Fantasy Premier League

Who is the best FPL captain for Gameweek 15?

By The Scout 4 Dec 2023
Haaland, Salah, Son

The Scout looks at the player and club home/away data to determine the best armband pick

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Son Heung-Min’s (£9.6m) return to form brings him back into contention for the captaincy in Gameweek 15 of Fantasy Premier League.

The Tottenham Hotspur star ended a run of three blanks with a goal and an assist at Manchester City on Sunday.
Son claimed 10 points, his fifth double-figure haul in 11 matches while playing up front.
Son’s home match against West Ham United makes him a strong alternative to both Erling Haaland (£14.0m) and Mohamed Salah (£13.1m) for the armband. 

Man City’s Haaland is the form player of the three, though, visiting Aston Villa on the back of three goals and three assists in his last four outings.
Salah, meanwhile, trails the Norwegian by only three points over that run ahead of his visit to Sheffield United. The Egyptian has delivered two goals, two assists and just one blank in his last four matches.

Players' form compared, GW11-14
Player Pts Goals Assists Blanks Bonus
Haaland 31 3 3 1 4
Salah 28 2 1 1 3
Son 16 1 1 3 2

The underlying numbers show there’s no contest when it comes to recent goal threat, with Haaland’s 17 shots and 17 shots in the box both double the combined totals of Salah and Son.
The Man City star has been somewhat wasteful, though. His goal conversion rate of 17.6 per cent is down on his average of 25.0 per cent over the whole of the season so far.

Salah is similarly dominant when it comes to the creative numbers, with his 12 key passes and four big chances created both double the combined totals of Haaland and Son.
Essentially, Salah has been involved in 10 big chances, which places him ahead of Haaland’s eight. Son, meanwhile, has been involved in only three big chances. 

Attacking stats compared, GW11-14
Player Shots in box Big chances Goal conversion % Big chances created
Haaland 17 7 17.6% 1
Salah 7 6 28.6% 4
Son 5 1 16.7% 2
Who has the best home/away form?

Haaland’s dominance of the goal threat numbers continues in the home/away season analysis.
Once again, his 31 shots and 30 shots in the box are more than twice the combined totals of his two rivals.
Haaland's 19 big chances in seven away appearances is a huge factor in his favour here.

Salah has had only three big chances in the same number of matches on the road, while Son has had just two in six home encounters.
The Liverpool star again has the advantage for creativity. He leads the way with 17 key passes, while his seven big chances created are more than the combined six of Son and Haaland.

Home/away stats compared in 23/24
Player Shots in box Big chances Goal conversion % Big chances created
Haaland (A) 30 19 25.8%  2
Salah (A) 11 3 14.3%  7
Son (H) 11 2 16.7% 4
Assessing the opponents’ defence

Analysing each player’s Gameweek opponents can help identify any weaknesses to target.
Salah’s appeal is boosted by the recent team data.

Sheff Utd have conceded more goals, shots in the box and big chances than Aston Villa or West Ham United in their last four matches.
But Haaland backers also have reason for encouragement here, with Villa conceding just one fewer big chance than the Blades. 
West Ham have the best underlying numbers of the three opponents, conceding 31 shots in the box and nine big chances. 

Opponents’ defending in last four matches
Team Goals conc. Clean sheets Shots in box conc. Big chances conc.
Sheff Utd 10 0 44 11
West Ham 7 0 31 9
Aston Villa 6 0 36 10

The home/away data for the opponents very much favours Salah.
Over their seven home matches, Sheff Utd have conceded league-high totals of 92 shots in the box and 28 big chances.
Villa, by contrast, have conceded only eight big chances in six such matches, the second-best record in the league.
West Ham’s record on the road looks promising for Son’s prospects. They have conceded 72 shots in the box, almost double the 37 of Villa.

Opponents’ home/away defending in 23/24
Team Goals conc. Clean sheets Shots in box conc. Big chances conc.
Sheff Utd (H) 19 0 92 28
West Ham (A) 14 0 72 21
Aston Villa (H) 5 1 37 8
So, who is the best captain?

Haaland and Salah make the most convincing arguments for the armband. 
The case for Salah is a simple one. He offers the best all-round potential and is facing the league’s worst home defence.
But Haaland has a significantly greater goal threat, both recent and home/away.
The issue is whether he can deliver a big score against a Villa side who have clearly been stubborn at home.
However, the team numbers across the last four matches show there’s been little to separate the Sheff Utd and Villa backlines when it comes to conceding gilt-edged scoring opportunities, with the Blades giving up 11 big chances compared with Villa's 10. 
Should that pattern continue in the midweek matches, the goal threat statistics are so overwhelmingly in Haaland’s favour that it would be no surprise if he outscores Salah in Gameweek 15.

Also in this series

Part 1: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 15 Ones to watch
Part 2: The FPL Pod: What to do with Watkins?
Part 3: How to invest in Newcastle's backline in Fantasy
Part 4: Scout Selection: Best FPL team for Gameweek 15
Part 6: FPL experts: Who to captain in Gameweek 15?

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