We have a few of the usual suspects to consider in this weeks’ Captaincy Conundrum, with opportunities presenting themselves across three days of fixtures.

Leeds travel to St James’ Park on Friday night, but for FPL managers who don’t like to go too early, Saturday afternoon provides some solid, viable options.

FPL Captain Picks GW6:

Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks

Mohamed Salah

The Liverpool star heads into game week five on top of the predicted points charts, with his teammates Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold occupying second and third place.

This reflects just how much the Reds are fancied at home to Crystal Palace. Liverpool have the best xG of any team within the Premier League, and they have been a little unfortunate not to score more goals.

In front of the Kopp, the rapturous Anfield crowd could elevate the side, something which was sorely missed throughout last season. Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten home run ended by Burnley before tasting defeat on another five occasions.

Despite last weekends’ win over rivals Tottenham Hotspur and a hard-fought draw with West Ham, this is still a huge statistical mismatch with Liverpool odds on to take all three points.

The Eagles have a 9% chance of keeping a clean sheet while the hosts will be hoping to match their predicted 50-50 call on scoring over 2.5 goals.

Salah himself is in fantastic form with the second-best xGI, behind Sadio Mane, with 16 shots inside the box and three goals. 

Ferran Torres

City are this weekends’ Home Banker with an 87% chance of victory over Southampton at The Etihad. They are also rated with a 53% chance of scoring three goals or more combined with the highest odds of a clean sheet (58%).

On paper, this should be a routine win. But, despite the weight of confidence, many FPL managers’ continue to avoid City assets due to the uncertainty that has always surrounded Pep’s starting line-up.

However, is it time to put our faith back in Guardiola? The City boss has stayed true to his word and kept faith in the same XI for three consecutive games for the first time during his reign.

While we may not know how long this will last, we do know Pep has confidence on this side and faith in Torres, with whom he continues to deploy centrally.

The Spaniards’ heatmap demonstrates his ability to make clever runs into the box like a False 9 making it difficult for defenders to pick up those late quick movements.

Against Leicester, Torres had one of his quieter games, with 0.39xG and only four shots in the box, but he was facing a Top Five defence from 2020/21. Opportunities should be a lot more plentiful when facing weaker opposition.

The only caveat I would offer could be the risk of rotation with the Champions League returning this week, so keep an eye on his minutes versus RB Leipzig. However, even a 60-minute cameo could pay dividends in such a good fixture.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Those managers who gambled last weekend were handsomely rewarded by the veteran striker who continues to defy his ageing years.

Against Newcastle, Ronaldo scored two very different goals proving he is still an incredible striker, and then he followed that up with another strike midweek in the Champions League.

He heads into this match in excellent form, and with a very good supply chain, you would expect a host of high-quality chances even against a West Ham side that is yet to taste defeat.

The Hammers sit in 8th, although defensively they have not looked great with Bottom Half xG conceded and only one clean sheet to their name.

There are mistakes in the side, and a Thursday night trip to Zagreb will only exacerbate matters as David Moyes will be forced to rotate his fatigued players.

Manchester United have the personnel to cope with the demanding European schedule, and they will be looking to bounce back from their shock defeat to Young Boys, while West Ham may take time to adjust to these extra physical tolls.

Additionally, Solskjaer’s men are as good on the road as they are at Old Trafford as they will look to extend their record-breaking unbeaten run at the London Stadium.

Patrick Bamford or Raphinha

I’m on record stating that I am not a big fan of Bamford as I think he has wasted too many good opportunities, but I also know that this Leeds side will create a lot of chances in the televised match at St James’ Park on Friday night.

So far this season, he has an impressive 2.14xGI and 1.94xG, with ten shots in the box. So, the argument for Bamford: he spearheads one of the best attacks in the league from last season, while his conversation rate is poor…

We also wait for clarity on his ‘pinging’ hamstring, which has been the cause of great debate within the community. But if Bamford is not your man, then Raphinha must come under consideration.

He averages 0.5xGI per 90, and so far this term, his numbers almost match that, although he is quieter in the shot department with only three strikes in the box and 0.76 xG.

However, his strength not only lies in his ability to score goals, but he is an awesome creator. Leeds have not been great, but that shouldn’t put you off from this Differential Dinnery captaincy pick.

Newcastle sit bottom for xG conceded, and the club look to be heading deeper down under the management of Steve Bruce.

There is no discernable game plan, and the defence that completely fell apart during the second half of last season shows no signs of recovery. This type of game suits Leeds and provides an excellent opportunity to kick start their campaign…

Best FPL Tips For Gameweek 6:

FIRST PUBLISHED: 11th August 2021

About the Author
Ben Dinnery Football Expert

Ben Dinnery is the founder of Premier Injuries, a website used to track and record injury data for the British Premier League.

Described by The Telegraph as the “country’s leading data injury analyst,” Ben provides statistic insight and data to a host of broadsheet outlets and some of the world’s leading media organisations.

A regular contributor on talkSPORT radio and BBC Radio 5 Live, Ben’s data is published globally through his work with Sky Sports, NBC Sports and ESPN plus a host of other leading media broadcasters.