Game week 26 is already here with us, it is one week where teams that have suffered from negligence drop down in rankings while updated managers like you and I thrive and lick our lips at the prospect of all those beautiful green arrows.
For starters, some of the best sources for fpl giants i.e. Zlatan, Sanchez, De Bruyne, Jesus e.t.c all do not have matches in GW 26. This is as a result of Manchester United and Southampton playing in the EFL cup final, their gw26 opponents (Manchester city and Arsenal) have their matches postponed to a later date, this shall also present another golden opportunity for fpl managers(the much relished double game weeks).
Game week 28 will also be a blank for various teams due to FA cup fixtures. The only teams that no longer participate in the FA cup and also have GW 26 fixtures are Wet Ham, Swansea, West Brom, Hull City, Bournemouth and Everton. These teams are by no means packed up with the best fpl talents but still do have some very good bargains that can fill up the game week void, we also want to avoid a situation whereby our teams look like shambles come Game Week 29.
I am going to use my FPL team (currently ranked 299,282 globally) to illustrate my plan to maximize on this opportunity without taking a points hit since I saved up a transfer from gw25 giving me the luxury of 2 free transfers (FT), I also have 1.1 in the bank (ITB).
So with respect to my team above, I have three players from the teams affected (Man utd, Arsenal, Sot’on and Man City),these are Valencia, De Bruyne and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, these issues are distributed evenly across defense, midfield and then striking department.
We’ll deal with the issues departmentally, here we go;
Considering the fact that I have three premium strikers and the fact that I will have to get rid of KDB in midfield, I think it is best to keep Ibrahimovic in the bench for game week 26 and probably game week 28 if Manchester United proceed in the FA cup. By doing this, I will avoid a situation that requires me to make wholesale changes to my team in order to bring back Ibrahimovic whom I consider an essential fpl asset (If you are wondering why, he has been the most popular captain for the last 8 consecutive GWs in fpl).
So next week Ibrahimovic stays on the bench, meaning I’ll have to field 5 midfield players, so the big sorting job lies in the midfield. I Will start Costa and Lukaku in a 3-5-2 formation.
My defense has got four 90 minute defenders (Valencia, Walker, Chambers and Baines). Since Chambers will be facing Crystal Palace, I am confident of his chances of getting a clean sheet (and maybe attacking returns, who knows?) So going into GW 26, Valencia will be on the bench, meaning I’ll go with Walker, Chambers and Baines. Depth in defense has given has given me the luxury of rotation hence saving up my transfers for midfield.
Seeing that I’ll have to play all my midfielders, I have to get rid of De Bruyne and upgrade Traore, I don’t plan to bring him back so his buy back value is not an issue. To replace KDB, I will bring in Mane (even though his GW 28 fixture isn’t assured) ,I am hopeful that his match against Leicester city in GW 26 and Arsenal in GW 27 shall give me enough points to withstand a possible blank in GW 28. His fixtures from GW 30 to the end of the season all score 3 or less in the Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR), this is definitely a long term signing and is here to stay for the rest of the season.
Swapping KDB for Mane affords me £7.3, the best player to get in for this budget definitely has to be Michail Antonio who has been playing in an advanced striking role alongside Andy Carroll. Taking into account the service from Robert Snodgrass, Feghouli, Lanzini and Ayew, it is expected that Antonio will thrive as a forward in the highly likely event that Andy Carroll is hospitalized with his long standing injury issues.
This is how my team looks like after the transfers;
Team going into GW 26
With these changes, the team is well set and ready to take advantage of blank GW 26 fixtures for some teams. I f you have issues with your team or are wondering what changes to make, feel free to comment below and I’ll be glad to assist you make decisions.