Gameweek 26 seems to be one of the hardest captaincy choices of the 2022/23 campaign so far. The ‘obvious’ go-to is Erling Haaland (£12.2m) but he has a very tough game against the league’s best defence.
Marcus Rashford (£7.3m), the most in-form player since the Gameweek 17 restart, plays Liverpool in what should be a tightly contested derby.
The lack of an obvious choice adds fun to what is a classic Fantasy Premier League (FPL) gameweek where we see no doubles and the more usual Saturday 11.00 GMT deadline.
As usual, Captain Sensible is here to dive into the data and highlight which assets have the best chance of hauling.
THE CAPTAIN POLL
With the return of normalcy this Gameweek we also see the re-establishment of Haaland on top of the Captaincy Poll. This season’s top points scorer is out in front with 38.93% of the vote but his dominance is dwindling compared to other weeks.
There is a duopoly at the top with Bukayo Saka (£8.5m) nearby at 31.67%, a vote share that has increased since Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Everton.
Making up the top three is Rashford, with just under 5%. Harry Kane (£11.7m), is very low down with 2.77% which makes him an interesting differential option.
THE TOP TWO
The voting numbers reflect the uncertain mood around Manchester City v Newcastle United. Although the Magpies have had an under-par few weeks, they still have supremacy at the back.
Since the World Cup, they’ve actually improved defensively with more clean sheets and the conceding of fewer goals, shots in the box and big chances. They have also maintained similar expected goals conceded (xGC) per 90 data.
|Gameweeks||Clean Sheets||Big Chances Conceded||Goals Conceded||Attempts In Box Conceded||Attempts Conceded||xGC|
This should concern potential Haaland captainers. The sturdy Newcastle backline means that chances will be few and far between, where we’ve already seen that he’s not the type to excel with such little service.
Newcastle could be the type of opponent to tactically thwart Man City, just like in the early season 3-3 match at St James’ Park. We have seen some good game plans, ranging from high presses to deep blocks, that have highlighted how City have lost that edge that they used to have in possession.
Furthermore, Haaland’s output has dried up a little. Since the World Cup, he has averaged 7.02 points per 90 whereas before it was 10.53. In his eight most recent matches, attacking numbers are down in almost every metric when compared to his season-long averages.
|Gameweeks||Big Chances Created||Goals||Minutes
|Shots Inside Box||xG||xGI|
However, this lesser data is still much better than almost everyone else. He’s in the top three for points since the restart and he also has the most expected goals (xG) in this time. The Norwegian is a player who can transcend fixtures, so it’s hard to totally write him off for captaincy.