Double gameweek fever has taken over this set of captain picks, as we assess two armband options from both Manchester City and Everton. However, Mohamed Salah has the potential to outshine his captaincy rivals in just one fixture against a West Ham outfit in very poor form.
The Argentine scored on Tuesday night as Manchester City lost 2-1 away to Newcastle. With the Citizens searching for a winner at 1-1, it was Leroy Sane who was sacrificed for Gabriel Jesus (£10.1m) as Aguero remained on the pitch. While it bodes well for owners that the forward was not substituted in a tight game, Jesus is still likely to eat up some of Aguero’s pitch time over the double gameweek. But ‘Kun’ is nonetheless a worthy captain contender with two fixtures in GW25.
Aguero has a double gameweek coming so feels a no brainer for captaincy...— FPL Player (@FPLPlayer_) January 30, 2019
Always feel when fully fit Pep prefers him... Even though it's unlikely he'll get the full 180 mins.
Anyone else giving him the armband? 🤔#FPL
The City hitman fired off four efforts (two on target, three in the box) against the Magpies in GW24. Aguero has scored three goals and provided two assists since his first post-injury start in GW19. The striker has begun five of six league ties over that period.
Since GW17, Arsenal have kept just one clean sheet, at home to an insipid Chelsea in GW23. The Gunners allowed Cardiff 19 shots at the Emirates during the week, with seven of those taken inside the box. Nacho Monreal (£5.4m) was used at centre-back in that fixture amidst a defensive injury crisis for Unai Emery.
Everton kept a second clean sheet in three gameweeks away to Huddersfield as Lucas Digne (£5.3m) was sent off for taking down Adama Diakhaby (£4.5m) with the Terriers attacker bearing down on goal. The Toffees allowed their hosts ten shots (six inside the box), with Jan Siewert’s men failing to convert their only big chance of the game. Everton kept Bournemouth scoreless in GW22 despite the Cherries managing 16 shots (12 inside the box).
Though Man City’s GW24 performance was not encouraging for owners and investors ahead of the double, Pep Guardiola’s side have an excellent opportunity to put pressure on league leaders Liverpool with their extra fixture in GW25.
Here's Guardiola saying he knows exactly why City lost, and then giving some of those reasons. Some of them seem to be common themes to me, going by what he's said in past couple of months, so why do they keep doing it? Still no answer to that... pic.twitter.com/sXjs3PCd9L— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) January 29, 2019
While it is unknown what line-up changes Guardiola might make with Chelsea (H) on the horizon in GW26, Aguero should log enough minutes over DGW25 to make his captaincy justifiable.
The Egyptian had a quiet night against Leicester yesterday, failing to get a shot off in the box and seeing his only open-play attempt blocked down. Salah managed one key pass as the Foxes put in an excellent display at Anfield.
What a batshit, coupon-busting, FPL-ruining team Leicester are. Sensationally good tonight.— FFScout Neale (@SkontoRigga) January 30, 2019
The Liverpool star has not recorded consecutive blanks since Gameweek 8 and West Ham should provide the perfect opposition for Salah to get back on the FPL scoresheet. The Hammers have conceded seven goals in the last four gameweeks, with five of those let in since GW23. Speaking about his team’s 3-0 loss to Wolves on Tuesday, Manuel Pellegrini said: “When, during the 90 minutes, you didn’t make one clear chance, you must be frustrated because we are always trying to play in the opposition’s side of the pitch. Maybe sometimes you can be a not very creative team, then you defend well – but we defended very badly also. We conceded two goals from set pieces, which decided the game.”
Right-back Pablo Zabaleta (£4.3m) added: “It was a bad game, a bad performance. We need to accept that we’ve not been good enough in the last two games to win.” The Irons also have defensive injury issues to contend with – first-choice left full-back Aaron Creswell (£5.0m) missed GW24 due to a hamstring injury, while keeper Lukasz Fabianski (£4.8m) hurt his arm in a collision with Matt Doherty (£5.2m). After the match, the goalkeeper said: “At the moment, I’m struggling with my arm in all honesty. It feels very sore and I can’t really straighten it. It will probably take a couple of days to settle. Hopefully I will be fine.”
Salah has recorded three double-figure hauls in his last four away fixtures, only failing to return points against Man City at the Etihad. Up against a West Ham outfit lacking form, confidence and potentially a couple of first-choice backline options, the Egypt attacker is unsurprisingly the standout single-gameweek captain pick.
The German winger was substituted just after the 70-minute mark for the third gameweek in a row on Tuesday. This replacement had a slightly different flavour, however – City were drawing 1-1 against Newcastle when Sane was hooked, whereas the champions had been leading comfortably in both GW22 and GW23. The attacker managed just one (blocked) attempt on goal against the Magpies, while supplying one key pass and almost seeing a wicked delivery converted by Raheem Sterling (£11.3m).
Sterling is inches away from getting on the end of a Sane cross. City have made a lively start to the second half.— City Watch (@City_Watch) January 29, 2019
Overall, the subbing is probably still a positive for Sane owners ahead of DGW25. Fellow first-choice winger Sterling logged the full 90 at St James’s Park, while Riyad Mahrez (£8.3m) was an unused substitute. Bernardo Silva (£7.6m) can also operate in the wide positions in Guardiola’s 4-3-3, though is a more serious contender for a midfield role. With Benjamin Mendy (£6.1m) not fit enough for the bench in GW24, Sane should earn a decent amount of pitch time over the double as the man tasked with providing width down the left for City.
The aforementioned defensive statistics of both Arsenal and Everton also bode well for the Germany international. The attacker has two goals and two assists since GW21, while notching three double-figure scores in seven starts from GW17. There is no doubt handing any Man City player the armband comes with a pitch-time warning but two fixtures in one gameweek should somewhat mitigate that risk for FPL managers.
The Brazilian got his first goal since GW19 with a rebounded effort away to Huddersfield after an initial on-target attempt was saved by Jonas Lossl (£4.4m). The midfielder managed one other off-target shot against the Terriers, while failing to supply a key pass for his team-mates.
Thats now 10 goals for Richarlison this season. The same as Sterling and Hazard. He gets a lot of stick but for a midfielder under 7 million that’s excellent! #FPL— FPL Prince (@TheFPLPrince) January 29, 2019
Richarlison’s form has been poor recently, with a run of four consecutive blanks before an eight-point GW24 score. The attacker was stationed in the left-wing position at the John Smith’s Stadium as Cenk Tosun (£6.5m) started up front. Given Marco Silva’s heavy rotation in the No 9 role, Richarlison could well play as both striker and winger over DGW25. One thing definitely in the midfielder’s favour is pitch time – he has only been rotated to the bench once (in GW19) this season.
Wolves did not get a stern defensive examination from West Ham in GW24 as Nuno’s men recorded a first clean sheet since GW17. Man City, who are sweating on the fitness of Ederson (£5.6m), have only kept two clean sheets (in GW22 and GW23) since Gameweek 14. While the form of both Everton and Richarlison make him an armband punt, the Brazil forward is worth consideration with two fixtures to his name.
That same logic applies to differential pick Sigurdsson. The 7.4%-owned midfielder managed two on-target shots against Huddersfield, though both were long-range efforts that failed to test Lossl as the Iceland international posted a three-point score.
Price Rises! 💷 #FPL— FPL Status (@FPLStatus) January 30, 2019
⬆️ Sigurdsson £7.4m
⬆️ Robertson £6.8m
⬆️ Bednarek £4.0m
⬆️ Redmond £5.3m
‘Siggy’ has returned two goals and an assist in the past six gameweeks, while also netting in Everton’s 6-2 defeat to Spurs in GW18. His only rotation from Marco Silva’s starting XI this season came in GW20. Along with guaranteed pitch time, the midfielder is Everton’s first-choice penalty taker. With Digne suspended for the Toffees’ first DGW25 fixture, Sigurdsson will also have free reign over set-pieces against Wolves at least.
“Ok, here’s what we’re going to do.— FPL Partridge (@FPL_Partridge) January 30, 2019
You score immediately after people sell you and I’ll get sent off just before a double gameweek.” pic.twitter.com/voHjn5dYwD
Everton’s No 10 is unlikely to wear too many armbands this gameweek but for FPL bosses seeking a punt over the double, Sigurdsson is a player worth considering.