Double GW26 & Mini Blank GW27 Planning

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s been a while since my last article, given the relative fixture chaos of Gameweeks that seem to last forever which are then followed within 48 hours by another deadline.

However, it feels like we are about to enter a very important part of the season with our first really serious double Gameweek closely followed by a mini blank Gameweek in 27 and then a full blank Gameweek in 30. Lots of Managers are going to playing chips in the next 5 Gameweeks so there is an opportunity to make big gains or lose some serious ground.

With this in mind I wanted to write an article pulling together my thoughts on how best to approach maximising points potential in Gameweek 26 without hamstringing your team for Gameweek 27 when Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea will not have a fixture.

Embed from Getty Images


Firstly, let me start with some obvious observations. The Liverpool Gameweek 26 double of home to Norwich and then home to Leeds is pretty much as good as it gets. Norwich and Leeds are the 2 leakiest defences so far this season. They rank 15th and 17th for Big Chances Conceded and 19th and 20th for shots conceded. Liverpool are in the top 2 for Goals, Big Chances Created, Expected Goals and Shots. 2 Liverpool attackers is an absolute must this Gameweek with Salah and Jota being the favourites. There is a slight concern over rotation but with the gap to City 9 points, Liverpool cannot afford any more slips in the league and must look to dominate these 2 fixtures.

Norwich and Leeds also have not faired great going forward this season sitting 20th and 13th for Goals scored, 20th and 14th for Big Chances Created and 20th and 14th for expected goals. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson will have both great clean sheet potential as well as string attacking threat in Gameweek 26.

Embed from Getty Images


If we are all agreed on 3 Liverpool players being a must in Gameweek 26 we need to be careful about how many Arsenal players we then opt for. Any more than 1 or 2 including a goalkeeper will leave us short for Gameweek 27 when neither Arenal or Liverpool play. I currently have Ramsdale and Odegaard and will be sticking at that.

Arsenal host Brentford and Wolves in Gameweek 26 meaning they have good clean sheet potential. Brentford and Wolves are 14th and 18th respectively for Goals Scored, 10th and 13th for Big Chances Created. They are 13th and 18th for Shots and 13th and 16th for Expected Goals. Ivan Toney has been largely disappointing so far this season and Raul Jiminez has only shown glimpses of his ability, though 2 goals in his last 3 starts points to him possibly having finally turned the corner after ‘that’ injury.

Brentford are comfortably bottom half on all key defensive metrics whereas Wolves have actually been very good defensively. They have conceded the second fewest goals behind Man City and are top 5 for the other stats I consider when looking at defensive capability. That leads me to lean more towards Arsenal defensive options for this double Gameweek with Ramsdale and Tierney the picks for me. Saka, Odegaard and Martinelli all provide good value for this Gameweek but I wouldnt be using a transfer on them this week knowing that you will need to transfer them out again next week when your bench is full of Liverpool players.

Let’s take a look at the other teams that have a double Gameweek and then dont blank in GW27:

  • Spurs play Man City and Burnley and then Leeds in GW27
  • Wolves play Leicester and Arsenal and then West Ham in GW27
  • Burnley play Brighton and Spurs and then Palace and Leicester in GW27
  • Watford play Villa and Palace and then Man United in GW27
  • Palace play Chelsea and Watford and then Burnley in GW27
  • Leeds play Man United and Liverpool and then Spurs in GW27

I am cautiously optimistic about Spurs in GW26 and 27. Man City will provide them with opportunities to counter so I like Son as an option and Burnley’s defensive woes should provide good opportunities for all Spurs’ forward players, likewise Leeds in GW27. I’m favouring Son over Kane as he is easier to get to with most Managers having a similarly priced Midfielder who doesn’t have 2 fixtures that they can upgrade from. Spurs have been awful defensively recently so I would not consider anyone from their backline.

Embed from Getty Images


Burnley is an interesting one for me. A lot will depend on if Weghorst is fit as he has looked good in his opening Premier League games. He’s had 8 attempts and logged and Assist in his 3 games so far. If fit, he should have a base of 8 points over the next 2 Gameweeks and should he register an attacking return, I would see that as value. The question we need to ask ourselves is will Weghorst in 4 games outscore players like Antonio, Maupay, Watkins and Daka in 2 games. The answer for me is yes.

Similarly, we need to ask the same question of Burnley defenders. Do we think a Burnley defender in those 4 games is going to outscore someone like Digne who plays Watford then Brighton or a Wolves defender like Semedo or Ait Nouri facing Leicester, Arsenal and West Ham. The answer to that, for me, is no. I don’t think they keep a clean sheet across those 4 games and it’s highly unlikely any of them get an attacking return.

So having discussed Spurs and Burnley and highlighted a couple of interesting Wolves options we are left with Watford, Palace and Leeds. Let’s rule Leeds out straight off the bat. With fixtures against Man United, Liverpool and Spurs it’s going to be a very tough couple of weeks for Leeds. I have no interest in their defence and with Raphinha getting hooked at half time versus Everton there is a question mark over him this week.

Palace face a Chelsea fresh off the World Club Championship so it might not be a bad time to play them, though they will have had nearly a full week to recover and are back at full strength for the first time since the AFCoN. They then face Burnley and Watford. Their defensive stats rank them upper-mid table and Mitchell, Anderson and Guehi are all good value at £4.5m with Mitchell the most exciting and Anderson having collected the most bonus points so far this season.

Embed from Getty Images


Their attack is a little more fluid with Zaha, Mateta, Edouard, Olise and Benteke all sharing minutes recently. If you need a budget midfielder Olise is great option but I would opt for Zaha over him if you can afford him. Edouard up front presents a very interesting alternative to Weghorst. I think between those 2 I will wait and see what comes out of the press conferences on Friday before making a call. Palace are certainly much more appealing going forward than Burnley.

Chances are you already own Emmanuel Dennis or Josh King or even both! If you don’t, lucky you, this week shouldn’t convince you to go down that route. Neither should you be interested in any other Watford assets given they’ve kept the fewest clean sheets of everyone this season and their goal threat isn’t much more inspiring.

Conclusions

You should be looking to maximise your Liverpool assets and back them up with 1 or 2 defensive Arsenal assets. Spurs, Wolves and Palace offer good options for getting 3 fixtures out of your players over the next 2 weeks, but should should not be automatic selections over players with only 2 fixtures.

Try not to be distracted away from the fact that Manchester United face Leeds and Watford in the next 2 weeks and Man City face Spurs and Everton who they will have no fear of. When it comes to it, I don’t know that I’d be all that desperate to replace assets from either of those teams just because they only play twice for potentially lower quality players in worse teams, just because they have 90 or even 180 extra minutes.

Good luck for the next 2 Gameweeks, I hope your transfers reward you, your chips pay off and your arrows are green!!!

72140cookie-checkDouble GW26 & Mini Blank GW27 Planning
Share this article:

Reply to Article: