Liverpool and Leicester assets are at the centre of an intriguing captaincy debate for Blank Gameweek 28.
With Manchester City out of the picture thanks to the EFL Cup final, we have fewer options to draw on – but that does not make picking a skipper any easier.
As the Friday night deadline hurtles closer, we have executed a deep-dive into the Opta data to help you chose the best captain for Blank Gameweek 28.
As this article uses data from the Fantasy Football Scout Members Area, only those signed up for the 2019/20 season, the half-season package or a monthly membership can access it in full.
After scoring in Monday night’s 3-2 win over West Ham, Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) tops the Blank Gameweek 28 captain poll by a considerable margin.
The Egyptian faces a Watford side that has lost the momentum of Nigel Pearson’s December appointment, conceding at least twice in three of their last four matches.
Returning to the scene of his first-ever Premier League goal for Liverpool, Salah has scored four times since Double Gameweek 24, more than any of his colleagues. That has led to 42.1% of voters lending him their support for the Blank Gameweek 28 captaincy.
However, Salah has struggled for goals on the road in 2019/20, netting just twice in league games outside of Anfield. In fact, Salah is still yet to score in an away match that Sadio Mané (£12.3m) has started this season.
The Senegalese international has scored in back-to-back games since returning from his Double Gameweek 24 injury and has a total of five goals away from home this year, compared to Salah’s two. Involved in three assists in such matches, admittedly fewer than the Egyptian’s five, Mané still has more goal involvements on the road than his colleague on the other flank of the attack (eight to seven).
Despite that, the former Southampton attacker is a long way off the top of the captain poll, with just 12.1% of our voters selecting him as the best option for the armband this weekend.
Ahead of him is Jamie Vardy (£9.7m), who, despite not scoring a Premier League goal since Gameweek 18, when Leicester were beaten 3-1 at Manchester City, has attracted the backing of 20.2% of the voters.
The Foxes face a Norwich side that, despite recent improvements at the back, were well-beaten by Wolves in Gameweek 27, conceding three times at Molineux.
Daniel Farke’s men remain in one of the worst sides defensive at home so far, averaging two goals conceded per match at Carrow Road after 13 outings there. That’s the second-worst in the Premier League.
The question is whether an out-of-form Vardy can capitalise on that this weekend. Interestingly, only 1.9% have leant their support to his team-mate Harvey Barnes (£6.0m), who has outscored the forward by 33 points to 14 from Gameweek 19 onwards.
That is good enough for fifth-place in the poll, just behind Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.7m) on 7.6%. The Liverpool right-back has not blanked in a game he has started since Gameweek 13, still on a remarkable run of reliability.
He did not even need a clean sheet to get two assists, maximum bonus and 10 points against West Ham, suggesting there could be more to come against Watford.
Despite his Gameweek 27 blank against Aston Villa, Danny Ings (£7.1m) has been backed by 1.6% of our voters as Southampton prepare to face West Ham. Meanwhile, his colleague Shane Long (£4.6m), who outperformed and outscored Ings last weekend, was chosen by 0.2%.
Roberto Firmino (£9.7m) comes into Blank Gameweek 28 with more away goals than any other Liverpool player this season but only 1.6% of the voters believe he is worth captaining against Watford.
James Maddison (£7.4m) and Ayoze Pérez (£6.2m) are the other alternatives in the Leicester attack for the trip to Norwich, pulling in 1.5% and 1.3% support respectively.
Teemu Pukki (£6.5m) and Bruno Fernandes (£8.2m) are the only other options backed by more 1%.
Player statistics – Last four matches
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