FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 12

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 12 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our new captain metric – who will you choose this FPL Gameweek?

BRAND NEW METRIC EXPLAINED: This article (hit the link) explains the concept and working fully >> https://fplconnect.blog/2018/08/07/the-captain-metric-explained-2/

Results of our poll

The following underlying statistics are taken from FantasyFootballScout.co.uk. If you want to gain access to these stats yourself, register to become a member here >> https://members.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/

Mo Salah – 73.8% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 37 penalty area touches
  • 13 total goal attempts.
  • 9 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 8 chances created (1 big chances)
  • 5 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Harry Kane – 10.5% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 20 penalty area touches.
  • 12 total goal attempts.
  • 8 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 8 chances created (1 big chances)
  • 3 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Heung-Min Son – 9.7% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 8 penalty area touches.
  • 7 total goal attempts.
  • 2 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 chances created (0 big chances)
  • 2 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Timo Werner

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured not included):

  • 29 penalty area touches.
  • 13 total goal attempts.
  • 11 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 7 chances created (2 big chances)
  • 7 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Kevin De Bruyne

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 23 penalty area touches.
  • 21 total goal attempts.
  • 12 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 13 chances created (5 big chances)
  • 3 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 5 assists.

Jamie Vardy

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 26 penalty area touches.
  • 14 total goal attempts.
  • 12 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 chances created (2 big chances)
  • 6 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 3 assists.

Captain Metric

The winner of this weeks Captain Metric is Timo Werner.

Important notes: Individual bias (IB), highlights how balanced their score is between team and individual form. A score below 50% suggests the team has contributed the most weight to their score, while a score above 50% shows individual performances that outweigh that of the team.

Individual total has now been adjusted to account for other KPIs that can help identify a strong captaincy candidate. These include FPL points (as usual), xGI (expected goal involvement), penalty box touches, big chances, big chances created). These metrics have been adjusted so each metric carries similar eight to the overal individual score.

Timo Werner comes out on top in this week’s metric down to the highest team score and a high individual score.

According to the data over the last 5 GWs, Everton right now, are one of the best teams to play against, having conceded the second most amount of big chances of any side over that period. As a result of that, their xGA ranks as the 4th worst.

To add to Werner’s credentials this week, no team has scored more goals than Chelsea, and only one team has created more big chances than them, in the last 5 GWs.

Timo himself also boasts high underlying attacker numbers, with an xGI of 4.12 from 7 big chances in the last 5 GWs. The issue is, and what the metric doesn’t take into account, is that he’s missed 5 of those. The threat is very high, but the quality is perhaps lacking when compared to the other candidates.

Salah of course is not far behind him, with an extremely strong individual score, but because Fulham’s defensive numbers have improved since the start of the season, and the fact that Liverpool’s attacking numbers haven’t been that strong over the last 5 GWs, Salah’s fixture, based on the stats and recent form, isn’t as strong as Timo Werner’s.

However, given that Salah’s individual score and individual bias % is so strong, he presents a more reliable captaincy, as he does not need to rely on the team to perform well.

Bruno Fernandes posts the best individual score. He has created a massive 21 chances (6 big chances) over the last 5 GWs as well as firing in 17 goal attempts, including getting 4 big chances himself. However, United’s team attacking numbers versus City’s solid defensive numbers mean a much lower team score.

Kane and Son’s underlying stats, as we can see above, both make pretty average – poor reading. Spurs’ attacking numbers over the last 5 GWs have greatly diminished too, though the caveat with that, is that they have played Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City in their last 3 games.

Irrespective of that, Crystal Palace’s defensive numbers make fairly average reading in the last 5 GWs and over the season, they don’t seem to let in too many goals, so this looks a tough game for the Spurs pair to produce in.

The Full Picture

Now you’ve had the data driven point of view, it’s time to bring in all the other variables and fully assess.

The community were shocked earlier by the news that Mo Salah would be starting tonight in their dead rubber match against Midtjylland. They had already qualified top of the group and most assumed Salah and most first teamers would get a rest.

As the poll suggests above, the vast majority are looking to the Egyptian for the armband this GW, and given the strength of his metric score, his form, and the opposition, the focus is firmly on him.

At the time of writing he has already scored, but form isn’t the debate here, it’s whether we think this start tonight, is with the game against Spurs, coming just 3 days after the Fulham match this weekend, in mind, or whether it’s a case of Klopp keeping him match fit, given that he had COVID and was unable to play any football or train for a while.

My feeling, is that he is keeping him match fit, but even if we look at it objectively and take feeling out of the equation, how often has Mo Salah played mid-week, weekend, mid-week before with no rests? Last season, over the crazy Christmas week, he started every game.

Mo Salah is a very fit footballer and when he is 100%, we have seen on numerous occasions that these tight turnarounds are not a problem for him. An article in the Athletic (https://theathletic.com/2223889/2020/11/29/klopp-liverpool-red-zone/?source=user_shared_article) confirmed that Klopp bases his selections and manages these tight periods using their medical teams’ “green-amber-red zone” system.

I think Mo, after tonight, will be considered in the green zone, as he should be back to 100% match fitness after tonight, having played 63 minutes against Brighton, 90 minutes against Ajax mid-week, 90 minutes again against Wolves, and then whatever he plays tonight against Midtjylland.

Sadio Mane may have been brought in by a number of managers when Salah got COVID and may still be hanging onto him. His form has greatly diminished recently, so trusting him with the armband right now seems a stretch.

The metric puts Timo Werner top, but as we said in the analysis, the metric doesn’t take the fact he’s missed 5 of his 7 big chances into account. I do think the Everton-Chelsea game could be open and that Timo will get chances, but I feel the quality is a little lacking from what I’ve seen of him so far.

Kane and Son are still ticking over quite nicely, but their attacking numbers, and Spurs’ have dropped off a cliff when compared to the first 5 GWs. Of course, their tougher fixtures are the reason, but Palace are a solid defensive team, and it won’t be easy for Kane and Son to find space.

Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne face off against each other this weekend in the Manchester Derby and both of these players are always likely to return as they have so many routes to points, but given the fixture, it’s tough to trust one of them with the armband as we simply don’t know what we’re going to get in this game.

The safest bet outside of Salah for me, is Jamie Vardy. Whilst Brighton post decent defensive numbers, they still always find a way to concede a goal or two, and even though Leicester aren’t at their best right now, I can see Vardy getting a couple of good opportunities against this Brighton defence.

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