FPL Gameweek 30 – Captain Picks

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At the half-way point it’s fair to say the double gameweekers from Man City and Arsenal have underwhelmed. GW29 may have provided an earlier start than normal to the annual double / blank gameweek schedule but it has done little to reward owners who stocked up on Arsenal and City assets. A 2-0 beating away at Man Utd mean City’s current top scorers have an eye-catching two FPL points, while Arsenal’s failure to stick a few goals past West Ham at the weekend means Bernd Leno (£5.0m) and his merry band of defenders lead the way for the Gunners. Here’s hoping for goals aplenty in their rearranged midweek fixture.

Looking further ahead BGW31 is on the horizon, where just eight teams will take to the field in what is definitely one of the smallest gameweeks in FPL history. While many FPL managers will understandably have an eye on the upcoming BGW31, and plan their transfers (or lack of them) accordingly, it would be foolish to overlook GW30 and the plethora of top captain choices ahead of Saturday’s 11:30am deadline.

PREMIUM OPTIONS

Sergio Aguero (£11.9m) vs BUR (H)

With Man City’s Champions League fixture right around the corner, and until the line-ups have been announced for City’s midweek fixture against Arsenal, we won’t have much of an idea as to who Pep is likely to send out for the match against Burnley. If Sergio Aguero (£11.9m) happens to start and play 90 minutes midweek then this pick will need to be reassessed but as it stands let’s operate under the assumption that the Argentinian will be in the starting line-up come Saturday at 3pm.

Over the past few years City have tended to put Sean Dyche’s men to the sword when facing their weekend opponents in front of their own fans. In the last two seasons alone the pair have met twice in the league and twice in the FA Cup at the Etihad, with City winning each of the four fixtures with an aggregate score of 17-1. Aguero has contributed heavily to this record and throughout his time in Manchester has never failed to score against Burnley when playing at home. The Argentinian has registered a single goal in three separate league appearances along with three goals in those two FA Cup matches against the Clarets.

Sadio Mane (£12.4m) vs EVE (a)

Following a run of three defeats in four games, Liverpool got back to winning ways at the weekend with a 2-1 victory over Bournemouth. Key to that triumph was the form of Sadio Mane (£12.4m), who provided a goal and an assist for 13 FPL points. Since his injury in GW24, Mane has shed FPL managers and the Senegalese international now has 1.5 million fewer owners than his Egyptian teammate Mo Salah (£12.7m). As such he represents somewhat of a differential captain pick, particularly when compared to his more popular Liverpool teammate.

In the 5-2 thrashing of Everton earlier in the season, Mane scored one and assisted twice in a man of the match performance. While Everton have been much improved since that day, following the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti, they have still struggled to keep the opposition from scoring. It has now been seven league matches since the Toffees last kept a clean, during which time they’ve conceded 14 times.

Bruno Fernandes (£8.5m) vs TOT (a)

Five league games into his Premier League career, Bruno Fernandes (£8.5m) has been a hit both on the pitch and in FPL. Two goals, three assists, 38 points and two double digit hauls, it’s fair to say Fernandes has backed up the hype surrounding his late January move to the red side of Manchester. Since his debut, Fernandes has provided more assists (two), created more chances (seven) and had more shots (10) than any other United player in the Premier League. To say United’s attack runs through the Portuguese midfielder would be an understatement.

Already owned by 14.8% of FPL managers, Fernandes has GW30 captaincy potential written all over him. A match against a Mourinho defence no longer carries the fear factor it once did, as Spurs have been as watertight as a sieve in recent weeks. It’s now been six matches in all competitions since Tottenham last tasted victory and eight since their last clean sheet. When it comes to the Premier League their record of just four clean sheets this season ranks among the worst alongside Bournemouth and Norwich.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) vs BHA (a)

Much like he does against most of the opposition he faces in the Premier League, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) has an excellent record against Brighton. With three goals in four appearances, it is only in the reverse fixture this season that Aubameyang has failed to score against the Seagulls. He’ll get plenty of chances to against a Brighton side that have struggled at the back since the turn of the year. Prior to their clean sheet against Wolves last time out, Brighton had gone nine matches in all competitions since their last – a run that included five games conceding at the Amex Arena. Away from Aubameyang, Arsenal themselves have a good goal-scoring record against Brighton. They haven’t failed to score in a match against Brighton in all competitions since 1982.

DIFFERENTIAL CHOICE

Marcos Alonso (£6.1m) vs AVL (a)

Marcos Alonso (£6.1m) was selected as a differential in last week's article and he duly delivered with a clean sheet and six FPL points. Those returns mean it is now eight Premier League starts in a row in which Alonso has returned at least five points. Still only owned by 3.8% of FPL managers, with a trip to play lowly Aston Villa in GW30 there seems little reason to remove Alonso as a differential captain choice. After their four nil mauling on Monday night, Villa now boast the league's worst defensive record, conceding on average 18.1 shots and two goals per game every time they step onto the field.

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