If Double Gameweek 26 is going to be anything like Double Gameweek 25, then we are in for a treat. Despite just one extra fixture, GW25 saw an average score of 55. In GW26, there will be as many as seven extra fixtures. It means 14 teams will play twice in the biggest double gameweek in Fantasy Premier League history.

FPL managers would be licking their lips at the prospect already as DGW26 presents them with a big chance of jumping the rankings.

It is not the time to play safe as there is not going to be such a big week in FPL again this season. So get those chips out and make the most out of DGW26.

Fixture Difficulty

The teams that are playing twice in GW26 are – Manchester City, Wolves, Burnley, Leicester City, Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Fulham, Spurs, West Brom, Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Out of these, the teams that have two favorable fixtures are City, Aston Villa, Spurs and Everton. So FPL managers must focus on players from these teams.

The likes of Leicester, Fulham, Liverpool, Wolves, Crystal Palace and Manchester United have one tough fixture but good second fixture.

As for Chelsea, Burnley, West Brom and Sheffield United both the opponents are tough.

Among the single-gameweek teams, only Brighton have a decent fixture. So it’s key that FPL managers go for as many double gameweek players as possible.

Team *Combined Difficulty rating for GW 26-28 GW26 opponent (Feb 27) GW27 opponent *GW28 opponent
Arsenal 9 (4, 2, 3) LEI(A) BUR(A) TOT(H)
Aston Villa 8 (3,2 3, 3) LEE(A), SHU (A) WOL(H) NEW(A)
Brighton 9 (2, 4, 3) WBA(H) LEI(H) SOU(A)
Burnley 11 (4, 4, 3, 3) TOT(A), LEI (H) ARS(H) EVE(A)
Chelsea 11 (4, 4, 4, 3) NEW(H) SOU(A) MUN(H)
Crystal Palace 9 (2, 4, 4, 2) FUL(H), MUN (H) TOT(A) WBA(H)
Everton 8 (2, 2, 4, 2) SOU(H), WBA (A) CHE(A) BUR(H)
Fulham 10 (3, 3, 4, 5) CRY(A), TOT (H) LIV(A) MCI(H)
Leeds 9 (3, 3, 3,3) WOL(A), SOU(H) AVL(H) WHU(A)
Leicester 7 (3, 2, 2, 2) ARS(H), BUR (A) BHA(A) SHU(H)
Liverpool 7 (2, 4, 2, 3) SHU(A), CHE(H) FUL(H) WOL(A)
Man City 9 (4, 3, 4, 2, 2) WHU(H), WOL (H) MUN(H), SOU(H) FUL(A)    
Man Utd 12 (4, 3, 5, 4) CHE(A), CRY (A) MCI(A) WHU(H)
Newcastle 8 (3, 2, 3) WOL(H) WBA(A) AVL(H)
Sheffield Utd 10 (4, 3, 2, 4) LIV(H), AVL(H) SOU(H) LEI(A)
Southampton 10 (3, 2, 5, 3) EVE(A) SHU(A), MCI(A) BHA(H)
Spurs 10 (2, 2, 3, 3) BUR(H), FUL(A) CRY(H) ARS(A)
West Brom 9 (3, 4, 2, 3) BHA(H), EVE(H) NEW(H) CRY(A)
West Ham 12 (5, 3, 4) MCI(A) LEE(H) MUN(A)
Wolves 11 (3, 5, 3, 4) NEW(A), MCI(A) AVL(A) LIV(H)
via FPL website (*subject to change)

The big ins and outs

FPL managers seem to have a close on the fixture difficulty index as Harvey Barnes is the most purchased player ahead of GW26. Leicester have the lowest FDI and also play twice this week. Calvert-Lewin, Kane and Watkins are the three forwards in demand while Ilkay Gundogan continues to attract new buyers.

Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW26

Position Player Club
MID Barnes LEI
FWD Calvert-Lewin EVE
MID Gündogan MCI
FWD Watkins AVL
As of Saturday morning

Injured Jack Grealish, James Madisson and James Justin continue to exit FPL squads. Single gameweek strikers Danny Ings and Patrick Bamford are also on the way out.

Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW26

Position Player Club
MID Grealish AVL
FWD Bamford LEE
MID Maddison LEI
DEF Justin LEI
As of Saturday morning

Chip Strategy

If you’ll not use your chip now then you might as well forget it. A lot of FPL managers used their wildcards in GW25 with an eye on this gameweek so they would be able to use another chip this week. But which is the best chip for GW26? It all depends on your current squad. Here’s how each chip could be useful for your team.

Bench Boost: Bench boost is best maximised in a double gameweek. However, the requirement for BB to be very effective in a DGW is that you must have 15 starters and at least 12 of them should be DGW players. Otherwise, it would be like playing a Bench Boost in any other week. The effort should be to have all 15 DGW players so that you truly maximise the chip. However, this is advised for those who still have their wildcard intact as you can change your team if after going bonkers in GW26.

Free Hit: It’s a good chip to be used during a double gameweek as you can cherry-pick the players of your choice. However, it only makes sense if you have very few double gameweek players in your current squad. In case you can have a satisfactory number of double gameweek players, saving the Free Hit chip would make more sense.

Triple captain: It’s a bit of a lottery but a double gameweek is obviously the best time to use a triple captain chip as the chances of bigger haul are higher when a player plays twice. For those who don’t have a Bench Boost or a Free Hit, your triple captain chip can help you keep up with the rest of the FPL managers. If you decide to use it, make sure the player is injury-free and free from risk of rotation.

Top picks for Gameweek 26

Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW 26:

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton): The Toffees forward has been among the points of late and has two enticing fixtures in GW26. Southampton and West Brom are horribly out of form and Everton should fancy their chances of scoring a few goals. Calvert-Lewin has been excellent this season and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be in your team this week.

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City): Pep Guardiola revealed that the Belgian is fully fit and after being rested in midweek should play City’s next two matches. De Bruyne is by far City’s most creative player and should also be back on penalties. Owned by just 12% of managers, KdB also has a differential potential. With four home games and two DGW back-to-back, KdB is a must-have.

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur): Tottenham may be out of form but Kane continues to get goalscoring chances. With Burnley and Fulham to play in the DGW, Kane is a must-have. Son’s goals have dried up but Kane continues to get into threatening positions.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool): The Reds have lost the last four games but Mohamed Salah is second on the xG(Expected Goals) charts in the last five games. Away from home and up against Sheffield United, the Egyptian should fancy his chances of getting on the scoresheet. He also has a good record against Chelsea and thus can’t be ignored in a double gameweek.

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City): Barnes may be the preferred Foxes player to won in GW26, but it’s foolish to discount Vardy who has quietly returned in the last two gameweeks. He remains top of xG charts in the league this season. The Gunners are his favourite opponent having scored 11 goals against them in ten Premier League games.

Top differential picks for GW 26:

Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City): The Foxes full-back has returned to the team after Justin’s injury and is playing in an advanced role. Leicester face two teams who have been fairly goal-shy this season and hence the clean sheet potential is good. He had five goal contributions last season and remains a threat this season as well. With just 1% ownership, he is the differential defender to own in DGW26.

Phil Foden (Manchester City): Gundogan has been the ultimate cheap asset this season but City’s Foden also comes close. He has been a regular feature in City’s line-ups in recent games and has also returned in recent weeks. With about 10% ownership, he is a City asset that can fetch you a lot of points without being a common pick.

Ola Aina (Fulham): The defender has been in fine form and has registered a goal and an assist in his last three games. Fulham have also kept clean sheets in three out of their last four matches. Palace have been struggling for goals and Scott Parker’s men would fancy another clean sheet at Selhurst Park. Also in the second game against Spurs, Fulham would fancy their chances of an upset and Aina could be involved in more than just a clean sheet. With less than 2% ownership, he’s a top differential pick this week.

Captaincy Conundrum

It’s a tough choice and quite critical one given a lot of FPL managers would be keen to use their triple captain chips. Kane, Gundogan, Bruno Fernandes are a few leading candidates and the Spurs man could be a really good pick given the fixtures that they have. However, Spurs’ recent form could put FPL managers in a bit of a doubt.

The uncertainty surrounding Guardiola’s selection make City players slightly tricky proposition. Not many people’s favourites but either of Salah or DCL could be excellent choices for the armband this week. The Everton man could have a field day against the Baggies and would also fancy his chances against Southampton. Salah is the league’s top scorer despite the Reds’ slump this season and he may be due a goal.

But if I had to pick one captain, it would be DCL.

As far as the triple captaincy chip goes, there will be quite a few DGWs in the season in the remaining weeks so FPL managers need not rush the chip if they feel they don’t really trust any player with the triple captaincy. If unsure, it’s better to wait.

FPL Deadline for GW26: 04:30 pm IST, Saturday, February 27, 2021.