Last Gameweek’s poll leader Zlatan Ibrahimovic (11.6) rewarded the 25% who handed him the captaincy with a goal and two assists in Manchester United’s 3-1 home victory against Sunderland.
Those 15 Fantasy Premier League points, his highest Gameweek tally of the season, are likely to ensure that the 41.6% owned forward once again emerges as a firm favourite in our latest poll.
However, Saturday’s Old Trafford visitors, Middlesbrough, may not concede as much ground to United and Ibrahimovic as an obliging Sunderland; Aitor Karanka’s side have only shipped ten goals in nine away matches.
For those eyeing up a Red Devils’ captaincy differential Henrikh Mkhitaryan (8.9) could be an enticing option.
The 1.9% owned Armenian’s stunning backheel goal against Sunderland should be enough to convince Jose Mourinho that he is deserving of a start on New Year’s Eve.
Paul Pogba (8.3) is another left-field captaincy prospect in the United ranks, with the 9.7% owned Frenchman earning a third assist of the campaign on Boxing Day.
Eden Hazard (10.4) also impressed in Monday’s matches, deployed in a false nine role for Chelsea in the absence of the suspended Diego Costa (10.7).
The Belgian’s penalty and two bonus points earned him a fifth double-digit FPL haul of the season to keep his points simmering. Backed by 8% of FPL managers with the captaincy ahead of the Boxing Day fixture, he is again set to factor at the top of our poll.
Costa’s return is likely to earn the Spanish striker immediate support, too, as he looks to add to his 13-goal tally.
The Potters will arrive at the Bridge having kept three clean sheets in their last six, allowing just six goals. However, they will have faced Liverpool in this afternoon’s encounter, giving them just three days recovering before the test against the runaway league leaders.
Another returning Golden Boot contender, Sergio Aguero (12.8), could also garner votes.
Still owned by 17.6% of FPL managers, the Manchester City striker faces a tough return match as he makes the trip to Anfield following a four-match ban.
The Reds have shipped just six goals and conceded the fewest shots in the box of any side in home matches over their seven Anfield outings.
However, it is worth noting that the Argentine is something of an away specialist, having already accrued four double-digit FPL hauls on his travels.
Arsenal face their second Emirates meeting in a week as they follow up their narrow 1-0 Boxing Day victory over West Brom by hosting Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Alexis Sanchez (11.9) failed to score against the Baggies but the 37.2% owned Chilean remains the Gunners chief attacking threat, having registered more shots than any other Premier League player over Monday’s matches.
Crystal Palace have failed to keep a clean sheet on the road so far, but with Sam Allardyce installed as manager, that will likely turn up in North London equipped to put up a stubborn rearguard effort.
Derailed by a “minor” calf injury, Theo Walcott (7.9) may make a return to the Gunners’ starting line-up as he seeks to extend a record of six goals at the Emirates over eight starts.
Spurs have a favourable away fixture against Watford, but interest in Harry Kane (11.1) is likely to be minimal unless he can impress at Southampton on Wednesday.
His failure to score at home against Burnley and Hull in the previous two Gameweeks may well have caused terminal damage to the striker’s long-term captaincy prospects.
His 14.8% team-mate Christian Eriksen (8.6), who has three assists and a goal on the road, may just fare better in our latest poll.
Romelu Lukaku (9.4) is undoubtedly among the top differential captaincy options on offer. Although found in 26.6% of squads, confidence in the Everton striker took a serious dent following a run of two goals in seven Gameweek appearances.
However, Lukaku notched twice against Watford in Gameweek 15 and followed that up with a fine solo effort at Leicester City on Boxing Day.
He faces another fragile backline when he travels to Hull on Friday evening. Only Swansea City have conceded more goals in front of their home fans than the Tigers tally of 18.
Away from home, Bournemouth have one of the worst records, conceding 19 goals on their nine trips.
The Cherries next travel to the aforementioned Swansea City, though interest in their playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson (7.5) may be muted.
Bob Bradley’s troops appear to be in freefall after conceding 10 goals in their last three matches, a period in which has seen the 9.9% owned Icelander fail to produce attacking returns.
We will be back to check in on progress in the poll prior to Friday’s Gameweek 19 deadline when we deliver our “Captain Sensible” article offering an analysis of the results and the statistics behind the leading contenders.