He was my first pick for the captain’s armband last week. After delivering 13 points against West Ham, he’s again my first pick this week. It’s hard to look past Lukaku right now. The big Belgian has gotten his Man Utd career off to a dream start. Following up from scoring against European champions Real Madrid last midweek, he bagged a brace against West Ham. His confidence will certainly be sky high. What’s more ominous was, that he could have easily scored more than two. A new look Man Utd looked electric going forward, with Nemanja Matic screening the defense. This allowed Paul Pogba to roam with more creative freedom. We also saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford at full tilt, while Anthony Martial too, impressed in his brief stint at the end.
This all makes up for a fearsome force feeding Lukaku, who showed why the Red Devils paid such a huge fee for him. And the big forward did impress, with a cool header accompanying predatory finish on the opening day. And there’s little to suggest that he won’t start off at the Liberty Stadium, where he finished off at Old Trafford. Opponents Swansea may have eked out a clean sheet against Southampton on the opening day. However, it was more down to their opponents profligacy than their defensive solidity. Southampton failed to score despite having a mammoth 29 attempts, which points to frailties in the Swans rearguard. The ex-Everton man will be licking his lips at the prospect of exploiting them.
The scariest thing about not captaining Lukaku is his ownership. He is in 52.3% of all teams, and you can bet he’ll be captained by a lot of them. If he does what he can do, you’ll be in for a long weekend, with disastrous consequences for your rank. If you don’t have him in your team still, get him in, any way you can.
2nd Choice : #Mané vs CRY H
Second on my captain’s pick list is Sadio Mane. The explosive Senegalese netted at the Vicarage Road last Saturday with a sumptuous finish. I back him to do the same at home against a struggling Crystal Palace. Liverpool showed signs of going back to their best attacking football against Watford. They should carry it forward in their first home game of the season. They’ve shown that they can score a bagful of goals, even without star man Phillippe Coutinho. The Brazilian is again already ruled out for the encounter, with uncertainty around his future. Mane has also scored twice in his last three appearances against the Eagles, which shows they’re one of his favorite opponents.
Crystal Palace were probably the worst side on show in the first week, succumbing to a 3-0 loss at home against newly-promoted Huddersfield Town. Frank de Boer’s managerial debut at Selhurst Park was marred by a poor defensive showing, with a seemingly weak Huddersfield putting them to the sword. His experimental 3-4-2-1 formation failed to impress, even with two new defensive recruits in Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Jairo Riedewald. Liverpool will be aiming to take full advantage of this unsettled Palace side.
Although Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino bagged a goal and assist as opposed to Mane’s goal, I still favor Mane to outscore them this week. Firmino got his goal through a penalty, while Salah was lucky to be on the end of a delicious lob from Firmino to bundle the ball in. Though neither of them are bad captain picks, I would just favor Mane more. In fact, Salah just narrowly misses my top 3 for this week. Although his finishing is still dodgy, his electric pace will cause problems and selfishness is always a positive asset to have in a Fantasy player.
In 24.2% of the teams, less than half as much as Lukaku, Mane is also my differential captain punt of the week. If playing it safe and sound with Lukaku is not your style, there’s little better than Mane, who can help you get ahead of the game if he does well.
3rd Choice : #Kane vs CHE H
Harry Kane rounds off my top 3 for this week. Although this pick might seem odd after Kane returned 1 point in the opener against Newcastle and faces Chelsea this week, he may actually prove to be a shrewd choice for the armband. Kane was perhaps unlucky to end up with only a point against the Magpies, as he did look sharp and even had a goal ruled out for offside along with hitting the post late on. Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli linked up well again with him, and on another day his frustrations at St. James’ Park could have easily resulted in a 13-point haul.
Although there is talk of an August curse for Kane, given that he has never scored in a Premier League fixture in August, I believe that is nothing but a myth. Kane has never had a full pre-season of rest before this season, with international commitments in each of his past two summers. After his showing against Newcastle, the two-time Golden Boot winner is sure to get off the mark sooner rather than later.
In a London derby, his opponents this week will be Chelsea, another side in turmoil. Chelsea were humbled at home by Burnley, a side notably weak away from home. They were left gasping for breath as Burnley scored 3 past them in the first half itself. The champions showed uncharacteristically poor defending. This may also have to do with unrest in the squad as manager Antonio Conte has expressed discontentment over the lack of summer recruitment from the club, having only signed three first team players.
To make matters worse for Chelsea, they saw Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas suspended. Chelsea are short of depth in both positions and this could have an adverse effect on their performance. With Tiemoue Bakayoko still out, the Blues have no other central midfielders, which may mean David Luiz being thrust there. With Luiz being moved up from centre-back, Andreas Christensen may take his place in the defense. He could partner new signing Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta. This will be something both Kane and Spurs will be keen to exploit. In recent years, Spurs have had a good record against Chelsea. Kane has a terrific record in London derbies, and he should be up for the big occasion again.