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 38 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: 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 38: Essential Captain
Player: Sergio Aguero (MCI)
GW38 Fixture: Brighton (A)
Player Price: £12.0 million
Player Selection %: 42.4%
In less than 24 hours it'll all be over. The 2018/19 Premier League season draws to a close, with only one small matter to attend... the league's eventual winners.
Manchester City (95 points) and Liverpool (94) are both in contention to lift the title on the final day. After the Champions League ties in midweek we posted our essential captaincy poll and found that a large minority favour Man City's attacking threat at the South Coast against Brighton, whilst nearly half of our voters this week (48%) backed either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah as Wolves visit Anfield.
With Aguero landing the final essential captaincy poll of the season, in our eyes the Argentine has greatly benefited from FPL players choosing between Mane and Salah - if they were a combined unit like Aguero is proving to be on the final day, we're confident that Liverpool would be boasting the final essential captaincy pick of the week.
Does Aguero at least justify his inclusion, however? In the Forward's last 5 Premier League outings, Aguero has managed just 1 goal and 1 assist, with the lone goal at Burnley just about getting over the line.
Overall, it's been a haul of just 2 goals for Aguero in his last 8 appearances in the league, with 3 assists in that time, which is hardly the form many triple-captainers will want to read about before their final captaincy call of the season.
Man City beat Brighton 2-0 at The Etihad during a routine Gameweek 7 home win. Pep Guardiola's side also then beat Brighton 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final in a tight and nervy game. Given that we're looking at 3 goals and a brace of clean sheets, perhaps Aymeric Laporte might be the answer this week instead.
Aguero, who scored against Brighton in the league earlier this season in said 2-0 victory, will face a Brighton side who have come out and said that they don't want the Premier League lifted in their home ground - unless it is them that are lifting it. Pascal Gross has been quite forward with his hopes of Liverpool winning the league, whilst Chris Hughton's press conference potentially eludes to another tight and cagey affair at The Amex.
Last day jitters might play a part, or the floodgates might open within minutes. It's such a hard call to make with captaincy this week, it appears many have just banked on Aguero and are playing it easy, expecting City to end the season with another win and the title. It sounds like the right thing to do right now (until it won't be in 24 hours once the dust has settled).
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 38: Alternative Captain
Player: Sadio Mane (LIV)
GW38 Fixture: Wolves (H)
Player Price: £10.3 million
Player Selection %: 38.0%
Staying on topic in the Premier League title race, we will be routed here with our captaincy debate this week as Liverpool prepare for a final home game of the season against a Wolves side who have all but assured a 7th place finish.
Sadio Mane, the main man in recent months, gets our nod of approval. Mane's ownership (38%) outweighs Mohamed Salah's (34.1%), with the Senegalese international a constant figure in Liverpool's campaign this season, only failing to appear in a 3-1 away win at Burnley during Gameweek 15.
The midfielder, who is joint-second in the goal charts without penalties or set-pieces on his CV, has scored 5 goals in 9 appearances, 3 more than Aguero in this time. Mane also registered a brace in his last home game for Liverpool, scoring a pair of headers in Liverpool's 5-0 rout of Huddersfield.
Wolves have a good record against 'Top 6' clubs this season, but were dispatched quite easily by Klopp's men in a 2-0 away win during Gameweek 18. Mane did not score or assist on that occasion.
The bias at Hype Train HQ this week is quite simple. We all expect Man City to beat Brighton, even @HypeTrainSam, a devoted Liverpool fan of 28 years, has very little faith that Man City will drop points at lowly Brighton. That said, we're all leaning on the side of the fence that Liverpool will most likely be the go-to for goals this week.
We're anticipating a good atmosphere at Anfield - of course it won't match the energy during Liverpool's unforgettable 4-0 win against Barcelona - but an environment that will push The Reds across the line to a final victory over the season.
If Liverpool do win against Woles, but don't win the title, then we don't think it will reflect the Premier League or FPL this season.
Liverpool's nearly year...(again)?
- 97 points would be more points gained than any Sir Alex Ferguson team, the Arsenal Invincibles side, and only less than City this season (98) and City of last season (100) in league history.
- The best Goalkeeper (Alisson), Defender (Robertson) and Midfielder (Salah) in the FPL would all be from Liverpool if a clean sheet was kept against Wolves.
- 4 of the top 6 FPL players would all play for Liverpool (Salah, Mane, Robertson and van Dijk).
- 20 clean sheets each between Alisson and Ederson is 6 more than Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga (14).
- Liverpool would go the entire season without being beaten at home.
- City would edge Liverpool in goals scored (91-87), whilst both have only conceded 22 goals.
So what does the season all boil down to for Liverpool?
Man City have been ruthlessly effective this season and have only ground out 2 draws. They've 2 more wins than Liverpool this season (31), with City winning their last 13 league games after a 2-1 loss at Newcastle during Gameweek 24.
Liverpool, who were 7 points clear of the season at one point, crucially lost to Man City 2-1 during Gameweek 21 in a result that could have completely altered the title race if the travelling Reds had picked up a result.
Klopp's side also drew games with Leicester (GW24), West Ham (GW25), Man United (GW27) and Everton (GW29), that allowed a faultless City a route back to the top of the table.
With Liverpool winning their last 8 league games, the damage was potentially done with those 4 rapid-fire draws in sealing their fate as runners up, though with a final day might throw up new challenges that no one is expecting.
If you could have Klopp and Guardiola switch their roles, with City in the Champions League final and Liverpool the favourites for the Premier League title, we've got a sneaking suspicion that both would trade places in a heartbeat.
This could very well be known as the season where City and Liverpool parade the trophies that their most competitive adversaries had their hearts set on most.
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 38: Wildcard Captain
Player: Nathan Redmond (SOU)
GW38 Fixture: Huddersfield (H)
Player Price: £5.5 million
Player Selection %: 6.1%
Our last captaincy selection of the season comes full circle from the 2016/17 season, when our Hype Team visited Southampton to watch an opening day 1-1 draw with Watford. The occasion was marked with a Nathan Redmond goal on his Saints debut, with all of us including the Englishman in our teams on that occasion.
With the visit of Huddersfield to close the 2018/19 season, there is somewhat of a focus on Redmond being the key differential this weekend. 73,867 transfers in and counting as the 11th most selected new player ahead of Gameweek 38, pipped by Newcastle's Salomon Rondon to a top 10 spot this week.
Ralph Hasenhüttl has suggested that he'll be making changes to his Southampton side when the already-relegated Terriers take one final bow in the Premier League, with Redmond expected to come straight back in to the startling lineup.
Redmond came on as a half-time substitute during Gameweek 37's 3-0 away loss at West Ham and has been soaking in adulation from Hasenhüttl in the week as being a key and adaptable figure who can play in any position in a three-pronged attack.
Redmond's key FPL return this season was a brace, his first for the club, in a 3-1 home win over Wolves during Gameweek 34. Redmond followed this up with an assist against Bournemouth in a 3-3 away draw, and now has the chance to end the season strongly to justify the feeling among many FPL players that the Southampton midfielder is set for a big final week.
Being the final day, and playing for a club with nothing to play for, against a team with literally nothing to lose, might throw its curve-balls at Redmond's potential impact this week, though with Huddersfield already confirming some rotation ahead of tomorrow's encounter on the south coast, we feel inclined to feel somewhat safe with the backing of Redmond's 10 attacking returns this season.
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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.
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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.
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