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Ibracadabra … A Magical Captain

Is Zlatan Ibrahimović set to unleash his ‘box of tricks’ and reward managers who hand him the GW23 armband?

Zlatan Ibrahimović was given a well-earned breather on Sunday, allowing Anthony Martial to spearhead the Manchester United attack in a routine 4-0 FA Cup win over Wigan Athletic. The young French striker didn’t disappoint, picking up two assists in the process but the best he can hope for on Wednesday is surely one of the wide attacking roles, with Ibrahimović expected to be restored to the starting line-up.

The big Swede is a clear top-ranked captaincy option as well, based on his predicted share of goals and assists and those all-important GW23 team goals projections.

GW23 Contribution Expectancy (Goals & Assists)
Player 0 1 2 3+
Zlatan Ibrahimović 25.01% 34.66% 24.02% 16.31%
Alexis Sánchez 32.42% 36.52% 20.57% 10.50%
Harry Kane 40.22% 36.63% 16.68% 6.46%
Sergio Agüero 43.31% 36.24% 15.16% 5.29%
Olivier Giroud 43.79% 36.16% 14.93% 5.12%
Theo Walcott 47.10% 35.46% 13.35% 4.09%
Dele Alli 50.30% 34.56% 11.88% 3.26%
Christian Eriksen 51.90% 34.04% 11.16% 2.90%
Romelu Lukaku 53.50% 33.46% 10.46% 2.57%
Kevin De Bruyne 55.19% 32.80% 9.75% 2.26%
Diego Costa 55.42% 32.71% 9.65% 2.22%
Andre Gray 56.27% 32.36% 9.30% 2.07%
Islam Slimani 56.62% 32.21% 9.16% 2.02%
Son Heung-min 57.41% 31.86% 8.84% 1.89%
Álvaro Negredo 58.27% 31.47% 8.50% 1.76%
Junior Stanislas 58.27% 31.47% 8.50% 1.76%

 

Ibra’s stats speak for themselves but perhaps even more telling is the likely absence of the Tigers’ veteran defender Curtis Davies. The 31 year old has registered more blocks and interceptions than any other Premier League player this season and is the only Hull player to have recorded an average WhoScored rating above 7, now that Robert Snodgrass has left the club.

Other forwards to figure prominently in Gameweek 23 are the brilliant Alexis Sánchez, Harry Kane and Sergio Agüero.

Sánchez may be restored to the number 9 position, if Theo Walcott gets the nod over Olivier Giroud. Walcott scored a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 5-0 demolition of Southampton in the FA Cup and if that was to be the case, it would certainly increase the Chilean forward’s appeal.

Kane and Agüero are both reported to be carrying knocks as well. The Spurs’ striker is  expected to start at Sunderland but Agüero is only rated at 50-50 for the trip to West Ham United. He may be a better option at the weekend when Manchester City entertain Swansea City and their porous defence.

Will Ibra conjure up some magic and deliver the goods for his captaincy ‘backers’ on Wednesday?

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