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FPL tips: Elites breathe sigh of relief after Salah’s triple captain reward

Manchester United v Liverpool – Premier League – Old Trafford
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Elite Fantasy Premier League managers leaned into Mohamed Salah and their triple captain chips in gameweek 26 and almost came to regret it.

By analysing the movements of a group of 1,000 managers with multiple top-10,000 finishes to their names, we can see how the best bosses prepared for a bumper double gameweek.

Liverpool’s home games against Norwich and Leeds looked too good to miss – with that in mind, Salah was selected by 97.8 per cent of our elite sample and captained by 960 of those.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022

(Peter Byrne/PA)

Given 664 of our elite bosses played their triple captain chip in GW26 it is clear that the vast majority of those armbands were given to the Egyptian forward.

After a period in which Salah had scored one goal in his last five PL appearances, this was something of a leap of faith, although double gameweeks don’t come much more tantalising than Liverpool’s.

With the Reds 1-0 down after an hour of play against Norwich however, FPL managers could have been forgiven for thinking Saturday was not meant to be – but minutes later their fears were allayed.

First, Liverpool drew level thanks to Sadio Mane before Salah put Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead moments later, clinching five points for the goal and three bonus points after the final whistle.

With 10 points already on the board – as well as a Threat score of 109 and a Creativity score of 69.3 against the Canaries – and another game to go, our top bosses will be feeling much better about their decision to back him.

Salah was also the most transferred in player among the elites in GW26, with his top ownership rising by 617 – the second most popular transfer was Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka at the final whistle following the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022

(John Walton/PA)

The Arsenal forward saw his top ownership rise by 467 going into the Gunners’ double against Brentford and Wolves, although he was only captained by two elite bosses.

At £6.5m Saka’s value is half that of Salah’s, but he returned the same number of points (10) in GW26 as the league’s top goalscorer, while his Threat score of 78 against Brentford shows he was good value for his points.

The goal was the Englishman’s first in three games, demonstrating the elite’s willingness to take a chance on a player not enjoying a purple patch, while he is now one of just three Arsenal players with more than 100 FPL points this term.

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