Last weekend’s action resulted in four of my five captaincy picks scoring in double digits, and for this week as well, my primary objective is to convert that into a 100% strike rate as being an FPL manager I know the struggles of striking a balance between the premium players and the squad fillers in your squad. And for that matter, everyone has their own set of premium assets that they want to keep hold of and maximise the rest of the squad.
With such a wide array of premium options, there are thousands of permutations and combinations to consider as you lock in your team just before the deadline closes. Hence, picking the correct captain is of utmost importance as even if 3-4 of your squad players don’t perform on any given Gameweek, picking the right captain can bail you out massively.
So, in this “5 Best Captain Choices for Gameweek 2” article, I bring you five players who have the potential and form to score major points haul while taking into account several metrics ranging from fixture difficulty, quality of opposition defence, injuries, historical evidence, and so on and so forth.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at my top 5 Captaincy Picks for Gameweek 2:
#5 Michail Antonio (£7.6m) | Opponent: LEI (H)
While many experts and FPL analysts might suggest that Michail Antonio is not a good captaincy option for Gameweek 2, taking into account his underlying stats from Gameweek 1, West Ham’s creative output as a team and Leicester’s defensive conundrum, for me, Michail Antonio is still a decent captaincy pick.
Against Newcastle, Antonio played the role of a complete #9 as he beautifully linked up the play by dropping deep while being quick enough to be at the end of most chances. Another thing is that Antonio underperformed on his stats last weekend and could have easily been Gameweek 1’s highest points scorer.
Leicester, on the other hand, are yet to finalise their defensive setup which will massively affect their attacking output as well. Vestergaard is a quality signing if you look at the make-up of that Leicester side, but whether he will be able to bed in from the off remains to be seen.
#4 Heung-Min Son (£10.0m) | Opponent: WOL (A)
Let’s talk about Gameweek 1’s headline-maker. It was Heung-Min Son’s curler that decided the match in Nuno Espírito Santo’s favour as the Portuguese kicked off his Spurs managerial career in fine style. This is why I was raving about the South Korean in my Gameweek 1 article; whether he has Kane beside him or not, he will deliver. Son is one of (if not the) most clinical finishers in the Premier League.
Moreover, Spurs will be paying a visit to Nuno’s former employers, and despite Bruno Lage trying to implement his own philosophy and ideas, there is only one person who knows that Wolves team inside out, that is, Nuno Espírito Santo. That gives Spurs a massive advantage, and even if Harry Kane isn’t yet fit to play, the trio of Dele Alli, Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn is potent enough to be an able supporting cast to Heung-Min Son up front.
Also Read – Best Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 2
#3 Bruno Fernandes (£12.1m) | Opponent: SOU (A)
Bruno Fernandes scoring that hat-trick in Gameweek 1 has really split the FPL community over their captaincy picks. While a large section of the players would again be taking the punt with Bruno, I’m a bit skeptical about it. I’ve always been someone whose first reference point is the eye test and then I refer to the data and analytics whether it aligns with my outputs from the eye test. And in this instance, both suggest to me that Bruno’s output against Leeds is an anomaly.
When you look at the underlying stats, Bruno had an 0.72 expected Goal Involvement index, of which 0.68 was expected Goals (xG) and 0.04 expected Assists (xA). Now if we cast our minds back to last season, Bruno was essentially the creator whereas against Leeds, he was running in behind a lot more than creating for his teammates, which suggests to me a tactical ploy by Ole Gunnar Solskjær specifically for that Leeds encounter. If proven wrong, I’m more than happy to hold my hands up.
#2 Riyad Mahrez (£9.0m) | Opponent: NOR (H)
Pep’s False 9 system failed him again. As it has been the case since the latter stages of the 20/21 season. But when City are facing a Norwich side, in their own backyard, and make no mistake, Norwich will attack as and when they can. But that leaves the door wide open for City to thrash them left, right and centre. Although nothing can be taken for granted in life, this is as safe a prediction as you are ever going to make.
Now the question is, which one of these City forwards is the most likely candidate to start such a fixture?
Out of all the City forwards, Mahrez had the most attacking threat against Nuno’s Spurs, the Algerian had a 0.55 expected Goals Involvement (xGI) per 90. Ever since Mahrez has moved to the Etihad, more than anything, his returns against such opposition are off the charts. If you don’t have him in your squad, no worries, there are other options too. But if you have Mahrez in your team, he is a very good option considering he is one of the nailed on starters for City.
#1 Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) | Opponent: BUR (H)
As soon as the fixtures list came out everyone’s eyes were on Liverpool and Mohamed Salah in particular. And when Bruno Fernandes bagged that hat-trick almost half the FPL community was groaning and moaning as they felt they missed on a potential mega points haul. But then, Mohamed Salah is Mr. Consistent for a reason. No player has been able to match Mo Salah ever since his arrival to the red half of Merseyside. Salah ended Gameweek 1 with 17 points, one goal and two assists to his name. Such is the class of Liverpool’s elite forward.
And while there’s a new social media bandwagon doing the rounds that just because it’s an early kickoff and Salah has a sub-par record against Burnley, one should not pick Salah as their Gameweek 2 captain. With all due respect to Brighton, if a mid-table Brighton can have more than 65% of possession and dominate large parts of the game, that too at Turf Moor. I don’t think Salah would all of sudden walk up early on Saturday morning and think to himself, “God, it’s Burnley again! Sean Dyche is a genius, how would I break down their defence?” Since his arrival, Salah has had 138 goal contributions from 159 games for Liverpool. One or two blanks against a certain opponent in the past should never make you change your opinion.