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. Mika-eel
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Well people wanted chaos......

  2. Holmes
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Need more FH please...

    1. Make Arrows Green Again
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Yeah, there is another week with postponed fixtures so we are due another one. Precedent has been set!

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

      Due to more wc, I'm afraid

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

      It can't be played during two consecutive weeks. Liverpool fixture being postponed is annoying, because Salah C vs Leicester is very tempting. Somehow I have a feeling, that we are going to keep him for that fixture just to see it postponed. Yet I can see merit in taking hits now and playing FH next week if needed. Also hokey cokey with Salah and Son is not totally out of question.

  3. Champions League Varane
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Selling Salah is simply crazy he has Leicester midweek with a long long rest.. captain locked

    1. Holmes
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      He could get rusty by that team.

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

      ...then Chelsea, then two consecutive blanks.

      One good fixture out of 5. 3 blanks.

    3. jimmyharte
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Players are expected to leave for afcon after boxing day

  4. NateDog
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Salah v Leeds in a DGW down the line sounds mighty tasty

    1. Holmes
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Yeah, TC time

      1. Holmes
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Hopefully its not in 22

        1. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Ah no!

    2. Pep Roulette
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      We need more glass half full people like you

      1. NateDog
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 5 days ago

        My glass has been 10/11ths full for 3 weeks so I'll take what I can get!

  5. Sun Jihai
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Third FH incoming...

  6. Tonyawesome69
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    I hope FPL can sort out this issue about not being able to play FH chip in consecutive GWs because I have a feeling we'll be getting a few more!

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

      We have more than 1 free hit chip??

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Another is given. Cannot play on two consecutive weeks.

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

    Pretty easy just Freehit this gw! 🙂
    Then u have Salah against Leicester.

    When Afcon players will leave? Salah, Dennis?

    1. Parsnips
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Yeh I’m gonna fh

    2. Holmes
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Salah will leave after Chelsea game

  8. gooberman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    I have to ask the question why can we not use the additional FH until GW20 and not now?

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

      Because FPL knew this was going to happen and wanted to give managers who held their WC an advantage this week over those that didn't 😉

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Also those who have saved their FH benefit from this in theory.

    2. Marty McFly
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      I didn’t even realise there was a second free hit…

      Can you use both after gw20? Or does the first expire?

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

        if you still have the original one you can use it now. The extra free one cant be used until GW20 for some reason.

      2. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        It won't expire.

        1. Baps hunter
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Except if not used BEFORE gw 37.

  9. MIGHTY JOE
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    So who you gonna captain now??

    1. NateDog
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 5 days ago

      I'd say most will go with Cancelo or Ronaldo

    2. Holmes
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Cancelo, again

      1. MIGHTY JOE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Dear me

      2. Holmes
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Or probably going to get Ronaldo and captain him

    3. jimmyharte
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Son

    4. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Ronaldo

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

    Do we get another FH for this? 😀

  11. Stimps
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    RIP planning

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

      Just plan 1 hour before deadline.

  12. The Senate
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  13. Sun Jihai
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Ronaldo (c) 😎

  14. Bubz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    No early kick off on boxing day now 🙁

    1. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Deadline now 1:30pm
      A bit more recovery time from christmas day drinks

  15. Rupert The Horse
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Triple captain talk in the mud.

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

      When Mo has the double with Leeds, we shall all use it then.

  16. bitm2007
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Wolves v Watford 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 at the PL club meeting, that's worrying for the rest of the festive fixtures.

    1. NateDog
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Leeds have said a combination of covid cases as well as injury issues is the reason for their cancellation, wonder if Leicester will cite that for the City game with their depleted squad

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

        Leicester played a decent strength squad last night though.

        1. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 5 days ago

          True, bench wasn't too bad either looking at it. Although Pereira and Soyuncu injuries may add to the issues

      2. bitm2007
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Leeds/Pool off as well I missed that development.

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

          Is this true? The hot takes assume we know what's going on and the twitter box is broken. Think I'll log off and rely on Twitter for news.

          1. bitm2007
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Yes, Leeds can't field a team.

  17. sirmorbach
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Any ideas for this lot if nothing happens? Genuinely thinking of holding FT as things stand:

    Ramsdale
    TAA, Dias, Cancelo, James, Cash
    Salah, Jota, Foden, Bowen, Douglas Luiz
    Lacazette, Watkins, King

    Cheers!

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

      So you will play with 10?

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

        Just seen the news ahahah. Love it.

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

          😀

  18. dshv
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Ramsdale
    Taa James Cancelo Reguilon
    Salah Foden Jota ESR
    Watkins Ronaldo

    Foster - gallagher - livra - davis
    2ft 0.1itb

    3 pool will missing.. gallagher livra in

    So if i remove jota to what ?

  19. Meechoo115
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Bus team captain now cancelo. Vice odegaard

      Have Foden Antonio Bernardo too but don’t trust them to play / return

      1. dshv
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        I will captain Ronaldo

    • g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Any Villa & Chelsea updates could be boring Boxing Day footy at this rate 🙁

    • The Senate
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      I think FH this week will be a must for those of us tripled on pool and with a watford player or two, hopefully we can see a citeh team leak before the deadline and pick accordingly

      1. Cruyff's Eleven
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        At this rate need a free hit every week.

        Impossible to manage like this.

      2. Tonyawesome69
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Na I don't think so unless Chelsea Villa game is postponed. Salah out is definitely worth considering

      3. internal error
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        I dont think its a must by any means. The majority of fpl players will be tripled up on 3 liverpool

      4. Zim0
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        I can still get 10 players out with my FT. I'm not using FReeHit for 1 player

      5. kringe
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Down to 7 players. No complaints, took the chance on 1 keeper and a non playing striker hahaha
        Lost Sa, TAA, Jota, Salah, Raphinha and King. (So far)

      6. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Nope. I have triple Liv + Dennis. That means starting XI with -4, not big issue yet. If Che match is postponed, -8 and Spurs defender for Alonso.

    • Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Salah & King to (C)R7 & Bowen for -4?

      Will bench Livra, Jota & TAA.

      Livra to come in for Anotnio if he doesnt make it.

      1. Holmes
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Yep

        1. Karan14
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Bowen or Madisson?

    • internal error
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      So does watford pulling out of this game mean they are unlikely to be able to play vs West ham on 28th?

      1. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        They should be fine by then I would assume. Their outbreak started last week so they do have a couple of extra days now.

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

          Don't think we can guess it'll be okay. Have to accept the match is at risk too.

          1. Karan14
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            I agree its risky. I dont know if I should get Bowen this week and double up on West Ham.

      2. Cruyff's Eleven
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Athletic quotes PL expecting game on the 28th to go ahead.

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

          thanks mate. that is useful

    • No Salah - who to captain GW19?
      gooberman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Well to take some positive's out of this. We can pick a different captain other than Salah for once and at least Raphinha cant annoy me this week with more cheap points!

      1. Geoff
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Completely right, more variance with captains.

        Who will you be captaining?

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

          Foden

        2. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Cancelo most likely. Tempted by Foden if Pep suggests he's put his misdemeanours behind him but still would be a big risk

        3. circusmonkey
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          On Lacazette with Cancelo vice.

      2. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Vivaa Ronaldoooo

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

        Agreed

      4. Ginkapo FPL
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        The positive for me is I sold him last week.

        Be more Gink

      5. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        C Ronaldo is obvious now.

      6. Kun Tozser
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Bowen

      7. Matjes_taet
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        My Son.

      8. RichRover
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Son

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

      If the Villa-Chelsea game is called off...

      1. Holmes
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        it will be exciting

    • Stormbringer22
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Salah > Son (C)?

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

        Salah > Ron (C)

        1. dshv
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          This

    • Echoes
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Love chaos in general, but this is getting a little over the top. Might just drop this season and come back next year.

      1. Holmes
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        True, too much randomness to deal with

      2. circusmonkey
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        You won't. It's the same for everyone so just embrace it.

    • JONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      There’s goes 5 of my players then. Week over

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

        Similar case for most.

      2. Cruyff's Eleven
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Everyone has triple Pool.

        Be clever...

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

        People have at least 4 out.

    • Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      *furiously deletes comments bad-mouthing the new FH chip*

      (I don't actually take it back, tbh).

    • Bookkeeper
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Could be a big score if you FH this week

      1. Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Could be a big fat zero too.