March 03, 2023 2:41 AM
Alex Sarwar

FPL 2022-23 | Gameweek 26 | Captain Picks

A brace of fixtures in Gameweek 25 for captain picks such as Bukayo Saka (£8.5m) and Mo Salah (£12.7m) led to a big haul of points for both players. Whilst Saka picked up 15 points from his two games, Salah managed 11 points, although there was less success for the Egyptian’s teammate Darwin Nunez (£8.8m) and differential pick James Tarkowski (£4.4m), who failed to gain a single point as Everton fell to consecutive defeats across the gameweek.

After a blank and double gameweek rolled into one, we now revert to type for Gameweek 26 with a single round of fixtures ahead. As is the case in every round of fixtures, we mark out three premium captaincy options, alongside a differential selection for those FPL managers looking to make up some ground ahead of Saturday’s 11:00 deadline.


Marcus Rashford (£7.3m) vs LIV (a)

Although Gameweek 26 sees him face a tough fixture, we cannot start with anyone other than Marcus Rashford (£7.3m), who is not only enjoying arguably the best goalscoring form of his career, but is absolutely racking in the fantasy points for his adoring ownership. The Man Utd star is listed as a midfielder, only enhancing his appeal and has found the net at least once in nine of his last ten Premier League fixtures. Since the World Cup break, Rashford has netted ten goals in the league alone and is coming off the back of having scored in the Carabao Cup final last weekend, as the Red Devils defeated Newcastle 2-0.

Rashford and Man Utd now turn their attention back to the top flight and will have to be at their very best away to Liverpool in Gameweek 26. Rashford’s last league match saw him acquire 15 FPL points following two goals scored against Leicester and in his current form, you wouldn’t back him once again proving lethal in front of goal for United. With a high ownership which has now exceeded 50%, captaining Rashford is your best chance to profiting from his attacking returns from an FPL rank-perspective.

Erling Haaland (£12.2m) vs NEW (H)

Man City kept the pressure on league leaders Arsenal with a 1-4 win last Saturday at Bournemouth, a match which saw Erling Haaland (£12.2m) back on the scoresheet for Pep Guardiola’s side in the Premier League. The Norwegian made it 27 league goals for the season at the Vitality Stadium and also recorded an assist, accumulating 10 FPL points in total. Haaland remains comfortably the highest scoring fantasy asset in all positions with 193 points in total.

Gameweek 26 sees Man City host Newcastle and so often it’s at home where Haaland shines the most. He already boasts four Premier League hat-tricks to his name, all of which have come at the Etihad Stadium and whilst Newcastle are notoriously strong defensively under Eddie Howe, their results have taken a negative turn recently, topped off by them losing the Carabao Cup final last weekend. Expect Haaland to be the most captained player of the gameweek.

Gabriel Martinelli (£6.5m) vs BOU (H)

Following a long run of games without scoring, Gabriel Martinelli (£6.5m) has returned to form in a big way recently, handsomely rewarding those FPL managers who have stuck by him throughout. After coming off the bench to score against Aston Villa in Gameweek 24, Martinelli exploded from a fantasy perspective in Gameweek 25 with two fixtures to take advantage of. After starting both, the Brazilian ended up with three goals and 26 FPL points across the two matches.

Bournemouth at home in Gameweek 26 will likely have fantasy managers licking their lips when it comes to Martinelli’s prospect of further points and it would be no surprise if a sizeable number of them afforded him the armband. The arrival of Leandro Trossard appears to have lit a fire within Martinelli with his place in the starting line-up at risk and it would be a shrewd move to capitalise on his current form.


Ollie Watkins (£7.3m) vs CRY (H)

One of those players who seems to permanently go under-the-radar within the FPL community, no matter how much form he is in, Ollie Watkins (£7.3m) is making it very difficult for anyone to ignore him at present. The Aston Villa forward has now started and scored in each of the last five gameweeks, accruing 40 fantasy points in the process and has established himself as a key player under Unai Emery.

Watkins and his side take on Crystal Palace at Villa Park in Gameweek 26 and when you factor in his form, he offers FPL managers an excellent alternative captain pick for those searching for a differential point of difference. He is also expected to be on penalties for Aston Villa after smashing one home from the spot against Everton in Gameweek 25.

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