Welcome to Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 19. Welcome to the Captain Picks article for Gameweek 19. Firstly, let me say Merry Christmas to all of you, and I hope you are busy stuffing your bellies full with Christmas food and beer, enjoying the holidays with your families. While food and family are the best things of Christmas time, we all know the second best thing: the busy Premier League schedule, giving us three rounds of festive football in one week. As we all know, a certain Argentinian is coming back from suspension this GW, so let me put one thing straight right away – I will not be tipping Aguero in this article. This is for a number of reasons: he has a tough matchup against Liverpool, City are struggling at the moment and playing poorly despite winning their last three matches, and his ownership among active players will be low due to his suspension and his fixture. Still, I assume that some will bring him in immediately so I will talk about him briefly here: he has scored 10 goals in 11 matches and City have scored 9 goals in their last 4 matches, meaning that Aguero clearly has a potential to produce points. However, I believe there are better options for the armband this round, so let’s take a look at whom those options are.
Diego Costa and Eden Hazard (Stoke at home)
Having served his suspension last GW, Costa will be fresh to fight against the Potters come Saturday afternoon. The highest scoring striker and the second highest scorer overall, Costa has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 matches, netting 33 points. Despite a slow start to the season, Stoke have made somewhat of a resurgence, finding themselves in 12th place. Still, Chelsea are on a 12-match winning streak in the PL and are by all means favorites to make this match their 13th win. As we have seen all season, Costa is consistent rather than explosive: he has scored over 10 points on only three occasions, and he has only scored more than one goal in a match once. Costa has only blanked in 3 matches this season, making him probably the most consistent producer of points in FPL, but if you want someone explosive rather than consistent from this match then consider Eden Hazard instead. Hazard has scored 2 goals in his last 6 matches, meaning that he does not have form on his side, but we all know his quality and he can explode at any moment. However, the fact that I must refer to his innate quality as a player rather than any actual statistics underlining good form implies that Costa is the safer option of these two players this round.
Alexis Sanchez (Crystal Palace at home)
While this fixture is appealing, it is not as appealing as it would have been a couple of days ago when Lord Pardew was in charge of Palace rather than Big Sam: you certainly want your fantasy captain to face a team managed by the former instead of the latter. Arsenal struggled to break down West Bromwich last round and perhaps that is a sign to come for this round when they play against another manager likely to play defensive and organized? Still, the fact that Sanchez is facing the team placed 17th in the PL cannot be ignored, and it is important to remember that Big Sam has only had a few days to leave his mark on his new team. Sanchez has 6 goals and 3 assists in his last 6 matches, yet his highest score from his last 4 is only 7 points, and his average score per match over those 4 matches is 5 points. Sanchezs’ blank against West Bromwich was the first time he has done so since Arsenal faced Manchester United and knowing Sanchez he is more likely to rebound with a good performance than to blank again. In fact, he has blanked in two successive games only twice this season. As such, I suggest that Sanchez represents a captaincy candidate that is both reliable and explosive.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Middlesbrough at home)
While both Jose Mourinho and Manchester United were criticized earlier in the season, they have gone 9 matches without losing in the Premier League and thus find themselves in 6th place, only 4 points behind Arsenal in 4th. Along with United’s increase in form, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is currently the top player in the game with 6 goals, 3 assists, and 56 points in his last 6 matches. He is averaging an astonishing 4.8 shots per game, showing how involved he is in United’s attack and that he is their main finisher. Middlesbrough may not concede a lot of goals but that is not likely to stop a team and a player that are in great form. With an ownership of 42%, Zlatan is likely to be the most captained player for GW 19, and he is very likely to reward all those who give him the armband.
Adam Lallana (Manchester City at home)
With 4 goals scored in a riot against Stoke, Liverpool have now won 3 matches in a row and they have scored 10 goals in the last 4. Adam Lallana has been Liverpool’s standout player recently, as he has scored 4 goals, gotten 1 assist, and attained 36 points over the 4 matches. While his opponent may be City, whom as previously mentioned have won 3 matches in a row, City conceded 7 goals against Leicester and Chelsea prior to those matches. City have in no way shown defensive reliability this season, keeping only 4 clean sheets, and with the way Liverpool are playing City could very well struggle at Anfield come New Year’s Eve. As a matter of fact, City have conceded as many goals (20) as another team mentioned here but with considerably lower stature: Middlesbrough. Remember last season, when Liverpool won 4-1 away and 3-0 at home – Liverpool’s high pressing style is exactly the kind of style City struggle against. Besides Lallana, Mane has gotten points recently as well, with 2 goals, 4 assists, and 40 points in his last 6 matches. While many may be dismayed by Liverpool’s matchup, I suggest that Liverpool should be considered the favorites here and could score several goals against a fragile City defence.
Romelu Lukaku (Hull away)
Everton have put in some mixed performances lately, losing to Liverpool and Watford but winning against Arsenal and Leicester. Romelu Lukaku has only scored 3 goals in his last 8 matches, but looking at Everton’s fixtures you can see why: in those 8 matches Everton faced only 2 opponents currently outside the top 10. However, Everton have been granted a late-year present as they kick off round 19 away at Hull, the team at the bottom of the table and without a win in 6 matches. While Lukaku blanked in both his 2 latest home matches against Arsenal and Liverpool, he scored 3 goals away against Leicester and Watford. Most fantasy managers will probably look to other players to captain this round, given the fixtures of the other players mentioned here. However, Lukaku has both the form and the fixture to perform this round. He will perhaps not be high on many people’s list for the armband this GW, but that does not change the fact that Lukaku faces a team that has conceded more goals than all the teams in the PL besides Swansea, meaning that he is likely to get points this round.
Thank you for reading my Captain Picks. Good luck, and Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 19. This article was written by Tekno-kun
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