With just a couple of days to prepare for game week 26, Fantasy Premier League managers will be almost as frantic in preparing their teams as their real life counterparts and with a host of new faces and old faces in new teams as a result of the transfer window it will be interesting to see what happens with the old template teams.
Old FPL favourites Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Daniel Sturridge have all been out of favour this season for one reason or another but all now represent very decent potential as we head in to the final third of the Premier League season. Add to that the arrival of Moura and Aubameyang at Spurs and Arsenal respectively as well as Man City grabbing Aymeric Laporte (who started on Wednesday night) and suddenly there are plenty of new options available.
A word to Fantasy Premier League Draft managers – get in on these players whilst others are sleeping as the transactions will go through on Friday night!
As the fixtures are coming round quickly this week we are going to focus purely on those players who we are expecting big things from and the games that look most tempting.
Burnley Vs. Man City
City took their time over a 3-0 humbling of West Brom on Wednesday night and Laporte was handed his debut and put in a consumate performance to help his new club earn a clean sheet. At £5.5m there is plenty of value there and this could well be another clean sheet on the cards for the visiting team.
Burnley scraped a 1-1 draw at Newcastle last out and this will be considerably more challenging. Aguero and Sterling (as well as the more expensive KDB) all remain key figures and you probably need two of the three in your team. Jesus is not set to return for another week or two at least so there is still some mileage in Aguero yet.
Man Utd Vs. Huddersfield
United were battered at times by Spurs and having conceded a goal in the opening 11 seconds at Wembley they were on the rocks for much of that game. Huddersfield hardly covered themselves in glory when losing 3-0 to Liverpool but they did put a shift in and looked well organised at times.
The visit to Old Trafford is likely to be much more challenging than when they beat the Red Devils at home earlier this season and with Alexis Sanchez, Pogba, Martial and Lingard pulling the strings in behind Lukaku they are the danger men you might want to consider.
Pogba looks a threat if he can get further forward in this game and Lukaku still offers decent value. This could be the game in which Sanchez gets his first league goal for United.
West Brom Vs. Southampton
West Brom have done some good business in the transfer window and Sturridge looks a quality signing. He will most likely start this game having come on as a sub against City and they are taking on a Southampton side that is pretty poor and struggling down at the bottom of the table.
This is a must win game for both sides and we expect the home side to edge this one. At £7.9m Sturridge could be a key player in the latter part of the season – and with the World Cup as motivation he should be firing on all cylinders.
Arsenal Vs. Everton
This will be a fascinating game. Everton bring Theo Walcott back to the Emirates after scoring two in midweek against Leicester. He is an excellent option and will relish the chance to attack this weak Arsenal defence that conceded three… YES THREE… at Swansea.
With Aubameyang (£10.5m) and Mkhitaryan (£7.6m) both likely to start this game it will be interesting to see how the Gunners perform. Going forwards they should be devastating but they are always likely to concede so this could be a game that promises goals.
Liverpool Vs. Spurs
Following their 2-0 demolition of Man Utd, Spurs travel to Liverpool and will surely adopt a very similar approach. This has an away win written all over it for me but it won’t be easy. We know Liverpool are weak defensively whereas Spurs are pretty well balanced throughout.
Kane, Son, Eriksen and Alli are all a threat and if you are going to captain anyone from this game it probably needs to be one of them.
Watford Vs. Chelsea
It is difficult to grasp quite how Chelsea lost 3-0 at home to Bournemouth on Wednesday night but it happened and that is the beauty of the Premier League. The signing of Giroud for Chelsea is a fascinating one and with Morata injured and Batshuayi going to Dortmund it could be time for the Frenchman to become an FPL favourite again.
At £8.2m Giroud certainly offers value and this Chelsea side take on a Watford team that has lost its sparkle since the early season promise they showed. Expect a response from Chelsea and if Giroud starts then it would be easy to see him bagging a goal or two.
You can find out captain picks for game week 26 here.