Fantasy Premier League 2021/22 | Figuring out the perfect picks for Double Gameweek 26

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Fantasy Premier League 2021/22 - Gameweek 26

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Fantasy Premier League 2021/22 | Figuring out the perfect picks for Double Gameweek 26

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Siddhant Lazar

02/18/2022

Just over six months into the 2021/22 season and football has begun to inch towards its final stages as things take shape, both in the league and in the Fantasy Premier League. But ahead of a double-gameweek with the potential of a Mohamed Salah gold mine, the real question is who else will thrive?

The Sensible Choices

Anyone from Liverpool

It’s really perfect, isn’t it? Leeds United and Norwich City, the two teams with the worst defensive record in the Premier League having conceded a mammoth 96 goals between them. And they also happen to be the two teams that Liverpool scored half a dozen goals against in the reverse fixture. Combine that with the return of the Reds to a decent form, having won 2-0 against Inter Milan and by a three goal margin against both Leicester City and Burnley, and you get a lovely concoction.

Add a double game-week into the mix and guess what? 

It’s picture perfect especially with Mohamed Salah back, fully fit and ready for the tour de force that a DGW puts one through. He is, at the moment, the captain to watch out for but then again, picking anyone from Liverpool could be a boon. Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.5m) has thrived with two assists and three clean sheets in his last five, Andy Robertson (£7.1m) has had three assists and three clean sheets in the same while Luis Diaz has hit the ground running.

Diogo Jota, however, will be the big miss but that all but guarantees a lack of rotation even if Diaz can play as a center-forward alongside Salah. Hell, even Virgil van Dijk (£6.7m) might be worth a shout because the Dutchman, when fit, hasn’t been benched or dropped in any of his last four seasons. Sadio Mane (£11.7m) and Roberto Firmino (£8.7m) might actually be the only two iffy options given that they’ve, combined, contributed to just three goals and four assists since Gameweek 10.

Either way, make sure that you pick correctly because as we all know, a DGW can make or break a season especially if the sure-fire captain pick, aka Salah, doesn’t do anything.  Because we all remember what happened to Leroy Sane.

The maybe/maybe nots

Someone from Tottenham

Yes, this is far from the most sensible choice given that Tottenham play Manchester City and Burnley, which isn’t exactly the friendliest fixture for them. Plus they haven’t been in great form with Conte’s men still showing lots of signs of inconsistencies but a DGW and nobody picks Harry Kane? That’s just downright weird even with the Englishman having the season that he is because both Kane and Heung-Min Son are worthy choices.

The South Korean especially given that he has blanked just the once in his last eight while contributing to eight goals along the way. Not just that he has not scored just once in his last four meetings against Manchester City and has thrived against the Clarets in the past. Kane is an iffy pick, I know, but even then, he has slowly but steadily improved under Conte and is due for a goal.

Nothing in his last three games, despite playing the full ninety, might have many wondering why they’re even reading this but remember this, Kane has returned in each of his last six games against Burnley. Add that to the fact that he has had approximately 14 shots on target, depending on the stats site you check, and a league high xG of 4.06, then you’ve got a decent chance in him. 

Plus with three successive defeats part, one gets the feeling that Conte is bound to run a hairdryer through his side which hopefully might urge them to respond. Might being the keyword there.

Alexandre Lacazette

When you consider the fact that the Frenchman has scored only 53 points this season, picking him might seem a tad crazy but Arsenal are a part of the DGW. They face Brentford on Saturday before playing Wolves on Thursday night and suddenly Lacazette’s 4.6% ownership makes him a rather interesting differential to have in your squad. That is when you consider that having sold their entire squad during the January transfer window (kidding), Arsenal have no strikers.

Outside the young but inconsistent Eddie Nketiah, the thrives on the left but can play as a striker Gabriel Martinelli and Lacazette himself. However, the Frenchman, now club captain and a guaranteed starter unless unfit, has contributed to six goals and assists in his last seven outings. It’s not bad and it gets better as only three players have a better expected goals involvement than him.

He has also racked up a rather decent eight big chances in his last seven league games, which is a shock considering how often he drops deep and tries to offer another option in middle. But again, the Gunners face defensively sound Wolves which could prove to be a tougher fight than anyone expects especially after Arsenal beat them 1-0 last week. Their second game, against the Bees, could be slightly easier but Brentford did cause serious problems the last time these two met.

And the punts

Wilfried Zaha

Six goals and just one assist has many wondering whether Wilfried Zaha still has what it takes to keep being Wilfried Zaha but so far, the evidence has been strongly against that statement. The Ivorian has definitely struggled for form and with injuries but returned from the Africa Cup of Nations with a goal on his first game back. Nothing in the second but a DGW does offer him the chance to show the world what he can really do.

The Eagles face Chelsea and Watford but have struggled immensely on the road this season and while Zaha has started every game he has been available for; you can’t say the same for his strike partners. Patrick Vieira has chopped, changed and switched around everyone in an attempt to strike a balance and find a coherent front-line but is yet to settle on a choice. But that’s why he’s a punt.

Ismaila Sarr

Much like Wilfried Zaha, Ismaila Sarr (£5.7m) hasn’t been very good this season either but unlike Wilfried Zaha, Sarr plays for Watford and with the arrival of Roy Hodgson, things seem to have changed. That was said when they appointed Claudio Ranieri as well but with Emmanuel Dennis and Josh King struggling for goals – a combined seven goals since Gameweek 10 -, Sarr offers them another option.

He has struggled for pitch time recently and last played a full 90 all the way in Gameweek 11, which is a concern, but his stats are the second best for a player at his price-tag. But obviously, given the fact that the Hornets are yet to score under Roy Hodgson, the fact that they play Aston Villa and Crystal Palace in the DGW and the fact that Watford are still Watford, this is a punt. Yet, remember that Sarr netted 5 goals in 12 league appearances before a knee injury forced him on the sidelines.

At that point, only Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah had taken more shots on goal than him which means given his current status and ownership (3% at the time of writing), it makes him a differential punt.

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