A suspension for Casemiro (£4.9m) has ruled the midfielder out of Manchester United's Double Gameweek 29 fixtures against Newcastle United and Brentford in Fantasy Premier League, along with the home meeting with Everton in Gameweek 30.
The Red Devils had one of the poorest defensive records in the league prior to Casemiro’s first start of the season in Gameweek 10.
They conceded an average of two goals per match over Gameweeks 1-9 as the players took time to adjust to the tactics of new manager Erik ten Hag.
After making his full debut in Gameweek 10, Casemiro has been a standout performer.
He has won a team-leading 53 tackles from that point, while his 64 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) are more than double the total of any other Man Utd midfielder.
Those displays have helped United keep a clean sheet in seven of the 15 matches when the midfielder has been named in the starting XI, which equates to 47 per cent.
By contrast, they had managed a clean sheet in only 27 per cent of their matches prior to Casemiro’s first start.
|Without, GW1-9||With, GW10 onwards||Without, GW10 onwards|
Despite their recent 7-0 defeat at Liverpool, Man Utd have still only conceded 1.1 goals per match with the Brazilian in their line-up, almost half their previous average.
But their most recent showings in the four matches without Casemiro are more encouraging defensively, and are indicative of a side now accustomed to Ten Hag’s style of play.
United have conceded 1.3 goals per match in those encounters, keeping two clean sheets.
Their displays in attack in those recent contests are the most positive aspect of Casemiro’s absence, with United scoring at least twice on all four occasions.
|21||ARS (A)||Lost 3-2|
|22||LEE (H)||Drew 2-2|
|23||LEE (A)||Won 2-0|
|24||LEI (H)||Won 3-0|
Essentially, then, key picks such as Marcus Rashford (£7.3m) and Bruno Fernandes (£9.6m) are likely to offer the same threat without the Brazilian.
Notably, Rashford has had great success in the latest four matches without the Brazilian. He has scored in all of those matches, totalling five goals and 38 points.
At the back, though, managers should perhaps be wary of taking points hits for players such as Luke Shaw (£5.2m) or David De Gea (£5.0m).