There’s now just six more gameweeks of the Fantasy Premier League season remaining and mini-leagues across the world are now heating up, each selection ever more crucial as you bid to improve – or hold – rank ahead of the run-in.
Gameweek 33 brings us a renewal of hostilities between northern rivals Leeds and Manchester United, whilst West Ham host Chelsea in a crucial clash in the race to secure Champions League football.
Managers beware however, four teams don’t feature this weekend given the Carabao Cup final on Sunday – including Premier League leaders Manchester City and Tottenham.
Ahead of the latest round of action we’ve picked out some of the leading contenders for the armband, here are four of the best captaincy choices for gameweek 33.
Mohamed Salah v Newcastle (H)
Mohamed Salah owners have been burned on more than one occasion this season, not least with the Egyptian’s omission from the starting line-up for Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Leeds on Monday night.
That was, however, the first time in 13 fixtures he had been left out the starting side and Salah is expected to return ahead of the visit of Newcastle this weekend.
Liverpool will be expected to come through that challenge with minimal fuss as they look to close the gap on the top four, despite a recent improvement from Newcastle that has seen Steve Bruce’s side move away from the relegation places.
Salah leads Liverpool’s leading assets for goal attempts and shots on target (level with Diogo Jota) over the past four fixtures, netting against both Arsenal and Aston Villa in that time.
Salah is now two goals behind Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot and will be keen to reduce that gap with Spurs playing in the Carabao Cup final this weekend, with Liverpool facing a Newcastle side that have not won at Anfield in the Premier League since April 1994.
⏫ #FPL PRICE RISES ⏫
Trent Alexander-Arnold – £7.5m
Mohamed Salah – £12.6m
5️⃣ of Liverpool's final 6️⃣ fixtures have a Fixture Difficulty Rating of 2️⃣ 👀 pic.twitter.com/IS6w4gZqvn
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) April 22, 2021
Jota remains an interesting alternative for those focused on Liverpool, whilst Trent Alexander-Arnold offers huge differential potential and has amassed 40 points over the past four gameweeks.
Mason Greenwood v Leeds (A)
Mason Greenwood’s second season as a Manchester United player has proven rather more difficult than his first, but there have been signs in recent weeks the teenager is getting back to his best.
Greenwood’s 17 goals in all competitions last season saw him level the record for most goals by a Manchester United teenager in a campaign, whilst he became the first Premier League player in more than two decades to score 10+ goals aged 18 or under.
The 19-year-old has scored just five league goals for the season so far, though four of those have come in his past three fixtures including a double against Burnley last time out.
That haul of 15 points against the Clarets was his best of the campaign to date and followed an 11-point showing against Spurs in gameweek 31, the confidence beginning to return for one of English football’s brightest young talents.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side travel to face rivals Leeds at Elland Road this weekend, the first meeting having seen the Red Devils hit six in a 6-2 thumping on home soil.
Leeds have impressed in taking four points from clashes with Manchester City and Liverpool in recent weeks, but the home side’s willingness to push forward could leave space for the likes of Greenwood to exploit.
Kelechi Iheanacho v Crystal Palace (H)
Kelechi Iheanacho simply can’t stop scoring at the moment and will likely attract interest for the captaincy this weekend, the Leicester forward having hit 10 goals in his past seven games in all competitions.
The 24-year-old scored the winner as Leicester secured their passage into a first FA Cup final since 1969 last weekend, following on from a 13-point haul when last in FPL action in gameweek 31.
Leicester’s defeat to West Ham last time out means there remains work to be done to secure a top-four finish, though Brendan Rodgers’ side will be confident against a Crystal Palace side with little to play for.
Palace have won just one of their past six league fixtures and were thrashed 4-1 on home soil by Chelsea in their most recent fixture, the underlying statistics pointing to Iheanacho being a great captaincy choice.
Ten goals in his last seven games.
Kelechi Iheanacho can’t stop scoring 🔥 pic.twitter.com/P1KPGYQq0o
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 18, 2021
The forward has had five big chances and created a further six big chances in his past four games alone, managing a huge eight shots on target in the process.
Palace have also twice conceded four goals in that same period, a mix of Iheanacho’s potency and the Eagles’ offering up of chances strengthening the Foxes forward’s case for captaincy selection.
Ollie Watkins v West Brom (H)
Ranked second in the form table for FPL forwards at present and first of those featuring in gameweek 33, Ollie Watkins has a strong case for the armband based on form and fixture.
Watkins has provided attacking returns in four of his past five Premier League fixtures, despite Aston Villa’s indifferent form with just one victory in that time.
Villa’s inconsistency makes this a selection for those seeking a daring differential and Watkins’ owners will hope for a repeat of the first meeting as Dean Smith’s side made little work of their Midlands rivals at The Hawthorns.
Most Premier League goal involvements for Aston Villa this season:
◉ Ollie Watkins (16)
◉ Jack Grealish (16)
cc: Gareth Southgate 🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/lBXXqxeeyJ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 21, 2021
Watkins failed to score in that clash but will be confident of adding to his 12 league goals – and strengthening his case for a place in England’s European Championship squad – against the Premier League’s worst defence this weekend.