This article takes a deep dive look at the all important Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 29 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 28 Captain Recap
Before we delve into the FPL Gameweek 29 Captain Decision it’s important to cast our eye back over the last Gameweek to get a feel for team and player form.
Friday 28 February 2020
The FPL community were hit with some early team news that indicated Vardy was out and that was the catalyst for an absolute Twitter meltdown! I went from being fairly bearish about Leicester given their form, to punting all in because (I thought) Perez really steps it up when Vardy isn’t there. What happened was an absolute disaster for me and several others, as Norwich put up a great performance to beat Leicester 1-0. Leicester looked pedestrian in their build up play, allowing Norwich time to reorganise their defence and they struggled to create any clear cut chances. There was a standard VAR’d goal chalked off, but Leicester didn’t do enough to win this one and Norwich are highly motivated to survive.
Saturday 29 February 2020
Saturday started with a typical resolute Palace performance, the victory pushed them into safety whereas Brighton are right on the cusp of relegation. Bournemouth aren’t going down without a fight and they looked like they’ve rediscovered their mojo with some great attacking play. Chelsea struggled in this game, but one player who is definitely not struggling is Alonso or Goalonso. When he plays, he returns, if only Frank would guarantee he would play. Newcastle and Burnley was the stalemate I expected, although to give credit to them Newcastle had the lions share of the chances, they just lacked the quality to score. It looks like we were right at the beginning, Pope is a season keeper but many (myself included) didn’t have the patience. Another mystery niggle with Ings resulted in him starting on the bench. If these little niggles start recurring, then you factor in his recent form and consider some similar priced alternatives, his days could be numbered. West Ham appeared galvanised in this fixture and put in a serious shift to comfortably beat Southampton. Finally, the shock of the weekend came with Watford smashing Liverpool 3-0. Sarr will definitely get the plaudits with a 19 point haul, but it was a combination of things that made this game interesting. Watford have been poor recently and the injury to Deulofeu will hurt them, but the return of Sarr and the threat of relegation appears to have give them a second wind. Liverpool haven’t looked the same since they returned from the Winter break, they’ve lost their rhythm. I’ve commented over the past few weeks that their defence hasn’t looked quite right and the return of Lovren the GOAT wasn’t solely the reason for this capitulation. As a double defence holder I was happy to see Gomez return in the cup. From an attacking perspective Liverpool didn’t really create much and struggled to break down the well organised Watford defence.
Sunday 1 March 2020
Honours were even between Man United and Everton, although Everton will feel aggrieved about their disallowed goal and Calvert-Lewin confirmed that he can handle the big fixtures. For United it’s starting to look like Bruno is their talisman and a man for all occasions, it will be interesting to see how he fares against Man City. Spurs started well against Wolves with Bergwijn getting on the score sheet, then Wolves started to turn it on. The reliable Jimenez contributed with a goal, but once again it was the Jota and Doherty show.
Who did I tip?
Salah (2) – Liverpool just didn’t turn up, he was probably their most threatening player, but there weren’t any clear cut chances.
Mane (2) – this was a very quiet game from Mane and he didn’t really feature at all.
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:
This was a disastrous week for many, but it could have been a great week if you would have gone with a differential that actually returned, as all of the main choices blanked. With Liverpool still looking a little lacklustre, but many still auto-captaining their players this could be an opportunity to close some ground.
What did we learn?
Motivation – some of the teams in the relegation zone have been whipping boys, but with only a few games left and everything at stake we’re starting to see a real change in their efforts and how they approach games. I would keep a keen eye on the teams with something to play for now, which are those involved in a relegation battle and those fighting for a European place.
Form over Fixtures and Blanks – I’m going to reiterate this from last week, as I clearly ignored my own advice (again). A lot of us like to focus on fixtures, it’s easy enough to spot a nice run for a team and then there’s the concern about the blank Gameweek coming up. However, that can sometimes lead to us ignoring some assets that are on fire, which can be detrimental to your rank. Everton have tough fixtures, but Calvert-Lewin can’t stop returning. Man United also have a tough run, but Fernandes is averaging 8 points per game. On the flip side, Leicester face some whipping boys in their next few, but none of their players are on form and they blanked against Norwich. I am steered by fixtures, but at this stage of the season I wouldn’t ignore form or team motivation.
FPL Gameweek 29 Captain - The Fixtures
Gameweek 29 fixtures are the reverse of Gameweek 16 (City played Arsenal in Gameweek 17), here’s what happened last time:
Calvert-Lewin scored a brace in the reverse fixture and on current form, he looks likely to return again. Salah picked up a goal plus an assist and I expect him to be a popular choice again this week. Vardy bagged a brace, but will he be fit? Ings picked up a goal, hopefully we won’t see a recurrence of his niggle, as he did come on and play the last game. Jota scored a brace, like Calvert-Lewin, I can’t see him slowing down on his returns. Lastly, Aubameyang and Pepe picked up a goal plus assist each, but if West Ham put in a shift like the last Gameweek they might have a much tougher time.
Twitter FPL Gameweek 29 Captain Poll
Who do our Twitter followers think is the best FPL Gameweek 29 captain?
Old Hunting Ground – do any of the likely lads have a good history vs their opposition?
Salah – has an amazing record against Bournemouth with two returns from the two games played at home previously.
Mane – has a respectable record against Bournemouth and also has two returns from the two games played at home previously.
Jota – his two goals came from the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
Alonso – he’s only scored one goal against Everton, but there have been five previous clean sheets (CS). Looking at Everton and Chelsea’s current form, I think it might be a bit optimistic to expect a CS.
Vardy – with two goals scored earlier this season he does have a great recent record.
Aubameyang – similar to Vardy, his recent record is excellent. However he’s yet to register a return against Man City from four appearances.
Calvert-Lewin – if you strip out the previous fixture his record isn’t that good, but he’s changed as a player this season and so had his role in the team. Therefore the previous fixture is probably more indicative than the three prior to that (although there’s no guarantee he will be able to repeat it).
Jimenez – doesn’t have the best history against Brighton and is definitely being overshadowed by Jota.
KDB – doesn’t have a great history against Man Utd, but he does against Arsenal with four goals and three assists from nine fixtures, although this has largely been boosted by the haul from the reverse fixture in Gameweek 17.
Aguero – a late addition, as this was drafted prior to the double Gameweek announcement, he has eight goals from 11 games against United, which includes a goal at home last season. Against Arsenal he has eight goals and two assists from 13 games, which include a hat trick at home last season. That puts him on 18 returns from 24 games, which is a respectable 75% and in isolation (and gambling on him playing) he looks a far more explosive option than Aubameyang.
Members Stats breakdown - FPL Gameweek 29 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 have pulled data from the last four Gameweeks, as we’ve had a lot of games recently and I wanted a more current overview.
Individual Player Stats – who stands out?
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