Tips

The Complete Guide to Scout’s tips and advice for FPL Gameweek 26

Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Gameweek 26 – the longest Gameweek of the season so far. The first match of the inaugural ‘winter break’ kicks off an hour after Saturday’s 11:30 GMT deadline with the last match not taking place until nine days later. 

Between today’s cutoff and FPL updating at the end of the Gameweek, a full 228 hours will have passed. 

The good news for those of a romantic disposition is that we will be completely free to focus on Valentine’s Day next Friday without having to worry about transfers or captain decisions. Our neglected other halves will no doubt be overjoyed!

Although for most Fantasy managers, one love affair could be coming to an end. 

John Lundstram has captured our hearts this season with his swashbuckling flair and rock-solid dependability. We will never forget the unbridled joy we shared when he banged in two goals against Burnley in early November. It felt at the time that this was a relationship that would last forever. 

Although it wasn’t always plain sailing, he has blanked on occasion. And he really shouldn’t have come home empty handed from his trip to Norwich in December. Nonetheless, he’s often surprised and delighted us so he can be forgiven the odd indiscretion.

But sadly it would appear that after six months the honeymoon is over. 

The warning signs were there. Following two early substitutions, he had us worried when he turned up late against Manchester City in Gameweek 24. To then repeat the offence at the next opportunity didn’t go down well. He has since been unceremoniously dumped by thousands of Fantasy managers.

Is there any hope? Can this relationship be salvaged? For those still clinging onto memories of the good times, Neale, who probably knows him better than any of us, had this to say:

Given Wilder’s previous for not for making unnecessary changes – the other eight midfielders and defenders have basically played whenever they’ve been available – then I wouldn’t hold me hopes up. I’ve seen people talking about ‘oh there’ll be rotation now in central midfield’, well that really hasn’t been Wilder’s style this season, Norwood and Fleck, even in the Championship were playing pretty much every game. So I’m not in the slightest bit confident he’ll get his place back.

– Neale, Team News video

Heartbreaking.

The only straw to clutch at is that his attacking threat might be favoured for a winnable home match against Bournemouth. But there are no guarantees. For those still holding him get ready to be let down again.

Indeed when David cast his eye over the new arrival at Bramall Lane, Sander Berge, who appears to have stolen Lundstram’s spot in the Blades’ midfield, he concluded:

It will be hard to expect much more than a series of one-point cameos from Lundstram.

– David

The good news is that there are a number of potential suitors lining-up to take his place in our Fantasy affections. And our friendly Scoutcast trio of Joe, Karam and Tom assessed our options:

Willy Boly of Wolves at just £4.7m finds himself in Joe’s Wildcard team and offers excellent value; we have O’Connell or Egan if we fancy sticking with Sheffield United; there’s Newcastle with Fernandez and Lascelles enticing us ahead of a nice run of fixtures – although Tom cautioned that they have been overperforming their numbers recently; Tom favoured Charlie Taylor who at £4.2m offers a cheap route into a Burnley defence that has kept nine clean sheets this season.

Pro Pundits Az and Ash also had their say, with both opting for slightly more expensive options. Az plumps for team-mate Enda Stevens, while Ash turns to Burnley’s Ben Mee highlighting his improved attacking potential:

What’s telling is that Mee has registered the joint-most number of goal attempts inside the box among all defenders in the past four Gameweeks.

– Ash, Pro Pundit

Out in the Cold

The dispersed nature of the matches over the winter break means that we won’t hear from a dozen managers until after the Gameweek has started. 

There remains the very real possibility, then, that a number of players will be declared as unavailable – or passed fit – long after the Gameweek 26 deadline has been and gone, leaving FPL managers powerless to do anything about it.

– Neale, Guide to the Winter Break

Neale set the scene in his Guide to the Winter Break, while Ginkapo FPL questioned the impact of the mid-season interlude in a hot topic.

Thinking of the captaincy, one strategy Joe is promoting is captaining and vice captaining players from different weekends. Just in case there’s a no show, or perhaps the weather disrupts the fixtures.

Red or Blue?

In the main, this week’s captaincy would seem to be a straight choice between Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero. 

Salah currently leads the way in our captaincy poll, chosen by just under 40% of participants compared to Aguero’s 22%. But it was the thought of Aguero taking the armband that prompted Joe to enthuse:

It’s that rare beautiful moment in FPL where you get someone with unbelievable form and stats against the worst defence.

– Joe, Captaincy Video

Over the last four matches the Argentine is top for shots in the box, big chances, shots on target, and he has the best expected goal involvement (xGI) of any player. He faces a West Ham team who have the worst expected goals conceded (xGC) of any team. He also tops this site’s Rate My Team tool.

The only caveat is rotation. As Neale mentioned in his Captain Sensible article, his rival for the centre-forward role is due a start:

And will Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) be again deprived of a place in the starting XI, meaning that he will have gone a full month without any kind of start before City are in action again in Gameweek 27.

– Neale, Captain Sensible

If the risk of a benching is too much for you then Salah offers an excellent alternative.

TheFantasyFreÆK highlighted his potential in his Gameweek 25 review, noting that the Egyptian tops the charts for several key stats in midfield and should have recorded even more points of late given that only one of the five big chances he created has been converted by his teammates. 

Neale summarised his appeal:

Salah’s form and all-round points potential (in the top two for both shots in the box and big chances created over his last four matches) will understandably see many FPL managers again handing the armband to the Egyptian.

– Neale, Captain Sensible

The Scout Picks feature Salah as part of a heavy-hitting midfield at the expense of Aguero up front. And FFS Members Cup-finalist Pep Pig revealed he will be handing the Liverpool midfielder the armband in his predictions for Gameweek 26.

Meanwhile RichP_LFC decided to take a novel approach and looked at Fantasy Points Against to pick out players for our FPL teams. His research found that “Salah is the clear choice in midfield, and a punt on Redmond could work well.

Redmond is also the headline differential pick as the Saints begin an excellent run of fixtures.

However, the article’s author, Tom Freeman, went for Harvey Barnes as his under 5%-owned option on the Scoutcast. Over the last four matches, only Salah has a higher xGI than Barnes.

Fellow Pro Pundit Sam Bonfield agrees with his selection, noting in her Sam Says video that the Leicester City youngster has four attacking returns in his last four Premier League games.

And we’ve had reports and analysis on two new Premier League recruits. Steven Bergwijn marked his Spurs debut with a goal and travels to Aston Villa this week, Neale considered his potential. And Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes was the subject of a members-only article by David.  

Finally, following last week’s FA Cup replays, we know a little more about how the fixture schedule is shaping up.   

To view all our discussions please visit our Hot Topics page, and if you’ve got some analysis, scout reports or features brewing, be sure to visit our community section to submit your article.

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Community Competitions

For an update on all FFS Mini-Leagues and Community Competitions, please click here to read the latest round-up.

For those interested in the Head-to-Head Leagues, the main page can be linked to here. The fixtures for Gameweek 26 can be found below:


Use the drop-down menus to show your league and division. To find out which league and division you are in, follow the instructions on the main Head-to-Head page.

Once the Gameweek starts, if you click on your opponent’s name you will be linked to their team on the FPL website.

May your arrows be green!


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1,493 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KAPTAIN KANE
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Nobody in my team playing until tomorrow, how boring

    1. liverpool01
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Aguero in your Avatar but you don't own?

      1. KAPTAIN KANE
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        Plays tomorrow

  2. GREEN IS GOOD
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    DCL FTW!

  3. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Sidibe & Holgate wagons up in flames

    Worse than the Hindenberg

    Oh the humanity!

  4. Big Hands Barry
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Someone was posting that they owned Sidibe and holgate. That's gotta hurt

    1. Hulk Smash
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Imagine if they keep a clean sheet

      1. GREEN IS GOOD
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        And they come on and get a yc

        1. Hulk Smash
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 23 hours ago

          For conceding two penalties which are then scored.

    2. Dosh
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Ya someone here had triple Everton including these 2.

  5. Dosh
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Did a last minute change on WC.. Auba+Traore--> Jimenez+Mahrez.
    Hope it pays off.. C'mon Mahrez!

    1. Kip
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Good call imo

    2. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      could go very well or terribly wrong. wait and see

  6. davies
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Went without Saints defence on WC...

    Thoughts?

    1. UpTheCherries
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Went Lord -> Stephens last second so you should be fine

    2. GREEN IS GOOD
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      None

    3. THFC4LIFE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      I’ve got double saints defence no WC......

    4. The Mighty Hippo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Bertrand for me.

  7. Jarvish Scott Talent
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Please everyone share their supposed last minute changes

    1. J ⚒ Gimme your Mané…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      I did aguero to Andy Caroll (TC).

    2. Arteta
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Didn't get van Dijk for a hit and already regret it.

    3. sunzip14
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Williams first on bench replacing Hayden. How interesting!

    4. GREEN IS GOOD
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Salah to Walcott

      I had a premonition

    5. Hybrid.power
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Brought in Stevens and Stephens for the hell of it

    6. Wiseman Resistant ⚽⚠
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      most stupid one. lund to taylor 🙂

    7. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Auba to Kun and captain.
      A bit rash but I have seen west ham defend.

    8. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Martial to Mahrez, KDB C

    9. Critical Observer
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Lee (C)attermole

    10. Jarvish Scott Talent
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Well that sarcasm attempt backfired

      1. Amey
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        😀

    11. BuYaKasha
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Lund to Holgate FFS

  8. Amey
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Come on palace.
    Break that bloody CS 😀

  9. sunzip14
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    1-1 with 2 own goals please. And bye bye Sidibye

    1. Collie01
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      1-0 Digne 15pter please

      1. Phlajo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        This

  10. Arteta
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    John David Lundstram, thanks for the memories but it's time to say goodbye!

  11. SirStevieG
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Went Mahrez captain over KDB and Salah.

    Pray for me.

    1. Respons#1
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      You'll be fine - great choice!

      1. SirStevieG
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        Thanks. Hoping for one of his hauls this GW.

    2. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      I got Mahrez in after Razz news & C KDB

    3. ST United
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      I did the same...fingers crossed

      1. Ógie
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        Nice grav 🙂

  12. Hotdogs for Tea
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    omg Schneiderlin 🙂

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Keane, Schneiderlin & Siggy.
      No Everton CS today...

  13. Matjes_taet
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Kun (C) Auba (VC) and Benchboost logged.
    This will be my GW - 120 points fur sure.

    1. Fred54
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Bench boost with all games cancelled tomorrow?!

  14. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    With the Holgate benching, who have we got coming in?
    Soyuncu (eugh) here. 2pts yay!

    1. CloudSky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Probably just the one point.

      1. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        Cheers man

    2. Firminoooo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      RICO assist and CS.

      1. Citizenkane91
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 20 hours ago

        Hi one-point hero Holgate!

  15. CloudSky
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    The Met Office has just extended its AMBER WARNING for wind to cover much of England and Wales for Sunday.

    Hope you Kun captainers have good VCs. 😎

    1. Wild Rover
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Yep, KDB. 😎

      1. Wild Rover
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        Rookie error

        1. CloudSky
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 23 hours ago

          Live and learn WR.

    2. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Mo. But it will be watching Auba smash a brace that would hurt more.

  16. Bare Foot United
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Sidibe benched , starting well

  17. Firminoooo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Arrrrrgh. Was looking forward to see Holgate smash it in this game before I sell. Now it looks more like another bad GW.

    1. IRBOX ⚽
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Shite isn’t it. Won’t come on if we are comfortable though which I expect

      1. Firminoooo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        Rico to save my ass once more.

        1. Kip
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 23 hours ago

          Could be worse

  18. Wild Rover
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Six matchdays this gw, every game televised and I only have players on two days 😐

  19. JustPark
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    No Holgate. Hope Zaha goes mad and bags a hat trick.

  20. Fred54
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 23 hours ago

    Need 2 weeks to recover from that deadline.

    Traore over Stephens. Sweating buckets.

    1. Kopkloppers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Why? Traore explosive and if the "dislocated" shoulder is real he will miss the game and a very good sub. i heard Sidibe and Holgate out and I have O'Connell 1st bench and my rival with Holgate has Stephens to take his place.

  21. FOO FIGHTER
      2 months, 23 hours ago

      Henderson
      TAA VVD Stephens
      Salah(c) Son KDB Perez
      Ayew Auba Jimenez

      Good luck everyone!

    • BNMC
        2 months, 23 hours ago

        I hear tomorrow's games won't be played - what's going on?

        1. Wild Rover
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 23 hours ago

          Tomorrows games

        2. threeputt
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 23 hours ago

          source ?

        3. Jarvish Scott Talent
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 23 hours ago

          Your ears need testing?

          1. BNMC
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              May not be played*
              It seems like a weather warning.

        4. threeputt
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 23 hours ago

          That nice warm feeling when you have an up front player in the 12.30 game 🙂
          That sickening feeling at 59 mins when he's subbed early 🙁

          1. sunzip14
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 23 hours ago

            Or you have Sidibe/Holgate

        5. Tsparkes10
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 23 hours ago

          What's the predicted Sheff U lineup from the guy in the know?

          1. BNMC
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              He just wrote "Same team" on reddit. So no Lund.

            • UpTheCherries
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              Same team

            • Teahupo'o
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              "same team"

            • Kadhai Paneer FC (TK15)
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              Same team

            • Tsparkes10
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              Mad. Would be v surprised with the same 2 up top. Thought mousset would start atleast. Hmmmm

          2. gunner79
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 23 hours ago

            Let's go,Mane

            1. tiger
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              only 7 days to wait now...

            2. Kopkloppers
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              I heard it is a bit early for Mane to be back; more a protection for CL. A fairly reliable Pool supporter.

          3. Woy_is_back
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 23 hours ago

            Guaita peno save. I can feel it

          4. Brosstan
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 23 hours ago

            It might be politically incorrect to say this but there is no chance Salah will be as affected by having a daughter as Vardy was. He has a lot less cultural pressure to take part in the household during the early part of the baby's life.

            1. Holmes
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              As if Vardy had any pressure, just throw the kid in someone else's hand to babysit 😆

              1. Brosstan
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 23 hours ago

                Non religious families are less traditional and there was probably more expectations that he should take part in nightly duties with the baby instead of sleeping

          5. tiger
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 23 hours ago

            Going to be a loooong gameweek, with not much happening for most of it...

          6. SADIO SANÉ
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 23 hours ago

            looking forward to Holgate and Sidibe coming on for 1-pointers at the end 😀 classic

            1. Luton_Fan
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 23 hours ago

              Why would you wish that? Not nice

              1. SADIO SANÉ
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 23 hours ago

                I have both

          7. COLLIN QUANER
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 23 hours ago

            I only own DCL so I'm not worried about Holgate being benched