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The latest on Project Restart after clubs return to training

Premier League clubs have returned to training this week, with small-group sessions having been given the green light to take place from Tuesday onwards.

Players from all 20 top-flight teams have been back on the grass to varying degrees, although this ‘phase one’ of the return to training protocol is strictly of the non-contact variety and subject to social distancing measures.

We round up what has been happening up and down the country this week as the so-called Project Restart steps up a gear.

RETURNING FROM INJURY

Solskjaer provides Rashford injury update as Rodgers backs Vardy from the spot

There were a few familiar faces who we haven’t seen in a while who were spotted back in training this week.

Marcus Rashford (£8.8m) was pictured at Carrington, having not kicked a ball since sustaining a back injury in January.

Harry Kane (£10.8m), Steven Bergwijn (£7.4m) and Son Heung-min (£9.7m) have all been stepping up their comebacks at Hotspur Way, with Son having previously carried out mandatory military service in his native South Korea.

Kane has been out the longest of the three, having tore his hamstring on New Year’s Day.

Tammy Abraham (£7.5m), Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.2m), Christian Pulisic (£6.9m) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£6.3m) were among the Chelsea players who were previously injured or lacking in match-fitness who were spotted at Cobham on Tuesday, meanwhile.

Hudson-Odoi had been the first Premier League player to test positive for COVID-19 back in March but has made a full recovery, as has Mikel Arteta, whose similarly early diagnosis acted as a catalyst in the suspension of play.

The Arsenal boss and left-back Kieran Tierney (£5.3m), who has yet to feature under his new manager because of a shoulder injury, were involved in training at London Colney this week.

David Brooks (£6.2m) is among a cluster of Bournemouth players nearing a return after lengthy lay-offs, while the fit-again Jonny (£5.4m) is back in training with Wolves.

Alisson (£6.2m) was being put through the paces at Melwood as Jurgen Klopp gave his squad a clean bill of health, while Jay Rodriguez (£5.7m), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.9m) and Matt Lowton (£4.2m) are back in contention at Burnley after spells on the sidelines.

Ashley Barnes (£6.1m) is not yet up to speed after double hernia surgery in January, however.

STAYING AWAY

N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) has been given permission to train at home because of coronavirus fears, with Sky Sports reporting on Friday that the player would be prepared to miss the rest of 2019/20.

Troy Deeney (£6.2m) will also not be returning to training for the time being, with the Watford striker citing concerns about the welfare of his young son.

MORE TESTING

Earlier in the week, 748 players and club staff were tested for coronavirus, with six results coming back positive.

Adrian Mariappa (£4.2m) and two other Watford employees were revealed to be among that number, along with Burnley coach Ian Woan.

Hornets boss Nigel Pearson said on Friday that his defender “looks exceptionally well and feels very well himself” despite the diagnosis.

Further testing took place across the 20 Premier League clubs on Friday, with the results from this second round of tests expected back on Saturday or Sunday.

WHEN WILL THE SEASON RESUME?

No Premier League football before April 30 but plans remain to finish the season

That’s the million (or should that be billion) dollar question and one we have yet to be provided with an answer.

Interviewed by BBC Sport on Friday, the Chief Executive of the Premier League, Richard Masters, was asked when top-flight football would resume.

In response, Masters said:

We had a staging post in mid-June but we have to be flexible. We are able to discuss at least next week the possibility of going to contact training and then after that, it’s about how much contact training is required – and that really gives you a start date. So we have to be flexible.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said on Wednesday that the government sign-off on a return to contact training could come “very shortly”.

EARLY DOUBLE GAMEWEEK?

In another interview days earlier, Masters had said that the four clubs with ten fixtures remaining – namely Manchester City, Arsenal, Sheffield United and Aston Villa – could have their outstanding matches played soon after the restart in order to level the playing field.

The Premier League’s head honcho said:

It is a relatively normal occurrence for, at this stage of the season, there to be displaced matches that have to be played.

But I think it is a good idea to prioritise games that have to be played first relatively early in the schedule.

While it’s still just at the “good idea” stage and we have no idea how Fantasy Premier League plan to accommodate the other 90 remaining fixtures, it could be that we’re in early Double Gameweek territory if and when the top tier of English football resumes.

What’s Next?

UEFA aims to have 2019/20 club competitions finished by the end of June

A vote on phase two of of the return to training protocol will take place early next week, with clubs, players, managers and unions all consulted ahead of it.

UEFA had originally set a deadline of May 25 for its member leagues to inform them of plans to resume their respective domestic seasons, although it’s not clear if the rescheduling of the European governing body’s next executive committee meeting (which has moved from May 27 to June 17) will give the Premier League a bit of breathing space in that regard.

278 Comments Post a Comment
  1. TorresMagic™
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Abraham hatty essential 🙁

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Very realistic this game.

  2. Nomar
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Time to put the kibosh on Abraham’s scoring streak by getting him in my team, I suppose.

    Jimi out Tammy in.

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Losing Jimenez before Spurs?

      1. Nomar
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Wolves gone soft.

        1. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Chelsea are in good form. Spurs are not.

          1. Nomar
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            That can change quickly in VFPL.

    2. Yank Revolution
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Tammy has been the key to my recent rise up the rankings...

  3. gooberman
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Virtual FPL annoying me just like the real FPL. 4 weeks ago I went with Ings who seemed to score in every game over Abraham. Obviously Ings then blanks 4 weeks in a row and Abraham goes nuts.

    1. Nomar
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Sounds about right to me.

    2. Lachkov
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Well, I got Rashford over Abraham and even captained him this GW. 🙂

  4. Nomar
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Shame Foster never played like this when I had him.

  5. Nomar
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Another KdB blank.

    This is just taking the p*** now.

    1. Treadstone
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Its ridiculous...5 blanks in 6 with City scoring plenty of goals...think he's been knobbled.

  6. Little Red Lacazette
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Sane is superman in vFPL.

    1. Yank Revolution
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      And DeBruyne is suddenly a 99 pound weakling

      1. Ragabolly
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Form matters

        1. Yank Revolution
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Clearly!!! (hastily transfers in Sane')

          1. Nomar
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 13 days ago

            At which point Sane suddenly turns crap and KdB goes prolific again.

        2. Legomané
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Robokev just isn’t as consistent are the real deBruyne!

          9 blanks in 25 starts in 2020/21 (26 attacking returns), the worst run of consecutive blanks just 2 — sensational! 😯

          LeroyBot meanwhile is doing exactly what Sané does IRL...prior to his contract related fallout with Pep ahead of that fateful DGW last season. What a player City have squandered 😮

    2. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Single-handedly pulled my GW through the mud this week.

  7. Nomar
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    At least I played Heaton over Henderson.

    1. Nomar
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Actually, I didn’t. Oh well, pants GW anyway.

      1. TorresMagic™
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        😆

        1. Nomar
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Thought I had. Must’ve got cold feet and changed it back and forgot all about it.

          You have to laugh.

  8. TorresMagic™
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    -12 on the cards.
    Richo red a winner.

    1. Nomar
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Standard nonsense for this GW.

  9. Yank Revolution
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    Holy moley, 3 red cards in the Everton/Newcastle match!

  10. TorresMagic™
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    vFPL lead down from 53 to 36.

  11. FPL Virgin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    Why do so few goals have assists? In official FPL, 9 out of 10 goals have an assist or an FPL assist awarded. In VFPL, only 3 out of 10 goals have an assist awarded.

    Why has KDB - aka the best midfielder in the world - become Darren Fletcher all of a sudden?

    Yes, I'm angry. I'm spitting feathers here.

    And yes. I've had a bad gameweek. 😡

    Hashtag tweak the algorithm.

    1. Ragabolly
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Where did you get the percentage in vFPL?

      I took a random team (Man city because you mentioned KDB), summed all their goals (65) and summed the assists (56). That's 86%!

      Can't be that different for other teams as it's the same algorithm.

      1. TorresMagic™
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Liverpool seem the worst recently.

      2. FPL Virgin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        I've exported CSVs from the last 4 gameweeks and ran the numbers.

        Do you use FPL assists as well as opta assists in VFPL, R.G.?

        We desperately need filters for the last 4 gameweeks to help manage our teams. I've no idea why FFScout aren't taking the time to produce reports for the last 4 gameweeks. To look at the full season stats can be misleading - especially for attacking involvement.

        1. Ragabolly
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Yeah.. Unfortunately I don't have time this period to add basically anything to the game.. It's been tough

          1. FPL Virgin
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 13 days ago

            I completely understand. And you have more than enough.

            But FFScout have a gargantuan amount of free time with no football being played. I'm sure David or Joe or Andyi could spend a couple of hours manually crunching the data.

            I could do it myself, but I have a non FPL job to do for 40 hours a week. If I was employed by FFS, I would happily put together the data on the last 4 gameweeks for everyone to enjoy.

        2. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          FFScout aren't obliged to - only a small number of players actually play this game.

          They've been helpful enough in adding links to the site, writing articles, and allowing the community to contribute spreadsheets.

          Maybe in future they will, but it's not the main game. Can't expect it to pool the same amount of resource to achieve everything.

    2. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      KDB has 18 FPL assists in FPL (up to GW29).

      KDB has 13 assists in vFPL (up to GW22).

      In FPL, in GW22, he had 14 assists.

      He's also scored more goals in vFPL than FPL!

      1. Ragabolly
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Thanks a lot for this 🙂

        Players have to gain and lose form, KDB and co can't score every game. But a player of his caliber will definitely find his form at some point.

        1. FPL Virgin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Much like in FPL that's the tricky bit. Is KDB a season keeper? Should you set and forget? Or should you do a lateriser12 and chase the form (and ditch him for Sane)? It's so hard when heavy hitters go off the boil - it's so hard to known whether to be patient or aggressive with them.

          1. TorresMagic™
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 13 days ago

            Much easier to ditch players with no price changes.

            1. FPL Virgin
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 13 days ago

              But it's obvious that KDB will come into form again. He's not going to play like this for the rest of the season. And the moment I sell him, he'll get a double or triple return.

              1. TorresMagic™
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • Has Moderation Rights
                • 11 Years
                2 months, 13 days ago

                Good players sold him ages ago. Chances are, he scores well when they play easier games.

                1. FPL Virgin
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 13 days ago

                  Well that's not true because I haven't sold him.

                  1. TorresMagic™
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • Has Moderation Rights
                    • 11 Years
                    2 months, 13 days ago

                    You'd be 1st if you had.

                    1. TorresMagic™
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • Has Moderation Rights
                      • 11 Years
                      2 months, 13 days ago

                      KDB to Sane in GW 15 (27) vs (86) even for a hit gets you to 17th without Sane captaincy and KDB captaincy fails.

      2. FPL Virgin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        I've genuinely found virtual FPL pretty darn realistic and games play out virtually how you would expect them to in real life in the main. I was just surprised at KDBs lack of attacking involvement tonight. Is he playing a deeper role like he does in real life sometimes? Maybe. Maybe we need press conference quotes to come back on Twitter to help us. Just like in real FPL, a bad gameweek has hit me hard and I need to vent and/or lie down in a dark room with a wet flannel on my head.

        1. Ragabolly
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Yeah if I had more time, I would've definitely added such elements to the experience

        2. Jon Walter's Hatty
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Let it go. Its not so much vFPL as trying to find the Da Vinci code for a simulation. Yes its a game but its not related to real life events, like any computer game is.

    3. Wolves Ay We
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Some players are playing better then expected and others worse. Who's to say if Sane had played with KDB in the same team this season for real, he wouldn't have affected KDB's returns to the same extent.

      Traore has done nothing either. It would be boring if the players performed exactly the way you expect, I like the random loss of form, makes the game interesting.

  12. Legomané
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    Holgate 8 AI and a CS...hopefully ripe for my bench boost tomorrow 😮 ...on the other hand, good form doesn’t necessarily seem to equate to consistent minutes for these not 100% nailed on defenders. Webster in a similar boat — decent attacking numbers but just can’t seem to hold down his place 🙁

    McCarthy Heaton
    TAA Baldock Basham Webster Holgate
    Salah Mané Bruno Grealish Lundstram
    Ings Deeney DCL

    A) Bruno Ings > Sané Pukki +0.2
    B) Bruno Ings > Vardy Barnes +0.2
    C) Something else? 2FT 0.4 ITB — cheers!

  13. Gentle_Turks
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    Hi RAGABOLLY. Problem with my team this week. I emailed you.

    1. TorresMagic™
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      I scored terribly too but didn't email 🙁

      1. Gentle_Turks
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Cute.

    2. Ragabolly
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Replied

      1. Gentle_Turks
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Cheers, appreciate it.

  14. Berbs
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    BREAKING Premier League announce results of second round of Covid-19 testing: two positive tests (at two clubs) from 996 players and staff. Previous week’s total was six positive tests from 748

    1. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      I guess in line with the UK average. Just so long as they are not in my 15 lol

      1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Unless I get a haul off the bench because of it.

        1. Jon Walter's Hatty
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Them benches will be working overtime!

    2. Rotation's Alter Ego
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Previous 6 positives are (obviously) not included in these results.

      The number of tests per team increases from 40 to 50 for this round.

      Norwich are now included (they weren't last time). I understand that the results from their test earlier in the week were all negative anyways.

      1. Berbs
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Correct

        So far so good I'd say

        1. Rotation's Alter Ego
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Yep looks about as expected.

  15. FPL Virgin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    What is Troy Deeney going to do?

    Never play football again until coronavirus has gone away and there is a vaccine? That could be the season after next. Meanwhile the team he could have helped as their best centre forward is relegated and faces financial ruin.

    And what about other black people with young kids who aren't ultra healthy athletes like Troy and who are on minimum wage? They were ordered by Boris to go back to work. Their employees won't take the same level of extreme precautions in their workplace like the premier League will. Do they get paid silly money every week and have the luxury of refusing to go back to work just like Mr. Deeney?

    1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      What other people do is of no concern to Deeney. It's not his issue. His concern is him and his family. I'm sure his family are more important to him than Watford's league survival.

    2. Berbs
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      If I put myself in Deeney's shoes, I do the same thing. His son has breathing difficulties reportedly, and protecting his life is far more important than his job. Luckily for him, he is well off. The rest of us aren't, so we'd work.

      Deeney can sit at home for a year and he would be fine. You and I can't - it's not a comparable situation.

    3. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Virus behaviour is really a matter of personal choice that will vary and be interpreted various ways for everybody from Mr Deeney to Mr Cummins. So many grey areas and hypothetical options.

      Pearson appears to be on his side so I think Watford in general are with his decision. I think this is a genuine issue for him rather than him being difficult. Players are human regardless of their status in society.

    4. Wild Rover
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Have you ever tried saying nothing? It's the easiest way to stop looking like a fool. Try it

      1. Debauchy
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        😆 just a little harsh..

  16. waldo666
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 13 days ago

    Ugh, ran the fixtures in vFPL upon waking up, another KDB blank after I sold him, hardly ever works that way, thought I would at the very least break even on the transfer. Then I get down to the last fixture of the week and my replacement Richarlison gets a RC FFS!!

    1. Wild Rover
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      Imagine getting mugged by events that didn't actually happen, as if it wasn't bad enough in the real game. Gluttons for punishment, no sympathy 😛

      1. waldo666
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Hahaha, hard to argue there, WR!

      2. Wolves Ay We
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        But they did happen, in a parallel universe, 😀

  17. BNMC
      2 months, 13 days ago

      You can hear the sound of everyone's second wildcards activating...
      I'm next.

      1. pingissimus
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Odd week to play it no? Very tough set of fixtures.

        (Got Sane Auba Digne Cantwell this week - Grealish and Ward were misses mind and Hayden has messed up BB plans.)

      2. fc_skrald
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        Luckily I already used it last gameweek...

    • fc_skrald
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      I used my wildcard in fpl yesterday. Already having doubts about Grealish and Aurier 🙂 Also, I would like to bring in Pukki but not sure I dare selling any of my 3 forwards.

      a. save the transfer, team will do fine
      b. Grealish -> Maddison, Leicester are far more attacking than Aston Villa
      c. Get Pukki - but who to sell?
      d. Aurier -> Holgate, he has some nice attacking invovment

      Pope
      TAA, Alonso, Aurier
      Salah, Sané, Grealish, Fernandes
      Jimenez, Abraham, Calvert-Lewin

      Button, Gibson, Simpson, Amartey
      1 FT, 1.3 million in the bank

      1. fc_skrald
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        In virtual fpl of course 🙂 - in many ways better than the real fpl!

      2. Tambling5
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 13 days ago

        B looks sensible. However the fixtures for today are terrible. I have a core of Liverpool, United, Chelsea and Everton, and thinking of free-hitting. However who do you pick who is likely to do well today? May do it anyway and then use my wildcard. That way all the chips are gone and I can stop thinking about it! The speed of the game in VFPL is great!

        1. fc_skrald
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 13 days ago

          Yes I don't realy care about my remaining chips. I used the triple captain with success and have now also used both wildcards. I will use the free hit if I can't field 11 players due to injuries. I will use the bench boost the last gameweek but I have not intention to change my bench players (thus I will likely get 0 points from my bench boost)

    • fc_skrald
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 13 days ago

      The results of my friendlies games:

      Man C - Brighton
      2-0
      Goals: 2*Sané
      Assists: Walker

      Sané: 13, De Bruyne: 6, Agüero: 5, Sterling: 5, Bernardo Silva: 4, Groß: 3

      Newcastle - Man U
      0-2
      Goals: Greenwood, Fernandes
      Assists: McTominay, Lindelöf

      Pogba: 6, Fernandes: 5, Greenwood: 4, Saint-Maximin: 3, McTominay: 3, Lindelöf: 2

      Chelsea - Aston Villa
      0-0

      Mount: 15, Abraham: 10, Willian: 7, Barkley: 6, Wesley: 5, Grealish: 4

      Alonso came in from the bench after 74 minutes but he only got a yellow card for his efforts

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