FPL Captaincy Trends - Gameweek 18

9:13pm Dec 21 2016

Will Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic deliver you the perfect belated Christmas present on Boxing Day?

Ho-Ho-Ho, Merry Christmas to all of our loyal readers and welcome to the 18th edition of our weekly Captain Trends piece, brought to you in association with our friends over at FPLTips.

With Man City’s Sergio Aguero and Chelsea’s in-form striker Diego Costa both unavailable for Gameweek 18 through suspension (they’re on Santa’s naughty list), the doors have been thrown wide open for alternate captaincy picks for the festive fixture list.

Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, at the time of publishing this article, has been transferred in by over 300,000 FPL bosses ahead of Gameweek. Scoring 3 goals, 1 assist and 5 FPL bonus points in his last two gameweeks, it’s clear to see why the Big Swede’s price is sky-rocketing – now £11.4m.

This weeks top 5 captain picks, as chosen by you, our fantastic audience, might come as a surprise to some of you, but the numbers don’t lie/ So, without further ado, here are this weeks most popular captaincy picks for Gameweek 18.

As always, we invite you to read the article and then check out the YouTube video below for all the stats and glossy graphics, which help support this weeks four picks.

Be sure to subscribe to the FPLTips YouTube channel for even more Fantasy Premier tips, news and views, each and every Gameweek.

5. Kevin De Bruyne – Man City (hul)

With around 2% of the vote, Kevin De Bruyne finds himself in 5th place in the Gameweek 18 Captains Poll as Man City travel to face a Hull side that remain bottom of the league table. Hull have conceded 8 goals during the last 4 Gameweeks; only Bournemouth and Swansea have conceded more.

Last Gameweek, we saw Pep Guardiola’s side line up without a recognised striker, creating a more fluid attack. Kevin De Bruyne certainly benefited from the extra space and freedom; he put in a man of the match performance and provided an assist.

4. Sadio Mané – Liverpool (STK)

Sadio Mané has received around 3% of the vote, placing him in 4th place in the poll. Liverpool host a Stoke side that gave up a 2-0 lead against Leicester last weekend and have now failed to win any of their last 3 games.

They’ve conceded 5 goals during that period; only Bournemouth (6), Crystal Palace (6), Swansea (6) and Hull (7) have conceded more.

The Liverpool attacker provided a late winner against Everton last Gameweek, to seal the 3 points for his side. Mané has now returned 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 4 games, from 3 shots on target and 10 attempted assists.

3. Eden Hazard – Chelsea (BOU)

In 3rd place, with around 11% of the vote, it’s Eden Hazard, as Chelsea host Bournemouth. The defeat to Southampton last weekend means Bournemouth have now lost 3 of their last 5 games. They’ve conceded 12 goals during that period; only Swansea have conceded more.

Eden Hazard hasn’t been at his best during his last 3 games; he’s taken just 1 shot on target and produced just 3 attempted assists. However, with Diego Costa ruled out through suspension, the Belgian midfielder will surely need to up his game this weekend.

2. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal (WBA)

With around 20% of the vote, Alexis Sanchez is in 2nd place, ahead of Arsenal’s home fixture against West Brom. The Baggies are having a good season, and are scoring a good amount of goals.

However, they’ve kept just 3 clean sheets this season, which is a huge decline from the 26 clean sheets they managed to keep over the previous 2 Premier League seasons.

In the last 4 Gameweeks, Alexis Sanchez has returned 4 goals and 3 assists, from 5 shots on target and 14 attempted assists. Only De Bruyne (15), Eriksen (15) and Payet (16) have produced more attempted assists in the same period.

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Man Utd (SUN)

Leading the captaincy poll, with a huge 54% of the vote, is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Man Utd host a Sunderland side that sit 18th in the league table, after losing 3 of their last 5 games. They’ve conceded 7 goals during the last 5 Gameweeks, but 5 of those have come during 2 away games.

The Man Utd forward has returned to form recently, scoring 7 goals in his last 6 Premier League games.

In the last 5 Gameweeks, Ibrahimovic has taken 11 shots from inside the area; only Salomon Rondon (12) and Theo Walcott (14) have taken more. The Swede has also produced 9 attempted assists during that period, and only Harry Kane (11) has managed more amongst strikers.

If you haven’t already read on Twitter, we have teamed up with our good friends at Footie Survivor once again to bring you a FREE TO PLAY weekly survival game, with a copy of FIFA 17 for PS4 or Xbox going to the winner.

It’s completely free to play – simply click the Football Survivor banner below and register a username, email address and then pick which Premier League team YOU think will win each week, starting 26th December for Gameweek 18.

It’s quick and easy to play and great fun so please spare yourself 30 seconds to register, pick a club and help us get over 1000 users in our league by Boxing Day.

Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips: Captaincy Trends – Gameweek 18’ which was written and produced by @_FPLTips

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