The Captain Poll – Gameweek 18

Filed under: Captain Poll - Posted by: Paul

With our Captain Poll showing an almost unprecedented see-saw battle at the top, we thought it was worthwhile drawing attention to some of the contenders involved in the tussle, weighing up their merits in the process. Robin Van Persie and Carlos Tevez both sit on 20% at the top of the pecking order, though several other candidates have received plenty votes. We worked our way through the main protagonists to see what they have to offer:

Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney

The Dutchman is the current leader in this week’s Poll, with over 20% of the votes cast so far. Van Persie has scored or assisted in all but two of his 15 starts for United and has found the net in each of his last four; his consistency is superior to any forward around, though it’s worth noting that Rooney has produced regularly alongside his new strike partner. The latter has picked up attacking returns in seven of his 10 starts with Van Persie and with spot-kick duties also in the bag, his current 2% votes in the Captain Poll is surprisingly low.

United’s superb attacking form on the road cannot be ignored. They have scored at least three goals in five of their last six away games and with Swansea conceding four to Norwich in their previous game at the Liberty, the signs look good for the Red Devils. Michael Laudrup’s side have, however, been particularly resilient of late and have conceded more than a single goal in just one of the last 10 Gameweeks – a run that includes clashes against City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs. Against the bigger sides, it seems the Welsh outfit have a tendency to sit back and soak up pressure, with less inclination to go on the offensive.

Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and David Silva

Reading arrive at the Etihad having conceded 13 goals in their last four, offering plenty of optimism for City’s fantasy owners. Brian McDermott has mainly fielded a 4-4-2 but a move to 4-5-1 after the break against Arsenal is perhaps a hint at his tactics for this weekend, with the Royals likely to sit tight in the hope they can avoid a hammering. Tevez’s home form has been particularly strong. He has returned 62 points over seven starts at the Etihad – an average just shy of nine points per home first-team appearance – but the issue is whether he will start. He has featured in the first XI just twice in the past five Gameweeks and with the fixtures picking up pace, Roberto Mancini’s rotation policy could come back to bite his owners hard.

Aguero has now started all but one of the last seven Gameweeks and with no European distractions looks a stronger bet to start – perhaps all the more so now that Mario Balotelli has been ruled out with illness, though Mancini did confirm earlier today he plans to rotate over the festive period. It’s been a hugely underwhelming campaign so far for Aguero after last season’s 23 goals – he has, however, notched three times in his last three home starts and with an ownership of 6% to Tevez’s 40%, may be a smart differential if he hits form. Silva sits fourth in the Captain Poll, just behind the Van Persie and the Argentine pair and certainly seems nailed-on to start by comparison. The potential for points is enticing, as demonstrated by his 16 point haul in Gameweek 12 at home to Villa but the Spaniard has been far from reliable; scoring or assisting in just five of his 12 starts for Mancini’s side.

Gareth Bale

The Welshman has been declared fit and available for Spurs’ home game with Stoke after recovering from a hamstring injury. Prior to limping off at Fulham in Gameweek 15, Bale had produced his best form of the season, with goals in each of his previous three. His form at the Lane has been patchy at best, though; one assist in his first five home games was followed by two goals and an assist in his most recent couple of games in front of his own supporters. Stoke have conceded more than a single goal just once in their last 14 league fixtures, though, suggesting Bale could be in for a testing time of it this Saturday.

Santi Cazorla

Fifth in the Captain Poll after his 23 point haul at Reading last Monday, the Arsenal playmaker now travels to injury-hit Wigan. Roberto Martinez’s side have many regulars doubtful for the weekend, particularly at the back, and the porous Latics’ rearguard surely offers plenty hope for Cazorla, having conceded at least twice in each of their last seven.

Wigan’s 3-4-3 formation could also be beneficial to Arsenal. If Arsene Wenger maintains the same XI from Monday, their pace up front will pose plenty problems for the hosts. With no Boxing Day game to worry about, rest and rotation won’t be an option and with attacking returns in five of his last eight road trips, Cazorla certainly keeps his best form for away games – six of his seven goals have come away from the Emirates.

Luis Suarez

The Liverpool forward is also heavily backed this weekend as Fulham make their way to Anfield. Brendan Rodgers has called for a response after last week’s shock home defeat to Villa and the Reds will be confident of picking up the points – the Cottagers have conceded 18 goals on their travels, the second worst away defence in the league.

Suarez, however, has been incredibly frustrating at home. He has scored or assisted in just four of his nine Anfield appearances, with 38 of his 86 points picked up at home. Indeed, he has scored more than five points just twice in front of his own fans and, with no attacking returns in his last four, has went off the boil in recent matches.

Juan Mata

Similar to Santi Cazorla, five of Mata’s six strikes have come on the road this season. Since his opening blank four Gameweeks, a return to form has seen him rack up the points – Mata has started five of Chelsea’s last six at the Bridge and averaged just over six points per home start from Gameweek 5 onwards. Back-to-back goals in the Blues two away games prior to their departure for the World Club Championship highlights his current form, while he turned in another sublime display in the cup against Leeds on Wednesday. Aston Villa arrive at the Bridge in strong defensive form, though; just two goals conceded in their last five suggests they may be no pushovers.

Demba Ba

The Newcastle forward has scored seven of his side’s 11 home goals this term and has notched in four of his last five at St James’ Park – a clear indication of his importance to the Magpies’ cause. Indeed, over the course of the season Ba has 11 goals and two assists, meaning he has played a part in 13 of Newcastle’s 19 goals. Visitors QPR may have conceded in all four games under Harry Redknapp but remain unbeaten since Mark Hughes’ departure and are in better form than their hosts heading into this one. While Ba’s 3% of the votes cast seems a little low, he’s produced double figures at home just once this term, against 10-man Wigan in Gameweek 15.

Other Contenders

Fernando Torres has now notched six goals in five games in all competitions under Rafa Benitez and racked up 16 points in his last league match – his strongest showing of the season so far. The Chelsea forward has picked up plenty ownership this week ahead of the home clash against Villa, though has failed to score or assist at home in the league since Gameweek 7. Nevertheless, he seems to have pick up in consistency under the new man in charge.

Yaya Toure has 3% of the votes after scoring in back-to-back Gameweeks ahead of City’s home showdown with Reading. Prior to that run, he had one assist in 12 appearances and has shown little consistency this term – in spite of that, huge numbers have drafted him in this week, with the Royals’ woeful form clearly boosting his appeal.

Christian Benteke has proven relatively popular this week, too. The Villa forward returned 15 points last time round at Liverpool and arrives at the Bridge in scintillating form – since the Belgian made his league debut in Gameweek 4, Villa have scored 13 times and Benteke has played a part in eight of them (five goals, three assists). If anyone is likely to breach the Chelsea backline on Sunday afternoon, Benteke looks the most likely.

For those Fantasy managers looking for a Tottenham option, Jermain Defoe has scored nine times this term compared to Bale’s six, with both also providing four assists. Perhaps surprisingly, Defoe has scored in just two of his last nine, though, and may struggle against Stoke’s physical backline. Jason Puncheon has averaged just less than seven points per game over his last three at St Mary’s and looks a real punt for the home clash with Sunderland, particularly with the influence of skipper Adam Lallana in the stands.

Michu seems to be an armband differential. He has scored seven times in nine home games this season and faces a United side with one away clean sheet – bearing in mind the league leaders conceded three at Reading in Gameweek 15, it’s surprising he’s not been more heavily backed. Adel Taarabt arrives at Newcastle on the back of his strongest showing of the campaign. Moved to the role in “the hole” behind Djibril Cisse, the QPR playmaker looks full of confidence and is up against a Magpies side with two clean sheets all season.

To round off, here’s some data on how the Captain Poll has been performing. So far this season, the average points haul of the poll winner is 6.6 points, with Michu and Van Persie both delivering 12 points over the past two Gameweeks, having topped the poll. Carlos Tevez’s 15 points back in Gameweek 3 remains the highest FPL score by a poll winner – the only time the Argentine has won the majority vote. Robin Van Persie has won the poll on 10 occasions this term, averaging 6.1 points.

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  1. TA6

    Who to play? Snodgrass or Berba? I'm really tempted to play snoddy...

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. dimitar

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      1. And Scott while u r here: Dimitar or Sterling? who to play?

        • 3 years, 1 month ago
    2. Play Snoddy then

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      • 3 years, 1 month ago
    3. Snod. Berbs & Fulham are totally off, whereas Snoddy has been scoring in away games.

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
        • 3 years, 1 month ago
        1. Get a grip man Berba all the way

          • 3 years, 1 month ago
  2. Sterling has just signed a new contract, he will be fully focused on the football now and in the mood to play. Rest him away at Stoke instead Rodgers

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. Is it really better for you for him to miss next week? Most people it will be better if he misses tomorrow, I'd imagine.

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      1. Yes. You need players like Sterling, someone with trickery and pace to break down Stoke defence IMO.

        • 3 years, 1 month ago
  3. Is Dawson back to start?

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  4. Which should be my first def sub ? In case Rafael is really out:

    Shorey (city away)

    Davies (Utd home)

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. Gotta be Davies, right? And hope for a 1 pointer.

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
    2. Davies

      Swansea keep the ball well which means less chance of the onslaught we are likely to see at the Etihad.

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      1. Reckon you are right. Thank you sir!

        • 3 years, 1 month ago
  5. Massive captain dilemma this week, mata, cazorla, rvp or tevez?

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. Tevez from that lovely lot.

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      1. Aguero and Dzeko will start tho

        • 3 years, 1 month ago
        1. So why is Tevez even in your thinking?

          • 3 years, 1 month ago
          1. 😆

            • 3 years, 1 month ago
    2. Always captain RVP. Especially United at xmas time

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  6. Help needed lads

    Rafael Ridgewell Clyne

    Cuellar off my bench to replace Rafael but I have a feeling Ridgewell will miss out again.

    Pick one please

    a) Play Clyne Cuellar Ridgewell


    b) Rafael > GJ/Enrique for -4 and play GJ Ridgewell Clyne with Cuellar for defensive cover should Liam miss out?

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  7. Apparently bottled out from Dzeko? He chickened 😛 😀

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. * Apparently Mark

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  8. Feel so silly now for getting rid of Sagna instead of Rafael....

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. Ouch

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      1. You still have Dempsey? I got rid of Sagna+Dempsey->Clyne+Silva

        • 3 years, 1 month ago
        1. Yeah mate keeping Dempsey for now. Fellaini > Silva for me.

          • 3 years, 1 month ago
    2. I'm looking to get Sagna in or Baines in GW20

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
    3. This is the reason we really should wait closer to the deadline before making transfers.

      I did Fella + Suarez -> Mata + Ba for a hit. Now I'm forced to wait. Not taking another hit for Rafael.

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  9. BJ

    Who should I play?

    Garrido (wba)


    O'Brien (EVE)

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. O'Brien

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      1. BJ

        Cheers, was unsure

        • 3 years, 1 month ago
  10. I doubt it but you never know.

    I'd say with everyone fit (which is almost the case now) that Spurs' backline will be:

    Walker - Gallas - Vertonghen - BAE

    Then Caulker & Dawson are back up DFers

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. yup although why he chooses Gallas over Dawson is anyones guess..both good leaders but Dawson far the better defender IMO

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  11. Rafael and, far more importantly, Kolarov ruled out. I guess Shorey's going to be coming in from 3rd sub 😡

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. Kolarov ruled out. Missed that one :(

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      1. Of all the weeks as well, he was captain material :(

        • 3 years, 1 month ago
        1. I know.

          But in all seriousness who is going to play now? Milner and Silva as the "wings"?

          • 3 years, 1 month ago
          1. I guess so, unless Sinclair features.

            • 3 years, 1 month ago
    2. Blessing in disguise, no 1pter

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  12. So last one before im off...

    I'd apriciate it if some here could take a quick look at this mess.
    Looks like this will be another one of those gameweeks i'll scrape through..

    Rafael (most likely out) Enrique Demel
    Sterling Taarabt Silva(C) Michu
    RVP(VC) Suarez Berba

    McCarthy Gervinho Nelsen Cuellar

    FT spent and 5.4 in bank.

    1. Who to bench first out of Nelsen and Cuellar?
    2. Any hits worth doing? Berba - > Torres/Aguero or Gervinho - > Bale/Mata being the most likely I think.

    Everything else in order?


    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. team's ok

      gervinho out next week

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  13. Hi chaps. Been having sleepless nights over whether to do any transfers, who to captain, and who to bench. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!!!'.


    Fonte, Johnson (Glen), Demel

    Cazorla, Michu, Ramirez, Mata

    Aguero, RVP, Suarez

    Bench currently. Morrison inj, Garrido, Sterling

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  14. New post.

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  15. Rafael > GJ/Enrique worth a hit?

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  16. Fellaini for silva or mata?

    Already have tevez for city coverage......

    Capn Tevez/RVP

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. Mata for me..Dunno what the big thing about Silva is all of a sudden, great player but more of an assisters assister this year ? you may prove me wrong with stats but that what it seems..and i do have him

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      1. True very true, Mata has been consistently on form....only inkling for silva is the favourable fixtures and reading at home.

        I suppose if u have coverage in the form of yaya, tev or aguero that may be enough and less of a risk.

        Mata seems to be a cert to get points this season.

        • 3 years, 1 month ago
  17. I saw someone suggest Pod as a differential to Theo for Arsenal's DGW yesterday

    Pod - 9% ownership

    Theo - 2.4% ownership

    Only major advantage of Pod is it allows me to keep Silva and dump Benteke hmmm....

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. Wenger needs a slap for not playing Podoloski down the middle. Until somebody gives it to him steer clear

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
    2. Benteke will be in demand in 2 weeks time. Not worth hanging on until then?

      Even with the next 2 fixtures he is still capable of scoring.

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
    3. Dump Benteke? When did you bring him in?

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
      1. I don't want to, it was just something someone suggested

        I already have Santi, might just get Sagna. I think 2 Arsenal plus Nolan and maybe a Hammers defender might be enough

        • 3 years, 1 month ago
        1. You'll struggle on boxing day id you get an arsenal player in now. I did mind, but before the strike was confirmed.

          • 3 years, 1 month ago
        2. why? they both miss the next game week don't they?

          • 3 years, 1 month ago
    4. I'm also looking to bring in Benteke soon,

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  18. is suarez to aguero a good call??

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  19. Anyone know if Tevez is definitely likely to start? Considering capn him but not if he only plays 30 minutes!! RVP more secure choice but Tev could prove to be the dark horse.

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. I'm waiting to on news, but it seems that we have to take the risk 😀

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  20. Start Michu or Lambert chaps?

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. I'd go michu...utds defence is weak and has been conceding a lot lately. If swansea get any goals he is 90% likely to be involved.

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  21. What's happened to Rafael? Just noticed he's flagged as injured.

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  22. Jussi or Migs?

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  23. My defence is Cameron, Enrique, Nelsen, Shorey, Cuellar thinking of a hit to bring in Nasty/Zabs for Cuellar is it worth it?
    My GKs are Jaask and Migs

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. no need to to take a hit
      simply play enr cam cue

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  24. Who to start? Scezney or mignolet? Both have decent fixtures but arsenal has been leaky

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
    1. obviously schezny soton somehow find a way to score

      • 3 years, 1 month ago
  25. Who do I captain: Silva, Van Persie or Torres ?

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  26. Ive got Van Persie, Tevez and Suarez. Arguably VP has the hardest fixture of the 3 so im trying to avoid him, Suarez on paper should provide but in reality constantly fails to hit the mark and Tevez, whilst ultra reliable runs the risk of not being started. Bit of a conundrum really.

    • 3 years, 1 month ago
  27. Need to bench 2 from Snodgrass, Michu, Demel and McAuley - have to play one of Demel and McAuley

    • 3 years, 1 month ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 25

  • Forster
  • Janmaat
  • Williams
  • Alderweireld
  • Wijnaldum
  • André Ayew
  • Dele Alli
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Sánchez
  • Aguero
  • Kane
  • Moreno
  • Arnautovic
  • Giroud

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The Watchlist


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:01pm
Player Club Factors
Up Forster SOT A, Vs
Down Butland STO C, Vs
Up Schmeichel LEI A, Vs
Up Courtois CHE B, Vs
No Change Boruc BOU B, Vs
Up Hennessey CPL C, £
No Change Cech ARS A, VsX
Up Fabianski SWA B
No Change De Gea MUN B
No Change Adrián WHM B


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:08pm
Player Club Factors
Up Fuchs LEI A, Vs, £
Up van Dijk SOT A, Vs
Up Daniels BOU A, Vs, £
Up Dann CPL A
No Change Ivanovic CHE B, Vs
No Change Alderweireld TOT B
No Change Bellerín ARS B, VsX
Up Johnson STO C, Vs
No Change Cresswell WHM B
Up Van Aanholt SUN A
No Change Williams SWA B, £
Up Smalling MUN C
Up Coleman EVE B, Vs
Down Dawson WBA C
Down Moreno LIV C, Vs
Down Kolarov MCI B, Rest, Inj


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:17pm
Player Club Factors
Up Mahrez LEI A, Vs
No Change Payet WHM B, Vs
No Change Dele Alli TOT A, Inj
Up Arnautovic STO C, Vs, Inj
No Change Ozil ARS C, VsX
Up Eriksen TOT A
Up Antonio WHM A, Vs, Rest, £
Up Sigurdsson SWA A, OoP
Down Barkley EVE B, Vs
Down Roberto Firmino LIV A, VsX, OoP
Down Sánchez ARS C, VsX
Up Lingard MUN B, Rest, £
Up Khazri SUN B
Up Oscar CHE B, Vs
No Change Wijnaldum NEW B


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:44pm
Player Club Factors
Up Vardy LEI B, Vs
No Change Kane TOT A
Down Aguero MCI A
Up Diego Costa CHE A, Vs, Inj
Up Rooney MUN A
Down Ighalo WAT C, VsX
Down Lukaku EVE C
Up Afobe BOU A, Vs
No Change Giroud ARS B, VsX, Rest
No Change Defoe SUN A

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension
Player Team YC
Colback NEW 9
Byram WHM 9
Lucas LIV 8
Jones SUN 8
Yacob WBA 8
Westwood AVL 7
Diego Costa CHE 7
Huth LEI 7
Can LIV 7
Mangala MCI 7
Shelvey NEW 7
Pieters STO 7
Dele Alli TOT 7
Dier TOT 7
Noble WHM 7

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

Abreu 42 Community regular