Sports

Triple-ups on Liverpool and Arsenal

We have chosen our best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players for Gameweek 26 ahead of Saturday”s 11:00 GMT deadline.

We line up in a 4-3-3 formation and, as ever, are limited to an £83.0m budget – which we’ve hit bang this week – for our starting XI.

Our four substitutes, meanwhile, are always picked from the budget/cheaper crop of players, not to serve as bench fodder but to give some alternative options who don’t cost as much as some of the names in our line-up.

We’ve made two changes to our team from the ‘bus team’ of earlier this week, with a Burnley forward and a Liverpool defender replacing teammates in the Scout Picks XI.

GOALKEEPER

Xhaka and Moura recalled as Ramsdale starts again

Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m) has been in fine form for Arsenal this season, keeping 11 clean sheets and conceding just 16 goals across his 19 Premier League outings. Since making his debut in Gameweek 4, the England international is averaging 5.3 points per match, more than any other goalkeeper who has made more than one appearance.

His +5.20 expected goals prevented (xGP) tally is another league-leading figure, as are his 12 bonus points, and he’ll be facing a Brentford side who have scored just five goals in their last nine matches and a Wolves outfit who have the division’s third-lowest goals tally.

DEFENDERS

Such is our confidence in the Arsenal backline, who have five clean sheets in their last six matches at the Emirates, that we’ve doubled up on the Gunners rearguard. Kieran Tierney’s (£5.1m) points-per-match average is one of the best among FPL defenders this season (5.5) and the best since Gameweek 15 onwards (8.0), a purple patch that has seen him plunder four attacking returns and six clean sheets in eight outings.

The first of our bus team changes sees Virgil van Dijk (£6.7m) come in for Andrew Robertson (£7.1m). Partly influenced by budget, it also has a lot to do with security of starts: the Reds’ two Double Gameweek 26 fixtures are sandwiched by the Champions League and the EFL Cup final, so there is every chance that we may see a spot of rotation both this weekend and next Wednesday to ensure that fatigue isn’t an issue ahead of that Wembley appearance. Kostas Tsimikas (£3.7m) could easily get a run-out at left-back, then, but van Dijk hasn’t been benched in the league in any of his last four seasons on Merseyside. A threat of his own from set plays, the Dutchman is joint-second among defenders for attempts from free-kick and corners.

Trent Alexander Arnold (£8.5m) joins van Dijk in our selection and, while everything that we said about Robertson also holds true with his fellow full-back, Alexander-Arnold can still do plenty of damage in whatever game-time he is afforded: he sits top of the defender standings, having returned two goals, 10 assists, 28 bonus points and 12 clean sheets across the season so far.

Wolves’ double-header is far from straightforward, with fixtures against Leicester City and Arsenal, who rank sixth and seventh respectively for actual goals scored. However, their standout strength under Bruno Lage has been their watertight defence. Across the season so far, their 17 goals conceded is bettered only by Manchester City, while no other side in the division has conceded fewer goals from open play. It’s also worth noting how vulnerable the Foxes have looked defending set-pieces this season, which could be good news for Romain Saiss (£5.0m), one of Wolves’ main aerial threats.

MIDFIELDERS

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