Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 25: Triple captain and transfer tips as Man City face Chelsea

Our high-flying fantasy manager brings you all of his latest tips ahead of Gameweek 25 in the FPL - is it triple captain time?
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Welcome back to our regular Fantasy Premier League advice column, compiled by our resident high-flying fantasy coach. Normally, we’d boast about his being in the top 500 or 1,000, as he has been for much of the season, but a spate of bad luck means he’s merely top 3,000 with a long injury list these days. We’ll let him complain about that later, after he’s talked you through all the transfer tips and triple captain ideas you’ll need to navigate gameweek 25.

Before we hand you over, a reminder that the deadline for this week is 11:00 BST on Saturday, ahead of Brentford’s lunchtime match against Liverpool – so don’t have too much of a lie-in. Anyway, over to Matthew…

Triple captain time?

As promised, I’ve got plenty to complain about – but for those of you who don’t want to hear my moaning, I’ll start with a grumble-free guide to getting the best out of GW25, which features some juicy doubles but also some traps.

Last week, I discussed some possible chip strategies for the rest of the season, and while there are various different ways to navigate your free hits and wildcards, one thing that I firmly believe holds true regardless of your strategy is that this is the best possible week to use your triple captain.

There will be doubles later in the season, of course, but they’re more likely to be the time to use your bench boosts – and it’s unlikely we’ll get any juicier targets than Manchester City’s double fixture against Chelsea and Brentford or Liverpool’s games against Brentford and Luton Town.

If he’s fit – and wait for tomorrow’s press conferences before making any moves on this one – Mohamed Salah is simply the best possible triple captain choice you can make. It won’t get much better. The only question is whether he’ll play all or most of his 180 possible minutes, and hopefully Jürgen Klopp will give us some pointers there before we have to make a decision. I’d also note that Salah’s price is likely to behave much like Erling Haaland’s when he finally returned from injury, which is to say that it will shoot up incredibly quickly. If you want Salah in your team, don’t hang around too long to make the transfer, or he might become too expensive.

A lot of players will struggle with the fact that Salah isn’t going to play in GW26 thanks to the EFL Cup final, while Chelsea, Spurs and Luton players will blank too. A lot of people will, quite rightly, not want to bring Salah in if he’ll blank immediately after, but if your plan is to triple captain him – and if he’s fit, I think it should be – then the bonus from the chip is worth taking a blank the following week, even if it means playing with 10. Ideally, you’ll be able to move to 11 players for 26 anyway, but if it isn’t possible, just be aware that the upside on triple captain Salah is so high that it’s worth losing a few points down the line.

If we aren’t sure that Salah is fit, however, or if you simply can’t find a way to shuffle your team about to include him, then there are still a few excellent options. City’s double isn’t as soft as Liverpool’s, but Haaland should still bag some points and he’s a fine option for your TC chip.

I’m slightly less high on Phil Foden or Kevin de Bruyne as triple captain options, simply because they’re more likely to be rotated somewhere across the two games and not play the full 180 minutes – especially given that they played the full match against FC København in the Champions League on Tuesday. That’s true of Haaland, too, but when fully fit Pep Guardiola rarely rests or rotates the big Norwegian, so he’s probably the safest City option.

One note I’d also make about the double gameweeks is that Luton players are basically a trap. Their games are very hard in GW25 and they blank the following week as well. I don’t like Thomas Kaminski or Alfie Doughty, although if you’ve got Elijah Adebayo or Carlton Morris as a cheap striker option, that’s fine – I wouldn’t transfer them in, however. Don’t rely on their defence to keep clean sheets, at any rate.

The other team playing a double this week is, of course, Brentford. There’s only player we’re interested in, and that’s Ivan Toney. He’s a fine option at the moment as he seems to have hit form very quickly after his comeback, and while the Bees’ fixtures in the double gameweek are very tough indeed, they do even out afterwards. I’m not sold on buying him solely for this week, but if he fits into your long-term scheme then knock yourself out. I’m not interested in any other Brentford assets right now.

One last thing to discuss before we move is the injury to Matheus Cunha. The Wolves striker has been one of the best cheap forward options in the game for a while now, but he has suffered a “significant” hamstring injury and while we don’t have a return date, it seems likely that you’ll want to move him on if you have him.

That could be where Toney comes in, if your finances allow, but I also like Rasmus Højlund based on current form and if you can stretch to Dominic Solanke then Bournemouth have a double gameweek in 28 that’s worth exploring. His fixtures over the next fortnight are rough, however. Adebayo and Morris are reasonable options if you can cope with the blank in GW26, too, and Taiwo Awoniyi has the potential to be a sneaky differential.

Injuries and price changes

There are a lot of players out this week, or at least doubtful. We know that Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss at least two to three weeks, and perhaps more, which will affect a lot of teams, and we don’t yet know if his back-up Conor Bradley will play after the sad passing of his father – but he is back with the team, at least.

Elsewhere, the list of definite absentees includes Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, Alexander Isak, Dominik Szoboszlai, Ezri Konsa, João Pedro, Joško Gvardiol and Diego Carlos, while Hwang Hee-Chan, Thiago Silva, Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva, Callum Wilson, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko are all doubts. That’s a lot of teams affected by knocks and crocks, and this will be a week where you may need to do some very deep planning indeed.

As well as the inevitable rapid price rise on Salah once he’s announced as being fit – whether that’s this week or next – I’d also keep an eye on Jan Paul van Hecke, Jordan Pickford and David Raya, who are all trending upwards. Alexander-Arnold is understandably on the way down, as is Anthony Gordon and Mohammed Kudus, although the former may be fit to play this week.

3 Added Minutes FC

Finally, my regular update on our example team, 3 Added Minutes FC – and this is where I finally get to do some good old-fashion moaning. My plan to bring Gvardiol to create room for Salah alongside triple City this week has backfired in spectacular fashion with the Croatian’s injury. Oh, and I have Cunha. And Konsa, who was on the bench. This is what we in the fantasy football trade call a massive problem.

It’s also rather annoying that for the third week in a row I’ve comfortably exceeded the global average score but also still fallen down the rankings, which shows you just how tough it is at the top. From around 400th, I’m now barely inside the top 3,000. Ho hum…

Mercifully, my team isn’t too bad for this week even if I don’t make moves, but clearly I need to do something to fix the defence. As it stands, I have no fewer than five players who will blank in GW26, and three transfers between now and then – so if I want to bring Salah in, say, then I have to drop players who will blank, like Richarlison and Cunha, in order to make the room, but none of those players are expensive enough to make the moves easy to figure out. Frankly, if it’s possible, I can’t see how to do it. I may just have to pray that Salah is out and bring him back in for GW27. A real drag…

Anyway, that’s enough griping from me. Best of luck to all of you, and may all of your triple captains rack up a nice big score.