The Armband: FPL Gameweek 13 Captain Analysis
The Armband: FPL Gameweek 13 Captain Analysis

This article is part of our The Armband series.

The international break came at a good time since only one team managed to score more than two goals in Gameweek 12, and that was unsurprisingly Manchester City. The more surprising part to the previous gameweek may have been the points leaders, as Juan Foyth, Callum Paterson and Salomon Rondon all topped their respective positions. It's unlikely any of those guys will be able to say that again this season, but Gameweek 13 doesn't present a ton of favorable matchups.

Spurs host Chelsea in the biggest fixture, but I'm not sure I'd give the armband to Harry Kane or Eden Hazard in this spot because it's hard to see either side scoring multiple goals. Making matters even more difficult is that Liverpool (at Watford), Manchester City (at West Ham) and Arsenal (at Bournemouth) are all playing away. Of the big clubs, only Manchester United are at home and their most consistent player has been Anthony Martial, who pulled out of international duty because of a thigh injury. With at least one goal in each of his last five league starts, he at least makes sense for captaincy against Crystal Palace, but only if he's guaranteed to start.

Liverpool would normally be a great option, but they scored just three goals in their last five away matches in all competitions. It's not as safe as it seems for Mohamed Salah, especially since Watford already beat Spurs at home earlier in the season. That said, Salah is always in the conversation with at least three shots in each of his last seven starts to go with three goals and two assists in his last four Premier League games. However, there's no reason to stretch for anyone else on the team because the Reds could easily be held to one goal again.

The better bet, as usual, is Man City, who have a clean sheet in their last three away matches in all competitions. Benjamin Mendy is out and Sergio Aguero has a hamstring problem, but Raheem Sterling should be ready to go. Sterling's consistency has been somewhat lacking, but he's averaging more shots on goal (1.46) and chances created (2.40) per 90 minutes than last season. If Aguero is out, Gabriel Jesus could be a sneaky captain selection, though he's likely not on anyone's team. David Silva is also in the conversation because he's not only starting every match, but he's also made the scoresheet in five of his last six.

Arsenal are slightly behind the others because they have only two goals from their last three matches in all competitions. If you really like the Gunners, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are in the running, though they have a combined two shots on goal and four chances created in the last two matches, and most of those go to Lacazette.

The clear differential captain would be Gylfi Sigurdsson at home against Cardiff, but he dealt with an ankle injury over the international break. If he misses out, Richarlison could still be a useful option after he bagged a brace in the last match at home. Cardiff have had some better results, but they also have lost their last three away by a combined 9-2 score line to Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Aleksandar Mitrovic would probably be a popular captain if it were August, but he has just two shots on goal in his last six starts, and there have been plenty of favorable matchups in that period. He could get a look because there are so few options, plus Southampton are allowing more than two goals per away match.

That leaves one team I have my eye on in what could be the most favorable spot of the weekend. Wolves haven't won since Oct. 6 but are coming off an impressive draw at the Emirates and get a Huddersfield side that conceded three goals to Watford in their last road trip and have allowed 14 in five away matches this season. Unless you want to bank on a clean sheet, Raul Jimenez is the only place to go, with an appearance on the scoresheet in six of his last eight starts while averaging three shots and almost two chances created per match in that span.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate. 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year.
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