Welcome to our FPL captaincy analysis for the Boxing Day fixtures (otherwise known as gameweek 18). Before we get down to business it’s time for a look back at how our fantasy premier league picks from last week fared:
1. Romelu Lukaku – 6 points
2. Riyad Mahrez – 15 points
3. Odion Ighalo – 13 points
Differential – Josh King & Aleksander Mitrovic – 0 & 1 points
Gamble – Mesut Ozil – 12 points
So it was a great week for our picks with the exception of Mitrovic and Josh King, who didn’t start the games. Moving on its time to analyse the options for Boxing Day.
1. Romelu Lukaku (NEW)
For the third successive week Romelu Lukaku takes the number one spot in our captaincy article and given his recent form its easily justifiable. The Belgian has now scored in his last 7 Premier League outings which is fuelling talk that he could break Vardy’s record after only 1 month, what a story that would be! His side are playing some good stuff, however a lack of cutting edge and a fragile defence means Everton aren’t winning many matches. Lukaku has been firing throughout his side’s dodgy spell and added another to his tally last week in Everton’s defeat to Leicester. The Toffees travel up to Tyneside to face a Newcastle team who lack consistency and are another team who are conceding plenty of goals, so it would be a safe bet that Lukaku will make it 8 in a row on Boxing Day. On paper, a strong captaincy choice.
2. Riyad Mahrez (LIV)
The Algerian is incredible isn’t he? I had the pleasure of watching him live at Goodison on Saturday, and looking beyond the two penalties that he slotted in, his overall performance was incredible; casually skipping past opponents, bringing others into play and generally being really good at football. Mahrez is without a doubt one of the best players I’ve watched in many years at Goodison. For FPL managers, Leicester are only judged on the performance of Vardy & Mahrez, but before summing this section up I’d like to mention two more players; Marc Albrighton and in particular N’Golo Kante. The latter has so much energy and is dominating the midfield every week, so in my opinion Kante is more important than anybody else in the stratospheric rise of Leicester City. Now I know I’ve strayed away from my brief a little there, but I just wanted to focus on Leicester in greater depth. So Mahrez faces Liverpool this week and if they perform like they did last week the Foxes will tear Liverpool apart, however even if Liverpool are much improved you’d still expect Mahrez to deliver the goods. The only negative would be that his ownership is over 67% so his points won’t make much difference to your rank.
3. Odion Ighalo (CHE)
The Watford front-man is another striker in good form and the two goals he managed last week takes his tally for the season up to 12. Watford are playing incredibly well of late and have won their last 4 games. Ighalo is a player who has largely slipped under the radar of many FPL managers including myself however with the form he is in, managers are flocking to bring the Nigerian forward into their teams. The Hornets travel to Chelsea this week, which will be a tough fixture for them, however the Chelsea defence continues to leak goals so many are expecting Ighalo to score on Saturday. A slight risk, but justified with his form.
Differential – Oscar (WAT)
The Brazilian looked incredibly lacklustre under Jose Mourinho, however last week he ran the show scoring 7 points in the process. Throughout his time at Chelsea Oscar has shown flashes of brilliance, however has been far too inconsistent to be considered a viable fantasy option. It remains to be said whether Oscar can add consistency to his game under Guus Hiddink, but if last week’s performance is anything to go by he may well play his way into your transfer thoughts. The visit of Watford is unlikely to be easy, but with only 1% ownership Oscar could prove an inspired differential captain.
Gamble – Sergio Aguero (SUN)
Aguero made his return to the City side on Monday night, but in all honesty didn’t look fully fit. However with Wilfried Bony struggling for goals it’s likely Aguero will again lead the line at home to Sunderland on Boxing Day and with the Black Cats shipping a lot of goals it looks like the perfect opportunity for City to return to winning ways. Aguero has been plagued by injuries this season and his only meaningful FPL return came all the way back in gameweek 8 against Sunderland’s North East neighbours Newcastle. City have been poor lately and with Aguero maybe not at peak fitness, giving the Argentine the armband has a sizeable element of risk to it, however you all know what Aguero is capable of, so he is certainly worth considering.
All that’s left to say is thanks for reading and I hope you all have a merry Christmas.
Written by Bonus FPL