With the first international break now coming to a close, Fantasy managers are no doubt welcoming the return of the Premier League on tomorrow eager to roll in big points. The fixtures this week, however, are in no mood to make things too easy, in what would not be a far stretch to claim is the highest Captaincy debate of the season so far.
Raheem Sterling (£12.3)
Coming off the back of a successful international break with a juicy 4 assists and a couple of goals for himself, Raheem Sterling heads this week’s captaincy debate high on confidence facing a Norwich side who have conceded the most goals this season. The 24-year-old sits level with Salah for most big chances afforded this season (6) and only Pukki (13) has fired more shots inside the box than his 12. Man City sit top of every possible attacking metric having scored the most goals (14), taken most shots in the box (56), most shots on target (30) and created the most big chances (18) after seen their key midfielders back to their very best. The defensive numbers for Norwich further highlight their own miseries having conceded the most shots in the box and shots on target in the entire league making this very much of a duel between David and Goliath.
Having played both his games in the International break at England without much traveling, Sterling should be set to punish a heavily weakened Norwich side with a cluster of injuries to important first team members Aarons, Trybull, Leitner, Godfrey, Zimmerman and even first-choice keeper Tim Krul who barely comes through with a knock to make matters absolutely hair clutching for manager Daniel Farke. By no means does this underestimate teammate Sergio Aguero who looks as good a shout as Sterling himself being only 1 of 2 players to return in all 4 game weeks so far and seems well rested over the break having retired off International duties. Arguably in better league form than Sterling himself, Kün is fresh off a 16 point haul vs Brighton last week and could well repeat the same this Saturday vs a side who have conceded the most shots in the box (47) and on target (26) and have a remarkable task on their hands to keep out the Argentine.
Mohammed Salah (£12.5)
Liverpool host their home match at Anfield coming off a fresh mauling of Burnley at Turf Moor where many doubted their abilities to bag in the goals, and they delivered the goods once again in style. Liverpool are strong favourites against a Newcastle side who don’t have a good record off-late against Liverpool. Among all players, Salah sits joint top for Big chances (6) with Sterling and tops the midfielders ranking for shots in the box level with Sterling again, on 13 apiece. While there might be frustrations from Sadio Mane towards Salah for not being a team player last week, Salah could well make a case for his own having already set up 9 chances this season, which sits comfortably in the top 5 among all midfielders.
The Reds sit 2nd for most goals scored (12) and big chances created (13) only behind the Champions and will no doubt look to capitalize on the fact that only 6 teams have given away more shots in the box than Newcastle (35). Newcastle might have rallied to beat Spurs in GW3, but they face a Liverpool side who are undefeated at Anfield stretching out over a year and one which Salah and Co should no doubt relish having seen off this exact fixture last season with a resounding 4-0.
Kevin De Bruyne (£9.8)
Coming off a mere 56 point FPL season ravaged by injuries, there were perhaps doubts in many an FPL manager regarding the pedigree of Kevin De Bruyne coming into Gameweek 1, but with no doubt having one eye on his reduced price tag (9.5£) and 2 consecutive 200 pointers the seasons before. By no small stretch has the Belgian put to rest any queries on his quality and consistency with a return in the opening week of the season and further backing it up with a head-turning MOTM display vs Spurs the following week where he should have had a trio of assists had Bernardo Silva showed a little more composure in front of goal. Similar to his teammate Sterling, KDB enjoyed an explosive outing vs Scotland in the international break, putting them to the sword with 3 assists in the opening 30 minutes before latching onto a goal himself.
He still remains the only player along with his teammate Aguero to return points in all 4 gameweeks so far this season, by no means a small feat highlighting his elite consistency to set up goals. The icing would perhaps be the sweet look of satisfaction seeing him make regular runs from deep to chip in with his first goal of the season last week vs a Brighton side who no doubt felt his presence as soon as the opening 2 minutes. Having created the most chances in the league with a mammoth 16 at an average of 4 chances a game, the creative playmaker will no doubt be looking to grab himself at least a couple more assists to set himself up for an outstanding season, getting back to his very best.
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