Gameweek 28 Captain and Player Picks
Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns with captaincy corner and her three player picks in three positions for Gameweek 28.
Last weekend saw mixed fortunes where the captaincy was concerned. Danny Ings and Sergio Aguero were popular differentials to Mo Salah, but managed just two points between them, with the latter missing a penalty. We’ve reached another blank in the schedule. There’s no fixture for Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Sheffield United due to Aston Villa and Manchester City facing off in the League Cup final. That depletes our captaincy options, with Aguero, Aubameyang and Kevin De Bruyne in the conversation over recent weeks.
It’s tough keeping up with the football calendar right now, with so many involved in various competitions. In terms of those involved in Europe, only Liverpool and Spurs are awarded the midweek off. Arsenal and Wolves are in control of their Europa League round of 32 ties, but Manchester United need a result at home to Club Brugge. Chelsea host Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening, with Manchester City travelling to Real Madrid. Ten Premier League sides are involved in FA Cup 5th Round action in the midweek after Gameweek 28, including Chelsea against Liverpool and Spurs against Norwich.
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 Watford (A)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 10/11
Having picked up a goal in Gameweek 27, Mo Salah remains in pole position for the captaincy this weekend, largely helped by the depleted schedule. He was lucky to grab a return against West Ham, as Lukas Fabianski succumbed to a goalkeeping error. However, Salah now has four goals in four games and shows no signs of slowing down as he battles for a third consecutive Golden Boot. Up next, it’s the side he’s scored more goals against than any other, Watford. In five Premier League appearances he’s racked up an impressive eight goals and two assistS, blanking just once. The Hornets are firmly back in their old ways as their battle to avoid relegation looks difficult: they’ve conceded nine goals in their last three games. Salah has had a mammoth 24 shots in his last four games, eight more than any other player. Will you play safe and go for the Shield Pick?
Sword Pick: Jamie Vardy vs Norwich (A)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 8/13
Jamie Vardy hasn’t been in the greatest form of late, with his season derailing around Christmas when babies and multiple injuries descended. Many managers have blindly kept the faith with this fixture in mind. Vardy grabbed an assist in the reverse fixture, which surprisingly finished 1-1. Norwich may well struggle to keep the scoreline as appealing as that this time around. The Canaries tend to play more expansive at home, where they hunt goals, which could crucially leave more room for Vardy. Despite no attacking returns in his last seven games, Vardy has had six shots. In three games against Norwich, Vardy has one goal and two assists and he has penalties in his locker too. It takes a brave manager to go against the superiority of Liverpool attackers, but Vardy is the best of the rest. 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 (A)
Trent Alexander-Arnold continues to provide amazing consistency, and despite Liverpool conceding two goals against West Ham last weekend, he still walked away with double digit fantasy points. It’s now eleven consecutive games without a blank, gathering up two goals and 14 fantasy assists. Only Kevin De Bruyne can match those totals. If anything, it would be more surprising if he didn’t deliver attacking returns in any given game. Can he get the holy grail of assist, clean sheet and bonus points?
MID: Anthony Martial vs Everton (A)
Anthony Martial may have been ousted from spot-kick duty by Bruno Fernandes, but having the Portuguese playmaker in this Manchester United side is working wonders for Martial. A vital creativity cog is ensuring that Manchester United are creating plenty of chances, with 23 shots on target in their last four games. Martial has two goals from the three games with Fernandes in the side, taking six shots. He has a fantastic record against opponents Everton, with five goals and two assists in nine appearances.
FOR: Danny Ings vs West Ham (A)
Danny Ings is awarded a second chance, despite a disappointing blank at home to Aston Villa last weekend. He has had eight shots in his last four games and now faces a struggling West Ham side. Southampton are on an upwards trajectory right now, with 21 shots on target across their last four games, fifth in the league for this metric. Meanwhile, West Ham have conceded ten goals across their last four league games, with some unusual mistakes from Fabianski. We know Ings can poach goals from nowhere.
Until next time…
Find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on Holly’s website: Fantasy Football Community