The moment Southampton conceded nine goals to Leicester last Friday, Manchester City players were locked in as Gameweek 11 captains.
Not surprisingly, their headline attackers have dominated the discussion for the armband ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.
However, there still remains some debate over which of them to trust with the captaincy, which is what we’re here to analyse in the latest Captain Sensible article.
As this piece 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.
Raheem Sterling (£12.1m) has taken the Gameweek 11 captain poll by storm ahead of that meeting with the Saints.
41.9% of our voters have handed their backing to the England international, almost certainly influenced by his night-off from midweek EFL Cup action.
Sterling was not in the matchday squad as a large number of his colleagues were tasked with pariticipating in a dry-run of Saturday afternoon’s Etihad Stadium clash.
Prior to Gameweek 10, Sterling had just one league goal between Gameweeks 4 and 9 but in his last five matches in all competitions for club and country he has rediscovered the golden touch.
Since England’s 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic on October 11, Sterling has scored six times.
As already mentioned, the main thing hanging over Sterling had been how secure his place in the starting eleven, but that has all been cleared up after Tuesday night.
Also getting the night off in the EFL Cup, admittedly still on the bench, was Kevin de Bruyne (£10.2m).
He currently sits in a distant second place on the captain poll with 15.9% backing from the voters.
Those supporting the Belgian may be influenced by his reliable rate of returns in 2019/20, especially at home.
Not only does de Bruyne have more double-figures than Sterling this season (three to two), he is yet to blank at the Etihad Stadium.
In four starts there, he has scored a total of 47 points, from two goals and six assists, averaging at 11.8 points per game. That may be hard to turn down for his owners this weekend.
Sergio Aguero (£12.1m) completes the trio of Manchester City options art the top end of the captain poll this week.
9.9% of voters are doubling-down on the Argentinian after his disappointing one-point cameo against Aston Villa last time out.
There is certainly enough evidence to suggest that Aguero will be back in the side to face Southampton though. He has had plenty of rest in Gameweeks 9 and 10 while Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) has started both of those matches, also registering 88 minutes midweek too.
While Pep Guardiola’s rotation policy is not an exact science, there are some signs pointing towards a benching for the Brazilian this weekend, allowing Aguero to come in after already scoring twice against Southampton this week.
Mohamed Salah (£12.4m), Sadio Mané (£11.9m) and Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) head up the best of the rest on 3.6%, 3.5% and 3.4% backing respectively.
While Liverpool won’t be treated to a meeting with Southampton’s atrocious defence, they are still facing a relatively obliging one at Aston Villa.
In all their clashes with top-six sides this season, the Villans have conceded three times.
However, Salah does remain goalless away from home this season, contributing just two assists in five road trips thus far.
Meanwhile, Mané has been the slightly more reliable option outside of Anfield, with a goal and two assists so far. That said, the Senegalese international is yet to register a single Premier League attacking return away from home since Gameweek 4, blanking at Chelsea, Sheffield United and Manchester United since.
However, with both Salah and Mané, it must be said that Villa’s defence is unlikely to present as much of a test of those last three opponents on the road.
Jamie Vardy’s (£9.3m) Gameweek 10 hat-trick at Southampton has kept him in the captaincy debate for this weekend but not in a particularly big way.
Not surprisingly, most Fantasy managers have assessed an away trip to Crystal Palace to be a much harder challenge than Southampton.
That’s because before hosting Manchester City in their last home match, the Eagles had conceded just once in four Premier League matches at Selhurst Park this season. Even when Guardiola’s men did turn up, Palace still managed to make them work very hard for a 2-0 win.
Therefore, Vardy has been backed by just 3.4% for the captaincy this time around.
Anthony Martial (£7.6m), Mason Mount (£6.9m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m), Callum Wilson (£8.0m), Marcus Rashford (£8.4m), Tammy Abraham (£7.8m) and Harry Kane (£10.8m) are the only other options above 1% support in the poll.
Player statistics – Last four matches
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