Gameweek 30: Team Selection: Trust Kane with the Armband?

8:46pm Mar 6 2018

Follow the masses with Kane captain for Gameweek 30, or opt for an FPL differential?

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Goalkeeper

West Ham host Burnley this week, which sees our two goalkeepers face each other. Adrian provides a handy backup, in case Tom Heaton makes a surprise return to the starting lineup but on current form, Nick Pope is expected to keep his place.

West Ham have conceded 14 ‘big chances’ during the last 4 Gameweeks, which is more than any other team in the Premier League.

Burnley, however, have conceded just 5 ‘big chances’ in that time; only Man Utd (4), Spurs (3), Man City (2) and Brighton (2) have conceded fewer.

Defenders

With a home fixture in Gameweek 30, Craig Dawson comes back into the starting lineup, at the expense of Ben Mee. Although they haven’t conceded many goals, Burnley have now gone 8 games without a clean sheet, so a double up is fairly risky.

West Brom tightened things up last Gameweek, coming close to a clean sheet in their 1-0 defeat away to Watford, so hopefully they can build on that in front of their home fans.

Nicolas Otamendi and Virgil van Dijk keep their places for their respective away fixtures against Stoke and Man Utd.

Midfielders

Raheem Sterling has missed the last two league games with a hamstring problem but he could be available to play a part in the Champions League midweek, after returning to training.

His minutes in that game could help us decide how likely he is to start against Stoke on Monday night but ideally, we’ll be keeping hold of the Man City midfielder.

The plan is to save the free transfer and potentially make 3 changes next Gameweek, using a 4-point hit and that will mean fielding 11 players for Gameweek 31.

The rest of the midfield will be unchanged from last Gameweek, with Theo Walcott facing a home encounter with Brighton.

The Seagulls are in good form, having beaten Arsenal in Gameweek 29 and they’ve matched Man City’s 2 ‘big chances’ conceded over the last 4 Gameweeks; no team have conceded fewer in that time.

But Walcott was lively against Burnley last weekend, registering 3 ‘big chances’ during the game and so far for Everton, his 3 FPL involvements have all come on home turf.

Stoke host the league leaders in Gameweek 30 but if anyone can cause Man City trouble in that game, it’s the in-form Xherdan Shaqiri, who’s registered 3 goals during the last 4 Gameweeks.

He’s taken 4 of Stoke’s 10 shots on target over that period and his tally of 10 attempted assists can be beaten by only 5 Premier League players, including Hazard (11), Eriksen (12) and De Bruyne (16).

Forwards

Roberto Firmino and Harry Kane have each been directly involved in 4 goals over the last 4 Gameweeks but there are increasing question marks over Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, who’s failed to score in any of his last 4 matches.

With Gameweek 31 only a week away now, it makes sense to hold onto him, due to Bournemouth being one of only 8 teams with a fixture that Gameweek but it is an option to bench Wilson for Gameweek 30, in favour of Ben Mee, and move to a 4-4-2 formation.

That will depend largely on whether the Bournemouth forward looks likely to keep his starting place for the home meet with Spurs, so we’ll be looking out for any comments during Eddie Howe’s press conference that suggest Jermain Defoe may be ready to start.

Captaincy Thoughts

With so little between Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah in terms of form and underlying numbers, it has to be the Spurs man who gets the armband for Gameweek 30, given his more attractive fixture.

Despite Salah having scored more goals during the last 4 Gameweeks, Kane has taken more shots on target (10 to 7) and has been involved in more ‘big chances’ (8 to 6).

But the main concern with the Egypt international this week is Liverpool’s away fixture against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

Spurs, meanwhile, face a Bournemouth side that have conceded twice as many goals during the last 4 Gameweeks (8 to Man Utd’s 4) and they’ve conceded 12 ‘big chances’ compared with Man Utd’s 4 ‘big chances’ conceded.

So, Harry Kane takes the armband this week as he looks to reclaim his lead over Salah, in the race for the Golden Boot.

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