Updated: Nov 9, 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.
UCL/UEL Performances (Pre - GW9)
Result: (3-2 vs Atletico Madrid - La Liga)
Performances: Liverpool won a battle in Madrid after going 2 goals up early, then conceding 2, and then red-hot, Mo Salah converted his penalty in the 78th. Salah also scored from open play early in the game, with Naby Keita scoring a beaut to round out the scoring for Liverpool. Salah walked away with 25.5 points (7.5 ghosts). Robertson had 15 points including 1 assist. Keita had 11 in 45 minutes, with no other Liverpool player eclipsing 10 points. Firmino, Trent, and Mane all had down games (fantasy and real-life wise) only putting up 3-4 points each. Looking forward, Firmino playing 90 minutes in back to back games this prior week may mean that it is his turn to rest in GW9, with Jota starting in his place. Tsimikas also hasn't started in a while after starting the season hot. Set Pieces: Trent and Robbo split sets for Pool.
Result: (5-1 vs Club Brugge - Belgian team)
Performances: After struggling to finish vs PSG in their last UCL tie, Man City absolutely dismantled their inferior opponents. Mahrez scored twice, both fullbacks, Cancelo and Walker scored, and youngster Cole Palmer scored the 5th off the bench. KDB, Foden, Sterling, and Fernandinho all provided assists. Mahrez scored highest with 31 points (13 ghosts), then Cancelo with 20.5 and 12.5, and Sterling with a respectable 15.5 and 9.5 in 26 minutes off the bench! Phil Foden, Cole Palmer, and Kyle Walker all eclipsed 10 points, with Grealish nearly getting there with 9.5 ghost points. KDB also had 9.5, but only 3.5 ghost points in a game where City didn't even seem to need him. Bernardo had a quiet game with 3.5 points in nearly 60 minutes, a nod back to the days where he wasn't on his purple patch.
Foden, KDB, Bilva, and Rodri all came off early, as a potential sign that they'd start again at the weekend. Mahrez started his 2nd game in a row and did very well, but 3 starts in a row may be too much for Pep and he may be on the bench this weekend. Jesus and Sterling both didn't start and may be recalled for the weekend's match vs Brighton. Walker and Cancelo have both played a ton of minutes this season between City and internationals, so it may be time for Zinchenko to finally make a starting appearance as well. Predicting Pep is always tricky, but we'll take any hints we can get. Set Pieces: Mahrez, KDB, and Gundogan split sets for City.
Result: (4-0 vs Malmo FF - Swedish team)
Performances: A comprehensive dismantling by Chelsea looks like a major success for the Blues at first glance, but really it was a disappointing and worrying day for many fantasy managers and Chelsea fans alike. First the good. Jorginho scored a brace, and Havertz and Christensen each scored once. Hudson-Odoi and Silva each provided an assist. Jorginho had 33 and 12, Silva 24 and 11, Christensen 20 and 4 Havertz 17.5 and 8.5 off the bench, and Mount 12.5 and 11.5. CHO had 12.5 and 4.5 in 46 minutes played, Alonso 9 and 9, Chilwell 7.5 and 7.5. A quality scoring day all around, and everyone generally looked good in real life as well.
Now the bad; you may have realized I didn't mention Lukaku and Werner in the previous points totals. Both left the game injured early. Lukaku in the 23rd, with 0 points, and Werner in the 43rd, also on 0 points. After the match, Tuchel said both would be out for multiple matches. With his 2 preferred forwards out for Norwich in GW9, I would expect Havertz to definitely start, likely flanked by Mason Mount and 1 of CHO or Ziyech. CHO subbed on and looked bright so I believe he'll have the inside track to start at LW vs Norwich. Kovacic and RLC were both on the bench after starting the last EPL game so they may be recalled. Reece James also looks likely to start at RWB vs Norwich after not starting the Blues' last 2 games. Set Pieces: Ben Chilwell and Marcos Alonso each took corners while on the pitch, but Mount took 2/3 of Chelsea's free kicks (Rudiger the other, a direct shot).
Result: (3-2 vs Atalanta- Serie A team)
Performances: "A lacklustre United performance was saved only by a stoppage time 95' winner by Ronaldo, of course." That's what I wrote for United's last midweek UCL tie and history repeated itself, this time in the 81' with Ronaldo rising above the defense for a headed winner. In the first half, United looked half-awake conceding 2 goals in the first 30 minutes. After halftime, they really turned it on, with Rashford, in his first start following surgery, scoring in the 53rd, beautifully assisted by Bruno and Harry Maguire equalizing in the 75th, again from Bruno. Shaw lobbed a pretty cross into the box for United's winner from Ronaldo. Bruno had 27.5 and 21.5, Ronaldo had 23.5 and 14.5, and Maguire had 14.75 and 9. Rashford had 9.5 but only .5 ghost points (including a yellow). Greenwood had a poor game for 0 total points and was taken off for Sancho in the 73rd (-0.5 in 17). Looking forward, Pogba started from the bench and will surely come back into the starting XI in GW9. Sancho may as well given he started from the bench in the last 2, but so far hasn't proven he deserves it this year. Set Pieces: Bruno and Shaw split corners, Shaw took the 1 free kick cross, and Ronaldo took 2 direct free kick shots.
Result: (4-3 vs Spartak Moscow - Russian team)
Performances: After going down 2-0, Leicester powered to an entertaining 4-3 win behind 4 goals from Patson Daka. Iheanacho provided 2 assists and Maddison and Tielemans each had 1. Daka was the star of match though, scoring 4 goals on 4 shots on target for a whopping 48.5 points (12.5 ghost points). Iheanacho had a very nice 27 and 15, and Maddison followed with 26 and 20. Maddison had 7 key passes and took 4 corners vs Spartak, showing the creative spark he was previously well known for. Get excited Maddison managers, your man may be on his way back to fantasy stardom, or at the very least mediocrity to start. Tielemans had 14 and 8 before being subbed off injured in the 65th minute and Soumare had a respectable 8 ghost points. If Tielemans misses time, Choudhury or even Amartey may be forced into midfield. Maddison will likely subsume (even more so) Tieleman's set pieces if he misses games. Set Pieces: Maddison took 4 corners to start the game (from both sides with Tielemans on the field) and Albrighton took 2 when he subbed on.
Result: (3-0 vs Genk - Belgian team)
Performances: A comprehensive win for the Hammers. Both centre backs Dawson and Diop scored, and Bowen scored the 3rd. Cresswell had 2 assists, both from set pieces and was West Ham's best player of the match. Cresswell put up 21.5 and 7.5, Dawson and Diop each had about 22 and 7. Bowen scored 14.5 and 5.5 and Vlasic had another quiet game with only 3 points. Looking forward, I expect West Ham's lineup to be almost identical to GW8. Ben Johnson has been playing well as of late, so even when Coufal returns fit, he may not be straight back into the XI at RB. Set Pieces: Cresswell and Bowen split corners, and Cresswell took 1 free kick.
Result: (0-1 vs Vitesse - Dutch team)
Performances: A lacklustre display from Spurs B side vs Vitesse. They were outshot 15 to 6 (14 to 5 on target). No starters from Spurs GW8 EPL matchup started and I would expect no players from this game will start in GW8. Lo Celso was likely the best Spurs asset on the pitch, scoring around 6 ghost points, but also likely did not do enough to start this weekend. Bryan Gil the same, but did have one shot off the crossbar for a near goal. Not much to take away from this game other than that Spurs GW9 lineup should be expected to be identical to their GW9 lineup, including Ndombele. Set Pieces: Lo Celso took the majority of set pieces with Son off the field.
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