The Scout assesses which players are worth selecting in Fantasy Premier League during the current unlimited free transfers period once domestic football returns following FIFA World Cup 2022.
Managers in Fantasy should build their squads around Erling Haaland (£12.2m) and Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) during the current unlimited free transfers period.
The Manchester City and Liverpool stars are among a host of in-form players who will not take part in the World Cup, as neither of their respective nations, Norway and Egypt, qualified.
Players who have benefitted from a break will be fresher and less likely to be rotated than team-mates who have played in the latter stages of the winter tournament.
Haaland is already in over 82 per cent of squads on the back of his prolific debut campaign.
How were your nerves, City fans? 😅@ErlingHaaland, take it away! 🤩#ManCity pic.twitter.com/AyaHSSM1f5— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 5, 2022
The Norwegian has averaged 9.5 points per match on his way to the top of the player standings, scoring 18 goals and supplying three assists.
Although Salah has yet to find his top form this term, the underlying numbers show his huge potential.
The Egyptian’s 50 shots, 39 shots in the box, 14 big chances and 20 shots on target are all more than any other midfielder.
Notably, four of the eight top-scoring midfielders in Fantasy won’t take part in the World Cup.
Along with Salah, Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron (£5.8m), Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard (£6.4m) and Leeds United’s Rodrigo (£6.3m) are without international duties this winter.
Almiron has amassed 93 points on his way to the midfield summit, thanks to eight goals and two assists.
He also has a very favourable schedule when domestic action resumes on 26 December. According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), five of the Magpies’ next eight matches score only two.
|17||LEI (A)||2||21||CRY (A)||3|
|18||LEE (H)||2||22||WHU (H)||2|
|19||ARS (A)||4||23||BOU (A)||2|
|20||FUL (H)||2||24||LIV (H)||4|
No Arsenal attacker has amassed more points than Odegaard's 77.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo has scored nine goals while playing as a forward in 2022/23.
His average of 97.6 minutes per goal is second only to the 57.6 minutes per goal of Haaland among all regular starters this season.
Tottenham Hotspur winger Dejan Kulusevski (£8.0m) and Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha (£7.5m) will also not feature in Qatar, providing further options in midfield.
At the back, Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson (£6.8m) and Arsenal centre-back Gabriel (£5.2m) boast big potential at both ends of the pitch.
Robertson supplied three of his four assists this season in his final three outings prior to the season break.
Gabriel is the third top-scoring player in his position in 2022/23 Fantasy, combining two goals with seven clean sheets and nine bonus points.
Part 1: Start Ward and free up funds
Part 2: Trippier an all-round star
Part 3: Target goalscoring centre-backs
Part 4: Forward role helping Rodrigo thrive
Part 5: Foden maximising home fixtures
Part 7: Kane a strong partner for Haaland
Part 8: Solanke revived under new head coach