The Fantasy Premier League (FPL) captaincy debate for Gameweek 19 has been completely turned on its head by the postponement of Liverpool v Leeds United.
As a result, Manchester United and Manchester City assets have been thrust into the spotlight, but there are other options on the radar too, including Tottenham Hotspur duo Son Heung-min (£10.3m) and Harry Kane (£12.1m).
First, we will assess the fallout of the Gameweek 19 captain poll, before then analysing the best options, Rate My Team (RMT) and the Premier Fantasy Tools ratings ahead of Sunday’s 13:30 GMT deadline.
THE CAPTAIN POLL
For the first time since Gameweek 7, Mohamed Salah (£13.1m) isn’t top of the captain poll, having seen his Anfield clash against Leeds United called off due to a coronavirus outbreak in the visitors’ squad. Up until that point, the Egyptian had unsurprisingly been out in front with just over 71% of total votes.
Now, with the poll reset shortly after news broke, we have a new leader in Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m), who has accumulated 33.22% of votes from our users at the time of writing.
Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo (£6.8m) currently sits in second place, backed by 21.62% of users ahead of his Etihad encounter against Leicester City.
Son Heung-min occupies third place with 17.18%, followed by Phil Foden (£8.1m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£8.4m), with 6.36% and 4.62% respectively.
Manchester United have seen their last two Premier League games against Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion postponed, due to a spate of coronavirus cases among players and staff. However, Cristiano Ronaldo has since led his team-mates back into training after their Carrington base re-opened, with manager Ralf Rangnick declaring “they are all in good shape” in Thursday’s pre-match press conference.
Due to those Covid-related match postponements, we have only seen the German tactician in the dugout three times, though the Red Devils have won both of their Premier League matches against Crystal Palace and Norwich City. During that time, Ronaldo has failed to score from open play, but his underlying numbers are more encouraging, having racked up 1.09 non-penalty expected goals (non-pen xG).
Cristiano Ronaldo’s xG shot map under Ralf Rangnick
However, the real appeal lies in Monday’s opponents, Newcastle United. The Magpies’ 4-0 defeat against Manchester City in Gameweek 18 leaves them second-bottom of the table, with just one win and 10 points from 18 games, primarily because of their defence. Eddie Howe’s side have now conceded 41 goals in 2021/22, at an average of 2.3 per game, and a whopping 79 for the calendar year. It’s also worth noting that Ronaldo has scored seven goals in his last four league appearances against Newcastle, including a brace on his return to Man Utd in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
NEWCASTLE UNITED’S DEFENSIVE RECORD (HOME) 2021/22:
|1||West Ham United||4||3.04|
HOW HAS CAPTAIN SENSIBLE PERFORMED SO FAR THIS SEASON?
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