The majority of international players will now be back with their clubs and those that aren’t will be travelling back today as the clubs (and of course Fantasy Premier League managers) are left to carry the cost of the injuries sustained whilst on international duty.
The list of injured players increased after Tuesday’s games with Sergio Aguero being the most notable one being taken to hospital after passing out during Argentina’s defeat to Nigeria. He seems to have been given the all clear and it was a precautionary measure, but nevertheless it will still cause concern for his owners.
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The list of yellow flags is bigger than any point this season with Loftus-Cheek being another to be forced off in England’s clash with Brazil. The visitors fielded a full strength side at Wembley and Gabriel Jesus played 76 minutes after playing 58 minutes against Japan a few days earlier. The young Brazilian did go down clutching his knee at one point but appears to have come out of it unscathed and it set to play for Man City this weekend at Leicester.
Romelu Lukaku was the only scorer for Belgium when they beat Japan 1-0 on Tuesday as he became the all time record goal scorer for his country. He takes on Newcastle this weekend at Old Trafford and looks a favourite for the armband in the hope that he recaptures his scoring touch for his club. Eden Hazard played the full 90 in that game, as did Vertonghen (Spurs) whilst KDB played 62 minutes but came out unscathed.
The fixture of the week (other than the bore draw between England and Brazil) came in Germany at the RheinEnergieStadion as Germany hosted France in a 4 goal thriller. The spoils were shared thanks to a last gasp Germany equaliser but notably Alexandre Lacazette scored twice for the visitors – something which might bode well for the weekend for him – he was subbed shortly after his second goal on 76 minutes.
Lacazette’s teammate for club and country, Olivier Giroud sustained a thigh strain in the first international game of the break and also remains a doubt for the clash against Spurs.
Here are some of the notable possible absentees for GW12 due to injury:
- Loftus Cheek
- King (Bournemouth)
- Phil Jones
- Jack Butland
- Otamendi (suspension)
There are a number of managers who are reporting 3 or 4 yellow flags in their teams and with some low quality benches with squad players who do not play the question remains wether or not you should take a -4, -8 or even an unthinkable -12. Myself and JP discuss this at length on the game week 12 podcast which should be displayed somewhere on this page – but the short answer is that unless your player is definitely out of action (e.g. Jack Butland, Otamendi) then you can probably afford to take the risk.
Hopefully you will have a spare free transfer – something that is always advisable for an international break. But if you don’t then you have to be very sure that the replacement player is a better prospect for at least GW12 and maybe even GW13 than your current player. Add to that, are you going to want them back once fit? If it is someone like Raheem Sterling for example, he has increased in price by £0.2m over the season, Aguero has increased by £0.3m. If you drop them and want them back, will you be able to afford them? If not, I’d suggest stick with them.
The likelihood is that Jones and Sterling will be fit. Hazard played last night and so he should be fine. Giroud probably wouldn’t have started anyway and may well be on the bench whereas most people won’t have Mane yet. If you have a backup keeper and you have Butland, use your backup.
At most you should be taking a -4 hit and you can wait up until the last minute for the latest injury news. You didn’t wait all this time to make your transfers to go and bottle it and make a transfer this early, keep your cards and play them as late as possible.
As always, follow Ben Dinnery on Twitter for the latest injury news.