FPL Captain Picks & Tips: Blank Gameweek 35

10:10am Apr 19 2018

Captaincy picks from Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal are heavily favoured in Gameweek 35

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As Gameweek 35 nonchalantly trots around following the bender that was Gameweek 34 – “Did I really Triple Captain Dele Alli?”, “My bench boost scored me 6 extra points lol cry” – it’s perfectly reasonable for articles such as these to be as poorly welcomed as people still photoshopping Harry Kane’s face onto other goalscorers.

But there’s a captaincy decision to be made, and quite frankly this week it’s a pain in the nether regions – there is much work ahead of us.

Between the dreaded R-word, cup commitments and a depleted fixture list, Gameweek 35 features predicaments aplenty – so who should you hand the armband to? Let’s take a look at this week’s contenders.

Gabriel Jesus vs. Swansea (H)

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Following the news that Sergio Aguero has undergone knee surgery and is reportedly ruled out until the season’s end, this is a good time to be a Jesus follower.

As sad as the Aguero update is, for FPL bosses it at least provides some clarity as to who will start for the champions in GW35. In Aguero’s absence, Man City’s striking messiah has hit a (Raheem) sterling run of form, scoring two and assisting two in his last four, and Jesus is in pole position to expand upon his 10 goals this season.

Of course, Pep Guardiola could just start Phil Foden, who knows? But City have wins and points records to set, and Jesus will be pivotal in achieving that as well as building his own form and fitness ahead of the World Cup.

Raheem Sterling/Leroy Sane vs. Swansea (H)

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Man City’s jet-heeled wingers are lumped together for one solitary reason: Pep Guardiola.

With the Premier League title wrapped up and Pep just as likely to field his strongest XI as the under-16s, arguably both Sterling and Sane could face rotation with Bernardo Silva, Foden and Oleksandr Zinchenko viable replacements.

Let’s work under the assumption though that the SS both start.

Visitors Swansea are essentially safe from the drop and while they could treat a trip to the Etihad as a shot to nothing and provide a challenge akin to West Brom’s heroics at Man United, it’s objectively far more likely City will gnash into the Swans’ necks without remorse.

Both Sterling and Sane are standout captain options.

Sterling may require a few dozen bites per game of the proverbial cherry, but in spite of his profligacy the Man City forward has delivered a goal or an assist in seven of his last eight league games.

He may give the impression his body moves invariably to his brain’s whims, but he can be relied upon for points, with only Mo Salah registering a better points per game ratio than Sterling among players who’ve played more than once.

Sane, meanwhile, is surely a favourite for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award.

He may trail his team-mate by 48 points, but the German’s talent is unquestionable, and Sane has started City’s last six, his second-best run of the season. He’s not as explosive a point-collector as Raheem though, and in FPL that’s all that counts.

Mohamed Salah vs. West Brom (A)

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Just under 330,000 bosses parted ways with Salah between GWs 32-34, and the vast majority will be relieved the enigmatic Egyptian scored just once against Bournemouth, evading bonus points.

But sticking with/begging forgiveness and returning to Mo remains far from straightforward. Liverpool’s pesky Champions League run remains a thorn in the side of FPL managers’ plans, and it’s plausible Mo’s minutes could be reduced against West Brom with Roma on the horizon next Wednesday.

Moreover, Darren Moore’s rejuvenated Baggies aren’t the “gimme” they were two weeks ago. Salah may only need 20 minutes to reward those who give him the armband, but again the risk of captaining Mo is high.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs. West Ham (H)

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With six goals and two assists in eight and a reasonable home fixture in GW35, Aubameyang is clearly the standout captain option, right? Maybe not.

Whereas Salah’s predicament is limited minutes, the problem with Aubameyang is that his team-mates’ places are under threat in light of Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid next week.

Aubameyang’s European ineligibility means he should receive some spotlight against West Ham, but with Arsene Wenger starting Chris Willock and Reiss Nelson in recent weeks, Arsenal’s strained resources could result in fewer chances created for the Gunners’ star striker.

It’s also worth noting that in Thursday’s press conference, Arsene Wenger said that he hadn’t decided if Aubameyang would feature against West Ham on Sunday afternoon at The Emirates.

Chris Wood vs. Stoke (A)

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Wood’s stop-start season is actually extremely impressive considering his nine league goals have come from 20 appearances (16 starts), and a trip to a Stoke side winless in 10 is lip-lickingly attractive.

With Burnley fans preparing for exotic Europa League trips to Russia and Austria and the like next season, the Clarets can continue sauntering towards their highest-placed Premier League finish with a fifth-straight win in GW35.

There could be worse captaincy decisions this weekend than getting some Wood; the New Zealander had scored five in five prior to Burnley’s GW34 second-leg with Chelsea.

Ayoze Perez vs. Everton (A)

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Firstly, how the chuff do Rob Elliot and Chancel Mbemba still respectively have 15.1% and 10.8% ownership?

Anyway, Ayoze Perez is in a startling good vein of form – three goals and two assists in three to be exact – and as Newcastle celebrate another season in the Premier League, a trip to Goodison Park where fans have been mercilessly rating Sam Allardyce this week, under the club’s duress, is as good as it gets.

With two double-point hauls on the bounce, Perez is a bargain option for Free Hitters, and plausibly a perfectly good captain option playing in a team who’ve won four straight.

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Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – FPL Captain Picks & Tips: Blank Gameweek 35’ which was written and produced by @JWoodfield365