The Premier League took a 10-day break after its hectic festive period schedule, providing fans, (some) players and (all) FPL managers breathers. We review how the sides in the current top 6 lined up over the FA Cup and EFL Cup ties and try to make sense of their selections. We also try to predict how these 6 sides would line up when the Premier League resumes with GW22 over the weekend.
*Key FPL assets are defined as the top 6 highest FPL points scorers for the team
Tottenham Hotspur (6th)
- FA Cup 3rd Round: 1-1 V Middlesboro (A)
- Scorers: Moura
- Key PL assets* rested: None.
- Injured: Kane (89 FPL points); Sissoko (49)
Jose Mourinho started a very strong line-up away at Boro with only Davinson Sanchez the only key player not starting. The result did not go their way as they were held by a weakened but otherwise in-form Boro team. A replay beckons.
FF Titan analysis: The return of Son Heung-Min after a ban is probably the highlight for FPL managers. He becomes immediately attractive since Kane is likely to miss several games at least. A very similar team is likely to start against Liverpool on the weekend. Alli’s form may be of concern and he may see many transfer out because of their game against Liverpool
Manchester United (5th)
- FA Cup 3rd Round: 0-0 v Wolves (A); EFL Semi: 1-3 v Man City (H)
- EFL Cup Semi:
- Key PL assets* rested:
- FA Cup: De Gea (63), Martial (81); Rashford (122) came on as a late sub
- EFL Cup: Martial (81) came on as a late sub
- Injured: McTominay (55)
Overall an unsatisfactory run of cup games for United. They had to content with a replay in the FA Cup before suffering defeat at home to a strong City side.
FF Titan analysis: United fielded a very strong side for the EFL Cup semi and a very similar XI is expected to start in GW22 at home to Norwich. Rashford owners may worry about a burnout from the player who has already played 3 games in 3 different competitions in 2020. Elsewhere, the resting of Martial is interesting – he is not listed as injured. In any case, United were poor without him over the two games so Martial is likely to be recalled to the first XI.
- FA Cup 3rd Round: 2-0 v Nottingham Forest (H)
- Scorers: Hudson-Odoi; Barkley
- Key PL assets* rested: Abraham (115); Willian (86); Azpilicueta (56); Kepa (54); Mount (86) came on as a late sub
- Injured: Pulisic (70)
Frank Lampard rested most of his top performing players but were too strong for the Championship side nonetheless. The Blues were never really tested in this game and managed to several fringe players a good run out.
FF Titan analysis: Lampard has a good idea of Chelsea’s strongest team and they will return over the weekend against Burnley. Abraham has be inconsistent in front of goal but having a rest here means he will start in the league. Hudson-Odoi may have scored here but probably have not done enough to start a Premier League game.
Man City (3th)
- FA Cup 3rd Round: 4-1 v Port Vale (H); EFL Cup 3-1 v Man Utd (A)
- EFL Cup
- Scorers: Zinchenko, Aguero, Harwood-Bells, Foden
- Key PL assets* rested:
- FA Cup: De Bruyne (141), Sterling (110), David Silva (80), Jesus (74); Mahrez (89) came in as a late sub
- EFL Cup: Aguero (82) David Silva (80); Jesus (74) came on as a late sub
Two wins over 4 days virtually sealed City’s progress in two different Cup competitions. The FA Cup tie against lowly competitors gave Pep the chance to give several key players the weekend off and they (KDB / Sterling / Mahrez) returned efficiently against United.
FF Titan analysis: Aguero’s selection in the FA cup game was interesting but with BOTH Aguero and Jesus rested int he EFL Cup, it is difficult to be certain which of the two will lead the lead against Aston Villa on GW22. David Silva is a likely starter now on the weekend, having enjoyed a good break. KDB and Sterling should also likely feature in that Premier League.
- FA Cup : 2-0 v Wigan (H)
- FA Cup: OG, Barnes
- EFL Cup: IHeanacho
- Key PL assets* rested:
- FA Cup: Vardy (144) Maddison (103), Pereira (92), Evans (86), Schmeichel (84), Perez (83)
- EFL Cup: None
In the FA Cup, Brendan Rodgers will be relieved that his heavily rested side managed to cruise past Wigan. For the EFL Cup Semi, the big boys all returned but they were not able to get a definitive first leg result over Aston Villa.
FF Titan analysis: VARDY IS FIT. After three games out, Vardy played a full 90min in the EFL Cup is will be in the starting XI against Southampton on the weekend. In all likelihood, Rodgers will make a maximum of 2 changes for the Premier League game.
- FA Cup : 1-0 v Everton (H)
- Scorers: Jones
- Key PL assets* rested: Mane (140), Salah (120), Alexander-Arnold (112), Robertson (98), Van Dijk (92), Firmino (91)
A very satisfying win for the Reds in the FA Cup as a very youthful side ran their cross town rivals ragged. Almost every first team player was rested and new signing Takumi Minamino was given a good run out and introduction to the Anfield crowd. Milner’s injury was a downer and outside of the first XI, the Reds actually are down to their bare bones.
FF Titan analysis: Klopp is expected to make 11 changes from the side that played Everton against Spurs.
Classic Fantasy Premier League Code: effv23
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