FPL Gameweek 10 – Captain Picks

Mohamed Salah is set to be heavily backed with the armband this gameweek as he goes in search of a first double-figure haul of the season, while Eden Hazard’s fitness is a concern for owners ahead of Saturday’s 2.00pm deadline.

PREMIUM OPTIONS

Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) vs Cardiff (H)

The Egyptian scored Liverpool’s only goal against Huddersfield from four shots (one blocked, two on target) as the Reds toiled to a 1-0 win.

While Jurgen Klopp’s men have only mustered two strikes in the last three gameweeks, the visit of Cardiff in GW10 should allow the Reds to beef up their goal tally. The Bluebirds have the second worst defensive record in the league, conceding 19 times so far this season.

Neil Warnock’s outfit are allowing opponents an average of 13 shots per match so far, while Salah is firing off an average of 4.22 attempts at goal per 90 mins. Salah has netted four times so far but the midfielder’s ‘expected goals’ (xG) figure currently sits at 6.27, with almost half of that racked up while playing weaker sides at Anfield.

Having shaken off an international-break knock to last the full match against the Terriers, Salah is the obvious captain choice for managers who feel the Reds will put Cardiff to the sword on Saturday. While the attacker’s inability to earn bonus points from a single attacking return continues to frustrate owners, the Egypt star is the most threatening and safest pick in Liverpool’s attacking ranks.

For any bosses aiming to capitalise on Liverpool’s prowess in defence and take an armband risk, Andy Robertson (£6.4m) offers points potential at both ends of the pitch. Sadio Mane (£9.7m) was not ready for the bench in GW9, while Roberto Firmino (£9.3m) found himself on it as Daniel Sturridge (£5.8m), Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.0m) and Adam Lallana (£6.9m) all started against Huddersfield as Klopp’s rotation signalling finally came to pass.

The manager’s selection against Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday will be interesting but barring any injury setback, Salah is set to be Gameweek 10’s most-captained player; particularly considering a certain Belgian is reportedly carrying a knock.

Eden Hazard (£11.4m) vs Burnley (a)

Chelsea talisman Hazard posted just a second blank of the season at home to Manchester United in GW9, though there may have been a mitigating factor for his underwhelming performance.

There are suggestions Hazard was carrying a back problem going into the Stamford Bridge clash, while a report in the Telegraph claims the attacker is a doubt for the visit of BATE Borisov on Thursday and the trip to Burnley on Sunday due to picking up a back issue from persistent United fouling.

Leaving Hazard out of the Europa League tie is an easy call for Maurizio Sarri. The Belgium star was omitted from Chelsea’s first-round away tie due to ‘tiredness’, while he played 45 minutes in matchweek 2 as the Blues made it six points from six.

That fixture means Sarri will not have a press conference this Friday, so Hazard owners will hope for an update in Thursday night’s post-match presser. If it’s a positive one, the Belgian must be considered in the captain debate for GW10.

Opponents Burnley kept up their average concession of over 20 shots per game by allowing Manchester City 24 attempts at goal in GW9. Hazard has registered a shot every 24.6 minutes so far this campaign. The selection of Alvaro Morata (£8.7m) over Olivier Giroud (£7.8m) also seemed to hamper the Belgian against United. The Spanish striker lost 75% of his duels as he failed to effectively hold up the ball for Hazard and Chelsea’s other attackers.

Sean Dyche’s Burnley side have now shipped 17 goals in nine gameweeks. The Clarets’ propensity to concede shots could again be punished by a quality attack in GW10. If cleared to play, Hazard will be aiming to post attacking returns for the eighth time in ten league fixtures.

Callum Wilson (£6.4m) vs Fulham (a)

A trip to Fulham puts Bournemouth attackers firmly on the GW10 radar. The Cottagers confirmed their ranking as the league’s worst defence with a dismal GW9 showing as Cardiff put four goals past Slavisa Jokanovic’s men.

The Fulham boss continues to tinker with his defence but is yet to come up with a valid system; something which Cherries striker Wilson should be able to take full advantage of. The forward, much like Bournemouth themselves, can blow hot and cold; Wilson managed just one off-target shot in a 0-0 stalemate at home to Southampton in GW9.

However, the 23.7%-owned striker did create three opportunities (two big chances) for his team-mates at the Vitality Stadium. Wilson, with three goals scored so far, has an xG figure of 5.39 and has missed the joint-most big chances in the league so far (8). The Englishman should find more opportunities come his way against a Fulham outfit conceding an average of 17 shots per game.

Strike partner Josh King (£6.4m) is similarly nailed-on in Eddie Howe’s favoured starting XI and is on penalty duty fot the Cherries. However, Wilson leads the 5.1%-owned King on shots on target (9 v 6) over nine gameweeks and the former’s ability to pick up assists in FPL (7 so far) sways our armband thinking in his direction.

Alexandre Lacazette (£9.7m) vs Crystal Palace (a)

Now the league’s second-highest scoring team, Arsenal assets demand consideration in the captain debate ahead of a trip to face the Eagles. While Lacazette failed to register returns in Monday night’s 3-1 win at home to Leicester City, the French striker provided some soothing statistics.

Lacazette registered more touches in the penalty area than any other forward in GW9, getting off three shots in the box; one of which was a big chance that the forward somehow managed to scoop into the arms of Kasper Schemeichel (£5.0m) rather than the net.

While fellow striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.7m) stole the show with a second brace from the bench in two gameweeks, the Gabon attacker did so from a wide-left position. Mesut Ozil (£8.3m) – who created that big chance for Lacazette – was also in imperious form.

Unai Emery’s Europa League team selection and post-match press conference will both be of interest to fantasy bosses in the search for Premier League line-up clues. While Aubameyang has surely played himself into contention for a GW10 start, it is more likely to come at the expense of Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£6.9m) or Alex Iwobi (£5.5m) than Lacazette.

The £9.7m man comes up against a Palace side that allowed Everton 20 efforts on goal in GW9, with ten of those shots taken inside the box. Roy Hodgson’s men are conceding over 13 attempts per game on average, which suggests Lacazette will be given chances to get back among the points at Selhurst Park.

DIFFERENTIAL CHOICE

Anthony Martial (£7.3m) vs Everton (H)

No player has scored more points over the last two gameweeks than Martial (28). Currently topping the GW10 transfers-in chart with over 91,000 new owners, the Frenchman bagged three goals, an assist and six bonus points across GW8 and GW9.

On Sunday, United host an Everton side that has conceded just three times in the last four gameweeks. The Toffees did give up a penalty to Crystal Palace in GW9 but Luka Milivojevic (£6.1m) failed to punish Marco Silva’s men. Under the Portuguese, Everton’s full-backs push high up the pitch which should provide space for Jose Mourinho’s wide attackers to exploit.

The 2.2%-owned Martial may not stay a differential pick much longer and could reward those willing to take an armband risk as he seeks a third consecutive double-figure haul.