Fantasy Premier League (FPL) takes a backseat over the next fortnight, with Burnley v Watford rounding off Double Gameweek 23 at the beginning of February and the Gameweek 24 deadline following in the midweek after it.
The next two weeks will be a ‘winter break’ for most FPL assets but it’s instead an international fortnight for those Premier League players who represent countries outside of Europe.
There are FIFA World Cup qualifiers taking place in North America, South America and Asia, while the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) continues with the knockout rounds and Chris Wood‘s (£6.7m) New Zealand have a couple of friendlies to contest.
A total of 30 FPL players are in World Cup action over the next week, including Raphinha (£6.6m), Philippe Coutinho (£7.0m), Emiliano Martinez (£5.5m) and Emerson Royal (£5.0m). Around about the same number have been away at AFCON, although these players are gradually starting to return home as their respective countries are eliminated.
The likes of Richarlison (£7.4m), Douglas Luiz (£4.4m) and Roberto Firmino (£8.7m) haven’t been called up by their nations, while Son Heung-min (£10.6m), Hwang Hee-chan (£5.4m), Cristian Romero (£4.8m) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (£4.7m) miss out because of injury.
It remains to be seen if Raul Jimenez (£7.4m) hooks up with Mexico, after missing Gameweek 23 with a calf problem.
Late returns from around the globe shouldn’t be an issue, with Gameweek 24 not kicking off until Tuesday 8 February – not far off a week after the international action comes to a close. Injuries could be picked up, however, so it’s worth monitoring the fortunes of those involved and holding fire on any early transfers.
WHEN FPL PLAYERS ARE IN WORLD CUP QUALIFYING/FRIENDLY ACTION: A CLUB-BY-CLUB GUIDE
- Gabriel Magalhaes – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Emiliano Buendia – Argentina – Jan 28 + Feb 1
- Philippe Coutinho – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Emiliano Martinez – Argentina – Jan 28 + Feb 1
- Saman Ghoddos – Iran – Jan 27 + Feb 1
- Ethan Pinnock – Jamaica – Jan 27 + 30 + Feb 2
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
- Steven Alzate – Colombia – Jan 28 + Feb 1
- Moises Caicedo – Ecuador – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Alexis Mac Allister – Argentina – Jan 28 + Feb 1
- Christian Pulisic – USA – Jan 27 + 30 + Feb 2
- Thiago Silva – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Yerry Mina – Colombia – Jan 28 + Feb 1
- Salomon Rondon – Venezuela – Jan 28 + Feb 1
- Raphinha – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Alisson – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Fabinho – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Takumi Minamino – Japan – Jan 27 + Feb 1
- Ederson – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Gabriel Jesus – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Zach Steffen – USA – Jan 27 + 30 + Feb 2
- Edinson Cavani – Uruguay – Jan 27 + Feb 1
- Fred – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Alex Telles – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Miguel Almiron – Paraguay – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Chris Wood – New Zealand – Jan 28 + Feb 1
- Giovani Lo Celso – Argentina – Jan 28 + Feb 1
- Emerson Royal – Brazil – Jan 27 + Feb 2
- Davinson Sanchez – Colombia – Jan 28 + Feb 1
- Yaser Asprilla – Colombia – Jan 28 + Feb 1
WEST HAM UNITED
- Michail Antonio – Jamaica – Jan 27 + 30 + Feb 2
- Raul Jimenez – Mexico – Jan 27 + 30 + Feb 2
|Country||Premier League Players at AFCON||Next Fixture|
|Burkina Faso||Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa)||v Tunisia (quarter-finals, Jan 29)|
|Guinea||Naby Keita (Liverpool)||v Gambia (last 16, Jan 24)|
|Senegal||Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Cheikhou Kouyate (C Palace), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Ismaila Sarr (Watford)||v Cape Verde (last 16, Jan 25)|
|Morocco||Adam Masina (Watford), Imran Louza (Watford), Romain Saiss (Wolves)||v Malawi (last 16, Jan 25)|
|Ghana||Thomas Partey (Arsenal), Jordan Ayew (C Palace), Daniel Amartey (Leicester)||ELIMINATED AT THE GROUP STAGE|
|Nigeria||Frank Onyeka (Brentford), Alex Iwobi (Everton), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), William Troost-Ekong (Watford)||ELIMINATED IN THE KNOCKOUT ROUNDS|
|Egypt||Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Trezeguet (A Villa), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)||v Ivory Coast (last 16, Jan 26)|
|Ivory Coast||Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal), Maxwel Cornet (Burnley), Wilfried Zaha (C Palace), Eric Bailly (Man Utd)||v Egypt (last 16, Jan 26)|
|Algeria||Riyad Mahrez (Man City), Said Benrahma (West Ham)||ELIMINATED AT THE GROUP STAGE|
|Mali||Yves Bissouma (Brighton), Moussa Djenepo (Southampton)||v Equatorial Guinea (last 16, Jan 26)|
A third of the Premier League players who were called up for international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations are already back or returning to the UK, with Ghana, Algeria and Nigeria making earlier-than-expected exits.
Mohamed Salah‘s (£12.7m) Egypt could be out as soon as Wednesday, meanwhile, with opponents Ivory Coast the bookies’ favourites to progress from their round-of-16 meeting.
Sadio Mane‘s (£11.7m) Senegal, by contrast, are generally 7/2 second-favourites (behind hosts Cameroon) with the oddsmakers to win the tournament outright. Should any Premier League progress to the final or third-place play-off, they will be in action on the Sunday immediately before Gameweek 24.
|Group stage||Jan 9-20|
|Round of 16||Jan 23-26|
|Third place play-off/Final||Feb 6|
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