This week sees the start of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, one of several international tournaments that could have an impact on the first few weeks of the new Fantasy Premier League campaign.
The Copa America, Africa Cup of Nations and European Under-21 Championship also take place this summer, with significant Premier League representation in all three of those competitions.
The Gold Cup runs almost simultaneously to the Copa America, kicking off just after midnight on June 16 and finishing in the early hours of July 8 (UK time).
Any FPL assets who go deep into the tournament will be late back to their respective clubs’ pre-season training camps, with a leave of absence usually granted following summer international duty.
Mexico are the pre-tournament favourites with the bookmakers, so Raul Jimenez may well face this scenario.
Wolves will be taking part in the Asia Cup in Shanghai just over a week after the culmination of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, before getting their UEFA Europa League campaign underway on July 25.
The Premier League season kicks off on the weekend of August 10-11, which gives any FPL assets reaching the final of the Gold Cup five weeks to recuperate – a week more than England, France, Croatia and Belgium players had ahead of the start of 2018/19 after their World Cup exploits.
A nation reaching the final of the 2019 Gold Cup will have to contest six matches in June/July, one fewer than the teams who made it to the third-place play-off and final of last year’s World Cup.
While the likes of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling recovered in time to make their respective teams’ starting XIs in Gameweek 1 last August, there were others such as Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard who weren’t risked.
How much a second successive summer of international football will affect the likes of Jimenez, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane further down the line is also open to debate.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the Gold Cup and other international tournaments over the summer, documenting the minutes played and any injuries picked up by the FPL assets involved.
The Premier League players who have been selected for their countries at the Gold Cup are as follows:
- Nahki Wells (Bermuda)
- Christian Pulisic (USA)
- Matt Miazga (USA)
- Michael Hector (Jamaica)
- Cuco Martina (Curacao)
- Raul Jimenez (Mexico)
Christian Pulisic is the only other real noteworthy name in that list from a Fantasy perspective, with the attacking midfielder set for a busy summer with the United States ahead of his inaugural Premier League campaign.
READ MORE: Scout Report on Christian Pulisic
It may be that Pedro has the upper hand on the right flank at Chelsea in the opening weeks of the season, then, if the USA progress deep into the Gold Cup and Pulisic’s pre-season is subsequently affected.
As we discussed in a recent article, however, there is still much to be resolved at Chelsea between now and August.
Newcastle United wing-back DeAndre Yedlin misses out for the US through injury, while Adrian Mariappa isn’t part of Jamaica’s squad and Javier Hernandez took himself out of the picture with Mexico.
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