Fantasy Premier League managers were rocked on Tuesday afternoon by news that Kevin de Bruyne (£10.0m) has picked up a groin problem ahead of Gameweek 8.
The Manchester City midfielder came off in the second half of his side’s 3-1 win at Everton and has since missed training with the first team.
On Tuesday, the club put out an official statement ruling him out of Champions League action this week, in which they offered no time-frame on his return.
“Kevin De Bruyne suffered a groin injury in the win over Everton and will miss the game against Dinamo Zagreb. The extent of his layoff depends on how well he responds to the rehabilitation programme overseen by the medical staff.” – Manchester City statement
At the time of writing, 16% of voters in the latest captain poll had declared de Bruyne as the best option for the armband in Gameweek 8, when Manchester City host Wolves.
However, we would now expect that number to drop in the build-up to the weekend.
Unfortunately, we do not have a specific update on whether de Bruyne will play against Wolves as the club are currently waiting to see how the player “responds to the rehabilitation programme”.
If de Bruyne is out this weekend, then his owners will have make a decision about whether to hold onto him, especially considering he has an international break to make progress in.
Either way, Pep Guardiola’s press conferences this week just became a whole lot more important.
The injury to de Bruyne may help to accelerate a shift in the captaincy conversation, away from the so far usual suspects.
After Liverpool started the 2019/20 campaign with some appealing fixtures, the quality of their opponents is set to rise in the coming weeks.
On Saturday afternoon they host a Leicester side that come into Gameweek 8 with the joint-best defensive record in the top-flight.
They have conceded just five goals in the first six matches of the season, level with Liverpool, who have let in the same number.
For that reason, Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) is already proving unpopular in this week’s captain poll and that may be the case for the next few weeks.
Liverpool travel to Manchester United in Gameweek 9 before they host Spurs the week after.
Salah, Sadio Mané (£11.6m) and their colleagues may receive some consideration again when they face Aston Villa at Villa Park in Gameweek 11, but Gameweek 12 pits them against defending champions Manchester City.
During that period, Arsenal sit top of the Season Ticker for attacking potential, which should bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) into the conversation.
The Arsenal forward is still without a blank this season and is embarking on even more encouraging fixtures than before.
He starts by hosting a Bournemouth side that has conceded five times in three away matches in 2019/20, which bodes well for Aubameyang to continue his run.
However, despite the latest injury news, some of Manchester City’s attacking options still hold their appeal for Gameweek 8 as Wolves come to the Etihad Stadium.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have struggled to hit the dizzy heights of their first season back in the Premier League and have conceded eight times across their last four matches.
Raheem Sterling (£12.1m) and Sergio Aguero (£12.2m) are both expected to challenge at the top end of the captain poll this week, which you can now vote in.
You can find it either below or on the sidebar of our website.
Joe and David also discussed the Gameweek 8 captaincy in-depth on our YouTube channel on Tuesday lunch-time.
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