Top 5 Captain Picks and Tips - FPL Gameweek 11
Posted by JackWoodfield
10:29am Nov 2 2018
He many only play 65 minutes (again), but is Man City’s Sergio Aguero the standout captaincy pick for FPL Gameweek 11?
With two of my captain picks for Gameweek 10 collecting 0 points between them, I now have the punditry confidence of a Southampton striker in front of an open goal.
But at least Mohamed Salah delivered magnificently as last week’s Captain Obvious, so with gritted teeth and a clenched arse we go again.
Much like The Matrix Reloaded was to The Matrix, ‘Rotation part 2’ was the unwanted Gameweek 10 sequel to week 9, with Eden Hazard, Marko Arnautovic and even Andy Robertson among the high-profile casualties.
Significantly, thoug,h it highlighted the need for not just a good bench, but a reliable vice captain pick.
In Gameweek 11, two fixtures in particular stand out when scouting our captaincy contenders. In fact, 80% of this week’s picks come from Man City vs. Southampton and Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace. And no, Luka Milivojevic does not make the list.
After two differential picks in recent weeks (which, let’s just say, didn’t work out as well as we’d hoped), we’re back to seeking premium bang for our buck in Week 11, where we start at the Etihad.
Sergio Aguero vs. Southampton (H)
Pros for captaining:
> Scored 5, set up 4 at home
> Average home PPG of 9.4
> How much damage can he do in less than 70 minutes?
Aguero’s 2.6 points per game (PPG) on the road is making owning the Argentine an on-off love affair this season.
Man City’s target man has now gone four out of his last five away games without being involved in a goal, and it’s no coincidence that his ownership has dropped ahead of City’s last three away games then increased again for their home ties.
But as nominal a threat as Aguero is away from the Etihad, his home form has been devastating. His average PPG at the Etihad is 9.4; he’s scored five and set up four.
Man City are not only the highest PL goalscorers (27) but their xG is even higher at 29.64. Aguero gets a handful of good chances each game, and he should really have scored that second-half chance against Spurs.
Southampton travel to the Etihad without a goal in five, and the last team (Burnley) to visit the Etihad lost 5-0.
The Saints are decent defensively, but City are averaging just under three goals are game and that’s a mightily convincing stat when deliberating whether to captain Serg this weekend.
Aguero made it to 70 minutes at Wembley before being hauled off and while the concern is again that his minutes will be reduced, if you back him to do his damage within his time constraints, you can be confident in handing him the armband.
Benjamin Mendy vs. Southampton (H)
Pros for captaining:
> 4 assists in 3 home league games
> City conceded just 3 goals in 10 PL games
> Everyone’s a potential victim of Pep roulette
Mendy’s ‘Tonight Matthew, I am Celestine Babayaro’ impression at Wembley notwithstanding, the Frenchman remains in-demand, and much like Aguero, it is his home form which is particularly eye-catching.
Four of Mendy’s six assists have come at the Etihad (in just three games); his attacking threat is arguably far superior to his defensive ability. And against a Saints side without a goal in five, it pays to own at least one (if not two) of the Man City back line.
Cynics will point to Mendy’s performance as reason for Pep Guardiola to drop his left-back in GW11, but I don’t see that happening. Mendy is Pep’s £50m man, and if he’s fit, he should start.
Plus, having started the last three after his absence (which we’re still led to believe was through injury), Mendy’s since picked up three clean sheets.
The Frenchman has slotted back in nicely on the whole, and City’s remarkable defensive run is now just three goals conceded in their first 10 Premier League games. A clean sheet against Southampton is the minimum expectation.
Every top left-back in the world would struggle against an in-form Moussa Sissoko (ahem), but expect Mendy to be rejuvenated following his Wembley woe.
Eden Hazard vs. Crystal Palace (H)
Pros for captaining:
> Highest FPL scorer (75)
> Joint-highest PL goalscorer (7)
> Possible fitness doubt after back injury
Hazard’s absence was a cruel blow to the 2.7m+ who owned him prior to GW10 (and sadly provided validation to the 213,000+ who panic sold the Belgian), but Gianfranco Zola confirmed midweek that Chelsea’s talisman is on schedule to start against Crystal Palace. And that makes him an excellent captaincy option.
Hazard’s scored five in his last four league games at Stamford Bridge, picking up nine bonus points. His xG may only be 4.12, but seven league goals highlights his clinical finishing prowess.
Crystal Palace are solid defensively on the road, conceding just six (and winning two). They narrowly lost this fixture 2-1 last season. But Chelsea cut through Burnley will such ease in GW10 it’s hard to back Palace to do anything but keel over.
Hazard has already made 26 key passes in the league, amounting to around three per game, and FPL favourite Aaron Wan-Bissaka will arguably be facing the toughest test of his fledgling career.
Hazard’s back injury could mean he gets fewer minutes than normal though, which is something to be considered.
Marcos Alonso vs. Crystal Palace (H)
Pros for captaining:
> Highest-scoring FPL defender (72)
> Chelsea clean sheet odds = 53%
> No defender has more assists (6)
> Chelsea just 1 clean sheet at home
Alonso’s first attacking returns since GW4 provided a timely boost to his owners in GW10, and the Spaniard’s 11-point haul keeps him as the highest-scoring FPL defender going into GW11.
Only Callum Wilson (7) has more FPL assists than Alonso (6) and no defender has more bonus points than the Chelsea ‘full back’ (11). In fact, Alonso currently sits top of the Bonus Points System with 268 points.
The truth is that you’re not going to captain Alonso this week, unless you drink excessively on Friday night and make some wild decisions, or fall foul of a glitch.
But Chelsea’s clean sheet odds for GW11 are 53% (via oddsonfpl.com), second only to Man City (59%), and Palace are winless in five and have lost three straight on the road (in all comps), failing to score in three of those games.
Interestingly though, the Blues have only kept one clean sheet in the league at Stamford Bridge, and since GW3 they’ve had a weird habit of alternating clean sheets.
Alonso is a gamble for sure. But Palace aren’t the goalscoring tip this weekend, and only Mendy will get as regularly forward as Alonso among defenders.
Mohamed Salah vs. Arsenal (A)
Pros for captaining:
> 4 goals, 2 assists in last 3 games (all comps)
> Leaky Arsenal defence
> Arsenal unbeaten in 12 games (all comps)
> There are safer ‘fixture picks’ this week
He’s back. What a performance it was from the wiry-haired wizard against Cardiff. Ok, sure, it was Cardiff. Every team worth their mettle should be scoring four at home to the Bluebirds.
But Salah looked much more like the explosive asset he was all last season. And now, with five league goals, he has as many as at this stage last season after 10 Premier League matches.
Of course, Arsenal away isn’t exactly a fixture that screams ‘captaincy potential’. The Gunners are unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions, winning 11.
But defensively, the Gunners are leaky. Only Man United (17) have conceded more than Arsenal (13) in the PL’s top half, and the Londoners are 10th for xGA (14.14) – that they’ve conceded 13 suggests they’ve been lucky to avoid conceding more.
Liverpool have failed to score away in the league just twice since April, and with uncertainty surrounding the fitness of Arsenal’s full backs, there’s no reason to suggest the Reds won’t be a threat.
Aguero and Hazard are the fixtures picks, but backing the Mo movement for another week isn’t actually all that risky.
Last week’s captain points: 30
Average captain score: 14.2
Total captain points: 142
This week’s Captain Obvious: Sergio Aguero
It’s a toss-up for me between Aguero and Hazard, but Aguero gets the nod. City’s 27 goals scored suggests to me that Aguero will get more chances, and even though both will likely play similar minutes, it’s a question of Man City v Chelsea, and at the moment Man City have to be the call.
Also worth reading:
BEFORE YOU GO… Join the Fantasy Football Pundits and many other FPL accounts on the Daily Fantasy Football site, Starting11.io this weekend, for some Gameweek 11 fantasy action.