FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 27 preview

“Are Fulham making it six consecutive defeats at Anfield for Liverpool this weekend?” (CC by 4.0). Image by Ank Kumar.

Another round, another double gameweek in the world of the Fantasy Premier League, although a much smaller one than last time. DGW26 had been heavily anticipated as the biggest double gameweek in FPL history and despite more than a few managers crossing the 100-point mark, the many blanks from premium-priced and/or heavily-owned FPL assets caused plenty of heartbreak as well. The likes of Bruno Fernandes, Raheem Sterling, Mo Salah, Jamie Cardy and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all failed to return for their owners, but fortunately, we’ve got yet another round of action coming up in less than 24 hours. Below you can find a quick overview of the teams doubling in gameweek 27:

TEAM1ST FIXTURE2ND FIXTURE
MANCHESTER CITYManchester United (home)Southampton (home)
SOUTHAMPTONSheffield United (away)Man City (away)

The Man City double looks juicy, no doubt, but Southampton’s double gameweek could be a bit of a trap. The Saints are not in their best form of the season at the moment, and the upcoming two away games will not be walk-overs. The Blades have found a bit of (defensive) form of late, while City, well… once again look like the skyblue Pep Guardiola machine we all love or loathe. As a result, we have not focused on just these two teams for our fantasy picks this week.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 26 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday 6th March.

Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per March 5th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKPope (BUR), Ederson (CIT), McCarthy (SOU)Martinez (AST), Ederson (CIT), Mendy (CHE)
DEFCancelo (CIT), Justin (LEI), Wan-Bissaka (UTD)Dias (CIT), Stones (CIT), Dallas (LEE)City double coming up, Dallas out of position, Justin injury
MIDBarnes (LEI), Maddison (LEI), Grealish (AST)Lingard (WHU), Mount (CHE), De Bruyne (CIT)All transferred-out midfielders are injured
FORCalvert-Lewin (EVE), Bamford (LEE), Vardy (LEI)Kane (TOT), Antonio (WHU), Richarlison (EVE)Blanking popular forwards being transferred out

Premium pick

So, our premium pick for the huge double gameweek 26 was a big bust and you know what? We’re repeating our pick for gameweek 27! Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) was rested for City’s first game against West Ham and then failed to get amongst the points in the 4-1 victory over Wolves, but he has a chance to redeem him this round as the Cityzens host Manchester United and Southampton at the Etihad. We can’t imagine Raz not starting against arch rivals United and considering his rest in GW26, he should be good for a start against the Saints a few days after that as well. On top of that, the return leg against Mönchengladbach in the Champions League is only played on March 16th, three days after gameweek 28 and almost three weeks before gameweek 30 (City blanks in GW29). We expect Sterling to feature a lot over the coming weeks, which will give him a chance to build on his current 9 goals and 7 assists in the league.

Non-premium picks

For our first non-premium fantasy pick of the week, we’re sticking with Manchester City and their upcoming double gameweek. For many of the same reasons as mentioned above in the case of Sterling, Ilkay Gündogan (£6.2m) should be good for some points over the coming weeks. The Turkish midfielder played 88 minutes in the first game, but failed to return points and then got 8 minutes in the second game against Wolves and grabbed an assist. The return of the De Bruyne has risen Gündogan’s rotation risk a bit but we expect to see plenty of Gündo in DGW26. He already has 11 goals and 3 assists this season, and with a price tag of just £6.2m, he has recently been essential in FPL.

Our second pick in the non-premium category does not have a double gameweek, but could very well payout like he does. Michail Antonio (£6.5m) has once again been delivering for West Ham, and the 11.1% of FPL managers who currently own him, with goals in consecutive gameweeks against Spurs and Man City. In just 15 Premier League starts this season, the powerful forward managed 7 goals and 3 assists, playing a big part in the Hammers’ impressive fourth place in the league. Up next are Leeds United, who are a dream to play against for opposition strikers. Only West Brom have conceded more than Marcelo Bielsa’s men, while the Whites also rank amongst the bottom three teams for defensive metrics like shots conceded in the box, shots on target conceded, and big chances conceded. An Antonio haul could be incoming.

The budget enabler

Second in the league overall for shots on target over the past seven gameweeks. More key passes and created big chances than any other player in the league over the past six gameweeks. Three goals and 4 assists over the past eight gameweeks. Looking at these facts, it seems incredible that Leeds winger Raphinha (£5.4m) is still owned by just 9.9% of FPL managers, while carrying a real budget price tag. The Whites are facing in-form West Ham away from home in gameweek 27, which is not looking like an easy fixture by any stretch of the imagination. Then again, they will be on the attack on Monday and they will be creating chances, which means that their Brazilian winger will be involved in some threatening situations, especially seeing as he is in charge of many set-pieces as well.

A differential pick or two

It may sound incredible to some, considering the amount of memes that have circulated online over the past seasons, but our first differential fantasy pick for gameweek 27 is Jesse Lingard (£6.0m). The English midfielder’s name was rarely found on the score sheets while at United the past few years, but he seems to have found his scoring boots and his form since moving to West Ham United on loan in January. He started for the Hammers in the last five games, and scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist over that run for a total of 39 FPL points. J-Linz has slotted right into manager David Moyes’ plans and with leaky Leeds at home up next, chances for more attacking returns look to be on the cards for him.

Our final fantasy pick for gameweek 27 marks the return to fitness of Diogo Jota (£6.6m). The Portuguese forward arrived in Liverpool last summer on the back of a huge £45 million transfer fee and did not need much time to make an impact. Despite starting just five times in his first nine games as a Red, he managed to score 5 goals before a serious knee injury saw him sidelined since the start of December. He is now back though, and considering Liverpool’s horrid form and similar results of late, he could be just what they need to get back on track again. Jota got 28 minutes as a substitute against Chelsea in gameweek 26 and we would not be surprised to see him get more involvement this Sunday as Liverpool host Fulham at Anfield.

The captaincy

Captaining a Manchester City player is always a bit risky and counting on that player to feature twice in a row as part of a double gameweek even more so, but we are putting our faith in Raheem Sterling this week nonetheless for the DGW27 Captain. He looks likely to feature prominently in DGW26 after being rested for a game in gameweek 26 and with the form Guardiola’s men are in at the moment, there will be few better options for the armband. Alternatives could be, of course, Kevin de Bruyne, the in-form Riyad Mahrez, or one of their defensive players.

If you are hesitant about City captains or don’t own any of the above mentioned fantasy assets, fear not. Gameweek 27 offers a few other appealing captaincy options as well. Michail Antonio is coming off consecutive goals against strong opposition and plays Leeds at the London Stadium next. Mo Salah is facing Fulham at home, which could be a double-digit haul despite the Reds’ current form. Also, Spurs duo Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son will be looking to break down a sturdy Palace defence on Sunday. Those managers searching for a serious punt could opt for Danny Ings’ double gameweek against Sheffield United and Man City, or West Brom’s Mbaye Diagne for their home game against Newcastle.

Join FISO’s FPL discussion forum for more Fantasy Premier League news and tactics.

FanTeam 2020-21: £67.5k Weekly Monster – Gameweek 27 preview

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for their Fantasy Premier League tournament held each week in order to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€75k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €7,500 (or £6,750 if you prefer). FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes. Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL. Do though check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your picks.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Gameweek 27 £67.5K Weekly Monster matches

Our team entered in the Weekly Monster in gameweek 27

Formation: 3-4-3

Liverpool

Inconsistency has dogged Liverpool this year and 5 straight home losses following their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Thursday is an unveniable record, thankfully without the Kop in attendance. We’re placing our faith on them breaking that streak and bouncing back on Sunday with a win against Fulham (who also played Thursday losing 1-0 to Spurs). Salah (captain) wasn’t happy about being subbed with half an hour still to go and we’d like him to show Jurgen Klopp that he didn’t need the rest. To join him in attack we’ve selected Firmino but we half-expect him to be auto-replaced by Diego Jota who is 0.1m cheaper and who looked sharp when coming on against Chelsea (Liverpool certainly need Jota to inject the finishing that he showed when joining from Wolves before getting injured). TAA looks in better shape than Robinson going forward and so he gets the nod as our 3rd Liverpool player.

Brighton

Only 6 clubs didn’t play an extra game in mid-week and Brighton were one of them. So they should be fresher than their opponents Leicester, particularly as the Foxes are missing key young players Barnes & Maddison through injury which means Vardy should be presented with fewer golden chances to bulge the back of the net. Brighton contrived to miss two penalties (from Gross and then Welbeck) in their 1-0 loss to WBA last Saturday which included that very odd disallowed goal from Dunk’s free-kick. Leicester in 3rd but with 1 point from their last 2 games could present Brighton in 16th with a chance to climb up the table which is perhaps why FanTeam have priced Leicester players only slightly higher than BHA players. We’re taking a punt on Brighton with their goalkeeper Sanchez, defender Dunk and midfielder, Trossard, in our line-up.

Leeds

The last game of this weekend’s Weekly Monster is between two teams who also had a rest in mid-week and have both done better than expected this season – West Ham (in 6th) v Leeds (in 11th). The Hammers have only lost once (2-1 to Man City) in their last 5 matches with 3 wins and a draw int he remaining games. Leeds on the other hand have 2 wins and 3 losses in their last 5 but are capable of upsetting and scoring against any team. FanTeam have priced in a West Ham win with 5 players priced 10m or more whilst Leeds’ highest priced player is Bamford at 8.8m. We’re banking on Leeds (just as the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced on Wednesday that the UK Infrastructure Bank would be based there) with Patrick Bamford and defender (but playing in midfield) Stuart Dallas.

Southampton

From the last match of the Monster to the first match: Sheffield United (20th) v Southampton (14th). We will take our vice-captain from this match just to make sure we have a captain starting this weekend. The Saints are having a terrible time with 1 draw and 4 defeats from their last 5 matches but play bottom placed SHU who won their last match in mid-week (1-0 against Villa) following 4 earlier straight defeats and have only picked up 14 points from 27 matches this season and are almost certain of relegation to the Championship. The Saints last played on Monday in a 1-0 defeat to Everton and are priced by FanTeam about 30% more than SHU players. We’re going for Southampton to return to winning ways with some goals by selecting Ings (vc), Ward-Prowse & Redmond.

What’s Going Wrong for Adama Traore?

Few players are as recognizable, or as revered, as Adama Traore and – more specifically – his remarkable physique. A product of La Masia, a quick Google search would reveal that it wasn’t always this way. Traore used to be a diminutive Spanish winger with blistering pace and an eye for goal. Spending most of his time in Barcelona B, scoring 8 goals in 63 appearances, Traore graduated to the first team, only to leave with a single appearance under his belt. It’s a trend that followed Traore through his career – at least until he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers after a few years in Middlesbrough. Under Nuno Espirito Santo’s management, Adama has grown into a player with notable offensive traits, and a major part of Wolves’ success since they were promoted from the Championship.

Nowadays, they’re a mainstay in the Premier League, a squad who tasted European football, capable of going toe-to-toe with any of the ‘Big Six.’ Traore was flying high, earning his first call-up to the Spanish national team in 2020. And then he stopped scoring and assisting. In fact, the goal drought went on for 11 full months, until he finally broke the duck against Crystal Palace in January 2021. So what’s going wrong for Traore? Often described as a rough diamond, he seemed to find his groove, only for those statistics to go begging for almost a year. It’s clearly more than a question of form.

Firstly, the qualities that made Traore great in the first place have gone nowhere. This is a player with pace unlike many players in Europe, let alone the Premier League. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called him ‘unplayable’ in an interview. He scored one of those few goals against Manchester City, in a performance where he terrorized some of the best defenders in the league, creating chances and completing dribbles all over the park. He’s still producing a lot of those less obvious positives like chance creation and successful dribbles. In fact, he’s created an average of 2 chances a game this season, compared to 1.7 last season.

He leads the league in successful dribbles, the fact is that when Traore has a ball and a defender is blocking him – literally no one else in the league is more likely to beat that man. It’s fair to admit Traore was never a prolific winger. At his peak, he scored four goals and assisted 9 in 37 games. Despite this season having scored or assisted any at all, it was somewhat naive to assume he’d suddenly become a 20-per-season winger – he’s never shown indications of that. It would be fair to say he’s having a less productive year, but clearly, Traore’s qualities simply don’t fall under goals and assists. He’s the man who has to apply baby oil to his biceps before games to make him harder to catch, and those figures suggest he still very much is.  

The real answer might lie in an absence of players for Adama to actually pass to. Goals were never his strong suit, that’s clear, but assisting would surely make sense for a player who is almost always attacking and beats his man like nobody else.

The departure of Diogo Jota and the loss of Raul Jimenez to a severe head injury surely had an impact. Wolves lost two of their best finishers. Then add the transfer of Matt Doherty to Spurs, a full-back who supplied Traore with the passes he needed to advance. So Traore is essentially isolated. Nobody behind or in front of him who was there last season. Wolves are currently 4000/1 to win the League – safe to say, it’s probably not their year. However, they’re 66/1 in the latest betting odds to finish in the top six. This shouldn’t be discounted as a strong end to the season could certainly see them finish there, especially with how inconsistent everyone else has been.

It’s unlikely, but it’s not out of the question. European football would be a huge result for the squad and vindication of a side that wants to add silverware to their top-flight status. Adama needs to find players he can nurture the same connection he had with those who departed. It’s clear nobody is as good at dribbling, but Adama is a piece of a puzzle – Wolves can’t complete their jigsaw without a goalscorer who unlocks Traore’s potential.

FanTeam 2020-21: €75k Weekly Monster – Gameweek 26 preview

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for their Fantasy Premier League tournament held each week in order to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€75k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €7,500 (or £6,750 if you prefer). FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes. Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL. Do though check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your picks.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Gameweek 26 €75K Weekly Monster matches

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 26

Formation: 3-4-3

LEICESTER

The Foxes have entered what looks like another purple patch with three victories in their last four Premier League games, a run that included a home game against Liverpool, and away games against Wolves and Aston Villa. They currently share second place in the league with Manchester United and they have got a major clash with Arsenal at the King Power coming up. The Gunners are not going through their best period at the moment with just a single victory in their last five league games, a run over which they conceded 6 goals. It could very well become a tightly contested encounter on Sunday, but we’re favouring the Foxes to get something out of it, which explains our triple-up.

In the attacking department, we have picked Harvey Barnes, who is listed as a midfielder on FanTeam, and the undeniable Jamie Vardy. The former has been on fire of late with 2 goals and 2 assists in his last two games against Liverpool and Villa, while Vardy is Vardy. When he plays, he’s dangerous, and when he’s dangerous, he’s very likely to return. It’s that simple. The former England international scored a goal and provided an assist in his last two games, and his record against Arsenal is something to behold: 12 games, 11 goals and 1 assist. He is also our captain for this round.

Our third Fox is fantasy favourite Ricardo Pereira, who has finally left his serious injury struggles behind him and seems to be part of Brendan Rodger’s plans going forward. He has started the last five Premier League games for Leicester and often occupied a spot on the right wing, in front of Timothy Castagne. After the win at Villa Park last weekend, Rodgers had the following to say about his plans with Ricardo in attack: “It’s been something I’ve been waiting to do for quite a long time, but this is the first period where both of those boys (Castagne and Pereira) were fit to play. Castagne will run more without the balland penetrate, and Pereira’s the one who can be inside and manipulate the ball.”. The Portuguese defender/winger therefore completes our Leicester trio.

LEEDS

Much has been said and written about Leeds United already this season, with most of it boiling down to the same conclusion, namely that the Whites are a guarantee for goals. Only the current top three plus Liverpool have scored more than their 43 goals, but only West Brom have conceded more than them. This makes it hard to predict their results, but in terms of fantasy games like FanTeam, it makes their attacking assets very attractive. Marcelo Bielsa’s men are playing at home against a solid, but most likely Grealish-less, Aston Villa side and we have opted for three of his main men for our €75K Weekly Monster squad in gameweek 26.

In attack, striker Patrick Bamford and winger Raphinha have been the protagonists so far this season. Bamfy is Bielsa’s undisputed number one for the lone striker position and with good reason, seeing as the Chelsea academy graduate has 13 goals and 8 assists to his name already. Raphinha was brought in from Stade Rennais for £14.4 million last summer and managed to quickly cement his place in the Leeds starting eleven as well. The Brazilian is the man on fire at the moment, with 3 goals and 4 assists from his last seven Premier League games. In terms of form on FanTeam, Bamford is the only player who currently scores higher than Raphinha.

As for our previously discussed Leicester trio, our third Leeds pick is also a defender who also plays out of position. Stuart Dallas has been used as a central midfielder of late by Bielsa and the Northern Irishman has repaid that faith in full. Just a few days ago, the fullback/midfielder/winger scored the second of three goals against Southampton to make it 5 goals and 3 assists for him this season. On top of that, and despite Leeds’ risky defensive tactics, he has also been part of 8 clean sheets. This bodes well for the game against a Villa side that will likely be missing their main creative outlet in Jack Grealish.

WOLVES

Wolves have had an underwhelming season so far, with 33 points from 25 games and a current 12th place. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has been enormously impacted by the long-term absence of their star forward Raul Jimenez, but they seem to have found some form recently. Of their last four league games, they won three and drew one, and this run included encounters with Arsenal, Leicester, Southampton and Leeds. They scored 5 goals over that run and conceded just twice, so it looks like the Wolves have started to find a way to grind out results. We’re aware of this, but with a game against Newcastle coming up on Saturday, we figured a Wolves triple up could be a shrewd differential move.

At the moment, only four teams in the league have scored less goals than Wolves, but the encounter with the Magpies looks like a good opportunity to work on those numbers. Steve Bruce’s men have conceded 9 goals in their last four games and only West Brom have conceded more than their 43 goals. As a result, we have gone with both Willian José and Pedro Neto for our FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster squad this week. The former was brought in this January to fill in for Raul Jimenez and even though he still needs to find the net for the first time in England, he is nailed-on and seems to be getting used to his new team mates. The latter is listed as a midfielder on FanTeam, but used as a winger by Espirito Santo and he is currently Wolves highest-scoring player on FanTeam with 112 FT points, thanks to 5 goals and 6 assists. Our 3rd Wolves player is the effervescent Romain Saiss who is equally comfortable in midfield as he is in defence and deservedly captain of the Morocco national team.

BONUS

Our bonus fantasy pick for GW26 is none less than Liverpool talisman Mo Salah. Now, you might think that spending a large chunk of our budget on a premium Liverpool asset is not the wisest choice considering the Reds’ form of late, but Salah is Salah. Jurgen Klopp’s men are visiting Bramall Lane on Sunday and despite scoring just 5 goals in their last five PL games, four of those goals were scored by Salah. If any Red is likely to make the difference against the Blades and to get Liverpool out of their slump, it’s Momo.

GOALKEEPER

After selecting the ten outfield players of our choice, we still had a decent part of our budget left to spend on the man between the sticks. We ended up going with Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita, who will be featuring in what could be the lowest-scoring game of FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster’s gameweek 26. Palace are hosting an improving, but far from free-scoring Fulham side and the Eagles themselves have, according to Roy Hodgson, taken a more “back to basics” approach since a few weeks ago. That means, a return to more defensive tactics, which bodes well for the Palace defence in this one.

FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 26 preview

“Two home games for in-form Manchester City in DGW26”. (CC by 4.0). Image by: Ank Kumar.

From a fantasy perspective, gameweek 26 might very well turn out to be the week of the season. According to Ben “Mr. Double Gameweek” Crellin (@BenCrellin on Twitter), the upcoming round is likely to be this season’s biggest double gameweek with no less than 14 teams playing twice, including many of the big names. We have posted a quick overview of these teams and their FPL GW26 schedules below:

TEAM1ST FIXTURE2ND FIXTURE
ASTON VILLALeeds (away)Sheffield United (away)
BURNLEYSpurs (away)Leicester (home)
CHELSEAMan United (home)Liverpool (away)
CRYSTAL PALACEFulham (home)Man United (home)
EVERTONSouthampton (home)West Brom (away)
FULHAMCrystal Palace (away)Spurs (home)
LEICESTERArsenal (home)Burnley (away)
LIVERPOOLSheffield United (away)Chelsea (home)
MAN CITYWest Ham (home)Wolves (home)
MAN UNITEDChelsea (away)Crystal Palace (away)
SHEFFIELD UNITEDLiverpool (home)Aston Villa (home)
SPURSBurnley (home)Fulham (away)
WEST BROMBrighton (home)Everton (home)
WOLVESNewcastle (away)Man City (away)

In terms of double gameweek teams, we are more than spoilt for choice this round, which is why our fantasy pick recommendations are heavily based on these teams. Having said that, Leeds United and Brighton have reasonably favourable fixtures as well as they face Aston Villa (home) and West Brom (away). Especially for those managers who are set up with a few players from these teams, it could be worth considering starting them or even Bench Boosting. In any case, expect major activity on the chips front this week from those that don’t have 11 players doubling (or have a good bench) and don’t be afraid to take a hit (or two) in order to set up your squad for the doubles.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 26 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, February 27th.

Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per February 25th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKPope (BUR), McCarthy (SOU), Mendy (CHE)Martinez (AST), Ederson (CIT), Areola (FUL)Managers bringing in DGW assets with favourable fixtures.
DEFJustin (LEI), Chilwell (CHE), Cresswell (WHU)Targett (AST), Cancelo (CIT), Digne (EVE)Justin injury, managers bringing in DGW assets with favourable fixtures.
MIDGrealish (AST), Maddison (LEI), Salah (LIV)Barnes (LEI), Gündogan (CIT), Son (TOT)Grealish and Maddison injury doubts, managers bringing in DGW assets with favourable fixtures.
FORIngs (SOU), Bamford (LEE), Antonio (WHU)Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Kane (TOT), Watkins (AST)Managers bringing in DGW assets with favourable fixtures.

Premium pick

Double gameweek 26 is offering plenty of interesting premium fantasy picks, including the likes of the ever-present Mo Salah, the fit again Kevin de Bruyne, and the pretty much undisputed king of FPL, Bruno Fernandes. We have gone with a somewhat differential pick in the person of Raheem Sterling (£11.6m), who is still owned by just 12.6% of FPL managers despite returning in ten of his last 12 appearances (6 goals and 4 assists). The 26-year old is also the outfield player with most playing minutes on the Man City roster since gameweek 17 and he even captained his side for the 69 minutes that he was on the pitch against Mönchengladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday. Sure, rotation is always a risk when it comes to City assets, but Raz once again looks like a key player for Pep Guardiola and he could be of huge value this round.

Non-premium picks

Another player who looks set for a big haul in DGW26 is Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m). The England forward lost some backers due to his absence in DGW24, but he is still owned by more than 38% of fantasy managers. He did not wait to deliver upon his return to action either, winning a huge penalty in the derby at Anfield last weekend. DCL currently sits on 13 goals and 6 assists, and he has returned in his last three appearances for a total of 25 FPL points. In the upcoming round, the Toffees are facing Southampton at home followed by an away game at the Hawthornes. This also explains why he is currently the most transferred-in forward in the official game and why he will probably be amongst the most-captained players overall for this round.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick for DGW26 is a striker as well, and a nailed-on option for his team up front. Ollie Watkins (£6.5m) needed just four games to mark his arrival amongst the English footballing elite and he did so in style, with a hattrick and an assist against reigning champions Liverpool back in gameweek 4. Since then, he has been steadily working on his tallies, which has brought him to 10 goals and 4 assists at the moment of writing. Despite blanking in his last two games, he netted 4 times in the five games prior to that, and he has away games against Leeds and Sheffield United coming up this round. The Villans will probably miss their star man Jack Grealish for one or both games, but Watkins should still be around the top of your watchlists for this week’s transfers.

The budget enabler

It’s true that Fulham are still lodged in the relegation zone and they have been for a while already, but it’s also true that Scott Parker’s men have shown definite signs of improvement over the past months. From their last four Premier League games, they have taken a more than decent 8 points, in great part thanks to a considerably improved defence. The Cottagers conceded just a single goal over that run. With a double gameweek against Crystal Palace (away) and goal-shy Spurs (home), their wing-back and highest-scoring defender Ola Aina (£4.5m) could therefore be a very interesting budget and differential pick. The former Chelsea talent has recorded 28 FPL points over the last three games, courtesy of 2 clean sheets, 1 goal and 1 assist.

A differential pick or two

In the absence of Calvert-Lewin, it was that other Toffee star that needed to deliver in the striker position and deliver he did. Richarlison (£7.9m) scored back-to-back goals against Manchester City and Liverpool, and brought his owners a decent 13 FPL points. Up next is a double consisting of Southampton at home and West Brom away, and despite the fact that DCL will return as the Toffee number nine, his Brazilian partner in crime will get chances to build on his good form as well. With 4 goals, 5 assists and a current ownership of just 7.5%, Richarlison has been having a bit of an underwhelming season so far, but he is a mainstay under Carlo Ancelotti and could prove to be a major differential in DGW26.

For our second fantasy pick in this category, we have gone even more differential. Jack Grealish is currently the highest-scoring Aston Villa midfielder, which is not surprising, but the name following him is. It’s not Ross Barkley or John McGinn, but the tricky Bertrand Traoré (£5.9m). With 5 goals and 3 assists to his name so far, the former Ajax and Lyon star has nailed down a spot as winger in Dean Smith’s starting eleven. He collected 17 FPL points in his last three PL games, courtesy of a goal against Leicester and an assist against Arsenal, and up next are two of the most suspect defences in the league (Leeds and Sheffield United). With an ownership of just 0.8%, Traoré could be the ultimate differential for this DGW.

The captaincy

With so many players playing twice this round and with several of those players actually preparing for a favourable fixture double, there are plenty of captaincy candidates for the armband in DGW26. We have ended up going with Raheem Sterling, who was taken off after 69 minutes in the Champions League on Wednesday. We’re hoping that this points to a spot in the starting eleven against West Ham and Wolves over the coming days for the Pep’s most-used outfield player. Raz has been consistent more than explosive over the past few months with 10 returns in his last twelve games, and we’re hoping for this trend to continue in DGW26.

Not sure about captaining a City asset? Understandable, we have all been there by now. In this case, you can opt for Mo Salah (against Sheffield United away and Chelsea at home), Bruno Fernandes (Chelsea and Palace away), or one of the Spurs boys, such as Kane or Son, as they face Burnley at home and Fulham at the Cottage. More differential picks for the captaincy could be DCL or Richarlison against Southampton at home and West Brom away, Jamie Vardy against Arsenal at home and Burnley away, or even Ollie Watkins away against Leeds and Sheffield United.

Join FISO’s FPL discussion forum for more Fantasy Premier League news and tactics.

FanTeam 2020-21: €75K Weekly Monster – Gameweek 25 preview

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for their Fantasy Premier League tournament held each week in order to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€75k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes. Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL. Do though check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your picks.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player that starts from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Gameweek 25 €75K Weekly Monster matches

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 25

Formation: 4-4-2

MANCHESTER UNITED

The core of our team selection for gameweek 25 of FanTeam’s €75K Weekly Monster consists of Manchester United players as the Red Devils are preparing to host Newcastle at Old Trafford on Sunday. Since their 9-0 thrashing of Southampton back in gameweek 22, United have booked two rather disappointing results with draws at home against Everton and away at relegation-threatened West Brom. They are currently 7 points behind leaders Manchester City and their skyblue city rivals have a game in hand as well. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men really can’t afford another misstep against bottom-half-of-the-table opposition.

Seeing as Man United currently boast the league’s most productive attack, we have gone big on their forwards and midfielders. In the midfield we’ve gone with Mason Greenwood and, of course, Bruno Fernandes. The former was rested for the gameweek 24 and is likely to feature from the start as usual against the Magpies, while the latter is irreplaceable for United. The Portuguese playmaker is going through a purple patch once again with 3 goals and 2 assists in his last three games, bringing his Premier League totals to 14 goals and 11 assists. Bruno is also our captain for GW25. The Red Devils will have to face Real Sociedad on Thursday first, so keep an eye on lineups and team news, but in any case, the FanTeam safety net is active.

Our United trio is completed by Edinson Cavani, who looks to have cemented his place in Solskjaer’s starting eleven for now. The Uruguayan goal machine has started the last four league games and completed the 90 minutes in three of those games. Over that same run, he scored 2 goals and recorded 19 FT points. Should he, for some reason, not start against Newcastle, then the FanTeam safety net will replace him with Anthony Martial for us.

BURNLEY

In defence, we have opted for two double-ups, one of those coming from the north of the country. Burnley are one of the sides that has shown most improvement over the season so far and their increased defensive confidence has everything to with it. After 23 games, the Clarets have scored just 17 goals, but they also boast the eighth-best defence in the entire league. They have got 7 clean sheets to their name already, the last of which was booked in their last game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Sean Dyche’s men will be up against West Brom at Turf Moor in gameweek 25, a game that ended in 0-0 back in gameweek 5.

Seeing as we’re hoping for another low-scoring affair on Saturday, we have picked Matt Lowton and James Tarkowski for FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster team. Neither of the two have offered much in an attacking sense this season, though Lowton did score his first goal of the season last weekend, but they are both nailed-on parts of Sean Dyche’s defence. Against a Baggies team that has scored just 19 goals all season, chances of an eighth clean sheet are real and the Clarets know that this one they simply cannot lose if they want to stay clear of the relegation battle.

BRIGHTON

Our second defensive double-up for this weekend comes from the south of England, from Brighton & Hove to be exact. The local pride has finally started to convert decent to very good performances into points and they have been steadily moving away from the very bottom of the table ever since. While scoring goals is still a major point of concern for the Seagulls, their defence is second only to Manchester City’s at the moment. Over the past six games, they have kept no less than 5 clean sheets and it should be noted that this run included encounters with Leeds, Spurs, Liverpool and Villa.

Up next is a home game against Crystal Palace for Graham Potter’s men and the Eagles will once again be without their star man Wilfried Zaha. This considerably increases chances of a sixth clean sheet in seven for Brighton, as their opponents have not yet managed to score a goal in a game in which their Ivory Coast talisman did not start. Hence, our selection of Lewis Dunk and Dan Burn for our gameweek 25 fantasy team. Both defenders are secured of a start on Monday and just coming off a very sturdy 0-0 draw at Villa Park, so we’re hoping they will carry their solid form into the clash with Palace.

SHEFFIELD UNITED

This could very well be the first time this season that we have considered Sheffield United players for our FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster team and certainly the first time that we have opted for a double pick from Chris Wilder’s side. At the moment of writing, the Blades are bottom of the league, where they have been for most of the season, but budget constraints from our side and some promising signs of improvement from their side plus a positive fixture convinced us to take a punt on them. They have become more competitive compared to the start of the season and even though it might be too late to save them from relegation, it makes them an interesting differential for fantasy managers.

The Blades are playing fellow relegation-zone settlers Fulham on Saturday night and the Cottagers haven’t really felt at home in Craven Cottage this season. They have scored just a single goal in their last six home games, while conceding just five at their own end. For both teams, this game is a must-win and we feel Sheffield United have got a bit more momentum at the moment, so we have added David McGoldrick and John Lundstram to our side. This encounter has all the makings of a low-scoring affair, but the Blades know that victory at the Cottage is needed to maintain any hopes of Premier League survival.

BONUS

With the shape they’re currently in and keeping the fact that they seem to be running away with first place, it’s odd not to include any Manchester City players in our team. Even without Kevin de Bruyne who is on the comeback trail, the Cityzens are the best and most consistent team in the league right now. The only downside to their assets is that they are facing Arsenal at the Emirates this weekend. The Gunners are a bit unreliable at the moment and the game could end 0-1 or just as well 0-4. In case of the latter scenario, we figured it would be smart to cover at least some of our bases by picking Raheem Sterling for our gameweek 25 selection. The England international has scored 3 goals and provided 2 assists in the last five league games, and we’re expecting him to turn up from the start against Arsenal as well.

GOALKEEPER

Gameweek 25 offers us plenty of nice fixtures, but from a fantasy point of view, many of them are hard to predict. Lots of this weekend’s match-ups are quite evenly matched when it comes to squad quality and form, which has led to a high average player price on FanTeam. Our outfield picks stretched our budget considerably as a result, which is why we have gone for a cheap starter in goal again. Newcastle’s Karl Darlow is facing our three Man United aces coming Sunday and though we’re hoping for a few United goals (from our captain Bruno, preferably), we wouldn’t be surprised for Darlow to come off with a few save points as well. He is currently ranked third on FanTeam when it comes to saves and he has been one of the best Magpies in an otherwise up-and-down season for them.

Road To 2021 Kentucky Derby: 7 Most Important Prep Races To Behold

Image Source

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is happening this May 1, 2021, at Churchill Downs, Kentucky. After experiencing a setback last year, it is opening in the U.S. Triple Crown Series, followed by its two jewels: the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The same rules apply, the Derby will showcase three-year-old colts and fillies in the dirt track.

In less than a hundred days, the Kentucky Derby will name another racehorse who will be the talk of the horse racing community.  However, the road to the Derby is not an easy task to fulfill. Every hopeful needs to complete Derby-prep races to earn qualifying points that will serve as their ticket to earn a berth at the dirt track.

This March and April, here are seven Derby trails that offer whooping points to the winning horse. Not only that, it helps the racehorse to gain the best position at the gate inside the Churchill Downs. You can  find the Kentucky Derby odds here in order to pick your next Derby winner, here are the top seven most important Derby-prep races to keep an eye out for.

Louisiana Derby

On March 20, 2021, one of the major Kentucky Derby prep races, the Louisiana Derby, will take place at Fair Grounds. This horse racing competition offers a million-dollar prize giving 100 points to the winner.

Mandaloun, the recent winner of the Risen Star Stakes, offers a bid to run for this event. Also, Hot Rod Charlie will take a chance at the Louisiana Derby.

UAE Derby

Another important Kentucky Derby prep race to look forward to this year is the UAE Derby. It is the youngest horse racing addition to the Derby trails. The UAE Derby is bound to happen this March 28, 2021, at the Meydan Racecourse.

A winning colt or filly can take home a purse prize of $2,500,000. Aside from that, the horse will earn a 100-qualifying Derby points. For now, there are no participating horses yet running in the UAE Derby, but they will surely come out in the next few weeks.

Florida Derby

If there’s a Derby trail, which is mostly attended by Run For The Roses hopefuls, then it must be the Florida Derby. Historically, fifteen Florida Derby winners won and placed significantly in the Kentucky Derby.

This horse racing competition is scheduled to happen on March 27, 2021. Like the UAE Derby, there are currently no entrants because the hopefuls are still preparing for this month’s trails. This year, the Florida Derby is happening at Gulfstream Park, bringing a purse prize of $1 million.

Wood Memorial Stakes

The winning horse in the Wood Memorial Stakes will earn 100-qualifying points. This is the most attended Derby trail after the Florida Derby. The Wood Memorial Stakes is happening on April 3, 2021, at the Aqueduct.

The same with other prep races, the Wood Memorial Stakes highlights only three-year-old horses who are vying for a Derby spot. The winning horse can take home a prize of $750,000 and should run in a one ⅛ mile dirt track.

Blue Grass Stakes

Highlighting a million-dollar prize at stake, the Blue Grass Stakes gives the same qualifying points to the winning Derby hopeful. This racing competition will take place on April 1, 2021 at Keeneland.

The participating horses should complete the one ⅛ mile dirt track. The winning horse can also get 100-qualifying points earning the best gate position at the Churchill Downs.

Santa Anita Derby

After the Blue Grass Stakes and Wood Memorial Stakes, the Santa Anita is something that Derby hopefuls must also complete. Giving 100 points to the winner, this racing show will occur on April 4, 2020 at the Santa Anita Park.

Aside from getting a sure spot in the Kentucky Derby, the winning horse can take home a prize of $400, 000. The contenders only need to complete a one ⅛ mile dirt track distance.

Arkansas Derby

If a horse needs to hustle and wants to earn a good position in the Kentucky Derby, he must participate in the Arkansas Derby. It is the final and most important trail that a Derby hopeful can participate in as it also provides a whopping 100-qualifying point.

This racing game offers a $1 million pot prize to the winner and has to overcome a 9-furlong running distance.

Takeaway  

As stated, a horse who wants to participate in this year’s Kentucky Derby should earn their spot in the most challenging way. They have to win the prep-races to gain the needed points before they are allowed to compete. With the seven most important Derby-prep races above, you won’t only see the winning horses, but you have the chance to pick them once you bet for the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

FPL season 2020-21: Gameweek 25 preview

“A top-of-the-table clash at the London Stadium this weekend: West Ham vs Spurs” (CC by 4.0). Image by Hammersfan.

With a bunch of postponed fixtures still needing to be allocated somewhere along the existing Premier League schedule, the coming gameweeks look like they will be all be double gameweeks to some extent. Gameweek 26 looks to become a big one, but every round up to blank gameweek 29 is very likely to feature at least a few teams with two fixtures. For the upcoming GW26, those teams are Southampton and Leeds:

TEAM1ST FIXTURE2ND FIXTURE
SOUTHAMPTONChelsea (home)Leeds (away)
LEEDSWolves (away)Southampton (home)

In our last gameweek preview, we strongly recommended to keep an eye on the FA Cup lineups and results. This week, we’re doing the same, but for the European competitions. Liverpool were the first English side to kick off the Champions League knock-out season, and Chelsea and Manchester City will follow suit this week. In the Europa League, Spurs, Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester City will be in action on Thursday evening. In other words, when it comes to the many excellent FPL assets on the rosters of these teams, keep variables like fitness, fatigue and rotation in mind when planning your transfers and starting lineups for GW25.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 25 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, February 19th.

Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per February 17th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMendy (CHE), McCarthy (SOU), Lloris (TOT)Martínez (AST), Ederson (CIT), Pope (BUR)
DEFJustin (LEI), Chilwell (CHE), Robertson (LIV)Dallas (LEE), Cancelo (CIT), Dunk (BRI)City and Brighton defensive shapes, Dallas DGW, Justin injury, Chilwell rotation.
MIDSon (TOT), Grealish (AST), Soucek (WHU)Gündogan (CIT), Raphinha (LEE), Barnes (LEI)In-form budget assets being brought in.
FORCalvert-Lewin (EVE), Wilson (NEW), Antonio (WHU)Bamford (LEE), Vardy (LEI), Ings (SOU)All transferred-out forwards are injured to some degree, Bamford and Ings have a DGW.

Premium pick

Apart from Manchester United, none of the traditional big teams featuring the traditional premium fantasy picks have a particularly favourable fixture for gameweek 25. Sure, Sterling could explode against an unpredictable Arsenal side and Salah could easily put a few past Everton’s defence at Anfield, but we’ve gone for the “safe” option with Bruno Fernandes (£11.2m). United’s Portuguese talisman is on fire once again with three consecutive weeks of returns (3 goals, 2 assists, 33 FPL points) and will be facing a rather uninspired Newcastle on Sunday. United will, of course, play against Real Sociedad on Thursday in the Europa League, which will not be a walk-over by any stretch, but Bruno should be safe for a start against the Magpies three days later.

Non-premium picks

With a double gameweek coming up, it’s hard to look past Leeds United when it comes to FPL decisions. Marcelo Bielsa’s side is a guarantee for goals this season, both in their favour and against them, as the Whites will attack any opposition at any given time. At the moment, just four teams have scored more than their 40 goals, while only West Bromwich Albion have conceded more than their 42 goals. Leeds defenders, apart from the out-of-position Stuart Dallas, are therefore not the most popular fantasy picks in the official game, but Leeds forwards definitely are.

That’s why we have gone with two Leeds United assets as our non-premium fantasy picks for GW25, namely striker and top scorer Patrick Bamford (£6.8m), and midfielder/winger Raphinha (£5.3m). Thanks to his nailed-on spot in the starting eleven, and his current 12 goals and 8 assists, Bamford has already risen by no less than £1.3m this season. With games against Wolves and Southampton up next in gameweek 25, this rise does not seem to be stopping any time soon.

Very much contrary to the Englishman’s very high ownership (53.9%), Raphinha is still going somewhat under the FPL radar with an ownership of just 3.9%, which is surprising. The Brazilian is a starter under Bielsa, has set-piece duties, and has provided attacking returns in five consecutive gameweeks now (2 goals, 4 assists, 38 FPL points). He totals 4 goals and 6 assists for the season so far, and could be a very good asset for gameweek 25 and onwards.

The budget enabler

Rarely has there been an FPL season in which your squad’s bench mattered as much as it does in the current campaign. Injury, illness, fatigue, and rotation all make predicting lineups and results harder than ever, so a good budget-enabling pick can be gold. We believe that Brighton’s Dan Burn (£4.2m) could be such a pick. While Webster and Lamptey remain absent through injuries for the Seagulls, Burn looks set for a starting spot. With 2 clean sheets and 14 FPL points from his last three Premier League games, he has been returning as well for the 0.5% of FPL managers who own him at the moment. Brighton are facing Crystal Palace at home and West Brom away in the next two, which should put Burn on your watchlists for budget gems at least.

A differential pick or two

So far, we have mainly talked about Leeds as the team to focus on for their double gameweek, but Southampton has one coming up as well. In truth, the Saints have seen their excellent early-season form drop off quite dramatically of late, but a little punt on one of their best performers could be worth it. James Ward-Prowse (£6.0m) is what some would call the beating heart of this Southampton side or at least a very important other organ. He is their captain and main man for practically all set-pieces, which makes him particularly appealing for the upcoming double confrontation with Chelsea (home) and Leeds (away). He currently has 5 goals and 5 assists to his, and he was on target for the last time back in GW23 against Newcastle. JWP is owned by 7.7% of managers and will surely get some chances to improve on his tallies in double gameweek 25.

Our second differential pick is the definition of “differential” with a current ownership of just 0.2%. After Raul Jimenez’ head injury, Wolves were in dire need of attacking reinforcement and they opted for Willian José (£7.0m) to address that need. The Brazilian striker was loaned from Real Sociedad in January and has started the last four Premier League games for Wolves, netting once, back in gameweek 22 versus Arsenal. On Friday, he and his team mates in orange will be facing the league’s second-leakiest defence as they host Leeds United at Molineux. The outcome of the game is unpredictable, but José will almost certainly get a few chances to score his second goal in the English top flight.

The captaincy

Finally, the GW25 captaincy. Based on Leeds United’s attacking prowess regardless of the opposition and the fact that they have a reasonably appealing double gameweek coming up, we have chosen Patrick Bamford as our captain for GW25. Another advantage to this captaincy pick is that Leeds and Bamford have no European games or cup games to worry about, so Bielsa is likely to field his strongest starting eleven against both Southampton and Wolves. Bamford is obviously part of that starting eleven.

Many of the usual candidates for the armband are facing tricky fixtures this gameweek, so the captaincy could be a fragmented affair this time. One player who will likely attract a lot of attention is Bruno Fernandes as United play Newcastle at home. The ever-dangerous Mo Salah at home to Everton and in-form Raheem Sterling away at the Emirates are good picks as well. For the more adventurous FPL manager, the likes of double gameweek boys Danny Ings and Raphinha could result in big rewards.

Join FISO’s FPL discussion forum for more Fantasy Premier League news and tactics.

The 5 Longest Winning Runs In the History of World Football

Football has produced some of the most eye-watering winning and losing streaks since the sport began. In this article we take a look at some of the most prolific that have happened in the top flight of football. Although, there are many other sports and even esports that have provided us with entertainment and incredible records throughout the years. In the world of CS:GO, Ninjas in Pyjamas once won a massive total of 87 maps in a row, CSGObettor.com have the full story, what a time to be gambling on CS:GO that would have been.

When Juventus recorded their 14th straight victory in a Serie A game against Frosinone after recovering from their not too palatable start of the season, it placed them two points behind Napoli at the top. After their 14 match winning streak that season, it got many people thinking about other long winning streaks in the history of football in the world. After a long period of research, we have decided to make a list of the most prolonged winning stretches in the history of the sports.

Juve’s Target

Juventus impressed with their 14 straight victories in Serie A, but to make a record in the Italian top flight, they needed to win more matches. The record was that of Inter Milan at the time, as they had previously won 17 games in a row during the 2006 -2007 season. They started this streak by defeating Livorno 4-0 in October 2006 and went ahead until their 5-2 victory at Catania in February 2007. Through the entire season, the team that was manned by Roberto Mancini lost just a single match and ended the season 22 points ahead of Roma to clinch the title. The squad in question was led by the charismatic Zlantan Ibrahimovic with 15 league goals, while 14 was scored by Hernan Crespo and 10 came from the defender Marco Materazzi.

The European Record

The 14 and 17 wins from Juve and Inter Milan respectively are amazing, but when you consider these to what Benfica did, they become very insignificant. In their domestic league, the club was able to rack up 29 straight victories. This amazing run by The Eagles started at the end of the 1971/1972 season, and they took it to the campaign that followed. But by the end of the 1972/73 season, the team that had the likes of Eusebio and co had won the league without tasting defeat.

The World Record (all competitions)

It is obviously very difficult to maintain a winning record in a domestic league, but it becomes more difficult when a team is competing on many fronts in different competitions at the same time. When that is the case, the job of keeping the players fresh and rotating the squad to minimize injury, ensure fitness and churn out victories game after game becomes one of the headaches of the coach. In all competitions, Real Madrid succeeded in amassing an amazing 22 straight wins in the 2014-2015 season, but the record is not the highest in the world. It is the Coritiba FootBall Club that has the world record.

This Brazilian team enjoyed 24 straight victories in the Campeonato Paranaense and Copa do Brasil from February to May 2011. They came out winners of the Campeonato that year as they finished the season without any defeats. However, they did not go home with the Copa trophy after the final as Vasco Da Gama beat them on goal difference to clinch the trophy.

How Does It Stand In England

It was an Englishman named Jimmy Hagan that managed the iconic, heroic and legendary Benfica team, and this leads us to our next line up of record holders.

The longest winning run in the English top flight is that of 14 games winning streak by four different teams. It was done by Manchester United in 1904-05, after which Bristol City did it in 1905-1906, followed by Preston North End in the 1950-1951 season, and completed by Arsenal in the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons.

All those victories, except one, towards the end of Arsenal’s 2001-2002 victorious campaign. They recorded one more win on the first day of the 2002-2003 season, before drawing 2-2 with West Ham to bring the streak to an end.

Best Unbeaten Run

Now, a winning streak is different from an unbeaten run. However, the Steaua Bucharest team of 1986 to 1989 did amazing things that we cannot possibly ignore. So, we have to add it to the best football record of the longest winning runs in the world.

The Romanian side according to UEFA.com did not test defeat in 106 straight games. This is an all-time continental and possibly universal record. This happened under managers, Emeric Jenei and Anghel Lordanescu, and they have five straight league titles, plus the European cup of 1985-86 to show for it. Can you equate how impressive that stretch of success was? This is followed by a 63 games unbeaten run by the Sheriff Tiraspol from 2006 to 2008.

Fantasy Champions League 2021 – €250,000 guaranteed prize pool

FanTeam’s UEFA Champions League fantasy competition gets underway on Tuesday 16 February 2021 at 8pm. A massive prize fund (paid in £GBP or €euros) awaits the top 2,500 placed teams with 10% (€25k) to the overall winner.

With a wildcard available after the 1st set of home and away fixtures (GW1 & GW2) i.e. the last 16 and another wildcard available after the quarter finals (GWs 3 & 4 – deadline 90 minutes before the 1st kick-off in the GW), along with 3 free transfers for GW2 and GW4 (deadline 90 minutes before the 1st kick-off in the GW), it’s really a case of setting your team up for each Champions League round. So for GW1 & 2 just focus on the last 16 fixtures and forget about the quarter finals or later rounds.

The only odds-on favourites to win their opening fixture are Bayern Munich and Manchester City who are the two overall favourites to win the competition which ends on 29 May 2021 hence it is likely a number of teams will consist of 3 players from each team. No transfers will be available after the semi-finals kick-off so the players in your team are set for the Final as well but then you can have 5 players per team for the semi-finals (instead of just 3 for the last 16 and quarters).

The safety net is also in play which means, if a selected player does not start, the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) who starts for that same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. A summary of the rules is:

The FanTeam Champions League scoring system (don’t forget about the 1 point team win bonus/loss) is:

So over 3 months of entertainment on offer but get your entries in by 8pm Tuesday 16th February (although if you miss the GW1 deadline you can still enter for GW2 and receive 75% of the average points from GW1). Join the FISO forum discussion on FanTeam’s 2021 Champions League game.