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25 Sep 2018 by Colm Hayes

FPL Gameweek 7 – Captain Picks

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Despite concerns over pitch time, Manchester City’s home tie against Brighton promotes Sergio Aguero's captaincy prospects. A trip to Huddersfield could see Harry Kane shake up the FPL landscape, while Liverpool's clash with Chelsea sees Mohamed Salah and Eden Hazard overlooked in GW7.

PREMIUM OPTIONS

Sergio Aguero (£11.4m) vs BHA (H)

To the disappointment of owners and particularly captainers, Aguero managed just a goal in City’s 5-0 GW6 demolition of Cardiff.

The striker was brought off just after the hour mark but was heavily involved in those 60-odd minutes, firing off six shots in the box. Three of those hit the target, while the Bluebirds managed to get bodies in the way of the other half.

Considering City were 3-0 up before half-time, it was no surprise to see Aguero’s minutes managed. With successive away games to Hoffenheim and Liverpool following the visit of Brighton, a full 90 could be a stretch for the Argentine striker in GW7.

However, his statistics against Cardiff suggest Aguero can return bigger points hauls despite reduced pitch time, and unlike last season, it seems clear that City’s record goalscorer is ahead of Gabriel Jesus (£10.3m) in the Pep Guardiola pecking order.

Opponents Brighton have yet to keep a clean sheet this season over a torrid run of fixtures. With Chelsea playing Liverpool at home this weekend, Aguero’s plum fixture trumps his potential for reduced pitch time in the quest to find GW7's standout captain option.

Harry Kane (£12.4m) vs HUD (a)

Despite a lacklustre start to the season, the Tottenham man has scored three goals to Aguero’s four. Normally the England striker would be an easy captain pick away to Huddersfield, but Spurs’ recent form and a tired-looking Kane have dampened enthusiasm in the forward.

Kane has taken 17 shots this season, 14 less than Aguero. Five of the Spurs striker’s attempts came in GW6 against Brighton, all from inside the box with four hitting the target (including a converted spot-kick).

One of those was a big chance, of which the attacker has missed five this season. Kane admitted post-match that he has been off-colour in the opening gameweeks, stating that he was not satisfied with his performances in Spurs’ previous fixtures this season.

He said: "Of course I feel I could have done better in most games this season. This was probably the first game where I was truly happy with my all-round performance."

Kane’s prohibitive price point and lack of open-play goal since GW3 mean that wedging the striker into squads is not a priority for most managers. However, his 25% ownership will be encouraged by his display against Brighton, post-match comments and almost-guaranteed 90 minutes against Huddersfield in GW7.

The Terriers sit bottom of the league, having shipped 14 goals in six games. Huddersfield gave up three big chances away to Leicester in GW6 and should present Kane & Co with plenty of opportunities at the John Smith’s Stadium. The striker bagged a brace on his previous visit.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (£7.0m) vs EVE (a)

The Fulham hitman registered eight attempts on goal at home to Watford, smacking one against the bar in the process. Only Aguero (3) has hit the woodwork as many times as Mitrovic this campaign.

Just four points behind the Argentinean (43) in the overall striker standings, Mitrovic offers excellent value for money in the forward bracket.

Fulham’s GW7 opponents Everton, like the Cottagers themselves, have failed to keep a clean sheet in the first six gameweeks.

Marco Silva’s men have let in 11 goals, five of which have come in the absence of Seamus Coleman (£5.3m) at right-back. The Ireland defender could return to training this week but is an outside bet to feature against the Cottagers.

The Portuguese manager has a shaky shut-out record during his time in the UK and Fulham’s attacking philosophy under Slavisa Jokanovic is unlikely to help boost Silva’s numbers.

The in-form Mitrovic is Fulham’s chief goal threat and, like Kane, offers the benefit of a more-or-less assured 90 minutes every gameweek.

David Silva (£8.6m) vs BHA (H)

UPDATE: Having played 63 minutes against Oxford in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, Silva's captaincy credentials have taken a hit. While it doesn't mean the Spaniard won't start on Saturday, it certainly makes him a much riskier captain pick. For non-Aguero owners looking to armband a City player, Raheem Sterling (£11.0m) played around 35 minutes in the cup tie while Leroy Sane (£9.2m) was an unused substitute. The England man has racked up 24 points in City's last three fixtures, while the German has scored 15 in two starts since GW5.

City’s favourable home fixture sees David Silva make a second Captain Picks appearance this season, having been touted as a differential option at home to Fulham in Gameweek 5.

The 8.6%-owned midfielder netted in that fixture before being rested in GW6. Owners will have been disappointed to see Silva benched but it means the midfielder will be fresh for the Seagulls’ visit this weekend.

Amazingly, the City creator has yet to register an assist this season. However, between GW2 and GW4, Silva racked up 13 attempted assists for his team-mates.

While an early goalscoring onslaught from City in GW7 would give Guardiola the option of subbing off key stars, Silva may still make the first XI against Brighton.

Having averaged four key passes per game over 333 minutes so far – almost double the rate of any other City asset – El Mago’s first assist of the season, much like winter, is coming.

DIFFERENTIAL CHOICE

Alexandre Lacazette (£9.4m) vs WAT (H)

Owned by just 4.8% of bosses, the Arsenal striker curled in a beautiful opener as the Gunners beat Everton 2-0. Luckily for those owners, Unai Emery’s planned substitution did not happen before Lacazette’s pearler.

With Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (£10.8m) having started up front in the Europa League last Thursday, Lacazette was again favoured for the striker role in the league. The Gabon attacker also bagged a goal – which should have been ruled out for offside – before being hooked on 68 minutes with Lacazette completing the full 90.

The Frenchman’s goal came from his only shot against Everton, while he failed to hit the target with any of his three efforts against Newcastle in GW5. Those statistics might be a slight worry for owners but Lacazette has now posted attacking returns in each of the last four gameweeks.

At home to a Watford side without a clean sheet since GW1, Lacazette will look to further cement his status as Unai Emery’s first-choice striker. The Gunners are clearly still a work-in-progress under the Spaniard but the French forward has the form to sting the Hornets.

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