With the first international break behind us, and with players arriving back from the furthest reaches of the globe, the time has come to discuss who to award the armband to for GW4.
The early kick-off on Saturday lunchtime comes at the Etihad, where Man City host Liverpool. Both teams have good captaincy options, but be mindful that the South American contingent (Jesus, Aguero, Firmino, Coutinho etc) will have arrived back late, and although they no doubt enjoyed the luxury of Business Class travel – or even a private jet – they may be jaded a bit.
That said, I think Liverpool could be a good bet for captain selection with three excellent options in the form of:
Roberto Firmino – 26pts (2 goals, 2 assists, 6 bonus points)
Mohamed Salah – 23pts (2 goals, 2 assists, 1 bonus point)
Sadio Mane – 22pts (3 goals, 0 assists, 0 bonus points)
As for Man City, again a few choices who could be good Captain selections, plus they have home advantage:
David Silva – 16pts (0 goals, 2 assists, 4 bonus points)
Sergio Aguero – 12pts (1 goal, 0 assists, 3 bonus points)
Gabriel Jesus – 11pts (1 goal, 0 assists, 3 bonus points)
Later in the day, the 3pm kick-offs see a few fixtures that you may wish to choose your Captain from. Here are my standout picks from those fixtures:
Arsenal v Bournemouth:
Alex Lacazette – 9pts (1 goal, 0 assists, 0 bonus points)
Brighton v West Brom:
Anthony Knockaert – 5pts (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 bonus points)
Jay Rodriguez – 8pts (1 goal, 0 assists, 0 bonus points)
Everton v Spurs:
Wayne Rooney – 18pts (2 goals, 0 assists, 6 bonus points)
Harry Kane – 4pts (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 bonus points)
Christian Eriksen – 22pts (0 goals, 3 assists, 5 bonus points)
Dele Alli – 19pts (2 goals, 0 assists, 2 bonus points)
Leicester v Chelsea:
Jamie Vardy – 17pts (2 goals, 0 assists, 3 bonus points)
Alvaro Morata – 24pts (2 goals, 2 assists, 5 bonus points)
Marcos Alonso – 22pts (2 goals, 0 assists, 3 bonus points)
Southampton v Watford:
Fraser Forster – 20pts (2 clean sheets, 3 bonus points)
Dusan Tadic – 12pts (1 goal, 0 assists, 0 bonus points)
Richarlison – 18pts (1 goals, 1 assist, 3 bonus points)
The early evening kick-off sees Stoke host league leaders Man Utd, another team with a host of tantalising options for this week’s armband. Along with Liverpool and Spurs, it will be Utd players that will dominate the popular choices for GW4. And rightly so; a 100% record so far and seemingly back to their free scoring ways last seen under Alex Ferguson.
The new “Holy Trinity” of Lukaku, Pogba and Mkhitaryan should be in your thoughts, but equally there may be points galore to be had in selecting a member of the Utd defence or even keeper David De Gea to trust with your armband:
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 26pts (0 goals, 5 assists, 3 bonus points)
Paul Pogba – 26pts (2 goals, 2 assists, 2 bonus points)
Romelu Lukaku – 19pts (3 goals, 0 assists, 3 bonus points)
“Super” Sunday may not be the place to source your captain this week, but if you are a risk taker then you might fancy taking a punt on one of the following options I have identified:
Burnley v Crystal Palace:
Robbie Brady – 11pts (0 goals, 1 assist, 3 bonus points)
Swansea v Newcastle:
Wilfried Bony – New signing. Has not played yet this season
Monday Night Football is usually a popular time for a captaincy selection, but I don’t think this particular fixture will get the juices flowing, which is a pity given the start Huddersfield Town have had. With this being West Ham’s first home game of the season, it is difficult to call which way it will go. Personally I think the visitors may have the advantage and as such I have identified the following potential decent captain picks:
West Ham v Huddersfield:
Steve Mounie – 15pts (2 goals, 0 assists, 3 bonus points)
Tom Ince – 9pts (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 bonus points)
So there we have it, some food for thought on captaincy options (assuming you own any of them!)
Naturally, the most popular options will be from the so-called big teams.
My personal selection in the form of a Top 5 from those identified would be (in reverse order):
A different way of looking at your Captain selection is to really be honest with yourself about where you currently are in terms of overall ranking, mini-league standing, or whatever criteria you have set for yourself when looking at success.
To this end, you could further categorise your selection as:
Definition: Used for thrusting or striking
In FPL terms, to be used when chasing or attempting to take huge leaps by selecting a low owned, or un-fancied player as Captain. Maybe someone in good form, or with a good fixture, but who won’t be in the Top 5 most captained players?
Definition: A person or thing used to provide protection
This would be the tactic to deploy if you are riding high and want to consolidate your position. A successful choice will see smaller gains, but a Captain fail will not see you fall too much as your choice will also be the choice of the majority.
Definition: Bet or speculate on something
These are the kind of Captain picks that we (annoyingly) see in FPL every single week. You know the kind. The guy who captained Newcastle’s Ciaran Clark in Gameweek 3, or Granit Xhaka in Gameweek 1. This tactic can be deployed when you literally have nothing left to lose, or when you come in drunk in the early hours of Saturday morning and decide to just have a “little tinker with your team.
My Gameweek 4 Sword, Shield and Punt Picks are:
Marcus Rashford – 1 goals, 1 assist, 1 bonus point, in good form for club and country, only 5.4% owned so in the Low Ownership bracket (5%-10% ownership).
Romelu Lukaku – 3 goals, 0 assists, 3 bonus points, is owned by 58.1% and will be far and away the most popular Captain pick again despite his 0 point return last time out.
Anthony Knockaert – No FPL returns yet in the form of goals or assists, but with 15 goals in 41 games last season and being named the Championship Player of the Season may soon make a mockery of his current 1.3% ownership.
Good luck with whoever you choose, may your arrows be green and I hope you remain just 1 point behind me in the overall rankings!
Written by @FPL_Fly