Fantasy Premier League tips: How best to navigate the tricky winter break schedule

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The new winter break in the Premier League has made for a strange Gameweek 26 in Fantasy Premier League.

Rather than having two blank Gameweeks, this round is being split up. Four matches take place on February 8 and 9 while the rest will be played over the course of February 15, 16 and 18.

The implications of that disruption is that FPL managers must pick their teams with minimal information as only press conferences for the first four matches will take place before the deadline. Managers won’t be able to account for any team news that emerges beyond that, likely in the press conferences from the other games.

Here are a few tips to help guide you through GW26.

CAPTAIN – MOHAMED SALAH | LIVERPOOL | 12.7M

Yes, him again. Mohamed Salah has been outstanding for Liverpool of late and particularly in Sadio Mane’s absence.

Following his 16-point haul in GW25, he’s earned the right to hold on to the captaincy.

However, handing him the armband is a slight risk purely because of the fact that Liverpool only play next weekend. An untimely injury or Jurgen Klopp suggesting he could rest the Egyptian ahead of their Champions League clash may put a spanner in the works.

That said, Salah usually gets the nod anyway. He has blanked just once in his last six games which have included three double-figure hauls. With 14 goals this season, he’s now chasing the Golden Boot and is unlikely to be rested.

He travels to Norwich in GW26 who are conceding 15.3 shots per game this season, the third-most in the league.

ALTERNATIVES

SERGIO AGUERO (12.0m) is also chasing the Golden Boot with 16 goals to his name so far. He was unlucky to blank against Spurs and is looking sharp. With the Hammers sitting deep, he should spend most of the game in the box and that’s where he’s most dangerous.

SON HEUNG-MIN (10.0m) has scored in each of the last two games and with an ownership of 9.3 per cent represents a good differential. Aston Villa have kept just one clean sheet in 12 games so the South Korean should be confident of finding the net again.

BOLD CHOICE

DANNY INGS (7.0m) has blanked in the last three GWs but only started in two of those while facing Liverpool and Wolves in the others. With six goals and 11 bonus points in his last 10 games, he’s still an appealing option and even more so at home to Burnley.

Danny Ings

ONE TO GET

HARVEY BARNES | LEICESTER CITY | 5.9M

With three goals and an assist in the last three GWs, there’s no ignoring the form Harvey Barnes is in. He seems to have earned a run in the team as a regular and with an ownership of under two per cent, his price of 5.9m could pay off handsomely. Leicester have Wolves and Manchester City next but begin a comfortable run of games beyond that.

ONE TO AVOID

JAMES MADDISON | LEICESTER CITY | 7.6M

On the other hand, Barnes’ team-mate James Maddison is struggling as an FPL asset. He’s still playing well and remains integral to team but such is his influence that he’s had to drop deeper of late and that has limited his goal involvement. He’s now blanked in eight of the last nine GWs.

James Maddison

BARGAIN BUY

ENDA STEVENS | SHEFFIELD UNITED | 5.1M

With John Lundstrum out of favour, a move for Enda Stevens makes sense given Sheffield’s fixtures. He’s been involved in all nince clean sheets this season and with three attacking returns, is showing potential going forward too.

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