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Captaincy Picks 2019/20: FPL Gameweek 26

Picking the right captain in FPL can make or break your season and has a massive impact on your final overall rank come the end of the season. We attempt to ease the burden of any potential captaincy stress by offering a host of worthy selections ahead of each Gameweek - an Essential that is voted by the FPL Community, an alternative of our choosing, a Dark Horse who might spring a surprise, and a lowly selected Differential - to cover the bases. All aboard.

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 26 Deadline

For the 2019/20 Premier League season, the FPL deadline will be one hour before the commencement of the week's first game. Our website provides a real-world countdown timer for the the upcoming Gameweek, whilst you can read our latest Fantasy articles from the season on our 2019/20 FPL weekly hype sub-section.


Our Essential picks for captain are selected each and every week on our main Twitter account, @RealHypeTrain, with four highly selected FPL options battling it out for alpha status amongst fellow FPL players.

Gameweek 26: Essential Captain

Player: Mohamed Salah (LIV)

Position: Midfielder

Fixture: Norwich (A)

Player Price: £12.7 million +

Player Selection %: 44.4%

Captaincy poll results:

Reason for victory:

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more suitable captaincy option than Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah ahead of Gameweek 26’s Saturday deadline. The Egyptian King is back at the top of the FPL player standings, collecting 165 points so far this season, with 30 points picked up during Gameweek 24 (West Ham) and Gameweek 25 (Southampton).

Backing Salah up on a statistical front is 20 attacking returns in Fantasy this season (14 goals, 6 assists), with Salah scoring 5 and assisting 2 goals in his last 5 games alone. Aside from the base stats, Salah has been in red hot form and has been pulling his weight in the right direction given the slight injury niggles that have sidelined Sadio Mane recently. Winning our poll quite comfortable against Vardy, De Bruyne and Aubameyang, the way most FPL players set up this weekend is quite clear, and it starts with Salah as your captain if you’re following templated picks.

Our team were actually talking this Friday morning about the logistics of any captaincy picks this week, with 10 games spread across two weekend’s. Man City host West Ham in one of the games this weekend, before Liverpool travel to bottom side Norwich next weekend. With Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne in and among the conversation, the only real thought that has to cross your mind this weekend is if you want to play your captain early and then potentially suffer waiting a long (very long) week before Liverpool kick a ball and Salah punishes those players who might on the surface of it all lack patience.

Liverpool certainly warrant our patience too, so the benefit of the doubt should be with an in-form Salah and Jurgen Klopp’s unstoppable juggernaut, with Liverpool only dropping points away at Old Trafford in a 1-1 draw against Man United, meaning The Reds are one a 16-game winning run and if City continue to faulter there’s a chance that the runaways leaders could have their first Premier League crown already won by the win City and Liverpool meet at The Etihad during Gameweek 32.

Did we also fail to mention that Liverpool are playing Norwich, a side who are notorious for heavy defeats against The Reds? Not that it matters much, Klopp’s team fancies themselves against any and all opposition on the planet.


Our Alternative selection for captain typically commands a smaller FPL ownership percentage than our Essential poll winner, though this pick is usually reserved for The Hype Train's own gut instincts on who could be captaincy inspiration for the upcoming Gameweek.

Gameweek 26: Alternative Captain

Player: Sergio Aguero (MCI)

Position: Forward

Fixture: West Ham (H)

Player Price: £12.0 million

Player Selection %: 24.2%

Reason for selection:

The narrative of Gameweek 26 is quite clear. Most active players will jump on the Salah hype train, with Liverpool’s momentum knowing know bounds as we enter the business end of the season, though there is a glittering of options that will fly under the radar over the next two weekends. The most obvious is Man City welcoming a West Ham side who are in real danger of relegation this season, despite bring in serial winner, David Moyes, to the club (his words, not ours).

Pep Guardiola’s side have actually been playing some good football as of late – their recent 2-0 loss at Spurs was not a 2-0 game, the Citizens just couldn’t put the ball in the net, a habit that has greatly aided a one-horse title race this season. With West Ham visiting, a side that haven't won in five Premier League games, this should be light for a City side that dominated The Hammers in a 5-0 win at the London Stadium during the opening day of the season.

With just the four games in the first part of Gameweek, the league's second-best side welcome the capital side for Sunday's late game, with Sergio Aguero a likely contender to find the back of the net. Aguero has scored 8 goals, assisting a further 3 goals, in 14 league games against The Hammers.

The Player of the Month for January scored 7 goals and provided 1 assist across his last 5 matches. Even though Pep has been rotating the pack relentlessly over the current season, *if* the Argentine starts, surely there's an easy argument that at any given time City could hit a team for six. In reality, KDB and Aguero and the only viable alternatives that most will consider this week, so much like City's season, we will just trail off and end without really making much of a statement.


A new captaincy selection this season sees us introduce a Dark Horse pick, which will be a player who typically has a good scoring record against an opposing team, or a player in good form that is being overlooked due to other popular captaincy picks.

Gameweek 26: Dark Horse Captain

Player: Richarlison (EVE)

Position: Midfielder

Fixture: Crystal Palace (H)

Player Price: £8.1 million

Player Selection %: 8.3%

Reason for selection:

Our last trip down captaincy lane sees us go to a place where logic goes to die. Our dark horse picks slightly go against the grain of casual thought and there is no harder game than to captain in than the first game of the weekend. If your stomach can muster the idea of going a full week having used your captain in the first outing, no less in a game involving two inconsistent teams in Everton and Crystal Palace, then you can get through life unfazed by pretty much everything.

The Brazilian returned after a two-game injury layoff during The Toffees 3-2 away win at Watford and looked sharp against his form side. Palace still have injury problems with Ancelotti getting some joy out of his wingers in recent games.

Richarlison has 12 attacking returns so far this season (8 goals, 4 assists), though the winger only has 2 goals and 1 assist his his last 7 games, so there's a big gamble here, and one we'd only advise with ultimate caution - you may be pulling your hair out (if you have any left if you play FPL and suffer through the state of its Twitter community in 2020) if this move backfires, though given the state, only Raul Jimenez and Tammy Abraham are in tightly contested fixtures that might make any dent as captaincy picks.


Our Wildcard selection is one of the ten differential picks that is featured in our Weekly Wildcard Differentials article. This captaincy selection has a very small percentage of owners in the FPL, and is our left-field option.

Gameweek 26: Differential Captain

Player: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Newcastle (H)

Player Price: £4.6 million

Player Selection %: 4.1%

Reason for selection:

Each week in our Differentials article, Sam Austin profiles a differential captain and has opted for a Arsenal midfielder in Gabriel Martinelli to lead the line during Gameweek 26's action. You can read the article by clicking here, as well as by interacting with the embedded tweet below.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

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All aboard.


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