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FPL Daily: Man City hit by Covid, Watkins close to fitness

We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points of the day in FPL Daily, a series that serves non-Premier League matchdays and days when we don’t bring you a team news/press conference round-up.

Thursday’s big news, of course, was the confirmation of four additional fixtures in Gameweek 22, meaning that eight teams – Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley, Chelsea, Leicester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Watford – will ‘double’.

READ MORE: Frisking the Fixtures for Double Gameweek 22 and beyond
READ MORE: Tom Freeman’s initial Gameweek 22 team plans

CITY COVID OUTBREAK

There may be no FPL deadline this weekend but there are still plenty of pre-match press conferences happening up and down the country on Thursday and Friday, with all 20 Premier League clubs in FA Cup action.

Manchester City get the third round of England’s premier cup competition underway on Friday night but they’ll be short of numbers both on and off the field.

Pep Guardiola will miss the tie against Swindon Town after testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the number of those isolating for coronavirus-related reasons amongst the City camp to 21. Of that number, 14 are backroom staff and seven are first-team players.

There’s still over a week until the champions-elect face Chelsea in Double Gameweek 22 but it’s a situation to keep an eye on, given what has gone before with postponements.

“At this moment we have a squad and we want to play the game and to keep playing as many as possible until, if unfortunately we can’t fill the team, we will have to think about postponement. But at this moment in time we’re ready to play the game.”

“Again we don’t know [about the Chelsea game in Gameweek 22], it’s unpredictable. Two days ago we had five (positive tests), yesterday three.

“Every time we’re less and less people, but still a lot don’t have it and it’s unpredictable because we have people with the first and second variant. It’s not a virus that when you have it once you won’t get it again, (there are) no guarantees. It’s unexpected what will happen tomorrow and next week even less so.” – Manchester City assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell 

WATKINS ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL

Ollie Watkins (£7.8m) was a surprise omission from Aston Villa’s teamsheet in Gameweek 21, with no concrete reason given for his absence.

A positive Covid-19 test was suspected and Steven Gerrard’s comments in his pre-match presser would only add fuel to that fire, with Watkins due back in training a week after his no-show against Brentford.

He’ll return in good time for Gameweek 22, then, when Villa entertain cup opponents Manchester United a week on Saturday.

“Ollie Watkins is due back with the group on Saturday, so that will be a welcome addition. Tyrone Mings comes back from suspension – he’s fit, well and available.

“Ashley Young’s got an outside chance. He’s got a frustrating one where he’s still got a little bit of discomfort in his fractured toe, but he’s doing everything he can to get back as quick as he can.

“The rest is as it was. We’ve come through Brentford with no major injuries. Kortney Hause has had a bit of tightness after the game, but that’s settled down and he trained today.

“Assuming the last couple of COVID tests go well, we should be in good shape.” – Steven Gerrard

OTHER TEAM NEWS

Elsewhere, Graham Potter confirmed that Brighton were Covid-free heading into their FA Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion.

That’s not the case with Burnley, however, with manager Sean Dyche among those hit by the virus, Nick Pope (£5.4m) still not back in training after his own recent positive test and four new cases in the first-team squad.

“(Nick) Pope didn’t train with us today and (Josh) Brownhill is a possibility.

“I’ve trained today with 16 players and Michael Jackson has come over from the 23s to help me out. That includes Connor Roberts, who is back on the grass for the first time this week.” – Burnley assistant boss Ian Woan

Brentford should have a host of names back for their Double Gameweek 22, meanwhile, among them Bryan Mbeumo (£5.3m).

“The good news that I can say is that Kristoffer [Ajer] will start, so that’s very positive. We need him to play. Bryan [Mbeumo] hopefully most likely will be involved in the game on Saturday.

“Sergi [Canos] and Matty [Jensen] will not be involved in the game on Saturday. They should be available for Southampton – especially Matty. Charlie [Goode] and Zanka are a bit further away. Rico [Henry] is just one step too early.” – Thomas Frank

All of the above teams have two fixtures in Double Gameweek 22 and another, Watford, could have Ben Foster (£4.1m) back fit in time – but it sounds like it will be a close-run thing:

NEW SIGNINGS

While Kieran Trippier’s signing for Newcastle United remains at the ‘imminent’ and not ‘completed’ stage, there was another defender who was trading his black-and-white shirt for a different colour.

Watford have captured central defender Samir from Udinese on a three-and-a-half-year deal, with the Brazilian following left-back Hassane Kamara through the door.

That’ll hopefully help shore up a backline that is still without a clean sheet in 2021/22 ahead of the Hornets’ crucial double-header against Newcastle and Burnley.


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412 Comments Post a Comment
  1. thirddimension
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Sanchez
    TAA Cancelo Reguilon
    Jota Bowen Gray Son
    King Antonio Ronaldo

    Should I do Antonio > Dennis for my FT? I’ll also then have both King and Dennis for Norwich the following week, instead of both Antonio and Bowen away to MU

    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      Away to MU is an easy game these days.

  2. Over Midwicket
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Is Maddison worth a -4 to replace Bowen or Foden? I'm contemplating Foden.

    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      Don't think so.

  3. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Play BB with this team? The players in CAPS have single games.

    DGea Sanchez
    TAA CANCELO LIVRA Reguilon Lowton
    BILVA BOWEN SAKA JOTA Son
    ANTONIO Ronaldo Dennis

    If no, which two do I bench apart from Sanchez and Livra?

  4. thewhitepele
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Thoughts on taking a hit (-4) and do James, Mahrez, Broja --> Rüdiger, Maddison, Dennis to field:

    Lloris*
    TAA Cancelo Rüdiger*
    Son* Maddison* Jota Bowen
    Kane* Antonio Dennis*

    Foster, Brownhill*, Tierney, Livra

    Anything I'm missing here?

    1. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 months, 10 days ago

      Now is not the time to be bringing in Chelsea players

  5. Salan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    It's hard to ignore Kane+Ronaldo+Dennie/King.

    Even if you currently have DCL or Antonio, the above 3 out of 4 will probably hurt you in dgw22.