Top 5 FPL Captain Picks and Tips - Gameweek 30

9:23am Mar 7 2019

Man City’s Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling likely to be red-hot captaincy favourites against Watford in Gameweek 30

The unpredictability of Gameweek 29 underlined the torturous beauty of playing Fantasy Premier League.

It was the kind of gameweek where, from Paul Pogba’s missed penalty to Manchester City somehow scoring just one at Bournemouth, we all likely realised how little control we have over our FPL fortunes.

Of course if you captained my #3 pick last week, Raul Jimenez, the misery of the lesser mortals likely didn’t disturb you.

Given the Twilight Zone nature of GW29, this week I’m focusing on form players with the best fixtures. While Man City and Liverpool’s premium assets disappointed, it’s impossible to ignore their allure for Gameweek 30.

Man City, Liverpool and Leicester all have very winnable fixtures at home and possess a number (5, in fact) of explosive players worth trusting the armband with.


Raheem Sterling vs. Watford (H)

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Pros for captaining:

> 28 points in last 2 home starts

> 50 home league goals for City; most by 10 goals

Cons:

> Potentially minutes managed; Pep could have one eye on Schalke

Forgive the exhausted “on another day” trope, but last week’s #1 pick could have had two goals and an assist vs. Bournemouth in Gameweek 29. In the end Sterling was unlucky to come away with just three points.

But a return to the Etihad bodes well for Sterling owners in GW30. He’s returned 18 and 10 points in his last two home starts, against Arsenal and Chelsea no less.

With Leroy Sane seemingly trapped in a nuclear bunker of Pep Guardiola’s discontent, Sterling’s position looks secure for another start even with City having one eye on the Champions League second-leg with Schalke on Tuesday.

Watford’s 5-0 humbling at Liverpool in GW28 is fresh enough that many will likely assume a similar fate will befall the Hornets at the Etihad. However, it should be noted that Watford actually have an excellent away record: the seventh-best in the league.

Significantly though, it should also be noted that Man City have the best home record, scoring 50 goals, 10 more than second-placed Liverpool. They’ve scored 13 of those in their last 4. If that’s not enough for you to captain Sterling then I don’t know what is.

Sergio Aguero vs. Watford (H)

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Pros for captaining:

> Scored or assisted in every home PL start this season

> 43 points in last 3 home games

Cons:

> Jesus is fit; Pep’s eye on Schalke clash

Aguero blanks away, we know this. It was a salient reason why he was omitted from last week’s captaincy list. Just three of his 18 league goals have come on the road.

By contrast he is devastatingly proficient at the Etihad Stadium. Aguero has either scored or assisted in every one of his home starts this season. In his last three at home he’s delivered hauls of 17, 17 and 9 points.

Based on current form, Aguero is the no-brainer pick for GW30. However, and this is a big however, with City facing Schalke on Tuesday Guardiola may want to spare his star striker too many minutes in GW30; the Argentine has played nearly 450 minutes of football in just under two weeks.

Most of us likely thought Aguero would make way for Gabriel Jesus in GW29, and while he was spared from the bench last week, the risk remains.

Simply, there is no way of knowing if Guardiola will either bring on Aguero from the bench, or start him and restrict his minutes – unless Pep fights all his major impulses and just reveals what he’s doing in Friday’s presser.

Captain with caution. With Pep you never know. But if Aguero starts, the damage could be instant.

Jamie Vardy vs. Fulham (H)

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Pros for captaining:

> 2 goals in last 2; 3 in last 4

> Fulham still and forever the worst defence in the league

> Leicester’s likely new manager bounce

Cons:

> Fulham’s unlikely, but possible new manager bounce

Two weeks ago I brought Vardy into my team – not based on any real form, or impressive stats, rather that he loves it when a manager leaves who he’s been at odds with. Sometimes it’s the gut picks that work out the best.

Two goals and 15 points later, the Leicester man is now seriously enticing captaincy material, particularly against the team with the worst defence in the league. Fulham travel to the East Midlands having conceded 37 away goals, an average of 2.5 per game.

The good news for the Cottagers is that Leicester aren’t really that impactful at home, winning just five all season. Now for the bad news.

Not only will momentum firmly be with the Foxes to mark Brendan Rodgers’s first game at the King Power, but Vardy is two goals off becoming the seventh player to score 100 goals for Leicester. That’s a serious incentive which is very achievable in this game.

Of course, Fulham under Scott Parker could be set for a manager bounce too. But with Parker their third boss of the season it seems unlikely.

For those thinking Vardy’s form hasn’t been strong enough to trust him with the armband, you should know he has the sixth-highest xG in the last 5 games (2.96), and James Maddison has created the most chances in the league this season (78).

Maddison also assisted Vardy in Leicester’s last game vs. Brighton.

This could be a depressing afternoon for Fulham, but an excellent one if you’re backing the Vardy party.

Mane or Salah vs. Burnley (H)

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I eulogised the Liverpool duo last week only for them to throw it back in my face with dualling blanks. Thanks, lads.

Their overall form this season merits another chance, but with neither edging ahead as the obvious captain they’re ranked together again this week.

Let’s start with Salah. Five blanks in six is certainly concerning, but if you remember earlier this year when Salah sales picked up between gameweeks 16-20, the Egyptian wasn’t in devastating form.

Prior to GW16 he’d hit a double-figure points haul just once, but he was still a massive threat, had the highest xG and was spurning a raft of chances.

Against Everton, Salah should have scored twice. There’s no accounting for poor finishing, but he’s always in the right positions. That explains why he’s had the most shots on target (47) and created the second-most big chances (13) this season.

Mane, meanwhile, is in better form, scoring six in his last seven. But the Senegalese had an incredibly quiet game vs. Everton, failing to shoot or deliver a key pass.

His away form has always been pretty poor compared to his Anfield form though, and let’s not forget Liverpool won their last home game 5-0, with Mane scoring twice.

Prior to Gameweek 27 Burnley boasted an unbeaten 2019, but defeats on the spin to Newcastle and Crystal Palace – teams both competing to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle – leaves the Clarets as an unpredictable entity this weekend.

Having claimed a very creditable 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in GW24, Burnley could again line-up with a plan to thwart and counter. Then again, they just conceded three to Palace.

At a push, Salah is the pick here, but Mane’s home comforts and excellent Anfield form shouldn’t be discounted.

Captain Obvious

Last week’s captain points: -2

Average captain score: 13.7

Total captain points: 400

This week’s Captain Obvious: Jamie Vardy

Last week’s captaincy score should be the clue to who I captained last week. It was Pogba. Let’s just move on.

This week I’m in the delightful position however of being able to choose between four players in the list.

Vardy gets the nod though, for the non-stats based reasons of Rodgers’s first game, and the stat-based reasons of Fulham’s dire defence and Vardy’s potential to hit 100 goals for Leicester.

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Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – Top 5 FPL Captain Picks and Tips – Gameweek 30’ which was written and produced by @JWoodfield365