Football Article

EPL Fantasy Preview: Injury, Price & Form Dilemmas Galore

EPL Fantasy Preview: Injury, Price & Form Dilemmas Galore Photo: TT
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne

Gameweek 5 comes following the international break leaving Fantasy coaches scratching their heads around selection and what to do next as some clarity develops on form.

New Options

Chelsea full-back Ben Chilwell impressed prior to the international break and may be someone you want to make a move on before his price rise. Newcastle’s Callum Wilson netted a double last gameweek too, including a penalty, so there’s some value in him.

Beyond those two, we’re keen to assess the players who’ve dropped in price early but are worth having on your watchlist, given their long-term track record, led by goalkeepers David De Gea and Ederson who may be options with Alisson Becker out injured.

Virgil van Dijk, Bruno Fernandes, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Raul Jimenez and Andy Robertson are also dropping value and represent players who should be looked at closely.

Previous week lessons

The big lesson last round was not that the big clubs may not be as dominant as previous years, with Liverpool and Manchester United thrashed by Aston Villa and Tottenham, while Manchester City drew with Leeds United. Any fears on selecting or captaining players based on upcoming opposition needs to be re-assessed.

Jack Grealish was the big case in point, posting a massive score and he’s set for a big price rise in coming weeks, along with hat-trick man Ollie Watkins.

Fears around injury for Son Heung-Min were dispelled with a double for Spurs against United and he remains one of the hot properties in Fantasy Premier League this season, along with Everton’s James Rodriguez who scored a brace last gameweek.

Michail Antonio is arguably the most improved player in the Premier League and he was outstanding in West Ham’s 3-0 win at Leicester, while Mohamed Salah reinforced his value with a double despite Liverpool’s heavy loss. Some players just cannot be traded.

Who to captain?

This is an extremely tough question given the aforementioned lesson, whereby the big clubs cannot be trusted. With Everton playing Liverpool and Manchester City up against Arsenal, there’s some worthy trepidation with players from those teams. Salah and Kevin De Bruyne are the usual suspects, but those fixtures aren’t ideal and there’s an injury cloud around the Belgian.

It may be worth taking a punt on a vice-captain in those Saturday fixtures, including Dominic Calvert-Lewin, James or Salah, while another is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but he’s also got an injury doubt.

Chelsea and Manchester United have no obvious candidates at the moment, particularly with the Red Devils struggling a tad, but Tottenham offer up two excellent options in Harry Kane and Son when they host West Ham on Sunday.

Jamie Vardy and Grealish may tempt too when Leicester entertains Aston Villa on Sunday.

Injury front

There’s plenty of grey area after the international window but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has ruled out keeper Alisson, although they’ve not confirmed a timeframe but it seems his shoulder injury will rule him out for numerous weeks so he needs to be traded.

Alisson’s Reds teammates Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane have both received the green light to return after coronavirus.

De Bruyne is in some doubt after being substituted in Belgium’s loss to England and missing his side’s subsequent midweek fixture in Iceland. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez said: “I would not say that Kevin is injured. He said he felt something. It is too early to know what he has, but he did not feel a 100 per cent. It was a precautionary change.”

Raheem Sterling is also a 50-50 chance to play with a tight hamstring, while Arsenal’s Scotland international Kieran Tierney needs government clearance to be released from self isolation after a coronavirus case inside their national team camp.

Aubameyang has a sprained ankle but looks likely to play, while unlikely popular West Ham defender Arthur Masuaku has a knee concern and is a doubt.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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