Here is a comprehensive guide to captain selection for EPL Gameweek 31 from TimeToDraft.
Our captain’s pick for EPL Gameweek 30 wasn’t really spot on: contrary to our predictions Sergio Agüero failed to impress against Norwich City, while Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane were the only players from our pick of the week who scored additional points. There were only five matches in Gameweek 30 so managers have a better choice this time around.
Matches you don’t look at when searching for the captain
Watford vs. Stoke City. There are many contenders for a place in a fantasy team for Gameweek 31, at least Odion Ighalo, Troy Deeney and Marko Arnautović. However, we wouldn’t recommend to hand anyone of them the captain’s armband as it’s basically impossible to predict the result. Both teams are in good shape and will be hoping for a victory.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Norwich City. Norwich earned a goalless draw with mighty Manchester City in the previous round which might give them a boost in searching for the first victory in a long time. West Bromwich are not quite a team to crush an inferior opponent. The Baggies prefer concentrating on the final result, which was demonstrated in the last game against Manchester United. Even against the opponent playing with one man down West Bromwich kept playing cautiously and didn’t rush into attack. Salomón Rondón, for instance, is a great forward, capable of strengthening your fantasy team, but hardly someone to be given captaincy.
Newcastle United vs. Sunderland. Is there anyone who can predict the result of fierce Tyne-Wear derby? Don’t even try to, especially after the arrival of Rafael Benítez. Tactically the Magpies had a solid match against sensational Leicester City, and the Spaniard could pull something out of a hat against brave Big Sam’s team after intense one week work.
Southampton vs. Liverpool. Liverpool have gained momentum and are now targeting the top four, while Southampton beat Stoke City 2-1 at hostile Britannia Stadium last week courtesy of revived Graziano Pellè. Considering the form of Fraser Forster, it seems like pure gambling to captain someone of The Reds. At the same time, it’s hard to believe that Graziano Pellè could deliver another stunning performance in the space of two weeks.
Everton vs. Arsenal. Romelu Lukaku has rediscovered great form but Arsenal are nailed to the wall at this moment of time. The Gunners have just returned from Barcelona after Wednesday night Champions League match and might struggle to field a fresh squad at Goodison Park. It’s definitely not the best match for picking a captain, yet we include Lukaku in the final statistical table.
Chelsea vs. West Ham United. The Hammers have set their sight on reaching the top four and have a fantastic record against top teams this season. Chelsea could be worried about their London rival, but they need to rehabilitate after the Champions League exit and do without suspended Diego Costa. West Ham latest run is an intricate combination of luck, determination and Slaven Bilić energy, while there is no serious confidence in the team. Yet, if you happen to give the captain’s armband to Michail Antonio or Dimitri Payet, I will not talk you out of it.
Great matches for picking the captain
Crystal Palace vs. Leicester City. The London team have conceded at least twice in the last four games and haven’t recorded a win in as much as 12 matches. It is a great chance for the visitors to extend their lead at the top of EPL table and for fantasy managers to choose a captain between Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.
Swansea City vs. Aston Villa. Aston Villa are by far the worst team of the league this season, and its performance only gives satisfaction to the rivals’ fans. Swansea City play some decent football this spring and could be a good option for picking the captain. Obviously, Gylfi Sigurðsson is the best pick, but you can also look at Leroy Fer for a change as the Dutch player has lately put in solid display.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United. Manchester City walked into the Champions League quarterfinals this week, having knocked out Dynamo Kiev, while Manchester United failed to beat archrivals Liverpool at Old Trafford and bid farewell to Europa League. The Citizens don’t really impress these days, but The Red Devils are in appalling form altogether. Considering the home status of the match and better form, Sergio Agüero could be considered for fantasy captaincy once again, although the Argentine has failed to impress in recent games. Don’t disregard Yaya Touré either, not just because he could get offended easily.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Bournemouth. Tottenham Hotspur rested Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembélé for the Europa League clash midweek, giving in to Borussia Dortmund and clearly setting eyes on home championship. Now Spurs, who are trying to keep up with Leicester City at the top of EPL table and having fresh stars ahead of Bournemouth’s visit to White Hart Lane, are hot favorites. Eddie Howe’s team conceded twice against Swansea City last week, which makes it sensible to name Dele Alli, Harry Kane or Christian Eriksen as a captain.
What the bookies say
We can turn to betting offices when picking the teams with the best attacking potential. All we need to do is choose the lowest individual total odds over 1.5:
Tottenham Hotspur – 1.571
Chelsea – 1.727
Swansea City – 1.85
Manchester City – 1.90
To be honest, we are quite surprised at Chelsea odds considering the absence of Diego Costa. At the same time, the bookies don’t put much faith in the EPL leaders Leicester City. Most of the experts are confident about Tottenham success against Bournemouth.
The perfect captain for Matchday 31 of the English Premier League
Romelu Lukaku looks good in the EPL alone, put aside a brace against Chelsea in the FA Cup quarterfinal. Gylfi Sigurðsson’s stats and home fixture against struggling Aston Villa make him a reasonable choice, while Leroy Fer’s time has just not come yet. All of Sergio Agüero latest goals came against the Villans, so we would advise you against his captaincy. Harry Kane is definitely a perfect pick among Tottenham players, as he has been consistent and efficient in recent games. Don’t forget he’s had an off night on Thursday in Europa League. Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy are equally solid, but other candidates seem more promising for this particular matchday.
Here is the top list of the captains for the English Premier League Gameweek 31:
- Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Gylfi Sigurðsson (Swansea City)
- Romelu Lukaku (Everton)