Fantasy Premier League 2021/22 | Figuring out the perfect captain pick for Gameweek 31

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Fantasy Premier League 2021/22 | Figuring out the perfect captain pick for Gameweek 31

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SportsCafe Desk

04/01/2022

The Premier League is marching on furiously towards the tail end of the campaign and now is the time to make the smartest move that is sure to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. To be the best player in FPL you need to rely on the best players. Who is the best pick for Captain?

Are you clutching at straws in your Fantasy Premier League as you struggle to catch up with your friends? Are your regular picks for Captain just not hitting their stride right when you need them the most? Well now might be the time to make the smart move and rely on established players to take up the mantle as teams look to establish their destiny at the end of the season.

A lot has happened in football with the international break putting a slight hamper on the festive and chaotic fun of the Premier League. Some players have regained their form while others faced heartbreak in their hopes of leading their nations to a fabled World Cup.

Could this impact the mentality of players as they head into club duty for their respective sides? Let's combine a little bit of statistics and a little bit of armchair psychology to determine who could be the best pick for captain in this Gameweek.

Option 1: Rely on the mercurial Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah uncharacteristically blazed a penalty over the crossbar in their shootout loss against Senegal. Egypt crashed out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup as they lost a high-stakes match in the playoff. The Egyptian has hinted that he could be ready to retire from international football following the ignominy of suffering a heartbreaking agony. 

Salah now returns to club duty where Liverpool is hot on the tail of Manchester City in a captivating title race that could be decided at the finish line. The Liverpool winger will want to put his disappointment behind him and prove his detractors wrong as he will certainly look to make a difference in Liverpool’s match against Watford.

If Liverpool secures a win or draw they will go above Manchester City ahead of the reigning champions’ trip to Burnley later in the day. Salah has been directly involved in 11 goals in just seven Premier League matches against Watford, scoring nine and assisting two. The Egyptian averages a goal or assist every 57 minutes versus the Hornets, the fourth-best ratio one player has against a club in the competition's history.

Therefore it makes perfect sense to put Salah as your captain as he will have a point to prove against familiar opponents.

Option 2: Bank on Harry Kane’s change of fortunes

It has to be said that Harry Kane didn’t look like himself at the start of the season as he suffered a series of woeful performances for Tottenham. This came under the back of an intense transfer saga that speculated a move to the Etihad Stadium for Kane. The appointment of Antonio Conte has reignited Spurs’ campaign as they looked for a turnaround in fortunes.

The London club are engaged in a fiery race for the top-four spot as they challenge Arsenal, West Ham and Manchester United to a tight race. Kane has found his goalscoring boots in recent weeks and is now the fourth highest top scorer in the league.

Spurs face Newcastle in a decisive match and the London club will look to hit full stride as they look to ensure a spot in the Champions League. The English striker has faced the Magpies 13 times in the league while scoring seven goals and two assists. Kane is sure to be on the hunt to score this week as he looks to improve the club's and his personal fortunes.

Option 3: Bruno Fernandes to make a mark

Well, this is an interesting option because like Spurs, United look to occupy a top-four spot at the end of the current campaign although their form has not been stable and uncertainty surrounds their future both on pitch and off the pitch.

One thing that you can be sure to rely on is that Bruno Fernandes will hit top form again. The Portuguese midfielder is enduring a mixed campaign although he still has nine goals and six assists in the league. The Portuguese international secured qualification into the World Cup for his nation by scoring a brace in their decisive match against North Macedonia.

The United midfielder also extended his contract with the English giants and a showcase performance seems to be on the cusp for the midfielder in my opinion. The 27-year-old has scored and assisted twice in four meetings against Leicester City this week as United host them at Old Trafford. A revitalized Fernandes could put on a show at Old Trafford this Gameweek ahead of signing a new deal.

Option 4: A gamble to risk it all

Well this one doesn’t make much sense but you could rely on a miracle to tell a story for the ages. Everton and Burnley are the only two teams who play twice this game week and although the relegation candidates are in terrible form, there could be something to capitalize on. Relying on Richarlison to find his scoring boots is your best bet as both teams have failed to showcase a standout player in form at the moment.

My Choice

There is a decision to be made with a lot of frontrunners for the spot this game week as teams look to shape their own stories at the end of the season. My pick would be to go with Mohamed Salah for optimal results as the Egyptian has proven it time and time again against Watford.

The other choices are also likely to net you some invaluable points as they have their own advantages and disadvantages. All these choices are sure to make you earn bank and boast about a successful game week to your friends.

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