Fixtures

FPL 2023/24: Haaland perma-captain or rotate the armband?

The much-anticipated fixture list for the 2023/24 Premier League season was released on Thursday morning.

Fantasy Premier League (FPL) has yet to relaunch, of course, but Fantasy managers have inevitably already started making plans based on the newly available schedule.

And we’re no different, as here we take a look at the potential captaincy dilemmas that may present themselves in the first quarter of 2023/24.

HAALAND PERMA-CAPTAIN?

 1

Erling Haaland will dominate the captaincy discussion most weeks in 2023/24.

The Norwegian topped the Captain Poll on 24 separate occasions last season, with the majority of Fantasy managers only willing to deviate when he was either injured, Manchester City didn’t play at all or if others had a Double Gameweek.

Haaland, of course, blanked in just seven of his 33 Premier League starts in 2022/23, averaging 7.8 points per match overall. He also racked up 11 double-digit hauls, more than any other FPL player.

So, the first question we need to ask ourselves is do we even need two potential captains in our Gameweek 1 squads, given Haaland’s consistency? If the answer is no, it means funds can be spread around, allowing more depth and a stronger 15-man squad, which is appealing.

Further weight is added to that argument given Man City’s opening fixture run: the reigning champions are the only Premier League team who avoid a big-six side in the first seven Gameweeks.

Rotation shouldn’t be an issue, either. The Super Cup will be contested in between Gameweeks 1 and 2 but with Man City playing Burnley in the Friday night game on the opening weekend, there should be plenty of recovery time between matches. Meanwhile, the Champions League doesn’t start until after Gameweek 5.


However, last year’s FPL winner Ali Jahangirov (FPL Gunz) only captained Haaland in 19 of the 38 Gameweeks in 2022/23, with the rounds he bet against the Norwegian detailed below.

You’ll notice this was mostly in Man City away games, where Haaland’s points per start average drops (more on that later).

GameweekHaaland FPL points (fixture)Captain poll leader (FPL points)Ali’s captain (FPL points)
113 (whu)Salah (12)Salah (12)
36 (new)Salah (8)Kane (6)
417 (CRY)Salah (3)Jesus (1)
69 (avl)Haaland (9)Kane (9)
86 (wol)Haaland (6)Kane (10)
12BlankSalah (3)Salah (3)
14InjuredHaaland (0)Salah (7)
155 (FUL)De Bruyne (7)Salah (15)
192 (che)Mitrovic (5)Sterling (1)
222 (tot)Rashford (20)Rashford (20)
242 (nfo)Haaland (2)Rashford (15)
2510 (bou)Salah (11)Saka (15)
264 (NEW)Haaland (4)Saka (2)
276 (cry)Toney (13)Mitoma (12)
28BlankKane (6)Saka (18)
29InjuredRashford (12)Maddison (4)
32BlankSalah (7)Salah (7)
367 (eve)Isak (7)Wilson (24)
380 (bre, unused sub)Salah (5)Salah (5)

HAALAND + RASHFORD CAPTAINCY ROTATION?

If you did want to bet against Haaland in away fixtures at the start of 2023/24, Marcus Rashford is a strong captaincy alternative in the opening weeks.

The duo were the top-scoring players in home matches last season, racking up 161 and 143 points respectively. If you switch the armband between the pair, you’ll have a captain who plays at home each time.

All home matches 22/23All away matches 22/23
HaalandRashfordHaalandRashford
Points per start9.78.46.53.6
Goals2213144
Assists7522
Bonus points2419162
Blanks when starting24512
Non-penalty expected goal involvement (NPxGI) per 90 minutes1.000.760.720.37

The visit of Newcastle United in Gameweek 2 is the biggest immediate test for the Haaland perma-captaincy.

Man City did score two goals against last season’s joint-best Premier League defence at the Etihad Stadium in 2022/23, yet Mohamed Salah at home to Bournemouth is potentially the superior captain pick. The fact Pep Guardiola’s troops will have been in Super Cup action just a few days before adds further weight to that theory.

Then, in addition to Gameweek 8 (ars), there could be another opportunity to bet against Haaland captaincy in Gameweek 10 (mun), when Liverpool and Arsenal host Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United respectively. That could see Bukayo Saka and Mohamed Salah as the go-to options that week.

Betting against Haaland is a scary prospect given his consistency and effective ownership each week, and we wouldn’t advise doing it very often, but there should be opportunities to deviate next season, it’s just about picking the right moment.

NOTES

  • Fantasy managers could have a captain against a newly promoted club in five of the first six Gameweeks using just Man City, Spurs and Man Utd assets, with Gameweek 2 being the exception.
  • Nottingham Forest had the worst away record in the Premier League last season, claiming just eight points. Their first four opponents on the road are Arsenal (GW1), Man Utd (GW3), Chelsea (GW4) and Man City (GW6), for those wishing to target them.
  • Salah failed to score home or away against Chelsea, Bournemouth and Newcastle last season, Liverpool’s first three opponents of 2023/24. He did, however, claim three assists against the Magpies.

Let us know below what your own initial plans are for captaincy in the first few months.


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69 Comments Post a Comment
  1. The Mentaculus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 3 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Cheers Tom. Still feels a little early for me to get into serious planning mode but my first reaction is that I'd probably look for Haaland alternatives only for NEW & ars, especially given that the first 2 away games are against promoted sides

    1. avfc82
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 14 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Yeah, I think I'd agree with that. I'll probably look for alternatives when he plays NEW, ars and mun, that's all in the first 10 GWs.

  2. fusen
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    It seems a little bit dangerous/foolish to read too much into how the overall #1 achieved their points.

    The amount of luck involved in ending up #1 means that its most likely that each season's winner will haven gotten there via loads of different choices, scenarios. So the 'guidance' of what is best to do will just keep changing.

    1. avfc82
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 14 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Oh for sure, I'd imagine the majority of 50/50 calls he made went his way. I just wanted to illustrate which GWs he opted for a Haaland alternative.

      1. fusen
        • 12 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        I also don't mean to make it sound like I don't enjoy these types of articles, as I do find it interesting how exactly the top player gained their points.

        But using what you've shown, the majority of the weeks that Ali didn't choose Haaland the FFS captaincy pool also didn't choose Haaland.

        So people already realise there are weeks when it is entirely logical to go against Haaland. The difference the OR#1 had was the luck that when he went against him he choice hauling players.

        It's that last aspect that there isn't much to learn from, as it involves the luck needed to win the game

    2. RedLightning
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 13 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Maybe, but it does at least show that there are alternatives to simply making Haaland a perma-captain.
      The game isn't destroyed just because of one outstanding and heavily-owned player.

      1. fusen
        • 12 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        Absolutely, as I mentioned above, look at the table that shows the captain y poll picks. Lots of people already were choosing someone other than Haaland.

    3. Piggs Boson
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Yeah, captaincy is such a hard thing to nail. No one can predict who will score in a single GW or they'd be rich off the bookies.

      But this article really hammers home how big home games are. Need to give them more weight...

      1. Piggs Boson
        • 12 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        Arsenal, Brighton, Brentford, & Chelsea have 3 home games in their first 4 games... :eyes:

  3. sirmorbach
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Perma-captain for me. It is just so scary not to have him as captain and see he starts.

    1. Piggs Boson
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Would you even captain him against Arsenal away in GW8?

      Alternative captains often pay off.

      1. x.jim.x
        • 9 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        Arsenal haven’t beat City in the league since Wenger left, I wouldn’t worry about that.

      2. I Member
        • 8 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        City scored 7 goals in 2 games against Arsenal last season.

      3. Tomerick
        • 9 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        They have to outscore him to pay off though and he can score in any game meaning you’re hoping for more than one attacking return from a lesser player.

    2. TheBiffas
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Twice I went for differential captains and both times he scored a hat-trick, absolutely ruined me

  4. x.jim.x
    • 9 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    3 weeks til preseason and we (Yanited) currently have:

    - 0 strikers
    - 0 goalkeepers
    - 0 confirmation of new owners
    - 0 news about Greenwood (bin please)

    Such a well-ran club.

    1. Bobby Digital
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Greenwood should be given a chance imo. Could be a good backup for Antony on the right wing.

      1. DBW - Slug's Mortgage …
        • 3 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        On what basis should he be given another chance?

        Have you seen what he did?

        1. Bobby Digital
          • 6 Years
          1 year, 27 days ago

          Charges were dropped afaik

          1. TheBiffas
            • 3 Years
            1 year, 27 days ago

            Everyone knows he did it. Do u want a guy like that in and around the squad?

            1. Tomerick
              • 9 Years
              1 year, 27 days ago

              Bobby knows he did it he just either doesn’t care or thinks that kind of behaviour is acceptable.

      2. Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        How about Utd play whichever one of them isn't in jail for violence against women.

        https://metro.co.uk/2023/06/06/man-utd-winger-antony-accused-of-domestic-violence-by-22-year-old-woman-18906357/

        1. Tomerick
          • 9 Years
          1 year, 27 days ago

          Another one! Jeez!

      3. x.jim.x
        • 9 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        So many things, both footballing and morally, wrong with this comment I don’t know where to start.

        1. Bobby Digital
          • 6 Years
          1 year, 27 days ago

          So what are you guys implying? That the witnesses were paid off?

          1. Dunster
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 year, 27 days ago

            The police officially confirmed that the charges were dropped because the key witness withdrew their testimony.

            So work out why that might have mean.

            1. Bobby Digital
              • 6 Years
              1 year, 27 days ago

              I'll get the tin foil...

              1. Dunster
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 year, 27 days ago

                It’s not a conspiracy theory - that’s what they said.

                It’s also not a massive leap of logic to imagine how a millionaire young man might persuade a relatively poor girl to withdrew her testimony.

                It’s hardly faking the moon landing is it.

                1. Bobby Digital
                  • 6 Years
                  1 year, 27 days ago

                  Works the other way too... A relatively poor girl might want to make money off a millionaire young man.

                  1. Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 3 Years
                    1 year, 27 days ago

                    This is going to define you on this forum, I'm afraid.

                  2. Dunster
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 3 Years
                    1 year, 27 days ago

                    Fair enough. I’m not a United fan as it goes. Many in my family are though - and to a person they all think the guy is scum and should never play football again. I guess people have different standards.

                  3. x.jim.x
                    • 9 Years
                    1 year, 27 days ago

                    She must be class at makeup, voice editing, PR, etc

                2. Piggs Boson
                  • 12 Years
                  1 year, 27 days ago

                  They have got married and had a kid together since then, so I doubt she was paid off.

                  But still we all heard the recording. I don't want him back personally.

              2. Tomerick
                • 9 Years
                1 year, 27 days ago

                Regardless of the motivation for dropping the charges, the UK have the Crown Prosecution Service who look at all available evidence to ensure that there is a good chance of a conviction before a charge is made. They would not have charged him if they did not think he would be found guilty in court based on the evidence which is itself a very high bar to pass in the UK. The only reason the charges were dropped was due to the witnesses withdrawing testimony.

          2. Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 year, 27 days ago

            The witness was not paid off.
            The witness dropped the accusation because she is having a child now with Greenwood.
            Having a child with their victim is part of the abuser's playbook, as a means of coercion. It's something that they can use against them.

            Educate yourself.

          3. TheBiffas
            • 3 Years
            1 year, 27 days ago

            You don't understand how the legal system works do you

      4. Pumpkinhead - I'm ITK …
        • 15 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        Why would you think that let alone say it. What the hell is wrong with you ?

    2. Sure You Did
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Man U are a joke and have been for a long time. They are completely insignificant now.

    3. Eze Really?
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Most replies in the last few weeks.

  5. nerd_is_the_werd
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Joe Root, England's greatest ever batsman?
    I would say so.... 🙂

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Been a good day's cricket at Edgbaston.

    2. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      For as long as I've watched cricket (since mid/late 90s), yeah absolutely. Great to see Bairstow back too

  6. Ser Davos
    • 9 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Hi folks, how do I get the FPL Season Review? I've amended my email settings...

    1. dunas_dog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Same here and wondering how to get also

  7. I Member
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Fernandes/Rashford (c) home to Wolves in the Monday night game looks juicy but it'll take a lot of courage to go against Haaland in GW1.

    1. x.jim.x
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      We’ve only scored 8 league goals against Wolves since 2020

  8. nerd_is_the_werd
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    393-8 a bit early to declare?
    Definitely think England should've continued up to at least 450, particularly with 4 days left to play.

    1. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Not sure they'd reach 450 with Robinson/Anderson. It might be less than a par score but I like it - my take on it is they need to create pressure somehow with the ball not doing much so give them an uncomfortable mini session

  9. Wrong Captain Choice - Ag i…
    • 15 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Interesting I looked at my captains -

    20 - Haaland
    7 - Salah
    3 - Rashford
    1 each for -
    Trossard, Trippier, Toney, Chilwell, Kane, Jesus, Shaw

    --
    So obviously I don't believe in this 'perma captain' guff. Go where you think the points are - simple.

    I actually didn't do badly in my captain choices at all, it was selection decision that was my main problem. I can't think of a username for that though.

  10. Eze Really?
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Choices for the new season are not that straight forward for me.
    Haaland and Rashford's EO will be very high for obvious reasons but TBH I was not impressed with either in the latter part of the season. I fear EO will affect my judgement and it is a reason I hate the information.
    Does anyone dare to make alternatives, even though fixtures surely point Man Citeh's way?

    1. I Member
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      If Rashford and Fernandes are the same price, which I think they should be, I'll go for Bruno as a differential. Underperformed his xGI last season while Rashford overperformed.

    2. sirmorbach
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      You are not considering a team without Haaland, surely?

      1. Eze Really?
        • 10 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        No I am not. I don't have the confidence in points I had the same as last year and EO is affecting my decision as much as anything.

  11. Piggs Boson
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Experimental lineup by Southgate. Curious to see how Trent does in midfield.

    England XI: Pickford; Trippier, Guehi, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Henderson, Alexander-Arnold; Saka, Kane, Maddison.

    Subs: Walker, Ramsdale, Stones, Phillips, Grealish, Mings, Rashford, Gallagher, Foden, Eze, Johnstone, Wilson

    City boys rested is no surprise, but Maddison being preferred over Rashford is. Makes sense for Malta though, not really a Rashford kind of game.

    1. Sure You Did
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Rashford is average at best.

  12. Piggs Boson
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Cracker from Trent. Love him in midfield.

    1. I'm out of name ideas
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Totes.

    2. The Senate
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      I think Liverpool need to sign a right back really to free him up

      1. Piggs Boson
        • 12 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        Yeah, need their own Kyle Walker. The modern game moving back to defensive/inverted fullbacks.

    3. Piggs Boson
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      6pt goal

      Been getting in those positions just outside the box a lot for Liverpool recently too. High on my list for GW1...

  13. Paqueta Rice
    • 3 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Bazuna is a great keeper

  14. Tasty Jerk
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Yes, Eze on 🙂

  15. KAPO KANE
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    I’m going to win it next season.

    That is all.

    1. Dunster
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 27 days ago

      Good luck. On the basis the FPL season starts when the fixtures get released and we all start plotting, I’m gonna win it this season.

      1. KAPO KANE
        • 7 Years
        1 year, 27 days ago

        Thing is I’m not even planning to, it’s a premonition, destiny

  16. KAPO KANE
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 27 days ago

    Favourite personal fpl moment?

    Mine has to be Kane & Son vs Southampton other season with the 9 goal involvements.
    I think most unusual moment was when Pereira got 2 goals and 2 assists for me vs Chelsea away!