Gameweek 17 Captain and Player Picks
Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns with captaincy corner and her three player picks in three positions for Gameweek 17.
It was a mixed bag for the captaincy last weekend, but many managers who gave Sadio Mane the armband lucked out with a Jamie Vardy vice captain. It’s those two who are likely to take centre stage again in Gameweek 17, with favourable fixtures against the worst two defences in the league: Norwich and Watford. We could easily be tempted by Spurs assets though who are in sensational form and out of form Chelsea face a toothless Bournemouth defence.
Rotation is a real issue this time of year and isn’t helped by the fact that the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool have had crunch Champions League ties this midweek. Next week, we see Liverpool travel to the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar and also League Cup Quarter Finals for Aston Villa, Everton, Leicester, Manchester City and Manchester United. Those teams in particular could bring rotation around Gameweek 17. As always, choose your vice captain carefully as you never know when they may be called upon.
The shield pick is likely to be the most captained player of the week, allowing you to play safe and keep pace with the pack. The sword pick will be a less popular selection: if they perform it can shoot you up the overall rankings, but the risk from failure is higher.
Shield Pick: Jamie Vardy vs Norwich (H)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 2/5
It’s so difficult to overlook Jamie Vardy right now as the go-to captain pick. He’s scored in eight consecutive games, his ownership has now passed 50% in the game and he has five goals and one assist from his last four starts. Add into the mix a home game against a Norwich side who’ve conceded more goals than any other team this season, it’s a mouth watering prospect. I was actually considering deploying the Triple Captain chip this week. I’ve decided against it in the end as Norwich have shown some solidarity on the road in their last few games, with a couple of clean sheets. Norwich have conceded six penalties this season, but Tim Krul has a great save rate for spot kicks meaning that Jamie Vardy could be hindered rather than rewarded! All that being said, I’m confident of a Vardy goal and he’s likely to haul here. Will you play safe with the Shield Pick?
Sword Pick: Sadio Mane vs Watford (H)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 8/11
Watford are a side that Liverpool tend to dominate, with 5-0 being a popular scoreline in this fixture in recent seasons. Given their defensive demise this season, another one-sided scoreline can be expected here. Sadio Mane has three goals and two assists from his last three starts. He should be guaranteed a start here given his rest in Gameweek 16 and ready to exploit a Hornets defence who have conceded seven goals in their last four games. Mane has a flawless record against them in a Liverpool shirt: he’s delivered in all five games, amassing five goals and three assists. The only downside for Mane is that there’s no guarantees Klopp will field his strongest side in this fixture given their busy schedule and he hasn’t got the edge of having penalties in his locker either. You’re gambling on a Mane haul over a solitary Vardy goal, which admittedly seems unlikely. Are you going to take a risk in selecting the Sword Pick?
I share my top three players for each Gameweek, selecting one defender, one midfielder and one striker. These are players that I’m tipping for the FPL Dream Team and they could also make intriguing differential captain decisions for you to consider too.
DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Watford (H)
Another big return looks likely for Trent, he’s showing all the signs of being able to beat last seasons tally of 13 assists. He’s already grabbed 7, which is 4th overall, an excellent record given he is a defender. It’s been a steady start to the season from a clean sheet perspective for Liverpool, with just three so far, but there’s hope they can go on a run after keeping a shut-out last time out against Bournemouth. Watford have managed just one goal in their last four games, so the odds are stacked in Liverpool’s favour. They’ll look to exploit Watford’s flanks as they did in this fixture last season, where Trent bagging a hat-trick of assists! Fingers crossed he can grab the holy grail of attacking returns, a clean sheet and bonus points in this one.
MID: Kevin De Bruyne vs Arsenal (A)
Kevin De Bruyne has two goals from his last four games and will be crucial to Manchester City having the upper-hand when they travel to the Emirates this weekend. It’s been a torrid time for the Gunners, who have conceded seven goals over their last four games and have just one win over that spell to show for their efforts. It came as a surprise to see De Bruyne top for shots in the last four games, with 16, as well as first for chances created with 17. Many are shipping him in favour of Spurs midfielders, but evidently the potential for goals and assists is very much still there.
FOR: Tammy Abraham vs Bournemouth (H)
Tammy has overcome injury in the last week to grab a goal and an assist in the Premier League to punish sellers, as well as getting on the scoresheet in the Champions League. It’s been a tricky spell for Chelsea, with just one win from their last four games, so a solid performance against Bournemouth will be essential. The Cherries have conceded nine goals in their last four games and will be hampered by the potential absence of their key defender, Nathan Ake who is currently flagged with injury.
Until next time…
Find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on Holly’s website: Fantasy Football Community