Mohamed Salah’s minutes, Harry Kane’s form and Manchester City’s lack of striking options are all considerations as we select five captaincy contenders for Gameweek 36 with the help of the FPL community.
Mohamed Salah (£10.6m) vs STK (H)
The case for not handing Salah the armband gets weaker every gameweek. On Saturday, the Egyptian star takes on a Stoke defence that has shipped 37 away goals.
The Anfield tie is the meat in a Champions League sandwich for Liverpool, who travel to Rome for their semi-final second leg after playing the Potters.
FPL managers are once more thanking fixture schedulers, as the Reds play in the early kick-off. Team news before the 11.30am deadline would once again make the armband choice much simpler.
Having been rested in BGW35, Roberto Firmino (£9.6m) is another Liverpool captain contender should there be any hint of reduced pitch time for Salah.
Gabriel Jesus (£10.3m) vs WHU (a)
With several league records still on the line, Manchester City look to be fully motivated for the campaign’s final fixtures.
Having gained an assist from a missed penalty, Jesus got on the scoresheet late on against Swansea in GW35 as the Citizens put in a five-goal performance.
With Sergio Aguero (£11.5m) unlikely to feature again this season, the Brazilian’s security of starts make him an enticing captain option in GW36 and beyond.
Leroy Sane (£8.6m), Kyle Walker (£6.6m) and Nicolas Otamendi (£6.4m) were all rested on Sunday as Pep Guardiola employed a light rotation policy.
While Raheem Sterling (£9.0m), David Silva (£8.2m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£10.3m) could all potentially end up on the bench in the coming gameweeks, the lack of a direct striking replacement seems to make Jesus the most secure Sky Blue asset.
Christian Eriksen (£9.5m) vs WAT (H)
Just five points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea, Tottenham are another team with plenty of motivation. Up against a beached whale in Watford, Spurs assets should be set to reward fantasy investors.
While Harry Kane (£12.9m) is the obvious captain choice, the striker has looked completely off-colour since returning from injury. In three starts since GW33, the forward has returned just once (with his ‘ghost goal’ awarded to Eriksen in FPL).
The Dane, on the other hand, has produced at least a goal or an assist in four of the last five gameweeks. Eriksen also assisted Dele Alli (£9.0m) for Totteham’s only strike on Saturday as Mauricio Pochettino’s side crashed out of the FA Cup.
Kane was fairly anonymous in that tie as Manchester United triumphed 2-1. While the England man is a sure bet to net again soon, his midfield teammate looks a safer option in GW36.
Whoever scores them, goals seem a certainty as the Hornets arrive at Wembley. Javi Gracia’s team have shipped nine times in their previous three away ties.
Eden Hazard (£10.5m) vs SWA (a)
An assist, five shots and a rabona highlighted a player in the mood against Southampton in the FA Cup.
While Hazard often passes the ‘eye test’, it doesn’t necessarily translate to FPL points. In his last six gameweek starts, the Belgian has returned one assist and one goal.
With the top-four race still on, the midfielder should be assured of minutes having been rested for the Blues’ last league tie.
Up against a Swansea outfit torn apart by Man City, the Chelsea talisman could be afforded the opportunity to bag a double-figure haul in GW36.
Charlie Austin (£5.8m) vs BOU (H)
Benched in each of Southampton’s last three league ties, the striker made the starting XI for Sunday’s FA Cup defeat.
Austin has scored once in three substitute appearances since GW33. With Mark Hughes’ side four points from safety, the decision to start the club’s top marksman (7) seems easy to make.
While Bournemouth are pretty much guaranteed Premier League football next season, this south-coast derby should be enough to get the Cherries’ juices flowing. Eddie Howe’s team have conceded 10 times in their last five away fixtures.