Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers are once again seeing double as four teams – Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool and Wolves – play twice in Double Gameweek 25.
In an open captaincy week, Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) and Bukayo Saka (£8.4m) assume the roles of chief protagonists, with alternative options from Arsenal and Liverpool providing the supporting cast in this edition of the armband argument.
As usual, Captain Sensible is here to highlight which assets have the best chance of hauling.
First, we will assess the fallout of the captain poll, before then analysing the best options, Rate My Team (RMT) and the Premier Fantasy Tools ratings ahead of Friday’s 18:30 GMT deadline.
THE CAPTAIN POLL
In a season of robotic perma-captaincy, we officially have the closest contest this term, with Salah topping the armband poll. Liverpool’s Egyptian is backed by a mite over four-tenths of the total votes cast by users at the time of writing, narrowly trumping second-placed Saka.
Arsenal’s star boy is selected by 38.4% of the electorate and no other player has garnered more than 5% of votes at this stage.
Martin Odegaard (£7.0m) occupies third place with 4.5%, followed by Erling Haaland (£12.2m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) further back.
DOUBLE GAMEWEEK CANDIDATES
Liverpool’s 5-2 hammering by Real Madrid on Tuesday evening – the club’s worst-ever defeat in Europe – was symptomatic of the Reds’ season.
They were frail and exposed in both defence and midfield, potentially explosive in attack but wildly inconsistent.
The heavy nature of the defeat sounded alarm bells on the current narrative that Liverpool are resurgent, having picked up consecutive Premier League victories over Everton and Newcastle United.
Statistically, they rank as this season’s third-best attack in the Premier League – producing an expected goal every 52.6 minutes.
The domestic decline of Fantasy heavyweight Salah mirrors Liverpool’s testing campaign but reports of his demise have been slightly exaggerated, having scored 16 goals and provided seven assists in all competitions.
If we zoom out and analyse Salah’s underlying data from a season-long lens, the Liverpool attacker ranks third-best in the league for non-penalty expected goals (NPxG, 10.44), a tally suggesting that the Egyptian is underperforming.
Furthermore, if we compare this iteration of Salah with last season’s vintage, the stats are not hugely different at this stage.
|Shots On Target||28||38|
|Big Chances (total)||18||27|
|Big Chances (scored)||6||14|
|Expected Goals (xG)||10.44||13.99|
|Expected Assists (xA)||3.50||3.71|
|Expected Goal Involvement (xGI)||13.94||17.70|
Last season’s red-hot Salah trumps the 2022/23 version until Gameweek 24 for expected goals (xG), total big chances and goals from penalties.
Undoubtedly, Salah ‘ran hot’ last term, as evidenced by his expected goal involvement (xGI) Delta being +7.30 to indicate a purple patch of finishing where 14 big chances were converted.
Recently, Salah has demonstrated glimpses of form, delivering four attacking returns in his last three outing – two goals and two assists.
However, over his last six league matches, his 13 shots and ten shots inside the box have been bettered by 22 other players, with one solitary big chance.