Pro Pundit Teams

Hits or Wildcard? How I plan to solve FPL Gameweek 9 injury problems

Fantasy Premier League managers should wait until Friday evening before making the biggest decisions for Gameweek 9.

The latest international break has been more of a rollercoaster ride than usual with so many flags cropping up due to positive coronavirus (COVID-19) tests and injuries.

Reacting to these developments will play a big part in the upcoming round, as well as those beyond it, so we have to be as informed as possible.

In this article, I will be assessing what state my team is in following Gameweek 8, recapping a rare early transfer and talking through my thought-process for handling so many injury flags.

Gameweek 8 was a poor one for my team, which scored just 52 points. As a someone without Harry Kane (£11.0m), I was obviously rooting for him to blank, so it was very disappointing to see him score in the 88th minute at West Bromwich Albion and bag three bonus in the process. Considering his effective ownership of 140% among teams in my local rank tier, Kane’s late goal effectively meant a net loss of around 10 points.

When I decided to keep Timo Werner (£9.4m) in Gameweek 6, instead of getting Kane, I was fully aware of the risks. In the end, the Spurs man only scored four more points in the span of the last three matches, so my decision of transferring Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m) in for Michail Antonio (£6.2m) instead worked out pretty well. 

Also, I think Werner is now a better option than Kane in the next few rounds, considering Tottenham’s bad run of fixtures. so, all in all, I may have lost four points by keeping Werner but I think that’s a fair price to pay for having two extra free transfers to address other pressing issues in my team.

Other than that, I decided to captain Son and decided to play Stuart Dallas (£4.5m) and his attacking threat over Kyle Walker-Peters’ (£4.6m) superior clean sheet potential. It was one of those weeks where every decision was wrong, so it was not a surprise that my overall rank fell from 60k to 126k.

EARLY TRANSFER

For the first time ever, I decided to make an early transfer ahead of an international break, selling Aleksandar Mitrovic (£5.7m) to get Ollie Watkins (£6.1m). The only reason I decided to jump the gun on this one was because I was pretty sure I would have to take a hit to improve my squad in the near future, no matter what. And when I feel that way, I try to be more aggressive with my transfers, in order to field a stronger team as soon as possible.

Even though I still think Mitrovic is a good underpriced option (especially with spot-kick duties still his if he can shake that hamstring issue), I can’t see him getting many returns in the next four Gameweeks with such a tough schedule.

At the same time, Watkins looks great stats-wise, has an incredible run of fixtures ahead and the chances of him getting injured were slim since he won’t play any international games. And so, with two free transfers at my disposal, I deemed this move as inevitable and decided to gain some team value by moving early. I knew there was always the possibility of injuries during the international break but I was ready to take my first hit of the season if I had to.

INJURY CRISIS

However, I was immediately punished by the FPL Gods and after a chaotic weekend of international football, 36% of my starting eleven is now flagged. At the time I’m writing this, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m), Andrew Robertson (£7.1m), Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) and Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) are doubts for this weekend. And the scary thing is that there is still another UEFA Nations League round to be played midweek so, who knows how my team will look like by Saturday morning.

With so many uncertainties, I think it’s crucial to remain calm and wait for every small bit of information we can get, either from press conferences or other reliable sources. In the meantime, I’m already looking at some possible scenarios and how I will proceed in each of those situations.

IF ONLY ALEXANDER-ARNOLD IS RULED OUT

Before his injury at Manchester City, Alexander-Arnold was a set-and-forget pick for me and I was really looking forward to owning the Liverpool right-back as a differential for his decent run of fixtures.

Without Virgil van Dijk (£6.3m) and Joe Gomez (£5.4m), Liverpool’s chances of keeping clean sheets are considerably lower but I think they still will be one of the best defences in the league, even if not as good as last season. Alexander-Arnold’s attacking underlying numbers are also great and he was fairly unlucky to only deliver one attacking return so far.

However, it seems very likely he will be out for a number of weeks and, if that’s the case, I think it’s time to say goodbye to Alexander-Arnold for the time-being. I doubt it will be long before he’s back in my team though…

I will probably downgrade him to someone like Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m), Lucas Digne (£6.1m) or someone from West Ham, and then, I will have to decide if I want to take a hit. 

I already have £1.7m in the bank and, by selling Alexander-Arnold, I will have between £2.9m and £4.5m (depending on his replacement), which means it might be worth it to use such a large amount of money straight away, even if it costs me four points.

Given the lack of good defensive options at the time, I will probably switch formation from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3. It would mean upgrading Mario Lemina (£4.5m) to someone like Ross Barkley (£6.0m), Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m), Wilfried Zaha (£7.4m), Hakim Ziyech (£8.2m) or James Rodríguez (£7.9m).

Even if the hit doesn’t pay off immediately in Gameweek 9, I think it’s likely to be a good decision in the long run and falls well into my usual strategy of making more aggressive moves when I feel that a hit will be inevitable sooner or later.

IF BOTH ALEXANDER-ARNOLD AND SALAH ARE RULED OUT

I seriously doubt It’s worth to sell Salah for a hit if he is ruled out for just one Gameweek (which seems the most likely scenario). Like most managers, I’m looking at buying Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m) back but I’d rather wait one more week and then possibly using him to replace Son Heung-min (£9.6m), not Salah.

That means I am probably sticking to the same plan as the first scenario, even if Salah tests positive for COVID-19 again on Thursday: downgrade Alexander-Arnold, take a hit and upgrade Lemina.

IF EVERYONE IS RULED OUT

This scenario seems fairly unlikely since Robertson travelled with his national team to Israel but I like to be prepared for the worst. With a Wildcard still available, I definitely don’t want to take an eight-point hit, so I have two choices:

  1. Sell Alexander-Arnold and Lemina // Bench Salah, Robertson and Chilwell
  2. Wildcard

The first option does not sound too appealing since I would have to play the likes of Yves Bissouma (£4.5m), Dallas and Walker-Peters so it is likely I would use my Wildcard even if it means wasting one free transfer (I saved it last Gameweek).

I was planning on using my Wildcard before the first Double Gameweek but if my team is full of red flags on Friday night, I will have no problem pressing the button. I am very happy with my forwards right now but my defence and midfield would really need a shake-up if everyone is ruled out.

MY GAMEWEEK 9 CAPTAIN

Regardless of what press conferences might reveal, it will definitely be a very interesting Gameweek for captaincy with several decent options boasting good fixtures. Bruno Fernandes (£10.6m), Salah, Jack Grealish (£7.5m), Calvert-Lewin and Werner seem to be the standout options and I think it’s a good sign that I already have four out of those five players to choose from.

At the moment, the armband is on Salah by default but even if he tests negative and returns to England, his minutes might be managed by Jurgen Klopp due to lack of training. For this reason, it is possible I will switch to someone more likely to play 90 minutes, such as Grealish or Calvert-Lewin.

Good luck everyone and thanks for reading.

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435 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    14 days, 12 hours ago

    How do I get Vardy in this team without dropping Kane?

    Martinez (Steele)
    Chilwell Lamptey Kilman (Struijk Mitchell)
    Salah KDB Bruno Grealish Soucek
    Kane DCL Brewster

    1. Pegboy
      • 10 Years
      14 days, 12 hours ago

      Sell Salah. I don't think Vardy is worth it though.

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 3 Years
        14 days, 12 hours ago

        Playing the fixtures, worth it from GW10-12

        1. Pegboy
          • 10 Years
          14 days, 11 hours ago

          His home record against rubbish teams is pretty mediocre.

    2. djoker_nole
        14 days, 12 hours ago

        by Dropping Chilwell and Bruno

      • Holmes
        • 7 Years
        14 days, 12 hours ago

        Kane to him is an easy route

        1. Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          14 days, 12 hours ago

          He's 11m and I can sell him for 10.8m (no wiggle room to get him back at 11m)

          Not sure if its worth it just to get Vardy for 3 GWs

          1. Holmes
            • 7 Years
            14 days, 11 hours ago

            You can forget about him till GW15. I'm sure Dominic to Bamford will be considered soon, so you will get some cash.

            Kane might even drop twice during that period if incase he is not scoring.

      • Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 4 Years
        14 days, 11 hours ago

        Your three options are Kane, Salah and Bruno. Out of those three I would say Kane. See how Kane does this week. And then decide for GW10.

      • Tonyawesome69
        • 1 Year
        14 days, 11 hours ago

        Without dropping Kane, it's got to be one of the big mids to fund the move.

      • NejiHyuuga01
        • 3 Years
        14 days, 11 hours ago

        Vardy is an option for me as well but most of his goals this seasons have been penalties. Not saying that he is isn't worth just pointing that I am concerned about it

        1. NejiHyuuga01
          • 3 Years
          14 days, 11 hours ago

          *season

      1. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        14 days, 12 hours ago

        Too many IFs 😮

        1. Tony Martial
          • 2 Years
          14 days, 12 hours ago

          Wonder will he miss Brighton!?

          1. Holmes
            • 7 Years
            14 days, 11 hours ago

            Its possible, atleast we can hope for negative results on Thursday

          2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
            • 4 Years
            14 days, 11 hours ago

            Those 10 days go on till the day they play Brighton. That is if the test result is negative on Thursday and he flies back on the same day. Tricky!

        2. wulfranian
          • 4 Years
          14 days, 11 hours ago

          If his test returns positive he will not be ready for Brighton.

    3. Tonyawesome69
      • 1 Year
      14 days, 11 hours ago

      A. Vassilev to Watkins
      B. Son to Bruno (C)
      C. Son to KDB
      D. Combination of above (-4)

      3.5itb 1ft
      Martinez
      Chilwell Taylor Ayling Cancelo Justin
      Grealish Son Rodriguez
      DCL Kane
      (Peacock Bissouma Salah* Vassilev)

    4. SHOWSTOPPERRR
      • 2 Years
      14 days, 11 hours ago

      If salah tests positive..will he miss Brighton??

      1. g40steve
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        14 days, 11 hours ago

        Yes

    5. DAZZ
      • 6 Years
      14 days, 11 hours ago

      Stats are pointing towards Grealish (c). Don’t think Bruno is as appealing as what people make out.

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 3 Years
        14 days, 11 hours ago

        Villa attacking stats or BHA defensive stats?

        1. DAZZ
          • 6 Years
          14 days, 11 hours ago

          Brighton defense isn’t that bad, but Villas attacking stats are good

      2. 'Broadsword Calling Da…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        14 days, 11 hours ago

        West Brom defence is more pants that Brighton, but Grealish looks more savage at (H)ome than Bruno. What to do?

      3. Brosstan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        14 days, 11 hours ago

        Grealish is essential. Compare Bruno to other players

    6. tim
      • 11 Years
      14 days, 11 hours ago

      Mad to keep Son for the time being? Or take two hits to get Mane/KDB for him.

      Doing Davis to Watkins and Salah to Bruno 2FT. I still have Nyland and also have Targett so can't get Grealish yet.

      Have also Sterling, DCL, Kane.

      Cheers!

    7. dopellganger
      • 1 Year
      14 days, 11 hours ago

      A. Salah to Kdb/Brunp
      B. Salah + Son - Kdb+Bruno
      C. Salah to Mane
      D. Save

      what would u do here ? 1mil itb 1ft

      Guaita Steer
      Chilwell Coufal Targett Justin Mitchell
      Salah* Son Zaha Grealish Reed
      Kane Dcl Werner

    8. ThisTimeNxtYrRodney
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      14 days, 11 hours ago

      Anybody any advice please on what to do for gw9. Do I stick or twist ?
      Comment would be appreciated.

      Team
      Martinez chilwell lamptey saiss Mitchell
      Salah son foden ziyech bissouma
      Kane dcl watkins

      Am I better to try and ride this week out along with many depleted teams or should I do the obvious Salah to bruno ?
      1FT and 3.6m in the bank but this was planned for a mini w/c for wf10 with 3 transfers for a -4.
      I shall wait whilst Friday to make my decision but, any advice anybody ?

    9. Tony Martial
      • 2 Years
      14 days, 11 hours ago

      Sorry it’s so early.

      GW 10 Kane and Son ➡️ KDB and Jesus -4
      GW 11 save
      GW 12 DCL Jesus Bowen ➡️ Salah ( got rid for Bruno this week) Bamford
      Antonio

      GW 13 can get Jesus back if wanted but won’t plan that far.

      1. g40steve
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        14 days, 11 hours ago

        Don’t look too far ahead this weeks a car crash!

      2. FC Hakkebøf
        • 3 Years
        14 days, 11 hours ago

        Dont get Jesus. Aguero is soon to be fit. Think I've told you many times now, lol

    10. NejiHyuuga01
      • 3 Years
      14 days, 11 hours ago

      Ziyech on fire during IB. 3 goals and 2 assists in 2 matches.

    11. FC Hakkebøf
      • 3 Years
      14 days, 11 hours ago

      Those going for Vardy on a WC now or before gw 10. Who will you shift him too after gw12? Both Spurs and Chelsea have bad fixtures then. Aguero and Jesus are most likely not an option as they will get rotated.

      1. jomikijiq
        • 5 Years
        13 days, 22 hours ago

        probably Kane GW14

        1. jomikijiq
          • 5 Years
          13 days, 22 hours ago

          or Bamford GW13 if I need money