Fantasy Premier League managers face arguably the hardest captaincy decision of 2019/20 as they prepare for Gameweek 32+.
Manchester City and Liverpool’s Etihad Stadium clash removes their usually reliable premium players from the conversation while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s (£11.0m) heads into a meeting with Norwich devoid of irresistible form.
However, wide-open weeks like this one are exciting for Fantasy managers looking for a bold differential option that can fire them up the rankings. The lack of a clear and obvious standout candidate means avoiding the wisdom of the crowd comes with fewer risks than usual.
In order to help you pick the best asset for your team, we have analysed the form of each option before comparing them against the defences they are about to face.
Raúl Jiménez (£8.3m) is the favourite for the Gameweek 32+ according to the Fantasy Football Scout readership. The Mexican has accrued 27.5% of the vote ahead of his meeting with Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
The Wolves man has been the model of consistency recently, scoring in four of his last five matches, securing bonus points in three of those. Meanwhile, despite recent defensive improvements, Villa have kept just one clean sheet in their last 12 Premier League matches.
This is the Gameweek that Aubameyang holders have been waiting for, when he faces the Norwich defence that has conceded 56 goals this season, the second-highest. Like Villa, the Canaries have tightened up a little bit recently, with three clean sheets since Gameweek 23, but have conceded at least twice on three occasions since then.
Aubameyang may not be exhibiting world-beating form, with no goals in his last four games, but 17.3% of our voters believe he can be trusted after two rather unfortunate blanks. Against Brighton he had a handful of chances, and, were it not for Jack Stephens’ (£4.4m) red-card inducing foul, might have netted against Southampton too.
A trio of Manchester United players complete the poll’s top five, Marcus Rashford (£9.0m) edging out his colleagues. The FPL forward has convinced 9.1% of the readers to lend him their vote for Gameweek 32+. That is not surprising, as he has recorded 13 attacking returns in as many Premier League appearances since Gameweek 12.
Bruno Fernandes’ (£8.7m) Gameweek 31+ blank means nothing to the 8.9% who have backed him to follow that up with an attacking return against Brighton. After all, he was a little unfortunate not to get an assist for Harry Maguire’s (£5.3m) headed goal at Old Trafford, ruled out for a slight nudge on Phil Jagielka (£4.1m). It is also true that Fernandes has been involved in six of the 12 goals scored since his Gameweek 25 debut, more than any colleague.
The hat-trick for Anthony Martial (£8.1m) has not done as much for him in the Gameweek 32+ captaincy poll as was expected. That 21-point haul recorded against Sheffield United has convinced 8.7% to lend him their backing for the trip to Brighton.
The goal-shy nature of Aston Villa’s play since the Premier League returned has convinced 5.7% of our voters to put forward Matt Doherty (£6.4m) as the best captain option. As a defender he would benefit richly from another Wolves clean sheet, while the right-back has four attacking returns in the last five Gameweeks. However, with the turnaround for Wolves proving tighter than most other teams, could Nuno Espirito Santo rest Doherty to give Adama Traoré (£5.8m) the right wing-back berth, as he has been known to do in the past.
Mohamed Salah’s (£12.7m) tricky Gameweek 32+ fixture, which takes him to the Etihad Stadium, is enough to put off most voters this time around. Only 3.8% are backing the Egyptian against Manchester City, perhaps unsurprising considering Jurgen Klopp said in his Friday press conference that the remaining matches would feature “a lot” of changes to his team.
Son Heung-min (£9.7m), Kevin De Bruyne (£10.7m), Harry Kane (£10.9m), Christian Pulisic (£6.9m), Traoré, Eddie Nketiah (£4.4m) and Sadio Mané (£12.5m) are the only other options backed by more than 1%.
Player statistics – Last four matches
FPL Lessons Learned from Gameweek 31+
- Leicester City 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 West Ham United
- Manchester United 3-0 Sheffield United
- Newcastle United 1-1 Aston Villa
- Norwich City 0-1 Everton
- Wolves 1-0 Bournemouth
- Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace
- Burnley 1-0 Watford
- Southampton 0-2 Arsenal
- Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City
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