Our captains article is back to help you choose the right captain for game week 13. This year we are using data from the RMT Bot and our experience to make our recommendations.
Rate My Team Opti-Bot picks
We start this week’s article in the same way we started last weeks and that is with Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez. The bot got it spot on when it tipped Sanchez for big things as the Chilean rewarded his FPL owners with 14 points courtesy of 2 goals and 3 bonuses.
This weekend sees Arsenal travel across London to play West Ham in a fixture which usually has some goals in it- the corresponding fixture finished 3-3 towards the end of last season. Regardless of a creditable draw at Old Trafford last Sunday West Ham haven’t been great at the back this season and in all honesty had some great keeping and poor finishing to thank for keeping the score 1-1 against United. I wouldn’t expect Arsenal to be so charitable this weekend and if they get a similar number of chances then I would expect them to get 2-3 goals.
The bot has Sanchez at 5.75 points average across all simulations with goals in 0.45 of those games and when you factor in his average of over 3 shots per game and 2.48 chances created the signs are good for more Alexis returns this weekend. I finished my piece on Alexis by saying that the bot knows what it’s doing, so it seems appropriate to remind you all….. The bot does seem to know what it is doing!
The 2nd pick from the bot this week is Spurs forward Harry Kane. I can totally see why the bot has come up with Kane for a captaincy pick this weekend as Spurs are at home to a defensively weak Swansea. Spurs have been something of a mixed bag this season and are coming off a loss away at in form Chelsea last time out but Kane himself has been in good form since returning from an ankle injury scoring 3 goals in the 3 league games he has played.
A few projections from the bot for your consideration Kane has averaged 5.75 points per game and scored in 63% of the simulations. He averages a relatively modest 2.55 shots per game/ 1.61 inside the area so far and only creates an average of 1.34 chances per game so he has had to be pretty clinical for his 5 league goals so far but one factor that falls heavily on the plus side of captaining Kane is that Kane has the benefit of taking penalties and has scored 3 of those since his return from injury in game week 10 (2 in the premier league and 1 in the champions league).
It is worth pointing out that nearly all of the more popular forwards in the league have profited handsomely when playing the Swans- Aguero 2 goals, Costa 2 goals, Ibrahimović 2 goals, Benteke goal + assist, Firmino goal+ assist…………..will Harry Kane follow suit?
— Russ haworth (@russellbash81) December 1, 2016
The Henchman Picks
Okay last week didn’t exactly work out according to plan with captain Coutinho going off injured after 30 minutes but I did have success with Zlatan who delivered a goal and 3 bonus points.so first up this week is one that isn’t going to be immediately obvious and that is Southampton front man Charlie Austin. A former fpl favourite during his time at QPR, Austin has taken awhile to become a legitimate fpl pick at Southampton but his form this season has seen him become a very popular 3rd forward pick.
With 6 goals so far the £6.8m forward now sits in 16% of all teams and this weekend faces a team that is really struggling for form and wins- Crystal Palace. Palace are coming off the back of a 5-4 loss in an incredible game with Swansea and it is the 5 goals conceded that I want to focus on as this has become a regular theme with Palace; they have conceded 17 goals in the last 5 game-weeks and I would be happy to bet they ship more this weekend against a good Southampton team.
Austin himself has some good shooting stats to back up his form with an average of 2.83 shots per appearance but when adjusted to reflect his recent first choice starter status averages out at an impressive 3.85 shots per game so I feel pretty confident in tipping him as a sleeper pick this week who has the potential to score some great points but may well be overlooked for some of the bigger names!
After 3 goals in a week against West Ham I am tipping Zlatan to continue his good scoring form against an Everton side that have struggled for form and consistency of late. The toffees have lost 2 and drawn 1 of their last 3 league games including disappointing losses at Southampton and a thrashing at Chelsea. While United’s results haven’t suggested they are in particularly good form their actual performances have still been very good. Coming in to this weekend off the back of a 4-1 win over West Ham in the league cup, United will be feeling quietly confident of maintaining their good playing form and will be hoping to start turning that in to Premier League wins.
Ibrahimović has been in good scoring form over his last few games, scoring 5 and assisting 2 goals in his last 4 games in all competitions. This can partly be attributed to Zlatan has maintaining a high volume in shooting stats currently averaging 5.25 shots per game which puts him just below joint top scorer Sergio Aguero (5.4). while he has yet to register a Premier League assist Zlatan has been something of a focal point for United to shape their attacks and he is regularly involved in a lot of build-up play which is reflected in his relatively high chances created numbers- 1.58 per game (Kane is at 1.34 and Aguero just 1.18).
What I’m trying to suggest is that you shouldn’t be put off United attackers because the results have been mixed- they are making chances and have been scoring goals in games outside the Premier League, it’s only a matter of time before their league results reflect their play. Ibrahimović is nailed on to play and play 90 minutes so if you are looking for a differential skipper then why not have a look at the United front man.