GW30 Captain Analysis

With some big games on the menu this weekend where will you Captain's Armband be heading?

Opponent H/A PPG Return% PPG H/A Return% H/A Goal Odds
Sturridge Man United Away 7.7 0.78 7.8 0.75 0.37
Suarez Man United Away 9.7 0.78 8.2 0.58 0.43
Van Persie Liverpool Home 6.2 0.63 6.5 0.75 0.43
Rooney Liverpool Home 6.5 0.62 5.5 0.50 0.30
Lallana Norwich Home 5.1 0.44 5.9 0.50 0.30
Hazard Aston Villa Away 6.4 0.46 5.3 0.38 0.37
Lukaku Cardiff Home 5.5 0.65 6.6 0.67 0.59

There are a whole host of good options for your Fantasy Premier League captain this week but let’s start at Old Trafford with another big game for both United and Liverpool. Although our data and prediction favours Liverpool, United are the bookies favourites for a win. Bookmakers will always set their odds not just on the expected result but also their expectation of the betting market, where they money will be going. This is perhaps reflected in Rooney and Van Persie sharing the highest odds with Luis Suarez despite Sturridge’s personal form eclipsing them all.

The odds are close for all four though so what clues are there in the table’s other stats? Suarez has the best form of anyone of course, whether home or away, but we can see that his Returns away from home is a relatively low 58%. Not to be sniffed at all but does suggest his points away from home have come from a few big hauls rather than the more consistent returns of Sturridge. Looking at his big away games there are five away fixtures where he scored 10 points or more; Newcastle, Sunderland, Stoke, Tottenham and last week at Southampton. Will he flourish against an improving United defence? To be fair, Sturridge missed a lot of the away games in which Liverpool failed to find the net so we can’t directly compare them in a game like this.

Looking at Rooney and Van Persie, it’s Rooney who looks the better prospect for United right now, even more so at Old Trafford. Let’s be honest. Van Persie is looking rather petulant at the moment. This excellent article from the Live Life United blog highlights the drawbacks going forward of United under Moyes, and it doesn’t appear Van Persie likes it very much. He was involved in a lot more of ‘everything’ at Arsenal and last season under Ferguson. With Mata and Januzaj (and/or Kagawa) it’s possible Moyes is moving towards a more dynamic front line but until we see this in action we’d fancy Rooney to match anything on offer from the Dutchman.

The game at Old Trafford is a hard one to call. Not so at St.Mary’s or Goodison Park where Southampton take on Norwich and Everton host Cardiff. Lallana has not been in the points for a while but Southampton are still looking like a strong team, matching Liverpool recently in everything but the score line. Lallana is not that strong a punt with the bookies for a goal, behind joint favourites Rodriguez and Lambert, but this doesn’t take assists into account, and we can see from his stats that Lallana has been strong at home this season.

Lukaku looks a great shout for decent points haul this weekend. Like Lallana, Lukaku's home form is what has made his season so far, scoring 7 of his 10 goals in front of the Goodison faithful. Everton also have the best fixture of anyone this weekend with a clean sheet for Cardiff extremely unlikely, giving Lukaku increased chance of adding a cheeky assist to his obvious goal threat.

Here’s our own preferred order for captaincy in GW30:

  1. Lukaku (vs. Cardiff)
  2. Rooney (vs. Liverpool)
  3. Van Persie (vs. Liverpool)
  4. Suarez (vs. United)
  5. Sturridge (vs. United)
  6. Lallana (vs. Norwich)
  7. Hazard (vs. Villa)

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