Saturday, 25 February 2017

Seb's GW26 Preview (Part 2)

Top Captain Picks

1. Christian Eriksen vs Stoke (home) - £8.7 (TSB 15.3%)

In his last 3 games against Stoke, Eriksen has registered 5 assists, and created on average over 3 chances per game. This excellent creativity he has shown in the past against Stoke is reinforced by his recent home form, where he has created a chance every 27 mins in his past 3 games at White Lane, with 4 assists coming in this period. Also, Eriksen put in a terrific performance in the FA Cup against Fulham, registering 2 assists, creating 5 chances and mustering 9 shots at goal. Following this, he managed a goal (5 shots) and an assist (7 chances created) in the Europa League against Genk. This suggests that he has re-found his form, and that this could be the GW where he rewards his owners greatly.

2. Diego Costa vs Swansea (home) - £10.6 (TSB 36.8%)

Despite having only registered 1 shot on target in the last 3 GWs, Diego Costa is still one of the top captain picks in GW26. In his past 3 home games, he has registered 1 shot every 19 mins (4.7 per game), which is very good. In fact, he has only blanked at home once this season. Furthermore, his record against Swansea is quite exceptional, with 7 goals (4 shots per game) and 1 assist coming in his last 4 games against the Swans. Thus, Costa clearly has the potential to be one of the top point scorers in GW26.

3. Romelu Lukaku vs Sunderland (home) - £9.9 (TSB 32.6%)

This GW, Romelu Lukaku has both the form and fixture to succeed. Firstly, his current form is superb, especially at home. The big Belgian has 6 goals and 1 assist in his last 3 home games, with an average of over 12 points per game. Over this period, he has also managed 4.3 shots per game and created 4 chances. Lukaku’s appeal is heightened further due to the favourable nature of this fixture. Sunderland have conceded almost 2 goals per away game this season. This is in contrast to the Everton attack, who have put on average over 2 goals per game past their opposition when playing at Goodison. Also, Lukaku has scored 4 goals (5.3 shots per game) and registered 2 assists in his past 3 games against the Black Cats, which adds to his appeal this GW.

4. Harry Kane vs Stoke (home) - £11.2 (TSB 19.3%)

Like Eriksen, Kane has not been in blistering form in the league. However, he still has great promise heading into GW26. In the FA Cup against Fulham, Kane re-found his top goal scoring touch, netting 3 goals and registering 6 shots. This highlights his explosive FPL potential, which could be evident again in GW26. This is so for two reasons. Firstly, Kane has 4 goals in his past 2 home games. Secondly, Kane has scored 3 goals in his past 3 games against Stoke, who have conceded 11 goals in their past 3 games away to top 6 opposition. All of these factors bode well for Kane owners in GW26.

Punt/Differential Picks

1. Roberto Firmino vs Leicester (away) - £8.4 (TSB 10.6%)

Liverpool bounced back to form last GW with a dominant 2-0 victory over Tottenham. Central to their victory in this match was Roberto Firmino. Now at centre forward again due to Philippe Coutinho’s return to the starting XI, Firmino has 2 goals and 1 assist in his last 4 games and looks to be finding his best form again. This GW, he faces Leicester, who are in terrible form. Over the last 5 games, Leicester have conceded nearly 3 goals per game, and have not found the back of the net since GW19. As a result, the Foxes will be under a lot of pressure, and Firmino may be able to punish them. Moreover, in his 3 matches against Leicester, Firmino has scored 1 goal (2.3 shots per game) and provided 1 assist (4 chances created per game), which demonstrates how he is not a stranger to scoring FPL points when versing Leicester.

2. Ross Barkley vs Sunderland (home) - £7.1 (TSB 7.4%)

Ross Barkley is a player who has flown under the radar. After being reinstated into the starting line up in GW16, he has returned 2 goals and 5 assists from 9 starts, which is more than decent. During this time, he has registered a shot frequency of 1 every 36 mins, and created 1 chance in the same amount of time. This means that he is on average, directly involved in nearly 6 attacking opportunities per game. Facing Sunderland, who have failed to impress defensively this season, Barkley should have ample opportunities to add to his quality attacking record in GW26.

3. Sofiane Feghouli vs Watford (away) - £5.0 (TSB 0.8%)

After a very slow start to life in London, Feghouli has recently shown signs of returning to the top form he showed when playing for Valencia. Particularly, his GW25 performance against West Brom was very promising. In this match, Feghouli netted 1 goal (3 shots), provided 1 assist (3 chances created) and returned a 12 point haul. Should he be able to take this form into GW26 and give a similar performance against Watford, who have the equal 5th worst home defensive record this season, Feghouli could become an FPL asset whose returns well exceed his price.

4. Lazar Marković vs Burnley (home) - £5.4 (TSB 0.1%)

At Liverpool, Marković showed glimpses of his talent in the rare opportunities he received, but was not up to pace with English football to succeed. Now playing his trade on loan at Hull, he seems to have developed greatly, and will be a key player for the Tigers if they are going to stay up.  He has looked very dangerous in his 2 league starts, and has managed to have a big chance to score in each game. Facing Burnley at home, Marković will come up against the 4th worst away defence in the league, so he should have opportunities to convert his dangerous play into returns and thus FPL points.

Star Picks XI

By Sebastian Candido

(Twitter: @_FFM_Seb)