The first double gameweek of the season certainly lived up to it's billing as an average score of 65 suggests. The owners of Sergio Aguero and certainly those who handed him the captaincy were in for a big reward as a score of 20 points from the Argentine forward was worth every penny and transfer point spent to get him in the team. Aymeric Laporte and Raheem Sterling were the other beneficiaries of the twin fixtures scoring 20 and 11 points respectively.
There are no such joys in Gameweek 26 as the usual 10-game weekend returns. Last week's big points scorers — Manchester City and Chelsea — go up against each other in a tasty encounter at the Etihad. FPL owners, thus would have to make certain changes to their teams, especially with these two teams set to miss Premier League action next weekend thanks to their involvement in the League Cup final.
City will start as favourites at home against The Blues, but the 2-0 win which Maurizio Sarri registered against Pep Guardiola's men earlier in the campaign to end their unbeaten start to the season could force hands of few FPL owners to keep City players out of their elevens. Last week's flop, Leroy Sane, is the most released player this week and even hat-trick hero Sergio Aguero has been released by approximately 60,000 owners. However, considering the Argentine's big-game credentials and his record against Chelsea, Aguero has scored 12 and made three in all competitions against Chelsea in the past and David Luiz and Co already have their task cut out at the weekend. Even with a tough looking game and a blank fixture to come, Aguero is a must-have in current form. As far as Chelsea are concerned, it is wiser to wait till the end of this month to re-sign their players.
The teams that FPL owners need to keep an eye out for are Wolves, Brighton, Newcastle, Cardiff City, Leicester City and Arsenal. With plenty of green in their upcoming fixture list, players from these teams should be high on your shopping list. Matt Doherty, Raul Jimenez and Joao Moutinho are among the top purchased players this week. Wolves are on a three-game winning streak and play Newcastle, Bournemouth, Huddersfield and Cardiff in their next four games.
Wolves' vibrant recent performances have caught the eye, but there are still few takers for players from teams like Newcastle United, Brighton and Leicester this week. The Foxes' trip to Spurs might be putting a few off, but their fixtures after that game should see FPL owners turn to Leicester players next week. It's advisable for FPL owners to join the bandwagon early and make the most of price rises. Same can be said about players from Brighton, Newcastle and Cardiff City.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also not the most favoured forward this week, with an injury doubt pushing FPL owners to to pull the plug on him. The move is likely to backfire as the Gabon striker is expected to shrug off an illness and pile more misery on Championship-bound Huddersfield. His record against the lower-ranked teams is phenomenal and this may be the wrong time to get rid of him. However, there are few downsides to the Arsenal forward. He has scored just two goals in his last six games, and only six of his fifteen goals have come on the road. Alexandre Lacazette is proving to be a fine alternative to Aubameyang with the French forward priced £1.9m lesser compared to his striking partner. Lacazette has three goals in his last four games and has looked in great touch in his recent outings. With a crunch for finances intensifying as the season approaches its business end, Lacazette might be a top bet.
Here are some of the players to watch out ahead of GW 26:
Sadio Mane (Liverpool): The Senegalese forward has been in the shadow of Mohamed Salah ever since the Egyptian's move to Anfield, but his recent form is giving Salah a run for his money. Four goals in the last six games makes a great reading for the £9.5m priced Mane, who could attract much of Salah's owners if he continues his goalscoring run. A home game against Bournemouth, against whom Liverpool fired four goals in the reverse fixture, could be a big moment for Mane.
Artur Boruc (Bournemouth): Boruc is the most purchased goalkeeper and you would wonder why looking at the difficult fixture list ahead of Bournemouth. But at £3.9m, Boruc could be an excellent option for a second keeper without disturbing the balance of the team.
Lee Peltier (Cardiff City): Peltier is the only player under the price of £4.0m to play regularly. Cardiff have an inviting run of games to come in the next month and more. So the full-back could be a real steal. Get him before he catches the eye.
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton): The Saints are a team on the up and so is talented English midfielder James Ward-Prowse. Three goals in his last four games makes him the form player in the league and an encounter with Cardiff City at St. Mary's would give him a great chance to extend his fine form.
Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace): The Belgian is all set to make his first Crystal Palace start since joining on loan from Chelsea in the January transfer window. Palace have lacked a finisher all season and Batshuayi might prove to be that catalyst that sparks them into life in front of goal. At a price of just £6.5m, he's worth taking a punt on especially with a couple of easy games to start.
Captain conundrum: Salah is the most reliable choice this week with Liverpool welcoming Bournemouth at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp would want a response from his team after two successive draws and would expect the Egyptian to get among the goals after two goalless games. Aubameyang's illness makes him a risk for captaincy, but continuing with Aguero in a week that's likely to see him kept away from the armband could be a good bet too. Aguero is City's likeliest scorer and Chelsea's recent woes away to their top six rivals makes him a top candidate.
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Updated Date: Feb 08, 2019 22:12:47 IST