Last updated on May 6th, 2022

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Finally, here we are staring at the biggest, craziest double game week of all. Who all are in action?

Let’s take a look. 

Apart from Brentford, Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Man United, Newcastle, Southampton, and West Ham, the rest of the 12 teams need to tackle 2 fixtures in a game week spanning 5 days.

All the teams comprising the Top 5 play twice hence making the captaincy call a lot more intriguing this week. 

Let’s start with taking a look at each of their numbers since Game Week 26 which gives a sufficient sample of 10 game weeks.

The Conventionals:

  • Salah leads the pack with a 1.25 return per start with Son close on his heels at 1.17. KDB has averaged a return every start as well, making the trio fall into the purple patch category. 
  • When players are in such a rich vein of form, we need to look at how consistently they have been generating returns for their owners. Salah & KDB have blanked in 25% of the games they have started since GW 26 whereas Son has blanked in 42% of the games (five times in his last 12 games). There could be an argument in favor of the Korean about playing those extra 4 games but the argument fails as Salah & KDB have been on European duties for their respective clubs as well.
  • Another facet to look at is how often the trio blanked in this stretch.  KDB stands out in this regard as he hasn’t blanked since GW29 amassing 2G / 3A in the last 4 GWs. He didn’t feature in GW35. Salah is second best as he hasn’t blanked since GW31 – 2G / 3A since then. (Came off the bench in GW35 for 21 mins).  Son, on the other hand, is less consistent and has had regular blanks.

The Punts:

  • Saka leads this pack of punts with a 0.67 return per start with Richarlison at 0.45. Cancelo, a defender, isn’t expected to feature high on this metric but carries a bag of clean sheet points which is one of the reasons he is part of this discussion.
  • On the “blank” metric, Saka has blanked in half of his last 12 starts. He is currently on a run of 4 consecutive returns which was preceded by a 3-game blank run. He tends to fare way better against teams who like to attack and that’s what he gets on his plate in GW36 in Leeds and Spurs. Richarlison, spearheading Everton’s fight for survival, has returned five times in his last 6 games. These 5 returns comprise 42% of his season returns. 
  • Cancelo has had 4 clean sheets in the last 6 along with an assist against title contenders Liverpool – his 9th assist of the season. He does carry the threat going forward but has had just a solitary assist in the last 11 games. Looking at the teams Man City faces and with one of the highest xMins in his squad, Cancelo could be a real punty call considering City’s exit from the Champions League and just the Premier League to fight for. 
  • Looking at the attacking numbers for the candidates’ teams, there is no doubt whatsoever about the explosiveness quotient available for FPL managers to choose from. From this table, it’s clear Everton is not a team that can be relied upon as far as scoring goals are concerned. They haven’t done it the whole season and there is no evidence that suddenly with 3 GWs to go, they will start exceeding expectations on that front. Having said that, Richarlison’s goal involvement since GW26 is at 71% which means if Everton were to score, most likely the Brazilian will be involved.

Taking all the above into consideration and where the teams are in terms of their respective season, my top 3 picks will be:

  • Mo Salah (Safe)
  • Kevin De Bruyne (Chasing Upside)
  • Joao Cancelo (Ultra-Differential)

If you liked the above reasoning, do follow me at @FPLTrybe on Twitter for more stats-based threads and tables. 

Talk to you guys soon!

Mark De Carvalho
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