And we’re back! It’s been a great start to the season captaincy wise, but a few injuries and curve balls have been thrown at us ahead of gameweek 3. It’s hard to find a reliable captain at the moment, let’s try to do exactly that…
When we’re talking about reliable, Manchester United shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence. They have the most expensive squad in England by a long margin (Yes that means more expensive than City/Chelsea) and yet they are… Well, pathetic. It’s all well and good to say surely they can get their season back on track against newly promoted side Burnley, but it almost certainly won’t be that easy. Who knows how this game will go, but I can’t see it being a romp. Don’t get me started on the signing of Di Maria, I can’t see how it will help their cause as they have a relegation worthy defence. It will also throw their formation plans into disarray, instead of fixing a team that wasn’t suited to 3-5-2, they are changing to 4-3-3 (Shoutout to Moyes). It will mean that one of Mata or Rooney will shift out wide, whilst the other plays behind RVP. There’s way too much uncertainty surrounding them at the moment, so I am avoiding captaincy if at all possible. The one man who could be worthy is Rooney on the back of gaining the England captaincy.
Sigurdsson is definitely worthy of consideration this week, but I still can’t justify placing him in the top 3. Swansea host West Brom this week, and whilst that may seem like a very tempting fixture, West Brom will be no pushovers. They played Burnley (Who are a much weaker side) at home last week and only came out on top 1-0. I can see this being a relatively tight game and whilst Siggy can hopefully contribute, I’m not confident enough to captain him.
Chelsea will make the trip to face Everton in what should be the game of the round. Travelling to Goodison is never an easy task, and I expect to see a tight contest. Costa’s injury doubts have thrown things into disarray, I know Chelsea are playing things down but with his previous hamstring history, there’s no way they will risk him in GW3. It’s hard to tell whether Drogba’s match fit yet, and Torres’ mind is elsewhere. Hazard is definitely a chance to get on the scoreboard, but I wouldn’t be willing to captain him. Don’t captain Fabregas.
Liverpool’s 5-0 demolition of Spurs at White Hart Lane will live long in the memory, not to mention the 9-0 drubbing handed out over both games. That was with Suarez however, even though they still have quality they don’t have the same means to tear defences apart. Yet. Spurs are looking solid under Pocchetino and this is a very tough game to call. I could see a 2-1 Liverpool victory, but a result the other way wouldn’t surprise. What I’m saying is, I can’t see a clear captaincy pick from this lot. Sturridge, Lamela and Sterling are passes for me. Sturridge is certainly the most worthy of those three if you’re desperate.
Finally there’s the best of the rest to analyse from City’s star studded list, and a home game against Stoke looks very promising. This is clearly the game to be hunting a captaincy option. Both Silva and Nasri could potentially have a field day, but neither do it consistently enough to be worthy of captaincy consideration. Both often get subbed also. Dzeko is the other to miss out, purely because of his knock that forced him off against Liverpool. With Aguero nearing full fitness and Jovetic firing, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dzeko came off the bench. Having said that, if Pellegrini wants a more physical presence to go up against Stoke’s centre backs, he is right in contention. Too many ifs and buts for my liking.
1. Aguero – It would be a risk there’s no denying it, but the upside is just too good to ignore. He now has the best minute per goals ratio ever in the Premier League for anyone scoring more than 15 goals, he has 54. Last season he managed 17 goals (and 11 assists) in just 1528 minutes last term, notching a goal every 90 minutes. He has also displayed his undisputed quality in 2 appearances from the bench this season, already scoring twice. It took him a mere 23 seconds to score after walking onto the pitch against Liverpool, 15 of which were spent getting to his position. If anyone is to rival what Suarez did, it’s Aguero and if he stays fit, 12.0 is a bargain. The last if is a mighty big one, and there’s unconfirmed reports that he got a knock at training yesterday. I suspect it’s the media making a big deal out of nothing, but wait for Pellegrini’s press conference later today. I’m spending most of the time talking about his fitness simply because if he starts against Stoke, he is a captaincy lock. You’re worst nightmare is if he comes off the bench, and even then he’s still likely to score. To the people thinking he will be held back until the Arsenal game, I think Pellegrini will want more some solid minutes in him before he travels to Arsenal, you can’t be conservative forever. There comes a time where he has to start, and surely that’s this week. Expect 60-70 minutes from him, in that time he could deal all sorts of damage. He’s my pick this week, but don’t ruin your team just to get him in. Yet.
2. Sanchez – I think we may finally see the arrival of Sanchez as a fantasy force this week. With Giroud out injured and Wenger yet to bring in a replacement, you can guarantee Sanchez will start up front against Leicester, and he should play the full 90. He paid Arsenal back with a crucial goal midweek to send them through to the Champions League group stages with his debut goal for the club. Now they could flow. Leicester have been decent against top quality opposition in Everton and Chelsea, but conceded 2 goals both games. You can expect something similar this week. Wenger has quoted that he transferred him in to play as a striker, and play there he will. Definitely looking promising for his prospects at 10.4 as a mid, certainly a great shout for the armband this week.
3. Ramsey – If in doubt, why not turn to the man who just gets the job done week in week out. We can almost start calling him Mr Reliable. It seems whenever Arsenal desperately need a goal, he is there to deliver, regardless of the difficulty. We don’t care how he scores them, as long as they bring us an extra 5 points. he is rested after missing the midweek clash against Besiktas, and should be ready to fire Arsenal to victory once again. With a full squad on offer I can see Arsenal winning this one well, and Ramsey should be amongst the points. Definitely a solid shout
Jovetic – Now comes the real test for Jovetic, is he just a one hit wonder, or can he put in those kind of performances consistently. It’s the test that Jovetic has never passed, hence why he carries a season best of 14 goals. I wouldn’t feel great about having the big C next to Jovetic’s name, but there’s definitely merit to the thought process. He looked superb against Liverpool, and Stoke should provide City with a great chance to bang in 4 or 5, or more. He will definitely start after his great performance last week, and I can’t really see him failing to produce a goal or assist in the process. I’m not convinced about his long term prospects, but he looks good to go this week. One for the gamblers.
There you have it, let’s hope these picks can come through for us in our time of need. There’s definitely potential! If you feel there’s anyone I’ve missed or if you have any other dilemmas, feel free to leave a comment. Otherwise, good luck for the upcoming gameweek!!!