You may or may not have noticed that we didn’t post a Captain Tips article for Gameweek 1. The reason for this is that there was already several online and with the small amount of data on hand, it seemed illogical to write an entire article when we could only really recommend Sergio Aguero.
We’ve decided to try a new approach to the captaincy article this season in order to make it more enjoyable and engaging for our users.
Each week the Fplbet pundits will pick their best bet, differential and defender to captain. We’ll also invite our users to comment theirs and track the results on a leaderboard that we’ll post in the upcoming articles. Then next month (GW4), the highest scoring commenter will replace the lowest scoring pundit for the following month.
This will reward the user who makes the best predictions with a platform to discuss his tips over the course of the next month. So if you think you know your fantasy football tips, get involved and earn yourself a platform.
Captain Tips For Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 2:
Approach: A man of his statistics.
Best Bet: Aguero vs. Stoke (A)
Differential: Llorente vs. Hull (H)
Defender: Ivanovic vs. Watford (A)
Does Sergio Aguero really need an explanation? He’s the reliable and fixture-proof, as he proved in Gameweek 1 and repeatedly over the last few seasons. I think that a few managers will be tempted by Eden Hazard, Philippe Coutinho & Zlatan Ibrahimovic based on their performances last week, but nobody oozes consistency quite like my main man Aguero.
Fernando Llorente may seem like shrewd pick based on the fact that he – unlike everybody’s new favourite 6.5m striker, Alvaro Negredo – didn’t score in Gameweek 1. However, as a man of my statistics I can resist the player who had the most shots on target (4) from the opening week. Especially when paired with the fact that he takes on Hull, who I expect to crumble this week after their shock win over Leicester.
Whilst watching the Chelsea vs. West Ham match I noticed Branislav Ivanovic in several advanced positions and for that alone chucked him on my watch list. I’ve since checked the stats and he had two shots (one on target), five touches in the opposition box and made three successful crosses. He should be given more room against Watford and I fancy him to grab either a clean sheet, goal or assist.
Approach: Trusts his gut.
Best Bet: Vardy vs. Arsenal (H)
Differential: Oscar vs. Watford (A)
Defender: Funes-Mori vs. West Brom (A)
Yes I’ve gone with Jamie Vardy over Aguero for my best bet… I have not gone crazy, he’s a very good alternative to the obvious candidate! First off, as an Arsenal fan, I can tell you that just about any striker with a bit of gumption will find the net against our makeshift backline at the moment. Combine this with the the fact Vardy turned down a move to the club last month, while missing a couple of big chances last week and you’re left with a instinctive striker with fire in his belly. The 56,750 managers who have already transferred him out are foolish.
Although Eden Hazard stole the show in Chelsea’s opening fixture, it was Oscar who stood out for me. The baby-faced Brazilian popped up in all sorts of dangerous positions and flourished as the central attacking midfielder in Conte’s system. Against West Ham, who are undoubtedly a stronger side than Watford, Oscar made more key passes (3) and forward passes (35) than both Hazard and Willian.
If you’re feeling really adventurous or have already thrown in the towel for the 2016/17 season, then you could look to a defender for a clean sheet and attacking returns. For both outputs, I think Ramiro Funes-Mori will deliver. Within weeks, Koeman has drastically improved Everton’s defence and the Argentine is a constant threat in the opposition’s penalty area. During the 2015/16 season, Mori scored a goal every 582 minutes on average – second only to Van Aanholt for consistent starters (25+ apps).
Approach: Capitalises on weak defences.
Best Bet: Hazard vs. Watford (A)
Differential: Routledge vs. Hull (H)
Defender: Kolarov vs. Stoke (A)
In Watford’s 1-1 draw with Southampton they conceded 24 shots on goal, the most in Matchday 1. In Chelsea’s 2-1 win over West Ham, Eden Hazard looked to be back to his mesmerising self and repaid all those managers who chucked him in their sides for Gameweek 1. He looked sharp on the ball and had a drive within him that we didn’t see last season, it’s clear that Antonio Conte has demanded a hard working, fluid style of play and will hope that continues against the Hornets.
Despite recording a shock opening day win over Champions Leicester, I can’t see Hull continuing their winning streak at the Liberty Stadium. Now on paper it looks like I’ve gone against my approach as Hull only conceded one goal but they conceded the most big chances (4) and the second most goal attempts (18). Despite not grabbing a goal or an assist I fancy Wayne Routledge to contribute something this weekend, he created four chances and had one shot on goal, he’s coming off the back of a great preseason and could provide a shrewd pick this weekend.
Following Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Sunderland Pep Guardiola said “I think Kolarov had one of the best performances vs. Sunderland I have seen in a central defender.” The last two words may be alarming to some, Aleksander Kolarov, previously a left back has been slotting in centrally for City with Gael Clichy occupying the left back position. Despite playing in his preferred position against Steau Bucaresti in the Champions League qualifier I could see Kolarov pushed back into the heart of the defence against Stoke City. The Serbian is deadly from a dead ball situation and his pinpoint passing could see him register an assist.
Approach: Takes the occasional risk.
Best Bet: Hazard vs. Watford (A)
Differential: Deulofeu vs. West Brom (A)
Defender: Walker vs. Crystal Palace (H)
At this point it should be fair to say that Eden Hazard is back. The Belgian looked like his usual creative, dynamic self when helped lead Chelsea to a 2-1 victory over West Ham. It was exhilarating to watch Hazard weave through defenders, link up with Costa and most importantly, smash a penalty just underneath the crossbar. It was clear that Hazard’s confidence has been fully restored under Conte, which means Watford may not have a chance of stopping the high-flying winger.
Out of position players can be some of the most valuable assets in fantasy, but sometimes it can take a little while for a player to acclimate to his new role. Fortunately for Everton and FPL managers, Gerard Deulofeu seemed more than comfortable in his new forward position. He had a few cracks at goal and created an excellent chance for Kevin Mirallas. Deulofeu was almost in on goal himself after snatching up a wayward pass, but the angle was against him and Michel Vorm got down to make a good save. Although West Brom are solid at the back, we already saw the Spaniard’s ability to wear down a team’s defense. Assuming he stays diligent, Deulofeu should hopefully be able to create and put away chances this weekend.
Tottenham’s defense was uncharacteristically sloppy against Everton this weekend. A lot of that had to do with Jan Vertonghen’s lack of match fitness, but the center back should be good to go for the upcoming match. With Mauricio Pochettino’s defense back to full strength and Crystal Palace’s only attacking threat being Andros Townsend, the Spurs should be able to pick up a clean sheet. That’s great news for any Kyle Walker owners since the right-back looked sharp going forward, as well. He had three key passes and was the one who provided the lovely cross that Erik Lamela was able to score from. A clean sheet and assist shouldn’t be too far out of reach for Walker.
Approach: Close your eyes and hope for the best.
Best Bet: Ibrahimovic vs. Southampton (H)
Differential: Nolito vs. Stoke (A)
Defender: Azpilicueta vs. Watford (A)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been in form since the conception of football, marking his Premier League debut with a characteristically impressive strike from distance last GW. He is able to create goal-scoring opportunities out of nothing: last season he managed a brace despite being kept on the bench for the full 90 minutes. This attribute, combined with a strengthened Utd midfield under Mourinho, means he will be a constant threat this season. Southampton looked defensively unconvincing against Watford, and I expect Zlatan to find his way onto the scoresheet one way or another.
Despite not having a first name, Nolito gets my differential pick this week. The Spaniard impressed me against Sunderland and consolidated that performance with a goal and an assist against Steaua Bucharest midweek. He seems to be forming a solid partnership with Aguero and, with the backing of Pep Guardiola, could play a crucial part in City’s title hopes this season. Ultimately, City are one of the few teams in the Premier League capable of scoring 5 or 6 goals in a singular match; assists and goals are inevitable for the creative midfielder. At only 1.3% ownership, there’s certainly legroom onboard Nolito’s bandwagon for the meanwhile, but it could get quite cramped on there before long.
Chelsea’s victory over West Ham may have been a narrow one, but their dominant display looked more like the Chelsea of old. Whilst this is bad news for virtually every football fan, it does present some tempting options for FPL managers this season. Cast your mind back far enough, and you might remember a time when Ivanovic and Azpilicueta were among the best fullbacks in the league. An age where Bowie still made albums and selfie-sticks were still mocked by the general population. Last week, the Chelsea pair were at it again. Azpilicueta won a penalty and never looked afraid to push forward. What’s more, despite conceding a goal, the back four looked more rigid than Adam Johnson at a Sports Day event. I fancy the Spanish left-back to register a clean sheet against Watford this weekend.
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Best Bet: Any player.
Differential: Any player with less than 5.0% ownership.
Defender: Any defender.