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GW31 Lessons: Fernandes armband appeal in decline

The Scout 12 Apr 2021
Bruno Fernandes, Man Utd

The Scout looks at captain alternatives to Man Utd star, who has four blanks in his last six matches

Owners of Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) in Fantasy Premier League were again left frustrated after his blank against Tottenham Hotspur in Gameweek 31.

The Manchester United playmaker remains the top-scoring player in Fantasy on 216 points.

But he is struggling for form, blanking in four of his last six appearances.

Fernandes has produced just one goal, an assist and 26 points over that run, one point fewer than his team-mate Mason Greenwood (£7.0m).

Yet the Portuguese's huge 57.7 per cent ownership continue to entrust him with the armband.

Indeed, hehas been among the two most-popular captains in each of the five Gameweeks during that period.

Fernandes captaincy ranks
GW Captain rank Captained by Points
26 1st 1.40m 6
27 2nd 875k 10
28 1st 1.47m 3
30 2nd 1.68m 5
31 2nd 1.17m 2

The underlying numbers highlight a definite downturn in Fernandes’ goal threat. 

His shots in the box and goal conversion percentage have more than halved, while his minutes per shot have also dropped considerably.

Fernandes comparison
  GW1-25 GW26-31
Mins per shot 25.4 44.8
Shots in box per match 1.3 0.5
Goal conversion 18.1% 8.3%

Spurs' Double Gameweek 32 means many Fernandes owners are likely to give the armband to Harry Kane (£11.7m) or Son Heung-min (£9.4m) for their matches against Everton and Southampton.

And with a Gameweek 34 contest against Liverpool also to follow, Fernandes may no longer be the automatic choice for the captaincy.

Jesse Lingard (£6.4m) boasts the best form of any player in Fantasy, with 58 points in his last six appearances for West Ham United.

And Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) has a very kind run-in as he battles with Kane for the Golden Boot.

Five of Liverpool's remaining seven matches score only two in the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR).

Liverpool's final fixtures
GW Opp. FDR GW Opp. FDR
32 LEE (A) 3 36 WBA (A) 2
33 NEW (H) 2 37 BUR (A) 2
34 MUN (A) 4 38 CRY (H) 2
35 SOU (H) 2      

Leicester City and Arsenal also have strong upcoming schedules, handing Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.9m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) the chance to extend their prolific form.

Leicester forward Iheanacho has seven goals and 50 points in his last five appearances, while Lacazette has four goals, an assist and 34 points in his last four for the Gunners.    

Also in this series

Part 1: GW31 FPL stats: Lingard and Iheanacho shine again
Part 2: GW31 Bonus points: Johnstone saves his best until last
Part 3: FDR Analysis: Time to target Leicester
Part 4: FPL Saturday review: Double takes Dallas to top spot
Part 6: GW31 Lessons: Chelsea attack finding form
Part 7: FPL experts: What to do with Fernandes and your captain's armband?

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