Returning to analyse the best FPL captain options for Gameweek 14, there are numerous players capable of wearing the armband.
Once again, Jamie Vardy features with a plum home fixture against Everton. Elsewhere, the Man City and Liverpool contingent face Newcastle (a) and Brighton (H) respectively. While Tottenham and Man United also have attractive home fixtures. Tammy Abraham has been ruled out of what would have been a great fixture this week.
Looking at these fixtures, there should be goals a-plenty this week! Here is Clarke’s take on who is worthy of captaincy in Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 14.
Jamie Vardy £9.7m
Leicester City vs Everton
Jamie Vardy has replaced the frustrating Sterling as the go-to captaincy choice in any given week. He has scored nine times in his last seven matches, has returned in five consecutive gameweeks and has hit double-digit FPL points in three of the last four matchdays.
Form is a word thrown about too often in the FPL community. Noble scores a couple of penalties and he’s now ‘the in-form budget midfielder’. However, Vardy is genuinely in form. It’s comparable to when he scored in 11 consecutive matches in the famous 2015/16 season. Dilly ding, dilly dong!
The hungry English striker will be ready to run riot against an Everton defence who conceded twice to 18th placed Norwich in the previous gameweek. Vardy has met The Canaries twice in his career, winning both games and contributing to two of Leicester’s three goals.
Kevin De Bruyne £10.2m
Newcastle vs Man City
From Man City, De Bruyne just has the edge for me in terms of captaincy this week. As I’ve said before, De Bruyne is the more reliable choice with a return in 73% of his 11 starts, whereas Sterling has a 50% return rate in his 12 starts.
This game is going to be a total domination from start to finish for City. When a team sets up to play with their backs against the wall for 90 minutes, I usually favour the Belgian midfielder. He will get on the ball much more frequently than Sterling and has the advantage of taking the majority of set pieces.
And the expectation is for a lot of set pieces in this one. Man City have attempted the most crosses and have the most corners taken in the Premier League this season. Newcastle will do well to keep out from this supply line, but a clearance to relieve pressure will often mean another corner and another chance for De Bruyne to deliver.
Raheem Sterling £12m
Newcastle vs Man City
Sterling will continue to feature on this list for as long as I think he is capable of delivering with the armband. Yes, three blanks on the bounce is a bitter pill to swallow, but I have watched all three of these matches and I’m genuinely shocked at the outcome for him.
If it isn’t Zouma’s arse playing him onside, it’s Sterling’s armpit calling him offside. He joked about his relationship with VAR on twitter, but being serious, he would be close to 10 goals by now without these extremely close calls. I’m all for VAR when used correctly, but for FPL you must consider these millimeters when reading between a Sterling blank and haul.
He did play 90 minutes in midweek, while De Bruyne was substituted on the 70th minute mark, though this shouldn’t be a worry with Aguero ruled out with injury and Pep publicly stating that Sterling has sensational recovery speeds.
Newcastle won this fixture last season, but that was under Rafa Benitez. Comparing the Spaniard to Steve Bruce is like comparing an episode of The Peaky Blinders to Mrs Brown’s Boys. No contest, and I don’t think there will be much of a contest in this one.
Harry Kane £10.9m
Tottenham vs Bournemouth
On paper, Bournemouth at home is one of those fixtures that you look at and naturally think goals are on offer. Eddie Howe has obviously focussed on the stability of his defence this season, but looking at the underlying statistics, they’re on the surface performance is not as sustainable as you might think.
Comparing their 2018/19 and 2019/20 campaigns after gameweek 13 is a worrying sight for someone with a Bournemouth defender, but full of good news for Spurs offensive picks. They have conceded significantly more shots, including shots in the box and their ranking for goal-scoring chances conceded has dropped from 6th to 11th in the table.
Simon Francis’ suspension is actually a boost for their hopes of holding off Tottenham. He’s been past it for years now, but seems to occasionally squeeze his way into the starting XI with the aid of his captains armband.
If you need a proper captain in this fixture, then it has to be Mourinho’s golden boy Harry Kane. On the back of two goals in the Champions League and with a 100% win record and seven goals in six fixtures versus Bournemouth, it’s fairly obvious why.
Sadio Mane £12.2m
Liverpool vs Brighton
I feel that Mane is a better option than Salah this week based on form and fitness. Salah did return to action in midweek, both players managed the full 90 minutes, but that ankle has been giving him problems for a long period now.
Sadio Mane on the other hand looks as explosive as ever. He might not have scored the winning goal in each of Liverpool’s last two wins, but he has ultimately been the ‘match winner’. He has the knack for scoring any type of goal and that’s always a bonus when Robertson and Alexander-Arnold are constantly delivering the ball into your path.
The argument that Salah has scored more goals (6) at home than Mane (4) this season and should therefore be a better choice as captain is not valid. Mane has played significantly less minutes, not to mention the fact he’s returned in his last four home fixtures for a total of 39 points.
Pierre Aubameyang £11m
Norwich vs Arsenal
I don’t like tipping a player solely based on his manager being sacked, but that’s exactly why I’m including Aubameyang in here. Arsenal’s players were evidently affected by the turmoil surrounding the club and it’s management and a clean slate will boost everyone’s morale.
When happy, Aubameyang and Lacazette were a force to be reckoned with, but the pair have looked out of touch for sometime now. Embarrassingly, they weren’t closing down or working for the team as they should have been doing, no matter the situation, but these things will magically return this weekend in the classic trick of the overpaid footballer.
Don’t let Norwich’s victory last weekend put you off Arsenal. We all know what happened after they defeated Man City in Gameweek 5! Norwich followed up this unprecedented result with six losses in their next seven matches, conceding 16 goals over this period.