FPL GW2: Captain picks

The first gameweek of the new Fantasy Premier League season is over, and it is time for us to focus on the following gameweek. In this article, we will look at the best captain picks for GW2.

If you are familiar with our captaincy decision-making process, we always pick a reliable player as our captain that has an easy fixture.

So, at first, we narrow down our list of fixtures to find out standout captaincy fixtures in the following gameweek.

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Who is your captain?

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Standout captaincy fixtures for GW2

We consider the following three matches to be the best fixtures to pick the captain from in the GW2:

  • Liverpool vs. Burnley
  • Manchester City vs. Norwich
  • Southampton vs. Manchester United

Captain picks for GW2

We have one very reliable captaincy option from all three games. Players that are able to deliver points on a weekly basis. Players that can score 200+ points during a season.

Great fixture only leverages their ability to deliver the results in the following gameweek.

Captain picks for GW2:

  • Mohamed Salah
  • Kevin De Bruyne
  • Bruno Fernandes

They all three could easily do very well in the GW2 of Fantasy Premier League. At the end of the day, it might not even matter which one you pick.

However, we have to pick only one of them.

And that is exactly what we are going to do in the rest of this article.

Comparing defenses

Let’s dive into data a bit and let’s compare defenses of oppositions. We have only one week of data available, so this is very tricky. We used Premier League data from Understat to perform this analysis.

If you are not familiar with Expected Goals statistics, read our article about xG here.

TeamGoals concededxG concededShots againstPenalty Area Shots against

All three oppositions conceded more (or equal) than 2 goals in the first GW. In terms of xG conceded, Southampton was the worse, as they conceded 2.39 xG against. However, 50 % of shots against them went from outside the box.

In this comparison, Southampton and Norwich defenses look to be weaker than Burnley’s.

Comparing attacks

Now, let’s look at the attacking stats of teams of our captain contenders. Again, we have just one week of data available right now, so our conclusions are likely to be distorted.

TeamG scoredxG ShotsPenalty Area Shots
Manchester United51.641612
Manchester City02.111810

It is a bit surprising to see that Manchester City produced the highest xG from all 3 teams in the GW1. They massively underperformed offensively – based on the xG, they should have score 2 goals instead of zero.

A similar surprise is, that Manchester United produced only 1.64 xG – that says, they should have scored only 1 or 2 goals based on xG. United massively overperformed their underlying stats. Their players showed as great finishers in the first gameweek and scored even chances of lower quality.

That is the reason why we would be very cautious if we were to captain Manchester United player in the GW2.

However, again, we have only one week of data available so far, which can easily distort our conclusions.

Based on this, we consider Manchester City attack stronger than it could look like based only on the results of their first match.

Comparing players

Now, let’s look at the stats of each captain contender.

De Bruyne000.020.019*9*

*played only 10 minutes

Both Salah and Fernandes overperformed their expected stats by approximately 2 involvements. It means, that based on xG and xA, they both should have only 1 involvement (1 goal or 1 assist) in their matches.

We do not have a lot of data about de Bruyne, as he only played 10 minutes. However, he managed one shot and one key pass in that time.

Conclusion: Best captain for GW2

There are not many differences between all three players and all three could end up the GW2 with a big haul.

However, we have to pick only one of them.

We are leaning towards the Belgian and we think that Kevin De Bruyne is the best captain for GW2. But we are careful with this pick.

If we have doubts about him starting the match against Norwich, we will go Salah. But as it stands, we expect Man City playmaker to start against Norwich.

And while Salah and Fernandes overperformed their underlying stats in the first gameweek, Manchester City has some catch-up to do regarding their expected stats.

Update (21.8.2021): It looks that De Bruyne couldn’t train this week, so he is still a big doubt for the game. If you do not want to take this gamble, pick Salah as your captain.

Matej Šuľan

Fantasy Football enthusiast with two top 1k finishes in FPL. Best FPL overall rank: 119th in 2019/20 season. Four top 500 finishes in UCL Fantasy, best overall rank: 23rd in 2018/19 season. Founder of Fantasy Football Reports.

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