Scout Squad

The Scout Squad’s best players for FPL Double Gameweek 26

Players with two fixtures in Double Gameweek 26 predictably dominate the Scout Squad selection this week.

Indeed, not a single player with just one match in the coming Gameweek has been nominated by our panel.

For those new to this feature, Fantasy Football Scout editor David, deputy editor Neale, video content manager Andy and Pro Pundit Tom each put forward an 18-man long-list of players and explain their notable inclusions and omissions below.

The assets listed will then be narrowed down to a squad of 15 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83.0m) for the weekly Scout Picks selection ahead of the FPL deadline at 11:00 GMT on Saturday.

In each writer’s squad, there are requirements for at least:

  • One goalkeeper costing £5.0m or less
  • One sub-£5.0m defender
  • One midfielder listed at £6.5m or below
  • One forward priced at £7.5m or lower

Each panelist is also restricted to no more than three players from the same team, as is the case in FPL.

We will again be adding a captaincy to the Scout Picks, with details of that revealed on Friday.

DavidNealeTomAndy
GKHugo LlorisHugo LlorisEmiliano MartinezEmiliano Martinez
Nick PopeEmiliano MartinezAlphonse AreolaKasper Schmeichel
Alphonse AreolaAlphonse AreolaSam JohnstoneNick Pope
DFLuke ShawLucas DigneJoao CanceloRuben Dias
Ruben DiasRicardo PereiraJohn StonesLucas Digne
Trent Alexander-ArnoldRuben DiasLucas DigneTrent Alexander-Arnold
Davinson SanchezLuke ShawLuke ShawRicardo Pereira
Ola AinaAhmed ElmohamadyAinsley Maitland-NilesEric Dier
MFBruno FernandesBruno FernandesBruno FernandesKevin De Bruyne
Mohamed SalahIlkay GundoganMohamed SalahBruno Fernandes
Ilkay GundoganMohamed SalahSon Heung-minMohamed Salah
Kevin De BruyneHarvey BarnesIlkay GundoganSon Heung-min
Harvey BarnesGareth BaleHarvey BarnesIlkay Gündogan
FWDominic Calvert-LewinHarry KaneHarry KaneHarry Kane
Jamie VardyDominic Calvert-LewinDominic Calvert-LewinDominic Calvert-Lewin
Mbaye DiagneJamie VardyJamie VardyJamie Vardy
Josh MajaOllie WatkinsMbaye DiagneRicharlison
Timo WernerMbaye DiagneOllie WatkinsOllie Watkins

Most popular picks: Mohamed Salah, Ilkay Gundogan, Bruno Fernandes, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jamie Vardy (four), Emiliano Martinez, Alphonse Areola, Ruben Dias, Luke Shaw, Lucas Digne, Harvey Barnes, Harry Kane, Ollie Watkins, Mbaye Diagne (three)

DAVID SAID

I am looking to the Spurs and Fulham defences for Double Gameweek 25. Matches against Burnley and the Cottagers offer plenty of clean sheet potential, which is why Spurs sit top of the Season Ticker for ‘defence’ in Double Gameweek 26.

I’ve gone with Hugo Lloris and Davinson Sanchez as they feel the two most-likely starters in Jose Mourinho’s back-line.

Meanwhile, Alphonse Areola has the perfect combination of matches for Double Gameweek 26. A trip to Crystal Palace offers the possibility of a clean sheet given their record with Wilfried Zaha while a meeting with Spurs could give him the chance to significantly add to his 83 saves this season.

Ola Aina is joint-top for key passes among Fulham defenders over the last four matches and ranks best for shots on target too.

Luke Shaw has been a creative powerhouse of late, fashioning 15 chances in the last four matches, at least six more than any other defender.

One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold although his eight key passes is still the third-highest among players in his position, so I think we could see him ticking over with points again soon.

Bruno Fernandes is starting to feel like an auto-include, even though he faces Chelsea this week. It is the second Double Gameweek fixture against Crystal Palace that appeals. Over their last four matches, the Eagles are the Premier League’s second-worst side for expected goals conceded (xGC).

Meanwhile, nobody has been afforded more big chances than Mohamed Salah and Ilkay Gündogan over that same period.

The former faces a Sheffield United side without their three first-choice centre-backs in the first of Liverpool’s Double Gameweek fixtures while the latter has been so key to Manchester City that I am sure he will get significant game-time across home meetings with West Ham and Wolves.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is my pick of the forwards considering Everton’s Double Gameweek 26 fixtures. Southampton have conceded nine goals across their last four (which does not include the infamous Old Trafford defeat anymore) while West Bromwich Albion have given up at least two goals in eight of their last 10.

Jamie Vardy is among those players currently joint-top for big chances over their last four matches while only three players have a superior figure for minutes per expected goal involvement (xGI) over the same period than Mbaye Diagne.

NEALE SAID

I’ll let the others do the talking on the widely selected assets of Double Gameweek 26, as there will be few of you who are wondering why the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Harry Kane and Ilkay Gundogan have made the cut.

Instead, I’ll take you through some of the less-obvious selections.

While Son Heung-min looks like he’s running on fumes of late, Gareth Bale has strung together three impressive appearances in Europe and on the home front – even if some of them were cameos off the bench.

Fitness and game-time are possible downsides with the Welshman but he’s looked sharper and more motivated over the last week, with a benching in the Europa League on Wednesday looking like a strong indicator that he will make Jose Mourinho’s starting XI this weekend.

Attacking returns in his last three competitive appearances is a neat reflection of his renaissance, while he had more final third touches than any other player bar Son in the West Ham game – despite only featuring as a second-half substitute. But this is as much an ‘eye test’ selection as anything else, with Bale looking more Wales talisman than washed-up Madridista of late.

Seven clean sheets in 12 matches on the road makes Emiliano Martinez a no-brainer for a Double Gameweek 26 long-list but I’ve nominated Ahmed Elmohamady as a cheaper route into the Villa defence, with the Egyptian looking a secure-ish starter given that Matty Cash is sidelined for the foreseeable future.

Elmohamady has one of the best minutes-per-chance-created averages among Fantasy defenders this season and even if that figure comes from precious little game-time, we FPL veterans know he loves a cross from his past exploits at Hull and Sunderland.

Mbaye Diagne has a decent run of matches coming up, starting with a double-header at the Hawthorns. He’s joint-top for big chances among FPL forwards since his arrival in January and, on a related note, sits above his positional peers for expected goal involvement, too.

His shot count would look even more impressive if he didn’t have a frustrating knack of being caught offside, although that in itself is perhaps encouraging as it implies he is always looking for that half-yard beyond the last defender.

TOM SAID…

Double Gameweek players unsurprisingly make up my entire 18-man squad this time.

Aston Villa looked short of ideas without playmaker Jack Grealish last weekend, and though his absence will put more pressure on their defence, it’s hard to look past Emiliano Martínez as the top goalkeeper pick. The 28-year-old has made more saves than any other stopper in recent weeks, with the Argentinian accompanying Alphonse Areola and Sam Johnstone.

Manchester City have conceded just four goals in their last 17 Premier League matches, which is why João Cancelo is so appealing, with his kinder priced team-mate John Stones joining him. 

I also like Luke Shaw, who has created more chances than any other defender in the last six matches. He’s also improved his ability from set-pieces, which is relevant with Wednesday night’s opponents Crystal Palace often struggling to properly defend crosses into the box.

While Everton’s defence isn’t exactly watertight, I’ve found a spot for Lucas Digne too ahead of games against Southampton and West Bromwich Albion. The Saints have conceded the highest number of chances from their right-flank over their last six, which adds to his appeal, and I’m also willing to take a risk on differential Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Following Semi Ajayi’s red card at Burnley, the on-loan Arsenal man shifted out to a wider attacking role, which manager Sam Allardyce has hinted we might see more of in the coming weeks. I also think Albion have looked much better now that their new arrivals have been integrated into the starting XI.

Further forward, Bruno Fernandes is an obvious inclusion given his rate of returns. The Portuguese has now scored in each of his last four league games, bringing in a massive 45 FPL points across that period. 

He’s joined in midfield by Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min and İlkay Gündoğan. Kevin De Bruyne is really unfortunate not to make the squad, and he will be making an appearance in my own team, but somebody had to miss out given Harvey Barnes’ form. His goal against Villa was his 13th of the season in all competitions, yet you get the feeling there is still more to come from him. 

Up front, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are excellent options, plus Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is now looking much sharper and has quietly racked up four attacking returns in his last three league appearances. The forward list is completed by differential Mbaye Diagne and Ollie Watkins, both of whom look the pick of the budget striker options this week.

ANDY SAID

As ever with Manchester City it’s not a question of should we triple up, it’s just a question of which three we pick. It’s hard to look against the double-up in defence, but double attack provides a little bit of a differential at this point. With Ilkay Gündogan you get incredible value, and with Kevin De Bruyne you get a player who’s registering 0.73 expected goal involvements (xGI) every 90 minutes. That’s only beaten by Bruno Fernandes (0.74) for midfielders playing regular minutes.

Despite major concerns over Liverpool losing another key player in Jordan Henderson, it’s difficult to look past Trent Alexander-Arnold. Sheffield United have registered just 4.71 expected goals (xG) in the last six matches, the third-worst total in the league. You’d expect defensive returns in that game, with a potential cagey match against Chelsea to follow. Only Luke Shaw and James Justin have higher xGI than Alexander-Arnold over their last six matches when it comes to defenders.

Even with Tottenham Hotspur struggling in their last few matches I can’t look past the attacking double-up. While they’re short of goals in their last half-dozen fixtures, they have played four of the five best defences for expected goals conceded (xGC) this season in West Ham, Brighton, Chelsea and Man City. Liverpool weren’t exactly pushovers in Gameweek 20, either. In fact, if you look at the games outside of this, Harry Kane has scored against West Brom, Sheffield United, Fulham and Leeds United, which were the other fixtures that made up the Lilywhites’ last nine games.

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958 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Patson Dabaka
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Foden worth a punt do we feel?

    1. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Nah, too high rotatio risk

  2. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    A. Sterling, Ings to Gundogan, Kane (TC) for -4
    B. Ings to Watkins, Salah(TC)
    C. Sterling, Saka, Ings to Gundogan, H.Barnes, Kane (TC) for -8
    D. Mee, Sterling, Ings to Pereira, Gundogan, Kane (TC’ for -8
    E. Sterling, Ings to Son, Vardy -4, Salah (TC)

  3. The Red Devil
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    A- Lowton + Raphinha to Stones + Barnes (-8)
    B- Lowton + Neto to Stones + Barnes (-8)
    C- Dallas + Neto to Dias + Barnes (-8)

    1. Zladan
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Why the -8?

    2. akashan99
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 8 days ago

      B

  4. Ronny Sandstone
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    More essential... Barnes or Gundogan?

    1. Richarlidad
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Gundagran

    2. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Gundinho

  5. Pompel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Currently rolling with Gundo + Sterling + Stones, current team is :

    Martinez
    Stones AWB Lowton
    Gündo Sterling Bruno Salah Raphina
    DCL Bamford

    bench: Areola Dallas Coufal Deco-Reid

    Considering I don't think Sterling will play both and hence plan to part with him for Kane, does it make sense to go with two City only - Stones + Gundo, and rather go with Digne or Pereira instead of Dias as 3rd City this GW, since Dias also might get rotated. Then get any 3rd City player for DGW27 - could give opportunity to jump on e.g. KDB. And e.g. Digne mmight have a DGW28. So basically between:

    A) Dias
    B) Digne/Perereira , get any 3rd City player for DGW27 (which could ofc be Dias)

  6. Pi
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Any chance of some more fixtures to be scheduled in GW29?
    What are they?

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Almost zero chance

    2. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Close to zero.

      1. Pi
        • 11 Years
        5 months, 9 days ago

        Cheers

  7. SallySlayer
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 9 days ago

    BB this lot or save and use TC?
    Areola - Raphina - Dallas - White?

  8. BullDogTevez
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Son TC

    Here. We. Go.

    1. akashan99
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 8 days ago

      You will have massive regrets, burnley and fulham will sit deep and frustrate, dcl will get better service w jrod n digne back

  9. My heart goes Salalalalah
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Rather than DCL(TC), I think I'll just chuck the BB on Sanchez, White (WBA A) Dallas (AVL H) JWP (EVE A). Thoughts?

    1. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Sell JWP for a hit? Then yeah that seems good.

  10. Firminoooo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Any Grealish news or trainingpictures?

  11. Pi
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Suggestions appreciated

    Sanchez*
    Cancelo Stones Lowton
    Fernandes Salah Gundogan Son Raphinha*
    Kane DCL

    Leno Benford Dallas Mitchel*

    1FT 1.2M ITB (No FH left for GW29)
    1) Martinez to Sanchez (0.2 mil left to upgrade Mitchel in GW29)
    2) Pickford to Sanchez (Leno to play in GW29)
    3) Konsa/Targett to Mitchel
    4) (2)+(3) -4 hit and bench Raphinha (11 DGWers)

  12. He Kane He Saw He Conquered
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Maguire Sterling Brewster -> Digne Barnes Kane (TC) worth -8 and save WC?

    1. popey
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      looks good though it comes down to when else would you get better impact from WC, and if you DID WC what other improvements would you make?

      Could also do it without the Digne hit (which is pretty tight call once the hit/one CS is taken into account)

      1. He Kane He Saw He Conquered
        • 11 Years
        5 months, 9 days ago

        So my reasoning is I feel my BB won’t be best used unless I WC the week before...so I could gain in future...is Maguire -> Digne worth -4?

      2. He Kane He Saw He Conquered
        • 11 Years
        5 months, 9 days ago

        Sorry just saw you responded to Digne conundrum

  13. popey
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    In isolation and given that I have no FH, so keeping Jack for 29 is very useful;

    a) Barnes (-4)
    b) play Raphinha, bench grealish

    was pretty set on a) but now not so sure Arsenal and burnley are going to be open games that suit Barnes so much? Raphinha mght be running at Elmo too...

    1. Jimbo-Jones
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Raph looks on fire at the moment, and a Villa team without Grealish or Targett may not be the worst fixture.
      Saying that, no certainty Grealish will be back for 29.
      Barnes with DGW and great fixtures in 27 and 28 make it very tempting...

      1. SallySlayer
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 9 days ago

        Do you mean Cash or is there news on Targett not playing that i missed?

      2. popey
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 9 days ago

        Yes agreed - Raph against Elmo could be horrendous. No Leicester over next 3 gws doesn't fill me with optimism either!

    2. Firminoooo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Same situation. I will keep Grealishon the bench and pray he is fit for GW29. Playing Raphinha.

  14. Jimbo-Jones
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Dias or Cancelo?

    Pope
    *** Stones Davies
    Bruno Salah Gundo Raphina
    Kane DCL Bamford

    Dallas Cresswell Soucek

    May also start Dallas over Davies, or get Shaw for -4.

    1. A-L
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Cancelo - Pep just bigged him up as well

  15. AC Me Rollin’
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Martínez
    Cancelo / Dallas / Mee
    Raphinha / Son / Salah / Fernandes / Gündogan
    Bamford / Calvert-Lewin

    Fabianski / Ings / Mitchell / Coufal

    A) Raphina > Barnes
    B) Ings > Kane + Raphina > Lookman (-4)
    C) Ings > Vardy + Coufal > Söyüncü (-4)

    Which option is looking the best?

  16. Pi
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Is it likely that Villa vs. Everton DGW fixture to be scheduled during GW27-28?

  17. He Kane He Saw He Conquered
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    Martinez (Fabri)
    Digne Dias Shaw (Dallas Aina)
    Salah Bruno Gundo Barnes (Lookman)
    Kane DCL Watkins

    WC looking good? No city Treble up acceptable? thanks

    1. A-L
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Only problem is no triple City

  18. FPL Flair
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 9 days ago

    I've wildcarded, hear me out this is a bit of a long post. Thoughts would be appreciated. I'm trying to hunt down a 90 point gap to the leader. He's used his Free Hit and 2nd Wildcard so I think my opportunity to close this gap is in the next few weeks. I need to also differentiate my team from his.

    His team:

    Martinez - Forster
    Stones - Shaw - Cancelo - Mee - Coufal
    Salah - Son - Rafinha - Fernandes - Grealish
    Antonio - Bamford - Wood

    I don't personally think he's well equipped for this week, so it's my time to strike. I've gone for:

    Martinez
    Cancelo - Regulion - Digne - Pereira
    Gundogan - Fernandes - Sterling - Maddison (will go for Barnes last minute if needed)
    Kane - DCL

    Bench: Steer, Bamford, Lookman, Dallas

    I've got my free hit, so I'm not worried about GW29, although I might just play with a reduced subset of players and maximise another DW later down the line.

    I feel like this team is well equipped for the coming weeks as well as this one, are there any key players I'm missing?

    Advice will of course be appreciated!

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Looks pretty good to me

      Getting Barnes and Madison could be a decent punt if incase Madison is fit (in exchange of one of the defenders)

  19. DrogsBallacks
      5 months, 9 days ago

      Is this loopy or good thinking? Can’t sell Antonio

      Ings, Bamford, Soucek > Kane, Watkins, Jorginho (-8) 0.0itb

      Team:
      Martinez
      Coufal Dallas Cancelo Shaw Mee
      Salah Bruno Gundo Sterling Soucek
      Ings Bamford Antonio

      1. DrogsBallacks
          5 months, 9 days ago

          Alternatively: Ings, Antonio, Sterling > Kane, DCL, Banes?

      2. DGW Sane TC Fail....
        • 10 Years
        5 months, 9 days ago

        thoughts on Coleman?

        1. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 9 days ago

          Good Donegal man. Attacking threat. Good defender though has Pickford behind him.

          1. DGW Sane TC Fail....
            • 10 Years
            5 months, 9 days ago

            I think Everton are going to be back at nearly full strength so clean sheets should be possible. Just worried about his recent injuries.

      3. Warbling Wendy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 9 days ago

        Is there any justification for David being on this panel? Has he ever actually achieved a really high rank? His non-mention of Son and Kane makes a mockery of this.

      4. martyhan
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 9 days ago

        Worth bench boosting these?

        Meslier, lowton , Bamford, holding.
        Or
        Triple captain Kane

      5. J to the T
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 8 days ago

        Minus 8 for
        Ings Coufal and Forster -> DCL Digne and Martinez.

        Then BB with Martinez Digne Raphina and Targett on the bench?

        1. kUwe Inc.
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 8 days ago

          I would say that’s good bench for BB. What’s your lineup?

          1. J to the T
            • 4 Years
            5 months, 8 days ago

            That would leave
            Martinez Pope
            Stones Cancelo Shaw Targett Digne
            Bruno Gundo Salah Son Raphina
            DCL Watkins Bamford

            All doubles apart from the Leeds pair. Is that worth a -8?
            No Kane is the big worry

      6. Maarrrr17
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 8 days ago

        Hey so noobie question , im planning a team on livefpl, and have hit my free hit option, and i go to save team and i get a box pop up saying, are you sure you want to activate your freehit.

        so I panic, get flash backs of accidentally activating chips, jump on here and sheepishly ask if it links to your actual fpl account....

        1. Eddie - Back to Square Owen
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          5 months, 8 days ago

          Noobie question, you can plan a team on live fpl?

      7. Bobby's Teeth
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 8 days ago

        Hi legends,

        On WC and would appreciate you ripping this team to shreds:

        Martinez
        Pereira Stones Digne
        Kdb Gundo Bruno Barnes
        DCL Kane Watkins

        Bench: Areola Raph Konsa N. Phillips

      8. kUwe Inc.
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 8 days ago

        Finally decided to WC instead of BB. Pls rate my team;

        Martinez
        Cancelo-Digne-Targett
        Salah-Bruno-Gundo-Barnes
        Kane(C)-DCL-Watkins

        Areola-Shaw-Aina-Lingard

        Gtg?

        1. kUwe Inc.
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 8 days ago

          Can do Salah > KdB for mancity dgw27

      9. Champions League Varane
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 8 days ago

        BB active FH available .9 ITB no FT. Would you say I’m GTG or take hit/hits to remove the two Leeds boys??.

        Martinez Areola
        Stones Dias Elmo Ricardo Shaw
        Bruno Salah Gundogan Barnes Raphina
        Bamford DCL Kane.

        1. kUwe Inc.
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 8 days ago

          For BB i prefer Watkins over Bamford

      10. HeyHeyDembo
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 8 days ago

        Ings, Grealish, Coufal to:

        A: DCL, Barnes, Pereria
        B: Kane, Lookman, White

        1. kUwe Inc.
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 8 days ago

          A but with Digne instead of Pereira

      11. QusaiAbdo
          5 months, 8 days ago

          Great picks

        • Jakub
            5 months, 8 days ago

            Traore or El Ghazi from Aston Villa?!