Best captain pick for GW9
If you are familiar with our regular FPL gameweek tips, you know that we consider the fixture to be one of the most important factors for the captaincy.
Our decision-making process regarding the captaincy is based mainly on fixtures and player’s long-term history, only after that we look at the stats.
Let me explain.
Selecting a captain is about predicting. And the fixture is the only thing we can predict with 100% certainty. We cannot predict with high probability whether player will score based on his stats.
Ex-post vs. ex-ante analysis
Yes, stats are helpful for evaluating player performance in the recent matches. But they measure the past. We can only evaluate player’s past performance with stats and not the future performance. It is an ex-post analysis. Although stats are great for gaining an insight about the player, their use for predicting the output of just a single match is questionable. It is similar to financial investing, where we often come across the label: “Past performance is no guarante of future results.”
The only thing we can analyze and evaluate ex-ante (froward looking analysis) is the fixture.
However, here comes the tricky part. You can not look just at the opponent when evaluating the fixture. You also must look at the team your captain contender plays for.
Then, to eliminate short term variance and noise that we are seeing in short term stats (for example in stats from five or six gameweeks), we consider the long-term history of the player. We are picking players who have long term history of scoring, and stability of scoring behind them. And only then we look at the stats.
With Manchester City facing Tottenham, lot of our regular captain picks cancel each other out. We had to look at captain contenders from other teams.
Now here comes our first captain pick for GW9.
3. Timo Werner (NEW (A))
Many FPL managers sold Timo Werner after he had disappointed them during first four gameweeks, where he registered only 2.75 points per game. Those who have kept faith in him were rewarded with 8 points per game between GW5-GW8. It shows that the patience is an important part of success in FPL.
Now because of the nice fixture against Newcastle and his recent performances, we got to the point when we even consider Timo Werner as one of our top 3 captaincy picks for the upcoming FPL gameweek. Newcastle have not been convincing this season so far. They have conceded 13 goals and Their xG against has been poor, too. Only West Bromwich, Leeds, Sheffield and Fulham have conceded more xG this season.
Now, it looks that Werner could be the same player for Chelsea as he was for Leipzig. Perhaps, he can deliver around 20 goals in this season. So perhaps, he can deliver FPL points in stable way, without ups and downs. These kind of players – players able to deliver points on a regular basis – are our favorite players for captaincy when they have good fixture.
Let’s see whether we are right about Werner in GW9.
2. Marcus Rashford (WBA (H))
We love captaining midfielders because of their high points ceiling. And one midfielder – one proven FPL asset – who has very favourable fixture in GW9 is Marcus Rashford. We expect Rashford to do well in upcoming round of Premier League.
Manchester United face West Bromwich who have conceded more goals and more xG against than any other team so far this season.
Marcus Rashford is a proven FPL asset who can deliver points on a regular basis. Classified as a midfielder he can register double digit haul even with one goal. His underlying statistics are not particularly shiny with only 2.43 shots and 1.86 key passes per 90 minutes. However, he has been involved in 42% of Manchester United goals so far, only Bruno Fernandes has higher involvement (67%).
Will Manchester United recover from disappointing recent performances? They have great fixture to do that. They should exploit weaknesses in West Brom defense and Marcus Rashford could be involved in some of their goals.
Too bad he is currently flagged. Let’s whether he recovers from his minor injury before the deadline of GW9.
1. Mohamed Salah / Sadio Mané (LEI (H))
From all three players we are mentioning as captain contenders for GW9, it is Mohamed Salah who is the most proven FPL asset from all three. He has the fixture on his side, although playing against Leicester will not be as easy as playing against Newcastle or West Bromwich. Salah is our number one captain pick for gameweek 9.
Liverpool’s winger is on course to another extraordinary FPL season. He is averaging 8.375 points per match. We have already seen, that in Salah’s case this kind of output is sustainable, what makes him almost a must have FPL asset. Although Harry Kane and Son Heung Min are averaging more points per match than him, it could be caused only by a short-term noise. Neither Son, neither Kane were able to keep such great numbers for whole season in the past. Salah was.
Salah is very active on the pitch. He is averaging 4.25 shots and 2.63 key passes per 90 minutes what is more than any other Liverpool’s regular starter. Based on Understat data, Liverpool are the first for xG and the second for goals scored from all teams this season.
Leicester’s defensive stats are OK – not particularly great but not bad either. Liverpool has the offensive strength to score against Leicester and Salah as one of their best players and probably the best FPL asset in last four season could be involved.
However, due to Salah illness we were forced to change our number one captain. We stay in the same fixture. And It is Sadio Mané who gets the armband for GW9. There is little difference between those two as we have already discussed in the past, so we trust Senegalese to step up.
Scout picks for GW9
Let’s move on to our scout picks for gameweek 9.
5.4 m | CRY (H)
7.1 m | LEI (H)
5.1 m | LEE (A)
5.1 m | SHU (A)
4.5 m | BHA (H)
12.0 m | LEI (H)
10.5 m | WBA (H)
9.6 m | WBA (H)
7.4 m | BHA (H)
7.8 m | FUL (A)
8.5 m | SOU (H)
Pope has already proven again, that he is a bonus point magnet when Burnley keet a clean sheet. And they have kept 2 of them, so far. Nick Pope registered 3 respectively 2 bonus points on those two occasions. Because of his bonus points potential, he is probably the most explosive goalkeeper (in terms of FPL points) in the game. He is our number one goalkeeper for the upcoming gameweek again.
We count on attacking fullbacks in our defense. Robertson, Bellerin, Cresswell and Target, they all have good fixture in GW9. Beside that, due to their attacking threat, they offer more ways to get points than just clean sheets.
Salah is our captain for GW9 and he is partnered in the midfield with Manchester United duo Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford. They both have been heavily involved in Manchester United goals this season and it should not be different against West Bromwich either. Based on Aston Villa’s next 7 fixtures it would be very difficult to leave Jack Grealish at least once from our scout picks. So, he is our fourth midfielder for GW9.
Jimenez and Calvert Lewin are delivering points on stable basis this season and we decided to pick them as two forwards to our scout team.
One last tip for GW9 is yet to come
This week, we did not mentioned any FPL differential. However, we will bring you clean sheet odds for GW9 as our last tip later in the week.