In the pre-Haaland era, we pulled our hair out stressing over our captain decisions (okay, a few of you gave the armband to Salah in GW-1 and left it there, saving yourselves a lot of grief).
The arrival of the big Norwegian has eliminated that headache for many of us — Man City’s prolific striker is owned by a staggering 92% of FPL managers, and almost all of them place the armband on him week after week as a perma-captain. Not far into last season, the hair-pulling shifted to authors of articles like this one who had to think of fresh ways of writing almost the same thing every week.
But if you’re one of the few who doesn’t own Haaland, or if you just feel like going in a different direction this week, I’ve listed some alternative captain choices for GW-5 below. These differential armband options could leapfrog you up the standings if they produce and Haaland sputters.
If you are brave enough to travel this road, then good luck and godspeed... YMMV
Son Heung-min (£9.1m TOT vs SHU)
In Spurs’ last game against Burnley, Son was played centrally at Richarlison’s expense. In a brilliant hattrick performance, Son took five shots, two of which were big chances, and he created one chance.
Over the first four games, the Blades have let in fewer goals than Burnley, but their defense is by no means a fortress. Only seven teams have conceded more than they have, and Richarlison will be travel weary, so there’s a good chance that Son could hold his central role and have another banner week when he welcomes Sheffield United to Tottenham Stadium.
Bukayo Saka (£8.7m, EVE vs ARS)
Saka has had a solid start to the 2023-24 campaign, with three goal contributions over four games. He’s Arsenal’s main attacking threat, and this week he tests a defense that has been conceding a lot of goals. Ten of his twelve shots this season have been from close range, and he has created 14 chances for others. And among all players, only Brighton’s Pascal Groß has provided more important passes.
Mo Salah (£12.5m, WOL vs LIV)
So far this season, Liverpool’s Mo Salah hasn’t fulfilled the high hopes of his fantasy owners by exploding for big hauls. Nevertheless, he has been consistently delivering results in each of his matches, going four-for-four with goal contributions. The Egyptian is second only to Haaland when it comes to expected goal involvements (xGI), suggesting that he’s due to score again soon. That could come as early as this weekend given that only two teams have allowed more clear-cut chances than Wolves.
Were these differentials not different enough for you? Well here’s two more then. James Maddison has been in fine form for Spurs, and just like Son he will be licking his chops at the prospect of facing the Blades at home. And Man United’s Bruno Fernandes will be flying high after his sparkling performance in Portugal’s demolition of Luxembourg on Monday — Do you fancy him hosting Brighton?
What do you make of these picks? Whom will you captain this week? Do you dare choose someone other than Haaland? Log in to share your comments below!
Other than Haaland, who is the best captain for GW-5?
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