Fantasy Premier League (FPL)

FPL Gameweek 5 captain picks

Erling Haaland has six goals in four Premier League games for Manchester City
Erling Haaland has six goals in four Premier League games for Manchester City / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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Gameweek 5 presents yet another challenging captain decision; with our go-to picks from Liverpool, Manchester City, Spurs and Arsenal all having favourable fixtures. Three of the sides play at home, including one against a promoted team.

We saw a split captaincy decision last time around which proved pivotal given the blank for Salah and the hat-trick for Haaland. The quick turnaround for the midweek fixtures only accentuates the dilemma facing fantasy managers this week, so who should we go for?


Erling Haaland vs Nottingham Forest (H)

Erling Haaland has six goals in four games for Manchester City
Erling Haaland has six goals in four games for Manchester City / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Erling Haaland will be the go-to captain pick once again this week: he’s the only player in the game to deliver an attacking return in each of the opening four gameweeks. The Norwegian is also now the highest scoring player in the game, with six goals and one assist, and leads the way for big chances this season with 10 - arguably he has underperformed.

The biggest concern going into the midweek Gameweek 5 though is his potential minutes. Pep Guardiola is known for rotating his squad through congested periods of fixtures and has said in the press that Haaland won't start every game.

Given this is City’s easiest fixture in the upcoming cluster, this could be the one where Haaland is on the bench. On current form though, he could be devastating even from limited minutes as a substitute. 


Harry Kane vs West Ham (A)

Harry Kane looks on during Tottenham's Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest
Harry Kane loves scoring in a London derby / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Harry Kane isn’t far behind Erling Haaland when it comes to attacking output this campaign: he’s scored goals in three consecutive games and despite missing a penalty against Nottingham Forest, he sits on four goals for the season, with only Haaland ahead of him.

England's captain has had nine shots on target this season and created ten chances, and, perhaps more pertinently, Kane has 11 goals and four assists in 18 Premier League appearances against the Hammers. 

It’s a tricky away fixture for Spurs, but on current form you wouldn’t bet against them: Spurs are unbeaten this season with one win on the road and a 2-2 draw at Chelsea. West Ham have won just one game this season, scoring one goal and conceding five - and are yet to find the back of the net on home turf. 


Mohamed Salah vs Newcastle United (H)

Mohamed Salah runs with the ball for Liverpool during their Premier League clash with Bournemouth
Mohamed Salah has a point to prove after failing to score or assist in the 9-0 win over Bournemouth / Michael Regan/GettyImages

There’s many frustrated Salah owners from Gameweek 4 after the Egyptian failed deliver a goal or an assist despite Liverpool thumping Bournemouth 9-0.

Luck, or a lack of it, was a huge factor in that blank, so the stars may align in Gameweek 5 where Salah remains a very good captain contender - Newcastle United are the visitors to Anfield and don't have a great record on Merseyside.

Salah is within the top five players for expected goals this season and also sits top for key passes with 15. He's also played every minute of the season so far and Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to change that just yet as the Reds try to haul themselves back towards the top of the table. Newcastle are a tougher nut to crack these days, though, and have conceded just four times this season.


Gabriel Jesus vs Aston Villa (H)

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus tussles with Fulham defender Kenny Tete
Gabriel Jesus has hit the ground running at Arsenal / Paul Harding/GettyImages

The final captain pick is Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus. The Gunners sit top of the Premier League table, having won all of their opening four games, and the Brazilian has been central to their success so far.

Jesus has five attacking returns for the season: two goals and three assists, with 80% of those returns coming at the Emirates. Only Liverpool and Manchester City have scored more goals than Arsenal’s 11 this season. 

The odds are certainly in Arsenal's favour against a struggling Aston Villa side who have won just one of their four games, losing the other three. Sunday's defeat to West Ham was disappointing and worrying for Steven Gerrard's side, and they will need to shore things up at the back quickly to prevent Jesus from playing a starring role.


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