Fantasy Premier League

Who is the best FPL captain for Double Gameweek 34?

By The Scout 19 Apr 2024
Salah, Solanke, Saka

The Scout on the all-important captaincy call for the biggest Double of 2023/24 Fantasy

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Mohamed Salah (£13.5m) and Bukayo Saka (£9.0m) are expected to dominate the captaincy decision of millions of managers in Double Gameweek 34 (DGW34) of Fantasy Premier League.

Liverpool and Arsenal are among the seven teams playing twice in the upcoming round of matches; Salah visits Fulham and Everton, while Saka travels to Wolverhampton Wanderers before a home meeting with Chelsea

Neither have been in the best of form. Salah has two goals and 18 points in his last four matches in Fantasy, while Saka has one goal and 17 points.

Both have been outperformed by their respective team-mates Luis Diaz (£7.8m) and Kai Havertz (£7.4m), who have each been involved in three goals.

Diaz has scored twice and supplied an assist to total 25 points across his previous four appearances, while Havertz has 23 points thanks to one goal and two assists.

AFC Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke (£7.2m) and Crystal Palace star Eberechi Eze (£6.1m) are among the best DGW34 armband alternatives, with both players getting on the scoresheet last weekend.

Solanke has mirrored Salah's two goals and 18 points in his last four matches ahead of the Cherries' visits to Aston Villa and Wolves. Eze has a goal and an assist across that period ahead of home encounters with West Ham United and Newcastle United.

Player form, last four matches
Player Pts G A Bonus
Diaz 25 2 1 4
Havertz 23 1 2 3
Eze 19 1 1 2
Salah 18 2 0 1
Solanke 18 2 0 3
Saka 17 1 0 2
Who has had the greatest attacking threat?

The underlying numbers show just how frustrating Salah has been as a Fantasy pick recently.

In terms of goal threat, his 23 shots and 16 shots in the box both place top in the analysis, while his six big chances are at least double any of his rivals. Yet he has suffered from an unusually poor goal conversion rate of only 8.7 per cent, easily the worst in the assessment.

His team-mate Diaz occupies second place for both shots and shots in the box. The Colombian ranks joint-top for key passes with Salah on 10 each, and joint-top alongside Havertz for big chances created, with three.

Indeed, when it comes to big chance involvement, Havertz's six is identical to Diaz and just one behind Salah. By contrast, Saka has been involved in only one big chance.

Although Solanke and Eze are the worst off in the analysis for shots in the box, they occupy the top two slots for goal conversion, netting 25 per cent and 20 per cent of their shots respectively.

Player attacking threat, last four matches
Player Shots Shots in box Big chances Goal conversion Key passes Big chances created
Salah 23 16 6 8.7% 10 1
Diaz 14 11 3 14.3% 10 3
Saka 10 8 1 10% 8 0
Solanke 8 6 2 25% 5 0
Havertz 8 7 3 12.5% 4 3
Eze 5 5 2 20% 6 1

Rotate your mobile device to see the full table

How are they performing home/away?

Salah is again the top candidate for big-chance involvement in the assessment.

In away matches, he has had eight and created a further nine, which gives him an average of 57.7 minutes per big-chance involvement, compared with the 96.3 minutes of his team-mate Diaz.

Saka and Havertz's numbers are over the whole season due to the fact that Arsenal play both home and away. The former's average of 77.9 minutes per big-chance involvement in 2023/24 earns him second spot in the table below.

Solanke's goal threat statistics are particularly encouraging. His 14 big chances in away matches is only one fewer than the combined 15 of Salah and Diaz. Indeed, that total is just four fewer than both Saka and Havertz have recorded in all of Arsenal's matches in Fantasy this season.

Player form, home/away 2023/24
Player Big chances Big chances created Mins/big-chance involvement Mins/shot in box Goal conversion
Salah (A) 8 9 55.7 38.0 15.6%
Saka (H, A) 18 14 77.9 38.3 15.9%
Solanke (A) 14 2 88.7 29.8 15.4%
Havertz (H, A) 18 4 96.0 50.8 18.8%
Diaz (A) 7 3 96.3 35.1 8.8%
Eze (H) 6 1 99.4 43.4 18.5%

*Rotate your mobile device to see the full table

How do their opponents compare?

Assessing the opposition data can help determine each player's chances of attacking returns.

The numbers immediately mark out Villa, West Ham and Chelsea as the worst for conceding shots in the box in their last four matches.

West Ham place bottom for big chances conceded here and are one of only two sides in the analysis, along with Wolves, who failed to keep a clean sheet. However, Wolves were perhaps unlucky as they allowed just seven big chances, less than half West Ham's total of 15.

When assessing the combined number of big chances conceded by their DGW34 opponents, Liverpool's attackers should be encouraged the most. Everton and Fulham conceded 11 and 12 such opportunities in their previous four matches, a total of 23. 

Palace's DGW34 opponents allowed a total of 21 big chances across that spell, while Bournemouth's and Arsenal's opponents conceded 19 and 17 respectively.

Opponents' defensive form, last four matches
Team  Goals conc. Clean sheets Shots in box conc. Big chances conc.
Aston Villa 7 2 46 12
West Ham 8 0 45 15
Chelsea 7 1 43 11
Everton 9 1 35 11
Fulham 7 1 35 12
Wolves 7 0 33 7
Newcastle 4 2 32 6
How do the opponents fare home/away?

The season data suggests Palace can profit the most from their pair of home fixtures.

Their visitors West Ham and Newcastle are the worst for conceding goals and shots in the box in the analysis, with the Hammers' total of 53 big chances conceded at least 15 more than any of their rivals.

West Ham and Newcastle have conceded a combined total of 90 big chances, lifting the appeal of Eze, Jean-Philippe Mateta (£5.0m) and Michael Olise (£5.6m).

Meanwhile, Bournemouth's DGW34 opponents' total 76 for this statistic, with Arsenal just behind on 74.

Liverpool, however, visit Fulham and Everton sides who have allowed only 63 big chances between them in home matches this season.

Team home/away form, 2023/24
Team  Goals conc. Clean sheets Shots in box conc. Big chances conc.
West Ham (A) 33 1 180 53
Newcastle (A) 32 2 162 37
Chelsea (A) 27 2 152 36
Fulham (H) 16 3 138 38
Wolves (H) 23 3 133 38
Everton (H) 18 5 115 25
Aston Villa (A) 22 4 114 38
So, who is the best captain?

The player and team form data suggest Salah is the likeliest to deliver a big DGW34 armband haul.

His goal threat is markedly better than any of his rivals, while his recent woeful goal conversion rate has every chance of improving when he faces Fulham and Everton's porous defences. 

Saka's all-round output, combined with his frequency of big-chance involvements, is just about enough to earn him the vice-captaincy ahead of Solanke, whose goal threat alone means he shouldn't be left out of the conversation.

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