FPL Captain Picks and Tips - Gameweek 4
Posted by FFPundits
11:17am Aug 30 2018
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has fired eight goals past Newcastle in consecutive games at the Etihad – nailed-on Gameweek 4 captain?
On Saturday we entered the FPL Upside Down. There were more red cards than clean sheets including our dear, dear (and now dead to us) Richarlison, Josh King trolled the near 120,000 players who sold him prior to GW3 and Man City’s attacking arsenal scored diddly-squat at Wolves. But as expected, Huddersfield and Cardiff of course finished 0-0.
At least last week’s Captain Obvious delivered for the third successive week. Mohamed Salah’s solitary strike for Liverpool against Brighton – yet somehow not enough to merit him a single, lousy bonus point.
He provided almost tangible relief to FPL players whose Saturday afternoons had been worse than that of David Coote, the fourth official who had to endure Mark Hughes berating him that Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg actually “did get a clip” before he dived.
Elsewhere, Eden Hazard was the only other tip from last week to return attacking points. Benjamin Mendy claimed two morale-boosting bonus points following City’s draw. But Sadio Mane and Sergio Aguero (unlucky to have hit the woodwork twice) were left wanting.
This week, there’s only one captain choice for me. We all know that Aguero has a particular penchant for scoring against Newcastle, so let’s make the very easy case for why he Kun do it again.
Sergio Aguero vs. Newcastle (H)
Pros for captaining:
> Scored 8 goals in last 2 home games against Newcastle
> City scored in 44 of last 46 league matches
> A very, very outside chance that Pep could be Pep
It’s finally here – that joyous fixture in the Premier League calendar when Newcastle travel to the Etihad, and Aguero is fit and in form.
Aguero has fired eight goals past Newcastle in consecutive games at the Etihad. In total, he’s put 14 past them in 11 top-flight matches. The Magpie Murderer is the clear favourite for the armband, even after an underwhelming Man City performance against Wolves.
If City’s 6-1 decimation of Huddersfield is anything to go by, Newcastle – who’ve already been defeated by City’s title rivals Tottenham and Chelsea this season – will face a 90-minute ‘Defence vs. Attack’ drill, and despite Rafa Benitez’s tactical discipline they will most likely succumb to the champions. City have scored in 44 of their last 46 league matches.
If you’re captaining anyone else this week, I can only assume you are logging out of life on Saturday morning and returning some time on Sunday night.
Eden Hazard vs. Bournemouth (H)
Pros for captaining:
> Back on penalties
> Scored 5 goals in 6 league games vs. Bournemouth
> Bournemouth unbeaten this season; won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge last season
Back in the Chelsea team and back on penalties, is it time to once again commit to the Hazard ahead? Sorry.
Despite playing just 133 minutes, Hazard is one of only four players to provide attacking returns in all three GWs so far (the other three being Salah, Alonso and Wilson).
This fixture isn’t a “gimme” by any means though. Bournemouth have made a great start, taking seven points from three, and they won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge last season. However, Hazard’s record against Bournemouth is splendid: five goals in six.
It’ll be a problematic game for the Blues, but Chelsea’s attacking prowess is illustrated by eight goals in three, and Hazard is now most likely a permanent fixture once again having replaced Willian against Newcastle.
Marcos Alonso vs. Bournemouth (H)
Pros for captaining:
> Scored 1 goal and 4 assists from 3 games
> Playing as inverted wing-back even in 4-4-2
> Current highest-scoring player in FPL
> Clean sheet risk: Bournemouth have scored 6 goals in 3 games
If your defence doesn’t contain at least one (or ideally all) of Marcos Alonso, Mendy and Andy Robertson, stubbornness is futile. All three are now essential. And all three are viable captaincy options for GW4.
But Alonso gets the nod of the three for a couple of reasons. While Mendy’s delivery is outstanding, and Robertson is consistently busting a proverbial gut to get to the by-line, Alonso’s runs are primarily directed into the penalty area: it’s the reason he’s won two penalties so far.
Alonso has contributed to 25 goals (under FPL format) since his Chelsea debut, more than any other defender. And against an Adam Smith-less Bournemouth, his presence down the left will be significant.
Alonso’s clean sheet points are under threat; Bournemouth have scored six in three. But the Spaniard’s point-scoring form is irresistible, and captaining Alonso could be fruitful as his ownership (33% currently) continues to rise.
Mo Salah vs. Leicester (A)
Pros for captaining:
> No player has had more shots (16)
> Involved in 4 of Liverpool’s 7 league goals
> Only 2 players have missed more “big chances” (3)
Last week’s Captain Obvious got off to a flyer with his second goal of the season. 23 minutes in, perfect. Here we go. And that was it.
Not only did Liverpool trade flair for firmness in the second half, but Salah’s prospective three bonus points became a reality of zero after recalculations.
It’s a gripe we’ve all had over the years, it’s a gripe that’s not new, but it’s a gripe that still stings – and seriously calls into question not just how a player scoring a solitary, winning goal receives nowt, but why Official FPL’s Twitter continues to troll players by announcing bonus points “as they stand”.
Missing two good, late chances against Brighton was likely the cause. And these were chances Salah predominantly buried last season. Only two players (Jesus, Wilson) have missed more “big chances” this season than Salah (3), while the Egyptian has had 16 shots but managed just two goals.
These are the negatives, but there are positives for sure. The fact is that Salah did score the winner against Brighton, and he’s been involved in four of Liverpool’s seven goals so far.
With Aguero the standout captaincy favourite, there could still be value in the captaining the most-owned player in FPL on the off-chance that Aguero blanks.
Salah scored in this fixture last season, plus two more at home against the Foxes. Moreover, the Reds are flying, not conceding a goal and making their best start since 2012/13. Salah’s a differential captain option, but still a potentially excellent one.
Harry Kane vs. Watford (A)
Pros for captaining:
> Take that, curse
> 2 goals and 2 assists in last 3 at Vicarage Road
> Watford in top form, winning 3 straight, conceded just 2
Two goals and an assist this August and Kane is back in our favours once again. This despite still looking like he’s still missing a yard of pace dating back to last season; it’s a testament to his football intelligence and technical ability that his performances have remained at such a high level (see THAT header at Old Trafford).
Kane’s record at Vicarage Road is enticing too: two goals and two assists in his last three.
However, along with Spurs, Watford have made a 100% start to the season, and the Hornets have so far buzzed their opponents into submission with a defensive and attacking efficiency that may restrict just how many chances Kane is afforded. Only Cardiff (63) and Brighton (65) have made more tackles than Watford (62).
Watford though have never beaten Tottenham in 10 Premier League games, and Spurs’ tails will be up following their impressive 3-0 win at Man United. Even if Kane’s chances are limited, I’d back him to convert the chances he’s given.
Last week’s captain points: 16
Average captain score: 24
Total captain points: 72
This week’s Captain Obvious: Sergio Aguero
A more obvious Captain Obvious than usual, yes. Is there even a smidgen of temptation in my mind to captain anyone else? No.
The more overriding sense question I have is whether to activate Triple Captain. On that front, it’s not Triple Captain Obvious, but is there a better single Gameweek fixture to back a player? Probably not.
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BEFORE YOU GO… We’ve teamed up with Starting 11 once again this season and will be playing their Daily Fantasy Premier League game, alongside FPL.