Another major DGW presents our fantasy managers with tons of opportunities to exploit. Let’s have a look at the clubs facing each other the entire week with all the latest updates on team news, injuries, and likely chances of who is going to perform against their respective opponents.
After several previously postponed EPL matches were rescheduled, eight teams will enjoy a DGW-26.
The highlight is that Liverpool will play Norwich and Leeds in their much-anticipated doubleheader, so thoughts will naturally turn to the Triple Captain (Mo Salah) and other chips in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
Other clubs with two fixtures in GW-26 are:
Saturday, 19 February
West Ham has a lot to play for, but so does Newcastle after spending in the January transfer window to escape the relegation zone. Eddie Howe’s men are in-form, but David Moyes’ Hammers remain better at home than on the road.
Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) – Foot injury against Aston Villa on 13/2 and has just had surgery — probably out until next season.
Matt Ritchie (Newcastle) – Assessed for a “knee problem” ahead of the Leeds game on 22/1 and missed out. Howe said on 7/2 that he would be out “longer term”.
Callum Wilson (Newcastle) – Substituted with a muscle injury in the match against Man United on 27/12. Howe thinks the issue might be serious.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Arsenal v Brentford
The Bees’ away form this season hasn’t been the best, with a 1.87 xGA average, and they’re unlikely to feel confident against an Arsenal team finding momentum and becoming difficult to break down at the Emirates.
Bernd Leno (Arsenal) – Missed the match against Wolves on 10/02 after testing positive for Covid.
Tomiyasu (Takehiro) (Arsenal) – Ruled out for “a couple of weeks” on 23/1 with a recurrence of a calf injury.
Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) – Suspended for one match after being sent off for two yellow card offences on 10/02
Zanka (Brentford) – Lack of match fitness: Has partly returned to team training as of 10/1 after two months out with a hamstring problem.
Ivan Toney (Brentford) – Missed the match against Man City on 9/2 with a minor calf problem and faces a “race against time” for GW-26.
Christian Eriksen (Brentford) – Not match-fit enough to feature against Man City on 9/2 after only recently returning to training.
Prediction: 3 – 1
Aston Villa v Watford
Steven Gerrard is really doing wonders at Villa, where the Villans are tough to handle at home. They should feel confident hosting a dull and defensive Watford side with Roy Hodgson at the touchline as the team is yet to score under the new manager.
Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa) – Suspended for two matches after being sent off for the second time this season on 9/2.
Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa) – Substituted in the game against Liverpool on 11/2 with a knee injury. Has since undergone surgery and will be out for 12-16 weeks.
Watford has no significant injury worries before this weekend’s match with Aston Villa.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Brighton v Burnley
Brighton is missing Lewis Dunk who got sent off at Old Trafford. With the Seagulls stretched in defense after losing Dan Burn, perhaps Burnley can take advantage. However, Burnley is yet to win an away league game this season, a 0.87 xGF average a factor. The Clarets are unlikely to find life easy against a Brighton side that will have most of the ball in this fixture.
Jeremy Sarmiento (Brighton) – Substituted with a hamstring injury in the match against West Ham on 1/12. Expected out for between three to four months.
Wout Weghorst (Burnley) — Listed as a late fitness check after suffering a nerve pinch on 13-Feb. Manager says “He trained just a light training session today but the incredibly professional person that he is, I think he’ll be fine.”
Gudmundsson (Burnley) – Ruled out for “weeks” on 3/2 after it was revealed he had surgery following appendicitis.
Matej Vydra (Burnley) – Ruled out for “weeks” on 3/2 after undergoing hernia surgery.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Palace v Chelsea
The European champs return after winning the Club World Cup, so they might take a while to adjust to life back in England, keeping in mind their Champions League midweek. Palace hasn’t been in top form and will be missing Conor Gallagher for this clash against his parent club.
Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) – Substituted in the Champions League win over Juventus on 23/11 with a partial injury to his ACL. Initially ruled out for six weeks on 26/11, required surgery and will miss the rest of 2021-22.
Reece James (Chelsea) – Limped off with a hamstring injury against Brighton on 29/12 and was later sighted on crutches. Expected back in full training soon.
Nathan Ferguson (Crystal Palace) – Ruled out of the Norwich game on 9/2 with a supposedly minor injury. A hamstring issue was since confirmed, so he faces an absence of between five and six weeks.
Prediction: 0 – 1
Liverpool v Norwich
Norwich has had terrible nightmare situations against Liverpool, especially this season. Jurgen Klopp’s men have already recorded a pair of 3-0 victories at Carrow Road, and now they have the first of two home meetings with the Canaries after also drawing them in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Divock Origi (Liverpool) – Back in full team training for the first time on 3/2 after the best part of two months out with a knee injury.
Jacob Sorensen (Norwich) – Suffered a knee ligament injury against Watford on 21/1. His manager said on 4/2 that he “won’t be out for too much longer” and that he was already running on the grass.
Prediction: 3 – 0
Southampton has been in fine form lately in league and cup, losing just one of the last ten and having all the confidence to ambush Frank Lampard’s Everton away from Goodison Park.
Nathan Redmond (Southampton) – Missed the match against Spurs on 9/2 with an ankle knock.
Nathan Tella (Southampton) – Missed the Man City draw on 22/1 with a minor groin injury. His manager initially said that he would return after the winter break, but he remains sidelined as of 3/2.
Damarai Gray (Everton) – Substituted with a hip injury against Newcastle on 8/2, but his manager doesn’t think it is a serious issue.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Man City v Tottenham
Spurs come into the game skidding off the back of three successive league defeats, and City may very well make it four for Conte’s side. Pep Guardiola’s men are simply on another level, in England especially. Given their talented depth and playing style, they’re near unplayable for the opposition teams.
Jack Grealish (Man City) – Missed the Norwich game on 12/2 with a recurrence of an old shin problem.
Eric Dier (Spurs) – Thigh injury.
Oliver Skipp (Spurs) – Ruled out of the FA Cup tie against Brighton on 5/2 with a groin injury.
Prediction: 3 – 1
Sunday, 20 February
Leeds v Man United
Man United had a midweek fixture, a 2-0 win over Brighton, which means Leeds will be the fresher of the two. However, one can never predict which Red Devils will show up on any given day.
Patrick Bamford (Leeds) – Reported on 20/1 that he had picked up a foot injury. Ruled out of the Newcastle game on 22/1. Manager says that he has “doubts” over whether Bamford will be able to return against Aston Villa on 9/2.
Stuart Dallas (Leeds) – Substituted with an injury in the match against Everton on 12/2. Manager is unsure of the severity of the issue.
Eric Bailey (Man United) – Returned from international duty with a swollen ankle and didn’t feature in the FA Cup against Middlesbrough on 4/2. No update provided since, but still not good enough for the bench last week against Brighton.
Prediction: 1 – 2
Wolves v Leicester
Wolves are aiming to continue a European push, and Bruno Lage’s side can take encouragement from last week’s win at Spurs. Leicester is struggling to arrest a slump in form, and this match comes soon after a Europa Conference League clash.
Willy Boly (Wolves) – Fit and available after recovering from a calf complaint, but will probably not start yet.
James Justin (Leicester) – Substituted with what looked to be a muscular injury on 13/2.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Wednesday, 23 February
Burnley v Spurs
After facing Man City on the weekend, Spurs could be looking to bounce back against a side that will not have enough of the ball. However, Sean Dyche’s men can be difficult to break down.
Prediction: 1 — 1
Watford v Crystal Palace
Watford may have more to play for in this fixture than Palace given their relegation battle. However, Patrick Veria’s men, especially the attackers, have enough to open the space and gain three points.
Prediction: 0 – 1
Liverpool v Leeds
Liverpool has it all to play for, aiming to challenge Man City. Leeds has always had one target, to play forward, which plays into the hands of Liverpool pretty much all the time given past history.
Prediction: 3 – 0
Thursday, 24 February
Arsenal v Wolves
Each team has adapted to a manager’s ideology, is building momentum, and is filled with young talent. Both sides are hunting for the fourth spot, so this game could decide their quest for European football next season.
Also remember that the FRIDAY deadline for GW-27 follows close on the heals of this match (less than 24 hours later!), so don’t miss it!
Prediction: 1 – 0
[Stats and info referenced in this article were sourced from fantasy.footballcommunity and fantasy.premierleague.com.]
Please add your thoughts and questions! What are your predictions for this game-week? Are you planning to triple-captain Mo Salah? What players do you think can shine? How are your teams shaping up? What late news have you seen? Please join us in the comments below!