The final international break of 2019 continued on Saturday where a number of Fantasy Premier League assets saw some action.
We’ve got all the latest talking points from those matches in this Scout Notes article…
Euro 2020 qualifiers
Russia 1 Belgium 4
Big money transfers, loan moves and injuries mean that Belgium’s current line-up isn’t the Premier League all-star selection of old, but a key Fantasy finding was still there for the taking in Russia.
FPL’s most popular midfielder, the 39.9%-owned Kevin de Bruyne (£10.2m), was at his influential best for the Belgians, providing two assists, ahead of a massive Gameweek 13 clash with Chelsea.
He played the full 90 minutes, as did Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld (£5.4m), while the in-form Youri Tielemans (£6.6m) came on after 52 minutes and Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi (£6.6m) for the last 13.
Christian Benteke (£5.7m), Dennis Praet (£5.3m), Divock Origi (£5.2m) and Leander Dendoncker (£4.4m) were all unused subs.
Cyprus 1 Scotland 2
The main news in the Scottish camp was the withdrawal through injury of Andrew Robertson (£7.0m), but a rising FPL star, John McGinn (£5.8m), kept the Fantasy fires burning in his absence.
The Aston Villa midfielder has produced three goals and two assists for his 11.9% Fantasy ownership and he was in excellent form as Scotland laboured to victory in Cyprus.
McGinn, who played the full 90 minutes, set up the opener and then scored the winner as the Scots moved ever closer to a play-off place. To seal the deal, they will need to avoid losing at home to Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
Sheffield United striker Oliver McBurnie (£5.7m) came on after 62 minutes, but his club-mate John Fleck (£4.8m) stayed on the bench, where he was joined by Southampton’s Stuart Armstrong (£5.2m).
Azerbaijan 0 Wales 2
Bournemouth’s Harry Wilson (£6.0m) was the star of the show as Wales kept their hopes of automatic qualification on track.
The Liverpool loanee, who has treated his 2.9% FPL fan base to four goals this season, scored and assisted in Baku.
Wales will secure second spot in the group with a win at home to Hungary on Tuesday, so Wilson is not in line for a rest just yet.
He played the full match on Saturday, as did club-mate Chris Mepham (£4.4m), Crystal Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey (£4.4m) and Spurs left-back Ben Davies (£5.4m).
Manchester United winger Daniel James (£6.2m) was subbed off with eight minutes remaining and, like Wilson, is unlikely to be given time off for the final qualifier.
Northern Ireland 0 Netherlands 0
A goalless draw meant the play-offs for Northern Ireland and an automatic qualifying spot for the Netherlands.
Burnley back-up keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell (£4.4m), Leicester City veteran Jonny Evans (£5.1m) and Watford’s Craig Cathcart (£4.4m) started and finished the match, while Norwich City’s Jamal Lewis (£4.5m) played 81 minutes and his club-mate Michael McGovern (£4.0m) warmed the bench.
For the Dutch, Virgil van Dijk (£6.4m) played 90 minutes, Brighton midfielder Davy Pröpper (£5.0m) came on after 36 minutes and Bournemouth’s Nathan Aké (£5.1m) joined them for a brief injury-time cameo.
Patrick van Aanholt (£5.6m) was reduced to doing bits on the bench, alongside Georginio Wijnaldum (£5.4m).
Euro 2020 round-up
Elsewhere, Germany qualified for their 13th straight Euros with a 4-0 win over Belarus.
Manchester City’s Ilkay Gündogan (£5.2m) played the full match and set up the final goal, while Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno (£5.0m) watched on from the bench.
Croatia joined the Germans after coming from behind to win 3-1 against Slovakia.
Chelsea’s Mateo Kovačić (£5.3m) played the last 15 minutes. Aston Villa back-up keeper Lovre Kalinić (£4.4m) was an unused substitute.
Meanwhile, Southampton’s Jan Bednarek (£4.5m) played 90 minutes for Poland as they won 2-1 in Isreal.
Arsenal winger Nicolas Pépé (£9.2m) and Tottenham defender Serge Aurier (£4.8m) played the full 90 minutes as Ivory Coast edged past Niger 1-0.
It was an eventful evening for Pépé, who earned a first-half penalty and then lost an argument with Max Gradel over who should take it. Gradel promptly missed and Pépé was denied a second chance when Franck Kessie won the game from the spot after the break.
Ivory Coast play again on Tuesday, in Ethiopia, where they could welcome back Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha (£6.7m), who missed Saturday’s match as he continues to manage a foot injury.
Under-21s Euro 2021 qualifiers
Patrick Cutrone (£5.6m) scored twice for Italy Under-21s as they beat Iceland 3-0.
Everton’s Moise Kean (£6.5m) was suspended for the match following a recent red card on international duty.
Under-19s Euro 2020 qualifiers
There were an unprecedented four goals scored by FPL assets for England Under-19s as they beat their North Macedonian counterparts in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.
Two of those were stuck away by Manchester United midfielder James Garner (£4.4m).
More pertinently, Arsenal’s budget man Bukayo Saka (£4.5m) also found the net on Saturday.
As Everton continue to struggle for goals, a strike by centre-forward Anthony Gordon (£4.5m) for England Under-19s might endear him to Marco Silva some more ahead of Gameweek 13.
Nominated for ‘Best in Fantasy Football – Editorial’ at the Football Content Awards 2020
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