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Captaincy Picks 2019/20: FPL Gameweek 8

Picking the right captain in FPL can make or break your season and has a massive impact on your final overall rank come the end of the season. We attempt to ease the burden of any potential captaincy stress by offering a host of worthy selections ahead of each Gameweek - an Essential that is voted by the FPL Community, an alternative of our choosing, a Dark Horse who might spring a surprise, and a lowly selected Differential - to cover the bases. All aboard.

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 8 Deadline

For the 2019/20 Premier League season, the FPL deadline will be one hour before the commencement of the week's first game. Our website provides a real-world countdown timer for the the upcoming Gameweek, whilst you can read our latest Fantasy articles from the season on our 2019/20 FPL weekly hype sub-section.


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 8: Essential Captain

Player: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Bournemouth (H)

Player Price: £11.0 million

Player Selection %: 25.4%

Captaincy poll results:

Reason for victory:

For the first time this season, one of Raheem Sterling, Mohamed Salah or Harry Kane, haven't been selected as our essential captaincy pick ahead of the weekend's games.

Tired of the inconsistency from Sterling and Pep's rotation wheel, Spurs falling a part in front of our eyes, combined with the away day blues for Liverpool's attackers, have opened the door for Mr. Consistency to come out on top at the 8th time of asking.

Arsenal's star man, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be featured heavily in every piece of FPL content you come across this week, and there's a reason for the logical move - and a reason many in the Community are trying to re-piece their team to include the Gabon international.

Auba has scored 7 goals in 7 games, scoring in 6 games, whilst also provided an assist and 10 bonus points too - Aubameyang is the joint-best bonus points earner this season, level on double-digits with Man City's injured midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne.

Bournemouth visit The Emirates with a Forward in Callum Wilson who has also provided 7 FPL returns from 7 games, meaning it is a battle of the 100% returners this weekend, and given how both sides shape up defensively, as well as the attacking nature of both teams, there will be only a couple of outcomes this week: A drab goalless draw, with attack negating attack, or an open game with lots of goal-scoring opportunities to be had for both Wilson and Aubameyang to continue their streak of returns in the Fantasy game.

There's also the added factor of Arsenal's fixture list offering a clear run of 9 winnable fixtures for The Gunners, which means Auba will be hot property this week and going forward, particularly if he adds to his 7 goals on Sunday.

If like us, you've struggled for a captaincy return in your last 5 Gameweek's, perhaps Auba's vote this week is to merely have any kind of return, if at the very least it is to get over the rot of watching your rank plummet as you're left high and dry for points.


Our Alternative selection for captain typically commands a smaller FPL ownership percentage than our Essential poll winner, though this pick is usually reserved for The Hype Train's own gut instincts on who could be captaincy inspiration for the upcoming Gameweek.

Gameweek 8: Alternative Captain

Player: Teemu Pukki (NOR)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Aston Villa (H)

Player Price: £7.2 million

Player Selection %: 44.4%

Reason for selection:

We here at Hype Train HQ have been divided on Teemu Pukki this season, despite earning the same number of points (53) as Aubameyang. Split opinion ranges from criticism over Norwich's away day performances, with The Canaries losing all 4 matches (the last 3 away games have all been 2-0 defeats), to his potential explosive nature, which all appears to be at home.

We're not sticklers for the sake of it, and can see that it is on home soil that Pukki looks set to thrive this season. Pukki has been directly involved in 9 of Norwich's 10 Premier League goals this season, and though that won't hold up over the course of the season, 40 of Pukki's 53 points have come at Carrow Road, with the Finnish international scoring in home wins over Newcastle (GW2) and Man City (GW5), as well as the 3-2 home loss to Chelsea (GW3).

17th placed Norwich welcome 18th placed Aston Villa in a fixture with the '6-pointer' relegation battle already pinned for both teams. Villa have conceded 11 compared to Norwich's 16, with Villa's only triumph coming against Everton (GW3). On paper this is a fixture that should have FPL players purring over Pukki being back at home, why complicate a formula that looks set to flourish?


A new captaincy selection this season sees us introduce a Dark Horse pick, which will be a player who typically has a good scoring record against an opposing team, or a player in good form that is being overlooked due to other popular captaincy picks.

Gameweek 8: Dark Horse Captain

Player: Roberto Firmino (LIV)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Leicester (H)

Player Price: £9.6 million +

Player Selection %: 13.6%

Reason for selection:

The only fixture this weekend that has that added bit of spicy sauce is Leicester's visit to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, with The Foxes winning 4 of their last 5 fixtures, moving Brendan Rodgers' side up to 3rd in the Premier League table. It's being made out in the press and by some esteemed armchair pundits that The Reds are about to embark on their toughest challenge this season, but we've got faith that Liverpool are just that level ahead of Leicester and should provide FPL players with some points to look forward to come Saturday.

Of Liverpool's attacking outlet, Bobby Firmino is keeping up his stellar start to the season, having managed 7 attacking returns (3 goals, 4 assists) to start the season, and has been the key to unlock stubborn sides side season. With attacking play flowing through Brazil's top Forward, there's reason to favour Firmino and another one of Mane and Salah for your teams.

As a captaincy option, Firmino is owned by a lesser 13.6% of players and is a worthy differential to the heavyweight African wingers, so if you're looking away from the likes of Aubameyang, Sterling or Pukki, Firmino has a strong case for the armband.


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

Gameweek 8: Differential Captain

Player: Andriy Yarmolenko (WHU)

Position: Midfielder

Fixture: Crystal Palace (H)

Player Price: £6.0 million

Player Selection %: 4.5%

Reason for selection:

After last week’s success with Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira as differential captain we are going even further down the rabbit hole in search of differential success, and this time we return to West Ham for the second time this season looking for fantasy returns. We aren’t looking at Sebastien Haller this time around, but their most in-form player on the right-wing, the Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko.

After last years season ending Achilles rupture against Spurs, the Ukrainian has faced a lengthy spell on the side-lines. Before this injury he was a man in-form, and it all came crashing down on the winger. Yarmolenko was a high-profile capture for West Ham, and he has performed well at every club he has been at. Yarmolenko is a season veteran and natural goal-scorer, and currently is outshining Felipe Anderson who was the Hammers best player last year.

The Hammers currently sit at fifth in the table, and after he scored against Man United it was a big statement from Manuel Pellegrini’s side: they are here to stay. West Ham are no longer relegation fodder, and they have even somewhat sorted out some of their defensive liability. Drawing against Bournemouth was the exact kind of fixture that West Ham were judged to be walkovers in, but their recruitment in the last two seasons has been significantly better as they look to acquire sure things than optimistic prospects.

Yarmolenko has three goals in his last four games against Norwich, Manchester United, and most recently at the draw against Bournemouth. There is no debate that he is a game changer, and a legitimate threat in the box with Haller and Felipe Anderson in attack. Objectively looking at the Premier League table so far it is no surprise as to why West Ham have started the season strong. The Ukrainian has added quality to their team and is now one of the leagues fastest rising stars. Currently owned by 4.5% of FPL owners we can see that changing if the form continues. Reasonably priced at £6.0mil he is an affordable option that a lot of fantasy managers will look to for the upcoming fixtures:

West Ham’s next 5 league fixtures:

GW8: CRY (H)

GW9: EVE (A)

GW10: SHU (H)

GW11: NEW (H)

GW12: BUR (A)

There is medium-to-long term value for keeping in Yarmolenko, and just like last week we trust the fixture. Crystal Palace have really, really struggled ever since Zaha rocked the Eagles boat by trying to force a move to Everton. Yes, Everton. Everything is going right for West Ham, and barely anything is going right for Crystal Palace. Just like Leicester and Newcastle last week. Yarmolenko is a massively under-appreciated midfielder heading into the weekend’s games.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

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All aboard.


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