Team News

The latest news on Lukaku’s ankle injury ahead of FPL Gameweek 9

Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m) looks set to miss Gameweek 9 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) after twisting his ankle in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League.

The Belgian limped out of Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Malmo and while an exact timeframe on his recovery is still not known, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed after full-time that his striker would miss “some matches”.

Lukaku was the second most-bought FPL forward of Gameweek 9 before news of his injury broke, sitting in over a third (36.3%) of Fantasy squads in total.

Well over 60% of the top 10,000 FPL managers owned the Belgium international, too.

Lukaku had also been top of our captaincy poll for the upcoming Gameweek, with over half of our voters backing the premium striker with the armband:

We’ve now reset the results of that poll, which you can vote on again in the sidebar of this page.

TUCHEL’S COMMENTS ON LUKAKU’S INJURY AND ROTATION

It was a double-whammy for Chelsea on the injury front, with Timo Werner (£8.6m) succumbing to a hamstring strain shortly before the interval.

Tuchel said of his injured strike duo:

“Romelu twisted his ankle with the foul in the box and Timo has a hamstring injury. It will take a while for both of them. We need more examinations to be more precise but they will be out for some matches.

“If I knew before [the game], I wouldn’t have [started Lukaku]. But how can you know it before and it was necessary that he was on the pitch and he started very strong. I spoke with him about the situation, that I think that he carries a bit of mental fatigue around with him. I think that is also normal but he is our number nine and is our reference upfront.

“The best thing against mental fatigue is a goal and we knew that we could be the dominant team. We knew that we wanted to build our attack today with Mason and Timo around him and him as the reference up front in the middle.

“I had the strong belief that in a Champions League match he could turn things around in terms of scoring and being decisive, which he actually did because he was super strong in our start. He took the foul and without him maybe it’s not 2-0,

“So no, I don’t regret it. It’s not a muscle injury or because of physical fatigue. He is a little bit overplayed, this is my opinion and maybe I’m not even right. This was a moment to give him confidence and let him play. I don’t regret it, things like this can happen. It was bad luck.”

There were also some ominous words on rotation from Tuchel, who named a strong team for a routine win over the Swedes:

“This will be maybe one of the shortest pre-match meetings in my history of coaching because we want everything on the same level. We have the chance to switch on some positions, to demand from everybody physically the same input.”

Ben Chilwell (£5.7m), Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.2m) and Andreas Christensen (£5.1m) started their second successive matches of the week, although the first two of those were handed breathers midway through the second half.

Antonio Rudiger (£5.8m) and Thiago Silva (£5.5m) were both back in the starting XI after missing Gameweek 8 but Reece James (£5.5m) and Marcos Alonso (£5.9m) were again only substitutes.

WHO PLAYS UP FRONT NOW FOR CHELSEA?

On the assumption that Werner and Lukaku do indeed miss Gameweek 9, Chelsea need a new attacking spearhead against the Canaries.

With the likes of Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi gone from the club either on a permanent basis or on loan, the European champions are short of options up top.

Enter Kai Havertz (£8.1m).

The German replaced Lukaku after 24 minutes of Wednesday’s clash, going on to score his side’s third goal with a fine finish having earlier wasted a clearer opening. Havertz racked up four shots in all, the most of anyone on show.

Havertz has occasionally played as false nine in the past and ended 2020/21 mostly being used in that role, although hasn’t had a look-in through the middle since Lukaku joined. He’ll very likely be the man playing centrally on Saturday and at 3.9% owned, is a veritable FPL differential for the visit of the Premier League’s basement club.

“Always, always a chance and it is always necessary to prove a point. We will have some games without Romelu and Timo so everyone is invited to join the race for minutes on the pitch.

“When they are on the pitch, they need to show their hunger and determination to be decisive and be in the box.

“This is how it is and they did it today but there’s still room to improve and on Saturday we need the same performance, hunger and determination from whoever starts for us because we need goals to win matches. We want to find solutions without Romelu and Timo, that’s clear. Everyone will join the race to be decisive for us.” – Thomas Tuchel on Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi

WHO ARE THE BEST LUKAKU REPLACEMENTS IN FPL?

We’ll have an article out tomorrow looking at the best replacements for the Belgian in FPL.

In the meantime, you can propose your own alternatives in our Hot Topic and see what our Rate My Team projections think for the coming six Gameweeks.


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1,519 Comments Post a Comment
  1. ClothedinSun
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Would KDB captain this GW be total insanity based on Salah's form, ownership etc.?

    1. tsm
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Have vardy(c), kdb(bc) but could be either tbh. I think the manu/liv game is going to be boring

  2. tsm
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Went for a bit of differential to the template because seems more value at the back at cheaper choices

    McCarthy(foster)
    White, Livra, Pinnock, (Cooper, Duffy)
    KdB, Salah, Raphina, Mbuemo, (Brownhill)
    Kane, Vardy, Broja

    0.6 itb. The only bit am still not 100% is keeper but stuck in the it will be a double of gk+def

    1. PScholes18
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Risky at the back, but could pay off.
      Might consider dropping Kane to get a bit more balance in the team.

  3. jimmyharte
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Would people put in Raya over Sanchez on WC?

    1. tractorjess
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      No

    2. Nomar
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      I would, if I was WCing now?

  4. RaptorRice86
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Same quandary as everyone else... Lukaku Out but for whom?! I have Antonio and a benchwarmer.

    A. Kane
    B. Vardy
    C. Toney & Jiminez

    1. tractorjess
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Kane if you can afford him

  5. tractorjess
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Am I mad to consider Auba as a lukaku replacement?

    1. Rassi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      No

  6. HappyMonday
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    WC advice if you have any...
    Raya Sanchez
    Livra, Dias, Chilwell, Azpi, Manquillo
    Salah, Havertz, Raphina, Gallagher, Townsend
    Vardy, Toney, Auba
    Many thanks!

  7. Sergio vamos
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Lukaku replacement?

    a) Havertz
    b) Antonio
    c) Hardy

    Edging toward Havertz due to fixtures as things stand.

    1. OLEgend
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Hardy

      1. Sergio vamos
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Next level differential

    2. DycheDycheBaby
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Tom Hardy is a footballer now?

  8. Super Sharpe Shooter
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Getting rid of Lukaku and Saka today. Which one of these would you go for? Genuinely torn. Both might be as good as each other...

    A) Vardy & Havertz
    B) Kane & Raphinha

    1. DB_00
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      A

    2. OLEgend
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      A

  9. chriskon
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    With the Lukaku-gate, Is Jesus in anyones radar?

    1. gibson1314
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      He was my 2nd choice behind Vardy/Havertz. So he will probably haul now!

  10. Djstunts
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 9 days ago

    -8 for Benhrama and Saka to Havertz and Townsend? Can it pay off?

  11. Heard Island Tangerine Exil…
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Which ONE player should I sub out of Livramento (BUR), Saka (AVL), Antonio (TOT) & Jiminez (lee)?

  12. goughton
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Having a disaster season so far and now Lukaku is injured. Agh! Already hit wildcard a couple of weeks ago. Feedback on:

    A: Lukaku & Gallagher for Son & Toney (-4)
    B: Lukaku for Auba
    C: Nothing and do the double next week

    Rest of side at present is:

    Ramsdale,
    Cancelo, Alonso, Rudiger, Livramento, White
    Salah, Mbuemo, Raphina, Townsend, Gallagher
    Vardy, Antonio, Lukaku

    Thanks for any feedback!

  13. FPL Brains
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Ashame for Lukakus injury. Now everyone will flock to Salah captaincy.

  14. Finding Timo
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Seen this on Twitter - Havertz #FPL pts in games started for Tuchel (oldest first)… 3, 9, 3 (striker), 10 (striker), 3 (striker), 16 (striker), 2 (striker), 3, 7, 3, 3