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FPL tips: Elite bosses divided on captaincy picks as Diogo Jota excels

Liverpool v Leicester City – Premier League – Anfield
(Image credit: Peter Byrne)

Elite FPL managers were as divided on their captaincy choices as they have ever been this season in gameweek 24.

By analysing the movements of a group of 1,000 managers with multiple top-10,000 finishes to their names, we can see how the best bosses prepare for each gameweek.

This week Diogo Jota was the most popular captain among them, but was backed by just 235 of our group.

A graphic showing the captaincy picks of elite FPL managers ahead of gameweek 24 of the season

Kevin De Bruyne (227) and Harry Kane (134) were also well selected – this was the first time either of those two or Jota had been backed by more than 100 of our elite sample.

Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo (98) and West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen (86) made up the rest of the top five in a week which saw the top managers divided despite Mohamed Salah‘s return from the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Egyptian has received 13,788 elite captaincy picks this term, 10,000 more than Cristiano Ronaldo, and between GW8 and GW18 had something of a monopoly on the armband.

Just 56 tentatively picked him for double points in GW24, but just one point and 30 minutes of time on the pitch saw that move backfire.

Instead, Salah’s team-mate Jota rewarded his supporters with a brace in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Leicester, returning 16 points and his third double figures score of the season.

Liverpool’s Diogo Jota scores their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday February 10, 2022

Diogo Jota scored twice against Leicester (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Portuguese had enjoyed a modest spell in the three games before GW24, notching just two assists and zero goals – he has now netted 12 times this season however, and is the fourth most selected player in the game.

City midfielder De Bruyne has endured a quiet season by his own standards, but is exhibiting the sort of form which has made him a revered FPL pick in the past.

The Belgian had a goal and an assist in the two games leading up to GW24, and returned 11 points against Brentford thanks to another strike.

De Bruyne now has 66 FPL points in his last eight appearances, while he has scored more than 40 for Creativity in seven of his last eight games.

Kane was the only member of this week’s top three captaincy picks not to provide attacking returns, with just two points in Spurs’ 3-2 defeat to Southampton.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane during the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture date: Wednesday February 9, 2022

Harry Kane blanked this week (John Walton/PA)

The England striker had shown glimpses of his old form with four goals in six games, but at £12.3m his five strikes this season are expensive.

West Ham’s Bowen on the other hand is proving excellent value this term – at £6.9m he will have won over many more managers in GW24.

Bowen’s three goals and five assists in six games ahead of GW24 convinced dozens of elites to captain him for the Hammers’ game against Watford, and he duly rewarded them with the only goal of the game.

He now has 135 points this season and ranks fourth for Threat and 13th for Creativity in his position.

Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at the Energy Check County Ground, Swindon. Picture date: Friday January 7, 2022

Joao Cancelo helped City keep a clean sheet (Adam Davy/PA)

Finally, City’s attacking defender Cancelo saw his largest elite captaincy backing of the season in GW24.

The Portuguese earned it too, with one goal, three assists and three clean sheets in the six games building up to City’s match against Brentford.

He added another clean sheet to the tally and seven FPL points this week – that means that four of the elite’s top five captaincy picks in GW24 were a success.

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