Captain Sensible – FPL Gameweek 1

Fantasy Premier League managers face a number of selection quandaries as they put the finishing touches to their squads ahead of tonight’s 19:00 BST deadline, one of which, of course, concerns who to captain.

While one, all-too-familiar name leaps out as the leading candidate for the armband this week, there are plenty of other FPL assets whose cases ought to be presented.

We will first assess the fallout of the Gameweek 1 Captain Poll, then analyse the Opta data and Rate My Team (RMT) ratings ahead of this evening’s curtain-raiser at Old Trafford.

The Captain Poll

The percentage of votes cast for Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) in the Fantasy Football Scout Captain Poll actually outstrips his ownership in FPL, with 59.1% of the nominations on our site heading the way of the Egyptian.

Liverpool put a combined eight goals past this weekend’s opponents, West Ham United, in two league meetings last season, with Salah registering three of those strikes.

The Hammers’ defensive record was the joint-worst in the top flight in 2017/18 (68 goals conceded) and though Manuel Pellegrini has strengthened his backline with the acquisitions of Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena (all £4.5m) and Ryan Fredericks (£5.0m), the Chilean manager’s reputation for playing attacking football doesn’t suggest the Irons will completely close ranks at Anfield on Sunday.

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino (both £9.5m) are alternative captaincy picks for the Reds, with 4.4% and 3.5% of the communal vote respectively. Both players were on target in the 4-1 home victory over the Hammers last season, while Mane also provided two assists in the reverse fixture in east London.

With 7.9% of the FFS vote, Sergio Aguero (£11.0m) is a distant second in our Captain Poll behind the runaway Salah.

The Argentinian striker’s brace in the Community Shield win over Chelsea last weekend has seen his FPL ownership soar, with Aguero outstripping Marko Arnautovic (£7.0m) to become the fourth-most popular forward option in the game and featuring in 30% of Gameweek 1 squads.

While a trip to the Emirates poses a stern test, it should be said that City comfortably beat the Gunners on their own turf last season, with Aguero picking up an assist in that 3-0 victory. The striker also scored from the spot in the 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Etihad earlier in the campaign.

It should also be noted that the Gunners’ first home matches in the past two seasons have been seven-goal thrillers, with Arsenal prevailing 4-3 against Leicester City in 2017/18 and losing out to Liverpool by the same scoreline the preceding campaign.

A repeat of those scorelines would surely spell FPL points for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m), who has garnered over 1,000 votes to become the third-most popular captaincy selection (5.2%) of the Gameweek.

A rare beast among premium forwards this season in having the summer off from international duty – of the nine strikers priced at £9.0m or above, only he, team-mate Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) and Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata (£9.0m) weren’t involved in the World Cup – Aubameyang would also appear to be as close to rotation-proof as any of the heavy hitters in attack.

The one concern is Aubameyang’s starting position, with the possibility of the Gabonese forward being stationed on the left flank to accommodate Lacazette in attack.

That being said, no forward scored more goals than the former Borussia Dortmund striker (ten) after his debut in Gameweek 26 last season. Aubameyang also has six goals to his name in pre-season, the same amount as Lacazette.

Leicester City’s problems in central defence – Harry Maguire (£5.5m) having just returned from his post-World Cup break and Jonny Evans (£5.0m) facing a late fitness test before tonight’s match at Old Trafford – could mean that the somewhat unconvincing partnership of Yohan Benalouane (£4.0m) and Wes Morgan (£4.5m) might be pressed into action at the heart of the Foxes’ backline.

That would increase the appeal of Alexis Sanchez (£10.5m), who has attracted 4.8% of the vote in our Captain Poll. The Chilean midfielder was Manchester United’s form player in pre-season, scoring on two occasions and setting up another goal.

Only four sides had a leakier defence last season than Leicester, who shipped more Premier League goals (60) than relegated West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City.

Harry Kane (£12.5m), curiously, has attracted almost 3% of the FFS community’s nominations, despite doubts about his pitch-time following a belated return to training on Monday. The “August drought” – Kane has failed to find the net in 13 league appearances in this month – also hasn’t deterred well over 600 voters from backing the England striker for the armband.

Mid-price forwards Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m), Marko Arnautovic (£7.0m) and Joshua King (£6.5m) have some backing (all around the 1% mark), following their successful pre-seasons. Arnautovic, whose West Ham side face a tricky trip to Anfield this weekend, found the back of the net on five occasions over the summer, while King and Zaha both scored four summer friendly goals.

King’s fixture is perhaps the most appealing, with newly promoted Cardiff City the visitors to the south coast. Zaha and Palace, meanwhile, make the trip to west London to face Fulham.

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1,681 Comments Post a Comment
  1. yokies
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 12 days ago

    RMT please

    Robertson - Mendy - PVA
    Bernardo Silva - Salah - Jota - Eriksen - Richarlison
    King - Kun

    Fabianski - Kamara - AWB - Bednarek

    1. Analyst_Dan
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 12 days ago

      Not a PVA fan at £5.5m. Shaw at £5m?

      1. yokies
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 12 days ago

        yeah i can do that..thanks mate

      2. yokies
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 12 days ago

        shaw nailed for tonight?

        1. Crazy crazy horse
          • 3 Years
          8 months, 12 days ago

          Or Bailly maybe?

  2. Analyst_Dan
    • 2 Years
    8 months, 12 days ago


    Thoughts please!

    A: Jorginho
    B: Neves
    C: Cairney

    1. Jᴀʀᴠish
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 12 days ago

      None are going to produce much, just go with your gut

    2. Crazy crazy horse
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 12 days ago

      You might need a D:

  3. Powers106
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 12 days ago

    Am I the only one expecting big points from Fred tonight?

  4. arsenalister
      8 months, 12 days ago

      Join us! You are welcome! Have a great season and good luck!

      Classic: Code to join this league: 1142463-307127
      H2H: Code to join this league: 1142463-307146

      1. Felice
          8 months, 12 days ago

          Group FPL in whatsapp. Link:

      2. Funny Face
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        8 months, 12 days ago

        Help please. I'm getting so I can't see the wood from the trees.

        A) Keita, Aubameyang and McArthur
        B) Mkhitaryan, Firminho and Moura
        C) Keita, Lacazette and Barkley

        Any help would be gratefully received.

      3. Johnny too hotty
        • 7 Years
        8 months, 12 days ago

        Not got salah but the amount of votes for captain and reading on here bricking it

        Do i stay firm with my theory he won't repeat as many goals and enjoy a stronger squad.

        Or do i bottle it and follow the sheep. Non salah owners please talk me down.

        Ps im captaining mane

      4. Felice
          8 months, 12 days ago

          New group FPL in whatsapp. Link:

        • Jurgen Flopp
          • 5 Years
          8 months, 12 days ago

          Would you do

          A) Mane and 5.5m keeper
          B) Sanchez and 5m keeper but unsure on who.

          Help me out