There have been fewer safer bets in the last few years than Erling Haaland, at least as far as the Fantasy Premier League is concerned.
The record-breaking striker has blanked only three times all season and has amassed a whopping 144 points so far.
Owned by 85% of teams, the Norwegian has not only broken records on the pitch but also the fantasy ones, becoming the most captained player and whatnot.
But managers are now facing an armband-related conundrum in this game week.
No, not the one where they decide who to allot the responsibility to. That is going to be Erling for sure.
The doubt is whether to use the Triple Captain chip on him.
You see, unlike other gameweeks, wherein the team only plays once, Manchester City are scheduled to play twice this time around.
This means twice the minutes and twice the points potential.
Add to that the fact that Haaland was rested in the mid-week cup fixture and it is almost set in stone that he will play as many minutes as he can over the course of two games.
So, what’s the debate about? Triple-captain him!
Well, not so fast.
The two games are not the easiest. Haaland and co. first face local rivals Manchester United, before entertaining Tottenham at home.
Two close games against fellow Big Six sides and suddenly the points potential is reduced significantly.
The first game against United is especially tough, considering the Red Devils have kept three clean sheets in a row and are in good form.
Spurs, on the other hand, have only kept one clean sheet in the last eight games.
Haaland’s form itself is under scrutiny post-World Cup.
While he did score against Leeds in the first game back, he missed a few one-on-ones. Then against Everton, against a goal but chances were few and far between.
Against Chelsea, his last game, the 22-year-old had an xG of 0.87 but failed to convert any of the three shots.
Fair to say, we have seen him play much better than of late.
But if not now, then when?
Haaland and Man City are due another double-game week a few weeks later. Gameweek 23 starts with City entertaining Aston Villa at home before going to Arsenal. At least one of the two games there looks ‘easy’ on paper.
While there are no guarantees in football and Haaland may as well get two goals in two games this DGW, at least theoretically, DGW23 seems like a safer and more lucrative bet and therefore, our recommendation would be to avoid playing the Triple Captain chip now and wait it out.
There are, of course, other reservations when it comes to using the chip in DGW23.
Will bench boost be a better option that time? What about the rotation of squads because of Champions League fixtures?
The truth is, there is no correct option. Just a variety of options and every manager needs to decide for themselves what kind of gamble they’re willing to take.
We’ve made our decision. It’s time for you to make yours.
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