Hot or Not - Gameweek 26

8:22am Feb 25 2017

Who’s HOT and who’s NOT in the world of Fantasy Premier League for Gameweek 26?

Hello and welcome to my latest ‘Who’s HOT and who’s NOT’ article, featuring my tips for Gameweek 26.

Gameweek 25 saw Liverpool return to form, as they claimed their first win of 2017 by beating Spurs. Elsewhere, Swansea came out on top in the relegation six-pointer against Leicester, and Burnley kept up their mightily impressive home form, as they held leaders Chelsea to a draw at Turf Moor.

Gameweek 26 provides us with yet more intriguing fixtures, as Everton and Hull look to continue their fine runs against Sunderland and Burnley respectively, while Liverpool will be looking to record back-to-back wins as they travel to face a Leicester side who are in free-fall.

With both Manchester clubs, Arsenal, and Southampton all out of Premier League action this Gameweek, i’ll be focusing on where we may be able to eke out some extra points in the absence of some of the PL’s major players.

As always, I wish all FPL managers the very best of luck, and may those arrows continue to be green!

HOT

Gareth McAuley – West Brom

  • £5.1m
  • 30.8%
  • 8
  • Bournemouth (H)

Gareth McAuley has been an extremely popular choice this season, and it’s easy to see why. A consistent return of clean sheets as well as five Premier League goals has taken the Northern Ireland international to the brink of 100 points for the season.

His West Brom side face Bournemouth in Gameweek 26 – the Cherries are without a win in six, and now find themselves in a relegation battle.

At the time of writing, McAuley is selected by over 30% of FPL bosses – a figure that could increase further, given that three of the top six are not in PL action this Gameweek.

With this in mind, he represents a great opportunity to keep the points coming in, in place of any Manchester United, Manchester City, Southampton, or Arsenal defenders you may have – particularly if finances are tight.

The Baggies have registered clean sheets in each of their previous two home fixtures – a third-straight home shutout is a real possibility against a misfiring Bournemouth side.

Pedro – Chelsea

  • £7.0m
  • 6.6%
  • 10
  • Swansea (H)

The former Barcelona winger continues to come up with the goods without costing the earth. At just £6.9m, he has been one of the midfield bargains of the season, and has found the net in each of his last two outings in all competitions.

Swansea are the visitors to Stamford Bridge in Gameweek 26, who are on good form themselves – winning four of their last six. Despite this, Chelsea will be strong favourites to win this one and extend their lead at the top.

At the time of writing, Pedro is selected by just 6% of FPL bosses, yet he is outperforming the likes of Ozil, Pogba, and Coutinho – all of whom are considerably more expensive. With so many of the big-hitters out of action this Gameweek, the Spaniard could be your perfect free-transfer option.

Sadio Mane  -Liverpool

  • £9.4m
  • 16.3%
  • 16
  • Leicester City (A)

Jurgen Klopp’s side returned to form in Gameweek 25, as two first-half goals from Mane were enough to see off Spurs at Anfield.

The Senegalese attacker had initially struggled to regain form following the African Cup of Nations, and even made a recent appearance in my ‘Not’ section – however, the former Southampton man made me eat my words as he fired Liverpool to their first win of 2017 last time out.

Next up for the Merseysiders is a trip to struggling Leicester, in what looks like the perfect fixture to claim a second successive win to pile the pressure on those just above them in the table.

Mane’s selection percentage has recently dipped, but is still featuring in 13.2% of FPL squads at the time of writing – and I fancy a repeat performance of his Gameweek 25 heroics to heap more misery on the reigning champions. Don’t delay, add him to your midfield and watch the points roll in!

NOT

Eric Pieters

  • £4.6m
  • 7.5%
  • 8
  • Spurs (A)

Pieters has been a solid performer this season, chalking up a very respectable 75 points despite costing just £4.6m. The Dutch defender helped the Potters to their seventh clean sheet of the season in Gameweek 25, as they saw off Crystal Palace at the Bet365.

However, next up for Mark Hughes’s side is a tough looking trip to White Hart Lane to face Spurs, who remain unbeaten at home this season. Only league-leaders Chelsea have scored more goals on home turf this season. With this in mind, it may be best to move Pieters to your bench, or make a temporary change.

If you can afford the extra £0.1m, Everton’s Ramiro Funes Mori looks to be the ideal replacement for Gameweek 26, as the Toffees take on Sunderland at Goodison. Alternatively, West Brom’s Jonny Evans represents a good opportunity to bag some cheap clean sheet points at just £4.4m. The Baggies face an out-of-form Bournemouth at the Hawthorns.

Wes Morgan – Leicester City

  • £4.7m
  • 12.4%
  • 1
  • Liverpool (H)

In all honesty, why he is still featuring in over 12% of teams remains a mystery. Leicester are on a wretched run of form which has seen them dragged right into a relegation battle – their latest defeat coming against fellow strugglers Swansea in Gameweek 25.

The Foxes still haven’t found the net in 2017, and are clearly a side devoid of any confidence. To make matters worse, they could well find themselves in the bottom three before they even kick a ball in Gameweek 26 if results don’t go their way elsewhere.

Next up for Claudio Ranieri’s men is the visit of Liverpool, who appear to be over their mid-season blip after they comfortably brushed aside Spurs in Gameweek 25. I fully expect Liverpool to grab another three points at the expense of Leicester, so replacing Morgan is an absolute must for this Gameweek.

Ideal long-term replacements come in the shape of Burnley’s Ben Mee, or Swansea’s Alfie Mawson, who are the same price or cheaper. Alternatively, if you can afford an extra £0.2m, Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson continues to be a real bargain, with 87 points to his name.

Gylfi Sigurðsson

  • £7.5m
  • 12.6%
  • 6
  • Chelsea (A)

Make no mistake, Gylfi Sigurdsson is having a fantastic season. The Icelandic midfielder has been talismanic in his displays for Swansea this season and has been a major factor in their upturn in fortunes under Paul Clement. Given his consistent form and his relatively low price, it is perhaps surprising that he only features in just over 12% of FPL squads.

However, with a trip to Stamford Bridge next on the horizon for the Swans, it’s difficult to see him getting any change out of the Premier League’s meanest defence. Chelsea have conceded just seven goals at home this season – an incredible record which has helped them maintain their healthy lead at the top of the table.

With this in mind, a temporary change may be a good idea if you want to give yourself the best opportunity of a high-scoring Gameweek.

Everton’s Ross Barkley or Chelsea’s Pedro (as mentioned above) look to be ideal temporary replacements – both of which have far easier fixtures on paper and won’t cost you any extra.

Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips: Hot or Not – Gameweek 26’ which was written by @DannyBryan27


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