A host of Fantasy Premier League options played their part in the weekend’s international action.
The Copa America and CONCACAF Gold Cup both got underway on Friday, with key players from England’s top-flight at the forefront.
Meanwhile, African options were involved in the remaining friendlies ahead of 2019’s edition of the Cup of Nations.
Brazil 3-0 Bolivia
Four FPL assets were present in Brazil’s starting line-up as they beat Bolivia 3-0 in Friday’s Copa America 2019 opener.
With Neymar’s recent ruptured ankle ligament ruling him out of the tournament, Roberto Firmino led the line for the Selecao as they lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
The Liverpool man assisted Philippe Coutinho’s second goal of the evening before Gabriel Jesus replaced him in the 65th minute.
Also joining Firmino in the starting line-up was club mate Alisson while Fernandinho and Richarlison were also present.
The latter was replaced in the 84th by Chelsea’s Willian.
Argentina 0-2 Colombia
Sergio Aguero was left bitterly disappointed by Argentina’s exploits in their first Copa America match.
Despite dominating the game, his side were defeated 2-0 by Colombia.
The Manchester City forward helped Argentina rack up 13 shots in the game, six of them on target, but neither he nor Lionel Messi, who missed a golden opportunity, could find the breakthrough.
Aguero was replaced by Matias Suárez in the 79th minute while Nicolas Otamendi, who had set Messi up for that easy chance, played the whole 90 minutes.
It was a morale-boosting outing for FPL defenders Yerry Mina and Davinson Sánchez, of Everton and Spurs respectively.
They were the central defensive pairing that kept Messi and co. out and secured the all-important clean sheet.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma came on as a 64th-minute substitute for Juan Cuadrado and got the assist for Daniel Zapata’s goal that made it 2-0.
You will not be shocked to hear that the central midfielder also picked up a yellow card in stoppage time.
Meanwhile, Spurs defender Juan Foyth and Watford attacker Roberto Pereyra were both unused substitutes for Argentina.
Uruguay 4-0 Ecuador
There was little of Fantasy relevance in Uruguay’s crushing of Ecuador on Sunday.
Lucas Torreira was left on the bench as Óscar Tabarez selected Rodrigo Bentancur and Matias Vecino in central midfield.
However, the Arsenal man did get on for the final 15 minutes as he replaced winger Nicolas Lodeiro.
Meanwhile, departing Manchester United man Antonio Valencia played 90 minutes on the right flank of attacking midfield for Ecuador.
Paraguay 2-2 Qatar
It was a mixed night for FPL assets as Paraguay drew 2-2 with Copa America invitees Qatar.
Newcastle’s Miguel Almirón played in his first competitive match since sustaining a hamstring injury against Southampton in April.
He was deployed in the number 10 position of a 4-2-3-1 formation and set up Derlis González as Paraguay built a 2-0 lead after 56 minutes.
However, West Ham defender Fabian Balbuena could not stop minnows Qatar fighting back in the closing stages and earning a surprising 2-2 draw.
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Mexico 7-0 Cuba
Raúl Jiménez played a key role in Mexico’s massive 7-0 win over Cuba at the Gold Cup.
The Wolves forward scored twice and could have had a hat-trick as he hit the post from close range in the second minute.
Instead, Manchester City youngster Uriel Antuna, on loan at LA Galaxy stole the headlines with his trio of goals, one of them scored on the rebound from Jiménez’s woodwork shot.
Ivory Coast 0-1 Uganda
Premier League representatives Serge Aurier and Jonathan Kodjia could prevent Ivory Coast from suffering the embarrassment of a friendly defeat to lowly Uganda on Saturday.
They both played the full 90 minutes in which Uganda were able to keep a clean sheet and score a 35th-minute penalty.
Wilfried Zaha came on for the last 13 minutes but was unable to find a breakthrough.
It is a result that will ensure Ivory Coast’s FPL assets head into this week’s African Cup of Nations tournament on a low.
Ghana 0-0 South Africa
Jordan Ayew and Christian Atsu played their part in a 0-0 draw with South Africa on Saturday.
They started up front and on the left wing respectively in a 4-4-2 formation.
The Newcastle man came off in the 63rd minute, while Ayew was replaced by Asamoah Gyan in the 72nd minute.
Egypt 3-1 Guinea
Egypt head coach Javier Aguirre used his Premier League contingent sparingly as he oversaw a 3-1 friendly win over Guinea.
Mohamed Salah watched most of the match from the bench, featuring only in the final 30 minutes. However, he still played a part in Egypt’s second and third goals.
Mohamed Elneny played 87 minutes in central midfield while Aston Villa’s Ahmed El Mohamady remained an unused substitute.
Meanwhile, Guinea’s Naby Keita did not feature as he continues to recover from the thigh injury he picked up against Barcelona in April.
The player himself has declared himself not fit to play currently but believes he could be ready in time to face Madagascar in his country’s opening AFCON 2019 match against Madagascar.
“I am not yet fully fit to play. After training with the ball at Liverpool, I have arrived at the Guinean training camp in Morocco and I am ready to train with the team. I want to reassure Guinean supporters, the coaches and the rest of the squad that I believe I will be ready for our first match.” – Naby Keita
Senegal 1-0 Nigeria
Everton’s Idrissa Gueye was the only goal-scorer as Senegal rounded off their AFCON preparations with a 1-0 win over Nigeria.
Apart from that, information on Senegal’s team has proved hard to come by as the friendly was played behind closed doors.
Alex Iwobi led the Premier League contingent for Nigeria but could not contribute to a breakthrough for his side.
Wilfred Ndidi also played his part for the Super Eagles, going close to equalising.
Algeria 3-2 Mali
Riyad Mahrez featured only as a substitute for Algeria as they came from behind to beat Mali on Sunday.
Turning out for Les Aigles was Southampton’s new signing Moussa Djenepo who played 72 minutes.
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