Liverpool and Manchester City options are the key figures in the Gameweek 5 captaincy debate.
It’s a familiar story for Fantasy Premier League managers as the first international break of the season comes to an end.
There are favourable fixtures for both of last year’s top two sides, meaning that we must dig right down into the statistics to work out who the best captain option is.
In this latest Captain Sensible article, we will assess the results of the poll, assess the form of the key candidates and compare them against the defensive performances of their upcoming opponents.
As this uses data from the Fantasy Football Scout Members Area only those who have signed up for 2019/20 will have full access.
After a relatively promising start to the campaign, Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) tops the captain poll ahead of Gameweek 5 when Newcastle will visit Anfield.
As of Thursday morning, the Egyptian has the support of 34.5% in the vote, 11% more than any other option.
Salah has been particularly impressive at home so far this season, scoring 12 points against Norwich on opening night before netting a brace for 15 points in a Gameweek 3 meeting with Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Newcastle have conceded three times in away matches so far.
The current poll runner-up is Raheem Sterling (£12.3m) with the support of 23.5% of our voters.
That makes him the most popular Manchester City man for the captaincy ahead of a hugely appealing trip to Norwich on Saturday evening.
Despite a surprising blank at home to Brighton in Gameweek 4, Sterling remains the second-highest FPL scorer so far this season.
His 37 points have come from five goals, two clean sheets and four bonus and, as things stand, he is behind only Sergio Aguero (£12.1m) in the race for the Premier League golden boot (five goals).
Despite the Argentinian’s current goal-tally (six), having netted in every match so far, just 14.8% are considering him for the captaincy in Gameweek 5.
However, deciding between Aguero and Sterling this weekend could prove to be much of a muchness when you consider Norwich’s defence.
The Canaries have conceded more goals than any other side so far this season (10) and have a number of personnel problems in key areas with a handful of defenders and defensive midfielders out injured.
It is no surprise then, that Kevin de Bruyne (£9.8m) is also in the picture as the most popular of the differential options.
Just 4.3% voted for the Belgian in the poll but that small number may be on to something here.
De Bruyne has firmly re-established himself in the Manchester City team following a torturous 2018/19 campaign and has been in excellent form thus far.
He assisted in each of the first four matches and scored against Brighton to boot averaging nine points per game over that period. Against a ragtag Norwich defence, that trend could easily continue.
Pushing his way back into the differential thinking is Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.1m) who was backed by 3.9% for the Gameweek 5 armband.
Newcastle have not been particularly ruthless in front of goal this season, scoring three goals in four matches, while Liverpool showed signs against Burnley that they had solved some of their defensive problems from earlier in the campaign.
Fantasy managers will fancy Alexander-Arnold for a clean sheet this weekend then, while the right-back has been the most creative of his defensive colleagues, registering three assists so far.
Sadio Mané (£11.5m) is also considered among the left-field options, garnering 3.4% support in the Gameweek 5 captain poll, although he is yet to record any attacking returns at home this season.
Despite underwhelming in his last two outings, Harry Kane (£12.5m) is still in the picture to some extent, with 3% backing him for the armband ahead of Crystal Palace’s short trip to north London.
Sébastien Haller (£7.5m) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) are the only other options with more than 1% support.
Player statistics – Last four Gameweeks
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