Using the Triple Captain chip on Sanchez or Aguero for the recent double game-week went down a treat – they, of course, feature here once again – whilst giving the armband to Martial ended in tears: it’s a fine line that must be tread carefully every single time.
This late stage of the season is a strange one; even Leeds have more to play for than half of these teams now. There’s a variety players here: those from teams that are still fighting for something, those with a double immediately after, those who’re playing Villa. Buffet.
Sit back and relax. It’s time to find the perfect antepenultimate captain of the season. Just after I clear my search history of “before penultimate” and “extreme chicken wrestling”…
Alexis Sanchez – Norwich (H)
Here’s my skipper for the weekend. Job done. See yous all next season!
Alexis is the best all-rounder of the gameweek I think. He’s grabbed six goals and three assists in the last eight games – averaging just shy of 10 points per game lately – blistering form.
He’s on the majority of short-range free-kicks and rarely gets subbed off before 80 minutes too; his drive and energy levels are just what you’d want to see in a captain. I’d love to see him take on Berbatov in a bleep test.
Be wary though. Norwich players will be fighting ‘tooth and nail’ to nick a result here in their bid for survival… just as Sunderland were when they kept Sanchez out last weekend. That said, Norwich’s last match was a 3-0 home loss to Sunderland, which speaks to me. You can’t find a much safer bet than Sanchez for this round.
Troy Deeney – Aston Villa (H)
Watford have been asleep lately. It’s been a successful season for them: they’re level on points with Everton, who have had a unsuccessful season themselves, as they’re level on points with Watford. Now, with nothing to play for, captaining Deeney would be a risky move I admit… but ‘home to Villa’ just can’t be ignored.
It may be chucking form outta the window but, if The Great Troy Deeney can escape from his four-match slumber in the Premier League, this would be a fantastic differential punt: a goal in the FA Cup on Sunday to potentially reboot him, a goal-and-assist performance in the reverse fixture, a double game-week immediately after this round. Any takers?
Andy Carroll – West Brom (A)
At first, instinctively I thought ‘Payet’ and even typed up a full paragraph, before it dawned on me: he – for once – is not the Hammer of interest! Andy’s bagged five goals in his last three games and, amazingly, the donkey is actually playing like a Noble steed.
West Ham, unbeaten in their last six games, face a West Brom side without a win in their last six games. Not only are they unbeaten in their last six games they are also scoring freely and have found the back of the opposition net 15 times in those six games They’re fighting hard to clinch a Europa League spot and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bullet-header masterclass from Carroll on Saturday afternoon.However don’t be fooled into thinking that the big man is only going to score with his head, in the recent 2-2 draw with Leicester he was the designated penalty take with Mark Noble off the pitch. I kid you not!
Sergio Aguero – Southampton (A)
I don’t particularly fancy this fixture as a huge points-fest but it just feels wrong to leave him out. It was either him or Kane: the loss of hope amongst Spurs fans on Monday night leaves me thinking that Aguero has more to fight for this weekend. Man City have to stamp on van Gaal’s philosophical pilgrimage (crawl) for a Champions League place. There is of course the threat of rotation hanging over every City player, however just like last week I suspect Aguero will start and will come off around the hour mark once the points are in the bag. That’s the theory anyway!
That’s all somewhat pessimistic though. Sergio has netted 16 goals in as many League games and, despite City’s usual chronic homesickness, half of these have come at away grounds. I suspect many will opt for Sanchez and it’s not often that you can have Aguero as a differential captain! Actually… it’ll be quiet frightening if you don’t.
Jermaine Defoe – Stoke (A)
It was tough to find 5 decent picks for this round: a mate of mine said “hey, how about you tip a Stoke player, they’re playing Sunderland this weekend” and what a shout that was…
…a terrible shout! So much so that, after seeing their latest back-to-back 4-0 defeats and a 4-1 loss to Liverpool before those, I decided to flip the suggestion on its head.
Compared to others Defoe hasn’t been on fire by any stretch of the imagination – but he regularly pops up with a goal (three in his last six isn’t actually that bad!) and bonus points – which is a very promising trait for a player with *two* home games next gameweek. He has 13 goals to his name for the season and if Sunderland are to survive the drop they will need one or two more big performances from him.
One name absent here is Riyad Mahrez. The Premier League 2015/16 Player of the Year. I would’ve tipped him, so that we can celebrate with the Leicester fans if he wins them the League, but no: United have only conceded seven goals at home all season. For me, there are better options this gameweek, even if Mahrez is fighting for the biggest prize of all.
That’s all for now! Good luck and have a great weekend everyone.
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