top of page


Premier League 2022/23 Season: FPL Fantasy Forecast - Gameweek 26

Ahead of each Gameweek in the Premier League, The Hype Train's team - Robert Austin, Sam Austin, and Phil Jones - provide a rundown of the upcoming round of games in the Premier League; predicting scores for every game, picking a budgeted squad of 15 players that we think are the top selections each week, whilst ee also comb over other relevant statistics, impressions and insight from around the game and the league to best navigate you through the world of fantasy football, all for free. Welcome to the Forecast. All aboard.

Premier League: Gameweek 26 Fixtures:

2022/23 Premier League Season: Fixture Predictions

Below, our score predictions pit the train's three members against one another. Let's find out how they think the Gameweek will shape up for teams.

2022/23 Premier League Season: Fantasy Forecast

The team go through a list of questions and insight to provide their predictions ahead of each Gameweek. None of the team pay for any subscription based FPL services, and the type of opinions here are based in both stats and analytical thinking where possible, as we tackle the latest round of games.

2022/23 Premier League Season: Gameweek Fantasy Forecast (Sam Austin)

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 26

Man City 1-0 Newcastle

Arsenal 4-0 Bournemouth

Aston Villa 2-0 Crystal Palace

Brighton 3-1 West Ham

Chelsea 1-1 Leeds

Wolves 0-1 Spurs

Southampton 1-2 Leicester

Nottingham Forest 2-0 Everton

Liverpool 0-0 Man United

Brentford 1-1 Fulham

FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 26

Who are the teams to look out for and avoid?:

Arsenal (Watch): The Gunners have had a good time of late, and most importantly found their scoring form again. Leandro Trossard has been a fine addition that has slotted in perfectly to their attack. They dispatched Everton ruthlessly in the Double Gameweek and host an out of form Bournemouth team who must be sick of picking the ball out of the net.

Chelsea (Avoid): Have Chelsea spent more money in the most recent transfer window than entire nations spend on their defensive budget over a decade? Yes. Can Chelsea buy a clean sheet right about now? No. I can see this game being the game where Potter gets sacked, the most backed short-term manager of all time. I don’t think Chelsea will lose but they have been allergic to winning at the same time.

Liverpool vs. Manchester United (???): Here we are again, for the most entertaining game in the Premier League. The last set of results have been thrillers, and the last team to draw blood was Manchester United with a 2-1 win back in August. Before that though Liverpool made short work of United with a rousing 5-0 win at Old Trafford, and then a 4-0 win at Anfield. Liverpool’s league form has been solid as of late, and after a convincing 2-0 win over Wolves, and picking up a fair few clean sheets in the process, the game is perfectly poised against newly crowned League Cup champions, Manchester United. The Red Devils have been in superb form and if Rashford is on the pitch they have a real shot. My issue is looking at these games where everything hangs on the line is the threat of a 0-0 where both teams cancel each other out which I believe will be the case.

Top FPL player targets ahead of Gameweek 26:

GK: Robert Sánchez (BHA, GK, £4.6mil, 11.0% ownership)

DEF: Emerson Royal (TOT, DEF, £4.9mil, 2.9% ownership)

MID: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS, MID, £6.5mil, 35.2% ownership)

FWD: Ollie Watkins (AVL, FWD, £7.3mil, 7.9% ownership)

Gameweek 26 - FPL Differential Picks:

MCI/NEW: Manuel Akanji (MCI, DEF, £5.0mil, 2.8% ownership)

ARS/BOU: Leandro Trossard (ARS, MID, £6.6mil, 7.7% ownership)

AVL/CRY: Matty Cash (AVL, DEF, 4.6% ownership), 3.5% ownership)

BHA/WHU: Evan Ferguson (BHA, FWD, £4.6mil, 1.9% ownership)

CHE/LEE: Ben Chilwell (CHE, DEF, £5.8mil, 1.9% ownership)

WOL/TOT: Emerson Royal (TOT, DEF, £4.9mil, 2.9% ownership)

SOU/LEI: Kelechi Iheanacho (LEI, FWD, £6.2mil, 1.8% ownership)

NFO/EVE: Chris Wood (NFO, FWD, £5.6mil, 0.7% ownership)

LIV/MUN: Diogo Jota (LIV, FWD, £8.8mil, 0.5% ownership)

BRE/FUL: Rico Henry (BRE, DEF, £4.5mil, 1.8% ownership)

Differential Captain: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)

So, Cody Gakpo was a bust in the Double Gameweek. I return with a pick that might be able to score this time, and he did in the FA Cup before the Foxes were dumped out. Leicester’s Nigerian forward Iheanacho has been reinstated as the teams main forward. In that time the forward has two goals and three assists against Spurs and Villa, but then nothing against Arsenal and Man United. Leicester has a chance away at very low scoring Southampton, which is a chance to get back on the scoresheet.

FPL Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Erling Haaland (Man City)

Alternative: Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)

Differential (low ownership %): Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)

Rest of the World XI Challenge Team:

What is Sam’s team all about?: For the 22/23 season, Sam’s latest challenge sees his actual squad only being comprised of players from outside of Europe, with players only from Asia, North and South America, Australasia, and Africa considered.

Target Points: 2330pts

Total Points: 1248pts

22/23 Captaincy: 13/25

Ins: Emerson Royal (CHE)

Outs: Thiago Silva (CHE)

Transfer Thoughts: Emerson Royal, spurred on by watching Pedro Porro struggle in Spurs team, feels validated and has had a few big weeks. Wolves struggle for goals so it is a no-brainer for an injured Silva.

22/23 Challenge: Rest of the World XI

GW26 Formation: 3-4-3

GK: Ederson (MCI)

DEF: Emerson Royal (TOT)

DEF: Gabriel (ARS)

DEF: Pervis Estupiñán (BHA)

MID: Mohamad Salah (LIV) - (VC)

MID: Kaoru Mitoma (BHA)

MID: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS) - (C)

MID: Riyad Mahrez (MCI)

FWD: Darwin Nunez (LIV)

FWD: Bryan Mbeumo (BRE)

FWD: Kelechi Iheanacho (LEI)


GK: Willy Caballero (SOU)

MID: Miguel Almirón (NEW)

DEF: Kalidou Koulibaly (CHE)

DEF: Lisandro Martínez (MUN)

2022/23 Premier League Season: Gameweek Fantasy Forecast (Robert Austin)

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 26

Man City 2-1 Newcastle

Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth

Aston Villa 2-1 Crystal Palace

Brighton 1-1 West Ham

Chelsea 2-1 Leeds

Wolves 0-2 Spurs

Southampton 0-1 Leicester

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Everton

Liverpool 1-1 Man United

Brentford 1-2 Fulham

FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 26

A board overview of the Chips ‘Strategy’ in the FPL Community:

- Wildcard during Gameweek 26

- Have the best Brentford and Brighton players for Gameweek 27

- Playing your Wildcard in 26 will then mean you eliminate most of the players not playing in Blank Gameweek 28 (largely your United, Liverpool, City assets)

- Gameweek 29 is then going to be used to play the Bench Boost chip (if you still have it)

- This allows you to use your Free Hit in Gameweek 32 for when the FA Cup semi-finals take place, with 6 teams (Brighton, Chelsea, Fulham, Leeds, Man City, Man United)

- There is no talk in the ‘Community’ of playing your Triple Captaincy chip as most ‘influencers’ or ‘Content Creators’ have already used it (whereas the majority of the game have the chip still active)

How many Double Gameweek players do you realistically need for Gameweek 27?:

Brentford: EVE (A), SOU (A)

Brighton: LEE (A), CRY (H)

Crystal Palace: MCI (H), BHA (A)

Southampton: MUN (A), BRE (H)

Let’s be realistic, no one will vouch for Southampton or Crystal Palace, with most FPL players going for Brentford (Toney, Mee etc) and Brighton (March, Mitoma, Dunk, Estupinan, Mac Allister etc) in favourable games.

To be noted with Brighton, they miss the following Gameweek 28.

My own personal opinion is that relying solely on Brighton and Brentford players is a dangerous move – teams in the upper mid table aren’t as reliable as Top 6 teams.

What 6 teams are not playing during Gameweek 28?:

Brighton, Fulham, Liverpool, Man City, Man United, West Ham

What 8 teams do not have a Double Gameweek during Gameweek 29?:

Arsenal: LEE (H)

Crystal Palace: LEI (H)

Everton: TOT (H)

Fulham: BOU (A)

Man City: LIV (H)

Southampton: WHU (A)

Spurs: EVE (A)

Wolves: NFO (A)

Is it time to play your Wildcard (if you still have it)?:

If you feel like you can play the strategy well over the next few weeks, and are happy to accept that Double Gameweek 29 is a month away, then by all means you are a free person.

What I would look at it the immediacy of your own personal team;

How many players do you have for Double Gameweek 27?

How many players do you have missing in Blank Gameweek 28 due to the blanks?

How many current players do you have as part of Double Gameweek 29?

There’s also the question of, why are you playing? Will your mini-league rivals be doing the same? Do you need to use the chip to leverage your friends, or can you hold on? If you’re doing it purely for a H2H League or Overall Rank – are you desperately looking to rise the ranks with a big punt on your squad?

This could dictate if and when you play your Free Hit chip. Due to the 12 teams involves, Bench Boost is a very viable option, though you could also Free Hit the same week with a very strong 11, or you can wildcard with more flexibility and a strong 11 so you can Triple captain, using your bench to rotate with the other Gameweek’s.

My own opinion is that I am struggling with the ideas of a set team right here and now for Gameweek 29 as it is a month away and injuries happen, form dips, suspensions arise, and generally a lot can change to make firm bets right now. Calculated risks, sure, but I don’t want to be in a position in a month, with all my chips available, having rued what is a tricky Gameweek. What I am more concerned about is the blanks in Gameweek 28 and how to manage a squad – and my gut instinct is to potentially hold what I have and make 3 transfers to shuffle my team about in the event that Gameweek 26 is a bust (which it could very easily be).

I don’t mean to be a downer at all – I am in a position where I am trying to maximise my own returns, but I see choppy waters, relying on mid-table clubs for definite points (Ivan Toney has done nothing but give me 1 pointers this season), whilst also trying to navigate alternatives for proven FPL players (Salah, KDB etc) that have fallen out of favour due to their fixture run-ins for Fantasy players.

What are the potential stumbling blocks to a good Gameweek?:

- If you’ve wildcarded, the Liverpool, Man United, and Man City (all Top 6 clubs) biting you in the rear, immediately

- A lacklustre opening encounter featuring Man City and Newcastle limiting the potential of Erling Haaland’s captaincy points

- The FPL Scout team is supposed to be used to promote the best players in this particular Gameweek. Some of the selections (like Toney and Mee) have been added with future Double Gameweek’s in mind. Brentford are playing a top Fulham side, so it isn’t as cut and dry – why not pick Ollie Watkins at home, he’s only scored in 5 successive games? Why not pick Fulham’s Solomon, who is in form, against Brentford?

- Man United and Liverpool negating one another, same applies for Brentford/Fulham and potentially City/Newcastle and Wolves/Spurs. This is one tight Gameweek on paper to predict, besides Arsenal

- Though unlikely, Bournemouth doing the unthinkable and going to FPL jail for violating 10+m players in one go with a win at The Emirates

Who are the teams to look out for and avoid?:

Arsenal (Watch): Good form, great fixtures. A proven, reliable source of points in FPL. I would like to hold my Gunners assets for as long as possible, whilst I evaluate my chip strategies.

Spurs (Watch, kind of): In a similar boat to Arsenal, Spurs have a good run of fixtures for the next 4 Gameweek’s, even though they don’t feature in Double Gameweek 29. The only drawback is that they are unreliable and you could potentially go without Kane. A trip to Wolves should be close scoring

Brighton (Watch): Estupinan and March are available and the squad looks healthy. West Ham’s form has been hit and miss, but they’ve picked up in away games, like the 1-1 score draw at Newcastle. This will be another close game, tough to call like the Brentford vs. Fulham game on Monday.

Chelsea (Avoid): Graham Potter’s team can’t win football matches, and even though I think they will sneak a win against a Leeds team in transition under Javi Gracia, this is just a shot in the dark. Both teams are unpredictable, so will avoid at all costs in FPL.

Newcastle (Cautiously Avoid): The Magpies really took the game to Man City in the 3-3 home draw at the beginning of the season, and it was a game Newcastle should have won. The 12:30pm lunchtime kick-off, combined with the loss in the final of the Carabao Cup, this game will be tough to navigate as Eddie Howe’s team are out of form.

Aston Villa (Watch): Ollie Watkins is on fire with 5 goals and 1 assist in 5 games in the league. The Englishman should be in consideration for teams this week ahead of Toney (BRE) who hosts a strong Fulham side. Palace are beatable and Villa responded well with a win at Everton.

Nottingham Forest (Watch): Everton are struggling to score goals. Forest have a good Double Gameweek 29. The true differential team for the next month, as well as featuring in the Blank GW28. Navas could be an interesting pick in goal, and Gibbs-White as a 5th midfield choice.

FPL Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Martin Odegaard (ARS)

Alternative: Erling Haaland (MCI)

Differential: Ollie Watkins (AVL)

FPL Squad Picks: Gameweek 26

Formation: 3-4-3

Budget: £102.5 million

Starting 11

GK: Emi Martinez (AVL)

DEF: Pervis Estupinan (BHA)

DEF: Timothy Castagne (LEI)

DEF: Oleksandr Zinchenko (ARS)

MID: Marcus Rashford (MUN)

MID: Martin Odegaard (ARS) – (C)

MID: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS)

MID: Kaoru Mitoma (BHA)

FOR: Harry Kane (TOT)

FOR: Erling Haaland (MCI) – (VC)

FOR: Ollie Watkins (AVL)


GK: Danny Ward (LEI)

MID: Jamie Maddison (LEI)

DEF: Ben Mee (BRE)

DEF: Kieran Trippier (NEW)

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in general football and 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. We won both Goal of the Season Awards in the Berkshire and County FA regions, with Callum Parr-Jones winning the Berks & Bucks FA award, whilst Martin King won the PlaySport UK award.

In 2021, we formed the Reading Sunday Social League (RSSL), a competitive Sunday League involving 8 teams in its debut season. During the 2021/22 season, we won our first-ever trophy, lifting the East Berkshire Football League's Presidents Cup!

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.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, visit our club's dedicate website, or visit our website here at

Believe The Hype!