After weeks of captaincy frustration, Fantasy Premier League managers are set for more tough armband decisions ahead of Gameweek 9.
Manchester City and Liverpool both have relatively challenging away matches next weekend, which could deter us from the usual suspects.
Pep Guardiola’s defending champions travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon, where Crystal Palace have conceded just one goal in four matches this season.
That strike came in the dying embers of a 1-1 draw with Wolves in Gameweek 6, courtesy of Diogo Jota (£6.1m).
Outside of that, the Eagles have kept clean sheets Everton, Aston Villa and Norwich in front of their own fans.
Naturally, Manchester City do usually pose a greater threat, with owners of Sergio Aguero (£12.2m), Raheem Sterling (£12.1m) and Kevin de Bruyne (£10.0m) all hoping for both starts and returns this weekend.
But the Citizens’ recent poor performance against Wolves in Gameweek 8 might go some way to putting Fantasy managers off for the captaincy, especially considering Palace’s home defensive record.
Meanwhile, Liverpool travel to Old Trafford, a ground at which they have never won in the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp.
In all competitions, the former Borussia Dortmund manager has drawn three and lost one at Manchester United’s historic stadium during his time in charge of the Reds.
In total, his side has scored three goals there but on their most recent visit, back in February, the match ended 0-0.
While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have been far from special going forward this season, their defence has shown some improvement on last season.
They have two Premier League clean sheets at Old Trafford in 2019/20, against Chelsea and Leicester and have been boasting some relatively impressive defensive underlying statistics.
All of this is likely to leave nagging questions at the back of the mind for Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Sadio Mané (£11.7m) owners when it comes to the armband.
Given Manchester United’s shocking attacking displays of late, perhaps Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) and Andrew Robertson (£6.9m) might receive more consideration than their midfield colleagues?
Even those looking at Arsenal assets such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) may have their concerns about a Monday night trip to Sheffield United.
The Blades have conceded just seven goals this season, only Liverpool have allowed fewer, while Chris Wilder has made all the top-six sides work for their results thus far.
Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw in Gameweek 4, while the only reason Klopp’s men scored at Bramall Lane in Gameweek 7 was because of an uncharacteristic error from Dean Henderson (£4.5m).
For all of those reasons, Gameweek 9 could be see a host of differential options top the upcoming captain poll, which you can now vote in (below).
Naturally, there will be a lot of consideration for Bournemouth assets in Gameweek 9 as they host a Norwich side that conceded five at home to Aston Villa last time out.
Callum Wilson (£7.9m) is expected to be the favourite of these having registered attacking returns in all but one match so far this season.
Those unable to get the England international into their squads may also look to Josh King (£6.3m), who has double-figure hauls in both of his last two matches at the Vitality Stadium – and remains the Cherries’ penalty taker.
One of just two of Gameweek 8’s top 20 captains to actually deliver attacking returns was Tammy Abraham (£7.7m), who, with each passing week, looks more and more capable of factoring in the conversation for the armband.
After the first eight matches of the 2019/20 campaign, the Chelsea forward is joint-top of the league for goals scored, alongside Aguero (eight).
Abraham is also top of the league for shots on target, which is probably why his bonus score is also looking quite healthy, a total of 11 to his name thus far – more than any other player.
Ahead of Newcastle’s visit to Stamford Bridge, it would be surprising to see Abraham not considered among the best options, especially given the Magpies’ record on the road this season.
In four away matches in 2019/20, Steve Bruce’s men have conceded 11 times, an average of 2.75 per game.
You can now vote in the latest captain poll on our website, either below or in the sidebar on the right.
Joe and David will be speaking about the debate in the captain video, which you can watch on our YouTube channel from 12:30 pm on Monday.
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