The second Captain Poll of the season arrives to canvas your opinion on the key contenders for the Gameweek 2 armband.
A brace on his Premier League debut for Manchester United yesterday means that Romelu Lukaku (11.5) is guaranteed to be among the front runners.
He travels to a Swansea City side that conceded more shots in the box (16) than any side in Gameweek 1. With his ownership reaching the 50% mark over the weekend, he also has weight of numbers on his side as he looks to address the away drought that saw him score just twice in his final 10 road trips for Everton.
The Red Devils’ emphatic 4-0 victory against West Ham also shone the light on two more possible contenders – the 8.3% owned Henrikh Mkhitaryan (8.0), who collected two assists and a pair of bonus points, and Paul Pogba (8.0), who got on the scoresheet and sits in 21.6% of teams.
Liverpool’s 3-3 draw away to Watford highlighted their defensive frailties, but also underlined the wealth of attacking talent among their ranks, with Sadio Mane (9.5), Mohammed Salah (9.0) and Roberto Firmino (8.5) all scoring.
As with last season, the vote for a Reds captain is likely to be split ahead of Crystal Palace’s visit, although with a goal and assist against the Hornets it would be unsurprising if Salah was the most popular of the trio. He is already the most owned player among Jurgen Klopp’s ranks, with a place in 25.7% of FPL teams.
However, with penalty duties added to his repertoire, the 23.1%-owned Firmino could also prosper and even leapfrog his Egyptian team-mate in the latest poll. It is worth noting that Salah may not be favoured by the Fantasy Premier League’s bonus point system, having seen four of his five shots against Watford miss the target.
The only player to register more misses was Southampton’s Manolo Gabbiadini (7.0), who hosts a West Ham side still reeling from yesterday’s heavy defeat. None of the Italian’s five shots were on target against Swansea, which is likely to see his popularity wane despite the favourable fixture. Hauled off after 69 minutes and replaced by Charlie Austin, Gabbiadini will be hoping to retain his role on the teamsheet despite such an ineffectual display.
Shooting accuracy was where Jamie Vardy (8.5) excelled in Leicester’s loss to Arsenal on Friday – he scored from both of his goal attempts. A home tie against Brighton should ensure he prospers in the poll, although he will have to be equally precise as his opponents managed to keep Manchester City down to just six shots in the box in their 2-0 home loss on Saturday evening.
In saying that, it’s worth noting that the Seagulls conceded almost twice the number of goals (26 to 14) on the road than they shipped in front of their own fans last term.
Since Friday, more than 93,000 FPL managers have recruited the Foxes’ talisman.
Sergio Aguero (11.5) proved to be the hero at the Amex Stadium, having broken the deadlock at the 70-minute mark, and he looks to be secure for a start at home to Everton this weekend in Pep Guardiola’s preferred 3-5-2 formation. The 11.8%-owned Argentine could be the leading figure among City’s key captaincy candidates, although eagle-eyed voters would have noticed that the 12.4%-owned Gabriel Jesus (10.5) and Kevin De Bruyne (10.0), who is in 30.4% of teams, fired off four shots apiece on Saturday to ensure they will garner interest.
Involvement in tough-to-call matches, such as Arsenal against Leicester City last Gameweek and Spurs hosting of Chelsea this time around, can weaken players’ chances of securing the armband.
Nevertheless, many could decide to keep the faith with Harry Kane (12.5), who was second in last week’s poll.
Granted, the 35.7%-owned striker failed to find the net in Spurs’ 2-0 away victory over Newcastle United yesterday, but he next takes on a Chelsea side he has scored four times against in eight encounters.
The Blues shipped three goals in their defeat to Burnley, which further strengthens Kane’s captaincy credentials, as does his six shots against the Magpies on Sunday – more than any forward in Gameweek 1.
With a goal at St James’ Park, Kane’s teammate Dele Alli (9.5) may also attract attention, as could Christian Eriksen (9.5), who notched two assists and maximum bonus points in Gameweek 1. The Dane’s 31,000 new owners since Friday will certainly be hoping he can reward their faith.
Chelsea’s capitulation against the Clarets will likely mute interest in their assets, however, the 7.2%-owned Alvaro Morata (10.0) and Willian (7.0), who has an 18.% ownership, may have done enough to secure a decent poll standing. The Spaniard registered a goal and assist off the bench, while Willian also notched assist points.
Among the differential options this week is Christian Benteke (8.0), who scored a brace last time he visited Anfield, in April. However, his side’s 3-0 loss to Huddersfield at the weekend may be too fresh in the mind for those voting this week.
Sticking with the Terriers, their 6.0-priced striker Steve Mounie looks another strong alternative for the armband. He scored twice against Crystal Palace and hosts a Newcastle side racked by injuries and suspension following that bruising home defeat to Spurs. Still in just 2.0% of sides, the former Montpelier marksman has attracted 49,000+ new owners since the weekend.
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’re 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 1 deadline when we deliver our “Captain Sensible” article offering an analysis of the results and the statistics behind the leading contenders.