Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers enjoy a brief respite from the helter-skelter of endless “doubles” by welcoming the reduced seven-game schedule of Blank Gameweek 28.
Harry Kane (£11.7m) and a triumvirate of Arsenal attackers assume the roles of chief protagonists, with alternative options from Aston Villa, Brentford and Chelsea providing the supporting cast.
As usual, the Captain Sensible article 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
Harry Kane tops the captain poll of Gameweek 28, backed by over 40% of our users at the time of writing.
Bukayo Saka (£8.5m) sits in second place, with 17.3% of the electorate.
No other player has garnered more than 8% of votes at this stage, with Ollie Watkins (£7.4m) occupying third place backed by a mite under one in 14 of our users, followed by Ivan Toney (£7.8m) and Gabriel Martinelli (£6.6m) further back.
BUKAYO SAKA/MARTIN ODEGAARD/GABRIEL MARTINELLI
Arsenal’s title challenge continues unabated, with Mikel Arteta’s young Gunners’ holding a five-point lead over nearest rivals Manchester City.
This finely tuned and youthful attack has the underlying numbers to sustain a title challenge, ranking second-best this season for non-penalty expected goals (NPxG, 51.79), which is only marginally behind Pep Guardiola’s side (52.23).
Bukayo Saka assumes the role of talisman in this attacking unit and boasts strong underlying numbers which highlight his importance for the north London outfit.
The England starlet has demonstrated remarkable consistency this term, ranking third-best in the division for attacking returns (20), with double-digit tallies for both goals (10) and assists (10) highlighting his all-round appeal.
Saka’s 16 attempts, 11 shots in the box and five on target all place in the top four for Arteta’s charges over the last six matches but is underwhelming compared to the division’s best over that same period.
Analysing the expected data confirms a recent dip in Saka’s production, only sneaking inside his team’s top four for NPxG and NPxGI (non-penalty expected goal involvement) with 1.32 and 2.21 respectively.
Meanwhile, Martin Odegaard (£6.9m) scored in Arsenal’s 3-0 demolition of Fulham last Sunday. The Norwegian’s second strike in three Premier League outings highlights a return to form.
The playmaker has been operating a ‘shoot on sight’ policy in recent weeks that yields strong underlying goal threat numbers.
Over the last six matches, the Nordic maestro sits second-best in the division for goal attempts (22) – an impressive tally which supplements his third-best number of chances created (18), supplying two big chances for his Arsenal brethren.
Gabriel Martinelli has overcome brief concerns about his status as a first-choice starter and instead turned into their star attacker. The Brazilian’s five goals over six matches rank joint-best in the league, with an upturn in production due to a partnership forming with Leandro Trossard (£6.6m).
Martinelli’s 13 shots in the box, six big chances and six on target all placed top among Arsenal assets over these half-dozen games. In fact, he excels throughout the whole league, ranking second-best for NPxG (3.26) and inside the top four for NPxGI (3.93).
Arsenal host Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace in Gameweek 28 – a side winless in their last 11 Premier League matches. Despite demonstrating reasonable mid-table underlying defensive stats, the Eagles have registered only one clean sheet in the last six and place in the top twelve for conceding shots in the box (49), big chances (12) and expected goals (xGC, 8.16).