With domestic action resuming this Saturday, we have launched our latest Captain Poll to canvass your views on the best armband options for Gameweek 12.
Following a tough run of fixtures for Manchester United, a home encounter with Newcastle United looks an ideal opportunity for Romelu Lukaku (11.5) to reach the summit for the first time since Gameweek 7. So far, he’s the leading candidate and has earned over 29% of the votes cast.
Despite failing to find the net in his last seven club matches, a brace for Belgium in their 3-3 friendly with Mexico last Friday bodes well for an upturn in fortunes.
The number one forward for sales (76,000+) for a second Gameweek running in Fantasy Premier League, Lukaku has an impressive home record, supplying four goals and two assists in five Old Trafford league matches.
In addition, the Newcastle backline has proved frail on the road, conceding in all but one of their five away days, while captain Jamaal Lascelles may well be an absentee through injury.
A visit to Leicester City means that Manchester City’s wealth of attacking options are among the Belgian’s main rivals for the armband.
However, rotation fears, particularly after a busy international break for many of their key players, may reduce confidence.
Sergio Aguero (11.8) may well lead the charge in our poll. He is the top scoring FPL forward with eight goals and three assists to his name.
However, it’s worth noting that the Argentine may be one of City’s weariest travellers over the break. After two friendly matches in Russia, including a clash against Nigeria tomorrow, Pep Guardiola may decide to ration Aguero’s minutes with one eye on the Champions League match against Feyenoord the following Tuesday.
Gabriel Jesus (10.5), who has started every away match in the league, could be another strong contender. As will FPL’s top scoring player, Leroy Sane (8.9), who has six goals and five assists this term. Over the international break more than 101,000 managers have brought in the German winger, who has four sets of double-digits in the last six.
With Raheem Sterling (8.2) a minor injury doubt, some may instead opt for the security of starts that midfield pair David Silva (8.5) and Kevin De Bruyne (10.1) can offer. Silva has caught the eye over the recent break, bagging a brace in Spain’s win over against Costa Rica.
However, it’s worth remembering that Leicester City won the corresponding fixture 4-2 last season, with Jamie Vardy (8.6) netting a hat-trick.
With Nicolas Otamendi sidelined through suspension in Guardiola’s backline, Vardy and Riyad Mahrez (8.4) could be set to profit. Certainly, the latter is the Foxes’ form player ahead of Saturday afternoon’s encounter, serving up attacking returns in each of his last four league matches.
Harry Kane (12.8) disappointed his 607,000 new owners and the 1.4m FPL managers who captained him with a blank against Crystal Palace last time out. It was the fifth time in six appearances at Spurs’ temporary home that Kane has failed to provide attacking returns. However, his record on the road and in London derbies is stacked in his favour ahead of trip to Arsenal.
Kane has netted twice in each of his last three away outings and has a fine record against the Gunners, scoring in all five league fixtures.
Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata (10.3) is the hottest FPL property up front ahead of a trip to a West Brom side that’s managed just one clean sheet in nine Gameweeks.
After netting his seventh of the season against Man United, the summer signing was also on the scoresheet in Spain’s win over Costa Rica – he’s earned 91,000+ transfers in this Gameweek, more than any forward.
Morata has returned 28 points in his last three away appearances ahead of his visit to The Hawthorns.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (9.4) is another strong candidate this time around, with seven goals and three assists, ahead of Southampton’s trip to Anfield. Since his brace against West Ham in Gameweek 11, the Egyptian has been the top target in the transfer market with 149,000+ more owners.
Rested from international duties over the break, Salah looks a very enticing prospect if he continues in a new central role for the Reds – indeed, he’s joint-second with Kane in the Poll, with over 19% backing.
Among the differential options is Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha (6.8), who hosts an Everton side that has shipped ten goals on the road. Since his return from injury, the Ivorian international has scored in both his home appearances.
Brighton’s Glenn Murray (5.8) is an intriguing alternative ahead of Stoke’s visit to the Amex. The veteran striker has scored four in his last three, while the visitors have conceded 11 on their travels.
And the Seagulls’ playmaker Pascal Gross (5.9) should also be considered, given that he has averaged 7.2 points per match in front of his own supporters.
Finally, Watford’s Richarlison (6.4) hosts West Ham in David Moyes’ first match in charge on Sunday.
Granted, all four of his goals have arrived in away matches, but the young Brazilian has still picked up points against the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal at Vicarage Road.
The poll is now live in the middle column on your homepage on desktop, or via the slide-in menu on mobile and tablet under recent comments.
Remember, we are looking for your vote for the player you think will be most effective, regardless of whether you own them or not.
We will be back to check in on progress in the poll later ahead of the Gameweek 12 deadline when we deliver our “Captain Sensible” article offering an analysis of the results and the statistics behind the leading contenders.