Dugout Discussion

Ricardo Pereira continues in midfield for Leicester as Saka, Aubameyang on Arsenal bench

After starting at right-midfield in Gameweek 25 as Leicester beat Aston Villa 2-1, Ricardo Pereira (£5.9m) is again playing ‘out of position’ in the first of Leicester City’s Double Gameweek 26 fixtures.

With James Maddison (£7.3m) sidelined for this weekend at least, Brendan Rodgers has possibly gone for a slight change of shape as Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.6m) looks set to partner Jamie Vardy (£10.2m) up front.

Over one million FPL managers paid out for the services of Harvey Barnes (£6.9m) ahead of DGW26. The England hopeful starts in his customary left-wing position.

With Pereira playing further forward, Luke Thomas (£4.2m) earns a second consecutive league start at left-back.

The defender will not be facing Bukayo Saka (£5.2m) from the first whistle, however. After admitting on Thursday that the winger is fatigued, Mikel Arteta has duly handed Saka a rest.

He drops to the Gunners’ bench alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m), Hector Bellerin (£5.1m) and Thomas Partey (£4.9m).

“We’ve had some problems in the last 48 hours to recover players – players with some muscular issues. We had to freshen up. The reality is that there are other players who are fighting for chances and they deserve the chance to play.” – Mikel Arteta

They are also joined by Rob Holding (£4.4m), who makes his return to the squad after suffering a concussion in the Gameweek 25 defeat to Manchester City.

Kieran Tierney (£5.2m) continues at left-back after making his injury return in the Europa League this week.

Tyrick Mitchell (£3.9m) is the major absentee from an FPL perspective as Crystal Palace welcome Fulham to Selhurst Park.

Having started in Gameweek 25, the left-back drops to the bench with Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m) favoured by Roy Hodgson for the Eagles’ first DGW26 tie.

Scott Parker is also fond of a full-back switch, with right-sided defender Kenny Tete (£4.3m) returning to the Cottagers’ XI. That leaves Antonee Robinson (£4.4m) on the bench, as the versatile Ola Aina (£4.5m) switches to left-back.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (£5.5m) returns to the Fulham matchday squad but has not displaced Josh Maja (£5.5m) up front. Parker’s men also have another match this gameweek, with Spurs visiting Craven Cottage on Thursday.

Leicester City XI (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Thomas, Soyuncu, Evans, Castagne; Barnes, Ndidi, Tielemans, R Pereira; Iheanacho, Vardy.

Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tierney, Mari, David Luiz, Cedric; Xhaka, Elneny; Willian, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Lacazette.

Crystal Palace XI (4-4-2): Guaita; Van Aanholt, Cahill, Kouyaté, Ward; Eze, Riedewald, Milivojevic, Townsend; Ayew, Benteke.

Fulham XI (4-2-3-1): Areola; Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Tete; Reed, Anguissa; Lookman, Loftus-Cheek, De Cordova-Reid; Maja.