Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 24 2017/18
Welcome to Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 24. To be honest; I couldn’t wait for GW22 to end. The Christmas fixtures started so well, green arrows in GW19 and 20, but quickly followed by two reds in 21 and 22 resulting in ending up pretty much back where I started. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it (honest) but usually the pain of a bad game-week is over in a matter of days. GW22 was like an episode of Downton Abbey, tedious, something I don’t want to watch and overly drawn-out. The FA Cup was a welcome break, which is saying something as prior to last week, Newcastle had failed to reach the fourth round since 2012! If all of the above sounds a little ‘woe is me’ it’s not meant to, but sometimes we all need a break.
I went into GW23 feeling refreshed and optimistic, and what a cracker it was too. If this weekend’s games taught me one thing about the Premier League, it’s that the gulf in class between the top teams and those languishing at the foot of the table is vast, gargantuan in fact. On Saturday I made my pilgrimage to St. James’ Park, it was a dire affair, no need to bore you with the details. In stark contrast, the match between Liverpool and Man City was master-class in attacking football (defending? not so much). The final score doesn’t do justice to just how good Liverpool were, they raced into a 4-1 lead in slick style, it was joyous for FPL managers who had kept the faith in Salah and Firmino, if only Bobby hadn’t threw away his shirt and with it any hopes of getting any bonus points!
If you’re the indecisive type then this game-week is not for you. It feels like one of those weeks where people will be jumping between potential captains right up till the deadline, I often find these are the most exciting, but can also be the most frustrating! Lets dive in!
Sergio Aguero (Newcastle, Home)
My allegiance to Newcastle holds no influence over my FPL team. Maybe if I’d been playing 20 years ago it would be a different story. I’m so desensitized to the mediocrity of my hometown club that they (sadly) rarely factor into my FPL strategising. If ever there was a game that epitomizes this, then it was Newcastle’s last league game at the Etihad. Back in the 2015/16 season, City beat Newcastle 6-1, Sergio Aguero scored 5 goals in just 20 minutes. When he scored his 5th, I actually smiled, safe in the knowledge that Aguero was my FPL captain; 50 points in the bag, my heart is made of stone.
We all know what Aguero is capable of, in seasons past often considered essential; a go-to captain choice. The injury to Gabriel Jesus has brought Aguero back into our thinking. Despite limited minutes his scoring record is right up there; 13 goals in just 1421 minutes, that’s a goal every 109 minutes, Only Kane, Salah and Austin can better that this season.
Newcastle have actually (unbelievably) picked up wins in our last two away games. We won away to Stoke (0-1) following the 2-3 victory against the Hammers, but I’m under no illusion that we will continue the trend at the Etihad. If Aguero is not in your team for this one, you may want to hide behind your sofa, that’s where I’ll be regardless, feel free to join me.
Mo Salah (Swansea, Away)
There’s no question that Liverpool are worse off without Philippe Coutinho. The question for FPL managers however, is whether the loss of Coutinho will see a regression in the output of 18 goal Mo Salah. So I had a quick look at the stats; Salah has played 8 games without Coutinho, scoring 67 points, that’s an average of 8.4 points per match. Salah’s score in the 14 games Coutinho did play? 112 points, averaging 8 points per match. After watching their 4-3 win over Man City, I have a feeling they’ll be just fine.
Swansea once again find themselves in mid-season relegation trouble and currently sit bottom of the league. Ex-manager Paul Clement was sacked just before Christmas, the third December in a row that they’ve disposed of their manager. They’ve only kept 3 clean sheets at home this season – against Huddersfield, Bournemouth and fellow strugglers West Brom, not the best form to face a Liverpool side that has scored 29 of their 54 goals on the road this season.
My GW18 Captain article suggested we ‘always stick with Salah’, hardly radical thinking. Unfortunately I’m incapable of following my own advice; I’ve only captained Salah once. Had I simply done as suggested, I’d be 78 points better off….just outside the top 500, ouch.
Harry Kane (Southampton, Away)
I’ve embraced Twitter over the past few months. Whilst I don’t do a whole lot of ‘Tweeting’, I have found it to be another excellent source in my quest to fill every waking minute of my day with FPL (I really should get out more, maybe move closer to Silvers!) Prior to GW19, twitter was awash with people keen to ditch Harry Kane. A disappointing 3 points in GW17 and 18 in addition to a blank game-week on the horizon, it was a brave move that could have paid off. Back to back hat-tricks followed, the #Kanexiters duly punished. Then came the double game-week; Harry got sick, then got better, starting the game-week on the bench, he came on, did nothing and finished with 3 points. Particularly painful if you used your Triple-Captain chip. Last game-week Harry was back doing what he does best, goals 19 and 20 of the season, 26 points for those who kept the faith.
This week the opposition are a Southampton side who sit joint bottom of the form table; 3 defeats in their last 6. They haven’t won a home game since November, conceding 8 goals in their 4 home games since. Harry likes to score his goals in multiples, he scored a hat-trick in Spurs last away game, that was against a Burnley team with far better defensive credentials than the team he faces this week. In the corresponding fixture last season, Tottenham won 1-4; Harry scored one and sent a penalty kick over the bar. Which Harry will turn up this week? Who knows, but the fear is real, Hat-trick Harry can turn up in any given game week.
Marko Arnautovic (Bournemouth, Home)
Owned by just 9%, Arnautovic is still something of a differential. Were it not for his double game-week back in GW22 that number would probably be even lower. Arnautovic struggled to establish himself at the London Stadium following his £24m move from Stoke in the summer, failing to score in his first 13 outings for the Hammers. The arrival of David Moyes has seen a change in fortunes for the Austrian, 6 goals and 3 assists in his last 8 appearances. In West Ham’s 1-4 win at Huddersfield, Arnautovic was unplayable; a goal, 2 assists and maximum bonus, finishing with 16 points. He’s now scored 52 points in his last 5 games, level with Mo Salah.
Bournemouth will be full of confidence following their 2-1 victory over Arsenal, a result that lifted them 4 points above the relegation places. However, the Cherries away form suggests they may struggle this week. In their 11 away games this season, they’ve let in 18 goals and failed to keep a clean sheet since November. If Arnautovic plays as he did against the Terriers, he could easily grab another double-digit score. I almost ditched big Arnie last week, thankfully a wise man (Uncle Init) advised against it, if only I had stuck the armband on him, hindsight is a wonderful thing…. although I may just do that this week, good luck kids.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 24
This article was written by Rosco.
The League Codes for FF247 for the 2017/18 season are as follows:
Gameweek Tracker GW24-29