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CAPTAINCY HYPE 2017/18: FPL Gameweek 26

Picking a Captain to double down on in the Fantasy Premier League is the most important question asked ahead of each of the 38 Gameweek's in the Premier League season. There's a lot of self-help out there for FPL enthusiasts, with our Hype Team providing three major considerations for the armband for each and every Gameweek. We'll be detailing the Essential choice for captain, a popular alternative that's pushing the consensus, and a Wildcard pick to add to the chaos. Captaincy can make of break a Gameweek so strap in tightly, it's time to lose your marbles. All aboard.

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek Deadline

For the 2016/17 Premier League season, the FPL deadline will be one hour before the commencement of the week's first game. The Premier League website lists each FPL deadline, you can always ask on social media, and you can also view a real time countdown on our Weekly Hype page

CAPTAINCY HYPE: 2017/18 SEASON PERFORMANCE

In each Captaincy Hype article we track our progress throughout the 2017/18 FPL season. Below you can check how our Captaincy selections have performed by week to week in the Fantasy Premier League.

GW1

Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Man United 4-0 West Ham) - 13pts

Alternative: Roberto Firmino (Watford 3-3 Liverpool) - 12pts

Wildcard: Josh King (West Brom 1-0 Bournemouth) - 2pts

GW2

Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Swansea 0-4 Man Utnited) - 6pts

Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace) - 1pt

Wildcard: Steve Mounie (Huddersfield 1-0 Newcastle) - 1pt

GW3

Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 1-1 Burnley) - 2pts

Alternative: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Man United 2-0 Leicester) - 5pts

Wildcard: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea 2-0 Everton) - 12pts

GW4

Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Stoke 2-2 Man United) - 6pts

Alternative: Alvaro Morata (Leicester 1-2 Chelsea) - 6pts

Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth) - 1pt

GW5

Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 0-0 Swansea) - 2pts

Alternative: Gabriel Jesus (Watford 0-6 Man City) - 6pts

Wildcard: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal) - 1pt

GW6

Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City 5-0 Crystal Palace) - 11pts

Alternative: Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal 2-0 West Brom) - 13pts

Wildcard: Benjamin Mendy (Man City 5-0 Crystal Palace) - 0pts

GW7

Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Man United 4-0 Crystal Palace) - 6pts

Alternative: Dele Alli (Huddersfield 0-4 Spurs) - 2pts

Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 2-0 Brighton) - 6pts

GW8

Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 1-0 Bournemouth) - 2pts

Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Leicester 1-1 West Brom) - 2pts

Wildcard: Raheem Sterling (Man City 7-2 Stoke) - 15pts

GW9

Essential: Gabriel Jesus (Man City 3-0 Burnley) - 1pt

Alternative: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 4-2 Watford) - 5pts

Wildcard: Tammy Abraham (Swansea 1-2 Leicester) - 2pts

GW10

Essential: Sergio Aguero (West Brom 2-3 Man City) - 0pts

Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield) - 4pts

Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 2-1 Swansea) - 2pts

GW11

Essential: Sergio Aguero (Spurs 1-0 Crystal Palace) - 2pts

Alternative: Mohamed Salah (West Ham 1-4 Liverpool) - 15pts

Wildcard: Riyad Mahrez (Stoke 2-2 Leicester) - 7pts

GW12

Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Man United 4-1 Newcastle) - 6pts

Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 3-0 Southampton) - 16pts

Wildcard: Glenn Murray (Brighton 2-2 Stoke) - 1pt

GW13

Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 1-1 West Brom) - 8pts

Alternative: Gabriel Jesus (Huddersfield 1-2 Man City) - 4pts

Wildcard: Callum Wilson (Swansea 0-0 Bournemouth) - 2pts

GW14

Essential: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea 1-0 Swansea) - 1pt

Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Stoke 0-3 Liverpool) - 13pts

Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 5-0 Huddersfield) - 8pts

GW15

Essential: Mohamed Salah (Brighton 1-5 Liverpool) - 5pts

Alternative: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle) - 8pts

Wildcard: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester 1-0 Burnley) - 6pts

GW16

Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 5-1 Stoke) - 12pts

Alternative: Eden Hazard (West Ham 1-0 Chelsea) - 2pts

Wildcard: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool 1-1 Everton) - 1pt

GW17

Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 2-0 Brighton) - 2pts

Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 0-0 West Brom) - 3pts

Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (West Ham 0-0 Arsenal) - 3pts

GW18

Essential: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 1-0 Southampton) - 6pts

Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Leicester 0-3 Crystal Palace) - 2pts

Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle) - 3pts

GW19

Essential: Raheem Sterling (Man City 4-0 Bournemouth) - 13pts

Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool) - 10pts

Wildcard: Charlie Austin (Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield) - 6pts

GW20

Essential: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 5-0 Swansea) - 9pts

Alternative: Sergio Aguero (Newcastle 0-1 Man City) - 2pts

Wildcard: Charlie Austin (Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal) - 2pts

GW21

Essential: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 2-1 Swansea) - 14pts

Alternative: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea 5-0 Stoke) - 2pts

Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (West Brom 1-1 Arsenal) - 5pts

GW22

Essential: Harry Kane (Swansea 0-2 Spurs & Spurs 1-1 West Ham) - 3pts

Alternative: Alvaro Morata (Man City 3-1 Watford) - 6pts

Wildcard: Sadio Mane (Burnley 1-2 Liverpool) - 8pts

GW23

Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 4-0 Everton) - 13pts

Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Man United 3-0 Stoke) - 5pts

Wildcard: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace 1-0 Burnley) - 3pts

GW24

Essential: Mohamed Salah (Swansea 1-0 Liverpool) - 2pts

Alternative: Raheem Sterling (Man City 3-1 Newcastle) - 5pts

Wildcard: Cenk Tosun (Everton 1-1 West Brom) - 2pts

GW25

Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City 3-0 West Brom) - 6pts

Alternative: Roberto Firmino (Huddersfield 0-3 Liverpool) - 8pts

Wildcard: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 0-3 Bournemouth) - 2pts

Totals

Essential Total: 13 (1), 6 (2), 2 (3), 6 (4), 2 (5), 11 (6), 6 (7), 2 (8), 1 (9), 0 (10), 2 (11), 6 (12), 8 (13), 1 (14), 5 (15), 12 (16), 2 (17), 6 (18), 13 (19), 9 (20), 14 (21), 1, 2 (22), 13 (23), 2 (24), 6 (25) = 151 points

Alternative Total: 12 (1), 1 (2), 5 (3), 6 (4), 6 (5), 13 (6), 2 (7), 2 (8), 5 (9), 4 (10), 15 (11), 16 (12), 4 (13), 13 (14), 8 (15), 2 (16), 3 (17), 2 (18), 10 (19), 2 (20), 2 (21), 6 (22), 5 (23), 5 (24), 8 (25) = 157 points

Wildcard Total: 2 (1), 1 (2), 12 (3), 1 (4), 1 (5), 0 (6), 6 (7), 15 (8), 2 (9), 2 (10), 6 (11), 1 (12), 2 (13), 8 (14), 6 (15), 1 (16), 3 (17), 3 (18), 8 (19), 2 (20), 5 (21), 8 (22), 3 (23), 2 (24), 2 (25) = 103 points

CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ESSENTIAL PICK

Our Essential picks for captain are selected each and every week on our main Twitter account, @RealHypeTrain, with four highly selected FPL options battling it out for alpha status amongst fellow FPL players.

Gameweek 26: Essential

Player: Sergio Aguero (MCI)

Position: Forward

Player Price: £11.9 million

Player Selection %: 29.3%

When there is a midweek round of Premier League matches, the turnover of form and fortune can be a quick procedure, with more fixtures pushed your way for you to handle. That has certainly felt the case this week, with GW25's end and GW26's arrival feeling as part of a continuous cycle that melds into one bumper week.

This has certainly been reflected in our essential captaincy poll, with Sergio Aguero winning by a landslide for the second consecutive week. Aguero has brushed competition from Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah, and Romelu Lukaku to the side, as league leaders Man City visit Burnley in the early kick-off this upcoming weekend.

The ever-revolving fixture cycle has been kind to Man City for the last two Gameweek's, which has greatly aided Sergio Aguero's appeal for the armband.

- Spurs have faced Man United at Wembley and are travelling to Anfield this weekend. This has let to a small portion of the FPL community jumping on the 'Kanexit' movement, ditching The Hurrikane in favour of Aguero for the short-term, which to us just appears to be a sideways move when their must be ways to accommodate both.

- Arsenal lack any credible FPL outlet in attack right now, and yes that includes the unproven Aubamayeng who is a slight doubt ahead of the weekend.

- Liverpool host Spurs, and went into the fixture at Huddersfield having lost their last two matches to Swansea and West Brom.

- Man United have been thankful for Anthony Martial's form right now (more on that later), but the likes of Lukaku have almost become a redundant element for FPL players, which is evident when factoring in that Lukaku hasn't won any of our essential captaincy polls since Gameweek 12.

- Chelsea have also been lacklustre and un-trusting in recent weeks and months. Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata have largely disappointed their FPL owners in what was considered a green patch of fixtures to leach onto.

- Every other team in the league on the whole struggles for form and lacks a consistency to make them ever-present FPL options, especially for captaincy.

Man City have been the exception to the rule this season, which has been as obvious as the blue been sky since early October in regards to City's Premier League's dominance.

Key to Aguero's inclusion however is his form in front of goal, obviously. Aguero has completed 90 minutes of league football in 4 consecutive matches, his most prolonged spell of unbroken minutes so far this season, and it has yielded 5 goals, including a hotly-debated hat-trick against Newcastle during Gameweek 24.

Man City visit a Burnley side who have not kept a clean sheet in 7 matches, the last coming in Gameweek 18's 0-0 draw away at Brighton. Man City have also beaten Burnley twice at home this season, and it is widely expected that the champions-elect will only add to their tally this Gameweek.

Aguero's captaincy potential this weekend is obvious, and with Kane and Salah locked in battle at Anfield, it is the best opportunity for Aguero's Fantasy owners totake an advantage over their competition this weekend.

CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK

Our Alternative selection for captain typically commands a smaller FPL ownership percentage, but can be reserved for The Hype Train's own gut instincts on who could be captaincy inspiration.

Gameweek 26: Alternative

Player: Anthony Martial (MUN)

Position: Midfielder

Player Price: £8.1 million

Player Selection %: 4.4%

We've gone for a Manchester combination in our captaincy selections this week, and rather than backing on Alexis Sanchez's home debut in the Premier League, with opted for the opposite flank and have entrusted Anthony Martial with the alternative pick.

Martial's FPL ownership has been severely hampered by a constantly rotating forward line, often switched in and out of the team with Marcus Rashford. Alexis's arrival means that the Martial/Rashford combination have switched flanks and will be operating on the right of the attack.

United suffered a 2-0 defeat at Wembley in our last outing during Gameweek 25, and rarely looked like threatening Hugo Lloris's goal. Against the 'Top 6' rivals, Mourinho has only scored one goal since joining as Man United manager, so goals were always going to be at a premium at Wembley. Outclassed and dominated in midfield, United will be looking to brush off the encounter when Huddersfield visit Old Trafford for Gameweek 26.

Talking of losses however, a journey back to Gameweek 9 will remind the masses of Huddersfield's home victory over Man United, a game which Martial lasted just 45 minutes in. The Terriers's come into the match on the back of another home humbling, this time against Liverpool in a 3-0 defeat, and will look to bounce back.

Prior to the Spurs game, Martial had registered a treble of double-digit Fantasy returns, collecting 33 points against Everton (GW22), Stoke (GW24), and Burnley (GW24).

There will be a lot of hype on Alexis's first game at Old Trafford, but we're backing form heading into this fixture. Martial is also a realistic transfer into your squad that will not break the bank. There will be plenty of Son, Arnautovic, or worried Alli/Eriksen owners that will look for a clearer run of fixtures, and Martial provides that without changing the entire DNA of your FPL team (well that good parts as least).

CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE WILDCARD PICK

Our Wildcard selection is one of the ten differential picks that is featured in our Weekly Wildcards article. This captaincy selection has a very small percentage of owners in the FPL, and is our left field option.

Gameweek 26: Wildcard

Player: Christian Benteke (CRY)

Position: Forward

Player Price: £7.6 million

Player Selection %: 2.4%

Despite listening to our better judgement, we made the mistake of choosing Eden Hazard last week, and guess what, Chelsea once again flopped when the heat got turned up. Bournemouth didn’t just get a scrappy victory, they were dominant against Antonio Conte’s team. Chelsea are just as bad without Morata as they were with him in the squad. Eden Hazard made sense, he had three goals in January and was in good form, but we are opting instead to go with the pick that should have been the differential captain…step up Christian Benteke.

Christian Benteke, Key Stats:

  1. The Belgian has four consecutive FPL returns by assisting three goals and scoring one goal in his most recent fixture versus West Ham (5, 5, 5, 8).

  2. Benteke has completed the full ninety minutes in his last six starts, and all season when the striker has started has only been subbed off twice all season. Benteke is rotation proof.

  3. Newcastle just recently scored via a headed goal when Burnley’s Sam Vokes nodded past Karl Darlow. Benteke’s goal against West Ham was an unstoppable header.

  4. Crystal Palace’s only two defeats since GW12 have been to Arsenal (GW20, & GW20).

  5. Crystal Palace have scored in nine of their last ten fixtures, the only shutout was during GW21 when the Eagles drew 0-0 with Man City.

  6. Newcastle, the Eagles visiting opponents, have only one two of their last sixteen fixtures. However, they have lost only two games in their last seven (W2, D3, L2).

  7. Newcastle have conceded in their last three Premier League games.

The facts speak for themselves with Benteke, everything is set in motion for another big performing Gameweek for the Belgian. Newcastle and Crystal Palace have been competitive in the most recent five fixtures, but when you look at any captaincy option you must look at players who are in-form. Benteke is that player, and we won’t make the same mistake by ignoring the Belgian’s potential in this fixture.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, live sport, and professional wrestling.

As well as providing FPL articles on our website, we are a founding Contributor to the new Fantasy Football Hub, where you can find more unique articles, including weekly Power Rankings, from The Hype Team. You can support us and read exclusive members only content for just £2 per-month by clicking here.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog 2016' by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), with the final presentation held at Old Trafford in Manchester.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk

All aboard.

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