In my opinion there are three stand out options for the captaincy in GW2.
Salah (13.0): The default captain for many in the second half of last season, Salah was captained by 34.6% of FPL managers in GW1. He didn’t disappoint with a modest score of 8 pts, although he was overshadowed on this occasion by Mane’s brace. Salah’s underlying stats were good recording 4 shots, 3 of which were inside the box, and an XG of 1.37, the highest of any midfielder in the game. Liverpool are away to Palace this week, who, although they beat Fulham 2-0, did concede 15 shots, with 6 on target, indicating there should be plenty of scoring opportunities for Salah and co.
Aguero (11.0): Although City dominated Arsenal in GW1, Aguero failed to deliver, fluffing his lines towards the end of the game by missing a big chance when one-on-one with Cech. However this week Aguero faces a Huddersfield side off the back of a 3-0 defeat by Chelsea, where they conceded 10 shots in the area and 3 big chances. Aguero has the potential to score big on his day, and given City’s likely utter dominance over Huddersfield, this could be one of those occasions. The slight caveat is the potential for Aguero being dropped for Jesus, because, well it’s Pep and no-one knows what he’s thinking.
Kane (12.5): Spurs and particularly Kane looked sluggish in there 2-1 win over Newcastle in GW1, however this week they play a newly promoted Fulham side who are without three first team defenders due to injuries and suspensions. Despite dominating possession, Fulham were swept aside 2-0 by Palace in GW1, and it could have been more. I expect Spurs to score a couple at least here, and we all know Kane doesn’t have to be playing well to score big.
If you’re looking to go against the crowd then you could do worse than look at Mane and Eriksen, who have the potential to outscore their heavy hitting counterparts Salah and Kane respectively. If you’re looking for the ultimate differential, transfer in Sterling (3.5% ownership) and hand him the armband.
Kevin De Bruyne (10.0) has been ruled out for 3 months with a lateral collateral ligament lesion to his right knee. Here are the options I would look to be replacing him with.
Eriksen (9.5): Despite Spurs looking sluggish in GW1 Eriksen’s creative stats were very good with his 5 chances created topping the midfield charts. A home game against Fulham should give Eriksen a good opportunity to get amongst the points. The only downside is his fixtures GW3-5 aren’t the best, as Spurs face [mun, wat, LIV].
Mane (9.6): An electric performance in GW1 saw Mane score a brace, topping the charts for shots in the box with 4, and recording an XG of 0.97 second behind Salah. If you haven’t already tripled up on Liverpool there will be more goals to come in their next three fixtures of [cry, BRI, lei].
Sterling (11.0): If you’ve got an extra million sitting in the bank, or you fancy taking a hit then Sterling is well worth a look. Everyone expected Sterling to be eased back into contention following the world cup, however he came straight back into the team, scoring City’s first goal and looking a threat throughout. Sterling looks to be a firm favourite of Pep’s and certainly has the fixtures to score well over the next 6GWs [HUD, wlv, NEW, FUL, car, BHA).
Bernardo Silva (7.6): If you’d like to stick with City but free up some budget, Bernardo Silva offers a mid price option who will, in this City team, get amongst the points. He’s unlikely to keep pace with the likes of Aguero, Sterling and Mahrez, however at his price he doesn’t need to. The injury to KDB, makes him arguably slightly less likely to be rotated out the team than before. I don’t think he’ll start all games in the next six, but he will outperform his price as long as he’s on the pitch.
The beginning of last season saw the rise of the 3-5-2 formation and with it the increase in appeal of the premium defenders who were being deployed as wing backs, due to their advanced positioning and increased probability of attacking returns. The start of this season seems to be no different with no less than 9 defenders recording double digit hauls, all of which, with the exception of Vertonghen are full backs.
These scores were helped by an abnormal number of clean sheets for the opening day, however the likes of Robertson, 6.0 (1 assist); Mendy, 6.1 (2 assists); Alonso, 6.5 (1 assist); and Van Aanholt, 5.5 (1 assist) were consistently getting high up the pitch and into threatening positions. Budget options Holebas, 4.6 (2 assists) and Wan Bissaka, 4.1 (1 assist) also got in on the act with their own double digit hauls. Robertson had an XA (expected assists) of 0.78 which is huge for a defender, and 3rd behind teammates Milner and Firmino in the overall standings. If you are looking at making a transfer in defence, these are the types of players to consider.
One’s To Watch:
Aside from the options mentioned above here are 3 further players to keep your eye on in GW2.
Shaw (5.1): It’s no secret that Mourinho isn’t the biggest fan of Luke Shaw, however after a good performance capped off by a goal in GW1, Mourinho was full of praise for his left back. If Shaw can nail down that left back spot over Young, he could offer a cheap way into the miserly United defence. United’s fixtures are excellent from GW4-8 [bur, wat, WLV, whm, NEW], so I would recommend waiting until then to think about transferring in, when more information will be available as to his likely place in the starting XI.
Richarlison (6.6): One of the stars of GW1 with a brace, Richarlison has an excellent run of fixtures from GW2-5 [SOU, bou, HUD, whm]. I wouldn’t blame you for transferring him in already if you didn’t own him, if you’re yet to be convinced keep an eye on his performance vs SOU in GW2.
Maddisson (6.5): The stand out performer for Leicester in their 2-1 defeat by Man United, Maddisson had some bright moments, and could have scored if it were not for an excellent save by De Gea. He was worryingly subbed off around the hour mark in that game however. One to monitor for now, I wouldn’t invest just yet.
Neves (5.1): At just 5.1 the 12 point haul by Neves in GW1 was of interest, especially as his positioning and dead ball duties are somewhat similar to Milivojevic for Palace last season who managed 144 pts. If Neves is shown to be on penalties as well as direct and indirect free kicks he could be worth investment as a 4th or 5th midfielder in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 respectively. He would certainly free up budget to invest in the rest of your squad. Another one to monitor for now.