FPL Captain Picks & Tips - Gameweek 38
Posted by JackWoodfield
12:26pm May 10 2018
Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks by @JWoodfield365 for the big season finale – Gameweek 38
With Gameweek 37’s fun and games out the way, and our collective PTSD over Pep Guardiola’s rotation and collective relief over Harry Kane scoring now resigned to the areas of the brain which age us irreparably, its time to face the final big boss – Gameweek 38.
While the stakes for the majority of teams are now resolved, there’s still noteworthy matters to be resolved in GW38, kind of.
The relegation fodder has already been confirmed, although Liverpool still need to win to confirm a top-four finish. However, it’s team and personnel milestones that are of most significance in GW38.
All eyes now switch to Man City and Mohamed Salah, chasing points and goals records respectively, and mercifully, rotation should be at a minimum.
Salah will start simply because he has a Premier League goals record to break, while Pep’s GW37 horror trolling, whilst never to be forgiven, will likely be amended as Man City aim to become the first Premier League side to hit 100 points with victory at Southampton.
There’s just one more captaincy dilemma to go, friends. Let’s do this.
Mohamed Salah vs. Brighton (H)
Returning from his (deserved) absence in the GW37 captains article, Salah still just needs one goal to break the 38-game Premier League scoring record of 31 goals, and a home tie with a Brighton side planning well-earned summer holidays at Brighton Palace Pier (possibly not) is enticing.
Salah’s form has undeniably been off-kilter in recent weeks – a booking for diving and a solitary shot was the most excited his FPL owners got during 90 minutes at Chelsea, and he hasn’t scored in his last three in all competitions – but it’s hardly a crisis given his unreasonably excellent form this season.
Salah will likely be back on penalty duties considering his record-breaking possibilities, and Liverpool have supplementary inspiration to end the season on a high: not only would a win would confirm a top-four finish, they’re defending their unbeaten home league record too.
Brighton will likely be vigilant, they’ve conceded just 25 away goals all season (the joint-best outside the top eight), but having won just twice on the road, the only conceivable outcome is constant Liverpool pressure, with Salah at the forefront.
Harry Kane vs. Leicester City (H)
If you listened closely enough, you could derive audible gasps of exhausted joy from Twitters users posting about Kane saving their Triple Captain gameweek. And as sluggish as Kane has looked since returning prematurely from injury in GW34, fair play to him, he’s still returned three goals in that time.
His well-taken winner against Newcastle secured Tottenham another season of Champions League football, and travelling Leicester, who decided to reuse their previously downed tools in a GW37 spanking of Arsenal, offer an unpredictably which, whilst a little unsettling from a captaining-Kane point-of-view, is less disconcerting when you consider that the Foxes lost their last away game 5-0 to Crystal Palace.
At this stage of last season, Kane had just put four past Leicester, and it’s easy (albeit purely nostalgic) to contemplate him doing so again.
He probably won’t though. Spurs are struggling for goals with just five in five, and Kane’s hardly been spurning chances recently, they just haven’t been created with any regularity.
However, Kane remains three goals behind Salah in the Golden Boot race, and it’s a variable of at least minimal consideration. Depending on which injured-ravaged Leicester turn up, the side that beat Arsenal or capitulated at Palace, this score could be anyone’s guess.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs. Huddersfield (A)
My GW37 captaincy outsider, Aubameyang’s devastating 23-point haul in GW37 was a shot in the arm to his owners, especially those who entrusted the Arsenal striker with the armband.
Deciding to captain Aubameyang in GW38, however, is fraught with variables.
From a cynic’s perspective, there’s an argument to be made that Auba again fits the outsider profile.
Arsenal are so feckless on the road that at this point hosts Huddersfield could feasibly field 11 broomsticks in home kit and still get a result, and with the Terriers admirably safe following stunning draws at Man City and Chelsea, they’ll treat Arsenal’s visit as an after-party.
However, this is Arsene Wenger’s last game as Arsenal manager, and that means a lot. After their Leicester misstep, Wenger will surely field a full-strength team more closely resembling the side that swept aside Burnley 5-0, and the pressure is firmly on Arsenal to secure a result rather than Huddersfield.
Only two of Aubameyang’s Arsenal goals have come away, but with nine overall goals and four assists in just 12 Arsenal starts, he’s the league’s most in-form striker, and possibly a huge captaincy differential.
Raheem Sterling vs. Southampton (A)
I know, I know. What Pep did was sickening. You’ll never captain a Man City player again. Totally understandable.
However, you know what they say – the best way to recover from a traumatic episode is to do the exact same thing again (they may say that), and Sterling will almost certainly start at Southampton following his omission against Brighton.
City, fresh off becoming the Premier League’s all-time highest scorers (105 goals) in a single season and highest point-scorers (97), now have one final target: becoming the first team to win 100 points.
City have won their last five away games, scoring 15, and Sterling has provided attacking returns in all of those games.
Why captain Sterling over Sane or Jesus? It’s a valid question, particularly after Sane’s hat-trick of assists against Brighton. But Sterling’s point ceiling is staggering.
His 7.1 points per game is higher than Sane (5.7) and Jesus (4.3), and every other City player for that matter. After his Brighton break, he can be backed to add to that ratio.
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