Dec 14

Fantasy Premier League Notes From The International Matches (Part 2)

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The international break is coming to an end and we can finally look forward towards some Fantasy Premier League action this weekend. We had another round of World Cup Qualifiers from teams in Europe, South America and Asia. Instead of you digging through every international fixture to find out who scored, who assisted and who didn't play well Steven Riley has done the job for you. He's raised up the key points from almost every fixture that may concerns your Fantasy Premier League team.

Numerous fantasy assets on show as England stumble past Slovakia

Adam Lallana grabbed the winner as England beat Slovakia 1-0 in Sam Allardyce's first match in charge. Lallana scored his first international goal and looks a decent attacking option after registering 8 shots in the box in Liverpool's first three games. Tottenham full-backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose both featured with the latter grabbing the assist. It remains to be seen whether the two will be rotated once Spurs' European exploits begin next week however. John Stones played the full 90 to dispel any injury fears, while Daniel Sturridge's place for club and country still looks less assured after a short cameo from the bench. Southampton's Fraser Forster withdrew from the squad with injury and may miss the Saints' next game.

Snodgrass hits hat-trick in 5-1 Scotland win 

Hull's Robert Snodgrass bagged three goals as Scotland beat Malta 5-1 in their first qualifying match. There was an element of fortune to each of his strikes; the first goal appearing to be a cross before scoring a penalty and a tap-in. The midfielder was Scotland's main outlet however and the goals will do wonders for his confidence. Snodgrass' Hull teammate Andrew Robertson was also a constant threat, marauding into the opposition box and providing the cross that led to the penalty. He could provide a budget defensive option should Hull continue the resilience that has led to only two goals conceded in three games.

Costa and Silva help themselves as Spain run riot

Diego Costa and David Silva were in the goals as Spain thrashed lowly Liechtenstein 8-0. Costa found the net twice and has registered an average of 5 points in FPL, providing an in-form replacement for Sergio Aguero. David Silva started on the left-wing before drifting into the middle for the second half and added two goals and an assist to his brace against Belgium. It remains to be seen whether he can replicate this goalscoring form in Guardiola's system. One man who has been in the points for City is Nolito; he registered three assists for Spain as a second-half substitute and could rival Iheanacho has Aguero's replacement up front over the next two games.

Sadio Mane dispels injury fears in Senegal victory

Sadio Mane will be fit for Liverpool's clash against Leicester at the weekend after declaring himself fit. Mane took a slight knock in the 2-0 win over Namibia and was substituted after 60 minutes, but it has since been revealed the switch was tactical rather than forced. West Ham's Cheikhou Kouyate and Stoke's Mame Biram Diouf also played, although the latter's role is now under threat from loan signing Wilfried Bony.

Mahrez at the double as Algeria thrash Lesotho

Silky Leicester midfielder Riyad Mahrez scored twice as Algeria beat Lesotho 6-0. Mahrez, who was last season's FPL top scorer, has struggled for form this season and missed a penalty against Swansea in the last gameweek. Leicester fans will be hoping he can combine with new signing Islam Slimani (8.5), who grabbed an assist and will potentially improve his compatriot's output once settled. Sofaine Feghouli didn't feature and it seems unlikely he will make the first team for West Ham's game against Watford, especially with fellow midfielder Michail Antonio netting twice in two games.

Ozil plays full match but Mustafi misses out for Germany

Mesut Ozil again played a full match for Germany but should have enough time to recover for Arsenal's match against Southampton. New signing Shokdran Mustafi should also feature despite missing the game after nursing a slight ankle injury from their last game. Josh King again took on a role up front for Norway while Hull's Adama Diomande started on the left wing. It remains to be seen whether Diomande will take on a similar role once Hull's new signings have bedded in.

Eriksen strikes and Fischer sparkles as Denmark beat Armenia

Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen scored a goal but also missed a penalty as Denmark ground out a 1-0 win against Armenia. Eriksen, who has just signed a new contract with Spurs, will be hoping to improve on his best haul of 178 points last season once Mauricio Pochettino finds his preferred lineup. Middlesbrough's Viktor Fischer, this time in an attacking midfield role, again impressed by providing the assist for Eriksen and winning the penalty and will be hoping to force himself into the Teesiders' plans. Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan was notably absent after coming off injured in Armenia's previous game against the Czech Republic and is a doubt for the Manchester derby.

Tadic shines and Coleman returns as Serbia and Ireland draw

Dusan Tadic registered a goal and an assist for Serbia against an Ireland side with a number of potential fantasy prospects. The Serbian, a popular pick at the start of the season, has posted good numbers for the Saints but has yet to convert these into fantasy points. Tadic's teammate Shane Long set up Burnley's Jeff Hendrick for the game's opener, but from a fantasy perspective it was the inclusion of Everton full back Seamus Coleman that caught the eye. Coleman, down to £5.4m, could be set to return to the Everton fold at the expense of Mason Holgate.

Iheanacho scores stunner in dead-rubber tie

Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho hit a wonderful 25-yard winner for Nigeria in a 1-0 win against Tanzania. The youngster had one of the best goals-per-minute ratios last season and will be hoping to deputise for Sergio Aguero, who will miss the next two gameweeks with suspension. Odion Ighalo played up front but wasted in number of opportunities. The chances of the Watford striker matching last season's 15-goal haul are looking extremely unlikely. Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa and John Obi-Mikel also played the full 90 for Nigeria, who will not be taking part in the tournament in January and February.

Vokes and Allen score as Wales thrash Moldova

Wales put in another impressive shift, defeating Moldova 4-0. Stoke's Joe Allen scored his first international goal, while Burnley's Sam Vokes scored a fine header. Vokes could potentially be in line for a few starts as Burnley's prime attacking outlet should fellow striker Andre Gray be banned after requesting a personal hearing, although both should available for Gameweek 4. At the other end of the pitch Wayne Hennessey, Jack Chester, Ashley Williams, Ben Davies and Neil Taylor kept a clean sheet.

Baggies pair bag another clean sheet

Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans registered another shutout as Northern Ireland drew 0-0 away at the Czech Republic. West Brom are the only side apart from Manchester United to register two clean sheets and both McAuley and Evans provide a goal threat in a side geared towards scoring from set pieces. The result also bodes well for West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster who plays behind the Northern Irish pair.

Arnautovic assists in Austria victory

Stoke midfielder Marko Arnautovic grabbed an assist in a 2-1 win against Georgia. Arnautovic (7.4) has yet to register any attacking returns but has still registered reasonable underlying statistics for shots in the box. His owners will be hoping his prospects improve with the introduction of Wilfried Bony as Stoke's fixtures ease.

Bailly and Bolasie feature while Khazri scores

United defender Eric Bailly and Everton winger Yannick Bolasie played the full 90 for Ivory Coast and DR Congo respectively. Bailly has enjoyed a solid start to his United career while Bolasie, who grabbed an assist, looks set to rack up the minutes with Everton ahead of some appetising fixtures, although Ross Barkley still remains the best route into the Everton midfielder. Elsewhere Sunderland's Wahbi Khazri found the net for Tunisia. The midfielder enjoyed a strong start for Sunderland after moving in January but has failed to command a place in David Moyes' side, having only made a substitute appearance against Manchester City on the opening day.

Rashford hat-trick gives Mourinho derby headache

Marcus Rashford staked a claim for a start in the Manchester derby with a superbly-taken hat-trick in England U21s' 6-1 win over Norway U21s. The youngster, who comes in at £6.8m in FPL, scored England's first before a deflected strike and confident penalty completed a debut trio. Rashford has found pitch time limited by Zlatan Ibrahimovic's fine start, but the youngster will be hoping for more minutes after coming on and grabbing a late winner against Hull last time out. Southampton's Nathan Redmond also featured in an attacking position and was a threat but also wasted a number of chances. James Ward-Prowse and Callum Chambers also played 90 minutes while Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek played 80 and grabbed a goal.

Lukaku bags a brace for Belgium

Everton hitman Romelu Lukaku gave fantasy managers food for thought after scoring twice for Belgium in a 3-0 win over Cyprus. Sergio Aguero's suspension has led to over 60,000 managers turning to the Belgian who, despite still not being at full fitness, could be set to embark on a run ahead of Everton's fixtures. Eden Hazard continued his superb form with an assist, while Spurs defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld helped Belgium to a clean sheet. Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi came on for the final quarter of an hour but missed a penalty.

South American pair should be fit for weekend clashes

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Liverpool's Phillipe Coutinho should be fit for the weekend, with the Brazilian also grabbing an assist from the bench. Jurgen Klopp confirmed earlier in the week that Liverpool had made special arrangements to bring Coutinho back early, while Sanchez has a good history of recovering and performing well after international breaks. Argentina drew 2-2 against Venezuela with Zabaleta, Funes Mori, Lamela and Otamendi playing large chunks. Otamendi managed to score the equaliser although all four are at risk of being rotated if tired, a particular concern for Erik Lamela's 13.8% ownership ahead of a games against Stoke and Monaco in the next week. Antonio Valencia played the full game at right-back for Ecuador but could still feature in the derby with Mourinho clearly preferring him to Darmian.

Giroud and Martial unable to help France break down Belarus

France were unable to follow up a fine win over Italy as they laboured to a 0-0 draw against Belarus. Olivier Giroud was unable to convert three good opportunities but should start for Arsenal after seemingly regaining his fitness after the Euros. Manchester United pair Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba underwhelmed, although there was one positive for Fantasy players; Dimitri Payet looked very bright after replacing Martial for the last half hour. Laurent Koscielny and N'golo Kante played a full 90 once again while Moussa Sissoko played 69 minutes as he battles Erik Lamela for a starting spot for Spurs away to Stoke on Saturday.

Cedric and Fonte start as Portugal lose to Switzerland

Southampton defenders Cedric Soares and Jose Fonte played the full 90 minutes as the Euro 2016 champions crashed to defeat in Basel. Portugal's defence were twice made to pay after switching off, although that won't be all the pair's owners will be worried about. While Fonte is a mainstay of the Saints' defence, Cedric is often benched after international excursions. With a four-day rest and rival right-back Jeremy Pied out there is a good chance Cedric will retain his place however, although Maya Yoshida presents Claude Puel with another option.
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