FPL Double Gameweek 35 – Captain Picks

With four extra fixtures this week, we gorge out on double gameweekers in our captaincy analysis. Players from Man City, Spurs, Arsenal and Wolves all feature, while a Watford forward offers an uber-differential option for maverick managers.

PREMIUM OPTIONS

Sergio Aguero (£11.7m) vs Spurs (H) & Man Utd (a)

Aguero makes it into the captain picks ahead of Raheem Sterling (£11.5m) this week on the basis of recent pitch time. The England attacker has played 90 minutes in each of City’s last three fixtures in all competitions, with Aguero completing just 144 minutes.

The Argentine was sidelined with a knock for the FA Cup semi-final win against Brighton, though started against Spurs in the Champions League last week and at Crystal Palace in GW34. His second-half withdrawal at Selhurst Park had owners worried but Pep Guardiola stated that his first-choice striker did not suffer an injury. On the forward, Guardiola said yesterday: “Sergio is fit. He needs competition, and needs a little time to get to his best condition. Tomorrow is not about physical condition. We want to get to the semi-final, that is the challenge.”

Guardiola also confirmed last weekend that Aguero will continue as City’s first-choice penalty taker. Asked if the Argentina attacker would remain on spot-kicks despite missing from 12 yards against Spurs last week, the Citizens chief replied: “If he believes he's going to score, yeah. Penalties are in your head. I'm not going to call him by telephone from the bench [to see if he believes]. They have to know it.”

Aguero is still yet to blank in a home start this season, while Spurs have conceded 21 of 34 goals this campaign on the road. Man Utd have not kept a clean sheet since a 0-0 draw at home to Liverpool in GW27. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have conceded eight times in the six games following that Old Trafford shut-out.

The managed minutes of ‘Kun’ could bode well for those handing him the captain’s armband for City’s double helping of fixtures, though Guardiola’s comments regarding “condition” are slightly worrying. City’s Champions League clash tonight should provide further information for managers planning to armband Aguero or team-mate Sterling in DGW35. Both could see significant minutes over the double considering the importance of those fixtures to City’s season.

Heung-Min Son (£8.8m) vs Man City (a) & Brighton (H)

With Harry Kane (£12.6m) sidelined, Son represents the most explosive armband option in the Spurs ranks. The midfielder provided an assist during a three-minute cameo against Huddersfield in GW34 – a rest which boosts his pitch-time potential for the upcoming double.

Once he comes through tonight’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Man City, Son looks an assured starter as Spurs meet the champions again at lunchtime on Saturday. A trip to the Etihad is not the most encouraging fixture for a captain pick but Brighton’s visit to Spurs’ new stadium next Tuesday is a definite sweetener.

With 12 goals and 8 assists this season, Son has recorded an attacking return in FPL every 63.5 minutes. He had been on a barren run before the second of Tottenham’s DGW32 ties but has since scored twice – once in the Champions League – along with that assist.

Man City have shipped just one goal from open play in their last five fixtures across all competitions – that concession was Son’s winner in the UCL quarter-final first leg last week. Brighton capitulated against Bournemouth last weekend in a 5-0 drubbing. The Seagulls allowed the Cherries 14 shots, 10 of which were inside the box, and four big chances at the Amex. Cardiff managed 10 goal attempts, with six taken within the penalty area, last night as the Bluebirds beat Chris Hughton’s men 2-0 to re-ignite the relegation battle.

Spurs are still fighting in the race for third and fourth place. With a tough task at the Etihad this weekend, a strong line-up for Brighton’s visit could be expected – particularly if the north London outfit have a Champions League semi-final to prepare for following the GW36 home tie against West Ham.

While Son is clearly not immune from rotation against lower-level opposition, the attacker’s potential for points and pitch time mark him out as a captaincy contender in DGW35. Both the Spurs man and Aguero are carrying yellow cards into tonight’s UCL clash – a booking would mean suspension for the semi-final first leg.

Alexandre Lacazette (£9.4m) vs Crystal Palace (H) & Wolves (a)

The French striker was handed a night on the bench in GW34 as Arsenal made hard work of beating Watford at Vicarage Road. That ended a run of four consecutive league starts for Lacazette. He had also begun seven games in a row before being rotated in GW28.

As is now expected by FPL managers, Unai Emery contines to switch personnel and formation amid a busy Arsenal schedule. If the Gunners get past Napoli tomorrow, that rotation trend will continue with the Europa League semi-finals beginning between GW36 and GW37.

Emery’s XI away to Napoli will be of interest to Lacazette owners and potential investors. Since Gameweek 21, the forward has scored seven goals and set up three – providing an attacking return every 93.7 minutes. Crystal Palace and Wolves have each conceded eight times in their last six fixtures, with both Roy Hodgson’s men and Nuno’s outfit shipping three times in GW34.

Handing the armband to Lacazette would undoubtedly be a risk, with safer options among double gameweekers and even Liverpool players such as Mohamed Salah (£13.2m) and Sadio Mane (£10.1m) with a single fixture away to Cardiff. However, for the maverick FPL bosses out there Lacazette represents a tempting DGW option, with his minutes on Thursday a real point of interest.

MID-PRICED CANDIDATE

Raul Jimenez (£6.9m) vs Brighton (H) & Arsenal (H)

The Mexican striker’s audition for the DGW35 captaincy did not go swimmingly as Wolves were beaten 3-1 by Southampton in GW34. Jimenez put one of his two shots on target, with the other so far off target it went out for a throw in.

But back on home soil, the forward remains a viable armband option for Wolves’ double. Jimenez has three double-figure hauls in Wanderers’ last four Molineux ties, scoring three times and providing two assists over that period. His points per home match stands at 6.2 for the season.

Brighton’s aforementioned defence has conceded 12 times in five games since a 1-0 home win against Huddersfield in GW29. The Seagulls last kept a clean sheet away from home in Gameweek 9. Arsenal, meanwhile, struggled to a first away shut-out of the season against a 10-man Watford on Monday night.

Already in double figures for both goals and assists in FPL, two home games in quick succession will give Jimenez the chance to further beef up his tally. The striker has only been rotated to the bench twice this season – in GW16 and for the first of Wolves’ DGW32 fixtures, which fell just after the last international break.

DIFFERENTIAL CHOICE

Andre Gray (£5.9m) vs Huddersfield (a) & Southampton (H)

With Troy Deeney (£5.9m) likely to face a three-game ban after his sending off against Arsenal, Gray is our differential captaincy pick for Watford’s enticing set of DGW35 fixtures.

Huddersfield have conceded four goals in both of their fixtures since the club’s relegation was confirmed. Over the last four gameweeks Jan Siewert’s men have shipped 14 times, with Ben Hamer (£3.9m) between the posts for 10 of those.

Southampton will provide a much sterner test of Watford’s attacking credentials. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have conceded five times in their last four outings, with Liverpool accounting for three of those. Fulham and Brighton are the only sides that the Saints have managed to shut-out since GW22, however.

Since returning from injury in GW25, the 1%-owned Gray has logged two starts and made seven substitute appearances. His two goals and two assists over that period all came from the bench. From limited pitch time, the forward has notched an attacking return once every 87.25 minutes.

With Isaac Success (£4.5m) available and Gerard Deulofeu (£5.6m) a likely starter once ruled fit, Gray’s place in Javi Gracia’s XI is by no means guaranteed. However, the ex-Burnley man did begin Watford’s FA Cup semi-final win against Wolves at Deulofeu’s expense and will undoubtedly benefit from Deeney’s potential absence over DGW35. Handing Gray the armband would be a leap of faith but that trip to Huddersfield is a big bonus for the DGW35 risk takers.