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Captaincy Picks 2019/20: FPL Gameweek 21

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 21 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 21: Essential Captain

Player: Jamie Vardy (LEI)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Newcastle (A)

Player Price: £10.1 million

Player Selection %: 51.5%

Captaincy poll results:

Reason for victory:

Having taken a backseat for the past few weeks due to fixtures against Man City and Liverpool, as well as not featuring due to the birth of his child during Leicester's 2-1 away win at West Ham last weekend, Jamie Vardy finds himself at the top of the pile in terms of FPL captaincy ahead of an away trip to Steve Bruce's Newcastle outfit.

For the millions of FPL players out there that have opted to go a different route from Vardy have probably found mixed results, which has led people back to a regular source of points during this mid-season period.

In reality, Vardy has only blanked when not playing (GW20 vs. Leicester) or when playing Liverpool, with the top player in FPL blanking against the runaway leaders during Gameweek 8's and Gameweek 19's losses, with Leicester failing to have a shot on target at Anfield, with Vardy pocketed by Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk. You have to go back to Gameweek 6 the last time Vardy didn't score or assist (aside from encounters against Liverpool), so there's no reason to suggest the Englishman has missed a skip.

Logic with Vardy this week is that Leicester, who rotated heavily during their win at London Stadium, will be back in full force for a tough game against a well-drilled Newcastle side, though The Toon were hardly that when visiting Leicester during Gameweek 7, with Bruce's side losing 5-0 and having Isaac Hayden sent-off with a straight red card. It was an eye-opening and lip-licking evening for Vardy, scoring twice on that occasion.

Vardy is up there for Player of the Decade in our eyes having exploded on to the scene in 2014 and we think that those banking on Vardy with the armband are doing so to repay the trust installed by the 144 point player. Liverpool, City, and Leicester all play in potential banana-peel fixtures, so go with what you know, and what we know is that Vardy is on course for the Golden Boot.


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 21: Alternative Captain

Player: Raul Jimenez (WOL)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Watford (A)

Player Price: £7.5 million

Player Selection %: 17.8%

Reason for selection:

Gameweek 21's key captaincy targets will be a combination of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Jamie Vardy, Kevin De Bruyne, with a sprinkling of Tammy Abraham, Harry Kane, and a Wolves player that should be well rested after making an 18-minute cameo at Anfield in a narrow 1-0 loss to Liverpool - the first time that our chosen pick, Raul Jimenez, started among the substitutes bench.

El Capitan has already registered 14 attacking returns so far this campaign (8 goals, 6 assists, 17 bonus) and with Adama Traore among others in form, Jimenez and his FPL contingent have every right to be hopeful, especially as the eye-test for Raul shows that The Mexican goes missing for large periods in matches and then gets something out of nothing in the second-half once the opposition is worn down.

Gameweek 21 is a repeat of Gaeweek 7, with Watford getting beat 2-0 on that occasion. Without any type of internet searches, we're stumped as to who was in charge at the time, given The Hornets are on their third Manager of the season, so the believed context of the game is meaningless as Nigel Pearson has his team drilled and fighting for each other, which should on paper make the job hard.

Jimenez blanked in the win over Watford, this being 1 of the 8 occasions that the Forward hasn't scored or assisted, though only 3 of said blanks have come in the last 13 Gameweek's. That means Raul has provided returns from 10/13 league matches, managing all but 2 of his assists during this time.

The logic behind the pick is the consistency of Raul to produce on a regular basis, which puts the Forward in unique territory that is propelling him as a captaincy target ahead of established attacking players such as the likes of Kane and De Bruyne who can provide explosive returns. For us, this move warrants a potential Vice Captaincy selection at the very least, with Raul heavily competing behind Mane and Vardy for a spot at the table - and much like with Vardy, there's little reason to suggest Jimenez won't be up to his typical FPL antics this weekend.


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 21: Dark Horse Captain

Player: Anthony Martial (MUN)

Position: Midfielder

Fixture: Arsenal (A)

Player Price: £7.9 million

Player Selection %: 12.1%

Reason for selection:

As we delve deeper into the well of captaincy consideration as we look to start 2020 with a bang, the standout 'dark horse' fixture without doubt is the game between Arsenal and Man United at The Emirates on Wednesday's evening kick-off. Two young Manager's that are almost definitely less than qualified to be in their roles given the stature of the clubs and the other candidates for the jobs, there'll be a point to prove as Mikel Arteta looks to avenge defeat against Chelsea last weekend, with Arsenal playing good football before a lapse of concentration in a 5-minute period in the second-half.

We opted for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in this role against Chelsea, though we're switching allegiances and have other ideas - mainly that an out-of-position Anthony Martial offers some serious thought and consideration.

At the very least, the listed Midfielder who has scored 3 goals in the last 2 matches, has found his form at the right time of year as Man United look to get back in the unt for a Champions League spot. Martial has been playing in a central role predominately, rotating freely with Marcus Rashford on the left-flank.

At the very least, FPL players are looking and pondering at Martial, probably factoring in patchy fixtures, but a player in form nonetheless. Those who have Martial this week will be hoping for a repeat of Arsenal's second-half downfall against Chelsea, knowing that if it is going to be the case, Martial will be a likely benefactor, and an agent of chaos that The Gunners are hoping remains holstered to start the New Year.


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 21: Differential Captain

Player: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (EVE)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Man City (A)

Player Price: £5.8 million

Player Selection %: 3.2%

Reason for selection:

We bet you didn’t expect to see Calvert-Lewin as a captaincy option this Gameweek? Well, this is a brand-new year, and a brand-new perspective on Everton with the arrival of Carlo Ancelloti. We still can’t believe Everton landed the coveted Italian manager, and in his first two games there have been two wins for the Toffees against Burnley (GW19) and Newcastle (GW20). Normally we reserve judgement for Everton as they have an instilled tendency to well, completely go off the rails and lose any game possible. Ancelloti is arguably the highest esteemed manager to have taken charge of the Toffees, and for now we are going to hold back our judgement and see how things play out with this stunning managerial appointment.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have had a bit of a chaotic time of late, especially as title rivals Liverpool are currently fourteen points clear at the top of the Premier League summit. City’s usual high standards haven’t been there this season, and as Pep Guardiola bemoans the limited options of a £200mil bench worth of players, Ancelloti is having to make do with what is at his disposal before the January transfer market. The one player that has really outshined all the others in the Everton squad has been that of the young Englishmen, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The potential was always there, and there has always been hesitancy over Everton players as FPL options due to, you know, the systematic bouts of collapse Everton can fall prey too. When you look at options for FPL captaincy there must be boxes ticked: team form, player form, opposition form, home or away game, and in general who they play. Plenty of these boxes have been filled, and Everton are in a nice purple patch even before Ancelotti took over.

Just to give you a flavour of this fixture, here are a few stats surrounding this Everton’s trip to the Etihad:

  • Calvert-Lewin has started and completed 90mins in the last five games.

  • Calvert-Lewin has five goals in his last five games.

  • The Englishman has registered seven FPL bonus points in the last five games.

  • Everton have the second-best form in the entire Premier League with three wins and two draws in their last five games. Only Liverpool have better form right now than their Merseyside neighbour.

  • Everton have scored in their last six consecutive Premier League away games, the last time they failed to score on the road was during GW8 when they lost 1-0 to Burnley.

  • Manchester City have the joint most clean sheets this season and have kept four of them at home: Brighton (GW4), Watford (GW6), Aston Villa (GW10), and Sheffield United (GW20).

  • Everton recorded 29 shots in two games against Burnley and Newcastle since Ancelloti arrived, this is the highest average since the start of the season for the Toffees.

  • Manchester City only lost one game at home in the 2018-19 season, which was the 3-2 loss in GW18 against Crystal Palace. So far this season they have already lost games which was when Wolves visited the Etihad in GW8, and in GW16 against Manchester United.

Calvert-Lewin has the form, Everton have the form, and City’s form hasn’t been perfect. A differential captain is normally a player who you completely ignore due to the fixture in question, but players in form don’t wait for fixtures to clear up to score, they just ride that wave for as long as they can. This can be the year that Everton finally break their duck at the Etihad, and Ancelloti has a secret weapon that can hopefully penetrate an extremely unconvincing City defence.

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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