Welcome to Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Game-week 2. Man is it good to have fantasy football back!! Everything just seems slightly better in the world; red lights don’t last as long, my cooking tastes better, the missus’ incessant nagging actually sometimes seems to have a valid point… apart from when it’s about FPL: “Why do you even play that stupid game?” I can’t even…
But yeah, we’re back in the saddle again and life is good. The awful new colour scheme is even starting to grow on me. I’d forgotten about the horror of not owning any Monday night players though; you’ve got to love a guaranteed 15k drop in the rankings. Chips have already been played, both accidentally and on purpose, with varying levels of success. Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte all got off to winning starts; and we all got to see more of Gary Lineker than we really needed in our lives. Fair play to that man though.[separator type=”thin”]
Sergio Aguero (away vs Stoke)
Seriously, why wouldn’t you do this? Differentials are to be admired and all but this is a marathon not a sprint, and just as surely as the peloton inevitably catches up with the breakaway rider, more often than not managers captaining Aguero will punish those who try to make a defiant stand.
Mixing up sports metaphors aside though, this early in the season is no time to be making risky choices; there’ll be plenty of time for that in the second half of the season as we try to close 100 point gaps in our cash mini-leagues (often caused by us taking risky choices in the first place!).
For now we should get the obvious points while they’re there and not worry about what other people are doing, and Aguero at the Britannia (Bet365 Stadium doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same) certainly falls into that category.
Once renowned in defence, Stoke have changed their playing style under Hughes, mostly for the better I might add, but that does open the door for conceding more goals, and often all too easily as showcased last game-week with Negredo out-muscling two of their defenders in the air for his goal, something we’d certainly not have seen a lot of in years gone by.
Now Aguero’s only little, bless him, and so is unlikely to trouble them in the same way his former teammate did, but he has a whole host of other tricks at his disposal, and you don’t want to be praying for an early injury just so that he can’t put them to good use.[separator type=”thin”]
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (home vs Southampton)
Okay, maybe this is why you wouldn’t do that. The man of many clubs has started life brightly at United, scoring in pre-season, in the Community Shield, and again in his first Premier League match with a precise finish from 25 yards out. He really does bring something special to the pitch; no matter how well he is playing he is capable of producing a sudden moment of magic to score when most other players wouldn’t even think to attempt it.
Zlatan certainly has his detractors, but frankly they don’t know what they’re talking about. Some predicted he’d struggle with the physicality of the league… have you seen him?! He’s a beast of a man, and wasted no time in flying into challenges against Bournemouth, performing his trademark karate kick passes, and even played a bit deeper at times and could have easily had a couple of assists too.
Also he’s the only guy I’ve seen actually successfully pull off the man-bun, and all the footballers seem to be trying it on for size now. Moreno… why, just why..? So I may have a bit of a man-crush on him, but don’t let my bias put you off him!
Now, Southampton are no slouches in defence, raided as their team has been, but it will be a big ask for them to hold out for 90 minutes against United’s attacking talent at Old Trafford. It could be a good training exercise for Fonte ahead of his move though… Anyone who doesn’t captain Zlatan will be really hoping he doesn’t turnip. You know, because he’s a big Swede.[separator type=”thin”]
Liverpool midfielders (away vs Burnley)
Really, just whichever one you have as I doubt you have two. I mean the article could have already ended after those first two options to be honest, but for the sake of appearance let’s carry on.
Now if the first game against Arsenal was anything to go by, Liverpool will have no trouble scoring this season. The problem is just how much the goals will be shared. I mean seriously Roberto Firmino?? Four goals and you couldn’t get one lousy assist?! Er, I mean having such a wealth of capable attacking players without a definitive target man is likely going to lend itself to more of a group effort as opposed to one or two players running away with all of the points.
Therefore it is hard to pick just one to tip here. Obviously Coutinho had a fantastic game so many will go with him, especially after his sublime free-kick that resulted from Holding being caught, ahem, holding him too eagerly, but this game-week it could just as easily be Firmino, Saido Mane or Adam Lallana getting a brace. Or even Georginio Wijnaldum, but does anyone actually have him? The point being, if you don’t have one of Aguero or Ibra as captain then you should probably opt for one of these fellas.[separator type=”thin”]
Eden Hazard (away vs Watford)
Hazard, along with a whole lot of us, will be wanting to just put last season behind him. There were signs of him having done so against West Ham on Monday, but with the season being so young still he is here mainly on ability and reputation as opposed to form. That being said this is the perfect chance for him to regain said form of a couple of seasons ago with a clean slate this season and also a new manager.
Diego Costa showed a lot of promise in the first game too, but he’s been largely overlooked by the fantasy community so far. You could certainly do worse than throw the armband on him this game-week, but be aware that he doesn’t tend to get as many bonus points as other forwards though, and Hazard being on penalties again is a big reason to opt for the Belgian instead.[separator type=”thin”]
Harry Kane (home vs Crystal Palace)
Kane likewise is here due to what he can do, not what he’s done lately. Last season he did take a good few games to get going, but that doesn’t necessarily have any bearing here. After a great initial reunion with Palace, Pardew has seen them go on a dire run of late, and they’ve only kept two league clean sheets this calendar year!
So, if none of the above options really appeal to you, you could always give Kane a run-out at the Lane, where Spurs proved so clinical last season before their end of season collapse. Pochettino will be keen to ensure that there is no hangover to that collapse and thus will be keen for his side gets back to winning ways – and a thumping home victory in a London derby will go a long way to getting Spurs back on track after last week’s tepid draw at Everton.
Make sure you check out Fantasy Football 24/7‘s website if you want more excellent hints and tips.
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