Gameweek 29 Captain and Player Picks
Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns with captaincy corner and her three player picks in three positions for Double Gameweek 29.
The less said about Gameweek 28 captaincy the better – all of the top ten most captained players failed to deliver. With news of a surprise Double Gameweek 29, the captaincy decision has been sent into disarray. It’s not a particularly exciting one: Manchester City have the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford, plus the rearranged home clash with Arsenal. Arsenal’s original fixture against West Ham already held appeal, so the fact that they have an extra game added on does increase the appeal, even if it is Manchester City at the Etihad. The rearranged fixture comes on Wednesday 11th March.
It’s been a busy midweek for some, with plenty of Premier League sides involved in FA Cup action: Manchester City, Sheffield United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle, Leicester, Manchester United, Spurs, Norwich and Arsenal. The next legs of Champions League action for Spurs and Liverpool come immediately after Gameweek 29, with both sides currently on a 0-1 scoreline after the first leg. They are crunch games for these clubs. We also see Wolves and Manchester United on the road for their first Round of 16 fixtures in the Europa League. It’s getting to the point in the season where clubs have varying goals and split focus on various competitions, which can lead to rotation and some unpredictable results.
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: Kevin De Bruyne vs Manchester United (A) & Arsenal (H)
Speaking of rotation, backing Manchester City players in a Double Gameweek is a double-edged sword. It’s impossible to predict what lineup Pep Guardiola will go with in a single game, let alone two, and so 180 minutes for any player to be backed as captain is unlikely. The odds are always with Kevin De Bruyne though: rested in the League Cup Final and with two tricky Premier League fixtures in the schedule, it’s likely he will feature in both games, having started all of the last 16 in the Premier League and missing just 40 minutes this calendar year. He has one goal and two assists from his last four starts and picked up an impressive 20 points across the reverse fixtures. It was a brace, an assist and all three bonus points when City visited the Emirates earlier in the season. Manchester United had the edge in the derby, with Manchester City looking for revenge at Old Trafford on Sunday. Kevin De Bruyne is the highest owned player in the game and is seemingly on spot-kick duty too, after converting a crucial strike against Real Madrid in the Champions League last week. Will you play safe and go for the Shield Pick?
Sword Pick: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs West Ham (H) & Manchester City (A)
While Kevin De Bruyne looks likely to be the most captained for Double Gameweek 29, the fixtures arguably look more appealing for Arsenal. It’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who I’m tempted to give the armband to, with the home fixture against West Ham appealing in itself for captaincy – an added fixture for the Double Gameweek is a bonus at this point. Aubameyang has three goals in the last four gameweeks, matching his nearest rivals despite playing one less fixture. Those three goals have come from four big chances, while he’s also chipped in with nine shots over this spell. In the reverse fixture against West Ham, Aubameyang picked up one goal, one assist and three bonus points. However, he has never scored against Manchester City. He does have penalties in his locker, and is well in the mix for the Golden Boot, for the second consecutive season. The potential is there for the West Ham game alone, but will Kevin De Bruyne be more prevalent across the two fixtures? It’s a tough decision to weigh up. 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 Bournemouth (H)
While Double Gameweek options are always tempting, it’s easy to overlook other credible picks this weekend. Trent Alexander-Arnold will be looking to get his huge points return back on track, having been stopped in his tracks against Watford after an impressive run. He was rotated in the reverse fixture, but given his absence for Liverpool in the FA Cup midweek, you’d expect him to start this one. He still has two assists, two clean sheets and four bonus points from his last four games. Can he get the holy grail of assist, clean sheet and bonus points?
MID: Mohammed Salah vs Bournemouth (H)
If you aren’t convinced by De Bruyne or Aubameyang for the captaincy, Mo Salah is well worth being in the conversation as an excellent single gameweek option. He loves playing the Cherries, with a flawless record of seven goals and one assist from five appearances. Given Bournemouth’s defensive frailties right now, and Liverpool returning to their home ground, I’d expect a big performance. Salah has three goals from his last four games and hasn’t blanked at Anfield this calendar year.
FOR: Raul Jimenez vs Brighton (H)
Raul Jimenez has already matched his total of 13 goals for the season, set last year, and shows no signs of slowing down. He has found the back of the net in consecutive games and up next it’s a Brighton side battling relegation. Jimenez grabbed an assist when these sides met earlier in the season. He’s taken 15 shots in his last four games, only Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bruno Fernandes have had more.
Until next time…
Find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on Holly’s website: Fantasy Football Community