Welcome back to the captains for another season. Last year went fairly well for me, the safe selections of RVP and Bale were a good cushion. However will we get the same safety net this season? Perhaps not, my captain differentials were hit and miss, but you have to expect that! I did get some good ones (Thankyou Santi). Time to check out the contenders, but in reality they are merely just that this week. When top players have 180 minutes of football on offer, captaincy is essential! Let’s check it out.
I’ll quickly skim through some of the favoured picks and whilst they should be good, I think captaincy has to be with a DGW option.
Walcott – Like I say, whilst Theo should be fantastic you’d have to back in one of Chelsea’s premiums to beat what he can produce in the 90 minutes over 180. Bear in mind that he got another knock in England’s latest international (after scoring… AGAIN) however he should be good to go fitness wise. Not a captain option this week.
Coutinho – Same deal, would be way too risky to captain this week and won’t have the potential of some of the DGW options.
Sturridge – I reckon Sturridge will get off to a flyer and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a double figure haul. On any other week he’d be a yes… Monitor him.
Giroud – I’ve heard this suggestion a couple of times, to which my answer would have to be “I’d like you to put the mouse down, and slowly step away from the computer”. One for the true risk takers. Most likely a true idiot.
Van Persie – I can only base this assumption on Man United’s pre-season form, and Van Persie’s. Aside from a brace against Wigan… Yes Wigan, they haven’t really shown much. Swansea will be rock solid and I’m predicting a very close match, perhaps a 1-1 scoreline. With DGW options available a definite pass on RVP this week!
Bale – Is he even going to play? I’m so confused. Next.
Aguero – People always ask for him to get mentioned and whilst I reckon he’s a great option for your team this weekend (if he plays), it’s another captaincy pass. Same goes for Dzeko/Negredo/Jovetic. Could be anything.
Soldado – Could brutally murder Palace, however we haven’t seen enough to back him in for the double points bonus.
Cech – Now we get into the serious contenders. If you want a safe 9-10 points then here is your man. Villa isn’t a certain clean sheet in my opinion but should be safe points against Hull. I would never captain a goalkeeper though.
Benteke – Not sure why you would pick him over any of the Chelsea premiums, however he should safely notch you double figures as I truly expect him to get on the scoresheet in one of the two games. Still a pass for me, a decision between 2 (possibly 3) I believe.
Torres – … Not even a smile? Tough crowd.
1. Hazard – You just can’t go past him. God forbid if Mourinho was to bench him for one of the gameweeks all hell would break loose. However on the back of a very solid pre-season I think there’s no way Mourinho would flirt with form like that, especially so early on in the season. Nailed on and should be brilliant.
2. Mata – Ever since he wasn’t named in the Spanish squad we’ve had to face a new dilemma. I honestly can’t split the pair, both should start 2 games and both should be fantastic. However with Mata possibly dropping out onto the right wing his influence may be slightly curtailed. I’m really clutching at straws here, can’t really split the pair. However Hazard is at a more affordable price and there’s no reason why he can’t smash it just like last season. Penalty duties, there’s your difference.
3. Ivanovic – Believe it or not, Ivanovic was the man to captain during Chelsea’s last DGW1, notching 21 points from memory. He loves an early season goal and hasn’t scored less than 3 in the premier league over the past 3 seasons. On the back of 5 goals last season I am backing him to get amongst the big points, especially against Hull where he is locked on to start with Azpili returning from Spanish duties. A big risk but a selection with a massive upside also. I like him over Cole for GW1 due to Cashley’s recent lack of attacking returns. Fairly safe points if you think about it, could be well worth your armband. I don’t have the cahuna’s though.
Lukaku – Want to be the risk taker of the bunch? Get a head start in case Hazard breaks down mid-game or gets an untimely bout of gastro? Then this is the selection for you. The Belgium centre-forward is monstering teams lately, and has proven his potential to score big is no fluke, cracking double figures 5 times last season including a final day hat-trick against United. Hull and Villa at home should present him the perfect opportunity to endear himself to the Chelsea faithful. Especially on the back of a strong pre-season. I expect him to start at least 1 game, and probably earn around 100-120 minutes of game time. Anything more than that and I fear we may get trapped into holding him for the rest of the season. An absolute monster, but with Torres breathing down his neck rotation does slightly kill the beast. Huge risks for huge rewards is what they say, are you willing to take the punt?
So that’s the last you’ll hear from me before GW1! Keep an eye out for Nick’s last minute news wrap tomorrow, before we introduce a new writer with the privilege of producing our famous (?) GW preview. Good luck all!