Top 5 FPL Captain Picks and Tips - Gameweek 29

5:24pm Feb 28 2019

Fantasy Premier League assets from the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea top the captain picks charts for Gameweek 29

Much like Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga, this feature took a break in Gameweek 28 – not for gross misconduct in picking poor captain choices, rather the gnarly turnaround of three gameweeks taking place in a week. And the fixtures don’t let up!

With just a couple of days to prepare for Gameweek 29, Manchester United and Tottenham’s Champions League second-legs in midweek should be considered.

The likes of Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford could face reduced minutes in Gameweek 29, but what do us FPL bosses know, hey!

Selecting a captain who is likely to not only start but play for near enough 90 minutes will be valuable this week. Here are my top 5 captaincy picks.

Raheem Sterling vs. Bournemouth (A)

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Pros for captaining:

> Filthy record against Cherries

> Near-certain to start

> 3 double-figure point hauls in last 6

Cons: 

> Bournemouth won 3, drawn 2 in last 5 home games

Sergio Aguero is Man City’s form player, but having played 358 minutes in 4 games across 9 days the Argentine looked shot towards the end of City’s 1-0 victory over West Ham.

Coupled with Aguero’s average away form this season (just 3 goals), it’s another dynamic City forward I’m lumping on in GW29.

Sterling’s cameo against the Hammers almost guarantees a start against Bournemouth, and guess which team Sterling happens to have the best goal-scoring record against?

Sterling has scored in all 6 of his Premier League games against the Cherries (a top-flight record), netting 8 overall with 2 assists, and he enters this game having hit double-figure point hauls in 3 of his last 6.

Bournemouth have long been Jekyll and Hyde; performing far better at the Vitality Stadium than away, and while they’ve leaked 8 goals in their last 2 on the road, they’ve won 3 and drawn 2 of their last 5 at home.

City haven’t exactly ripped teams apart away from the Etihad, but Sterling’s form and midweek rest are major plusses.

Paul Pogba vs. Southampton (H)

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Pros for captaining:

> Suspended for second leg vs. PSG

> 8 goals, 7 assists in last 10 gameweeks

> Third-highest xG in last 5 weeks

Cons: 

> Saints 1 defeat in last 5 away games

Pogba’s red card against PSG a fortnight ago was a blessing in disguise, from an FPL perspective.

With the Frenchman suspended for the midweek second leg he should have ample time against Southampton to continue his superlative goal involvement.

United’s 1-0 win against Crystal Palace in GW28, even with a depleted side, made it 12 wins under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in just 2 months. Few teams have more momentum than the Red Devils, and they’ve lost at Old Trafford in the league just once this season.

For Pogba, the assist for United’s third against Palace means he has 8 goals and 7 assists in the last 10 gameweeks.

Across the last 5 PL games, only Aguero and Ashley Barnes have a higher xG than Pogba (3.50).

Saints have lost 1 of their last 5 on the road, which shouldn’t be dismissed. But United’s relentless top-four march and Pogba’s form merit the Frenchman as potential captaincy gold.

Raul Jimenez vs. Cardiff (H)

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Pros for captaining:

> Cardiff’s weirdly generous defence

> Wolves’ stellar home form

> Immune from rotation

> Out to respond following Hudds defeat

Cons:

> Only hit 2 double-figure point hauls this season

There are two significant reasons why captaining Raul Jimenez in GW29 could be rewarding: Wolves’s home form is stellar, and Cardiff have forgotten how to defend.

Wanderers have scored 8 goals and picked up 7 points in their last 3 at Molineux, and Jimenez – the best value striker in FPL this season – has 5 goals in last 4; only Sergio Aguero has more in that period (7).

The Mexican is the fourth-highest scoring FPL forward (133), although his points ceiling is decidedly lower than his rivals (hardly a surprise seeing as his rivals are strikers from clubs in the top 6).

Jimenez has returned double-figure points just twice this season.

However, with Cardiff leaking 8 in their last 2, the Bluebirds could be savaged by a Wolves side frothing at the mouth to avenge their shock defeat to table-proppers Huddersfield in GW28.

Moreover, with Jimenez rested just once in the Premier League all season, having a secure captaincy pick almost guaranteed to start (and play near 90 minutes) could be priceless, especially when rotation doubts circle over some of the league’s so-called bigger hitters this week.

Eden Hazard vs. Fulham (A)

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Pros for captaining:

> Fulham third-worst xGA of 2019

> Hazard loves squashing the underdogs

Cons:

> Not in the midst of a point-scoring streak

With Chelsea guaranteed fixtures in GW31 and GW33, those emotionally secure enough to brave owning Hazard through the blanks may want to start with this fixture.

We’ve all been scorned by Hazard’s “transfer me in now” eyes, only for the Belgian to bum five 2-pointers on the trot. And in his current poor run, Hazard has only returned a double-figure point haul once in 8. To put that into context, in his first 8 games he did this 4 times.

However, Hazard does relish punishing the underdogs. In home fixtures with Cardiff and Huddersfield he hit 20 and 15 points respectively, and he scored 6 points in this reverse fixture.

Ultimately, Claudio Ranieri hasn’t improved Fulham’s defence as expected. As evidenced by the Cottage collapse in the 3-0 defeat to Man United in GW27, and conceding 3 to West Ham in GW28, Fulham give up far too many chances.

Since the beginning of the year, only Everton and Huddersfield have a worse home xGA than the Cottagers (6.19 from 3 games).

Chelsea haven’t won away from Stamford Bridge since GW20, but the combination of Hazard’s occasional explosiveness and Fulham’s sieve-esque defence makes those “captain me now” eyes alluring again.

Mane and/or Salah vs. Everton (A)

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This could be a coin toss. Mane is the form pick; Salah, this season and last, is the man you turn to when you’re unsure who to captain.

However, Salah is not enjoying the white-hot streak of his team-mate. The Egyptian has scored or assisted just once in 5 games; Mane has scored 6 in his last 6.

Interestingly, Mane’s away record this season is pretty poor, at least compared to his home form. Just 3 of his 14 league goals have come away from Anfield. Salah, meanwhile, has 7 goals and 4 assists on his travels.

Historically, under Jurgen Klopp, the Merseyside derbies have been low-scoring. Turgidly so. However, Everton have the second-worst xGA at home since 1 January (6.47), and with Liverpool’s firepower evidenced in 5-0 scalding of Watford in GW28, goals could rain at Goodison.

There’s no obvious pick between the two. Both have cons, but both have firepower.

Captain Obvious

Last week’s captain points: 18

Average captain score: 14.3

Total captain points: 402

This week’s Captain Obvious: Paul Pogba

The fact that Pogba is at home, against a lower-table team without the angst of an early substitution to prepare for PSG will swing it for me this week. If I owned Sterling, however, the City man would get the nod.

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Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – Top 5 FPL Captain Picks and Tips – Gameweek 29’ which was written and produced by @JWoodfield365