Fantasy Premier League: Keeping Haaland, and finding Toney and Saka replacements

Gameweek 14 was another interesting round of matches, which produced a lot of developments and implications for our Fantasy Premier League teams.

It was business as usual for Manchester City, Arsenal and an increasingly impressive Newcastle United side, but Liverpool suffered another shock defeat, this time at Leeds United.

But what does all this mean for our prospects in the FPL?

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Substitutes Ivan Toney

One of the biggest talking points was Ivan Toney (£7.5m) picking up his fifth yellow card in Brentford’s 1-1 draw with Wolves. This means he now misses Gameweek 15, which would have been a very good game against Nottingham Forest.

This would be his last favorable fixture until the World Cup, with Brentford playing Manchester City away in the Round of 16. As such, Toney has become something to be sold.

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There are quite a few capable replacements for the next two weeks of play depending on how much money you have in the bank or how many free transfers.

If you have two free transfers to collect money, I really like a transfer Darwin Nunez (£8.9m). Liverpool’s next two games are Tottenham (a) and Southampton (h) and he seems to be getting most of his team’s scoring chances. Although their results have been poor, this is mainly due to their defence. They actually look good in the final third, scoring 23 league goals (fifth highest) from an expected total goals (xG) of 21.42 (fifth).

Darwin Nunez

Nunez could be a good replacement for Ivan Toney (Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Callum Wilson (£7.4m) is another good option and one you could probably do with one transfer. He has six goals and three assists this season and just recorded his most points in a week (19). Newcastle are looking great this season and you would expect them to score in their next two games (Southampton and Chelsea).

Gianluca Scamakka (£6.7m) he’s also an option as his next two games are pretty decent, with West Ham playing Crystal Palace and Leicester City, both at home. He has now started the last six games and looks set to be their first choice up front Michael Antonio (£7.0m). He has two goals in his last six league games.

If you are looking for a huge difference, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m) he’s your man. He belongs to just 0.6 per cent of FPL players and has started Everton’s last three games, scoring one goal. His side have two excellent fixtures, with Leicester City and Bournemouth next, and he is a proven Premier League goalscorer. It’s also very likely to be on penalties.

What to do with Bukayo Saka?

Saka (£8.0) had to be substituted after just 27 minutes after picking up an ankle injury against Nottingham Forest. It looks like he’ll be out for at least a week, which means it’s probably best to sell him. Since we are only looking at the next two games, we need to be aggressive with our plans and transfers.

From some angles, Phil Foden (£8.5m) is the obvious replacement. His games are very good – City play Fulham and Brentford before the World Cup – and he has been in scintillating form. However, the concern is that he was benched in the last two league games. This was a huge surprise as he started City’s first 10 league games.

Haaland Foden

Will Haaland and Foden link up again this weekend? (Photo: Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola spoke of fatigue after the Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund and named Foden as one of those players. City will likely field a weakened side against Sevilla on Wednesday, having already qualified, meaning Foden start in the Premier League.

For those who already have Foden, Miguel Almiron (£5.6m), Leandro Trossard (£6.9m) and Marcus Rashford (£6.6m) are suitable substitutes for Saka.

Almiron has been absolutely spectacular, scoring seven goals and one assist this season. Only Kevin De Bruyne (£12.4m), Harry Kane (£11.6m) and Erling Haaland (£12.2m) has scored more points than his 79. Newcastle have scored 24 goals (fourth) with an xG of 23.10 (second) and are now clearly a force to be reckoned with.

Trossard is also enjoying his best season with seven goals and two assists. Brighton face Wolves and Aston Villa next, which is a good pair of games.

Rashford has four goals and two assists and has actually been unlucky not to have more attacking returns. Manchester United have turned a corner after a horrible start and face Aston Villa and Fulham next, both attractive games for attacking comebacks. Villa and Fulham are in the bottom six for goals conceded and goals expected (xGC), with Fulham last for the latter metric.

Sell ​​or keep Haaland?

The biggest news before Gameweek started was whether Haaland would be fit. Turns out he wasn’t and it’s still unclear if he’ll be eligible for Gameweek 15 and beyond.

Now it’s a case of waiting and we shouldn’t rush transfers – it’s a very good asset. We should have clearer information at the end of the week.

However, if it turns out that he won’t be fit for Gameweek 15 against Fulham, then there is certainly discussion. A move for Kane could well be on the cards. Spurs will play at home to Liverpool and Leeds in the next two, which are attractive games for strikers.

The downside to this is that you will lose some value in Haaland and have to pay more to get him back after Gameweek 16, especially if you got him early. However, if he is out for the Fulham game, he will suffer at least one price drop and it is worth remembering that we are playing for points, not squad value.

If we’re in another situation where we’re not sure if he’ll start at Fulham or not, keeping him is a gamble worth taking. His points could be huge and City have Brentford at home after that.

Make sure you check out The Athletic Football Podcast, hosted by The FPL General, for all the latest tips and tricks. Grab it free on all the usual listening providers and ad-free on The Athletic app.

(Photo: Barrington Coombs/PA Images via Getty Images)


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