Our captains article is back to help you choose the right captain for game week 19. This year we are using data from the RMT Bot and our experience to make our recommendations.
Rate My Team Opti-Bot picks
The bot’s top choice for this week is Alexis Sanchez. Arsenal got back to winning ways on Boxing day with a late but deserved winner against West Brom. While Sanchez may have blanked in that game it doesn’t tell the whole story of his performance. Firing in a total of 9 shots he was denied a huge return by some resilient goal keeping by Ben Foster.
Arsenal are at home again this week, this time against Crystal Palace. There is a small sting in the tail now because Palace are under new management with Sam Allardyce replacing the sacked Alan Pardew. While many expect to see improvements in the Palace defensive performance I would suggest that Allardyce doesn’t have a magic wand so to expect him to turn that back line in to one to rival the legendary Milan side with Baresi, Maldini etc in just a week is expecting too much.
An average return of 6.9 points is a massive return as the bot rarely has scores above 6 so it is certain that Sanchez is your man for this week. In terms of goals scored during the simulations Sanchez has very healthy numbers there too; 1 goal 34.2%, 2 goals 10.4%, 3 goals 1.8%. Sanchez has to be a serious captain contender this week.
The 2nd bot pick this week is the Swansea midfielder whop for the purposes of this article will be known as “Siggy”. Swansea face a home game with a defensively porous side in Bournemouth (they have shipped 3 goals in 5 of their last 6 games) so you would have to fancy Siggy for some kind of returns. The bot has Siggy on an average projected return of 5.18 points this week with the following projections for goals scored: 1 goal 25.6%, 2 goals 2.6%, 3 goals 0.2%.
Siggy is on all set piece duty for the Swans so he will pose a real danger for both assists and goals if he is presented enough chances around the Bournemouth penalty area. I can see the sense in having Siggy on your fpl teams this week but personally I think the bot may have had a bit too much Sherry over the festive period with this choice for captain given some of the other choices out there, but if this is what it tips then I shall write it for you before giving you all a couple of my own (sensible) picks. Keep in mind Siggy was selected before the firing of Bug Bad Bob.
My first pick this week is an obvious pick. Manchester United are on something good of a roll now having not lost in their last 11 games winning 8 of them (all competitions) including their last 4 league games. This up turn in form also seems to have coincided with an upturn in Ibrahimović’s personal form- this surely isn’t coincidence.
An early season burst of goals saw the mighty Swede become the most owned player in the fpl game as he scored 4 in his first 4 fpl games but then he hit the wall and the goals dried up. While the United team were playing OK they just couldn’t score and part of that problem was that Ibrahimović was missing chance after chance. However all that seems to be in the past now as Zlatan has found the net 8 times in his last 7 games.
Last time out Zlatan rewarded those who had him with a goal, 2 assists and 3 bonus points giving him 30 points for those with him as captain. Up next is a Middlesbrough side that hasn’t been giving many sides sleepless nights but they are a resilient defensive side having only given away 20 goals all season so we may not get a slaughtering at Old Trafford but when a player of Zlatan’s quality is in red hot form it makes sense to just stick with them regardless of fixture.
The league’s top scorer is back from suspension just in time for a plumb home fixture after a good rest over the festive period. I could probably leave this piece there as reason enough to give Costa the armband but I probably should try to pad out my case a little better than that…
13 goals, 5 assists so far in fpl have Costa as the top point scoring forward in the fpl game with 115 points and this week faces a Stoke side fresh from a mauling at Anfield where they seemed determined to allow Liverpool all the space they wanted and then helped them score with some truly atrocious defending. You would expect Stoke to work on being more compact this time but with the form being displayed by Chelsea and Costa this season it seems reasonable to expect another victory for the blues and more attacking returns for Costa.