Updated: Nov 12, 2021
While Fantrax EPL only directly involves games from the EPL, the players we all roster play other games outside of the league, believe it or not. Whether it's international matches or domestic and European cup games, other matches can often impact and indicate future EPL performances. In this special feature we cover cup performances, set piece takers, and what they might mean going forward.
EFL Cup Performances (Pre - GW10)
Result: (2-0 vs Leeds)
Performances: A pretty even game to start, Arsenal broke it open in the 55th. Nketiah and Chambers (off the bench) scored Arsenal's goals. Pepe had 1 assist from a cross. Not many Arsenal starters played but Pepe did and scored 14 points and 8 ghost points and Smith Rowe scored 10 and 9 in 72 minutes. Ben White played well (not fantasy-wise: 0.5 points) but went off injured in the 55th minute and is an early doubt for the weekend. None of the backups besides potentially Maitland-Niles made a strong case for more EPL minutes. Pepe did not have a great night, despite the assist and fantasy points, and I don't expect to see him starting in GW10. Tierney was again missing from the squad, so Nuno Tavares is likely to get another runout this weekend. Set Pieces: Cedric and Smith Rowe split corners. Cedric also took free kicks. Pepe took none (and appears to be below Cedric in left-footed priority)
Result: (2-1 vs Stoke - Championship team)
Performances: The Bees dominated the first half, taking a 2-0 lead, and then conceded 1 in the second but managed to hold on to their win. Toney had a great game scoring 1 goal and assisting the other. Canos was the other scorer and Forss the other assister. Toney had around 28.5 points and 13.5 ghost points, Canos 15 and 6, Ghoddos 7.5 and 7.5, Norgaard 6 and 6 in 28', Jensen 5 and 5, Ajer 2.5. If Mbeumo isn't fit for the weekend (sounds like he likely will be fit) Forss may get another start vs Burnley. Set Pieces: Jensen and Ghoddos split corners and free kicks.
Result: (2-2 (2-4 pens) vs Leicester)
Performances: A hard fought battle vs Leicester where Brighton looked the better side for large stretches for the game, they were unlucky to lose after Maupay and Mwepu missed their spot kicks during the shootout. Mwepu and Webster were the goalscorers, with Cucurella assisting one. Not too may normal EPL starters started this game with the exception of Gross, Cucurella, and Veltman. Gross had a good game, taking 10+ free kicks, and scoring around 14 points, all being ghosts. Cucurella also was busy scoring around 16.5 points and 8.5 ghost points. Mwepu subbed on and played very well (in real-life) and came away with 12 and 3. Duffy was a rock at the back scoring 5.5 points. Mac Allister had around 8.5 and Veltman -1.5 before being subbed off. Lamptey was not in the squad in a game he should have started, which looks poor for his chances at the weekend, so Veltman may retain his place, or Solly March will come in at RWB. Bissouma was once again a sub, but looked solid after coming on. Whether he starts this weekend, no one really quite knows, only Potter. I expect a similar squad to GW9 but Burn's late injury may spell a return for the impressive Duffy or Webster, depending also on a return to a 3/5 at the back formation. Gross starting the midweek is somewhat concerning for his GW10 starting chances, due to Potter's tendency for full rotation, but he played well, and this was a game of serious magnitude. Mwepu shone bright, and I expect him to get more EPL minutes soon as well. Set Pieces: Gross took all of Brighton's corners and free kicks.
Result: (0-1 vs Tottenham)
Performances: A poor display from Burnley saw them conceding and losing to an almost-equally poor Spurs side. The starting XI was a mix of usual starters and backups. Nothing particularly of note, but Brownhill had around 9 ghost points, McNeil 6, and Cornet 3 off the bench in 15 minutes. Mee returned from injury to the side, but looked about the same as his recent replacement Collins. Brownhill possibly the only player deserving to crack the Prem starting XI going forward. Cornet should return to the side after a slight injury concern in GW9. Set Pieces: Cornet (after subbing on) and Gudmundsson split Burnley's corners, however Brownhill took 4 free kicks for Burnley.
Result: (1-1 (4-3 pens) vs Southampton)
Performances: Tuchel deployed a mostly rotated side, and scraped by with a win in penalties. Havertz scored from a Ziyech assist and had a decent game (in real-life) and a great game in fantasy scoring around 25 and 16. Ziyech scored 10 and 4 but did not look particularly good and was subbed off at 67'. Barkley looked a bit better, scoring 14 ghost points, but was also subbed off with Chelsea chasing the win. Hudson-Odoi started at wing back, then moved forward to winger and looked good, scoring 12 in ghosts. Alonso looked great, putting up 10 ghost points, and again threatening Chilwell's starting spot going forward. Saul had one of his better games in a Chelsea shirt, scoring 11 ghost points, and Kovacic was solid as always scoring 7. Reece James started at CB and scored around 7, Chalobah had about 15 behind 8 aerials won, and Sarr 8. Mount subbed on and scored 6 points in 23 minutes, but did miss his penalty in the shootout after a nice Forster save. Azpi, Christensen, Kante, and Loftus-Cheek all missed the game with knocks, but Tuchel seemed to suggest they all had chances of being back in GW10 except maybe RLC. I expect a similar lineup in GW10 as in GW9 after their 7-0 thrashing of Norwich. If fit, Azpi and Kante may come into the side, meaning James or Chalobah, and Kovacic miss out. CHO looked good enough to start over Ziyech again, in Werner and Lukaku's absence. Set Pieces: Barkley, Ziyech, Mount, and Chilwell all took corners
Result: (0-2 vs Arsenal)
Performances: Leeds looked good in the first half but crumbled in the second. Pretty mediocre showing from all Leeds players in terms of real-life and fantasy. Harrison and James around 8 ghost points, Rodrigo around 5.5, Phillips around 5. Bamford was still not in the squad and will likely not return for the weekend meaning Rodrigo is likely to start up top again, this time vs Norwich. Raphinha also was not in the squad, but Bielsa hinted he'll start at the weekend, meaning Roberts will likely miss out. Set Pieces: Rodrigo and Dallas split corners, and Dallas took free kicks.
Result: (2-2 (4-2 pens) vs Brighton)
Performances: Leicester fought hard against Brighton and prevailed on penalties, not missing once. Somewhat forgotten (at least to the EPL starting XI's) wingers Lookman and Barnes were the goal scorers, both playing well in-real life and fantasy. Barnes had around 21 points and 12 ghost points and Lookman 19 and 10 and both will make Rodgers lineup choices in the attack even more difficult going forward. Daka, in Vardy's absence, played well but only came away with 4.5 points, all ghosts. The defense and midfield looked average at best, and poor at worst conceding 2 from silly mistakes. Ricardo, Maddison, and Iheanacho all subbed on, but none did anything of note (unless you count Maddison taking another corner, this time in Tielemans absence). I expect a very similar lineup to GW9, with most the normal starters rested. If Vardy misses out (which sounds unlikely) Daka will likely start again. Lookman and Barnes both made their case to be included but GW10 may come too soon. Tielemans was not in the squad for the cup, but no word of any injury yet. Set Pieces: Bertrand and Maddison (after subbing on) split corners, and Bertrand took a free kick.
Result: (2-0 vs Preston North End - Championship team)
Performances: A bit shaky in the first half, Liverpool's mostly-B team cruised to a 2-nil victory in the second half behind goals from Origi and Minamino. Neco Williams had one assist. Origi had around 14 points and 5 ghost points, Minamino 13 and 4, Tsimikas 10 and 4, Neco 18 and 4. Curtis Jones returned to the side, played well and scored 7 and 6. Matip returned as well, partnering Joe Gomez in defense. He was subbed off at halftime in a pre-planned change and his rotation with Konate going forward looks concerning for Fantrax managers of both. Going forward, Curtis Jones and Matip are likely the only ones fighting for inclusion in the Prem starting XI, but Origi, and more so Minamino made their cases for inclusion during AFCON. Set Pieces: Oxlade-Chamberlain took Liverpool's sole corner and a couple of free kicks.
Result: (0-0 (3-5 pens) vs West Ham)
Performances: As always City dominated possession, but this time around could not create the chances they needed to win due to sound defending from Moyes's packed-in side, and walked away with a loss on penalties (their first defeat in the competition in 5 years!). The side was almost all first teamers with the exception of youngster Cole Palmer, who may have had the best game of the lot. Despite not playing particularly well, plenty had good fantasy performances: Sterling, KDB, and Gundogan all scored around 14 points, Zinchenko 13 points and 7 ghost points in his return, Stones 9.5, and Mahrez 8. Looking forward, I expect Jesus, Foden, Grealish, and Cancelo all to come back into the side in GW10. Besides the regular starters, Stones may have been the only player to make a case to be in Pep's first choice XI. Sterling and Mahrez were active, but not great, despite Pep praising them in the post-match press conference. Zinchenko may also merit more consideration and rotation going forward, now that he's "back" according to Pep. Set Pieces: Foden, KDB, and Gundogan split corners for City, and Gundogan took the free kicks.
Result: (1-1 (3-4 pens) vs Chelsea)
Performances: Southampton put in a good fight against Chelsea's rotational players, playing a lot of their own backups, but couldn't finish their chances, leading to a penalty loss with Walcott and Smallbone missing from the spot. Still, some quality real-life performances from multiple players including Stuart Armstrong, Walker-Peters, Lyanco, and Che Adams, who may all make the EPL starting XI sooner rather than later. Adams scored their 1 goal and ended on around 13 points and 4 ghost points. S. Armstrong had around 9.5, which looks promising for his Fantrax chances going forward. Salisu and KWP had around 8.5 and A. Armstrong 7.5. Smallbone made his long-awaited return off the bench and had a short, but promising performance. In the long term, I could see him cracking the starting XI. Set Pieces: Smallbone and Stuart Armstrong split corners, and Armstrong took the free kicks. No JWP of course.
Result: (1-0 vs Burnley)
Performances: A pretty uninspiring performance from Nuno's side once again, however, this time they pulled away with a win after Emerson crossed to substitute Lucas for their sole goal of the match. Lo Celso was the only non-normal starter who had a solid game in real-life and put up 9 points and 8 ghost points. Moura played well off the bench and had 21 and 12. Kane had another poor finishing performance and ended with around 5 points. Emerson played well and had 18 and 12, Sanchez likewise with 18 and 12. Romero scored 14 and 8 whilst Hojbjerg scored 3.5 and 2.5. Both Gil or Bergwijn played pretty poorly and neither appear to merit inclusion in the EPL starting XI soon. Looking forward, I expect Spurs GW10 lineup to be the same as in GW9. Lo Celso is likely the closest to breaking in, leaving Ndombele without a spot. Set Pieces: Lo Celso took Spurs only corner and their free kicks.
Result: (0-0 (5-3 pens) vs Manchester City)
Performances: Moyes's side put in a defensive shift, having just 36% possession and only 7 shots to Manchester City's 25, but nevertheless they squeaked out a penalty win vs. the previous champions. Moyes deployed a mostly rotated side. Among the few exceptions, Soucek scored scored 5 points, Cresswell around 8 points (with a clean sheet), and Johnson 10.5. On the whole, the defenders and midfielders played well in real-life, and the backup attackers did not, though they did not have much of the ball. Vlasic had around 6 points, and doesn't look a threat to the starting XI anytime soon, outside of normal rotation/injuries. Coufal returned to the side off the bench, and looks a threat to take his RB spot back from Johnson at the weekend. However, Ben Johnson has been in great form, with West Ham not conceding while he's on the pitch so it may not be so straightforward for Coufal. I expect the same lineup as in GW9, for GW10, including Johnson. Set Pieces: Cresswell took both of West Ham's corners
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