The 2019 edition of the Copa America is now just over a week away and could have some impact on the start of the new Fantasy Premier League campaign.
This year, South America’s international tournament runs from June 14 to July 7.
That means that any FPL assets who go deep into the tournament could be late back to their respective pre-season training regimes, as they usually take a leave of absence after being released by their country.
Fantasy managers faced this issue on a much bigger scale last summer with England, Belgium and France, all heavily reliant on Premier League players, getting to the advanced stages of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
That competition reached its conclusion on July 15, which left options such as Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba and many others touch and go for Gameweek 1.
This year, thankfully, there are eight more days in which the returning Copa America stars can get back to normal, although they will have travelled a considerably further distance given the competition is taking place in Brazil.
With just 12 teams in the Copa America, there is also hope in the fact that even players who make it to the semi-finals and final will have played fewer games than if they had been at a 32-team World Cup.
Either way, such options will almost certainly miss a portion of their respective team’s pre-season programme, which could count against them when it comes to Gameweek 1 selection.
Furthermore, with important games on the line for most of the teams at Copa America 2019, some players could come back with injuries – so we’ll be tracking those throughout the tournament.
Here is the list of FPL assets who have been selected for their countries at the Copa America:
- Lucas Torreira (Uruguay)
- Jefferson Lerma (Colombia)
- Yerry Mina (Colombia)
- Richarlison (Brazil)
- Alisson (Brazil)
- Roberto Firmino (Brazil)
- Ederson (Brazil)
- Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina)
- Fernandinho (Brazil)
- Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
- Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)
- Antonio Valencia (Ecuador)
- Alexis Sánchez (Chile)
- Miguel Almirón (Paraguay)
- Salomón Rondón (Venezuela)
- Juan Foyth (Argentina)
- Davinson Sánchez (Colombia)
- Adalberto Peñaranda (Watford)
- Roberto Pereyra (Argentina)
West Ham United
- Fabian Balbuena (Paraguay)
Manchester City are definitely the most likely to be affected by the Copa America this summer.
No Premier League team has more than their five players present at the tournament.
Several of them are extremely important options for Pep Guardiola too.
Both of his strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus will be representing their countries in Brazil.
In fact, the Selecao and Argentina are the two favourites to win the tournament, so it’s entirely possible that they end up meeting in the final.
If both Aguero and Jesus do miss a portion of Manchester City’s pre-season matches, the first is on July 17, it would give us an opportunity to see who Guardiola might start up-front in their absence.
Also competing for either one of the two Copa America favourites
The presence of those players should have less of an effect on Manchester City with ample cover in defence and midfield, while Ederson’s role as a shot-stopper should see him require less pre-season training before being ready for the new season.
Liverpool could find themselves having to ease Roberto Firmino back in too, if Brazil get to the latter stages of the Copa America.
The alternative in his position, as things stand, are Champions League final goal-scorer Divock Origi – as well as maybe any summer recruits brought in by Jurgen Klopp, with Daniel Sturridge confirmed for the exit door.
As is the case with Ederson, the Reds’ manager can probably worry a lot less about Alisson‘s availability as he’s Liverpool’s goalkeeper.
The Spurs contingent at the Copa America probably solidify the credentials of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld ahead of Gameweek 1.
The only players in Brazil Mauricio Pochettino will have to concern himself with are defenders Juan Foyth and Davinson Sánchez, playing for Argentina and Colombia respectively.
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s representatives are unlikely to be in with much of a chance of starting Gameweek 1 anyway.
They are Antonio Valencia (Ecuador) and Alexis Sánchez
Historically, Mexico have been regular competitors in the Copa America as a guest country.
However, this time around, it clashes with the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the major international tournament in the Tricolor’s home confederation.
That means Wolves forward Raúl Jiménez will not be involved at the Copa America, but could still have to wait a while before his return to Wolves training, as the Gold Cup also reaches its conclusion on July 7.
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