Gameweek 25 Captain and Player Picks
Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns with captaincy corner and her three player picks in three positions for Gameweek 25.
Well what can we say about Double Gameweek 24 at the halfway stage? (I’m writing this article before West Ham’s clash with Liverpool on Wednesday). As somebody who trusted Sadio Mane with the Triple Captain chip, I’m absolutely gutted. However, I’m not altogether surprised, given my awful record of deploying this chip. Oh well, there’s always the hope of next season. As things stand, those who punted on Roberto Firmino or Trent Alexander-Arnold thoroughly deserved their points. The verdict on Mohammed Salah is still out.
We are in the middle of an extremely busy fixture period, with too many competitions to keep track of. League Cup Semi-Finals precede this gameweek for Manchester United, Manchester City, Leicester City and Aston Villa. Directly after this, there are FA Cup Fourth Round replays and an outside chance of yet another Double Gameweek – keep your eyes peeled for news on that one!
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: Mohammed Salah vs Southampton (H)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 8/11
In a week of tricky fixtures, it’s difficult to look past Liverpool. Southampton may be resurgent, but it’s a tall order to bet against the World Champions at Anfield: they’ve got an impressive unbeaten record on home turf that the Saints are unlikely to upset. With injury concerns for Sadio Mane, it’s Mo Salah who will be the likeliest source of goals. He has scored ten goals in eleven Premier League games at Anfield this season, plus with James Milner potentially out too, he’s got spot-kick duty too. His ownership is creeping up, after a flurry of injuries elsewhere, with only De Bruyne, Mane and Vardy more highly backed among outfield players. A quick glance at the fixture list suggests this is the most sensible fixture to done the captain’s armband in. Will you play safe and go for the Shield Pick?
Sword Pick: Jamie Vardy vs Chelsea (H)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 10/11
It’s a difficult time to back Jamie Vardy, but with a shortage of options elsewhere, he has to be considered. At first glance, a home game against Chelsea appears tough, but the Foxes are the superior team in the Premier League this season and Chelsea have conceded four goals over their last four games. Vardy has produced very little so far this calendar year, missing valuable game-time through injury and having a spot-kick saved by Nick Pope. He’s only had two shots in the Premier League in 2020, with his underlying statistics dropping off a cliff. He’s traditionally a poacher and a stat-buster though, with Leicester seemingly over their run of patchy form. He has two goals and one assist from this fixture in five previous seasons. 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 Southampton (H)
Trent Alexander-Arnold has become a permanent pick in this section, not least because he’s the most attacking defender in the league, while playing for the best defence in the league. At the time of writing, Liverpool have seven clean sheets in their last eight Premier League games, with Trent also having one goal and five assists over that period. In fact, in the entire Premier League, only Kevin De Bruyne has more assists than Alexander-Arnold. It might be a tall order keeping Danny Ings out, but he remains the best opportunity of bagging the holy grail of attacking returns, clean sheet and bonus points.
MID: Kevin De Bruyne vs Spurs (A)
Kevin De Bruyne is the creativity King: it’s now 17 assists for the season, just 4 away from improving on his tally of 21 from the 2016/17 season. He has three assists in his last four games, bagging both the assists when these two sides met back in August, in a 2-2 draw at the Etihad. He has created more chances (14) than any other player over the course of the last four games, also topping the charts for successful crosses with 13. Spurs have conceded three goals in their past four games, and will struggle to keep this potent Manchester City attack out, with the Belgian playmaker at the heart of it all.
FOR: Roberto Firmino vs Southampton (H)
Bobby Firmino won many hearts with his late winner in the first of Liverpool’s Double Gameweek 24 fixtures, with two goals from his last four games demonstrating his form right now. He scored a goal in the reverse fixture and has created nine chances in January for his team-mates. No other play has had more shots in this period than his 16, with 15 of those goal attempts coming from inside the box. Opponents Southampton have conceded four goals in their last four games, conceding seven big chances over that spell.
Until next time…
Find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on Holly’s website: Fantasy Football Community