Fantasy Premier League

FPL World Cup Lessons: Key defenders return with fresh legs

By The Scout 14 Dec 2022
Kieran Trippier, Newcastle United

The Scout looks at the minutes played by the most-popular and most-signed players in Fantasy

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The Scout assesses how the FIFA World Cup has impacted the most-popular players in Fantasy Premier League during the current unlimited free transfers period.


Kieran Trippier (£5.9m), the top-scoring and most-popular defender in Fantasy, will be fully refreshed for the season's resumption after losing his starting role for England early on in the FIFA World Cup.

Trippier started England's first two group matches before being replaced in the first XI by Kyle Walker (£4.8m).

Indeed, his last outing was as a substitute against Wales on 29 November.

Owned by over 64 per cent of FPL managers, Trippier's multiple routes to returns can ensure he continues to thrive over a kind festive schedule for the Magpies.

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), four of their next seven matches score only two.

Most-owned defenders in Fantasy
Player Ownership WC mins. Last WC app.
Trippier 64.9% 205 29 Nov
Cancelo 51.7% 309 10 Dec
Saliba 35.2% 27 30 Nov
Williams 23.5% 205 29 Nov
Perisic 21.6% 492 13 Dec

Manchester City's Joao Cancelo (£7.4m), the second most-owned defender in Fantasy, suffered a similar fate for Portugal.

After starting all three group matches, his only further appearance was as a substitute against Morocco on 10 December.

Portugal's exit at the quarter-final stage has also lifted the appeal of Manchester United's Diogo Dalot (£4.8m) in Fantasy.

He is the only defender among the 10 most-bought players in the last 24 hours, ranking fourth with 7,800 new owners.

Man Utd have an extended run of favourable opponents, with five of their next seven matches scoring only two in the FDR.

Arsenal alternatives?

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur's Ivan Perisic (£5.5m) looks very likely to be rotated when Premier League action resumes on Monday 26 December.

He has currently played 492 minutes for Croatia, who are still to contest the playoff between the losing semi-finalists to decide third place in the World Cup, on 17 December.

Owners of Arsenal and France's William Saliba (£5.3m) will be less concerned despite his nation's involvement in the last four.

The centre-back has played only 27 World Cup minutes ahead of the encounter with Morocco on Wednesday evening.

Indeed, Saliba is among a trio of Gunners players among the five most-bought defenders over the current period of unlimited transfers.

Ben White (£4.7m) and Gabriel (£5.2m) have also emerged as key figures, both brought in by 199,000+ managers.

Also in this series

Part 1: Ward still proving popular
Part 3: Managers recruit rested midfielders
Part 4: Nunez gaining popularity among forwards

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