Captaincy & Booster strategies for Gameweek 22: Ollie Watkins’ returns to be decisive either way

GAMEWEEK 22 features a full round of Premier League fixtures and, perhaps crucially, two relevant FA Cup replays.

Those midweek match-ups present Dream Team managers with an opportunity to target the handful of players with two fixtures at their disposal.

Which brings us neatly onto potential captains…


In the spotlight


In the spotlightCredit: Dream Team

Ollie Watkins (£4m)

Aston Villa’s No11 is set to be the main character in Gameweek 22.

The Villains’ 0-0 draw with Chelsea in the cup means Watkins is among the slim minority of players set to pull double duty (assuming he’s selected for both games) with the Blues’ visit to the Midlands coming after Unai Emery’s men meet with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

The Blades are currently rooted to the bottom of the table having only won one of their two league games since promotion – they’ve also conceded the most goals in the top flight this season.

Having ended his mini drought with a goal against Newcastle (and a 13-point return in Gameweek 21), Watkins will be licking his lips at the prospect of taking on the league’s worst defence.

This match-up, coupled with an additional midweek fixture, makes the England international a strong captaincy option.

Whatever happens, Watkins’ returns will be decisive as he’s currently among the most-popular recruits and the most transferred-out players ahead of Saturday’s 11:30am deadline.

One way or the other, a significant number of gaffers are likely to be disappointed.

Dividing Dream Team bosses this week


Dividing Dream Team bosses this weekCredit: Alamy

Those with their 12th Man Booster still to play might consider activating it to temporarily recruit Watkins.

With Manchester City and Liverpool strikers understandably popular, some may feel it’s generally a good time to replace Villa’s top scorer.

Selecting Watkins as 12th Man would allow gaffers to benefit from his appealing Gameweek 22 while simultaneously implementing long-term ploys elsewhere.

Cole Palmer (£4.1m)

Chelsea’s double header isn’t quite as tempting as Villa’s although Wolves did concede four to low-scoring Manchester United on Thursday night.

The Blues welcome Gary O’Neil’s side to Stamford Bridge on Sunday before their trip to Villa Park on Wednesday.

Without over-complicating it, Palmer is Chelsea’s top performer at the time of writing having earned 171 points via 11 goals and nine assists.

20 goal involvements and counting


20 goal involvements and countingCredit: Getty

Interestingly, the 21-year-old averages 6.6 points-per-game (and 8.7 across his last three outings) which puts him above Watkins (5.8 points-per-game) in the same metric.

Palmer earns more bonus points than the Villa striker and he has the benefit of being his side’s first-choice penalty taker.

Whether these elements outweigh Watkins’ more favourable fixtures is up for debate.

Honestly, both are good captaincy options this coming Gameweek.

Erling Haaland (£7.9m)

The first thing to say is that this suggestion hinges on Pep Guardiola’s Friday press conference as the decorated tactician may hint at his team selection.

The prolific Norwegian poacher appeared rather rusty upon his return to action as a second-half substitute against Burnley and it may be the case that he’s given another cameo before his first start.

A game-changer in the world of Dream Team


A game-changer in the world of Dream TeamCredit: Rex

However, if Haaland is likely to start against Brentford on Monday night then of course he’s in the captaincy conversation – he scored 19 goals in 20 appearances before his foot injury.

Pep Guardiola’s side are on a winning streak and their No9 is nothing short of a goal machine when fully fit.

If Haaland’s condition is uncertain then gaffers with him, Watkins, Palmer and other City stars in their XI should considering activating their Max Captain Booster if possible.

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