Team News

Free Hit managers set to snap up Sterling as Man City declare him fit for Blank Gameweek 18

Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) looks set to be available for Manchester City as they host Brighton in Blank Gameweek 18.

The premium Fantasy Premier League midfielder missed out on the FA Cup win over Birmingham on Sunday because he was “not fully fit” but Pep Guardiola gave a more positive update in his Tuesday afternoon press conference.

The Manchester City manager did not mention Sterling by name but, after ruling out Aymeric Laport (£6.0m) and Nathan Aké (£5.4m), as well as reminding us who is currently self-isolating, he declaring the rest of his squad were “okay”.

“(Aymeric) Laporte is injured, Nathan (Aké) is injured. Eric (Garcia) is solitary, Cole Palmer is solitary. The rest, maybe I forget someone, but the rest are okay.”

Pep Guardiola

That is apart from Sergio Aguero (£10.3m), of course, who Guardiola revealed to be in quarantine. Pep added: “Aguero is in quarantine. I think after nine or ten days he will be back.”

Those interested in Manchester City assets will be encouraged by Graham Potter’s latest injury update.

Brighton will be without two forwards in Danny Welbeck (£5.5m) and Aaron Connolly (£5.2m) for the Blank Gameweek 18 trip to the Etihad Stadium.

Central midfield could also prove a problem for them with Yves Bissouma (£4.5m) suspended, Adam Lallana (£6.2m) ruled out and Steven Alzate (£4.3m) a slight doubt. If Ben White (£4.4m) were to step into the position alongside Davy Pröpper (£4.8m) that could see Dan Burn (£4.2m) return to the back-three even after a torrid time against Wolves last time out.

Everton’s attack could arrive at Wolves at less than full-strength based on Carlo Ancelotti’s injury update on Monday. 

Calvert-Lewin offsets longest goalless streak with another Fantasy assist

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m) has been ruled out of Blank Gameweek 18 by a hamstring injury that he carried through the Gameweek 17 defeat to West Ham.

While the Everton manager revealed it was not an “important” injury, he wants to protect the player from doing any further damage, considering he supposedly has very little experience with hamstring problems.

Meanwhile, Richarlison (£7.8m) is a doubt for Blank Gameweek 18, requiring a decision after this week’s pre-match training session regarding an unspecified problem.

“Pickford is okay. Richarlison we have to wait at training today to make a decision. Calvert-Lewin is not available. Hamstring problem. No (there is no timescale). I think soon he can recover. He never had this kind of injury, he was not able to judge himself. He played all the (West Ham) game. This means that’s not an important injury but we want to keep him safe and when he comes back to be 100%.”

Carlo Ancelotti

Wolves are not without their own injury issues with Willy Boly (£5.4m), Marçal (£4.8m) and Daniel Podence (£5.5m) ruled out of Blank Gameweek 18 along with long-term absentees Jonny (£5.4m) and Raúl Jiménez (£8.2m).

Manager Nuno Espirito Santo revealed: “We still have Jonny (injured), Willy Boly out and Marcal out. We have some problems.”

The best Arsenal players to consider for a Blank Gameweek 18 Free Hit squad

Any Fantasy managers worried about Rob Holding‘s (£4.5m) chances of starting in Blank Gameweek 18 can take encouragement from Mikel Arteta’s most recent injury update.

During his Monday press conference, the Arsenal manager revealed that centre-back Gabriel (£5.0m) would have to be assessed ahead of Thursday’s meeting with Crystal Palace considering, at the time, he had not yet returned to training following his period of self-isolation.

“He’s missed a few weeks of training because he had to isolate. It’s better now. We expect him to be training with us and couple of days and we will make an assessment whether we can have him or not on Thursday.”

Mikel Arteta

Considering Holding has started 10 of the last 11 Premier League matches for Arsenal, his place seems safe, while Pablo Mari (£4.4m) has featured in each of the last three when Arsenal took nine points from a possible nine.
The Gunners’ front-four of Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m), Emile Smith Rowe (£4.4m) and Bukayo Saka (£5.3m) is likely to go unchanged for Blank Gameweek 18 too.
That’s because the Gunners still did not know enough about Gabriel Martinelli‘s (£4.9m) ankle problem on Monday.

“Well, we don’t know how bad (the ankle) is. (Martinelli) is getting a scan this morning. We didn’t look after the game because he was in a lot of pain. Yesterday he tested a little bit better. So let’s hope, we have a scan today, that it’s not serious and we can have him back soon. But we will know more tomorrow certainly.”

Mikel Arteta

Meanwhile, Thomas Partey (£4.9m) could be involved after building up match fitness in the wake of his self-isolation.

“Thomas (Partey) has been in full training for the last four or five days. He’s completely asymptomatic. It would (have been) a little rushed to play him against Newcastle but I think he will be ready for Thursday.”

Mikel Arteta

Manchester United will be able to recall Luke Shaw (£4.8m) and Victor Lindelöf  (£4.8m) for their trip to Burnley tonight as the two players completed a full training session on Monday.

The return of the latter could be well-timed considering Eric Bailly (£4.9m) could only manage partial participation in training following a neck injury in the FA Cup and requires assessment ahead of Blank Gameweek 18.
Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford (£9.6m) could enjoy a welcome return to his favoured left-attacking-midfield role as Paul Pogba (£7.7m) is also a slight doubt for the Burnley game.

“All of them trained today. Paul (Pogba) and Eric (Bailly) didn’t do all of it but Luke (Shaw) and Victor (Lindelof) did, so I’ve got a decent amount of players to pick from. Let’s see with Paul and Eric how they are tomorrow.”

Mikel Arteta

Sean Dyche will have Nick Pope (£5.4m) back in goal when Manchester United visit Turf Moor tonight but will have to make late calls on left-back Charlie Taylor (£4.5m) as well as Jay Rodriguez (£5.8m) and Dwight McNeil (£5.7m).

“Nick Pope is fine, Charlie Taylor is touch and go, along with Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil. We’re still waiting on news for Kevin Long’s ankle knock.”

Sean Dyche

Central midfield could present a problem for Burnley as Dyche must “wait and see” whether Ashley Westwood (£5.3m) and Josh Brownhill (£4.9m) can be involved. Josh Benson (£4.5m), Dale Stephens (£4.3m) and Jack Cork (£5.0m) are available but combine for just 480 Premier League minutes this season.

“We’ll wait and see on Ashley Westwood, Josh Brownhill, Jimmy Dunne and Bailey Peacock-Farrell, but we’re really hopeful.”

Sean Dyche

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder kept his cards close to his chest ahead of the visit of Newcastle to Bramall Lane, grouping George Baldock (£5.0m), Enda Stevens (£5.0m), Phil Jagielka (£4.0m), Billy Sharp (£5.5m) and Lys Mousset (£5.8m). together in one blanket, rather unhelpful, update.

“We’d like to think some of those five will be (available). It will be touch and go on a couple. Hopefully, all five will be available for the weekend. We don’t know on two or three of those players if Tuesday night comes too early for those players.”

Chris Wilder

There were very few injury updates to come out of Spurs and Fulham’s press conferences. Erik Lamela (£5.7m) appears to be available but Jose Mourinho wants to make a decision on him considering the recent off-the-field issues while Giovani Lo Celso (£6.9m) remains out for several weeks.

“He’s injured. He’s out [for] a few weeks.”

Jose Mourinho

Meanwhile, Scott Parker revealed that there were no injury updates in the Fulham camp.

“Everyone is fine. There isn’t an injury update as such. The lads coming back from injury (Onomah, Kongolo and Tete) came out well on Saturday.”

Scott Parker

Crystal Palace’s pre-match press conference for their trip to Arsenal is due to take place on Wednesday – after the Blank Gameweek 18 deadline.

Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £25.00. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £3.99. A FREE trial is now available.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.



1,140 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Tshelby
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 1 day ago

    Getting Aurier in and not Dier is probably wanting to be too cleaver?

  2. D.Glynn
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 1 day ago

    Son or Rash?

    1. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 1 day ago

      I have Bruno and Kane on fh

  3. rich1e
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    5 months, 1 day ago

    No one fancy Cavani?

  4. rdpx
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 1 day ago

    Any guesses as to the number of managers playing their Free Hit this week?