This article takes a deep dive look at the all important Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 23 captain decision. It's written by our resident FPL captaincy expert Chris Tan who takes a close look at the fixtures, poll and stats breakdown before concluding on his best pick for the armband. 

 

FPL Gameweek 22 Captain Recap

Before we delve into the FPL Gameweek 23 Captain Decision, it’s important to cast our eye back to last week.

 

Friday – 10 January 2010

Those that have doubled or tripled on the Sheffield Utd defence got a very late scare before VAR saved the day.  Fabianski owners (myself included) despaired as it looked like a recurrence of his hip injury.  Lundstram was brought off early and Blades fans indicate he could be dropped soon.  These are also the fans that told us he wouldn’t start the season though, so I would wait and see.

 

Saturday – 11 January 2010

Aubameyang continued his consistent scoring run, but a shocking challenge resulted in a red card and that’s him out for the next three games.  Both Lacazette and Pepe could benefit in this new look Arsenal.  Chelsea comfortably took care of Burnley with another impressive display from James.  Hudson-Odoi took advantage of Pulisic being injured and Abraham got back in on the action. Everton continued their impressive run under Ancelotti with another clean sheet (CS) and a Richarlison goal.  Southampton took revenge on Leicester with Ings unfortunate to only return once and a solitary Vardy assist was enough to save those that captained him from a blank.  As expected Man Utd comfortably beat Norwich, although the use of Mata  to overcome the low block was more unexpected and could be a future solution for Utd to utilise.  Williams impressed as an attacking defensive enabler and Rashford stole the show, highlighting how valuable penalty takers are.  Newcastle held Wolves, as their time as whipping boys may have come to an end and after Almiron broke his seal, he just can’t stop scoring now.  Liverpool got their sixth CS in a row winning again with Salah assisting Firmino, but it was very much a game of two halves and Spurs were unlucky not to equalise.  In addition, their defence is starting to appear a lot more stable, as Mourinho’s work starts to embed.

 

Sunday - 12 January 2020

Watford continued their excellent run under Pearson with another great display from their front four, this time it was Doucoure who took the plaudits, as Bournemouth look absolutely dire.  Lastly, Pep surprised us all lining up by starting both Jesus and Aguero, but it was no surprise that City absolutely destroyed Villa.  Aguero got another hat-trick, Mahrez came a close second and KDB got a respectable nine points.

 

Who did I tip?

Vardy (5) – he was the most highly owned and the poll winner, which made him the safest option and he delivered although it was underwhelming and he didn’t have a single shot all game, which is a concern.

KDB (9) – he picked up another two assists with his second being a sublime pass and probably would have got more if he wasn’t wrapped up in cotton wool after 62 mins.  I identified that this was the best fixture and the score line reflected that.

Rashford (12) – I indicated that he had a higher points ceiling than Jimenez and he came up with the goods.

Aguero (20), Mahrez (17)Sterling (0) and Jesus (10) – I put my money where my mouth was this week and backed Mahrez in what was the most attractive fixture.  For anyone with Sterling, this was just unlucky and very similar to the Watford outcome from earlier in the season.

 

How have we done to date?

I did an analysis of my picks over the season to date to compare with the top poll choice:

Captaincy Gameweek 23 - Past Performance

The second pick extended the lead over the top pick, which indicates that this might be a good route to take for those that are chasing, as it will be more of a differential choice without being an absolute punt.

What did we learn?

Clean Sheets – with six this Gameweek they’re starting to come back in fashion as teams are finally tightening up and there’s a lot of value at the back.

Whipping Boys – look to target Villa and Bournemouth.

Don’t get tunnel vision – double Gameweeks are amazing, but don’t tunnel in on them and lose focus on other great opportunities such as the recent City fixture.

 

FPL Gameweek 23 Captain - The Fixtures

Captaincy Gameweek 23 - Fixtures

 

Watford v Spurs – Watford are on an impressive run with Pearson whereas Spurs haven’t really impressed under Mourinho after the initial bounce.  However, they looked a lot better against Liverpool and I can see this being quite a close one.

 

Arsenal v Sheffield Utd – Arteta has improved Arsenal, but losing Torreira and Aubameyang will definitely hurt the team.  Sheffield Utd are difficult to beat away from home and this will be a test of how far Arsenal have come.

 

Brighton v Aston Villa – Brighton aren’t on the best form and they’re only three points clear of Villa, so this is a real six point affair.  Villa got torn apart by City, but there’s no shame in that and you could see how annoyed Grealish was getting.  Will there be a reaction?

 

Man City v Crystal Palace – I’m not expecting City to repeat what they did against Villa.  Palace are well organised and have been a bit of a bogey team for City in the past.

 

Norwich v Bournemouth – Norwich are pretty much going down, they’re on a terrible run and they’re facing their twin, although Bournemouth are still in the mix.  On the eye Norwich have looked the better team recently, but Bournemouth need a result here to save their season.

 

Southampton v Wolves – Southampton are one of the best form teams at the moment whereas Wolves are on a bit of a slump.  Despite that, Wolves have shown against City and Liverpool that they can handle the high press and Southampton will find it hard to break them down.

 

West Ham v Everton – West Ham have flattered to deceive under Moyes and losing Fabianski again was a massive blow.  Everton look very well organised under Ancelotti and the Hammers will struggle to break them down.

 

Newcastle v Chelsea – Almiron has finally learnt how to score, but they’re not the same side as they were in the Keegan days and they can’t outscore their opponents.  Chelsea appear to do better away from home and Newcastle have been leaky recently.

 

Burnley v Leicester – Burnley have also started conceding a lot at home, especially against top six opposition, which makes this the ideal fixture for Leicester to get back on track.  Ndidi was sorely missed, but I think they’ll bounce back.

 

Liverpool v Man Utd – if there’s one team that can stop the Liverpool juggernaut it might just be their old enemy.  The reverse fixture ended in a draw and these games are usually pretty tight affairs.

 

Gameweek 22 fixtures are the reverse of Gameweek 9, here’s what happened last time:

 

Captaincy Gameweek 23 - Reverse Fixtures

These were all fairly tight games, so it might be quite a low scoring week if we're expecting a similar affair.

 

Twitter FPL Gameweek 23 Captain Poll

Who do our Twitter followers think is the best FPL Gameweek 23 captain?

FPL Gameweek 23 Captaincy

Hub Twitter Poll

Old Hunting Ground – do any of the likely lads have a good history vs their opposition?

Captaincy Gameweek 23 - Player History

 

Grealish – had a great game in the reverse fixture at Home this season and if Villa are to have any chance of staying up they’re reliant on him.  Without Wesley and surrounded by mediocre players it might be too much of an ask.

Sterling – has missed the last two games, so anyone that’s patiently held him should be feeling optimistic.  Three of his goals against Palace were scored at the Etihad.

KDB – he also has a decent record against Palace and his early rest against Villa indicates he won’t be rotated.  He appears to prefer the home fixture too with two goals and three assists recorded at Home.

Son - has a great record against Watford, however only two of his goals were scored away from home.

Alli – also has a great record against Watford, but similar to Son he has only scored two away from home.

Jesus – has only recorded a single assist at home against Palace.

Ings – only has one assist at home against Wolves, but he’s never been on this kind of form before.

Jimenez – none of his returns have come away from home.

Aguero – like KDB he appears to prefer the home fixture with three goals and an assist recorded.

Rashford – despite appearing to have a reasonable record against Liverpool he hasn’t returned at Anfield.

Richarlison – picked up an assist in his last away game to West Ham.

Vardy – has scored two goals away at Burnley, could he add to his tally?

 

Members Stats breakdown - FPL Gameweek 23 Captain

These stats are pulled from the Fantasy Football Hub OPTA Stats tool that is available to all members to help you analyse the players and teams.  I usually look at the last four home or away games dependant on the fixture, however I have pulled the specific data from the last four Gameweeks, as we’ve had a lot of games recently and I wanted a more current overview.

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