#FPL Gameweek 26 Preview
You can also listen to Craig, Tom and Ash on their Fantasy Football Podcast – The Gaffer Tapes
DEFENDER: Jose Fonte, Southampton
If I were a gambler, and I am, then I’d say it’s always good to double down. The FPL defender equivalent of doubling down right now is to keeping bringing in defensive options from Southampton. Much like a Disney film involving a sports playing dog, they started great had some bad times in the middle and now seem to be finishing strong. Jose Fonte is the current pick of the bunch, his last 5 weeks reading 8,6,7,6,6 and the return of Fraser Forster has done a lot to contribute to those 5 clean sheets. They have Swansea away this week and could easily make it 6 but let’s not skirt over that. 5 consecutive clean sheets! If that was Arsenal or City you wouldn’t get through a paragraph without reading that but as it is Saints, many people haven’t seemed to notice! Great news for your FPL team! Get stuck in!
MIDFIELDER: Ross Barkley, Everton
Ross Barkley might be the most irritating player I have ever come across and it’s all because he is brilliant. I have managed to drop/pick him in all the wrong weeks for the entire season and the only solution I can think of is to recommend him this week against West Brom. The Baggies played a gruelling 120 minutes midweek and Everton will be looking to gain ground on that 5th spot that no one wants. Ross Barkley’s extraordinarily high picked percentage would indicate that he is being left on the bench by many but this week is as good as any to give him a start, particularly with the top 4 sides all playing each other.
FORWARD: Diego Costa, Chelsea
Who’s ugly, horrible but won me £200 last week? That’s right it’s Diego Costa. His late goal against United last week cost 18 points at the back as my high risk Man U defence strategy backfired, but my bet on a draw made that loss just a little sweeter. Costa still represents a very poor Chelsea’s biggest goal threat and despite being one of the most controversial figures in the Premier League he has somehow been inconspicuous in scoring 6 goals in his last 8 league appearances. I didn’t notice until I started writing this!! Obviously he still has to be deemed a risk but at 6.9% you’d snap up those goalscoring stats regardless of club, if it weren’t for the fact he wasn’t such a tool.
CAPTAIN: Roberto Firmino, Liverpool
Having watched Christian Benteke toil against West Ham in the week, I can’t help but be confident Roberto Firmino will again be deployed up front against Aston VIlla at the weekend. Daniel Sturridge is back in the reckoning but after Firmino’s 13 point turn last week I don’t see why he wouldn’t get the nod in the false nine role. Of course Liverpool are susceptible to being the one team that Villa can actually beat but if they score 3 goals doing so then who cares? He was my tipped midfielder this week and if you have him I can’t see a reason why you shouldn’t captain him as I’m guessing a lot of you will be too nervous to plump for Vardy, Mahrez, Kane or Aguero given the fixtures. Although maybe that’s the exact reason you should. What do I know? Don’t answer that.
OUTSIDER: Alberto Paloschi, Swansea
This might be the biggest punt of the season but if I can’t do it here, where can I? This tip is really with an eye on future weeks as I don’t think Swansea will even score against Saints, but if they do I have a feeling Alberto Paloschi might have something to do with it. Part of the burden of living with an avid Swansea fan is having to watch a lot of their games, but it has given me a good amount of time to assess this new signing and to be honest….he looks decent! I can’t help but feel Paloschi will find the net soon and it’s not often Huw Jenkins gets these big money sanctions wrong. I also guarantee most of your friends haven’t even heard of him let alone picked him.
Craig Hazell is a television professional, writer and Heart of Midlothian fan who makes up one third of the popular FPL podcast The Gaffer Tapes. As a student, Craig won the BBC Sports Broadcaster and Comedy Broadcaster of the year, before going onto to be a regular on the London open mic comedy circuit. He now writes about anything from TV & Movies, to food and of course football, providing he can shoehorn a 90s pop culture reference into just about anything.