Fantasy Premier League managers face one of the hardest captaincy decisions of the season so far in Blank Gameweek 27.
The absence of fixtures for Manchester City and Chelsea, who were originally scheduled to play favourable opposition in Everton and Brighton, has removed several options from the debate already.
Meanwhile, Manchester United and Liverpool, two clubs who normally provide a handful of captain candidates each week, go head-to-head at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
That leaves Fantasy managers with the choice of either boldly handing the armband to one of those players or to look elsewhere.
Arsenal are currently the popular alternative in the search for a captain this week, but with many managers avoiding the Gunners for longer-term reasons, and plenty of viable alternatives elsewhere, we could see a whole host of different skippers this weekend.
As usual, we’ve had a look at the results of our latest poll, analysed each popular player, and some of the less fashionable options, using our members’ data and assessed the offensive and defensive statistics of all the teams involved to find the best candidates.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) is this week’s poll leader ahead of Southampton’s trip to the Emirates Stadium. The absence of Sergio Aguero (£11.5m) and the meeting between Liverpool and Manchester United will have played a part in Aubameyang’s popularity for this Gameweek, amassing 32% support at the time of writing. Although he has just one goal in the last five Gameweeks, you do have to go back to Gameweek 16 for the last time he failed to find the net at home against a side outside the top six.
Son Heung-min‘s (£9.0m) trip to Burnley has captured the attention of a healthy number of Fantasy managers too. His case appears to be centred around form rather than fixture, the South Korean averaging 8.9 points per appearance since Gameweek 13.
Felipe Anderson (£7.2m) heads up a crop of differential options as West Ham prepare to host the worst defence in the Premier League this season: Fulham. The Brazilian does only have one attacking return in his last seven outings, but the appeal of a home match against such poor opposition may be too much to resist for his owners. Currently, the West Ham midfielder has the backing of 9% of our voters.
Just behind Anderson is Liverpool’s star man Mohamed Salah (£13.6m) on 7% ahead of a trip to Old Trafford. The Egyptian’s form may have slowed a little in recent weeks but he still has six double-figure hauls in the last 11 Gameweeks and remains a key FPL asset to own. The fact that Manchester United are still without a clean sheet at home under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may suggest that Sunday’s encounter may not be as tricky as first thought for Salah and his Liverpool attacking colleagues.
Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) also features in the top five captain candidates for Blank Gameweek 27 according to the poll. The 6% who have backed the Frenchman may have found themselves a shrewd option here. Lacazette was not involved in Thursday night’s Europa League action for Arsenal, which gives him a slight edge over Aubameyang, in terms of security of start.
A few more managers are proving bold enough to look to that Old Trafford showdown as 3.8% have voted for Paul Pogba (£8.8m). The Manchester United midfielder has blanked just once since Solskjaer took over and has averaged 12 points per game at home in that time. With Liverpool’s defence not quite as strong as it was earlier in the season, Pogba looks the most likely of any Red Devil to breach them.
Some slight interest in Marko Arnautovic (£6.8m) confirms the popularity of West Ham’s home match against Fulham. 2.5% have selected the Austrian as the best captain candidate for Blank Gameweek 27 despite the fact he has started just once in the last four Gameweeks.
Salomón Rondón (£5.8m), Raúl Jiménez (£6.8m) and Callum Paterson (£5.0m) are the only other options above 1% while Harry Kane (£12.4m) is not far behind them on 0.9% backing.
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