We’re now into the third week of January, so you can officially stop going to that gym you signed up for two weeks ago with grand intentions.
Fantasy Premier League also poses some head-over-heart problems, and injuries to several key players this week have done more damage than usual – especially with Jurgen Klopp’s minor revelation that Trent Alexander-Arnold could be fit this weekend after all instead of facing four weeks out. The biggest blow may have been to Harry Kane’s ankle, but that wasn’t the only hit fantasy sides have taken over the last seven days.
While forced changes always offer opportunities to restructure your entire team, there are also good like-for-like options available. Kane might free up plenty of cash for a team renovation, but it’s often best to just replace the brick rather than burning the house down and building all over again. But first…
Replacing Son Heung-min with…
Paul Pogba, Manchester United (MF, £8.6m)
Selected by: 36%
A slightly different situation with Son, given his absence was expected and therefore could have been planned for. For a straight replacement, however, it would be difficult to look past the newly invigorated Pogba.
Coming in at a similar price, the Manchester United midfielder may seem like an obvious choice given his elite form, but upcoming fixtures suggest it won’t dissipate any time soon either.
United have been putting bottom-half sides to the sword under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Pogba himself doing much of the damage. The Reds face three bottom-half sides in their next four matches, including the league’s worst defence in Fulham. Brighton and Burnley travel to Old Trafford in their next two fixtures, both of whom suffer from bottom-five away records.
His high ownership isn’t ideal, but the combination of form and fixtures is not an opportunity that should be passed up.
Replacing Harry Kane with…
Roberto Firmino, Liverpool (FW, £9.3m)
Owned by: 20.8%
Kane is expected to miss around eight weeks with an ankle injury. Fortunately he’s incredibly expensive in FPL, so if you’re looking to spend most of that £12.5m, the options are pretty limited. Pretty excellent, but limited.
This time, fixtures and ownership align and lean towards Liverpool’s most sensational smile, Roberto Firmino.
Bobby the Brazilian has four goals in his last three Premier League games, and while a tough schedule and some heavy rotation mean the Reds have stuttered in recent matches, the visit of Crystal Palace this weekend should get them back on track.
Even in an impressive away win at Manchester City, Palace conceded twice – something they’ve done in six of their last eight away trips. Liverpool have three of their next four league games at Anfield, so it’s a good time to invest in the red side of Merseyside.
Marcus Rashford, Manchester United (FW, £7.5m)
Owned by: 32.7%
We’ve already discussed Manchester United’s favourable upcoming fixtures, so Rashford – accompanied by his gloriously low price point – also makes a lot of sense to replace Kane with.
The England striker has averaged seven points per game over the last seven gameweeks, racking up double-figure returns three times in that period.
With such fine returns, he looks set to keep his spot up front ahead of Romelu Lukaku under Solskjaer, who is clearly liking what he sees in the 21-year-old. If it ain’t broke and all that.
FantasyYIRMA started in 2012 focused primarily on news and previews for the Fantasy Premier League. Following consecutive fantasy coverage across 251 gameweeks, we have decided to try to give back to the community and taken on board Mike Phillips (aka @BangAverageMike) and John Wallin (aka @FantasyGaffer) as unpaid interns.