Gameweek 26 preview

February 19, 2015

21 Feb 15:00 Aston Villa v Stoke
21 Feb 15:00 Chelsea v Burnley
21 Feb 15:00 Crystal Palace v Arsenal
21 Feb 15:00 Hull v QPR
21 Feb 15:00 Sunderland v West Brom
21 Feb 15:00 Swansea v Man Utd
21 Feb 17:30 Man City v Newcastle
22 Feb 12:00 Spurs v West Ham
22 Feb 14:05 Everton v Leicester
22 Feb 16:15 Southampton v Liverpool

 

The Buckets Cup kicks off in two weekend’s time. We’ll have a preliminary round in gameweek 28 in which 26 teams will be entered. Three teams will gain byes into the first round proper commencing in gameweek 29. Those three will be Crazylegs, as last year’s winners – and whoever scores highest in this gameweek, and gameweek 27 – so there’s a mini incentive to getting a high score this week and next. The cup final will take place in gameweek 32. I’ll be drawing the prelim round some time in the run up to gameweek 28.

This week sees a repeat of the opening fixtures of the season. And it’s probably a good week to have two free transfers at your disposal. Not only do we have players returning from suspensions and niggling injuries, but we’ve also got the final few stragglers from the African Nations to pick from again. City will be relieved to finally name Wilfried Bony in a squad, and to have Yaya Toure back in their midfield to bolster their slightly floundering title bid. It’s a week in which they can’t slip up with Chelsea, who will welcome back Costa and Fabregas after their suspension/injury, expected to get all three points with the visit of Burnley to Stamford Bridge. In recent years, Newcastle haven’t had much to shout about from their visits to the Etihad, so the big two can be relied upon for a healthy points haul this weekend.

Alexis Sanchez played in Arsenal’s FA Cup victory last weekend and no longer has an orange injury box next to his name. Sanchez’s value has dropped and he hasn’t contributed goal, assist or bonus points since early January, as Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla have come to the fore. Sanchez bagged a cup assist last week for one of Olivier Giroud’s two goals, and it’s those four players that are likely to lead Arsenal’s line against Palace on Saturday.

Those that clung on to Gylffi Sigurdsson will be glad to see him back on the pitch this weekend following his suspension. The Icelander last contributed on the 29th December. This barren spell has seen his price drop to £6.4 million, which is the lowest that it’s been since gameweek 3. That suggests a bargain if he can get his point scoring boots back on again. Lets not forget the brilliant start he made to the season, scoring 13 points in Swansea’s first game against this weekend’s opponents, Manchester United – and at Old Trafford.

It’s worth remembering, however, that next week sees a reduced gameweek due to the League Cup final, in which Spurs, Chelsea, QPR and Leicester don’t play. So maybe those two free transfers – if you have them – will be better saved.

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