FPL Gameweek 2 – Captain Picks

Ahead of Saturday’s 11.30am deadline, we assess the leading captaincy contenders as Liverpool and Manchester City assets look set to be heavily backed with the armband.

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Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) vs CPL (a)

It took last season’s top scorer just 19 minutes to record his first attacking return of this campaign, converting a brilliant Andy Robertson (£6.0m) cross after great work from Naby Keita (£7.5m).

Salah also spurned a big chance when put through by Roberto Firmino (£9.6m) as Lukasz Fabianski (£4.5m) saved the Egyptian’s close-range effort, while Sadio Mane (£9.5m) stole the show against West Ham with a 16-point haul – though the midfielder was offside for his second goal.

FPL’s most expensive asset comes up against a Crystal Palace side that allowed Fulham 10 efforts at goal in GW1. The Cottagers hit the target with six of those but an excellent performance from Wayne Hennessey (£4.5m) saw Slavisa Jokanovic’s side kept scoreless.

Salah took four shots against West Ham, three of which were on target. If the Eagles allow Liverpool a similar amount of opportunities to what Fulham were afforded, the Reds will make Roy Hodgson’s men pay.

While Mane has already proved himself a viable captaincy alternative to his Egyptian team-mate, Salah’s ownership (54%) and pedigree continue to make him the standout armband option in a team that looks to be picking up where it left off in 2017-18.

Sergio Aguero (£11.0m) vs HUD (H)

A lacklustre 78-minute showing from the premium striker against Arsenal will have given many owners pause in assessing Aguero as the obvious GW2 captain choice.

The Argentine spurned a great second-half chance as he beared down on goal after a mistake from Matteo Guendouzi (£4.5m), shooting straight at Petr Cech (£5.0m) when a simple square ball to Kevin De Bruyne (£10.0m) would have given City a 2-0 lead.

Gabriel Jesus (£10.5m) was introduced for Aguero not long after, and as expected will curtail the pitch time of the £11.0m man.

However, up against a Huddersfield side that shipped three goals to Chelsea in GW1, City’s current first-choice striker is still a tempting and potentially explosive armband option.

Eden Hazard (£10.5m) vs ARS (H)

Brought on from the bench in that win over the Terriers, Hazard wreaked havoc in a convincing cameo. The Belgian assisted Pedro (£6.5m) for Chelsea’s third while completing five successful dribbles and attempting one shot.

Chelsea’s GW2 opponents Arsenal allowed City 13 shots at goal on Sunday in a disjointed defensive performance. Unai Emery’s side, attempting to play the ball out from the back, looked shaky under pressure.

Stephan Lichsteiner (£5.0m) is likely to start at left-back for the Gunners after replacing the injured Ainsley Maitland-Niles in GW1. While the 34-year-old was effective in denying Riyad Mahrez (£9.0m) space at the Emirates, he was caught flat-footed as Bernardo Silva (£7.5m) rifled in City's second. 90 minutes up against Hazard and co will be a serious test of the seasoned right-back.

While Pedro and Willian (£7.5m) – who set up N’Golo Kante’s (£5.0m) opener – both impressed, the Belgium star will return to the Chelsea XI sooner rather than later. Any managers backing Hazard with the armband should make their decision after Maurizio Sarri’s press conference on Friday.

Harry Kane (£12.5m) vs FUL (H)

The England striker looked a little rusty against Newcastle in GW1, failing to hit the target with either of his two shots while also picking up a yellow card.

But a GW1 start was good news for the 31% of FPL bosses who began the season with Kane. The Spurs man has two more fixtures to break the ‘August curse’ this season – at Wembley against Fulham on Saturday and away to Manchester United in GW3.

The Cottagers, who conceded 10 shots on target in the 2-0 defeat to Palace, should offer Kane the chance to end his August drought.

The forward completed the entire match despite a lengthy World Cup schedule, with Fernando Llorente (£6.0m) unfancied by Mauricio Pochettino despite a decent pre-season.

With 90 minutes a strong possibility and penalties in his locker, those captaining Kane will be hoping the striker regains his sharpness sooner rather than later.

Differential choice

Dele Alli (£9.0m) vs FUL (H)

If the Spurs fixture has caught your eye but Kane isn’t looking so sweet, team-mate Alli provides a differential armband option. Owned by 5.3% of managers, the midfielder headed in Tottenham’s opener to bag a nine-point haul in an away victory.

Alli also tested Martin Dubravka (£5.0m) from close range early in the second half, managing 80 minutes of the tie.

Fulham are likely to continue with Calum Chambers and Maxime Le Marchand (both £4.5m) as their centre-back pairing, with Dennis Odoi (£4.5m) suspended until GW3 and Alfie Mawson (£5.0m) injured. Tim Ream (£4.5m) is expected back in training this week but may not be fit enough to start.

Christian Benteke (£6.5m) won eight of nine aerial duels against the Cottagers’ defence in GW1. Alli’s prowess in the skies could see him provide further FPL returns on Saturday.