Fantasy Premier League – GW34 Captaincy
Written by: FPLijah
Captaincy is the single most important aspect of Fantasy Premier League. A captaincy fails will more often than not, ruin your gameweek, to the point of a red arrow. A good captaincy return can improve an average week, into one that is amazing, or change your gameweek from bad to somewhat decent, as we’ve seen throughout this 2021/22 FPL Season, and more recently in GW33. I personally had a captaincy fail by going for Maddison who blanked, resulting in a drop in rank, but prior to the deadline, I did however consider going with Harvey Barnes as my captain, who returned with 12 points in GW33. That nine-point swing would’ve resulted in me holding my rank prior to the deadline, taking me from a horrible gameweek to an acceptable 1.
The captaincy decision for GW34 ultimately comes down to choosing between the most consistent FPL asset in the game with a juicy fixture as part of a Single Gameweek, versus two attacking midfielders with a Double Gameweek. For those of you looking to go in a different direction with the perfect differential, that could possibly guarantee a points return in GW34, I’ve decided to add a 4th option into the mix as well.
First up, The King himself, Mohamed Salah
Salah is undoubtedly the most consistent FPL player in Fantasy Premier League history. There is simply just one word to describe the man in FPL in a nutshell, and that is ‘Essential.’ He is back in form as expected, with 19 points in GW33 in just a single fixture against Manchester United (2 goals, 1 assist, 1 cleansheet point and 3 bonus points). Along with the Chelsea boys who double in GW34, he is easily the best captaincy option in GW34 despite his Single Gameweek. According to statistics by Drafthound, Mo Salah has the highest predicted percentage to score at 64% in GW34, with a 29% chance of scoring 2 goals and an 11% chance of scoring a hat-trick. He is just a mere 55 points away from breaking his own record, as the highest FPL Points Scorer in a Season (Current Record: 303 points in the 2017/18 FPL Season). Salah ranks first for both goals and assists this season (albeit joint-first for assists with teammate Trent Alexander Arnold).
We are easily blinded by the Double Gameweek assets, however, it would come as no surprise to see Mohamed Salah outscore them all as he did in GW33 with his 19 points (only beaten by the 20-pointer Bruno Guimaraes who played twice for Newcastle United). Gameweek 34 sees Liverpool face their Merseyside rivals, however, the fixture itself doesn’t promise to live up to the difficulty that it posed Liverpool in prior seasons. Everton is truly out-of-form and in a relegation battle. Liverpool however is scoring freely and completely dominating teams in their fight to be crowned the 2021/22 Premier League Champions. Expect goals for Liverpool, and when these goals are scored, Mohamed Salah is more often involved in them.
Up next, is Kai Havertz
After playing his way back into the Chelsea starting XI, Kai Havertz has enjoyed his new role of playing out of position (OOP) as a forward. Classed as a midfielder in Fantasy Premier League, Havertz is the stuff of FPL dreams for us FPL managers. Chelsea play twice in Gameweek 34, facing an injury struck West Ham United and an out-of-form Manchester United who conceded 6 goals in DGW33. He was given a rest in Chelsea’s GW33 fixture against Arsenal, coming on from the bench in the 59th minute due to Chelsea losing at the time – which strengthens the case of getting him into our teams, as he is more likely to start both fixtures in DGW34. Leads in most of all the major attacking statistics for Chelsea in the last 6 Premier League games (goals, expected goals, shots, shots in the box, shots on target, and big chances scored), and therefore the best captaincy option in my opinion (along with Mo Salah) for the gameweek.
Havertz is also a massive differential at just an 8.2% overall ownership – if he returns points, you’re bound to make up ground on your rivals. The only doubt many FPL managers face is that the last time we chose to back Havertz over Mohamed Salah for captaincy (including myself – FPLijah), occurred in GW9 which saw Havertz blank in a 7-0 win against Norwich for Chelsea, whilst playing OOP as the sole striker; whereas Salah scored a hat-trick and returned 1 FPL assist, accumulating 24 points against Manchester United in a 0-5 win. If you’re able to put the past behind and focus on the present, Kai Havertz is very much a standout captaincy option in GW34.
Mason Mount is the most transferred player ahead of Gameweek 34. In terms of the Chelsea attacking assets, Mount has been highly favored by Tuchel and rarely rotated, however, there is more of a possibility that he has reduced minutes in GW34, compared to Havertz (due to the rest given to Kai Havertz in GW33, as stated above). Attacking statistics aren’t far off Havertz, however, is superior in creativity (expected assists, chances created and big chance created). Mount is on corners and arguably the most important in attack for Chelsea. Cheaper asset compared to both Werner and Havertz. Capable of a huge point haul, as we’ve seen in GW9 for his hat-trick and assist against Norwich (24 points) and in GW32 against Southampton, scoring two goals and one assist (19 points). Some Chelsea fans are superstitious, stating that Mount plays better with shorter hair. Obviously, we can’t truly verify this, however, I can tell you that since he did have a haircut, Mason Mount has scored 4 goals and 3 assists in 4 matches across all competitions. Make of that what you will. Mount is undeniably a captaincy option, although not as exciting as Kai Havertz, as he seems to be the safer pick, despite him having a greater chance of reduced minutes this gameweek.
Finally, if you want to go completely against the crowd for captaincy, putting effective ownership at the back of your mind and going completely on a gut feeling (if you do in fact own the superstar FPL differential), Kevin De Bruyne is the player I back to do well in Gameweek 34.
KDB has 2 goals and 1 assist in his last 3 Premier League games and has a very good-looking fixture on paper against Watford at the Etihad Stadium. Unlike other Manchester City players (Sterling, Mahrez, Foden, etc.), De Bruyne forms part of the most nailed assets in Pep Guardiola’s team, especially with the Premier League title being on the line, in their fight against Liverpool. He’s the most important player in attack (as witnessed in Manchester City’s loss against Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi-Final due to De Bruyne’s absence). At just a 7.8% ownership, Kevin De Bruyne could go big in GW34.
Other GW34 Articles by FPLijah:
- GW34 Players to Target (Focus: Chelsea Assets)
- 5 Differentials for GW34 and Beyond
- GW34 Wildcard
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