The big guns may have faltered in the Double Gameweek 26, but points came from other slightly unexpected sources and it proved to be the highest-scoring gameweek of the season with an average score of 75.

It was the defenders who ruled the roost with five defenders returning more than 15 plus points hauls. Gareth Bale, the seemingly forgotten man at Tottenham, earned a rare start against Burnley and scored twice. His 21-point haul was the highest in GW26. However, he was owned by less than 2% of managers.

Mohamed Salah, Bruno Fernandes and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, all among the top captaincy picks in GW26, blanked in both games to leave their FPL managers ruing their choice. Even Harry Kane scored just one goal despite two favourable looking fixtures.

And now Gameweek 27 is also a mini-double gameweek with Manchester City and Southampton playing twice. Pep Guardiola is back to being a spoilsport for FPL managers and has been rotating his squad heavily in the last few matches. So it’s anyone’s guess who he will play in these two matches.

However, there’s more to GW27 than just Manchester City. And with blank GW29 on the horizon where only eight teams will play, FPL managers have some planning to do.

Fixture difficulty

For GW27, having three Manchester City players is a must. As for Southampton, it may not be a bad option to look at their defence that has looked tighter since their 9-0 humbling at the hands of Manchester United. However, they could be at the receiving end against Manchester City and there isn’t much value in Southampton players despite a double gameweek.

What managers must keep in mind is that only eight teams play in GW29. For those who don’t have their free hit intact or a wildcard, they must try and fill their squad with as many players from these eight teams as possible to have a respectable number of active players in GW29.

Here are the teams that play in GW29: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton, Fulham, Leeds, Newcastle, Tottenham, West Brom and West Ham.

Team *Combined Difficulty rating for GW 27-29 GW27 opponent (Mar 06) *GW28 opponent GW29 opponent
Arsenal 9 (2, 3, 4) BUR(A) TOT(H) WHU(A)
Aston Villa 9 (3, 3, 3) WOL(H) NEW(A) TOT(H)
Brighton 9 (4, 3, 2) LEI(H) SOU(A) NEW(H)
Burnley 9 (3, 3, NA) ARS(H) EVE(A) NA
Chelsea 10 (4, 3, NA) EVE(H) LEE(A) NA
Crystal Palace 9 (4, 2, NA) TOT(A) WBA(H) NA
Everton 9 (4, 2, NA) CHE(A) BUR(H) NA
Fulham 12 (4, 5, 3) LIV(A) MCI(H) LEE(H)
Leeds 9 (4, 4, 2) WHU(A) CHE(H) FUL(A)
Leicester 6 (2, 2, NA) BHA(A) SHU(H) NA
Liverpool 7 (2, 3, NA) FUL(H) WOL(A) NA
Man City 8 (4, 2, 2) MUN(H), SOU(H) FUL(A)     NA
Man Utd 13 (5, 4, NA) MCI(A) WHU(H) NA
Newcastle 7 (2, 3, 2) WBA(A) AVL(H) BHA(A)
Sheffield Utd 9 (2, 4, NA) SOU(H) LEI(A) NA
Southampton 10 (2, 5, 3) SHU(A), MCI(A) BHA(H) NA
Spurs 10 (3, 3, 3) CRY(H) ARS(A) AVL(A)
West Brom 7 (2, 3, NA) NEW(H) CRY(A) CRY(A)
West Ham 10 (3, 4, 3) LEE(H) MUN(A) ARS(H)
Wolves 10 (3, 5, 3, 4) AVL(A) LIV(H) NA
via FPL website (*subject to change)

The big ins and outs

Midfielders are in big demand ahead of GW27 and West ham’s Jesse Lingard is the top pick ahead of a visit from Leeds. Chelsea’s Mason Mount is second on the list after his recent attacking returns. FPL legend Kevin de Bruyne is once again finding favour with FPL managers as he started two games after coming back from injury. His teammate Ilkay Gundogan is still wanted by FPL managers despite recent low-returns and Tottenham’s Son Heung-min is also gaining in ownership.

Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW27

Position Player Club
MID Lingard WHU
MID De Bruyne MCI
MID Gundogan MCI
As of Friday night IST

Things are getting interesting in the transfer-out section. Injuries have dictated player sales and it’s no different this week apart from a massive exception. Bruno Fernandes, the highest scoring player in FPL this season is being shipped out of teams after two back-to-back blanks.

Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW26

Pos Player Club
MID Barnes LEI
MID Maddison LEI
MID Grealish AVL
MID Fernandes MUN
FWD Calvert-Lewin EVE
As of Friday night IST

Top picks for Gameweek 27

Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW 27:

Michail Antonio (West Ham): In-form Hammers face leaky Leeds this weekend and it’s perfect time to own Michail Antonio who has been a revelation in the last two seasons. He is second for xG (Expected Goals) in the Premier League in the last three matches and will fancy his chances of adding to his tally against Marcelo Bielsa’s men.

Ruben Dias (Manchester City): Manchester City’s almost flawless defence was breached twice last week but normal service should resume when goal-shy Manchester United and Southampton visit the Etihad. Both these teams are among the bottom seven sides for xG in the last three matches and could find it hard to score against City. Dias, who finally got on the scoresheet last GW, is perhaps the only nailed-on starter in that City defence and is now a must-have this season.

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur): The Spurs frontman may have only scored just one goal in double gameweek, but he remains Spurs’ best attacking bet at home. Against a Palace side that have struggled for form in recent weeks, Kane could have a good time in Spurs’ newly-coined attack-minded set-up. He is the only Spurs player in the top ten for xG in the last three matches. Against Palace, he could have an explosive game.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea): The Blues have been extremely solid defensively and are yet to concede a goal at Stamford Bridge since Thomas Tuchel took over. The Spaniard has a habit of picking up bonus points and is the most attack-minded of their three-centre-backs. Don’t rule out a goal or an assist for the Chelsea captain who almost guarantees you a clean sheet when playing at home.

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City): The Manchester City talisman is back and even though he just produced an assist in DGW 26, he could get among the points as City face another DGW. His record over the years is too good for him to be ignored especially when City are in impeccable form. Yet not heavily owned, KdB also has a differential value. Beware of rotation, though.

Top differential picks for GW 26:

Jesse Lingard (West Ham): The English midfielder has made a dream start to life in east London and has returned in all games barring one since his move from Old Trafford. He has rejuvenated the Hammers attack and has the potential to haul big against Leeds. With ownership of less than 7% he is a top differential pick for GW27 especially with a price tag of 6.0.

Mason Mount (Chelsea): The Blues midfielder has scored three goals in his last five matches and is Chelsea’s best attacking player. He also took Chelsea’s last penalty and could be on penalty duties for Thomas Tuchel’s men. Owned by just 8.5% FPL managers, he can be a real difference maker in coming weeks.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham): The Welsh wizard is back in Jose Mourinho’s plans and his starting eleven. He made a big impact against Burnley, and given his track record of going on a good run of form, it is unlikely to be just a flash in the pan. With less than 2% ownership, Bale can be a real superstar for your team.

Captaincy Conundrum

Putting the armband on a City player seems the obvious solution but few would know which is the safest City player to bet on given the rotation risk. Kevin de Bruyne seems to be the man Guardiola is least likely to rotate but given that he has just returned from an injury, nothing is given. He hasn’t exactly been in the same vein of form this season further adding doubts over handing him the armband. Ruben Dias could be a really good option but it’s always a risk to captain a defender as loss of clean sheet could render the move ineffective.

West Ham’s Antonio is a fairly good option as well considering how leaky Leeds are at the back. Harry Kane is also a great alternative as he faces Crystal Palace.

In a tight contest for captaincy, KdB would just get the edge considering he will have two bites at the cherry and it’s likely that he would return if he plays both matches. However, Kane and Antonio can also be considered.

FPL Deadline for GW27: 04:30 pm IST, Saturday, March 06, 2021.