Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah goes head-to-head with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the FPL Gameweek 1 Captain decision.
The Premier League kicks off the 2020/2021 season this weekend, and with it, so does another season of FPL.
While managers continue to tinker with their final drafts, another big decision looms – captaincy. With both Manchester City and Manchester United out of action this weekend, FPL managers set their sights on Arsenal and Liverpool. Both clubs face newly promoted sides, making their stars the most favored FPL Gameweek 1 captain picks.
So who has the upper hand this week? Well, let’s first look at our candidates.
As always, be sure to check out our FPL Captaincy Guide for more tips on selecting your FPL captain.
Mohamed Salah – LEE (H)
If the last three years are any indication, then Mohamed Salah will score this weekend. The Egyptian boasts an incredible opening day record, having scored a goal in each of the last three opening fixtures.
Salah enters this season on the back of another impressive campaign where he finished second in FPL scoring with 233 points. In fact, his record over the last three seasons has been nothing short of remarkable.
The Liverpool star heads into Gameweek 1, facing a newly promoted Leeds club at Anfield. FPL managers can expect a good showing from Salah, who scored 15 of his 19 goals at home last season. Liverpool will look to hit the ground running this weekend, and that makes Salah an excellent FPL Gameweek 1 captain option.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – FUL (A)
Last season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came agonizingly close to securing the Golden Boot. A heroic 2 goal performance in the final Gameweek was not enough, as the Arsenal striker’s 22 goals fell just one shy of Jamie Vardy’s 23.
Despite this, Aubameyang still enjoyed a phenomenal 19/20 campaign, scoring 205 FPL points courtesy of 22 goals and 5 assists. Now reclassified as a midfielder, look for the Gabonese international to eclipse last season’s totals with an improved Arsenal team.
|19/20||36||22 (5*)||3 (1*)|
|18/19||36||22 (5*)||5 (2*)|
|17/18||13||10 (2*)||4 (1*)|
A favorable match up against newly promoted Fulham should provide plenty of goal scoring opportunity. Indeed, Fulham conceded a league-worst 81 goals in 2018/19 season – their last in the Premier League. With a largely unchanged defense, the Cottagers could be in for another rough season.
Most importantly, Aubameyang has feasted on newly promoted teams. Since joining the Premier League, the Arsenal striker has played 13 games against promoted sides and has recorded 12 goals and 4 assists. This statistic alone makes him an exceptional FPL Gameweek 1 captain.
By the Numbers: Salah vs. Auba
So how do Salah and Aubameyang compare head-to-head? Lets take a look at the numbers from last season.
All data below is courtesy of the wonderful folks from Fantasy Football Scout.
|19.15||Expected Goals (xG)||14.75|
|29||Big Chances Total||27|
|15||Big Chances Scored||17|
Despite scoring more goals and accumulating more bonus points, Aubameyang fell short of Salah’s FPL totals last season. A reclassification from Forward to Midfielder should help bridge that gap this year, however, some key offensive stats suggest that Salah still has more offensive upside.
Salah’s successfully completed over double the penalty touches of Aubameyang, suggesting that the Egyptian has seen significantly more of the ball in dangerous areas. Similarly, Salah’s 132 goal attempts far exceed’s Aubameyang’s 93, pointing to a shoot-first mentality. Despite this, Aubameyang has been more clinical than Salah, converting an xG of 14.75 to 22. Salah, by comparison, has been wasteful – scoring fewer goals and not exceeding his xG.
|Salah (H)||Stats (19/20)||Auba (A)|
Looking at the Home/Away splits, Salah has a clear advantage heading into this weekend. The Liverpool star has been prolific at home, scoring 15 of his 19 goals at home. Meanwhile, Aubameyang scored just 9 of his 22 goals away from the Emirates.
Our Pick: Mohamed Salah
It is a tough decision this week, but our FPL Gameweek 1 captain is Mohamed Salah. Both players offer exceptional offensive potential, and head into the opening weekend with very favorable match ups. While Aubameyang has been clinical against newly promoted teams, Salah’s home record speaks for itself. We’re going with Salah by the smallest of margins, as we expect the Egyptian to come out flying.
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