The recent summer international tournaments can impact on how Fantasy Premier League Draft managers set up their squads for the opening Gameweek of 2021/22.
A number of big-hitters in Fantasy failed to play any part in pre-season due to their involvement in UEFA Euro 2020 and Copa America.
Combined with a clutch of new injuries, plenty of fringe players have had a chance to build up their match sharpness and form over the summer friendlies.
While managers should always have one eye on the long-term when building their squads, the current situation presents a wealth of opportunities for those keen on more short-term solutions for Gameweek 1.
The Leicester City No 1 has ranked only 10th among goalkeepers in Drafts so far, yet he has one of the most appealing fixtures in Gameweek 1.
Schmeichel is at home to a Wolverhampton Wanderers side who have managed just six goals in six matches under new head coach Bruno Lage.
An injury to Andrew Robertson is likely to give the Liverpool understudy a rare chance to impress at left-back.
Tsimikas supplied an assist against Osasuna in his final friendly appearance and also offers strong clean sheet potential at Norwich City.
Marcos Alonso has featured heavily as Chelsea’s left wing-back over the summer due to Ben Chilwell’s international exertions with England. The Spaniard look poised to retain that spot for the Blues’ home encounter with Crystal Palace.
Aston Villa’s Dutchman produced a goal and an assist over his final two friendly outings and looks to still be on penalties, converting from the spot when new arrival Danny Ings was on the pitch last week.
El Ghazi could retain his place for the visit to Watford, given that both Emiliano Buendia and Ollie Watkins are doubts.
James Milner has been a major influence on the Liverpool team-sheet recently and may retain his role at Norwich. When on the pitch, he is the Reds’ first-choice for penalties.
The Burnley forward has profited from a run of pre-season starts due to Chris Wood’s participation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with New Zealand.
Rodriguez has seized the opportunity, scoring four goals and supplying an assist ahead of their home match with Brighton & Hove Albion.
Palace striker Jean-Phillipe Mateta is a great option for managers who prefer to rotate their forwards in a 3-5-2 formation.
Bringing Mateta in now can get you the jump on rivals. Simply bench him this weekend at Chelsea, then start him at home to Brentford in Gameweek 2.
Remember, the Gameweek 1 deadline is at 18:30 BST on Friday 13 August.