Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 23
Welcome to Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 23. And it’s another ‘face-off’ special. We were shocked to discover that the last one was way back in GW13, how time flies. If you are unfamiliar with the concept then we simply ask Init and Mito to take turns picking their Captains for the week and then to make a case for each. If it was a weekly feature we’d have a running league table and all sorts but in all honesty it’s just a bit of fun and basically a vehicle for presenting the usual picks for the week, but dressed up a bit differently. That said we do have the results from the last one, albeit 10 weeks later! It’s a bit like a Potty Christmas competition only more organised and timely. Last time out Init came home with 32 captain points from his 3 picks. And Kun got 24 of those! He was hamstrung by the Liverpool midfield but most FPL players will be able to sympathise with that from some experience or other this season! They had a plum home fixture against Sunderland but Countinho lasted only 33 minutes and Firmino walked away with just 6 captain points, a clean sheet basically. Mito took the spoils with 48 in total. Sanchez nearly beat Init on his own with a 28, Zlatan put the nail in the coffin with an 18 and KDB didn’t matter by that stage but got an unexpected rest and late sub cameo for 2 points. Let’s see if Init can make a comeback this time or if Mito walks away with the bragging rights once more…
Inittowint GW23 Captain Picks
Alexis Sanchez (Watford, home)
I had first pick this time and I went route one with Alexis. Well I’m not going to go letting Sanchez spank me like he did last time now am I?! Maybe if it was Giroud… Anyway that’s another story, with an 18+ certificate. Ahem. Picking on the spot is telling sometimes – what do we look for in a captain when it’s done on gut instinct basically – a top drawer player on a top side with a home fixture against a weaker one. Sanchez ticked all those boxes at a quick glance but I could have just as easily picked Zlatan in the same breathe. It’s probably interesting that Mito picked him as his first. I’d say that pair are your first port of call this week, if you own them. Watford just seem on more of a slump right now which is hard to say when Hull are second from bottom and have conceded 5 more away from home but if you’ve seen them both lately then you will know what I mean. Watford look likely to concede at any given moment whereas Hull put up a good performance at Chelsea, despite the inevitable loss, inevitable being the operative word given the form Chelsea are in.
As for Alexis himself he’s making his managers sweat recently with late goals suddenly transforming a poor score into a very respectable one. What we do want from a captain though is some degree of consistency and he certainly delivers that. He’s now got 9 goals in his last 10 games, along with 4 assists in those and 10 bonus points. And he’s hit double points in 7 games so far, almost 1 in every 3. To counteract my own argument there – 5 of those 7 double digit hauls have been away from home. One of them was at Watford though when he grabbed a goal, 2 assists and 3 bonus points for a 16 point haul. 32 if you captained him. That’d do nicely this week.
Dele Alli (Sunderland, away)
My boy!!! I took a punt on young Mr Alli a good few weeks back and he’s not disappointed since and has been a big factor in firing me back up the rankings so I’m possibly being a bit biased here in my pick. It’s only fair to say though that Mito got 2nd and 3rd picks and went for Ibra and Kane. I’d have possibly taken Kane over him if I’m being perfectly honest but then again having looked at their stats for the last 6 games then maybe I got away with one here. Let me explain… Since Alli starting scoring again back in GW17, having not done so since GW8 prior to that, he’s amassed 65 points in 6 weeks with 8 goals, 1 assist and 9 bonus points. Kane has ‘just’ 46 points in the same period. To be fair Kane has 6 goals, 2 assists and 6 bonus points so in terms of actual returns they are fairly equal. FPL points dictate that Alli is rewarded more for goals and also clean sheets and those little differences soon add up over a period of time. In terms of actual play he’s been more or less playing up top with Kane these past few games and is in the box almost as much as his partner. His slightly deeper starting position is making him even harder to track for opposing defences as they are generally all looking out for Kane who is already in there. He’s fast becoming the David Platt of the ’90’s to Gary Lineker’s foil.
In terms of the teams themselves, and their form, Spurs have won 8 of their last 10 in all competitions, scoring 29 in that sequence – just less than an average of 3 a game. Their last away game was a toughie at Man City but they still managed 2 goals. Prior to that they won 4-1 at both Southampton and Watford. As well as knocking 4 past West Brom, 3 against Hull and 2 past Chelsea. Sunderland have conceded 20 in 11 home games. You get the picture anyway. Moyes is retreating to the nearest couch…
Diego Costa (Liverpool, away)
If Swansea can score 3 against them… That’s pretty much how I landed on Diego as my last pick as it was between him and Kun. Who as a result makes a notable absence for once from the Captain Pick page. And the stats do actually suggest that City are more likely to score away at West Ham than Chelsea are at Liverpool. City have scored 22 away, West Ham have conceded 16 at home. Chelsea have scored 17 away, whilst Liverpool have conceded just 10 at home. It’s the more recent form of all parties though that is pushing me to favour Costa here. Liverpool just looked so lost at the back last week and Chelsea just look so clinical. Costa could have a hat-trick really, whereas Liverpool could have conceded 5! Costa is my last placed pick for a reason though. Not only does he have possibly the worst fixture of the 3 he also struggles to attract bonus points. Last week was the 6th occasion this season when he’s actually scored and failed to attract a single bonus point as a result.
Mito GW23 Captain Picks
Well hello there my millions and millions of fans. As you can see you are not alone in your love for this bear, but in most of your cases you are not welcomed to take pictures with me, while wearing a small dress and heels. As we can see from the intro article it was a walk in the park for #TeamBear last time. Naturally my foe quickly decided that it was his turn to pick first this time. Yes, that may seem fair to most, but seeing that he chose me to pick first last time, I just see it as him picking the order of our selections twice. I am sure most of you agree with my logic. In the end who cares though, because I still ended up with the better overall three man squad. As a friend who doesn’t know he is my friend once said, and I quote “Hey Boo Boo, I found the picnic baskets.” Three forwards versus weak opponents, yeah, I will have some of that and dove right into those baskets. Zlatan was the natural pick for me when Init unfairly grabbed Alexis first, as I had the next pick also (we did a snake draft, just google it) I went for the HurriKane. After he made his next two mediocre selections, I snatched up his boy toy Olivier Giroud. I really wanted Kun in this spot, but because I don’t just want to win, but want his lover to finish
Zlatan (Hull, home)
The great Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Last game-week he was in a passing mood and his mates let him down. Which is actually great, because he now has an excuse to just shoot and ignore anyone who claims to be on the same team. More shooting on goal increases the likelihood of him scoring a goal or three. He is already second in the EPL in shots per game as it is and if there is a touch more incentive to shoot because of the draw vs Stoke and missed chances last game, well all the better. His opponents this upcoming GW are the Hull City kitties. They currently are the second worst defence in the league and for the purpose of this article, the worst, since no one grabbed a player vs Swansea. They have allowed more goals than any team when playing away 2.37 goals per game. United are not a goal scoring machine, but when facing the weaker teams in the EPL they have done well. Versus the bottom six teams they are 6-0-0 with 15 goals in 6 games. That average only increases when we only account for home games, with 9 goals in 3 games. However, don’t think that my selection of the Swede is just based on the opponent. Before the stoke game he had scored or assisted in 8 of the 9 previous starts, with 4 double digit hauls mixed in there. So don’t let the fact that Mata can hit an open goal send you to believe that Zlatan is off his game now. He is primed and ready for Hull and I suspect that even you and me could score on that tribute to John Stones of a backline the Tigers call a defence.
Harry Kane (Sunderland, away)
Why Harry over Alli and Eriksen? Well, in part because money is no object in this article and I for the most part always prefer to take my chances with the striker in a game where that team looks like they will have plenty of chances. Sunderland has allowed 3 or more goals in seven games this season, 4 of those were at the Stadium of Light. So don’t let the away fixture distract you. Spurs have scored 10 goals combined in their last three away games. Those fixtures were against Saints, Watford and City who are all easily better than Sunderland who currently sits last in the standings. On top of that, Sunderland only trails Burnley in shots allowed per game and for the purpose of this article, the worst, since no one grabbed a player vs Burnley. Spurs take the most shots per game in the EPL and considering the last two stats that seems like lots, lots of chances are in the cards. There is one last thing, go take a look at who Kane picks on. Sure he had that Hull/Burnley fiasco earlier this season, but other than them two games, he has made it a habit of beating up on teams who are by far inferior to Spurs. He seemingly only blanks against the better teams in the league. Believe me, believe me.
Olivier Giroud (Watford, home)
I believe in insult to injury. Yes, this guided my pick to a degree, but don’t kid yourself, Olivier certainly does deserve mention in this article and not just because Waxys (site member) might shed a tear if he is not. All of the points that Init mentioned on Watford also apply here, so thank you Init for making the case for Giroud in terms of fixture. If Watford are likely to play as terrible as many expect, again, wouldn’t having the striker be just, if not more appealing than having a crybaby winger?
You: Mito, aren’t you being a bit rough on Alexis
Mito: yeah, I live in America and #AlternativeFacts are the new norm
You: Oh dear
Mito: Well hold on, let me present you with some real facts then.
Since Giroud has been in the starting line-up how many goals has Alexis scored while Olivier is on the pitch? In 5 starts for the Frenchman, Alexis has one goal while Giroud is up top. His other two goals came when Giroud had come off because of injury one time and late vs Burnley this past GW. So is Giroud hurting the production of Alexis? I think if we look at the last 5 it is obvious he is. Not only is Giroud in better form with 4 goals and 2 assists compared to Alexis and his 3 and 1, but as previously stated, it is becoming apparent that Olivier is helped by the presence of Alexis and the exact opposite can be said for Sanchez with Giroud on the pitch. So Init, be prepared to get spanked by Olivier in the way you normally like it and on this face-off.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 23. This article was written by Mito & Inittowinit
Fixture Tracker – the next 6 games