Gameweek 26

Gameweek 26 Preview

Chelsea vs Swansea

Paul Clement returns to his old stomping grounds as his Swansea team travel to Stamford Bridge this weekend. Given that Chelsea are several points clear at the top of the league and Swansea have spent most of the season in a relegation battle, you wouldn’t expect both teams to have 3 wins in their last 5 games. Like most people, I’d still expect Chelsea to win but their recent inability to keep a clean sheet (having not kept one for 3 games which is bad by their incredibly high standards this season) and Gylfi Sigurdsson in top form, it may be closer than most people may think. 

sigurdsson

Players to watch:

  • Costa (£10.6m) – Costa hasn’t scored in his last 3 league games (I’m aware that this isn’t the most flattering of stats) but has still managed to get 2 assists in that time. He’s only blanked in 6 games all season which is hugely impressive. He’s up against a Swansea defence that has certainly improved under Paul Clement but is still concedes quite a few goals. Costa is the highest scoring forward in the game and it’d be hard to bet against him scoring this weekend.

  • Hazard (£10.6m) – Eden Hazard is the second highest scoring player in FPL. If you managed to catch my Home and Away article (if you can call it that?) then you’ll know that 8 out of his 10 goals have come at Stamford Bridge this season. With a record like that then I’d say it’s pretty likely for him to get something vs Swansea. He’s picked up a goal and assist in his last 3 games.

  • Sigurdsson (£7.5m) – What more can be said about Gylfi Sigurdsson really? The man is just a machine for Swansea. He’s got 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 games (against Liverpool, Southampton, Man City and Leicester nonetheless!), in that time he’s averaged 8 points a game. Considering that Sigurdsson doesn’t seem to care who he scores against and Chelsea have conceded a goal in each of their last 3 games, it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility that Siggy gets some points. 
  • Pedro (£6.9m) – Although the Pedro-Willian carousel is never-ending, I still think that Pedro can still do the business. With 7 goals in his last 10 games in all competitions, he’s certainly on a hot streak! (However, only 2 of these goals have come in the league). I expect him to add to his 6 goals and 6 assists in FPL this weekend.

Crystal Palace vs Middlesbrough

Given both teams’ recent form, I don’t expect this to be a thrilling game. Although these could be famous last words! Both teams have only picked up 3 points in their last 5 games (Palace getting a win over Bournemouth whereas Middlesbrough have drawn 3 games), so I fully expect this game to be last on Match of the Day. 

Players to watch:

  • Gibson (£4.9m) – I struggled to think of anyone worth suggesting this game, given Crystal Palace’s poor form and Middlesbrough’s blunt attack. I expect this game 0-0 or for a Middlesbrough win to zero. So on that basis I think that Gibson is worth considering. He’s played every minute of every game this season and the rest of their defence are possible injury doubts. This season Gibson has scored more points (87) that Antonio Valencia (84), Danny Rose (84), Ashley Williams (83) and Hector Bellerin (78).

Everton vs Sunderland

David Moyes returns to Everton this weekend and will be looking to pick up some points during his visit. His team currently sit bottom of the league table but are only 2 points off escaping the relegation zone, they’ve picked up a win and a draw in their last 3 games so perhaps they are starting to turn things around. But their heavy 4-0 defeat at home to Southampton in GW 25 may have caused a few heads to drop again. 

Everton are technically the most in-form team in the league, alongside Chelsea, with 3 wins and 2 draws in their last 5 games. They have scored 12 goals in that time although 6 of them did come in the 6-3 win over Bournemouth in GW 24. Similarly to the Chelsea game, I expect an Everton win but they may not necessarily keep a clean sheet as the deadly Jermain Defoe will be looking to add to his 14 goals for the season.

lukaku-picture

Players to watch:

  • Coleman (£5.9m) – Seamus Coleman has been just incredible lately – managing 3 goals, 3 assists and 1 goal in his last 5 games. This averages out to 8.6 points a game in that time. He is up against Jermain Defoe though so his clean sheet isn’t as guaranteed as one may assume… but even if he does his lose clean sheet then he’s still fully capable of getting attacking returns. 
  • Lukaku (£9.9m) – Romelu Lukaku is very unpredictable in FPL but he’s still managed to score more points than the ever-consistent Diego Costa. He’s scored 4 goals in his last 3 games although they all came in that famous Gameweek 24 game against Bournemouth. Sunderland’s defence isn’t the greatest and Lukaku is very capable of bullying them on his own. 
  • Defoe (£7.9m) – Defoe has scored 138 points in FPL (only 1 point behind Diego Costa). He’s got 14 goals for the season with 3 of them coming in his last 5 games.

Hull vs Burnley

Another game that is competing for the last spot on Match of the Day this weekend. The teams have identical records over the last 5 games with them both picking up 2 wins and a draw. I’d give the edge to Hull just based on their recent performances and the fact that Burnley have only picked up 1 point out of a possible 33 on the road this season.

hull-picture

Players to watch:

  • Jakupovic (£4.1m) – Hull have only kept 3 clean sheets this season and all of them have come when Jakupovic has played (He’s only played in 10 gameweeks). He’s got at least 1 save point in 9 of the 10 games that he has played in. Considering Hull’s mini renaissance under Marco Silva and Burnley’s shockingly bad away form, I could see Jakupovic getting a clean sheet.

West Brom vs Bournemouth

Bournemouth have been really out of form lately losing 4 of their last 5 games and conceding goals for fun. But with the return of Adam Smith and Charlie Daniels to their defence, I do expect them to turn their form around soon… just not this weekend.

Much like Bournemouth, West Brom have been without one of their main defenders for 2 months, Jonny Evans looks set to return this weekend which should improve their usually tight defence.

The form guide suggests a West Brom win as they have only lost 1 of their last 5 league games whereas Bournemouth have only managed 1 draw in that time.

Players to watch:

  • Brunt (£5.1m) – Chris Brunt’s home form is just ridiculous! All 3 of his goals, all 3 of his assists and all 3 of his clean sheets have come at home. All 10 of his bonus points have also come at home. Bournemouth only have 2 wins away from home this season and outside of the freak 6-3 loss to Everton in GW 24, they are struggling for goals as of late. Bournemouth’s defence has been awful due to having 3/4s of their defence out injured or banned. They are expected to return this weekend but I still think that Brunt could get attacking returns against them as well as a clean sheet.
  • King (£5.3m) – Joshua King has got 3 goals in his last 4 games. With Wilson’s injury and Afobe’s poor form, King is currently playing as a striker. If Bournemouth do score a goal this weekend then I think that King will certainly be the favourite to get it.

Watford vs West Ham

Watford take on West Ham this weekend in a battle of the comfortably mid-table teams. Slavan Bilic’s men travel across London in good form with 3 wins and a draw in their last 5 games. Watford are no slouches themselves, managing 2 wins and 2 draws in that time.

I think both teams will score but I think the result could go either way.

andy-carroll

Players to watch:

  • Deeney (£6.7m) – Deeney has got 3 goals in his last 4 games – making him the 4th most in form stirker in the league nehind Gabbiadini, Lukaku and the now-injured Gabriel Jesus. West Ham have been uncertain with their defence lately, changing from 3 at the back to 4 defenders on a regular basis. This could give Deeney the chance to get a goal or two.
  • Lanzini (£6.3m) – Manuel Lanzini’s recent form seems to coincide with Payet’s departure from West Ham. He’s got 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 5 games and seems to be sharing free kick duties with Snodgrass. This combined with Lanzini’s apparent shoot on sight policy means that he’s more than capable of getting a goal this weekend.

Tottenham vs Stoke

After crashing out of the Europa League in midweek, Tottenham now play host to Stoke this weekend.Weirdly, none of Tottenham’s attackers have shown much form lately, with Harry Kane being their only goalscorer (with 1 goal) in their last 3 games. Interestingly all of Stoke’s last 4 games no team has scored more than 1 goal.

If the form guide is anything to go by then we should expect a low-scoring game. (Although I do still expect to Tottenham to win).

Players to watch:

  • Walker (£6.3m) – Tottenham haven’t lost a home game in the league this season and Stoke haven’t been playing amazingly lately. In his last 5 games, Walker has gotten 3 clean sheets and 2 assists. With stats like that there’s a chance of him getting both defensive and attacking returns this weekend.

Leicester vs Liverpool

Leicester have lost 5 games on the bounce and have sacked their manager, Claudio Ranieri after their Champions League defeat in midweek. With caretaker boss, Craig Shakespeare in charge, perhaps they may be able to turn their form around but they are facing the always tough Liverpool.

Some Liverpool fans see this game as a potential banana skin, as they don’t always get the expected results against smaller teams in the league (see their 2-0 defeat to Hull in GW24 and their 3-2 loss to Swansea in GW22). But the return to form of Mane and Firmino, I do expect a comfortable win for the Merseysiders.

Players to watch:

  • Mane (£9.3m) – Mane was incredible in the game against Tottenham in GW 25. He picked up 2 goals, a clean sheet point and 3 bonus points. It seems like all the pieces of their puzzle are slotting back into place with Mane, Coutinho and Firmino all back and playing as a front 3.

  • Firmino (£8.4m) – Roberto Firmino has 2 goals and 1 assist in his last 4 games. He’s back playing as a striker again and it seems to be paying dividends. I expect this form to continue given Leicester’s poor defence.

 

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