Scout Notes

Antonio Covid news, Blank + Double Gameweeks and line-up lessons: EFL Cup notes

The quarter-finals of the EFL Cup were completed last night and there were some key takeaways for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers, from fitness issues to possible Blank/Double Gameweek repercussions.

BLANK GAMEWEEK 27… AND LIVERPOOL TO HAVE A DOUBLE GAMEWEEK 22?

Liverpool and Arsenal both progressed to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup last night and were drawn against one another.

With one of the two sides guaranteed to be in the final, which clashes with Gameweek 27, the scheduled league meeting between the Gunners and the Reds on February 26 will have to be rescheduled.

There is still the possibility that the Gameweek 27 fixture between Arsenal and Liverpool is moved to the following midweek but that would require both sides being eliminated by the FA Cup fifth-round stage.

There is another possibility, as seen in Legomane‘s excellent fixture matrix above – that Liverpool might now also get a Double Gameweek 22, something that wasn’t on the cards before last night’s cup developments.

ANTONIO’S POSITIVE COVID TEST

Antonio the most-sold FPL player of Gameweek 13 as budget defender Ait-Nouri impresses 1

The internet rumours turned out to be true regarding Michail Antonio‘s positive Covid test.

David Moyes confirmed ahead of kick-off in the EFL Cup quarter-final between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United that his forward tested positive for coronavirus but all might not be lost for Gameweek 19.

Moyes explained that Antonio had returned his positive test “about a week ago” (he was last in playing action on December 15), so with the new UK government protocol allowing for the 10-day self-isolation period to be cut short on the production of two negative tests on days six and seven, the striker could be at least available for selection on Boxing Day – if short on training time.

“[Michail] Antonio tested positive last week, probably about a week ago now so we’re closer to getting him back but obviously not available tonight [against Tottenham].

“With testing every day there’s uncertainty like every other team but I have to say, at the moment we’ve been pretty good with Covid.”

“The answer is I don’t know [if he’ll be available for Southampton], he has no symptoms and is double vaccinated, hopefully there is a good chance we have him back.” – David Moyes

Thomas Tuchel confirmed that the previously positive Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi had also returned one negative test each, so will be able to return to training today if they reproduce that same result on a second test.

There were also injuries to report.

Charlie Goode missed out on Brentford’s defeat to Chelsea with a hamstring injury, while Rico Henry was taken off as a precaution with the same issue.

Brendan Rodgers, who welcomed back most of the players who last week tested positive for Covid, went full strength against Liverpool and may live to regret it, seeing Ricardo Pereira, Caglar Soyuncu and Jamie Vardy pick up problems of varying natures.

“We couldn’t take [Vardy] off. Probably the last half-hour his hamstring felt a bit tight so he couldn’t really move. He’d usually be our number one (penalty taker).” – Brendan Rodgers

LINE-UP LESSONS

Owners of players from the seven Premier League clubs in EFL Cup action would have been hoping for managed minutes ahead of a frantic Christmas period but there were mixed fortunes for Fantasy managers.

We’ve teamed up with Anna Woodberry, producer of some superb line-up graphics, for this section, and you’ll be able to see a detailed breakdown of each club by clicking on the gallery above.

A summary is below:

Arsenal
  • Nine changes from Gameweek 18
  • Leno, Soares, Holding, Tavares, Elneny, Pepe, Smith Rowe, Balogun & Nketiah in
  • White & Odegaard kept their places

Arsenal are unchanged over the last four Gameweeks and most of their regulars were handed a breather, with Ben White and Martin Odegaard racking up the most significant minutes (73 each). Emile Smith Rowe, without a league start since Gameweek 14, was given 80 minutes.

Brentford
  • Three changes from Gameweek 16
  • Canos, Pinnock & Sorensen in
  • Fernandez, Jansson, Henry, Jensen, Janelt, Bapiste, Wissa & Mbeumo kept their places

Ivan Toney was only handed 25 minutes as a substitute as Thomas Frank managed his fitness following a return from coronavirus.

Chelsea
  • Eight changes from Gameweek 18
  • Kepa, Simons, Sarr, Kovacic, Saul, Vale, Soonsup-Bell & Barkley in
  • Azpilicueta, Chalobah & Alonso kept their places

There were widespread changes from Thomas Tuchel, with the likes of Reece James, Antonio Rudiger and Mason Mount either handed the night off or limited minutes as substitutes. Marcos Alonso was given a 90-minute run-out, however.

Leicester City
  • Three changes from Gameweek 16
  • Pereira, Soumare & Vardy in
  • Schmeichel, Soyuncu, Ndidi, Thomas, Tielemans, Maddison, Dewsbury-Hall & Daka kept their places

Harvey Barnes, Caglar Soyuncu and the injured Jonny Evans were the only notable absences from a strong Leicester side, with Jamie Vardy completing 90 minutes despite the aforementioned hamstring issues.

Liverpool
  • Ten changes from Gameweek 18
  • Kelleher, Bradley, Gomez, Koumetio, Tsimikas, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Firmino & Williams in
  • Morton kept his place

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold were among the big names given a rest last night, while Diogo Jota was only present for the second half. Roberto Firmino‘s first start since October saw the Brazilian last 90 minutes.

Tottenham Hotspur
  • Six changes from Gameweek 18
  • Doherty, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Moura & Bergwijn in
  • Lloris, Sanchez, Dier, Davies & Kane kept their places

Son Heung-min was given only half an hour as a substitute as Harry Kane kept up his 100% record under Antonio Conte, a run that has seen him last 90 minutes in each game. The 5-3-2/3-5-2 of Gameweek 18 made way to the 3-4-3/3-4-2-1, while Sergio Reguilon was back in the starting XI.

West Ham United
  • Four changes from Gameweek 18
  • Areola, Ashby, Johnson & Vlasic in
  • Dawson, Diop, Masuaku, Soucek, Rice, Lanzini & Bowen kept their places

Jarrod Bowen scored up front in Michail Antonio‘s absence, while Ben Johnson returned from injury at right-back as Vladimir Coufal served a one-match ban.


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486 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Sharkytect
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Liverpool dgw22 would be a game changer. That would mean I could keep two of my Liverpool players, wouldn't need to waste another FH, and then it would just be about maybe selling salah for son for those gws.

    Great news. Hope it happens.

  2. internal error
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    According to various twitter rumours, Wolves vs Watford will be postponed and announced very shortly

    1. JBG
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Because of Covid?

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

        yea. see below.

    2. Ninja Škrtel
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      liverpool - leeds as well

  3. bitm2007
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    There will be no new Covid rules in England announced before Christmas, so fans will be able to attend Boxing Day fixtures as normal.

    1. Jimmers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      ...if there are any games on............

  4. ebb2sparky
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Ignoring potential double game weeks who would you prefer in your team for the mid term:

    A - Son
    B - Ronaldo

    1. woodywoodlington
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 5 days ago

      That's my dilemma too. Impossible to call - hindsight will be great. But with L'pool postponement, l'm thinking maybe sell him now ahead of afcon, and buy both Son AND Ronaldo...

      1. woodywoodlington
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 5 days ago

        "him" = Salah of course...

  5. Gameweek 19 Postponements - FH Time?
    Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Liverpool Leeds Postponed on Boxing day!

    https://twitter.com/LFC/status/1473986926302699525

    What are you planning to do now, with many people tripled on Liverpool? Tempted to ditch Salah or any of the others? Time to bring out the extra FH now, with more postponements certainly possible?

      1. JBG
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Well that's 4 players already gone. Jota, Salah, TAA and Dennis(what a waste of a transfer he has been).

    1. Sharkytect
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Time to sell salah? Will be missing from 3 of the next 5 gwks

    2. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      What a mess 😆

    3. CABAYE4
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Wow - if the AFCON departure dates are clarified then selling Salah could be a real option.

      Without getting carried away the 28th Jan has got to be at risk too.

      1. CABAYE4
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Sorry 28th Dec!

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

          Leeds were the reason for the postponement

          1. CABAYE4
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 6 days ago

            Ah thanks - makes things a little trickier.

    4. mad_beer ✅
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      I think FPL towers need to give us a weekly FH.

    5. Baines on Toast...
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Five out already, free hit for me

    6. MIGHTY JOE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Thank god I didnt lose my head and transfered Jota in early

    7. kringe
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Already down to 7 players for Boxing day.
      FH on the way by the looks of it.

    8. ZimZalabim
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      so that the first two games of the gameweek is that just a coincidence or are they going about checking that way and now well hear about the 3pm games next ?

      Looks like im down 5 players already and if Chelsea vs villa is off then no choice but to freehit if its on then I have a big decision to make, Alonso playing 90 yesterday means his potential benching complicates things further.

  6. AC Yew
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    All ok for the weekend?

    Guaita
    Dias Rudiger Cancelo TAA
    Bilva Salah (C) Jota Saka Raphinha
    Dennis

    Foster Antonio Toney Duffy

    Guaita -> Sanchez with my FT? Will WC next week

    1. Gazwaz80
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      a lot of your players will be out for the weekend…

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

      Rethink Salah captain there

  7. Arteta
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    The end of perma captain Salah.

  8. The Train Driver
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    "Lots of chatter about Wolves / Watford being postponed on Boxing Day.

    Will try and chase."

    https://mobile.twitter.com/benaramsdale/status/1473984251553067018?t=L0TcdIwXmGakCzU8jCiJ3A&s=19

    1. mad_beer ✅
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      You might be late to the party.

  9. mad_beer ✅
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Now this will be an interesting GW.

  10. internal error
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Ronaldo captain then

  11. Arteta
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    I have no sympathy for people who are still doing early transfers in times like these. Sorry not sorry.

    1. Little Red Lacazette
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      People will still buy the latest hot cake from the bakery: Martinelli.

  12. Gizzachance
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Liv v Leeds Boxing Day to be rescheduled, ssn

  13. Little Red Lacazette
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Salah, Jota, TAA oops...

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Everyone needs to wait till boxing day then Free Hit away!

    2. gooberman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      the word 'also' in that heading suggests that other matches have been postponed as well?

  14. Hazz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    On the plus side Salah is getting a DGW fixture against Leeds in the future...

    1. Zim0
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      What if its in 22? Salah unavailable

      1. Hazz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Could be 😮

    2. Bubz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      I don’t see that as a plus, renders the triple captain chip completely void

      1. Little Red Lacazette
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Yes, 90% of managers will use their 1st FH and TC at the same time.

  15. Zim0
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Salah to Son early it is

    1. Salan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      This. In seriously consideration.

    1. gooberman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      FFS its just impossible to roll the transfer isnt it?!!

      1. Tonyawesome69
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Firefighting over this period

    2. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Postponed after a request made by the visitors to the Premier League was accepted due to rising Covid-19 cases. So it's not because either of the clubs can't field a team as agreed on Monday, that's worrying for the rest of the festive fixtures.

  16. Hazz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    The one issue with selling Salah is that Leicester is SUCH a good fixture for him...

  17. Original - Wolves Ay We
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Wolves v Watford off

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Here we go again.

  18. Holmes
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Ho Ho Ho!!!

  19. bitm2007
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Treble GW21 followed by DGW22 possible for either Burnley or Brighton then.

  20. Arteta
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    (C)ancelo gang, where y'at?!

  21. Gizzachance
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    2 games off already in just couple minutes !

  22. SouthCoastSaint
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Have to consider free hit now

    Semedo, Salah, Jota, Trent, raphina, King.

    I have to really don’t I?

    1. Bubz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Well pretty much every other manager has 4 of those as well

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

      Not if only 2 games go ahead...

    3. gooberman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      5 out for me as it stands but will take a - 4 rather than FH

  23. JBG
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 6 days ago

    Took in Dennis for CR for a -4 that GW when MU first got postponed and then Watford later that GW.. What a waste of a transfer he has been.

  24. Meechoo115
      1 month, 6 days ago

      GW22. Brentford and Leeds home for liverpoool

      Trent TC locked in!

    • Skonto Rigga
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Timed this article great, didn't I?

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Yes, not a minute too early 😉

    • Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Surely this makes the following games also in danger of cancellation, given its only 2 days later:

      LEE vs AVL
      WAT vs WHU

      1. Bookkeeper
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        If tests return negative, game could be on

      2. NateDog
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 6 days ago

        You'd imagine it must, although they've cited injuries as issues as well

    • Time to sell Salah?
      Bookkeeper
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Salah next two before AFCON:
      Leicester and Chelsea

      Time to sell

      1. Baines on Toast...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Leicester are rubbish. And he will probably score against Chelsea as well

      2. Hazz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Leicester is a f**king great fixture.

        Leicester have conceded the most chances in the entire league down the flank Salah plays.

        Have you seen Leicester defend?

        1. Bookkeeper
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 6 days ago

          Worth taking the risk and I'm sure many managers will be contemplating selling him

      3. Little Red Lacazette
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Will keep for LEI at least.

      4. Tsssst
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        he does alright against them

        10 points v Chelsea
        6 points v Leicester

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

          Didn't I read Leicester have FIVE centre backs out? Makes more sense to TC Salah than sell him.

          1. Bookkeeper
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 6 days ago

            TC before Pool get a DGW, makes less sense!

      5. Mingo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Selling a prime Liverpool asset ahead of an away festive fixture at Leicester? Can't think of any historical event that would make this a bad idea.

        1. ZimZalabim
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          I was one of those donks that sold Trent because it was worth the risk with all the travel back from the CWC and all that rubbish and then I plummeted down the ranks. Never Again.

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

            Same. From that point I decided that, whenever fit, Trent would be in every fantasy team that I had.

        2. CAVEAT KING
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Who says that fixture is still on? Which camp cancelled the fixture?

        3. TomSaints
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Ahh this comment should come with a trigger warning.

          I sold TAA on wildcard for 1 game last season and he went mental =[

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

            The groupthink got to all of us!

      6. Forza
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        It's that sneaky feeling that AFCON will be called off 5 minutes after I confirm the move...

      7. GS456
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        What about having to buy him back for 0.6 more?

        1. Kabayan
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          0.3

        2. Ruth_NZ
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          You won't have to. 0.2m more at most.

          1. GS456
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Ahh right thanks lads

    • 1912 F.A Cup Winners
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 6 days ago

      Didn’t think I’d be looking at my team with a bench of Foster, Salah, Jota and TAA any time this season!!!