Fantasy Premier League managers are going to have to look outside the usual suspects to find the best captain for Gameweek 9.
With both Manchester City and Liverpool facing relatively tough fixtures, this week’s debate largely centres around some less-discussed faces.
As ever, we’ve got the results of our latest poll and will also bring you analysis of the underlying numbers posted by players and opposition defenders alike.
As this article uses data from the Fantasy Football Scout Members Area, only those who have signed up for the 2019/20 season can access it in full.
Tammy Abraham (£7.7m) comes into Gameweek 9 as the most popular captaincy option.
At the time of writing, the Chelsea forward had amassed the support of 32.2% as Newcastle prepare to visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
The Magpies have conceded at least three times in all but one of their away matches this season, losing 5-0 on their most recent Premier League road trip at Leicester.
Meanwhile, Abraham currently sits joint-top of the Golden Boot race having scored eight times this season.
However, those that are put off by the fact that 25% of Abraham’s league goals have come in front of his own supporters in 2019/20, might be looking at Callum Wilson (£7.9m).
The Bournemouth forward is currently on course for a runners-up medal in the latest captain poll, with 16.3% of you backing the £7.9m man.
His Gameweek 9 opponents Norwich have conceded 21 goals in their first eight matches back in the top flight, the highest of any side.
Meanwhile, Wilson himself has registered attacking returns in all but one Premier League outing of 2019/20.
At the Vitality Stadium, he has three goals and two assists in four appearances, making more attacking returns against a still injury-trouble Norwich outfit very likely indeed.
As already mentioned, the captain poll has been somewhat turned on its head for Gameweek 9.
While mid-price options dominate the top end of the scale, it’s the premium assets who are bringing up the rear as a result of their tricky fixtures.
Manchester City must travel to Selhurst Park this weekend, where Crystal Palace have conceded just one goal in four league matches there this season.
For that reason, just 6.3% of you believe that Raheem Sterling (£12.1m) is the best captain for Gameweek 9.
He was one of England’s star performers against Bulgaria on Monday night but does only have one league goal in his last five Premier League outings.
That is probably enough reason for only a select few managers to consider him for the captaincy this week.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) is facing a similar dilemma to Sterling, in that his Gameweek 9 fixture does look quite difficult.
Sheffield United have made both Chelsea and Liverpool work hard for results against them this season and have conceded one goal or fewer in three of their four at Bramall Lane in 2019/20.
Compared to Newcastle and Norwich’s defence, the Blades does seem more likely to frustrate a captain, even if Aubameyang has registered attacking returns in all but one match this season.
The case for Harry Kane (£10.9m) is perhaps the reverse of those at Manchester City or Arsenal.
The Tottenham forward has an incredibly favourable fixture, against a Watford side bottom of the league, winless and 20 goals conceded so far.
However, Kane and his colleagues have gone through a difficult period of form, losing 7-2 to Bayern Munich and then 3-0 at Brighton.
That said, the international break may help Mauricio Pochettino’s cause, while Kane himself has three goals and one assist in his last five Premier League matches.
He is currently backed by the same number of voters who are considering Sergio Aguero (£12.2m) for the captaincy.
Reportedly unhurt following a traffic collision this week, there probably remains some concerns about his strength of start.
Furthermore, the Argentinian’s accuracy has left a lot to be desired in recent matches, but he still has attacking returns in every round apart from Gameweek 8 in 2019/20.
Jamie Vardy (£9.0m) has the support of 4% ahead of a potentially tricky meeting with Burnley although he has goals in every match against sides who finished outside the top seven last season thus far.
3.6% of you are waiting on an update from Guardiola on Kevin de Bruyne‘s (£10.0m) fitness ahead of that visit to Crystal Palace.
The midfielder remains yellow-flagged in FPL and his presence, or lack of it, could prove an important factor in Manchester City’s next result.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Sadio Mané (£11.7m) are shockingly low in this week’s poll, on 1.9% and 2.1% respectively.
The Egyptian is without a goal since Gameweek 5, while Mané has no attacking returns away from home since Gameweek 4.
Manchester United, although in poor offensive form, might prove a challenge to Liverpool defensively considering the recent numbers they have been posting, as discussed on the Scoutcast.
Furthermore, the last time Jurgen Klopp took his side to Old Trafford in the Premier League, it ended as a 0-0 draw.
Son Heung-min (£9.8m), Mason Mount (£6.8m), Teemu Pukki (£7.1m), Richarlison (£7.9m), Josh King (£6.3m) and Raúl Jiménez (£7.1m) are the only other options backed by more than 1%.
Player statistics – Last four Gameweeks
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