Fantasy Premier League managers were dealt a rough hand on Wednesday night as a number of key assets sustained FA Cup injuries.
While the latest results in the competition helped to clarify which teams would, or would not, feature in Blank Gameweek 29, there are now a number of problems to overcome for Double Gameweek 24.
The popular Dominic Calvert Lewin (£7.7m), and James Justin (£5.2m), were among those to pick up problems on Wednesday, the Everton man forced off with a hamstring issue and Leicester’s full-back with a damaged knee.
Ahead of two fixtures in Double Gameweek 24, Calvert-Lewin is in 44.6% of Fantasy teams after registering a 12-point haul against Manchester United.
Elsewhere, the 23%-owned Rúben Dias (£6.1m) was omitted from Manchester City’s matchday squad due to an illness while Nick Pope (£5.5m) “had to miss” Burnley’s FA Cup match too.
The Burnley goalkeeper was already a heavily sought-after Double Gameweek 24 option but his current injury flag casts doubts over both him and also potentially his defensive colleagues including James Tarkowski (£5.3m) and Ben Mee (£5.0m).
Of course, it is still too early to say if any or all of these players will recover from their knocks to feature this weekend. Fantasy managers are, therefore, encouraged to keep an eye on our injuries and bans feed.
Accordingly, holding off from early transfer activity until Thursday and Friday’s press conferences also seems sensible.
BLANK GAMEWEEK UPDATE
Wednesday evening’s FA Cup results have given us a clearer picture of the Blank Gameweek 29 schedule.
Wins for Manchester City, Leicester City, Sheffield United and Everton mean the following fixtures, alongside Crystal Palace and Manchester United will have to be postponed from that round:
- Burnley v Leicester
- Man City v Wolves
- Sheff Utd v Aston Villa
- West Brom v Everton
Meanwhile, Brighton’s defeat at Leicester tonight confirms their Gameweek 29 meeting with Newcastle still goes ahead.
That fixture joins West Ham v Arsenal and Fulham v Leeds as one of three confirmed fixtures for that round.
What happened in Wednesday’s FA Cup matches?
Swansea City 1-3 Manchester City
Manchester City continued their impressive attacking form as they beat Swansea. Kyle Walker (£6.1m), Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) and Gabriel Jesus (£9.2m) all got on the score-sheet as Rodri (£5.3m) twice assisted before going off injured and Bernardo Silva (£7.4m) set-up one as well.
Ederson (£6.1m), John Stones (£5.2m) and João Cancelo (£6.0m) were rested, while Dias missed out through illness.
Ilkay Gündogan (£6.0m), Sterling and Jesus all started while Phil Foden (£6.1m) featured in the second half. Notably none of those four played the full 90 and a comparatively comfortable performance suggested all could be in the running for a start against Tottenham.
Leicester 1-0 Brighton
A nasty looking fall for full-back Justin was the most notable and regrettable outcome of a comparatively cagey match at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday night.
Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.6m) was the hero with a stoppage-time goal assisted by Youri Tielemans (£6.4m).
James Maddison (£7.4m) and Harvey Barnes (£6.9m) were both on the bench while Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) started but was replaced in the 62nd minute as Brendan Rodgers continues to manage his recovery from a hernia operation.
Sheffield United 1-0 Bristol City
A Billy Sharp (£5.5m) penalty was enough to send the Premier League’s bottom club into the FA Cup quarter-finals against Championship opposition.
David McGoldrick (£5.2m) and Jayden Bogle (£4.3m) both came close to scoring also in a match that a full-strength home side largely controlled.
The match also notably saw a start for Ryan Brewster (£4.4m) and another clean sheet for a defence that’s belatedly beginning to show signs of the fortitude from last season.
Everton 5-4 Tottenham Hotspur
An absolute goal-fest at Goodison Park showcased multiple FPL assets as two near full strength teams duked it out in a cracking end-to-end cup tie.
Only James Rodriguez (£7.7m), Jordan Pickford (£4.8m) and the still injured Allan (£5.2m) were missing from the Everton squad, while Jose Mourinho named the recovering Harry Kane (£11.0m) on the bench, but would later hurl him into the action.
Goals for Calvert-Lewin, two for Richarlison (£7.8m), Gylfi Sigurdsson (£6.8m) and finally Bernard (£5.7m) proved just enough to see the hosts sneak ahead of a Spurs side in which second-half substitute Kane, Erik Lamela (£5.7m) and Davinson Sánchez (£5.2m) also found the net.
Elsewhere in the creative stakes, a hat-trick of assists from Sigurdsson, two from Son Heung-min (£9.6m) and one for Calvert-Lewin would have added up to some tasty hauls had this been an FPL fixture.
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