the weekend, Son could have a lot of fun this weekend and that can only be a benefit to Kane. 

DARK HORSE – Raphinha
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This may seem like an odd pick given Wolves’ upturn in form with 3 wins on the bounce and Leeds’ poor form as of late. They certainly missed Bamford, Phillips and of course Raphinha last week against Saints and they really struggled to get control of the game or create any real chances. However, Kalvin Phillips could well return this weekend which would be a huge boost to the Leeds control in midfield and Raphinha has had a bit of a rest after not featuring in the squad last weekend after his international duties with Brazil, in which he performed admirably! 

In the 7 games played, Raphinha has had 24 shots, although only 7 have been on target. I would still see this as a positive though as he clearly has an eye for goal and with the absence of Bamford, his attacking capabilities will be key to any Leeds success this weekend. Wolves will of course prove a tricky opponent and have only conceded 8 goals in their 8 games this season so far, but I would expect Bielsa to have gotten into his players this week after a very poor performance last time round. With that in mind, Raphinhacould very well bring his international form to the field this weekend and bag himself a goal. With that being the case, Raphinha becomes my dark horse this weekend. 

So, in summary, my picks are as follows – 

  • TOP PICK – Kai Havertz
  • PIPPED AT THE POST – Harry Kane
  • DARK HORSE – Raphinha

Get those teams locked in and good luck for the week!

Thanks for reading! Clean Sheet Wipeout – Co Host of the ‘Season Keepers’ podcast.

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