Captains

Captain Sensible – Deciding between Salah and Mané

Fantasy Premier League managers who thought the Blank Gameweek 31 captaincy would be a simpler one may be disappointed after reading this latest article.

The depleted nature of this round of fixtures, with just 10 sides in action in the wake of the FA Cup quarter-finals, has gone some way to trimming the candidates for the armband.

But those at the top end of our poll are quite hard to separate, with form, statistical comparison and the famed eye-test all playing a part in a tricky decision, largely centred around Liverpool assets.

As per usual, the Captain Sensible article assesses each of the best options using data from the Fantasy Football Scout members area.

Captain Poll

Despite registering just a goal and an assist in his last seven Premier League outings, Mohamed Salah (£13.4m) is still the captain poll leader for Blank Gameweek 31. At the time of writing, the Egyptian has 47% backing.

That has him enjoying an advantage over colleague Sadio Mané (£9.9m) of 23 percentage points. The Senegalese international currently has the backing of 24% of voters in the poll, despite outscoring Salah over the last seven Gameweeks by an aggregate score of 58 points to 26.

Callum Wilson (£6.4m) is the key differential this week according to the people, with the Bournemouth striker looking at a 5% backing ahead of Newcastle’s visit to the Vitality Stadium. In his return from injury in Gameweek 30, the Englishman found the net and provided an assist for colleague Ryan Fraser (£6.2m).

The Cherries midfielder also features in our poll’s top five with 3.4% of our voters believing he is the best captain option for Blank Gameweek 31. The return of Wilson has made a big impact on Fraser, hence the interest, with him involved in four goals in his last two with the forward, compared to zero in his last eight without him.

Jamie Vardy (£9.0m) completes the top five in the vote with a 4.3% share. The fact that he is in the chasing pack for the best differential option is no surprise, considering the Leicester man’s five goals in as many Premier League outings. Also, Burnley are without a clean sheet at Turf Moor since Gameweek 20.

Even though he was the hero for Chelsea in Gameweek 30, Eden Hazard (£10.9m) has the support of just 2.5% ahead of a trip to Goodison Park. That may have more to do with the fact that he has not scored away from home since Gameweek 17.

Roberto Firmino (£9.2m), Marko Arnautovic (£6.8m) and Gonzalo Higuaín (£9.6m) are the only other options to have more than 1% of the votes in the poll.

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1,155 Comments Post a Comment
  1. _sidney_will
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Slavia Prague vs Chelsea

    1. Amey
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Heard that club name for the first time.

        1. jason_ni
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Not around in 90s then!

      • el polako
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Chelsea fans to show their racist side in Prague when drunk on Czech lager.

    2. Forza Papac
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Strangely content with flags on Fraser and Higuain as an owner of both. Sounds like both will play and any prospective buyers will probably not take the risk.

      1. BoomBoomShacktheroom
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Are we sure they will play? I blooming hope so myself.

      2. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Same actually. I own Higuaín and not Fraser - but I'll still get him in barring any new incident.

        1. StayoutheSpiceZone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 5 days ago

          I hope he is ok. Hopefully we should get some news asap

      3. pressdpm
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Not worried by Giroud's hat-trick? I'm a Higuain owner too.

        1. StayoutheSpiceZone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 5 days ago

          I don't think so. Giroud is a World Cup winner, and Sarri still doesn't fancy him. A hatrick against poor opposition vs a man he has used pretty much in all his Sarri-ball teams who he signed - only one winner...if healthy!

        2. Forza Papac
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Not really. Giroud rarely makes it off the bench in PL so find it unlikely he'll start ahead of Higuain who is a favourite of Sarri's

    3. HIT ME!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Any player in this starting XI worth an upgrade for a hit?

      Lössl
      Robbo TAA Tarkowski Lascelles
      Salah Hazard Fraser Barnes
      Wilson Barnes

      Lascelles out for Azpi perhaps?

      1. F_Ivanovic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        no.

    4. Berbinho's Forehead
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Pathway set for Chelsea - Arsenal final

      1. HamezMace
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        To add extra spice, let's hope they both miss out on the top four then.

        1. Brooksy86
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Tottenham finish 5 and win CL, Chelsea finish 6th and win Europa... Would that mean all would qualify for CL next year?

          1. HamezMace
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Not sure, that used to be the rule, but I think it changed a few years ago.
            If CL winner finishes outside the top 4, then 4th in the PL, drps down to EL.....that's what I thought anyway, might be wrong.

          2. Pras United
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            4th would miss out

          3. Bis_78
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Max 5 teams can enter CL. Used to be 4 when Chelsea won CL so Tottenham missed out as they finished 4th.

            4 league position + CL winner + Europa winner. If CL winner and Europa winner are not in top 4 league positions then 4th position loses their CL place and goes to Europa.

            I think

    5. _sidney_will
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Chelsea more or less through to the Final of Europa League, Slavia Prague in the 1/4's and Villareal/Valenica in the Semi's

      1. Rotation's Alter Ego
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Chelsea get Benfica / Frankfurt in the semi's, Arsenal Napoli get Vil/Val

        1. _sidney_will
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Yeah my bad

      2. lilmessipran
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Valencia are a decent side to be honest

    6. TEEMU PUKKI
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Best option to replace auba (except wilson and vardy)

      • Mysterion
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 5 days ago

        The legend returns to Arsenal https://youtu.be/ybCIoIO4cbk

        1. Deulofale
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Shooaaring this with my friends now

        2. Boris Bodega
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Not sure he can play though, as he is still an Arsenal player. Anyone know what the rule is?

          1. Mysterion
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 5 days ago

            I hope he's allowed to, the man is comedy gold https://youtu.be/huR-t7MfmcI?t=71

        3. Konstaapeli
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          😆

      • adams_6
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        So, maybe asked before, apologies. I was planning to get Fraser, do we think from Howe's comments that he'll be ok?

        1. Rotation's Alter Ego
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Howe's exact words were "he should be okay" 😉

          1. #FPLBhuna
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            at the same time it would be very howe like to bench him following those very words

            1. Would Ed Woodward
                1 month, 5 days ago

                I hate Howe's pressers so much.

              • adams_6
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 5 days ago

                Exactly.

            2. adams_6
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Not sure we can trust Howe though can we?

              1. Would Ed Woodward
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  I mean, last week in his presser he said Wilson had only done some light training. He then played 90 mins and Howe said after that he'd been working hard all week.

                • Rotation's Alter Ego
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • Has Moderation Rights
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Different question 😉

            3. Brooksy86
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              He not get 14 points on his last yellow flag?

            4. Forza Papac
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              I'm an owner and very confident he'll play. Are there any alternatives to Fraser you are considering?

            5. jumpinjeffflash
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Seems that way. I'd be more concerned about Brooks starting, based on today's presser.

            6. jtreble
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Howe has lied/misrepresented injury/availability questions many times before.

          2. CAPTAIN_WALES
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Jim to Wilson for -4?

            Yay or Nay

            1. Make Arrows Green Again
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              I would, yea

            2. Peter Ouch
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Yay

          3. brixtonBob
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            I'm too wary of Mane getting a rest or limited minutes this weekend to captain him.

            1. Make Arrows Green Again
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Who can play his position/style though? Also Liverpool need their strongest team to try and get back on top of City. The league is more important to them this season than anything else.

              I think this is overthinking but fair play to you if it comes true 🙂

          4. Rainer
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Liverpool, City & Spurs play on the Tuesday before GW34 and the Wednesday after.

            United play the Wed/Tue.

            1. Mysterion
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 5 days ago

              City v Spurs at the Etihad twice in three days...

              1. Rainer
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 5 days ago

                A bad week for North London.

            2. Becks
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 5 days ago

              United have a homefixture in CL before 34, which is also a home game, am i right?

              1. Rainer
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 5 days ago

                wol (FA)
                barca
                WHU
                BARCA
                eve
                CITY

                1. Rainer
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  ** it’s not Wolves. It’ll be a blank or FA Cup Semi before the Barca 1st leg.

                  1. Mysterion
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Imagine a MUN MCI cup semi... fixture congestion over 9000!

                2. Mysterion
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Isn't it BARCA WHU barca

                  1. Rainer
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Yep, more ***’s 😉

                    Let them City games pile up 🙂

          5. Becks
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Best combo for 31 and 33?

            A) Maddison, Alisson -4
            B) Mane, Kepa -8

          6. #FPLBhuna
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            who would you pick?

            a) azpi
            b) luiz
            c) maguire
            d) chilwell
            e) pereira
            f) rudiger
            g) emerson

            1. HIT ME!
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              A

            2. Make Arrows Green Again
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              No Rice? He tempts me

              1. tibollom
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 5 days ago

                wpuld you go Rice if you already have Fab as keeper?

                1. Make Arrows Green Again
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Probably - that fixture...

            3. kennethrhcp
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              C... good memories of him heading home points

          7. seewhyaxe
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            any thoughts on the CL draw?

            1. Peter Ouch
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Brilliant for Liverpool. Porto then barca and into the final

            2. HamezMace
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              I liked it.

            3. Forza Papac
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Bit boring tbh. Was hoping for at least one of Juve v Barca, City v Utd, Liverpool v Utd

              1. Forza Papac
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 5 days ago

                But I suppose these are all possibilities in the semis or final

                1. seewhyaxe
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Yea I suppose.

                  Would like to see City vs Utd

          8. -GK22-
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            9 players and now higuain and Fraser flagged! Don’t want to use a chip (have all) but is 7 too few this week???

            Horrible season

            1. Peter Ouch
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Fraser will play mate

            2. grumpyman
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              They'll both play.

            3. Make Arrows Green Again
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              They will both probably play. Also, would you play a chip just to get an extra (max) four players? That's at best around 12-16 points.

            4. Forza Papac
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Relax. The flags will prove to have worked in favour of owners as both will play and less will own.

          9. Gommy
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Would you rather?...

            A) Higuain & Hayden (currently on it below)
            B) Rondon & Fraser (Will bench Rondon and go 3-5-2)

            Team currently:
            Fabianski
            Robbo --- Luiz --- Rice
            Salah --- Mane --- Hazard --- Snodgrass
            Wilson --- Higuain --- Vardy

            SUBS: Stekelenburg --- Hayden --- Daniels --- Bardsley

            1. Gommy
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              To be clear, Higuain/Rondon & Hayden/Fraser would be like for like swaps.

            2. Wheato182
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              A

              1. Gommy
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 5 days ago

                Thanks

          10. Atwood
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Currently fielding 8.
            Sterling/Rashford > Hazard/Wilson (-4)
            Sound good?

            Fabianski
            Robertson - TAA - Digne
            F.Anderson - Salah - Biling
            Higuain

            1. Peter Ouch
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Can't be better

          11. Wheato182
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Which one chaps???

            A) Firmino + 5.9 defender (maybe Luiz)
            B) Higuain + TAA

            1. Peter Ouch
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              1 month, 5 days ago

              A

              1. Wheato182
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 5 days ago

                Cheers

          12. pjomara
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Liverpool fans will be cheering for Man Utd in 3 of their games in April.

            1. Rainer
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              I hope Messi and co. destroy Ole’s wheel.

            2. Atwood
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Liverpool fan. No way do I want United in the CL.

          13. Tsparkes10
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Have Vardy, Wilson and Fraser... To join them in 31 and 33:

              A) King
              B) Maddison
              C) Arni
              D) Lanzini

            • tibollom
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Bamba to Azpi for -8pts?

              Fab
              robbo taa pererira
              salah haz brooks
              rondon wilson

              Stek, Jota, Bamba, Doherty Pogba, Jim

            • AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              In case anyone believes Ben Dinnery anymore - he's reporting Fraser has trained as normal.

              1. Would Ed Woodward
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Difficult to decide who I believe less, him or Howe.

                  1. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
                    • 3 Years
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Haha - that bad huh?

              2. boredjames
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 5 days ago

                Have a feeling Man u will beat Barca

                1. Wheato182
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Nah, that said i reckon Ajax/Juventus isn't a foregone conclusion

                2. el polako
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  I can really see Phil Jones stopping Suarez & Messi.

                3. Peter Ouch
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Barca aren't good enough to reach finals any more. Only Messi is not enough.
                  If they go though utd they won't beat Liverpool

                  1. lilmessipran
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Delusional much? I disagree, I think they are defensively better and more organised than previous seasons..pool vs Barcelona should be a good match if it happens

                    1. Peter Ouch
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      1 month, 5 days ago

                      Delusional? Not at all. See the past seasons in Europe. Good attacking wise but defensively what.

                      Best example last year.

                      Last 8 years they won it only one and that because you had neymar and Suarez in top form (Messi is always on top form)

                      1. lilmessipran
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 6 Years
                        1 month, 5 days ago

                        You missed my point, at the expense of missing out on attacking intent and flair they have improved defensively as compared to previous seasons.. giving them much more balance imo

                        1. Peter Ouch
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          1 month, 5 days ago

                          Got it.
                          But still not good enough to face Liverpool.
                          Liverpool destroyed every team last year in Europe and don't see why not this year especially hone away ties.
                          Lost to Madrid due to karius anything that could go wrong went wrong, it won't happen again.

                          But yeah coming back barca have been improved but not enough to face utd or pool

                  2. Wheato182
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Agree Barca arnt the force they were, seem to be missing Iniesta but if Messi has half an hour against any of the teams left barca are as good as through imo.

                    I'd still make them slight favorites against Liverpool.

                4. lilmessipran
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Have a feeling I will be a millionaire by tomorrow

                5. Would Ed Woodward
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Glad you do.

                  • HamezMace
                    • 4 Years
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Well Barca are no longer the amazing force they were in 2009-11, but unfortunately United are far, far from the force they were at that time.

                    I personally want a Barca v Juve final (Ronaldo v Messi - ONE LAST TIME)!

                    1. Peter Ouch
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      1 month, 5 days ago

                      Your dream won't come true!!!

                6. gooberman
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  No decision to make for me. Don't own Salah.

                7. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Currently have this playing...
                  Boruc
                  TAA Robbo Pereira
                  Salah (c) Anderson Almiron
                  Higuaín Vardy
                  Non-playing: Pogba/Doherty/AWB/Jimenez/Camarasa/Guaita (1.6itb 0ft)

                  To make XI...
                  A) Fraser and Hazard (0.2 loss)
                  B) Hazard and Wilson (0.8 loss)
                  C) Other suggestion.

                8. tisza
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  can we confirm there is no issue with TAA (no flags) despite some of the rumours floating around?
                  Also what's that "ex WestHam" link that often has early team news?

                  1. HamezMace
                    • 4 Years
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Nothing about TAA in Klopps press conference today.
                    Just speculation on here, personally I'd be very surprised to see any rotation from Liverpool this weekend.

                  2. Mysterion
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    No TAA issues mentioned in the presser today

                    https://twitter.com/ExWHUemployee

                  3. tisza
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Thanks. Most kind.

                9. Apollo Sanchez
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Fab
                  TAA, Luiz, Pereira
                  Salah, Mane, Hazard, Fraser
                  Vardy, Arnie, Wilson

                  Boruc, Rice, Westwood, Stankovic

                  Not fully keen on Arnie. Have considered Rondon to raise funds for Tielemans, or Luiz out to raise funds for Higuaín.

                10. Albert_Luque
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Which do you prefer, will give me 11 players:

                  A) Vardy and Almiron (-4)
                  B) Vardy and Wilson (-8)

                  1. Wheato182
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 5 days ago

                    Dont think Wilson is worth a hit personally so A

                    1. Four Season Wonder
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 5 Years
                      1 month, 5 days ago

                      Any player with a fixture is arguably worth a hit this GW let's be real here.

                      1. Wheato182
                        • 6 Years
                        1 month, 5 days ago

                        Ok I might put Mendy in for Leicester for a hit just because he has a fixture this week - get real.

                        Hits are and always will be calculated risks, just taking hits willy nilly based only on a player having a fixture is just daft.

                        In this instance he can take one less hit and still have a starting 11.

                11. Black Panther
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  Does Smith injury mean Daniels is nailed on for GW31/33? Only 4.1 and need a cheap defender.

                12. Good Times
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  One from crowd who doesn't have a WC or a FH, how do I go about these few weeks:
                  Fabianski
                  Robertson periera;awb Simpson bennet
                  Mane Salah brooks ; pogba puncheon
                  Vardy ; aguero jiminez
                  A) Aguero to higuain? (aguero has good fixtures right after blank
                  B) Pogba to hazard ; double gw for pogba right after (this move may need a hit)
                  C) Roll over ft?