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
For the third week in a row the bot’s top pick is Alexis Sanchez and given his returns over the last 2 weeks it’s easy to see why! When I wrote the captains article last week I suggested that Arsenal were not likely to be as charitable as Manchester United were when they played West Ham and so it proved as the Gunners hammered West ham 5-1 (pun intended by the way). Sanchez helped himself to 3 goals and an assist against West Ham’s porous defence and rewarded his fpl owners with a whopping 23 points in the process.
— TheFootballOne (@TheFootballOne) December 9, 2016
This weekend sees Arsenal play at home against an in form Stoke City who seem to have recovered well from their poor start to the season and currently find themselves up to 9th in the table. The Bot has Sanchez at a predicted score of 6.9 points for this home fixture making him by far its top choice for the armband this weekend. When a player of the quality of Sanchez is in such red hot form I’m not sure we really need to worry about how many shots per game he is averaging as the common sense rule should be to try and get on him into your team ASAP!
Diego Costa/ Eden Hazard
I’ve decided to combine the two Chelsea attackers as they are both excellent choices for captain this weekend and I’m not entirely sure how to make a case for one over the other so I have decided to just explain what I think are the pros and cons for each and then you can decide for yourselves.
Let’s start with Costa who is the 2nd choice of the RMT Bot this week and currently sits on 99 fpl points thanks to his 11 goals and 4 assists. This puts him slightly ahead of Hazard who has 97 points with 8 goals and 3 assists to his name. When looking at the two and trying to decide who you want to captain you have to decide do you prefer the reliability of Costa who has only blanked 3 times this season or do you prefer the more explosive but less reliable Hazard who has 7 blanks to his name.
Chelsea will move for Alexis Sánchez if he does not resolve his contract stand-off with Arsenal. (Source: Daily Mirror) pic.twitter.com/yum3QXeNPk
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) December 8, 2016
Costa has only hit a double figure fpl score on 3 occasions so far this season with a high score of “just”12 points where as his team mate has 4 double figure scores and a season high of 19 points in a single game. If we take a quick look at their personal stats then you see again that there isn’t much in it; Costa is averaging 3.15 shots per game vs Hazard 3.01, so while Costa is slightly up in shooting stats Costa is slightly lower in chances created (1.76 vs 2.16). The one thing in Hazard’s favour however, is penalties and the referee for this weekend’s game is Mike Dean- the ref who loves to give a penalty and has given more than any other Ref in the league this season.
Chelsea are in terrific form having won their last 8 games so this weekend’s home game with WBA on paper looks a strong bet for a home win. The truth is Costa and Hazard are likely to be at the heart of most of their attacks so you have a great chance of good points regardless of which one you choose.
The Henchman Picks
Fresh off 3 blanks may not seem like the most ideal time to tip the Brazilian but a home game against a hapless/hopeless (take your pick) West Ham team would seem like the ideal time to give him a whirl if you fancy a differential skipper this weekend. The recent injuries to Adam Lallana and Coutinho have seen Firmino moved from the central role to playing slightly deeper which may have affected his form but he has still managed to get 14 attempts at goal in his last 4 games so his shooting numbers are holding up pretty well and I don’t see any reason why he won’t get plenty of ammunition to fire at the West Ham goal this weekend
While he probably won’t be a popular pick in any captains polls anyone with Firmino in their teams would probably be wise to hold him for this weekend and if you feel brave then you may be handsomely rewarded if you give him the armband. West ham have been pretty awful this season so far and their collapse against Arsenal last week provoked stinging criticism from their coach in the post-match interview when he suggested that they lacked the effort and application needed in both training and in the matches too- so more of the same punishment this weekend???