The return of the Premier League may be on the horizon but the ‘virtual’ Fantasy action goes on in the meantime, so we’ll continue to keep tabs on Ragabolly’s game – if perhaps not quite at the same frequency as before.
We’ve got the usual weekend double-header preview to bring you below, however, along with news of some deadline changes from the creator himself.
READ MORE: How to sign up and play Virtual FPL
With the news that top-flight football is set to return on June 17, Ragabolly has decided to bring forward the end-date of Virtual FPL to avoid a clash with Fantasy Premier League’s resumption.
The deadlines will continue as planned (i.e. Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday) up until Gameweek 31, after which the remaining Gameweeks will take place on a daily basis.
That should mean everything is wrapped up by Sunday 14 June, three days before the actual football restarts.
There will be some key Virtual FPL midfielders returning on Sunday, the most noteworthy perhaps being Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) and Anthony Martial (£8.0m).
The Egyptian has had a relatively short spell on the simulated sidelines after picking up an injury in Gameweek 24 but saw his ownership halve ahead of Thursday night, with many making the sideways move to Sadio Mane (£12.4m).
Liverpool scraped a 2-1 win over in-form Brighton and Hove Albion in Salah’s absence, with Mane among the scorers.
Martial has been out for longer, having lasted just 20 minutes of the Gameweek 20 clash with Leicester City before succumbing to injury.
His return is certainly worthy of mention given that Manchester United enjoy appealing-looking games against West Ham United and Bournemouth in Gameweeks 29 and 30, although the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday could be trickier.
The Frenchman has 17 attacking returns in 20 appearances (two of which were less than half an hour in length) this season and is ranked sixth among all vFPL assets for value based on the ‘Pts/£/90’ metric.
Riyad Mahrez (£8.4m) will also be back after an eight-week absence.
Mahrez’s return adds to the rotation risk at Manchester City but the players who own the shirts at present did themselves a huge favour on Thursday as Pep Guardiola’s mythical men hit West Ham United for six.
Sergio Aguero (£11.9m) held onto his place in the starting XI and delivered a 16-point haul, with Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m) registering a hat-trick of assists and the in-form Leroy Sane (£9.3m) and Raheem Sterling (£11.7m) also getting on the scoresheet.
De Bruyne and Sane have now gone 17 and 16 matches respectively without dropping out of the starting XI, while Sterling has only been a substitute once this season.
Chelsea smashed the record for most attacks in a single Virtual FPL game on Thursday, racking up a remarkable 53 chances against Manchester United.
They scored just once, however, with Marcos Alonso (£6.1m) bagging a late goal to move level with second-place Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) in the vFPL defenders’ points-scorers list.
Alonso was involved in more attacks (15) than any other player in Gameweek 25, with Tammy Abraham (£7.5m) and Christian Pulisic (£6.9m) just one short of the Spaniard.
Even Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.8m) was involved in a dozen of Chelsea’s moves as the Blues laid siege to United’s goal and sent them bottom of the vFPL attacks conceded spreadsheet.
The goals may have dried up of late (just two in the last three Gameweeks) but that is something we have come to expect when the Virtual FPL match schedules get trickier, so the escalating attack count and imminent fixture swing could be a juicy combination.
KANE IS ABLE
Back from a ten-week lay-off and back amongst the goals, Harry Kane (£10.8m) returned to the Tottenham Hotspur starting XI on Thursday and hit a late brace in the Lilywhites’ 3-2 win over Crystal Palace.
The Spurs striker is scoring at a rate of more than a goal a game (17 in 15), which is better than any other premium, £10.0m+ asset – although he doesn’t have a single assist to his name this season.
Spurs’ schedule from Sunday is excellent, with just one ‘red’ fixture (no side has fewer) and six ‘greens’ (only Wolves have more) remaining from Gameweek 27 onwards.
VIRTUAL FPL PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE
TopMarx’s constantly evolving spreadsheet that details a broad range of team data has been updated after Gameweek 25 and can be viewed here.
The interactive player stats spreadsheet has also been refreshed after the latest round of matches, meanwhile.
The stand-alone spreadsheet can be accessed via this link, with Fantasy managers able to make their own copy by selecting “File>Make a copy”.
INJURIES AND BANS
Neal Maupay (£5.7m), Troy Parrott (£4.3m), Declan Rice (£4.7m) and Adam Smith (£4.3m) all return from injury on Saturday, with Richarlison (£8.3m), Isaac Hayden (£4.3m) and Valentino Lazaro (£5.4m) newly available after three-match bans.
A further 15 players (including Salah and Martial) will be back on Sunday, meanwhile, with their full details listed above.
Three of those are Romain Saiss (£4.6m), Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.7m) and Marco Stiepermann (£5.0m), who were all dismissed after picking up two bookings on Thursday.
Jeff Hendrick (£5.4m), Kiko Femenia (£4.2m), Olivier Giroud (£6.6m), Panagiotis Retsos (£4.5m), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£4.5m) and Shane Duffy (£4.8m) are fresh additions to the injury list, meanwhile, although the latter is among that cluster of Virtual FPL assets who return on Sunday.
Fábio Borges has extended his lead to 45 points in the overall standings and in our Fantasy Football Scout mini-league, with Joe Gunbie remaining in second in both.
Joelnewman shot into the top ten in the above table after a well-played Bench Boost in Gameweek 25 saw him smash the 100-point barrier.
You can join the Fantasy Football Scout mini-league by entering the code 9RV4A via the below link.