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

Gameweek 14 was another interesting round of fixtures, bringing many 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 against Leeds United.

But what does all this mean for our FPL prospects?

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Replacing 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 against Wolves. That means he now misses Week 15, which would be a very good game against Nottingham Forest.

This would be his last competitive game until the World Cup, with Brentford playing Manchester City away in Gameweek 16. Therefore, Toney has become a necessity to sell.

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

If you have two free transfers to raise some funds, I really like to go Darwin Nunez (£8.9m). Liverpool’s next two games are Tottenham (a) and Southampton (h) and he looks set to have most of his side’s scoring chances. Although their results have been poor, this is largely due to their defense. They’ve actually looked good in the final third, scoring 23 goals in the league (fifth highest) from an expected 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 can do with a transfer. He has six goals and three assists this season and just recorded the most points in a game week (19). Newcastle are looking great this season and you would expect them to score in their next two games (Southampton and Chelsea).

Gianluca Scamacca (£6.7m) is also an option, as his next two games are pretty good, with West Ham United 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 forward Michail Antonio (£7.0m). He has two goals in his last six league games.

If you are after a large differential, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m) it’s your man. He is owned by just 0.6 per cent of FPL players and has started Everton’s last three games, scoring once. His side have some great fixtures, with Leicester City and Bournemouth next up, and he is a proven goalscorer in the Premier League. He is also very likely to be on the penalty spot.

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 perspectives, Phil Foden (£8.5m) is the obvious replacement. His fixtures are very good – City play Fulham (h) and Brentford (h) before the World Cup – and he was in great form. However, the concern is that he was benched in the last two league games. This came as a huge surprise as he started City’s opening 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 game against Borussia Dortmund and named Foden as one of those players. City will probably field a weakened side against Sevilla on Wednesday as they have already qualified, meaning Foden will start in the Premier League.

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

Almiron has been absolutely sensational, recording seven goals and one assist this season. only with 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, which is a good pair of games.

Rashford has four goals and two assists and it’s actually been a shame that there aren’t more attacking returns. Manchester United have turned the corner from a dreadful start and will next face Aston Villa and Fulham, both attractive fixtures for attacking returns. Villa and Fulham are in the bottom six for goals conceded and expected goals conceded (xGC), with Fulham coming last for the latter metric.

Sell ​​or keep Haaland?

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

Now it’s a case of wait and see and we shouldn’t make any hasty transfers – he’s just a very good asset. We should have clearer information by the end of the week.

However, if it turns out he won’t be fit for the week 15 game against Fulham, then it certainly becomes a discussion. A move to Kane could be on the cards. Spurs play Liverpool and Leeds at home in the next two games, which are attractive fixtures for the strikers.

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

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

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

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


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