AFTER WHAT SEEMED TO BE AN ETERNITY LONG BREAK, FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE IS BACK. IN THE FIRST GAMEWEEK AFTER THE BOUNTIFUL FESTIVE PERIOD, IT’S TIME TO LOOK AT THE CAPTAIN PICKS AGAIN.
1. HARRY KANE (VS EVE H)
Although he may have disappointed to gigantic proportions in the Double Gameweek, he’s still the man to back. Riddled with illness and then held by a stodgy West Ham defense, Kane’s now back to full fitness. He showed his fitness turning out in a game against Wimbledon in the FA Cup that most would’ve expected him to sit out for. And he showed his form too, with a brace in that game. Despite now having 2 blanks in a row, Kane still has great form. Let’s not forget he still has two hat-tricks in his last 4 games. Talk of a Wembley curse has subsided as well – the striker has 7 goals in his last 4 Wembley appearances.
Opponents Everton will be ideal meat for Kane. Despite a recent upsurge in form, only three teams have conceded more goals than the Toffees’ 34. They’ve now conceded 6 goals in their last 3 as well, and are winless in the same period. The English international will have happy memories of them too – he broke a 3 game scoring duck at the start of the season with a brace against the same opposition.
With his ownership up to 45.7% now, he’s as safe as you can get.
2. JESSE LINGARD (VS STK H) – DIFFERENTIAL PUNT
If you’d have told me a month ago that Lingard would be a viable Fantasy option, I’d have called you crazy. Yet, he’s now as good a captain pick as it can get. That’s just how Fantasy football rolls. Lingard continued being in the form of his life, with a goal last Gameweek against Everton. That brought him up to 7 goals and 2 assists in the last 9 games, with 70 points in the period. Romelu Lukaku is expected to be back too, so Lingard’s assist output may rise again.
What really appeals about Lingard though, is the fixture. Stoke at home may be the best fixture anyone will get this season. The Potters have conceded 47 goals, 7 more than any other side. Riddled with injuries, the opposition they’ve offered to the bigger sides can only be defined as meek. 7-2 against Man City, 5-0 and 4-0 against Chelsea, 5-1 vs Spurs, 3-0 vs Liverpool, and although they pulled off a draw against Man Utd, they still conceded 2 goals. Given how strong the Red Devils have been at home this season, this seems to be a fixture that can only end one way. And Lingard will be at the forefront of it.
Transferred in by over 500,000 managers this week, there’s still space to double down on the Lingard train.
3. SERGIO AGUERO (VS LIV A)
Another man in some form is Sergio Aguero. With Gabriel Jesus out with an injury, he’s unequivocally Pep Guardiola’s first choice now, and that’s all he’s needed. Since Jesus’ injury, Aguero has scored 4 goals in 3 starts. There was never any doubt about Aguero’s ability – only doubts about his gametime, which are not present, for now. Indeed, the Argentinean does have the highest points per game for a striker – 6.5.
Liverpool will represent familiar opponents for him. With 6 goals against the Reds, they’re one of his favorite opponents. He has played Liverpool more than any other side in his career, so he knows them inside out. Aguero scored 1 and assisted 1 in the two sides’ earlier meeting this season as well. Liverpool’s form against the big sides this season is even more encouraging – they have no wins against the top 5 sides. They’ve conceded 5 to Man City, 4 to Spurs and 3 to Arsenal, and it’s as clear as daylight that there are major defensive issues to be exploited there.
He’s the bridge between the safe pick and the punt.
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