While tonight’s Selhurst Park encounter concludes Gameweek 29, we are already looking ahead to the next set of fixtures with the launch of our latest Captain Poll.
Spurs frontman Harry Kane (12.9) has had to settle for second place to Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (10.5) in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) armband race in each of the last three Gameweeks.
But that may well change this time around. While Spurs travel to face a Bournemouth defence that has conceded more shots (99) than any side in the last six Gameweeks, Salah will face a testing trip to Old Trafford.
Kane’s form certainly warrants top billing. Over his last seven league run outs, he has found the net six times and racked up more shots (38), efforts in the box (29), attempts on target (20) and big chances (12) than any player.
His supporting cast of midfielders, Christian Eriksen (9.4), Dele Alli (8.9) and Son Heung-min (8.0) may also garner interest, the latter, in particular, following his weekend brace at home to Huddersfield. Eriksen’s three assists and goal over his last six away days also impresses.
Even though Liverpool take on the league’s meanest home defence, Salah’s impressive away record should ensure that he still mounts a serious challenge to Kane at the summit of our poll.
In front of their own fans, Jose Mourinho’s charges have conceded a league-low six goals and earned a record ten clean sheets. Meanwhile, on the road, the Egyptian has scored 11 and fired 20 shots on target, with only Kane (13 and 23) bettering those tallies.
Salah’s team-mate Roberto Firmino (9.4)’s seven goals and four assists away from Anfield make him another Reds asset set to attract attention, as do Sadio Mane’s (9.4) five goals in his last three run outs in all competitions.
Voters will be keeping a close eye on events at Selhurst Park tonight when Manchester United take on Crystal Palace before considering handing the armband to their assets.
Romelu Lukaku (11.2) will be among those most keenly watched after his recent return to form, with two goals and an assist in his last three league matches.
Interest in Arsenal assets may be muted this week as they head into a home match with Watford in awful form. Nevertheless, the Gunners boast strong home scoring form – only Man City (51 to 36) have found the net more often in front of their own fans.
Mesut Ozil (9.3)’s five assists and three successful strikes at the Emirates makes him an intriguing armband candidate. Patrick-Emerick Aubameyang (10.4) is another, after scoring his second goal in four Gameweeks against Brighton yesterday. His ineligibility for Arsenal’s Europa League campaign also means he will be free of rest and rotation worries.
Another London side in the doldrums is Chelsea, who have lost to Bournemouth and Watford over their last five league matches and failed to register a single on target shot in their away loss to Manchester City yesterday.
However, a home tie against Crystal Palace could prove far more profitable for Antonio Conte’s troops. Over their last four road trips, the Eagles have failed to keep a clean sheet and have shipped nine goals, with only West Ham and Everton conceding more often away from home over that timeframe.
After Chelsea’s poor attacking display yesterday, it seems likely that striker Alvaro Morata (10.4) will earn a recall. The Spaniard is currently his side’s top scorer at home in the league, with five goals.
Eden Hazard (10.6) is another strong differential captaincy candidate among the Blues assets. He was again frustrated by a false nine role at the Etihad Stadium but should be played up with either Morata or Giroud against Roy Hodgson’s side. The Belgian has three goals and an assist over his last four matches.
Manchester City’s sensational title charge should ensure that their players are also factors in the latest poll, even though they visit a Stoke backline that has shown impressive resilience of late. Over the last six Gameweeks, the Potters have earned three clean sheets and conceded just four times, the third-best record over that period.
With rotation anticipated for the midweek Champions League clash against FC Basel, though, City’s big-hitters could all profit at the bet365.
Should Gabriel Jesus start against the Swiss outfit, Sergio Aguero’s (11.9) looks a likely name on the teamsheet next Monday – he has eight goals in his last six starts.
David Silva (7.9) is another to impress recently, with a goal and assist across his last two starts, as has Leroy Sane (8.5), who delivered a 13-point return in his last road trip, against Arsenal in Gameweek 28.
The German is currently this week’s most popular transfer target, attracting 39,000 new FPL managers.
Meanwhile, Bernardo Silva (7.4)’s two goals and assist over the last four Gameweeks could even see some votes go his way. However, should Raheem Sterling (8.7) return from injury, the Portuguese could be one City player who may well succumb to rotation.
Riyad Mahrez (8.7)’s last-minute equaliser against Bournemouth on Saturday garners momentum for Leicester City’s trip to basement-dwellers West Brom. That free kick was the fourth time he had found the net in his last seven league starts; meanwhile, the Baggies have shipped a record 13 goals over the last six Gameweeks.
Another who may attract votes is West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic (7.0), who takes on a Burnley side that last kept a clean sheet in Gameweek 21. The Austrian has excelled for the Hammers with David Moyes at the helm, scoring seven times and assisting a further four goals over his last 11 run outs.
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 30 deadline when we deliver our “Captain Sensible” article offering an analysis of the results and the statistics behind the leading contenders.