Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 38
Welcome to Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 38. I’ll start with a health warning here – you are about to get GW38 Captain tips from someone who once benched a player in GW38 who scored a hat-trick! You can be forgiven for tuning out now, but let me try and explain… A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… I benched Lukaku. At that time he played for West Brom and was a bit part player and was playing against Man United in Sir Alex’s farewell game. It was a shoe-in victory for United for sure. Ten goals later and all that… Lukaku came off the bench to score a hat-trick in a ridiculous 5-5 draw. I’m sure I had a good reason to bench him, I just can’t remember what it was – I’m pretty sure it was for a midfielder who got 2 points though! The good news is that was in a season when I secured a top 500 finish, regardless of said faux-pas, so I do have some FPL pedigree, the bad news is that I’ve never been anywhere near that since!
There is also good and bad news in relation to this being the final week. The good is that it can tend to produce some really random results and some high scoring affairs as the players let loose one final time and forget their tactical instructions, as if they listened to them in the first place. It’s holiday time, final day of term, bring your teddies and games to school sort of day. The bad is that it can also be rotation central station. Last season we had a summer tournament to prepare for and so there was some thought that if teams had nothing left to play for then they may protect their players a bit. At least there isn’t that to consider this time but manager’s do also have the tendency to give fringe players a run out as a bit of a thank you for sitting on the bench all year and then there is always the odd young startlet bred too.
Basically what I’m trying to say is that if the following players actually play then these are who I would consider for your final armband of the season…
Diego Costa vs Sunderland (H)
It’s shackles off and party time now for the Champions. It’ll be the last ever appearance in a Chelsea shirt for Captain, Leader, Legend JT, they’ll be getting the trophy at the end of the game and it may just be the last time we see Costa himself in action in England. If the reserves (and Hazard) (he played like one too) can get 4 against Watford just imagine what the first team can do to poor old Sunderland. Now that’s the big question really isn’t it – what sort of a team will Conte put out? My take on this is that we will see a near full strength one, possibly with the exception of Terry starting. My reason for this is because it’s the FA Cup final the week after and Conte won’t want it to have been over 2 weeks with no action for his main core of players. Yes it sort of risks injury but it’s not like it will be a full blooded affair, more of a procession you’d imagine. Doesn’t sound like much of a reason to go captaining one though does it?! Such things can easily turn into exhibitions and with the players Chelsea have an exhibition could mean a mauling.
For what it’s worth, in the circumstances, Chelsea have scored the most goals this season overall with 80, and the most at home with no less than 50. 50! That’s an average of 2.7 per game. Costa himself has been involved in 30 out of the 80 goals, or 37.5% of them. Scoring exactly a quarter of them himself.
Harry Kane vs Hull (A)
Kane playing away has been well documented (not as in playing away Giroud or Terry style, actually just playing away. Never mind…). So I wanted to wait until Thursday night’s game to be sure to not include him. Because it was away. And it would surely only serve to further our suspicions that he’s strictly a home bird… Oh well, we all know how that one went and so here he is, having exploded that particular myth in fine fashion! I may be over exaggerating it as a ‘myth’ but it was certainly a trend to be aware of. He has 26 for the season now and only 9 of them have been away from home. He’s only actually scored in 5 away games all season. His last away goals were back in GW19. When ironically he grabbed 2 goals and also got an assist in a 1-4 win. So yeah, it did all stack up, but hey that voodoo has gone now. It’s actually the 2nd such ‘jinx’ he’s overcome this week as he hadn’t scored against Man United previously, until last weekend… With Spurs in such fine fettle and playing without a care in the world we would give Kane serious consideration this weekend against a Hull team who are down and desolate and have conceded 73 this season – by far the most in the league.
Gabriel Jesus vs Watford (A)
I’ll be totally honest here – I had both him and Aguero pencilled in for inclusion and decided to wait on Tuesday’s game to see who did better. Chasing last week’s points at its finest then I will plump for Jesus! It’s not entirely baseless though. He looked a bit rusty at the weekend but that was maybe to be expected. He looked a million dollars against West Brom though. He was in a slightly different position as well which seemed to suit him better. Converse to FPL wisdom, when he played up top alone he looked a bit isolated and lost against West Brom. On Tuesday he played slightly wider of Aguero, not that you’d know it given the fluency of the City attack, but he was suddenly involved in everything, He looked more alive. Maybe that was just the benefit of an extra game under his belt too but either way he looked dangerous, as did City in general. You could sense a goal every time they attacked. Poor Watford!
City still need a win to secure 3rd place. A draw may suffice but that’s not a chance they can take as Liverpool could then pip them with a big win. And they won’t want to be in 4th as that then means qualifying games prior to the Champions League itself. Technically they could miss out altogether but that’s highly unlikely as it would mean a 5 goal swing in Arsenal’s favour. We’d expect them to come out swinging in this one and get the job done early. As for Jesus himself he’s only actually played 561 minutes of football for City which is a little over 6 games. In those 6 games (let’s round down for arguments sake) he’s scored 6, assisted 3 and got 10 bonus points for a total of 56 FPL points. That’s an average of over 9 per game. And all this whilst wearing the expression of a naughty teenager who’s just been caught stealing money from his Mum’s handbag. Bearing in mind he’s only just bedding in, this kid could be phenomenal next season. Bearing in mind City won’t want any doubts on Sunday, he could be just be your answer in this one.
Philippe Coutinho vs Middlesbrough (H)
Talking of chasing last weeks points… A 19 point haul will always make FPL managers sit up and take notice but in all honesty this one is just as justifiable as Jesus. Coutinho has been bang in form as of late and has 6 goals in his last 8 games. Throw in a couple of assists and 8 bonus points in that run and it’s easy to see why a home against an already relegated Middlesbrough looks attractive. Throw in that Liverpool also need a win to secure their Champions League spot and it’s a perfect storm for them to come out and blow ‘Boro away. Which is something they are very capable of, when the mood takes them. As West Ham found out last week. They have had a propensity to struggle at home against teams who sit deep and defend but that’s when the other team cared. Something tells me this week may be a bit different. Very different! An early goal or 2 and this could be a cricket score. If it is then Coutinho will probably be at the heart of it looking at his recent numbers.
Alexis Sanchez vs Everton (H)
Sticking to the theme of teams with something to play for… Arsenal need a win. Nothing less really. And possibly a big one at that. Anything less and Arsene’s proud Champions League / 4th spot record will be dust. Will he sack himself as a result? That remains to be seen and the answer is probably no. That’s not to say they will get said big win, but they may as well go down trying. If they do then you’d have to expect that one man who will be involved heavily will be Alexis Sanchez. He’s had his best season in an Arsenal shirt to date, in terms of goals scored at least. He has 23 in the league with 11 assists which means he has been involved in over 45% of all of Arsenal’s 74 league goals. He’s caught a bit of form too, after a relatively lean spell by his standards. 3 games without a return had many FPL managers worried, and some even shipping him out. Ye of little faith though as he then went and scored 11, 12 and 15 points in succession. A run which has included 4 goals, 1 assist and 7 bonus points. When the chips are down he usually delivers. The whole empire may be down after Sunday, depending on other results, but one thing for sure is that Sanchez won’t go with it without a fight.
Left field pick of the week…
Daniel Sturridge vs Middlesbrough (H)
Need a serious punt for the final week to catch up in your mini league? Or just fancy a good old fashioned free swing at the rankings? Well Daniel may just be the fella for you. Of course it’d probably (we’d hope!) require transferring him in first. He’s owned by just 0.9% of teams so if this one properly pays off you’ll probably be thanking him for a final day green arrow. Up until last weekend’s somewhat surprise reappearance to the starting 11 I imagine most FPL folk had forgotten he even existed. In fact looking at his minutes for the season so far let’s just say that most serious FPL players spend nearly as many looking at their team each week. Sure enough he’d made a couple of cameos before the Saints game but did anyone even notice? I didn’t. The only time I ever hear his name these days is when Liverpool announce a fresh injury every couple of weeks. But low and behold here is he is in the final captain slot of the season. There’s no issue with his ability to score, he does that often enough as and when we ever see him, as evidenced again last week. And there’s no issue with his fixture as we touched on in the Coutinho piece. Getting him to start the game itself will be the hard bit. If you do fancy it, keep tabs on the Firmino news this week as him returning or not will largely dictate if Sturridge definitely starts.
And that’s your lot for the season folks. At least from the Captain’s stable anyway. I rather selfishly rostered myself in for this particular one though, and purely for the following reason. I just wanted to say a huge thanks to all of our writing team who rotate this article between them throughout the season. It’s done on a voluntary basis and they all have busy lives and in most cases families to look after. And yet they all put their hand up when asked and take time to research the crap out of it and come up with some really great articles for us. All of the following have contributed in some way, shape or form to this seasons captain’s articles and I personally thank every one of you – Bry, Chins, Cookie, GP, Guy, James, Jeet, Kop, Lawdogg, Matt, Mito, Rich, Swirly and Tekkers.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 38. This article was written by Inittowinit
The Fixture Tracker in full…