Captain Tips For Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had 884,832 fantasy managers celebrating their audacity after the first ever Friday night Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton. Two goals and three bonus points meant he returned 26 points with the armband, a strong cushion moving into the weekend fixtures.
Sergio Aguero calmed the nerves of the 998,065 fantasy managers who opted for him over Ibrahimovic, firing in a first-half brace against Stoke City in the weekend’s early kick off. His efforts were also rewarded with three bonus points, meaning both strikers yielded an equal number of fantasy points.
If you were part of the 46.1% of managers who didn’t captain either, then it’s very unlikely that Gameweek 3 went to plan. The other popular captaincy options such as Hazard (8), Firmino (4), Vardy (4) & Sanchez (6) failed to break double figures and close the deficit created by the deadly goalscoring duo.
Last week we announced our new captain competition where we challenge our writers to share their three captaincy picks (best bet, differential & defender) for a chance to win a place on our writing team for Gameweek 4. The highest scoring user will replace the lowest scoring pundit for Gameweek 4.
Gameweek 2 Table:
Our very own, TongueInLoftus is carrying the flag for the Fplbet team with his impressive 56 point total. Ibrahimovic and his shrewd differential Nolito both returned 26 points apiece which more than compensated for the 4pts earned by his defensive option Azpilicueta.
TheSpamJaveli is currently our leading user and if he can maintain his lead looks set to join the writing team for the coming month to share his wisdom. The obligatory selection of either Ibrahimovic/Aguero paired with an 18 point haul from Van Aanholt propelled him to second in the leaderboard.
As it stands, NaturalFootyFan will be losing his voice, pride and place on the captaincy article. All three of his picks returned just four points and he now finds himself in a relegation dog fight with CallumRead.
Captain Tips For Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 3:
Approach: A man of his statistics.
Best Bet: Ibrahimovic vs. Hull (A)
Differential: Sterling vs. West Ham (H)
Defender: Ward vs. Bournemouth (H)
There’s only really two options for best bet, Aguero or Ibrahimovic, I thought this was common knowledge by now but I’ll have to double check with NaturalFootyFan, CallumRead & InsiderFPL about that. Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets my armband this week because I fancy United to score more against Hull, than City will against West Ham. I also think this is what TongueInLoftus will do and after Gameweek 2, I suppose there’s a lot worse I could do than just copy his picks from now on… hopefully he hasn’t gone for Aguero.
Manchester City are currently averaging three goals per game so it’d be crazy of me to enter Gameweek 3 without some coverage from their team. Raheem Sterling is my man of choice now that he’s seemingly nailed on in Pep Guardiola’s plans. In his 180 minutes so far this Premier League campaign he’s contributed two assists and has had more touches in the opposition penalty area (23) than any other midfielder.
A certain Christian Benteke has arrived at Crystal Palace and after making his debut against Blackpool in the League Cup, it’s likely he’ll be up for selection this weekend when the Eagles host Bournemouth. Joel Ward has made three successful crosses per game so far and now that Benteke is in the box, his chances of having one converted are increased. Bournemouth have looked poor in attack during their opening couple of fixtures, scoring just once and failing to create a single big chance. Here’s to hoping a former Pompey lad will return me at least a clean sheet or assist.
Approach: Out to redeem himself with home advantage.
Best Bet: Aguero vs. West Ham (H)
Differential: Tadic vs. Sunderland (H)
Defender: Ivanovic vs. Burnley (H)
Aguero, Aguero, Aguero… why didn’t I captain you gameweek 2! That’s being going through my head for the last few days and to be completely honest, I was so lost in my disgust for Arsenal, I believed that anyone would punish them – even a guy who punches himself in the face after missing a chance (Vardy). Taking that as a lesson and with my mind fully rehabilitated, you cannot go wrong with handing Sergio Aguero the armband in a home fixture. City are a force to reckoned with at the Etihad with 47 goals in the stadium during the 2015/16 Premier League campaign (8 more than their nearest rival).
A measly 4pts during the first two weeks is a misrepresentation of Dusan Tadic’s performances. So far the Serbian playmaker has an average of 4 shots, 4 key passes and 3.5 dribbles per game and seems to being doing everything except pick up FPL points. However, I can see this changing against a Sunderland side who have conceded four times in their opening couple of matches and feature in the League Cup three days prior to kick-off.
Although he’s clumsy, can’t cross a ball and is a mistake waiting to happen defensively, Branislav Ivanovic is my pick for Gameweek 3. Why, you may ask? Well the big Serb has an annoying knack of popping up in the right place at the right time, especially inside the opposition’s penalty area. Since the 2010/11 FPL season, the right-back, if you can call him that, has racked up 21 goals, 17 assists and a whopping 70 clean sheets – all the ingredients needed. Chelsea host Burnley, so I’m fairly confident of a clean sheet if they manage to keep homophobic Mr Gray on a leash!
Approach: Capitalises on weak defences.
Best Bet: Ibrahimovic vs. Hull (H)
Differential: Janssen vs. Liverpool (H)
Defender: Holding vs. Watford (A)
Hull City are in dreamland right now, having been backed as relegation favourites the Tigers currently have six points from two games and have beaten champions Leicester City and won at the Liberty Stadium, but I think Jose Mourinho and more importantly Zlatan Ibrahimovic will bring them back down to earth. Whilst Hull have only conceded one goal so far this season, they have conceded the second most Big Chances in the league (5). With three goals to his name from five shots, four of which are on target it’s hard to see the big Swede not continuing his goalscoring run this weekend.
Tottenham opted for a 4-4-2 formation in their 1-0 win over Crystal Palace with Harry Kane leading the line alongside summer signing Victor Janssen. Over the course of two games the Dutchman has had three big chances vs. Kane’s zero, they match each other on shots with six each, with Janssen recording three on target and Kane a solitary one. Mauricio Pochettino’s side host Liverpool this weekend who have conceded five goals in two games and went down 2-0 to newly promoted Burnley in Gameweek 2, whilst Klopp’s side may look good going forwards they are seriously vulnerable at the back.
Arsene Wenger has come under a lot of stick already this season, he’s once again refusing to cough up the funds to sign Mustafi from Valencia and already Arsenal fans are jumping on his back. One thing he has got right this season is his praising of Rob Holding, following the Gunners 0-0 draw with Leicester City, Wenger said “”Unfortunately no one speaks about the performance of Rob Holding. You should be happy, he is English and 20 years old. I am sorry he didn’t cost £55 million, so he can’t be good.” He’s right, Holding was superb against the Foxes and deserves a lot of praise, sure he was helped by the experienced Laurent Koscielny, but together the duo looked impressive.
Approach: Takes the occasional risk.
Best Bet: Ibrahimovic vs. Hull (A)
Differential: Januzaj vs. Southampton (A)
Defender: Bellerín vs. Watford (A)
Last week did not go particularly well for my team. I was fortunate to see Hazard pick up a late assist, but it was not nearly enough to keep up with 53.9% of managers that captained either Aguero or Ibrahimovic. This week I’ll be taking the safe and smart option of captaining Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Hull City. I can’t see Hull maintaining their winning ways, and I fully expect Zlatan to play a heavy hand in the Tigers’ first potential loss of the season.
It came as a bit of a surprise to me that Adnan Januzaj was the standout performer for Sunderland at the weekend. Against Middlesbrough, the Belgian winger had four shots at goal and created four chances for his teammates. Add his creativity and directness to his corner kick responsibilities and you get an interesting differential option, not only for this match against Southampton, but going forward, as well.
Arsenal fans have plenty to be frustrated with at the moment, but they’ll at least be comforted knowing that Laurent Koscielny’s return will help bolster the Gunners’ defense. The French defender’s return will certainly increase Arsenal’s likelihood of maintaining a clean sheet against Watford, and it’ll allow Héctor Bellerín to get forward more often. The Spanish right-back is one of the best crossers in the game at his position, so there’s always a chance he can walk away from a match with an assist.
Approach: Close your eyes and hope for the best.
Best Bet: Aguero vs. West Ham (H)
Differential: Oxlade-Chamberlain vs. Watford (A)
Defender: Walker vs. Liverpool (H)
The predicament here, as I think it will be for most of this season, is who to choose between Zlatan and Aguero. As such, the question isn’t “will Aguero score a hattrick this GW?”, the question is “will Aguero score more points than Zlatan this GW?”. The answer, I think, is yes. Yes he will. Hull have got something about them at the moment. They have a formula, and it’s working for them. Mike Phelan will be studying Zlatan with such close scrutiny that by the time we reach kick-off he’s going to know which direction the striker wipes his arse. I don’t think his team will beat Man Utd, but I think they’ll battle with dogged intensity and make it as hard for the visitors as possible. West Ham, meanwhile, are a team still finding their feet – still yet to find that formula. On home-turf, I think Man City will have a far more comfortable game than their Manchester rivals. With a 5-0 lead against Steaua Bucharest, Aguero is unlikely to play the full 90 minutes midweek, and I think he’ll be sharp as ever in this encounter.
When Arsenal do finally come out of the blocks – and whether you like it or not, they will – I think it’ll players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that are the driving force. The youngster scored in GW1 and looked lively against a stubborn Leicester City last week. He is a creative, powerful force: willing to run at defenders and take a risk. He is, in a nutshell, exactly what Arsenal need. His important role in this season’s squad has already been acknowledged by Arsene Wenger, and I think his play-time will increase as he proves himself each week. He will be part of a rested Arsenal team that will travel to Watford who, like most teams this week, have a midweek cup game to deal with first. Whilst I like Watford, they have shown some defensive frailties in their first two games, and I think Oxlade-Chamberlain can capitalise on them to great effect.
Choosing a defender is always tough in a league where anyone is capable of scoring, but Kyle Walker puts my mind at ease. Tottenham owe much of their recent success to arguably one of the most resilient defences in the league, conceding the joint lowest number of goals last season. This season looks to be no different – playing 2 holding midfielders in front of their back 4 against Bournemouth last week illustrated their defensive inclinations nicely. But Kyle Walker is more than just a clean-sheet prospect. He is an attacking prospect too. He makes runs, he sends in crosses, he has the odd shot here and there as well. With 1 assist and 1 clean-sheet to his name already, I think he could be in for some more points at home to Liverpool.
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Best Bet: Any player.
Differential: Any player with less than 5.0% ownership.
Defender: Any defender.