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A Fixture-Proof FPL Captain

Is there such a thing as a ‘fixture-proof’ Fantasy Premier League captain?

After shaking off the groin strain that ruled him out of Liverpool’s trip to Burnley and the Reds’ FA victory over Everton at Anfield, Mohamed Salah is expected to take his place in Jürgen Klopp’s starting line-up against runaway Premier League leaders’ Manchester City on Sunday,

The Egyptian international has had an unbelievable season, with some fantasy managers already using the term ‘fixture-proof’ when discussing his gameweek prospects.

However, this theory will be put to the ultimate test on Sunday when the Reds begin life without Philippe Coutinho against Pep Guardiola’s table-toppers.

The Citizens, who still remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season, will be hoping that Kevin de Bruyne, the archetypal set and forget fantasy player and red hot favourite to be crowned the 2017/18 Player of the Year, can inspire them to victory against the Reds.

Exactly how good Salah and de Bruyne have been this season is summarised perfectly in the Oulala comparison below.

De-Bruyne-vs-Salah

Both players’ stats speak for themselves, with de Bruyne being something of a bonus point magnet while Salah tends to be more explosive and they are certain to be among the most popular GW23 choices but if you are in the ‘no player is fixture-proof camp’ you will be looking for alternatives this weekend.

So, who else should you consider? Well, judging by our GW23 Armband rankings Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku arguably make most appeal but one player to watch out for is Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.

GW23Contribution Expectancy (Goals & Assists)
Player0123+
Harry Kane32.77%36.56%20.40%10.28%
Romelu Lukaku37.43%36.78%18.07%7.72%
Álvaro Morata45.00%35.93%14.35%4.72%
Alexis Sánchez45.05%35.92%14.32%4.70%
Alexandre Lacazette45.71%35.78%14.01%4.50%
Paul Pogba51.60%34.14%11.30%2.96%
Eden Hazard52.00%34.00%11.12%2.88%
Christian Eriksen52.07%33.98%11.09%2.86%
Dele Alli52.18%33.94%11.04%2.84%
Anthony Martial52.58%33.80%10.86%2.76%
Sergio Agüero52.64%33.78%10.84%2.74%
Son Heung-min53.38%33.51%10.52%2.60%

 

Pogba is actually averaging more FPL points per match than de Bruyne but it is his deployment that continues to raise eyebrows.

José Mourinho’s preference for a 4-2-3-1 is well documented and Pogba’s fantasy potential is arguably somewhat limited when he is deployed as one of the two holding midfielders.

However, Pogba put in an outstanding performance at Goodison Park recently when Mourinho opted for a 4-3-3 and the 4-1-4-1 he utilised against Derby County in last Friday’s FA Cup tie also seemed to benefit Pogba’s attacking instincts more.

We can expect some fireworks in GW23 – do you believe in the ‘fixture-proof’ captain theory or are you prepared to gamble on Mourinho letting Pogba off the leash?

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