ANY Dream Team manager worth their salt knows to squeeze the schedule for all it’s worth.The logic is simple and undeniable: more fixtures equals more point-scoring opportunities.
This ploy isn’t totally fool-proof but it generally pays dividends over the course of a season.
PLAY SCORE PREDICTOR AHEAD OF THIS WEEKEND’S PREMIER LEAGUE ACTION – SOMEBODY MUST WIN £500 AMAZON GIFT CARD!
Smart options for Gameweeks 26 and 27?Credit: Dream Team
Looking at the next fortnight or so, it appears the upcoming European games hold the key to plentiful points.
In Gameweek 26, five teams will fulfil two fixtures with Manchester City, Liverpool, West Ham, Brighton and Aston Villa all in continental action in midweek after a full round of Premier League games at the weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s side host neighbours Manchester United on Sunday before welcoming FC Copenhagen to the Etihad on Wednesday night.
Given Erling Haaland (£7.5m) plundered 40 points in Gameweek 25, the captaincy debate is likely to be a simple one for most gaffers.
Elsewhere, Liverpool travel to Nottingham Forest and Sparta Prague in what has to be considered a favourable double header.
Dream Team bosses eagerly await availability updates on Mohamed Salah (£6.7m) and Darwin Nunez (£4.5m).
Most read in Football
Salah will be a popular recruit if deemed availableCredit: Getty
Brighton also have back-to-back away days in the form of Fulham in the league then Roma in the Europa League.
Pascal Gross (£4.5m) is among Dream Team’s most in-form players at present having earned 49 points across his last five outings.
West Ham are the third and final English team still active in the Europa League.
The Hammers face Freiburg (again) after a trip to Everton at the weekend.
Jarrod Bowen’s (£4.5m) hat-trick against Brentford on Monday suddenly looks very timely indeed.
The England international provided healthy returns for much of last season thanks in no small part to his ultimately triumphant Europa Conference League commitments.
This season it’s Aston Villa who are set to take part in the knockout stages of the continent’s tertiary competition.
31 goal involvements and countingCredit: Getty
Unai Emery’s side drew a big name in the round of 16 in the form of Ajax but it’s worth noting that the Dutch giants have been below par for much of 2023/24.
Jordan Henderson and company are without a win in their last four league games and currently reside fifth in the Eredivisie table.
Ollie Watkins (£4.5m), Douglas Luiz (£3.9m), John McGinn (£3.7m), Emi Martinez (£3.1m) and Leon Bailey (£3m) are therefore all tempting options.
The former has scored 16 goals and provided 15 assists in all competitions this season while the latter has quietly amassed 20 goal involvements.
The Villains travel to Luton on Saturday for their Premier League match-up with the Hatters having just shipped six goals to City in the FA Cup.
Back among the goalsCredit: Getty
Looking forward to Gameweek 27, it’s Arsenal who will be in Champions League action in Man City’s place for their second leg against Porto.
Whereas Liverpool, Brighton, West Ham and Aston Villa will all fulfil their respective second legs in consecutive Gameweeks.
These four clubs are therefore the only teams with two fixtures each in Gameweeks 26 and 27.
READ MORE SUN STORIES
This clearly hasn’t escaped Dream Team bosses as the four most-popular recruits ahead of Saturday’s deadline are currently: Watkins, Bowen, Virgil van Dijk (£3.9m) and Douglas Luiz.
Targeting the midweek European fixtures is likely to be a profitable strategy.
talkSPORT BET Welcome offer
Get £30 in free bets when you bet £10 – CLAIM HERE
18+ New customers only. Opt in & bet £10 on any sports at 2.00+ odds within 7 days. No Cash out. Get 3x £10 Free Bets on selected markets. Free bets expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org More