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
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    Slavia Prague vs Chelsea

    1. Amey
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Heard that club name for the first time.

      1. jason_ni
        • 3 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

        Not around in 90s then!

    2. el polako
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

  2. Forza Papac
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    2. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
      • 3 Years
      10 days, 16 hours 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
        10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    3. pressdpm
      • 6 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

      1. StayoutheSpiceZone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        10 days, 16 hours 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
        10 days, 16 hours 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
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      no.

  4. Berbinho's Forehead
    • 8 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    Pathway set for Chelsea - Arsenal final

    1. HamezMace
      • 4 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

      1. Brooksy86
        • 2 Years
        10 days, 16 hours 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
          10 days, 16 hours 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
          10 days, 16 hours ago

          4th would miss out

        3. Bis_78
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          10 days, 16 hours 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
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

      1. _sidney_will
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

        Yeah my bad

    2. lilmessipran
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Valencia are a decent side to be honest

  6. INGSJURY
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    Best option to replace auba (except wilson and vardy)

  7. Mysterion
    • 1 Year
    10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    1. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Shooaaring this with my friends now

    2. Boris Bodega
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

      1. Mysterion
        • 1 Year
        10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    3. Konstaapeli
      • 2 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      😆

  8. adams_6
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

      1. #FPLBhuna
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

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

        1. Would Ed Woodward
          10 days, 16 hours ago

          I hate Howe's pressers so much.

        2. adams_6
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          10 days, 16 hours ago

          Exactly.

      2. adams_6
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

        Not sure we can trust Howe though can we?

        1. Would Ed Woodward
          10 days, 16 hours 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.

        2. Rotation's Alter Ego
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 7 Years
          10 days, 16 hours ago

          Different question 😉

    2. Brooksy86
      • 2 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      He not get 14 points on his last yellow flag?

    3. Forza Papac
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    4. jumpinjeffflash
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    5. jtreble
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

  9. CAPTAIN_WALES
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    Jim to Wilson for -4?

    Yay or Nay

    1. Make Arrows Green Again
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      I would, yea

    2. Peter Ouch
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Yay

  10. brixtonBob
    • 5 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours 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 🙂

  11. Rainer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    United play the Wed/Tue.

    1. Mysterion
      • 1 Year
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

      1. Rainer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

        A bad week for North London.

    2. Becks
      • 1 Year
      10 days, 16 hours 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
        10 days, 16 hours ago

        wol (FA)
        barca
        WHU
        BARCA
        eve
        CITY

        1. Rainer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          10 days, 16 hours ago

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

          1. Mysterion
            • 1 Year
            10 days, 16 hours ago

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

        2. Mysterion
          • 1 Year
          10 days, 16 hours ago

          Isn't it BARCA WHU barca

          1. Rainer
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            10 days, 16 hours ago

            Yep, more ***’s 😉

            Let them City games pile up 🙂

  12. Becks
    • 1 Year
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    Best combo for 31 and 33?

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

  13. #FPLBhuna
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      A

    2. Make Arrows Green Again
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      No Rice? He tempts me

      1. tibollom
        • 2 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

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

        1. Make Arrows Green Again
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          10 days, 16 hours ago

          Probably - that fixture...

    3. kennethrhcp
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      C... good memories of him heading home points

  14. seewhyaxe
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    any thoughts on the CL draw?

    1. Peter Ouch
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Brilliant for Liverpool. Porto then barca and into the final

    2. HamezMace
      • 4 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      I liked it.

    3. Forza Papac
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      10 days, 16 hours 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
        10 days, 16 hours ago

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

        1. seewhyaxe
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          10 days, 16 hours ago

          Yea I suppose.

          Would like to see City vs Utd

  15. -GK22-
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Fraser will play mate

    2. grumpyman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      They'll both play.

    3. Make Arrows Green Again
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

  16. Gommy
    • 9 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    2. Wheato182
      • 6 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      A

      1. Gommy
        • 9 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

        Thanks

  17. Atwood
    • 8 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Can't be better

  18. Wheato182
    • 6 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    Which one chaps???

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

    1. Peter Ouch
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      A

      1. Wheato182
        • 6 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

        Cheers

  19. pjomara
    • 8 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    1. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    2. Atwood
      • 8 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

  20. Tsparkes10
    10 days, 16 hours ago

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

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

  21. tibollom
    • 2 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    Bamba to Azpi for -8pts?

    Fab
    robbo taa pererira
    salah haz brooks
    rondon wilson

    Stek, Jota, Bamba, Doherty Pogba, Jim

  22. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
    • 3 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    1. Would Ed Woodward
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

      1. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
        • 3 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

        Haha - that bad huh?

  23. boredjames
    • 6 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    Have a feeling Man u will beat Barca

    1. Wheato182
      • 6 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

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

    2. el polako
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      I can really see Phil Jones stopping Suarez & Messi.

    3. Peter Ouch
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      10 days, 16 hours 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
        10 days, 16 hours 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
          10 days, 16 hours 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
            10 days, 16 hours 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
              10 days, 16 hours 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
        10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Have a feeling I will be a millionaire by tomorrow

    5. Would Ed Woodward
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Glad you do.

    6. HamezMace
      • 4 Years
      10 days, 16 hours 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
        10 days, 16 hours ago

        Your dream won't come true!!!

  24. gooberman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

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

  25. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
    • 3 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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.

  26. tisza
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours 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
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      No TAA issues mentioned in the presser today

      https://twitter.com/ExWHUemployee

    3. tisza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Thanks. Most kind.

  27. Apollo Sanchez
    • 5 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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.

  28. Albert_Luque
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

    Which do you prefer, will give me 11 players:

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

    1. Wheato182
      • 6 Years
      10 days, 16 hours ago

      Dont think Wilson is worth a hit personally so A

      1. Four Season Wonder
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        10 days, 16 hours ago

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

        1. Wheato182
          • 6 Years
          10 days, 16 hours 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.

  29. Black Panther
    • 4 Years
    10 days, 16 hours ago

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

  30. Good Times
    • 5 Years
    10 days, 16 hours 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?