With seven goals in as many league outings, it would be no surprise to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic (11.3) claiming the top spot in our latest Captain Poll.
The Manchester United forward, who has been acquired by 154,000+ Fantasy Premier League managers since a weekend brace at West Brom on Saturday, also has the fixture to warrant attention when Sunderland pay visit; David Moyes’ troops have shipped 13 goals and failed to keep a clean sheet in their eight league road trips.
His team-mate Paul Pogba (8.3) is another who may garner attention, with only Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen (8.6) managing more shots on target among midfielders over the last four Gameweeks.
Interest in 15.2% owned Eriksen, as well as for Spurs striker Harry Kane (11.3), will surely be muted this week after the pair both blanked in yesterday’s 2-1 home victory over Burnley.
For the 19.5% owned Kane, that failure to find the net could be terminal for his long-term armband prospects after he also disappointed at home to Hull City in midweek.
Dele Alli (8.1) offers an alternative Spurs option after scoring against the Clarets, although this was his first league goal since Gameweek 8.
Spurs travel to a Southampton side that has conceded a mere five goals at St Mary’s this term – only Chelsea can boast a better defensive record in front of their own supporters.
Players from Arsenal should fare better in our latest poll.
Even though they were beaten 2-1 away to Manchester City yesterday, Theo Walcott (7.8)’s goal, assisted by Alexis Sanchez (11.8), bodes well for their chances of success when West Brom visit on Boxing Day.
The 36.5% owned Chilean has now either assisted or scored in five successive Gameweeks, while the 15% owned Walcott has three goals over the same period.
Fellow Gunner Mesut Ozil (9.6) is also likely to attract votes, after scoring three goals in seven league starts at the Emirates Stadium.
Diego Costa’s fifth booking of the season, ahead of his winning goal in Chelsea’s 1-0 victory away to Crystal Palace on Saturday, has deprived the poll of one of its most consistent captaincy candidates. This leaves Eden Hazard (10.4) as the strongest route among the Blues assets when Bournemouth drop by on Boxing Day.
Away from home, Eddie Howe’s backline has been breached 16 times and managed just one clean sheet. Meanwhile, Hazard is joint top of the home goals table for midfielders alongside Walcott.
Another team treated to an obliging tie in Gameweek 18 are Manchester City, who travel to one of the league’s long-suffering home sides, Hull City.
The Tigers are yet to keep a clean sheet at home and have conceded 15 times in front of their own fans, the second-worst tally behind Swansea City.
But in the continued absence of Sergio Aguero, selecting which of City’s assets will offer the strongest returns remains tricky.
Kevin De Bruyne (10.7) looks likely to offer the most favourable prospect. Over the last four Gameweeks, the 9.3% owned Belgian has registered more attempts and chances created than any of this team-mates, assisting twice.
Raheem Sterling (7.9), who scored his first goal since Gameweek 5 against Arsenal on Sunday, offers an alternative.
Liverpool’s assets also have the fixture to merit attention when Stoke City visit Anfield on December 27. The Potters have conceded in six of their eight away trips, while no side has recorded more attempts on goal at home than Jurgen Klopp’s men.
As with City, selecting the best option will be tough, as points are spread across the Liverpool team.
Adam Lallana (7.4) and 8.7% owned Divock Origi (6.8) have the better chance on form. The pair have scored three times and have an assist each over the last four Gameweeks, ahead of tonight’s Merseyside derby.
Sadio Mane (9.4)’s two assists and a goal over that period may also entice votes, although with no attacking returns since Gameweek 11 Roberto Firmino (8.6)’s suitors are likely to be few and far between.
Among this week’s key differential armband options are Christian Benteke (7.7) and Wilfried Zaha (5.7), who have form and fixture on their side when Crystal Palace travel to Watford.
The 10.2% owned Belgian will be looking for his ninth goal of the campaign during this fixture, while only De Bruyne can match Zaha’s four away assists this term. It is worth noting that the 11% owned Zaha has also scored three times on the road. Watford have just one clean sheet in eight matches at Vicarage Road this season.
Swansea City players also have a strong fixture to raise their captaincy credentials, as West Ham make their way to South Wales.
Slaven Bilic’s men boast just one clean sheet all season and have allowed 17 goals away from home, which offers hope of returns from Gylfi Sigurdsson (7.5) and 5.1% owned Fernando Llorente (6.3) in particular.
The Swans’ Spanish striker has notched four times over his last two Liberty Stadium league games, while the 10.2% owned Sigurdsson has scored or assisted in his last four appearances on home turf.
We will be back to check in on progress in the poll later this week when we deliver our “Captain Sensible” article offering an analysis of the results and the statistics behind the leading contenders.