My three FPL picks for not just Gameweek 26 but also the medium term

Double Gameweek 26 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is finally here and in this article, I’m going to point out three picks that I like for the mid-term that you can target with your transfers.

Gabriel Magalhães (£5.3M)

My three FPL picks for not just Double Gameweek 26 but also the medium term

Arsenal embark on a decent run of fixtures which involves a Double Gameweek 26, a confirmed fixture in Gameweek 30 and a potential Double Gameweek 28 (given that they have a free midweek after Gameweek 28 and have three outstanding fixtures to fit into their schedule). This means that they have five confirmed games until Gameweek 30, and potentially six if another Double Gameweek emerges.

As long as your FPL team can handle their blank in Gameweek 27, Arsenal are a good team to target this week. Their double in Gameweek 26 is also well spaced out as they play on Saturday and Thursday, and then they are not playing in the weekend after. Both Brentford and Wolves, who they face in Double Gameweek 26, are in the bottom half of the table for expected goals (xG) in the last six matches, while Arsenal are third in the table for expected goals conceded (xGC) in the same period.

Now, everyone is talking about Kieran Tierney (£5.1m) as a potential pick, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I just wanted to highlight the merits of Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.3m).

Firstly, with Tierney, there’s always the worry of an injury given his history, although since Arsenal are out of the other competitions and are only playing in the Premier League, this may be less of a concern.

Every time I watch Arsenal play, they always seem to look for Gabriel on their set-pieces. And they have gotten notably better with them in attack and defence, with a lot of it down to their set-piece, coach Nicolas Jover. They were 17th for set-play goals scored last season(six) already but have found the net with nine such goals this season, seven of which have come from corners.

Gabriel is sixth amongst all defenders for shots in the box this season and fourth for xG. He has already scored three times so far in 2021/22 and only Rece James (£6.2m) has scored more goals amongst all defenders. Not just that, he’s got a very healthy baseline score (BBPS) on the Bonus Points System as well. Only Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m) has a better mins/BBPS amongst the regular Arsenal starters.

Lastly, it is also worth noting that four (Brentford, Leicester City, Everton and Aston Villa) out of the Gunners’ next six opponents are in the wrong half of the table for goals from set-pieces conceded.

Raphinha (£6.5M)

Raphinha stars as Leeds win at Norwich in Gameweek 10

I’m going to stick my neck out and say don’t let last week’s half-time substitution for Rafinha (£6.5m) discourage you from going there as a pick. He’s simply put, the best player in that Leeds United team and the Whites are one of the few sides that have a Double Gameweek 26 as well as confirmed fixtures in Blank Gameweeks 27 and 30.

Raphin’s eighth sits amongst all players for expected goal involvement (xGI) this season and the way Leeds play their football, fixture difficulty wouldn’t dissuade me so much. They will still look to attack versus the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool because that is just how they play. Raphinha is also likely going to be on penalties, in the absence of Patrick Bamford (£7.7m).

There is a lot of talk around Daniel James (£6.0m) but seeing him play for Manchester United over the last few years makes me have no confidence in his finishing ability. Also, judging by the eye test, I noticed that both Burnley and Crystal Palace created a fair amount of chances versus Liverpool, and Manchester United aren’t exactly known for their solid defence. These two factors wouldn’t discourage me from looking at Raphinha as an option, and the Brazilian still remains one of the best-value players in the game if you already own Bukayo Saka (£6.4m). Amongst the last six matches, Raphinha sits fifth for shots and second for chances created amongst players that play twice in Gameweek 26.

Armando Broja (£5.4m)

Moura can provide value route into Spurs' appealing fixtures 1

I decided to not include a Double Gameweek forward in this slot, such is the value that Armando Broja (£5.4m) offers.

Southampton are in a really good place at the moment, with Ralph Hasenhuttl constantly mentioning that all of his players know their roles. Every time I watch them, I think to myself that the Saints are just creating a lot of chances every game at the moment.

While they don’t have a double this week, they face Everton, Norwich and Watford at home in the next four Gameweeks and have a good chance to have a playable game in Gameweek 30 as well (if West Ham beat the Saints in the FA Cup fifth round).

His numbers underlying don’t look very healthy but watching Hasenhuttl’s troops just gives me a different feeling, and because of the quality of the player and the quantity of the chances the team is generating, I would recommend Broja as one of the best-value enablers in the game at the moment.

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