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FPL tips: Four things we’ve learned from GW26 so far

Fulham celebrate a goal against Everton
(Image credit: Jason Cairnduff)

With the first full round of fixtures in Gameweek 26 having been completed, we’ve delved into the numbers behind each match to see what lessons can be learned.

Fixture-proof forward

West Ham United’s Michail Antonio scores against Manchester City

West Ham’s Michail Antonio was on the scoresheet against Manchester City (Martin Rickett/PA)

Almost a quarter of a million managers sold Michail Antonio ahead of GW26, no doubt swayed by his only fixture being a daunting trip to the Etihad. Not only did he score but while doing so he registered the third highest Threat total of the gameweek so far (70) and the most of any forward.

He also breached Pep Guardiola’s miserly defence when they met earlier this season and netted against Spurs last week, suggesting that even the Premier League’s better-organised back lines cannot keep him quiet.

With West Ham currently the only club in the top eight who have a fixture in GW29, he looks a solid short-term option. Even if you just transferred him out, it may not be the worst idea to get him straight back in.

Mounting evidence

Chelsea's Mason Mount playing against Manchester United v Manchester United – Premier League – Stamford Bridge

Mason Mount’s underlying numbers suggest there is more to come (Ian Walton/PA)

Mason Mount was Chelsea’s top producer of Threat against United – and Bruno Fernandes is the only player who has registered more Creativity and played more minutes than Mount this season.

Looking at the data over the long-term, it takes an average of about 100 Threat for a player to score a goal and the same amount of Creativity to register an assist. With this in mind, Mount could easily have had 15 attacking returns already instead of the nine against his name.

Formidable Fulham

Fulham manager Scott Parker

Fulham manager Scott Parker has overseen an improvement in his side’s displays (Mike Hewitt/PA)

Fulham may be mired in the relegation zone but Scott Parker has toughened them up at the back in recent weeks. Six of their last seven Premier League games have seen them allow their opponents less than 100 points of Threat; only one club – Manchester City – have even managed this in five. Furthermore only seven clubs in the division have conceded fewer goals.

The Cottagers face the “big two” of Liverpool and Man City in their next two outings, but after that maybe it’s worth considering one of their defensive players as a budget addition to your squad.

Magpies take flight

Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles celebrates scoring

Newcastle players like Jamaal Lascelles could represent could value in the next few weeks (Richard Sellers/PA)

Newcastle may not seem like the most enticing fantasy prospect – especially without their talisman Callum Wilson – but only Liverpool registered more Threat in the first full round of fixtures this week.

With all of their next five league matches having a Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR) of either 2 or 3 – including one in GW29 when many teams won’t be in action – there could be some short-term value in bringing in some of Steve Bruce’s players.