Fantasy Premier League

Who is the best FPL captain for Gameweek 20?

By The Scout 29 Dec 2023
FPL Pod: Who's the better pick, Salah or Son?

The Scout compares the top two candidates for the armband and the defences they will be facing

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Millions of managers in Fantasy Premier League will be debating whether to captain Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) or Son Heung-min (£9.9m) in Gameweek 20, with Erling Haaland (£13.9m) missing out through injury.

Liverpool’s Salah and Tottenham Hotspur’s Son each play at home in their final match before departing for international tournaments, facing Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth respectively.

Son is the form player of the two over the last four Gameweeks. He has matched Salah’s two goals while bettering him by three assists to one.

Players' form in last four matches
Player Pts Goal involvements Goals Assists
Son 31 5 2 3
Salah 26 3 2 1

The underlying statistics show there’s been little to separate Son and Salah for shots in the box, goal conversion and key passes over their last four matches.

Although Son has the edge for big chances, with three to Salah’s zero, the latter has been far more accurate. Indeed, he has recorded almost double the number of shots on target, with nine to the Spurs star’s five. 

Attacking stats in last four matches
Player Shots in box Big chances Goal conversion Key passes
Son 13 3 13.3% 8
Salah 12 0 13.3% 8
Who has the better home form? 

When it comes to playing at home, Salah leads his rival for every key statistic across the season.

The combined big chances statistics weigh very much in the Egyptian’s favour. Salah’s 13 big chances and seven big chances created mean he has been involved in 20 such opportunities in home matches, double the 10 of Son.

Home stats compared in 23/24
Player Shots in box Big chances Goal conversion Big chances created
Salah 26 13 25.7% 7
Son 17 4 18.2% 6
Assessing the opponents’ defences

Analysing each player’s Gameweek opponents can help identify any weaknesses to target.

Certainly, the recent team defensive data only further strengthens the case for Salah.

Newcastle have conceded 15 big chances in the last four Gameweeks, the joint-most in the Premier League.

Bournemouth, by contrast, have the best defensive record, allowing their opponents only one big chance, although they have played one fewer match over this period because their Gameweek 17 meeting with Luton Town was abandoned.

The Magpies are also the worst of the two for conceding goals and shots in the box over the last four Gameweeks.

Opponents’ defending, GW16-19
Team Goals conc. Clean sheets Shots in box conc. Big chances conc.
Newcastle 8 1 40 15
Bournemouth 2 2 29 1
Opponents' defences away from home 

It is worth noting that AFC Bournemouth’s record on the road offers more encouragement for Son.

The Cherries have allowed more shots in the box and big chances than Newcastle across the season, with both sides having played nine away matches.

It’s fair to say neither have impressed on their travels, though.

Newcastle have conceded an average of two goals per away match and have managed only one clean sheet. Bournemouth, meanwhile, have conceded 20 goals, two more than the Magpies. 

Opponents’ away defending 23/24
Team Goals conc. Clean sheets Shots in box conc. Big chances conc.
Bournemouth 20 2 112 23
Newcastle 18 1 93 17
So, who's the best captain?

Salah’s imperious home displays, combined with Newcastle’s dire defensive form, looks likely to give him the edge over Son.

Although Bournemouth’s away data across the season indicates Son could also deliver more attacking returns, the Cherries' recent displays have been far more resilient and only add to the risk attached with going against Liverpool's Egyptian.

Also in this series

Part 1: What to do with Newcastle players in Fantasy?
Part 2: What to do with premium stars in FPL after update on Haaland
Part 3: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 20 Ones to watch
Part 4: Scout Selection: Best FPL team for Gameweek 20
Part 6: FPL experts: Who to captain in Gameweek 20?
Part 7: Don't forget! Last chance to play first FPL Wildcard

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