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Captaincy Picks 2019/20: FPL Gameweek 17

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 17 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 17: Essential Captain

Player: Jamie Vardy (LEI)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Norwich (H)

Player Price: £10.1 million

Player Selection %: 50.7%

Captaincy poll results:

Reason for victory:

Fantasy Premier League has been much of the same in 5 of the last 6 weeks, with Jamie Vardy dominating at the polls with FPL players captaining the Englishman in their droves with goals in 8 consecutive league matches.

Each week to the next has essentially resorted into a weekly update about Vardy's numbers in the game, to which no one can compared. No player has more points (128) or bonus (22), with Leicester now controlling the top players in 3 of the 4 positions, with Sadio Mane (109 points) the top midfielder, to go alongside Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel (68 points) and Ricardo Pereira (83 points).

Vardy has scored in 11/16 league matches this year, including 13 of his 16 goals in the last 10 matches, with the Forward also managing 4 assists in that time too - only Marcus Rashford (5) and Roberto Firmino (5) have contributed with more assists than Vardy this season.

The added factor this week which will see a lot of players going the safe route is the start of the FPL Cup, with the top 4,194,304 ranked players from Gameweek 16, starting their cup journey. The threat of immediate cup defeat will scare a few into playing the Vardy card this week, hoping that a win can come from the few differentials that players will have up their sleeves.

The only remaining factor to consider is the visit of Norwich this weekend, which on paper looks like a routine home win for Leicester given the form of both teams. Leicester have won 8 consecutive matches, last tasting defeat against Liverpool during Gameweek's heartbreaking 2-1 loss for The Foxes. Meanwhile, Norwich have only won once in 11 league outings, a 2-0 win at Everton during Gameweek 13 - a loss that is more a scathing review of Marco Silva's time at The Toffees, rather than the capabilities of Norwich, a side who have conceded 34 goals this season - only Southampton have conceded more (15).

Liverpool at home against Watford offers some enticing captaincy material, but the public have voted and much like what the UK has just voted for in the last 24 hours, the trust of the many rests in blue hands.


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 17: Alternative Captain

Player: Mohamed Salah (LIV)

Position: Midfielder

Fixture: Watford (H)

Player Price: £12.2 million

Player Selection %: 21.7%

Reason for selection:

Despite 11 attacking returns from the opening 16 matches of the season, it's not quite been Mo Salah's year (just yet), with The Egyptian King finding himself boxed out of major captaincy contention this season by the likes of Jamie Vardy and his own teammate, Sadio Mane, who in the first-half of the season has taken the mantle of being 'the man' at Liverpool.

Salah's had a few injury niggles this season which has seen Jurgen Klopp manage his star's playing time greatly in the last 8 matches, with Salah missing out 3 times and playing less than 70 minutes on 2 occasions. Gameweek 16 was the first time since Gameweek 8 which saw Salah finish a match, with Klopp (who has just signed a two-year contract extension at Liverpool) admitting that Salah is now back to his best.

In the Champions League in a must-win clash, Salah proved his inconsistent best, missing a host of chances that should be buried, but then scored the hardest chance of the match when he glided past the Salzburg keeper and hit an angled shot perfectly in to the far corner to secure Liverpool's birth in the knockout stages of the biggest club competition in the world.

As for this weekend, Liverpool host a Watford team that dreads coming to Anfield, with The Hornets losing their last 2 encounters at Anfield by a scoreline of 5-0. You have to go back to December 2015 the last time Watford beat Liverpool, with the aggregate score in the 7 matches following boasting a 0W-1D-6L record for the travelling side, scoring 4 and conceding 25. This really is a fixture laden with goals for The Reds, with Salah the proprietor of so much damage to Watford, scoring 6 and assisting 4 times in 4 games against trembling opposition.

Mo is the perfect alternative this week as FPL players gear up to captain Mane or Vardy, though if you're looking for a different edge, Salah provides just that this week as he looks to break the mould of the millions of template teams that litter the game as we near the end of the decade.


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 17: Dark Horse Captain

Player: Heung-Min Son (TOT)

Position: Midfielder

Fixture: Wolves (A)

Player Price: £10.0 million

Player Selection %: 20.3%

Reason for selection:

Lower down the pecking order, there is one fixture that has a big warning symbol above its head, with Jose Mourinho's Spurs side visiting a Wolves side that last tasted defeat during Gameweek 5's 5-2 home defeat to Chelsea, with Nuno's side going 11 games unbeaten since September - mightily impressive given that Wolves have endured a table-topping Europa League campaign in only their second season back in the top-flight of English football.

Son, who is the joint 7th best player in FPL this season with 88 points alongside Mohamed Salah, heads into this fixture as the player to watch, having just obliterated Burnley during Gameweek 16's 5-0 home win, with Sonny picking up the ball deep into his own half and dribbling past with blistering pace, eventually finishing well past a hopeless Nick Pope.

Son is the variable in the Spurs side that could cause Wolves and their defensive trio some real headaches this week - Matt Doherty and Adama Traore are going to be in for a long Sunday afternoon if the South Korean international turns up as hungry as last week, though given Wolves are a half-decent side, there is a slight hue of doubt that Spurs will rock up to Molineux and have it all their way, given that they've been notoriously difficult to break down and relish playing sides at the top end of the table - just ask Pep Guardiola how his date with Nuno went.

Son could be an inspired choice for the 20.3% of players that are jumping on the bandwagon, as a real dark horse pick given how the landscape of Gameweek 17 is setting up for a mass of Vardy captaincy owners.


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 17: Differential Captain

Player: Gabriel Jesus (MCI)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Arsenal (A)

Player Price: £9.6 million

Player Selection %: 3.4%

Reason for selection:

Here we are again, trying to convince you that a £9.6mil Manchester City forward is a differential. Last week Manchester United bested their blue neighbours in the Manchester Derby, and our differential captain Jesus was a bystander in that game. The Red Devils really attacked City and kept Jesus relatively quiet. Derby fixtures can be unpredictable, and Jesus had the form, so there was a risk that the form could have been irrelevant. Don’t worry though, if you have trust issues after bringing Jesus into your teams last week, the good news is that City have guaranteed goals this weekend. They face a defence so leaky it is powering hydroelectric dams of pure negativity around their club. Let us introduce you to the biggest certainty in the league: The Arsenal defence.

We are going to throw some facts, stats, and realities about this fixture to sell you Gabriel Jesus. We don’t just have to tell you how shambolic the Arsenal defence is, we are just going to take you on that journey.

Arsenal Premier League clean sheets 2019/20

GW1: NEW 0-1 ARS

GW6: ARS 1-0 BOU

Arsenal vs. Top Clubs 2019/20

GW3: LIV 3-1 ARS

GW4: ARS 2-2 TOT

GW7: MUN 1-1 ARS

GW12: LEI 2-0 ARS

Arsenal vs. Manchester City: PL Recent Head-to-Head Record

18/12/2016: MCI 2-1 ARS

02/04/2017: ARS 2-2 MCI

05/11/2017: MCI 3-1 ARS

25/02/2018: ARS 0-3 MCI

01/03/2018: ARS 0-3 MCI

12/08/2018: ARS 0-2 MCI

03/02/2019: MCI 3-1 ARS

Arsenal vs. Man City: Stats & Facts

  • The last time Arsenal beat Man City in the league was a 2-1 win in December 2015 at the Emirates.

  • Manchester City have scored in this fixture for the last nine consecutive matches, the last time failing to do so in a 2-0 loss at the Etihad in January 2015.

  • Arsenal’s most recent win against West Ham in GW16 was their first Premier League win since GW8 when the Gunners beat Bournemouth.

  • Arsenal have only kept one clean sheet at the Emirates this season, when the Gunners beat Bournemouth 1-0 in GW8.

  • Arsenal only kept two clean sheets in their Europa League group. Most recently they drew 2-2 against Standard Liege.

  • Manchester City have scored in all but one Premier League game this season. This blip occurred at the Etihad in GW8 against Wolves, which is ironically when Arsenal last kept a clean sheet in the league.

  • Gabriel Jesus just scored a hat-trick in Man City’s final Champions League group stage game against Dinamo Zagreb. Man City also scored in every Champions League group stage game this season.

  • Man City’s last away game was a 4-1 win against Burnley which saw Jesus score two goals.

  • Ten points separate City in 3rd and Arsenal in 9th so far in the Premier League.

All the signs are there, and we don’t need to spell it out for you, but we will. The Gunners are going to struggle in this fixture, and unlike a big derby game this fixture is a lot more predictable. If Arsenal keep a clean sheet during GW17 we will cancel the differentials forever. So, see you for GW18’s picks next week.

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.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, or visit our website here at

All aboard.


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