With Harry Kane (11.3) recording a second successive blank at home to Hull City last night, his Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Christian Eriksen (8.5) may well find himself vying for top spot in this week’s poll.
The 11% owned Dane’s recent form has been electrifying. Five goals and two assists over the last four Gameweeks makes him a strong armband option when Burnley drop by White Hart Lane on Sunday.
No player has had more goal attempts or more shots on target than Eriksen over that period.
Those who believe the absence of Mousa Dembele has contributed to to Kane’s troubles in front of goal will be keenly anticipating Mauricio Pochettino’s press conference for news of the Belgian’s return.
We’ll also be monitoring Antonio Conte for an update on the fitness of Eden Hazard (10.5) as Chelsea visit Crystal Palace this weekend. The 37.5% owned schemer missed the Blues’ 1-0 victory away to Sunderland with a minor injury and, if fit, could be a popular option against an Eagles side that still has just a single clean sheet to their name.
But given his erratic away form, which has seen him deliver only one of his four double-digit FPL points hauls on the road, Hazard’s 53% owned colleague Diego Costa (10.9) is surely likely to be a more popular captaincy choice.
The Spain international may have failed to find the net against Sunderland, but that was one of only three Gameweek blanks this season.
With a goal and assist against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 16, Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is another set to garner support. However, the 27.6% owned Swede will not find it so easy when he visits a West Brom side that has conceded just four goals in their last quartet of league matches.
Goals look on the agenda when Arsenal visit Manchester City this weekend. The Gunners have scored 19 times on the road, while the home fans have witnessed their side notch 15 goals at the Etihad this season.
This puts Alexis Sanchez (11.8) firmly in the frame for top billing in this week’s poll. The 35.7% owned Chilean’s goal in the 2-1 loss away to Everton on Tuesday was his ninth on the road.
No player has been more prolific on their travels, who will be seeking a fifth double-figure away haul this weekend.
The Manchester City teamsheet is far more difficult to second guess, which may temper interest in assets such as the 9.7% owned Kevin De Bruyne (10.7), who registered an assist in City’s 2-0 victory over Watford in Gameweek 16.
The Merseyside derby also looks tough to call, with Ronald Koeman’s troops showing a determination and attacking edge against Arsenal that had been lacking in recent weeks. This could yet revive confidence in striker Romelu Lukaku (9.4), who ended a four-match scoring drought with a brace away to Watford in Gameweek 15.
Mid-price assets among the Liverpool ranks may offer further differential candidates for the armband.
In the absence the injured Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana (7.2) and Divock Origi (6.8) have excelled.
The England international, who tops the “transfers in” table this ahead of Saturday’s deadline, has registered three goals and an assist in his last two starts.
Meanwhile, Origi has netted in four successive Gameweeks and also supplied an assist away to ‘Boro last night. He’s expected to recover from the minor knock sustained late on at the Riverside.
Reds’ winger Sadio Mane (9.4), who has accrued four assists and a goal since Gameweek 13, is another potentially explosive option. The 20.7% owned Senegal international already has four double-digit hauls this season.
For those looking for differential armband picks, West Ham have three candidates on the menu ahead of the visit from a Hull City side which have conceded 20 goals on their travels, more than any other team.
Andy Carroll (6.1) and Michail Antonio (6.7) are set to be the Hammers main goal threat, with the former set to earn a second successive start having turned out against Burnley on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Dimitri Payet (9.1) offers strong assist potential, having created 22 chances for his team-mates over the last six Gameweeks, a tally bettered only by Sanchez.
Another strong alternative captaincy selection is Sunderland’s 24.8% owned Jermain Defoe (7.8), who will be looking to add to his eight goals when Watford visit Wearside. With Walter Mazzarri’s troops conceding 16 goals on the road this season, the veteran Black Cats striker looks a promising option.
We will be back to check in on progress in the poll tomorrow when we deliver our “Captain Sensible” article offering an analysis of the results and the statistics behind the leading contenders.