Football

Premier League: Top FPL picks for Gameweek 26

With the EFL Cup set for its climax this weekend, Premier League action will see only 16 teams with Southampton, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal will not be in action as the former two contest the first major piece of silverware of the season at Wembley. The decision to hold/sell some of the FPL favourites like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero is giving managers sleepless nights, keeping in mind United and Arsenal don't play in the 'mega blank' gameweek 28 while City's participation remains in balance.

 

Chelsea kicks off the gameweek with a home fixture against Swansea City and it ends with another highly anticipated match as Liverpool visit the King Power to face faltering champions Leicester City, who have recently parted ways with Claudio Ranieri. Sandwiched between these two ties are some fascinating matchups between Hull City vs Burnley, Everton vs Sunderland, West Brom vs Bournemouth and Spurs vs Stoke City, with the former looking to make immediate amends following an exasperating European exit in the midweek.

Here are our 4 players who we think will get you crucial points in Gameweek 26. Take a look:

 

ELDIN JAKUPOVIC (HULL CITY)

Since Marco Silva took over the reigns, Eldin Jakupovic has been reinstated as the first choice goalkeeper and the Swiss hasn't let down his new gaffer. In his 10 league appearances, the 32-year-old averages 4.9 points per match and 4.3 saves per game – both second-highest in respective categories this season (active goalkeepers only). He is the most sought-after goalkeeper with more than 24,000 managers buying him ahead of Gameweek 26.

 

 

With a run of easy fixtures to come, Eldin Jakupovic is our top pick between the sticks for #GW26 #PremierLeague #FPLscout #HULBUR

A post shared by Follow Your Sport (@followyoursport) on Feb 24, 2017 at 11:58am PST

 

Hull welcomes Burnley at the KCOM on Saturday in what's a must-win game for the hosts. The Clarets are a force to reckon with at Turf Moor but have the worst away record in the division. Burnley have scored just five times on the road all season and are one of the two teams yet to register an away win. Hull are unbeaten at home across all competitions since Marco Silva took over and have kept more clean sheets in five games under him (2) than they did in the previous 20 matches under Mike Phelan (1). Available at £4.1m, he's the perfect budget buy for your squad and undoubtedly, will free up some funds which you can invest in strengthening other positions in your squad.

 

 

CHRIS BRUNT (WEST BROMWICH ALBION)

After missing the start of the season with a knee problem, the versatile Northern Ireland international has become a constant fixture in the Baggies side. With 3 goals and 3 assists, Brunt features joint-second in the list of defenders with highest goal contribution alongside Kyle Walker, Charlie Daniels and teammate Gareth McAuley. 

 

 

Up next for high-flying West Brom are a stuttering Bournemouth side who have lost their way since the turn of the year. The Cherries have failed to find the back of the net in two of their last three outings. 4 of the 5 shutouts kept by Tony Pulis' men have come at the Hawthorns, with two of those coming alone in last two home games. Selected by just 4.3% managers, the £5.1m priced defender could well be having a significant say at the other end of the pitch too with Bournemouth having the joint-second-worst defensive record in the division with 49 goals shipped – a league high 28 of those coming on the road. It will be hard to overlook a player like Brunt with so much potential at either end of the ground.

 

 

SADIO MANE (LIVERPOOL)

The Senegalese is Liverpool's top-scorer in the league with 11 goals and scored an impressive brace against a usually resolute Spurs in the Reds' most recent league outing. Mane is Liverpool's highest point-maker in FPL with 132 points and probably for the very reason, is selling like hot cakes at the moment with more than 230,000 managers snapping him up.

 

 

Liverpool plays away at reigning champions Leicester on Monday, who are currently in massive turmoil following the sacking of title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri. Since the Foxes' last Premier League point against Middlesbrough, they have conceded 12 goals in last five matches. Only Bournemouth (18) have conceded more in the same duration. That's not all, Leicester have the joint-fourth-worst defensive with 43 goals shipped. League's joint-most prolific attack and in particular, Sadio Mane couldn't have asked for a much better time to wreak more havoc on their opponents and despite his slightly high price of £9.3m, he is the ideal pick if you are looking for a glut of points this week.

 

 

DIEGO COSTA (CHELSEA)

It has been over a month since Costa last scored in the league and consequently, has lost his crown of being the league's top marksman. But his goal in the FA Cup win over Wolverhampton last weekend was certainly a huge sigh of relief to his owners. And with Costa getting 122,000 new owners ahead of gameweek 26, it seems the managers aren't looking much into his league goal drought.

 

 

Next up for the leaders are a resurgent Swansea City at home who despite showing signs of revival under Paul Clement, remains vulnerable in defence. The Swans have conceded 54 goals in all which's the worst defensive record in the division. With 33 goals scored at Stamford Bridge, the Blues boast the most prolific attack of any Premier League side when it comes to playing at home. Costa has struck 7 times in just 4 matches against Swansea – more than he has against any other side in the competition and could well be adding more to his haul on Saturday.

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