After a weekend of cup football filled with unknown under-23s and benchwarmers being given a run out, the Premier League returns. Gameweek 18 looks a tough set of matches, but there are definitely some key players who warrant captaining. Here are our Fantasy Premier League captain picks for gameweek 18.
Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks
Kevin De Bruyne (vs Brighton)
As daft as it sounds, Manchester City are finally beginning to look like Manchester City. The Cityzens comfortably beat Chelsea 3-1 in Gameweek 17 before progressing into the EFL Cup final with a 2-0 victory over Manchester United. With a home game against Brighton up next, it would be a shock not to see this good run continue.
Kevin De Bruyne has hit some great form recently and should rack up a fair few points against the Seagulls. The Belgian has scored three and assisted eight already this season, with a goal against his former side Chelsea being the most addition to those tally’s. KDB is one of the best midfielders the Premier League has ever seen; his passing, shooting and moving is simply mesmerising to watch. Managers will have paid around £11.7m for the midfield maestro, so for such a substantial fee they certainly will be hoping for a healthy return in a fixture of this nature.
Graham Potter’s Brighton are firmly in the relegation scrap. Their goalscoring struggles have slowly diminished, with their most significant difficulties coming in defence now. Their 3-3 draw with Wolves was a solid point for the South Coast side, however they face a different animal in City on Wednesday.
Bruno Fernandes (vs Burnley)
Bruno Fernandes has become one of the most regular inclusions in Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks. His consistent goals, assists and bonus points are simply too good to ignore, and he definitely should add to that against Burnley in Gameweek 18.
The Portuguese international has revolutionised Manchester United’s midfield since his arrival, with Paul Ince revealing he thinks that the former Sporting CP captain has had a similar affect at Old Trafford to when Eric Cantona joined the Red Devils – some feat. The attacking midfielder has scored eleven and assisted seven in 16 appearances so far this campaign, he could also be the first player to win PL Player of the Month four times in a calendar year if he wins the December award. Fernandes is, as we all know, on penalty duty for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, which is an obvious bonus when deciding where the captains armband should be placed.
Burnley haven’t been too poor recently, with the reunited partnership of James Tarkwoski and Ben Mee having an obvious impact. However, even if they aren’t conceding that many, they are still conceding. Therefore up against an attacking like of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Fernandes they will definitely struggle.
Alexandre Lacazette (vs Crystal Palace)
Clearly I am not the only person who thinks that Alexandre Lacazette is in unbelievable form considering over 110,000 managers have transferred in the striker for Gameweek 18. And with four goals in his last three league games, it is no surprise really. A home fixture to Crystal Palace is an ideal opportunity to add to that tally, and for that reason he is one of my Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks.
Arsenal were desperate for a goalscorer in the opening few months of this season. 2019/20 top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who I believe has been one of the most disappointing players this season, couldn’t be in worse form and Eddie Nketiah still looks out of his depth to me. Therefore, all eyes recently have been on former Lyon striker Lacazette to step up.
The Frenchman has taken a lot of confidence from this new-found goalscoring responsibility and looks better than ever. The Gunners forward is just three goals away from matching his goals tally for last season (10) with 21 games left. Lacazette is a powerful striker that always knows where the goal is, he is capable with both feet and can even pop up with a headed goal too.
Palace hit a bad patch in December but a 2-0 victory at home to Sheffield United could lift the morale of Roy Hodgson’s side. Even as outsiders in this fixture their ability shouldn’t be overlooked, however their defence is simply not as good as their attack and this could cause them some difficulties in Gameweek 18.
Karl Darlow (vs Sheffield United)
An eyebrow-raiser, I know. But no game screams 0-0 more than Sheffield United and Newcastle United this week, famous last words. Therefore a captains armband on a Magpies defender or goalkeeper could be very wise. With that in mind, Karl Darlow has been great recently and he is really staking his claim as to why he should be selected for England soon.
Despite only keeping three clean sheets this season, Darlow won’t have many better chances to add to that than against the Blades. Chris Wilder’s men average 0.5 goals a game and just 2.8 shots on target per match, missing 19 big chances already this campaign. They look like the polar opposite of the team that were fighting for European football last season, their attack has no service, their midfield is disorganised and uncreative, and their defence is constantly shaky.
Darlow probably won’t face more than five shots on target at the very maximum against the 20th-placed side, so if he is in the outstanding form that he was in against Liverpool a few weeks ago then he really shouldn’t concede. The former Nottingham Forest keeper could easily rack up 16 points if captained in Gameweek 18.