Captain – KaneEmbed from Getty Images
For the first week of this season neither Salah nor Aguero top my list for captaincy candidates. I think it’s between Hazard and Kane this time around and if you’re fortunate enough to own both, then you’re in a nice position.
Kane gets the nod from me, and this is less about his own form, and more about that of his opponent Cardiff, who have really struggled to keep it tight at the back. He has three goals in the last two, but of course two of those were penalties… not that owners will care too much what way he scores. He also scored against Barcelona in their Champions League loss mid-week.
While his underlying stats are still down from last year, if we compare Kane from gameweeks 1 – 4 with gameweeks 5 -7 we can see some real improvement. His average goal attempts are up to 3.3 per match from 2.5 (and more critically, shots on target are up to 2.7 from 0.8!). In reviewing his average heat map for these periods, it is little surprise that his attacking threat has improved given how much further forward his positioning has been in the last three weeks.
The caveat here, of course, is that Tottenham have mounting injuries at the moment which can have an impact on their performance, so I wouldn’t anticipate a 4-0 routing of their gameweek 7 opponents. But… it is Cardiff.
Differential below 10% – Lacazette 7.3%TSBEmbed from Getty Images
Despite his consistency over recent weeks, Lacazette continues to fly relatively under the radar in terms of ownership. He hasn’t delivered a double digit haul in this purple patch, but playing against a lacklustre Fulham defence this week has the potential to see great returns for the Frenchman.
He’s certainly been outperforming his teammate, Aubamayang, despite the kinder price. He has an average of 4.7 penalty area touches per match versus the latter’s 2.0. Importantly he also triumphs on goal attempts (every 26.8 minutes) and chances created (every 51 minutes). Can he continue his streak of returns? Only time will tell, but I feel fairly confident he can.
Differential below 5% – Son 2.0% TSBEmbed from Getty Images
The smiling assassin has returned to the Spurs camp after a successful campaign for South Korea, which has secured his footballing future. Despite justified concerns regarding the rotation potential in the Spurs midfield, with Moura and Lamela to contend with for the one spot, he should be assured a start this week. Alli appears to be out for a few more weeks and Eriksen still appears to be struggling with an abdominal issue.
Son is the kind of player who can absolutely step up when the big players are missing, and after a 4-2 loss to Barcelona in Champions League this week, Pochettino will surely want his troops to do the business against the poor-performing Cardiff City.
We have limited data to work with, due to his extended absence, so this one is more of a punt and certainly a gut-feel option. I do think that for those looking to gamble, and particularly those who can’t stretch to Kane, he looks a viable option this week.
Clean sheet – WolvesEmbed from Getty Images
The Wolves have really solidified at the back after a patchy start to their season. They are one of the form teams defensively, and those who had Patricio in goal, and either Johnny or Doherty – their marauding fullbacks – last week would have been in rapture. I certainly was! With bargain basement prices and consistent returns, it is easy to see why they are proving popular.
While I do think they are at their strongest on home turf, they play a Crystal Palace team who have yet to score at home this season. Palace has been consistent defensively as well and so I think we could see quite a tight game here. Ultimately though, I’m backing the Wolves boys to deliver again.