FPL

The Best Midfield Options Ahead of Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 26

January 25, 2020
James Copeland

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The Best Midfield Options Ahead of Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 26

You might not have noticed, but there’s a severe lack of viable midfield options out there at the moment. With Sterling out-of-sorts (and, according to Ben Dinnery’s analysis in the latest Fantasy Weekly Podcast, injured), the double-Liverpool midfield an unattainable option for many a cash-strapped manager and a poor run of form for the once-popular Martial and Mount, the question has become a simple one: are there even five good midfielders out there at the moment?

Well, yes. Arguably. Mo Salah and Kevin De Bruyne deserve to stay in your team, at least for the meanwhile. Here are three of the best midfield options for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 26 to slot alongside them.

Harvey Barnes (£5.9M/£3.35 on Footstock)

As is typical of any Leicester midfielder who isn’t James Maddison, Harvey Barnes’ minutes up until recently have been patchy. With that said, the youngster has started the last three games.

In those games, he’s amassed 3 goals, 1 assist and a total of 26 FPL points. Not bad numbers for a sub-£6m midfielder. A look at the underlying numbers only reinforces those convictions. In the last three games, Barnes is second for non-penalty xG (2.08). It’s impressive: particularly when compared to his colleague Jamie Vardy, who, in the same time frame, fails to find the top 30 for non-penalty xG.

Leicester face Wolves in Gameweek 26, followed by Man City in Gameweek 27. After that, however, they’ll face Norwich, Villa, Watford and Brighton. Not a bad run for a player very much in form.

Son Heung-min (£10.0m/£9.29 on Footstock)

Son is owned by just 9.3% of managers. As the 9th-highest scoring midfielder in FPL, that’s a little surprising. In the 6 games prior to his suspension, he totalled 3 goals, 4 assists and 47 FPL points. In the 4 games since returning from suspension, he’s scored 2 goals – 1 in each of his last 2 fixtures.

As a player so capable of big returns, and one plenty of FPL managers were only too happy to trust with the armband only a few months ago, I feel like Son has drifted off the radar.

Spurs play Villa, Chelsea, Wolves and Burnley in their next four matches. Though not the worst fixtures, it’s worth noting that Son has a propensity for scoring against even the most resilient Premier League defences. Indeed, he’s scored against Man City already this season and, though it’s hard to believe, even Sheffield United.

At just £9.30 on the Footstock market (at the time of writing), he could be a fantastic acquisition ahead of Spurs’ run-in too.

Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m/£7.85 on Footstock)

If someone had told you at the start of the season that Riyad Mahrez would be the fifth-highest scoring midfielder in FPL by February, you would’ve have no qualms about keeping him in your side. At £8.5m, Mahrez is arguably the cheapest premium midfielder available, and he’s staring down the barrel of fixtures against the likes of West Ham and Aston Villa.

News of Sterling’s injury certainly bolsters his appeal. Not only does it make a starting berth more likely for the Algerian, but – and perhaps this is the more persuasive argument – Man City’s form without Sterling in the side does seem to be better. The Citizens have scored 14 goals in the two games that Sterling has missed this campaign.

Aside from that, Mahrez just looks the part. When he plays, he tends to be one of the standout players on the pitch, which is no mean feat when he keeps the company of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero. With a void of viable midfield options in this price bracket, everything points to Mahrez being the best option.

James Copeland

A St Johnstone fan marooned in Norwich, James joined the Footstock team in January 2020. He currently co-hosts the Fantasy Weekly podcast and live-streams about FPL on Thursday evenings.