FPL Gameweek 3 – Captain Picks

Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) and Sergio Aguero (£11.1m) go head-to-head for the armband again in GW3, a dilemma that owners of both players could end up pondering every gameweek this season.

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Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) vs BRI (H)

The Egyptian has now missed three big chances in two fixtures, after spurning a couple of golden opportunities against Crystal Palace on Monday night. Of course, Salah missed 23 of those during the 2017-18 league campaign, on his way to bagging 32 goals.

The good news for owners is that the Liverpool attacker continues to get in excellent goalscoring positions. A heavy touch on occasion against the Eagles saw Salah fail to score, but two assists rewarded those who captained the midfielder. One of those came for James Milner’s (£5.5m) penalty, seemingly putting Salah further down the Liverpool spot-kick queue.

At home to a Brighton side that have conceded four goals (one penalty) and allowed opponents 21 shots (excluding blocked efforts) - with eight of those on target - Salah should once more reap FPL points.

Albion boss Chris Hughton confirmed that Lewis Dunk (£4.5m) is out of the Liverpool clash, with new signing Leon Balogun (£4.5m) expected to deputise.

Sergio Aguero (£11.1m) vs WOL (a)

A hat-trick against Huddersfield heavily rewarded those who stuck the armband on Aguero in GW2, though the loss of points from going with Salah instead won’t make or break an FPL season.

The Argentine striker silenced any talk of being dropped as Pep Guardiola’s side savaged the Terriers. A Ben Hamer (£4.0m) mistake allowed Aguero in for his second, though the forward also struck the post in a devastating display.

City take on a Wolves side that has conceded four times, one of those a Matt Doherty (£4.5m) own goal. Nuno’s side have allowed opponents ten shots (seven on target) in two gameweeks. However, the Premier League new boys rate well in ‘expected goals against’, suggesting Wolves might not be as leaky as the goals against column suggests.

After the Huddersfield hammering, Guardiola said of Aguero: "He is in an incredible condition with the ball and without the ball."

That suggests the striker is set for a lucrative amount of playing time this season - particularly in a 3-5-2 system with Gabriel Jesus (£10.5m) already on the pitch.

While the City manager's formational switches are sure to cause headaches for FPL bosses, the in-form Aguero is quickly earning must-own status and could become a set-and-forget captain pick should he outscore Salah in GW3.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) vs WHU (H)

Like Salah, Aubameyang missed two big chances in GW2. The Gabon forward failed to put Chelsea to the sword as Arsenal created chance after chance against the Blues.

Auba’s main competitor for the striker spot in Unai Emery’s team, Alexandre Lacazette (£9.4m), was at fault for Chelsea’s winner at Stamford Bridge. This should make Aubameyang a more secure pick as the Gunners begin an excellent run of fixtures to GW11.

Playing at home to a West Ham side that has conceded six times so far, more chances will come Aubameyang’s way. Manuel Pellegrini admitted after losing to Bournemouth in GW2 that he still needs to figure out West Ham’s best XI, which should be music to the ears of Aubameyang owners after Arsenal’s attacking display against Chelsea.

Sadio Mane (£9.8m) vs BRI (H)

A late Salah-assisted strike on Monday night saw Mane outscore his team-mate for a second gameweek in a row. The Senegal attacker has picked up five bonus points over those two fixtures - aided by an offside goal in GW1 - compared to zero for the Egyptian.

Now owned by 33% of FPL bosses, Mane presents a viable captaincy alternative to those without Salah in their squad. Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) currently looks the odd one out of Liverpool’s attacking trio in fantasy terms, as the striker drops deep to create space for his team-mates.

Up against a weakened Brighton defence, Mane will be aiming to score for the third week running. The midfielder should also be ahead of Salah in the Reds' penalty pecking order, having scored two spot-kicks in pre-season.

Milner, who looks to be first choice for penalties, was substituted after 66 minutes in GW2 for Jordan Henderson (£5.5m). Should the latter displace the former in Jurgen Klopp’s favoured XI, Mane could add another string to his FPL bow. Even if Milner continues to start, his minutes are set to be curtailed and Mane could be the beneficiary if Liverpool happen to win a late spot-kick.

Differential choice

Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.5m) vs BUR (H)

Having spurned several good chances against Palace in GW1, Mitrovic popped up with an equaliser in GW2 before Spurs went on to beat Fulham 3-1.

The Serbian striker has fired six shots inside the box (from a total of 11 attempts) over the opening two gameweeks. Opponents Burnley conceded three times to Watford in GW2 as Sean Dyche's men struggle to balance domestic and Europa League duties.

With the Clarets travelling to take on Olympiakos on Thursday, Mitrovic - a popular Josh King (£6.4m) replacement - could profit on Sunday as Fulham search for their first points of the campaign.