Welcome back to a fresh edition of the captains as we turn our attention to the upcoming gameweek 2. We had a successful start last week with everyone in the top 3, as well as the punt getting on the scoresheet. Let’s keep that trend going!
Well then, what about Liverpool! It would seem they’ve pulled off a great piece of business to bring in Balotelli for just 16 million pounds. He perfectly fits the void of the vacant mentally insane slot vacated by Suarez. In all seriousness it could have some major ramifications for players like Sterling and Coutinho. With just Sturridge left to lead the line, both played in far more advanced positions on the weekend than last season. It’s too early to tell what may or may not happen just yet, but the two striker system could change the dynamics once again. As far as an away trip to Man City goes, I can see them performing well and definitely grabbing a goal, but no captaincy options in my opinion.
On the other side of the clash, Man City will be hoping to stake an early claim at the title with a win over Liverpool. They were solid without being spectacular against Newcastle, it seems most teams are still warming up to things. It’s a little strange to see such a big clash so early in the season, perhaps we should be more conservative at this stage. Aguero’s fitness is still unknown, you wouldn’t think City would risk him unless he’s 100% fit. I’m not sure I’d back Dzeko or Silva with captaincy duties just yet. As far as Toure goes, he looks a little rusty at the moment, give him a few weeks (and hopefully price drops) to settle back into his rhythm.
Manchester United are becoming a little like Spurs. You never know what you’re going to get, but most of the time it’s completely underwhelming. They face a tough visit to Sunderland and after losing at home to Swansea, I would be wary. I’m confident Mata can make himself more of a presence, but not a captaincy presence!
Chelsea v Leicester is where most fpl heads will be turning on Saturday, and that’s exactly where my captaincy thoughts will be turning as well. As I say, I like to bank the points early on. If you’re after a riskier proposition then Ivanovic is worth a look, he did more than enough to hold his position on Monday, looking incredibly threatening down the right flank. Fabregas pulled the strings against Burnley, and he will look to do the same this weekend. Starting in his deep lying role, I’m still not confident enough to consider him for the armband. Definitely a risk with a couple of his team mates higher up my pecking order.
I know there will be a huge number of keen gamblers looking to punt on Sigurdsson, I say look elsewhere! He’s scored 7 of his 8 goals at Swansea away from home, just keep that in mind. An easy fixture doesn’t necessarily mean big points for the teams in mid table. Too risky at this stage.
There’s no doubt that Sanchez is looking like Arsenal’s most dangerous presence going forward, and it’s only a matter of time before things click. Unfortunately in fpl we don’t get time, it’s a kill or be killed world. In other words, perform within 2 weeks or we’ll knee-jerk you to the trash pile, only to come scurrying back a month later. Away to Everton is not the week to gamble on his first big haul.
In the final game I’m only deeming worthy of consideration, Spurs face QPR at White Hart Hane. Their home form was nothing but atrocious last season, who knows what they will offer up this weekend. They haven’t killed off teams since the Redknapp era, and I wouldn’t bet on that starting this week. Eriksen and Lamela are both solid candidates, but both could leave you in tears just as easily. I like to play the percentages, which does not involve captaining guys with a lowish ceiling and high rate of failure.
1. Costa – Here is where I like my percentages. I said last week that Costa is usually an extremely reliable source of goals, scoring in 67% of his matches last season. He did what we all expected of him against Burnley, caused the opposition defence troubles before being in the right place at the right time. There may be a lot of right places on Saturday, and he should take advantage of Leicester’s defence which is inexperienced at the top level. Surely he will get on the scoresheet, and at this stage I’m considering anything more a bonus. Yes, I think he’s a great chance to do exactly that. On debut in front of his home fans, plus he’s proven to be a 90 minute player. Safe pick which could go huge.
2. Hazard – There’s plenty of people who are getting cold feet holding Hazard, and it’s understandable. Just think about this. What if Costa’s alleged dive (it wasn’t) was given to be a penalty, Hazard steps up and scores for a double figure haul straight up. I think the conversation is a little different. He had 9 successful dribbles against Burnley, that’s huge. He got into good areas but just couldn’t deliver the final touch, he’s a great chance to go big this week and thus gets my number 2 spot.
3. Rooney – Of all the peanuts on the Manchester United team last week, Rooney was the one player who delivered us a decent performance. He had 8 shots for the game, 6 of those being on target. He worked hard for his goal, and it was only the post that denied him a second after he had Fabianski beaten all ends up with a free kick. He takes the occasional corner to go with his goal threat in the box, there’s no doubt he’ll cause Sunderland the most trouble when United travel to the Stadium of Light. If they are to get anything out of this game, Rooney will be amongst the points. Solid pick.
Ramsey – This may surprise a few, it must be said that Ramsey only scored against top 7 opposition once last season. To be fair, he missed a lot of the big games due to injury. There are a few factors this week that make me feel like he can produce a big score. Firstly, 18 goals in his last 36 games needs no introduction, was it any real surprise that it was Ramsey who popped up for the winner last week? He has incredible goal smarts, and only needs a sniff of a chance to convert it into 5 points. The big uncertainty I have over Arsenal this week is their crucial midweek game to qualify for the Champions League. That is a must win in every sense of the word. Guns like Sanchez, Koscielny, Ozil… Sanchez… Giroud… Never mind. The point is rotation may come into play as Wenger won’t want to burn his players out so early in the season. Having said that Everton is also a big game, however with his future transfer business on the line, I feel that this weekend may take a back seat as far as player health is concerned. Guess who won’t be concerned? Yep, Ramsey will miss the midweek clash due to suspension. He will play the full 90 minutes guaranteed, and should be the one to carry Arsenal’s attacking threat through midfield alongside an Ozil cameo. It’s a serious punt, but it could pay dividends…
There you have it, there aren’t too many sure bets aside from Chelsea at this stage. Good luck with your choice of armband, and more importantly for the gameweek!