Last-round’s double game week turned out to be a flop for me. In the 11-man Fantrax game, Kurt Zouma performed admirably, returning 9 points on an investment of around $6. But Gylfi Sigurdsson, my other DG’er, produced a disappointing 7. That’s less than half of his price, over two games! It was also a mediocre week for me in FPL. Jordan Pickford returned just 2 points, and Sigurdsson (my captain!) only 3.
I did have Eden Hazard in both platforms, and Gonzalo Higuain in Fantrax, but I missed out on Sergio Aguero’s hattie, which helped many of the Argentinian’s owners leapfrog past me despite my excellent returns from the two Chelsea players.
I’ll be hoping for better results in GW 26. Here’s the team news you need to know to set yourself up for success.
Claudio Ranieri has confirmed that new-boys Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit will not be in the S11 this weekend. Alfie Mawson and Marcus Betinelli are ruled out with a knee injuries. Andre Schurrle is a doubt with a knock. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is ineligible to face his parent club.
Marcos Rojo has returned to training, but Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian will miss out with knocks.
Cheikhou Kouyate (ankle) and Pape Souare (shoulder) will both be sidelined for the visit of West Ham. Julian Speroni, Connor Wickham, and James Tomkins look unlikely to feature as well. Wilfried Zaha was handed an additional one-game suspension by the Independent Regulatory Commission after being sent off for sarcastically applauding referee Andre Mariner on January 30. However, Crystal Palace have appealed the extra punishment, so Zaha will remain eligible to play until a decision is reached.
Marko Arnautovic and Aaron Cresswell should be available, having trained all week. Fabian Balbuena (knee), Samir Nasri (calf), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Manuel Lanzini (knee) are all nearing fitness, but this weekend comes too soon. Manuel Pelligrini has ruled out Carlos Sanchez (knee), Winston Reid (knee) and Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles) for the rest of the season.
Danny Williams (knee) and Isaac Mbenza (calf) both face many more weeks of recovery. Jonathan Hogg is a doubt with a back injury. Abdelhamid Sabiri has returned to training after recovering from a shoulder injury, but he remains short of match fitness.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Shkodran Mustafi have returned to training. Granit Xhaka (groin) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles (knee) face late fitness tests. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is struggling to shake off an illness. Unai Emery says that Denis Suarez needs more time to make the adjustment to the Prem, so the Spaniard seems unlikely to break into the starting lineup just yet. None of Danny Welbeck (ankle), Hector Bellerin (knee), Sokratis (ankle) and Rob Holding (knee) are in contention.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum are both doubtful through knee injuries, although both have just now returned to training. Dejan Lovren is out with muscle issues. Joseph Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are long-term absentees.
Nathaniel Clyne is ineligible to take the pitch against his parent club. Lewis Cook, Simon Francis, and Callum Wilson will all miss out with knee injuries. David Brooks is also unavailable with an ankle injury.
Ralph Hassenhuttle has declared Ryan Bertrand, Pierre Hojbjerg, and Maya Yoshida fit. However, Hassenhuttle also stated in his presser that he “doesn’t want to change the back five,” so owners of James Ward-Prowse and Matt Targett can feel safe for now. Danny Ings strained a hammy against Burnley and will be out for several weeks. Mario Lemina (abdomen) and Michael Obafemi (tendon) are still at least a week away from fitness.
Harry Arter returns to contention after being ineligible last week. But Victor Camarasa is a doubt with a knock, and Ashley Richards continues to build match fitness. Sean Morrison remains sidelined after undergoing emergency appendix surgery.
Kiko Femenia and Abdoulaye Doucoure have returned to training and should be available to face the Toffees, but Isaac Success and Sebastian Prodl remain out.
Yerry Mina (foot) is nearing recovery and could be available, but Leighton Baines (ribs) and Phil Jagielka (knock) will not make it in time.
Brighton v Burnley
Jose Izquierdo has returned to training after a lengthy recovery from a knee injury, but he remains far from match fitness. Dale Stephens is also close to recovering from a knee issue, but will not be ready in time to face the Clarets.
Matthew Lowton and Kevin Long have returned to training, but Stephen Defour (knock) is unlikely to feature. Aaron Lennon is unavailable with a knee injury, and Jonathan Walters remains out with an Achilles injury.
Vincent Janssen (knee), and Eric Dier (virus) are out of action for the weekend. Ben Davies, Dele Alli, and Harry Kane have all stepped up their recovery but are not yet ready to feature (although Poch says Kane could be ready in time for GW 27).
Marc Albrighton will require surgery for a serious hamstring injury and could miss the remainder of the season. Daniel Amartey continues his recovery from ankle surgery. Youri Tielemans trained hard all week and could make an appearance, but it’s not yet known whether that would be a start.
Vincent Kompany will miss out with a knock, and Claudio Bravo through an Achilles injury. Benjamin Mendy has resumed training but has yet to feature in the league since injuring his knee in November and re-aggravating it in a League Cup tie January 23rd.
Maurizio Sarri has a fully-fit squad to choose from for the trip to the Etihad.
Diogo Jota (knock) and Ruben Vinagre (illness) are slight doubts.
Jonjo Shelvey and Rob Elliot will miss out. Ki Sung-Yueng, Paul Dummet, and Mohamed Diame have all been cleared fit. Karl Darlow has also returned to training but is not likely to pry Martin Dubravka out of the starting lineup.
Has any of this news thrown a wrench into your plans? Have you heard anything else coming out late? Will you be awake for the deadline countdown and lineup announcements ahead of the Fulham vs Man Utd match? Please talk to us in the comments below!