FPL Captain Picks and Tips - Gameweek 7

11:55am Sep 27 2018

Salah vs. Aguero in Gameweek 6 was the captaincy battle that threatened to drive a wedge between us all, but how to do things look ahead of Gameweek 7?

Allegiances were drawn, WhatsApp chats erupted into civil war, and ultimately it proved futile. Both scored, neither scored bonus points. We go again.

Both of course featured in last week’s tips, as did the goalscoring Alexandre Lacazette. However, disappointing blanks for Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard derailed any chances of a clean sweep.

Thankfully though, while GW6 could feasibly have come down to a coin toss, GW7 is (theoretically) much more straightforward.

Salah and Hazard face off in an unpredictable David vs. David battle, so it’s to the Etihad Stadium where we travel for our analysis of not just one, but two standout captaincy picks.

Agüero vs. Brighton (H)

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Pros for captaining:

> 4 goals and 4 assists in last 4 GWs

> Highest FPL points scorer among strikers (43)

> Well-rested after League Cup sit out

> Brighton are a bit feckless away

Cons:

> Possibly still not at full fitness after ankle knock

Fresh off his first away goal since December – albeit in only eight appearances – confidence in captaining Aguero against Brighton will have escalated further after Man City’s 5-0 battering of Cardiff.

Two successive early withdrawals (60 and 53 mins) is a concern, but Aguero didn’t travel to face Oxford United in the League Cup on Tuesday, and a week’s rest should see him return a lengthier stay against the Seagulls

Sorry Brighton fans, but Chris Hughton’s side will likely make for cannon fodder against a City team which has scored 10 goals in three games.

Brighton have gone down 2-0 in three successive games, and that usually stoic defence of Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk has looked suspect this season.

For those thinking: “But wait, couldn’t Brighton spring a surprise?” Absolutely not. Brighton haven’t won any of their last 16 away league games. And no forward has scored more FPL points than Aguero so far (43).

With four goals and four assists in the last five gameweeks, Aguero is the lowest risk captaincy pick of the week.

Sterling vs. Brighton (H)

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Pros for captaining:

> Attacking returns in last 3 league games

> Owned by less than 3.5%

Cons:

> Always a possible victim of Pep roulette

Why only 3.3% own Sterling can probably be explained by his loftier price tag of £11m this season, plus lingering uncertainties over Pep roulette.

But Sterling has started City’s last four league games, and delivered attacking returns in his last three. He’s back to being an FPL asset.

So often the go-to man for City last season, Sterling is again in brilliant form. Only two FPL midfielders have scored more than The Sun’s hate target, and as mentioned above, Brighton’s away form could lead to Sterling snacking on roasted Seagulls on Saturday afternoon

Of course, Sterling could just as easily be rested ahead of City’s midweek Champions League game with Hoffenheim next week.

He also played 35 minutes in the League Cup against Oxford, and with Riyad Mahrez scoring three goals in two there is competition aplenty on the City flanks.

All we can do as FPL players though is make educated assumptions. And we know that Sterling is generally first choice for Pep. Captaining him is risky, but it’s a risk that could return spectacular rewards.

Kane vs. Huddersfield (A)

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Pros for captaining:

> Most shots on target in GW6 (4)

> Huddersfield have conceded the most Premier League goals this season (14)

> Huddersfield are 3rd bottom for shots faced (95)

Cons:

> To be honest, none, other than Aguero is the percentage pick

Back on the scoresheet and back among the captains picks, Harry Kane ended a two-match scoring drought from the penalty spot against Brighton, and stats fans will enjoy the reasoning behind giving Kane the armband in GW7.

Kane had the most shots on target in GW6 (four), Huddersfield have conceded the most goals this season (14), and the toothless Terriers also rank third-bottom for shots faced (95).

Kane may still look like an impressionist – albeit a fairly stellar one – of the Kane from seasons past, but he’s still a significant threat.

Huddersfield haven’t scored at the John Smith’s Stadium this season, and with the Terriers’ confidence waning after conceding the lead at Leicester, this fixture is pretty ideal for Kane to play his way back into form.

Spurs won this fixture 4-0 last season, with Kane scoring twice, and even though the free-flowing Spurs of last season have only turned up for 45 minutes so far at Old Trafford, this is an ideal fixture for Kane and co. to get back into the top-four mix.

Vardy vs. Newcastle (A)

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Pros for captaining:

> Back in scoring form

> 10 shots in last 2 weeks (9 in box)

Cons:

> Newcastle are depressingly defensive, can Leicester break them down?

It was possibly an oversight to exclude Vardy from last week’s list. My justification was his lack of attacking returns since GW1, suspension notwithstanding, but at this point anyone who faces Huddersfield is worthy of a captaincy punt.

The Leicester forward was back to his frenetic best with a goal and an assist in GW6, and while Vardy’s record against Newcastle is fair if not spectacular – three goals in six – his stats from the last two weeks back are eye-opening.

Out of his 10 shots against Bournemouth and Huddersfield, nine were in the box. He also created three big chances. That action is Aleksandar Mitrovic-esque – who’s not in this list due to Fulham’s poor away form – and against a Newcastle team yet to win this season, Leicester surely have the higher confidence of the two.

Of course, Rafa Benitez will likely be drilling hourly offside trap exercises to prevent Vardy running in behind his centre-backs. Newcastle have only conceded eight goals, the second-best record in the bottom half, and it could take until 60-70 minutes for this game to open up.

When it does though, Vardy’s the man to back to open the scoring.

Lacazette vs. Watford (H)

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Pros for captaining:

> 9 goals + 3 assists in last 11 starts

> Started and involved in a goal in last 3 straight weeks

Cons:

> Hornets from Hell; just one loss all season; won 2 of last 4 at Emirates (all comps)

When I suggested including Lacazette in this week’s list to the Pundits regime I was bluntly informed, “His stats are s*** mate”. And yes, yes they are. But I’m choosing to swerve that and instead highlight more attractive elements of the Frenchman’s game.

Another goal in GW6 made it nine goals and three assists in Lacazette’s last 11 starts for Arsenal. It was also the third week in a row that both Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were involved in goals for the Gunners.

The duo have a truly excellent partnership – as long as you disregard that stupid bow celebration they do, Christ that’s weird – and Arsenal have now won four league games on the bounce.

The only reason Lacazette gets the nod over Aubameyang is because the latter is now hogging the left flank, whereas Lacazette has remained more central in his last three starts.

Watford are a strong opponent though. The Hornets should’ve finished off Fulham, and they’ve lost just one league game this season. They’ve also won two of their last four (in all comps) at the Emirates.

However, Watford haven’t kept a clean sheet since the opening day, and Arsenal have scored 10 goals in their last four.

One of those aforementioned s*** stats is that Lacazette had just one shot against Everton, but he did score from that shot. Even so, it’s hard to make a sincere claim to captain the Arsenal man – he is a differential at best. But someone will surely do it, and it will probably go quite well.

Captain Obvious 

Last week’s captain points: 16

Average captain score: 19

Total captain points: 114

This week’s Captain Obvious: Sergio Aguero

No-brainer for me. Rested against Oxford and inevitably back in the team against Brighton, the combination of City’s goalscoring form and Brighton’s dire away form makes Aguero my man to back to deliver Captain Obvious returns for the seventh straight week.

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Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – FPL Captain Picks and Tips – Gameweek 7’ which was written and produced by @JWoodfield365