Leeds’ leaky defence, Sancho’s form, Barnes injury latest: FPL notes

We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Sunday’s Double Gameweek 26 fixtures.

The graphics below are taken from LiveFPLRagabolly’s excellent and ever-expanding website, and our own Premium Members Area.

GOALS, ASSISTS AND BONUS

INJURIES AND BANS

Harvey Barnes (£6.5m) was left out of Leicester City’s squad to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday through injury.

The winger was expected to start, after producing three assists in his last four Premier League appearances, but manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed in his post-match interview that he had a tight hamstring.

“He was due to play, but felt a bit of stiffness in there (hamstring). It was too much of a risk really. With a few days to rest, he should be back for Thursday.” — Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers also provided a positive update on Jamie Vardy (£10.3m), who has been missing since the end of December.

“Jamie (Vardy) will be back in seven to 10 days.” — Brendan Rodgers

Elsewhere, Robin Koch (£4.3m) was involved in a first-half collision against Manchester United. Despite initially being allowed to continue, he was then later replaced by Junior Firpo (£4.7m) after 31 minutes.

Pedro Neto (£6.4m), meanwhile, has not been featured since April 2021, when he suffered a major knee injury in a Premier League match at Fulham, but made his long-awaited return as a substitute in Double Gameweek 26.

The talented winger will surely be eased back in gently, but could perhaps be a useful addition further down the line.

“He can bring good things for us. He’s a special player. It’s a long time without playing and we need to give him minutes like this to give him confidence. We know what he can do for us, and now it’s teamwork. Every time to keep going.

We have Pedro (Neto), we have Hwang, we have Trincao, we have Podence, one more time he scored a goal, and it’s about going with solid things with solid performances, every time, with the chance to win points and grow up as a team.” – Bruno Lage

FPL TALKING POINTS

LEEDS’ DEFENCE WOBBLES AGAIN

Having shipped another four goals at Elland Road on Sunday, Leeds United have now conceded a whopping 30 in their last 10 Premier League outings.

Across the season, only Norwich City have allowed more than their 50, with their last clean sheet arriving all the way back in November against Crystal Palace.

It could well get worse, too, with Liverpool still to come in Double Gameweek 26 on Wednesday, followed by a vibrant Tottenham Hotspur outfit in Gameweek 27.

For those on a Free Hit, an attacking double-up of Son Heung-min (£10.7m) Harry Kane (£12.2m) will surely now be under consideration, given how open the Whites have been of late.

“We have to defend better. We are missing Kalvin Phillips and Robin Koch was substituted and we could not count on Pascal (Struijk) in midfield because he went back into defence. Not being able to come with the three defensive players we have, there is weakness in the recovery of the ball.” — Marcelo Bielsa

“It is impossible not to be worried. We have conceded 50 goals. Do you think I cannot be worried? How can I not feel responsible?” – Marcelo Bielsa on Leeds’ league position

RAPHINHA DROPPED

The idea of Rafinha (£6.5m) missing a game of this magnitude would have been unthinkable a while back, but after some indifferent form which led to him being hooked at half-time against Everton last weekend, Marcelo Bielsa went a step further in Double Gameweek 26 and dropped his star man.

However, his half-time introduction worked a treat, as he netted Leeds’ equaliser from a Daniel James (£6.0m) cross, his first goal this side of Christmas.

Now, he will surely return to the starting XI against Liverpool on Wednesday, before he embarks on a kinder run of fixtures, which sees the Whites take on Leicester City and Aston Villa in a Gameweek 28 double-header, followed by Norwich City at home .

As for James, he has now produced three goals and an assist in his last six Premier League appearances, although FPL managers will understandably have reservations about investing in a player who so often flatters to deceive, despite those good fixtures.

IN-FORM SANCHO

Following today’s win at Elland Road, Manchester United are now unbeaten in their last seven Premier League matches.

They certainly didn’t have it all their own way on Sunday, but were inspired by the excellent Jadon Sancho (£8.9m), who registered a pair of assists, maximum bonus, and in turn, his first ever double-digit FPL haul.

As a result, it’s now three attacking returns in his last three starts for the England winger, as he enters the conversation for those activating their Free Hit chip in Gameweek 27, when United take on Watford at Old Trafford.

Elsewhere, Harry Maguire (£5.4m) opened the scoring in the first-half, ending United’s unwanted record of being the only club in the Premier League not to have scored from a corner this season.

In fact, it was the first goal that the Reds have scored from a Premier League corner since April 2021, when they overcame Burnley 3-1.

“I’m embarrassed by the stat (nearly 140 corners without a goal). I’m a big part of that set-play routine but as a team we’ve been nowhere near good enough. If we scored more from set pieces we’d be higher up the table.” – Harry Maguire on Man Utd finally scoring from a corner

WOLVES DENIED CLEAN SHEET IN DGW26 OPENER

Ademola Lookman‘s (£6.0m) first-half equaliser denied Wolves their 10th clean sheet of the season in their Double Gameweek 26 opener.

Surprisingly, they often looked vulnerable at the back against Leicester City, allowing the visitors 17 shots on goal, which Bruno Lage touched on after the game.

“I think we had that consistency. Today we didn’t. They created a lot of problems. Against these teams, they have quality players, who can find spaces between the lines, they created a lot of problems and we were there, but not as strong as we usually are.” – Bruno Lage on his side’s lack of defensive stability

However, there are still some excellent fixtures ahead, including another double-header in Gameweek 28, followed by a guaranteed fixture against Leeds in Gameweek 30.


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