We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points of the day in FPL Daily, a series that will serve non-Premier League matchdays and days when we don’t bring you a team news/press conference round-up.
NO DOUBLE GAMEWEEK 22 FOR LIVERPOOL
There has yet to be any announcement on the matches and scale of the widely touted Double Gameweek 22 but if and when we do get any fixture news, it won’t feature Liverpool or Arsenal.
A Covid outbreak in the Reds’ camp has put paid to tomorrow’s EFL Cup semi-final between Jurgen Klopp’s side and the Gunners, which will now take place on Thursday 13 January.
As a result, the second leg of that tie will now go ahead on Thursday 20 January, which is in the ‘free’ midweek after Gameweek 22.
There is no immediate rush to get Arsenal and Liverpool’s outstanding league fixtures rearranged in the short term, at least: UEFA seemed to suggest on Tuesday that it may open the door to Premier League matches being scheduled on Champions League nights to deal with the fixture congestion caused by Covid-19.
NEW FPL PLAYER PRICES
Three new January window signings had their prices announced on Wednesday.
Jonas Lossl’s (£4.5m) pricing as a back-up Brentford goalkeeper will be greeted by a collective shrug of the shoulders by the Fantasy community but there may be a bit more interest in the two new Everton signings who are now listed in FPL.
Full-backs Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson were priced up by FPL at £5.0m and £4.5m respectively, with the extra outlay for the Ukrainian partly because of his proven pedigree (Patterson has only started four league matches in his entire career) but perhaps mostly because he will face less of a challenge for a start at left-back; Lucas Digne (£5.0m), surely, is on his way out of Merseyside.
Patterson has club stalwart Seamus Coleman (£4.9m) as competition for his place at right-back, so he may have to bide his time initially.
The Toffees are top of our Season Ticker over the next five Gameweeks but have kept only three clean sheets all season, so have much to prove.
CHELSEA HALFWAY TO A BLANK GAMEWEEK 27… SORT OF
Chelsea defeated Spurs 2-0 in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final and are just 90 minutes away from an appearance at Wembley in late-February.
That cup final clashes with Gameweek 27 of FPL, which should Chelsea progress, would give the Blues the following run before we get any news about fixture rearrangements:
Thomas Tuchel’s side can only ‘double’ in Gameweek 22 when glancing at the above lookahead, although they could have an outstanding fixture planted in their free midweek after Gameweek 27 (against Brighton or Arsenal) to ensure they don’t blank.
The Blues suffered more fitness misery at the back on Wednesday: already without Andreas Christensen (£4.6m), Trevoh Chalobah (£4.7m), Reece James (£6.2m) and Ben Chilwell (£5.6m) because of injury, they lost Thiago Silva (£5.6m) to a positive Covid-19 test before the game and then Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.7m) to an apparent hamstring strain during it – although Tuchel later said he hoped it was just cramp.
Kai Havertz (£7.8m) was also substituted with a broken finger, while N’Golo Kante (£4.9m) also missed out because of a positive coronavirus test result.
Spurs at least avoided any injuries of their own but were outclassed ahead of the two sides’ Gameweek 23 league meeting, something Antonio Conte mentioned after full-time:
“This type of game can show us the difference. The gap between us and a top club like Chelsea. I think we struggle, we struggled a lot against Chelsea. They showed to be stronger, much stronger than us. For sure you have to be disappointed but also understand that there is an important difference.” – Antonio Conte
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