Ahead of this weekend’s Premier League action we’re on hand to provide our best advice for Fantasy Premier League, selecting four options we believe should be the leading contenders for your crucial captaincy.
Aston Villa and Newcastle meet in a clash between two in-form teams with European ambitions, while there’s crucial home fixtures for Everton and Southampton in the battle to beat the drop.
At the other end Manchester City -fresh from thrashing Bayern Munich – face Leicester, as Dean Smith’s reign begins with a tough trip to the Etihad. Arsenal will look to maintain their advantage at the top at West Ham the following day, while Nottingham Forest host Manchester United.
Ahead of Gameweek 31, we look at four of the best Fantasy Premier League captaincy options.
Erling Haaland v Leicester (H)
If we hadn’t already, we’re getting into ridiculous territory when it comes to Erling Haaland.
Haaland broke the record for most goals in all competitions by a Premier League player in midweek, after celebrating his 45th goal of the season against Bayern Munich. It’s 11 in his last four appearances across all competitions, a number which seems even more absurd when put into print.
Erling Haaland is the first player in top-flight European football to be directly involved in 50 goals across all club competitions in 2022/23.
He only needed 39 games. 🤖 pic.twitter.com/djOdznmx6w
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 11, 2023
It’s not inconceivable that Haaland could challenge Dixie Dean’s famous record of 65 goals in all competitions for Everton in 1927/28, with Manchester City still in contention for the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. Momentum is with Pep Guardiola’s side, who take on a Leicester without a clean sheet since November and on a run of seven defeats in eight Premier League games.
Dean Smith has arrived as manager until the end of the season, but faces a gargantuan task to earn a result at the Etihad this weekend. City have won nine straight in all competitions, a run which includes comfortable wins over Newcastle, RB Leipzig, Liverpool and Bayern Munich. Guardiola’s side have found their form and just the right time ahead of the run-in and can smell blood after dropped points for Arsenal last weekend.
Harry Kane v Bournemouth (H)
Had it not been for the aforementioned Haaland, Harry Kane might just be the name on everyone’s lips this season.
Kane continues to fire for a Spurs side that have looked rather ordinary their talisman aside. Kane has scored five goals in his last four Premier League appearances and now has 23 goals for the season, a record which makes the 29-year-old the second-highest scoring player in FPL this season.
Clinical from Harry Kane! 🎯 pic.twitter.com/swTifLZ5td
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 3, 2023
The England captain will take on the league’s leakiest defence in Bournemouth this weekend, who despite two wins in their last three remain susceptible to conceding chances. Kane’s 23 league goals have come with an xG figure of just 19.1 this season, evidence that the forward often needs only a half chance to find the back of the net. He needs just three more goals to move past Wayne Rooney as the second highest goalscorer in Premier League history.
Kane also boasts a phenomenal record against this week’s opponents, with seven goals in nine appearances against the Cherries. He has also never been on the losing side.
Gabriel Martinelli v West Ham (A)
Gabriel Martinelli’s purple patch continued with a 13-point haul against Liverpool last weekend, as the Arsenal forward scored one and laid on another in the Gunners’ 2-2 draw at Anfield.
Martinelli has been in fantastic form in recent weeks, with seven goals and two assists in his last eight Premier League appearances for Arsenal. The league leaders travel to face West Ham this weekend, who remain just outside the relegation places despite last weekend’s win at Fulham.
No other Brazilian in Europe's top five leagues has more league goals than Gabriel Martinelli (14) 🤯🇧🇷
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 9, 2023
West Ham’s last home game ended in an embarrassing 5-1 defeat to Newcastle, a fixture which saw Joelinton enjoy success down the Hammers’ right. Martinelli’s electric pace and goalscoring confidence could pose problems this weekend, with the 21-year-old now the leading Brazilian scorer across Europe’s top five leagues (14).
Mohamed Salah v Leeds (A)
Liverpool remain entirely unpredictable this season, with the best and worst of the Reds on show during their chaotic draw with Arsenal last weekend.
Salah scored once and missed a penalty during that fixture, one which saw the Egyptian register ten shots and a higher xG (2.1) than the entire Arsenal side combined.
The 30-year-old faces a favourite opponent in Gameweek 31, as Liverpool travel to Leeds on Monday night. In five appearances against Leeds since the Whites promotion in 2020/21, Salah has scored seven goals and laid on one assist.
10 – Mo Salah had 10 shots with a combined xG of 2.1 today – more than Arsenal (9 shots, 1.4 xG) and the joint-most shots any player has had on record (from 2003-04) in a Premier League game against the Gunners (Andy Carroll also 10 in April 2016). Peppered. pic.twitter.com/VWdWCHPDzm
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 9, 2023
Despite a poor campaign by last season’s standards, he has recorded 13 league goals and seven assists, while he has 35 goal contributions in all competitions.
Liverpool rank third in the Premier League for expected goals scored this season, while Leeds have the third worst defensive record in terms of chances conceded (xGA) and are joint-second for goals conceded.
Read – Iconic Performances: Lewandowski’s four-goal destruction of Real Madrid
Read Also – Premier League 100 assist club: How many games did it take each player to reach the landmark?
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