England’s 5-0 win over the Czech Republic takes centre stage in our first international round-up of Friday’s matches.
We then turn our attention to games contested outside of Europe that featured Fantasy Premier League assets, with reports from the other European Championship qualifiers to follow over the coming days.
England 5-0 The Czech Republic
- Jordan Pickford (£4.9m) – 90 minutes
- Kyle Walker (£6.4m) – 90 minutes
- Harry Maguire (£5.4m) – 90 minutes
- Michael Keane (£4.8m) – 90 minutes
- Ben Chilwell (£5.0m) – 90 minutes
- Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) – 90 minutes
- Harry Kane (£12.5m) – 90 minutes
- Ross Barkley (£5.1m) – 73 minutes
- Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) – 70 minutes
- Dele Alli (£8.8m) – 63 minutes
- Declan Rice (£4.7m) – 27 minutes
- Callum Hudson-Odoi (£4.2m) – 20 minutes
- Eric Dier (£4.7m) – 17 minutes
- Kieran Trippier (£6.0m) – 0 minutes
- Tom Heaton (£4.8m) – 0 minutes
- Danny Rose (£5.8m) – 0 minutes
- James Tarkowski (£4.7m) – 0 minutes
- James Ward-Prowse (£5.1m) – 0 minutes
- Callum Wilson (£6.5m) – 0 minutes
- Matej Vydra (£5.6m) – 45 minutes
Already the most-bought Fantasy Premier League asset of Gameweek 32, Raheem Sterling‘s (£11.6m) popularity will surely only increase further ahead of Manchester City’s appealing-looking double-header against Fulham and Cardiff City.
The England winger scored a hat-trick and claimed a “Fantasy assist” in England’s 5-0 demolition of the Czech Republic, which would have bagged him a 24-point FPL haul had it been a Premier League match.
Starting on the left of a front three as he frequently does for Pep Guardiola’s side, Sterling’s first goal resembled so many of his goals at club level.
A 25-pass move ended with Harry Kane (£12.5m) superbly releasing Jadon Sancho down the England right, with the Borussia Dortmund winger firing a low ball across the six-yard box that Sterling tapped in at the far post.
Deflections played a large part in Sterling’s other two strikes: a ricochet landed handily in Sterling’s path for his otherwise beautifully taken
Sterling also won the penalty that Kane converted just before the break, having been sandwiched in the box by two visiting defenders.
The premium Fantasy midfielder was withdrawn by Gareth Southgate on 70 minutes, perhaps with one eye on Monday’s match in Montenegro.
The England manager said of Sterling’s display:
I thought Raheem was electric all night. He has looked like that all week in training. I’m pleased for him, it is a special night for him.
I think he’s really matured as a person and a footballer. He’s hungry for goals and hitting things instinctively without thinking too much.
Sterling himself said:
It was a beautiful team performance and I was happy to help the team get the win. I’m just being confident in myself, I’m trying to get in areas and take shots, not to worry about anything. The first goal pleased me most, to get myself up and running.
Dele Alli (£8.8m), who only returned from a two-month lay-off in Gameweek 30, showed some nice touches in central midfield as he continued to build his match-fitness with a 63-minute run-out, though posed little attacking menace from his more withdrawn position.
Kane, meanwhile, linked up well with Sancho and Sterling in the first half (dropping deep, as usual) but was perhaps not as much of a goal threat after the break: the Spurs striker had just the one effort after half-time, which was comfortably parried away by Jiri Pavlenka.
Jordan Pickford (£4.9m) and the England back four of Kyle Walker (£6.4m), Harry Maguire (£5.4m), Michael Keane (£4.8m) and Ben Chilwell (£5.0m) were almost completely untroubled in the opening 45 minutes but were put under pressure in the early stages of the second half, when Tomas Soucek glanced a header just wide and David Pavelka shot straight at Pickford following a Kane air-kick.
The visitors’ goal threat was only fleeting, however, with Burnley striker Matej Vydra (£5.6m) unable to make much of an impression in a 45-minute showing.
Two yellow flags were removed in FPL as a result of the match at Wembley: Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) played the full 90 minutes in midfield, while Kieran Trippier (£6.0m) watched on from the bench.
Both of those players were sidelined for their respective clubs’ previous Premier League matches.
There was, however, a fresh injury picked up by Eric Dier (£4.7m), who limped from the pitch after just 17 minutes of Friday’s encounter to be replaced by Ross Barkley (£5.1m).
Southgate said of Dier:
I think he will go back to his club. Hopefully not too serious,
bitof a muscular injury but he won’t be right for our second game.
If Eric is the only injury I don’t think we’ll call anyone else in. If we have any other concerns we’ll have to review that on Saturday.
Tom Heaton (£4.8m), Danny Rose (£5.8m), James Tarkowski (£4.7m), James Ward-Prowse (£5.1m) and Callum Wilson (£6.5m) were all unused substitutes, while Declan Rice (£4.7m) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (£4.2m) were given their first taste of senior international action in an England shirt as second-half replacements.
It was from Hudson-Odoi’s parried shot that Tomas Kalas turned the ball past his own goalkeeper for England’s fifth and final goal.
South Korea 1-0 Bolivia
- Son Heung-min (£8.6m) – 90 minutes
Having been handed a breather of sorts in the Gameweek 30 defeat to Southampton, Son Heung-min (£8.6m) played the full 90 minutes of South Korea’s international friendly with Bolivia on Friday.
Fatigue looked to have caught up with Son before the international break and there will still be concerns among the Fantasy community over just how fresh he will be for Spurs’ Double Gameweek 32, given that he has a long-haul flight back to the UK from Asia following Korea’s friendly against Colombia on Tuesday.
This was, it must be said, Son’s first competitive start in almost three weeks and the Spurs midfielder certainly looked sharper in Ulsan than he has in recent times.
Son played as a centre-forward in Paulo Bento’s 4-4-2 and was at the centre of much of Korea’s attacking play, registering seven shots against the South American nation.
The premium FPL midfielder spurned a glorious opportunity just before the interval, firing wide with the goal gaping having done the hard work in grounding Bolivia’s goalkeeper and a covering defender with a neat side-step.
A header from a corner narrowly crept wide just after the break before he curled off-target from distance later in the second half.
Shortly before Korea opened the scoring in the game’s dying stages, Son dragged another effort just past the post after jinking into the Bolivia box from the left flank.
Algeria 1-1 Gambia
- Riyad Mahrez (£8.2m) – 0 minutes
There was good news for Pep Guardiola ahead of Manchester City’s Double Gameweek 32 as Riyad Mahrez (£8.2m) remained an unused substitute for Algeria in their African Cup of Nations qualifier against the
With Algeria having already secured their passage into the tournament finals this summer, head coach Djamel Belmadi named an experimental team and rested several of his key players.
Mahrez and Algeria are in action again on Tuesday in a friendly against Tunisia.
Japan 0-1 Colombia
- Yerry Mina (£5.4m) – 90 minutes
- Davinson Sanchez (£5.8m) – 90 minutes
- Jefferson Lerma (£4.5m) – 90 minutes
The Premier League-based pair lined up at centre-half in Carlos Queiroz’s 4-2-3-1, with Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma (£4.5m) stationed just in front of them in the double pivot.
The visiting defence
Mina, who scored three goals from dead-ball situations at the 2018 World Cup, had his customary headed attempt on goal and set up another chance from within the Japan box – an attacking threat we perhaps haven’t seen as much of as anticipated at Everton this season.
USA 1-0 Ecuador
- Tim Ream (£4.2m) – 90 minutes
- DeAndre Yedlin (£4.5m) – 22 minutes
- Antonio Valencia (£6.4m) – 90 minutes
The veteran defender, who looks poised to leave Old Trafford in the summer, lined up on the right wing for his country on Friday – something he often does at international level.
Valencia was directly up against Tim Ream (£4.2m), who was curiously deployed at left-back for the United States.
The Fulham stopper almost handed Ecuador an equalising goal on a plate late in the game when he was caught in possession by Valencia, only for Leonardo Campana to then dally on the ball when through on goal.
It was Ream who provided the assist for the United States’ winner, however, intercepting a hopeful Ecuador ball forward and providing a 20-yard pass that Gyasi Zardes converted with a massively deflected shot.
Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin (£4.5m) came off the bench as a 68th-minute substitute, meanwhile.
Uruguay 3-0 Uzbekistan
- Lucas Torreira (£4.7m) – 20 minutes
Lucas Torreira (£4.7m) was thrown on as a 70th-minute substitute as Uruguay eased past Uzbekistan in the China Cup semi-finals.
The South American nation will contest the final against Thailand on Monday.
Torreira is currently serving a three-match ban for his club and won’t return until Gameweek 34.
Sudan 1-4 Equatorial Guinea
- Pedro Obiang (£4.3m) – 90 minutes
West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang (£4.3m) played the full match in Omdurman as Equatorial Guinea beat Sudan 4-1 in an African Cup of Nations qualification dead rubber.
Making only his second international appearance, Obiang capped off his country’s victory by scoring the visitors’ fourth goal of the match in the 85th minute.
Malawi 0-0 Morocco
- Romain Saiss (£4.2m) – 0 minutes
Wolves defender Romain Saiss (£4.2m) wasn’t involved in Morocco’s final African Cup of Nations qualifier on Tuesday.
With the North African nation