Hello and welcome to my new series for 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.
I thought I would give it a trial run for the remainder of the season, take on board any of your comments and then start a fresh going into the 21/22 season.
Last weeks picks were a mixed success and as expected, it was very difficult to split both Salah & Kane. Both could and should have racked up a larger haul but at least they came away with a goal apiece. However, KDB picked up a knock and missed out entirely for what was a heavily rotated Man City lineup, which included Scott Carson in goal in a 4-3 thriller. Fair play to anyone that had gambled on Ferran Torres!
The picks for game week 36 scored the following points last week –
- TOP PICK – Salah – 10
- PIPPED AT THE POST – Kane – 8
- DARK HORSE – KDB – 0
Now looking ahead, game week 37 is upon us and there are only 2 games left before the end of what has been a long and crazy season! The relegation scrap may be over prematurely, but the race for the top 4 and the Europa League spots just behind is hotting up. There is now a real battle between Liverpool, Chelsea & Leicester for 3rd and 4th with the latter two playing each other in what is now a massive game for both sides, after Liverpool’s dramatic late winner courtesy of goalkeeper Alisson putting them only a point behind 4th and right in contention to still qualify for the UCL. Fair to say it was incredibly hard to leave a Liverpool attacker out this week.
TOP PICK – Bruno FernandesEmbed from Getty Images
After starting twice in the triple game week, scoring twice and coming away with 19 points, my top pick for the week is Bruno Fernandes. Bruno had 11 shots in the 2 starts and a late substitute appearance against Leicester, with 7 of those in the box. His creativity shone through too after he created 5 big chances in the game week. This season Bruno has scored 18 goals and provided 13 assists and has certainly been the Talisman for Manchester United’s run to 2nd in the Premier League this season. We all know he is United’s set piece specialist too which adds to his appeal, often comically referred to as Bruno Penandes. Scoring 240 points this season so far, which includes 36 BPS, Bruno is out front of the rest in terms of FPL points scored, 10 ahead of Harry Kane. There are 3 reasons behind my selection of Bruno ahead of the others this week.
Reason 1 – Manchester United get to play in front of a large crowd at Old Trafford and I am sure they will be out to put on a show to somewhat detract from the issues and grumbles off the field. The atmosphere should drive the players on and a player like Bruno thrives with a crowd behind him.
Reason 2 – I fear that United could well rotate heavily on the final game of the season given they play the Europa League final 3 days later, so this team on Tuesday could very well be the only warm up for what will be close to the starting 11 for the final.
Reason 3 – They play a relegated Fulham side who will no longer be ‘fighting’ to stay in the league. Scott Parker looked dejected at the end of the Burnley game and they were very poor as they lost 3-1 to Saints this week too. 5 goals conceded in the last two to Burnley & Southampton, the most of anyone playing away from home between game weeks 34 & 36. They looked bereft of confidence and given their season is now over, I can see United putting a few past them at Old Trafford. Bruno’s numbers are very much split home and away, with 9 goals and 6 assists at home compared to 9 goals and 7 assists away, so he doesn’t particularly care where he plays, he just wants to be involved. However his shots taken, shots on target and big chances created are all significantly more at home rather than away. This all plays a part in the selection of Bruno as my top pick and I will be giving him the armband this week.
PIPPED AT THE POST – Harry KaneEmbed from Getty Images
Once again, Harry Kane is pipped at the post this week. It was the right call last week with Salah scoring 2 more than Kane, but it was close! Once again it was a coin toss between Kane & Salah for this spot, but Kane gets the nod. They are playing at home with a crowd and now that Mourinho has been replaced by Mason for the remainder of the season, I expect the crowd to get behind them. Spurs also need to win to ensure that they get a Europa League spot for next season and although it is not the UCL qualification that Levy would have hoped for, they need to remain competitive in Europe to bring in the type of talent they need.
This week they go up against an Aston Villa side who conceded 3 to Crystal Palace at the weekend and somewhat fell apart in the 2nd half. Villa conceded 23 shots to Palace, with 15 of those coming from inside the box and 8 being on target. If it wasn’t for Emi Martinez, it could have been even worse for Villa. Matty Cash has been ruled out for the remainder of the season so with it looking likely that El Mohamady will be covering that role. Spurs will look to exploit that weakness and let’s face it, he simply isn’t the talent that Cash has proven to be this year. Mings also missed out at the weekend but could feature again for Villa on Wednesday. I can see Spurs causing all sorts of issues for Villa this weekend and I would not be surprised to see them concede just as many shots this time round too.
I spoke a lot about Kane’s season stats in the last article so I will focus in on his and Tottenham’s stats for their 2-0 win against Wolves. As mentioned above, Spurs had 24 shots in the Wolves game with 13 on target. How they only ended up winning 2-0 is somewhat baffling but they were just a little sloppy in front of goal and enjoyed hitting the woodwork. Kane alone had 7 shots, with 5 on target and was incredibly unlucky to only come away with the one goal. He hit the woodwork twice and Patricio made a series of good saves to deny him. Given Kane is level with Salah in the golden boot race, this feels like the ideal game for him to bag a couple and very much put the pressure on Salah to catch him. I will certainly be captaining Kane in the Sky game as Wednesdays captaincy selection.
DARK HORSE – Mason GreenwoodEmbed from Getty Images
The dark horse pick was a tough one this week given I expect there to be goals in the game between Southampton & Leeds and also Newcastle & Sheffield United. But following up on the 3 reasons noted in Bruno Fernandes’ selection, I have chosen to go with Mason Greenwood as my dark horse this week. Currently 7.2m in FPL, Greenwood could be an ideal replacement for the injured Diogo Jota if you don’t already own him.
I personally don’t expect Greenwood to start the Europa League final and therefore believe he could well be in for 2 starts to end the premier league campaign. He played 64 & 65 minutes against Villa & Leicester in game week 35 and scored in both games. He was then only given 27 minutes to run out against Liverpool and following their blank in 36 I would expect a young lad like Greenwood to be very much raring to go again.
Greenwood has scored 7 goals and provided 2 assists this season, however 6 of those goals have come since game week 30 in the premier league. He is a young man on form and I expect he would like to finish the season on a high. Going up against a relegated Fulham side could be the ideal opportunity to get himself on the scoresheet once again, before then finishing up away to Wolves at the end of the season. Could he get to double figures for goals before the end of the season? The next 2 fixtures certainly make that a possibility. I personally have brought in Greenwood for Jota and I hope that it isn’t a move that backfires.
- TOP PICK – Bruno Fernandes
- PIPPED AT THE POST – Harry Kane
- DARK HORSE – Mason Greenwood
There are plenty of good games this week and I am expecting to see some very high scores amongst the community. With 2 games to go, now is the time to attack if you are still trailing but in contention in those mini leagues. There is an incredibly short turnaround with the deadline for GW37 being Tuesday 18th May at 16:30pm GMT.
Get those teams locked in and good luck!
Thanks for reading.