The international break is always a nervous time for FPL managers — we watch on hoping our players come through unscathed and jetlag doesn’t rear its head.
Here we give you a summary of the main news from the last fortnight and what implications it has for the weeks ahead.
Erling Haaland (£12m) was an early casualty as he suffered a groin strain which was picked up by his country and he subsequently missed out on Norway’s important European qualifiers. He is now a doubt for the crunch match against Liverpool on Saturday.
However, the latest reports state he has returned to Manchester to continue rehabilitation and they will carry out checks before making a decision on his availability for Double Gameweek 29.
Owners will be sweating about his fitness and all eyes will be on Pep Guardiola’s press conference later in the week.
Marcus Rashford (£7.3m) was another big name who is widely owned and didn’t attend international duty. He picked up a knock and had to miss England’s Euro qualifiers but has also been seen training this week as part of his rehabilitation. He is still a small doubt for the weekend.
With a double gameweek for Manchester United next and Rashford one of the best captain options, owners will really need him fit and especially those of us who are using the Bench Boost chip this week.
Again the press conferences later in the week will give us a lot more news so hold those transfers until then.
Other notable injuries
Reece James (£5.8m), Kai Havertz (£7.6m), and Phil Foden (£8m) suffered injuries. Foden is likely to be out for a few weeks at least. James and Havertz are fairly popular options and have a chance to be fit but will need to be monitored.
James had to return from England duty for an assessment of an ongoing hamstring issue. He has been unfortunate with injuries for a long time and his latest one has come at the worst possible time for his owners as Chelsea have a decent double set of fixtures against Aston Villa (h) and Liverpool (h).
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Be wary of players returning back late
Aside from injuries, we also have to monitor players returning late from international duty, especially those playing on the other side of the world.
For example, Pervis Estupinan (£4.8m) and Moises Caicedo (£5m) played their final friendly for Ecuador in Australia early on Tuesday. Kaoru Mitoma (£5.5m) played in Japan against Colombia later on the same day. They will now need to return on a 16+ hour journey ahead of their match against Brentford on Saturday.
Mitoma and Estupinan are enjoying great seasons and both scored for their countries during the international break.
There may also be players who picked up injuries while playing for their countries which haven’t been reported yet. Another reason why it’s so important to wait for all the press conferences before making any transfers.
Double Gameweek 34 announcement
During the international break, we had another confirmation of a double in Gameweek 34.
We only have three fixtures to be rearranged now and we will have the full fixture schedule until Gameweek 38.
Newcastle United vs Brighton will move to Gameweek 31 or 36.
Manchester United vs Chelsea and Brighton vs Manchester City should get moved to Gameweek 37.
The most recent announcement of the double gameweek has made a few teams and players more desirable.
West Ham and Liverpool are now the only teams to have a double in both Gameweek’s 29 and 34, and also have a fixture in Blank Gameweek 32.
West Ham’s fixtures look favourable as they play Southampton (h), Newcastle (h), Fulham (a), Bournemouth (a) and Crystal Palace (a) in the next six gameweeks. This makes Jarrod Bowen (£8m) and Danny Ings (£6.4m) interesting options. They are the most likely to return in the team and are first choice in their positions.
Liverpool assets become much more attractive now too. Although they have had a poor season, they are sneaking up the table and putting up good attacking stats. They have scored the fourth-most goals (47) and also have the third-best xG (48.17).
Mohamed Salah (£12.8m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m), and Andrew Robertson (£6.8m) should all be popular assets in the weeks to come. They have a double in Gameweek 29, then play Leeds United (a), Nottingham Forest (h), Spurs (h) and Fulham (h) in the next six.
Jurgen Klopp’s men should score plenty of goals during this period — Leeds, Forest and Fulham are all in the bottom five for xGC (expected goals conceded).
Updated fixture schedule
Below is the updated fixture schedule from Ben Crellin.
It’s always useful to use a fixture guide when planning for future gameweeks and transfers.
(Top photo: Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)