Fantasy Premier League

Which FPL stars could be rested after international duties?

14 Sep 2023

The Scout highlights Fantasy stars who have played the most minutes and had the longest journeys

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Managers in Fantasy Premier League should take note of how much their stars have played, and where in the world they have travelled to, when considering their Gameweek 5 team selection.

Over 200 top-flight players have been representing their countries over the last week, including many of the highly-owned picks in FPL.

Most of them have now returned to their clubs, the majority without picking up an injury.

But it’s fatigue and flight times, as well as fitness, that Fantasy managers should think about ahead of Saturday’s 11:00 BST deadline.

Late returns

As usual, it's the players from the Americas who are the main concerns for Gameweek 5.

They were not only the last to play in the midweek round of international matches, but they also have the longest journeys back to their respective clubs.

Both of these things could delay their returns to training and affect their pre-match preparations ahead of the weekend.

Club managers may also be wary about starting players who are fatigued after their recent minutes and long-haul flights.

Below you can see the players who were in the squad for a match late on Tuesday night or in the early hours of Wednesday morning (BST), and who have had long journeys back to England. You can also see how many minutes they played in the midweek match.

Location (kick-off time BST): Bolivia (Tues 21:00)
Players (minutes): E. Martinez (90), Romero (90), Fernandez (87), Alvarez (85), Mac Allister (85), Garnacho (5), Senesi (0), Buonanotte (0), L. Martinez (0), Montiel (0).

Location: Peru (Wed 03:00)
Players: Gabriel (90), Ederson (90), Casemiro (90), Guimaraes (85), Richarlison (64), Jesus (26), Martinelli (5), Joelinton (5), Alisson (0), Cunha (0).

Location: Chile (Wed 01:30)
Players: Lerma (90), Diaz (71), Duran (32), Sinisterra (19).

Location: Ecuador (Tues 22:00)
Players: Estupinan (90), Caicedo (90).

Location: Jamaica (Wed 01:00)
Players: Bailey (90), Pinnock (90), De Cordova-Reid (90), Bell (90).

Location: USA (Wed 01:00)
Players: Jimenez (90), Alvarez (59).

Location: Venezuela (Tues 23:00)
Player: Almiron (85).

Location: Ecuador (Tues 22:00)
Players: Nunez (45), Pellistri (20), Bueno (0).

Location: USA, Wed 01:30
Players: Horvath (90), Richards (71), Ream (0), Robinson (0), Turner (0).

Players most at risk of being rested

Liverpool’s in-form forward Darwin Nunez (£7.4m), was among the players involved in World Cup qualifying in South America on Tuesday evening.

Nunez’s Uruguay travelled to Ecuador, who gave 90 minutes to Pervis Estupinan (£5.3m) for the second successive match.

Estupinan features in 64 per cent of FPL squads, making him the game’s most-popular defender.

The most-bought forward of Gameweek 5, Julian Alvarez (£6.7m), was handed 85 minutes for Argentina on the same night. The World Cup winners faced Bolivia in La Paz, where the high altitude can add to fatigue levels.

See: How return of European football brings threat of rotation in FPL

The last international match to kick off was Peru v Brazil, which got under way on Wednesday at 03:00 BST.

Gabriel (£4.8m), owned by over 14 per cent of FPL managers, was among 10 Premier League players involved in Brazil’s squad. The Arsenal defender played 90 minutes of that match in Lima.

Not all of these players will be rotation risks in Gameweek 5. But Nunez, Luis Diaz (£7.7m) and Alexis Mac Allister (£6.0m) are certainly names whose minutes could be affected. 

Liverpool’s match at Wolverhampton Wanderers kicks off at 12:30 BST on Saturday, allowing for even less recovery time for the Reds’ returning internationals.

See: FPL long view: Liverpool among clubs with best fixtures

Most minutes played in total

Of the 30 most-owned players in FPL, only three completed the full 180 minutes for their countries.

They were Estupinan, Bruno Fernandes (£8.4m) and Ederson (£5.6m).

Total mins played by most-selected players
Player Club Mins Player Club Mins
Haaland Man City 90 Fernandes Man Utd 180
Saka Arsenal 105 Watkins Aston Villa Not called up
Estupinan Brighton 180 Ederson Man City 180
Mitoma Brighton 84 Jackson Chelsea 90
Rashford Man Utd 96 Ramsdale Arsenal 90
Chilwell Chelsea 90 Sterling Chelsea Not called up
Trippier Newcastle 90 Wissa Brentford 65
Saliba Arsenal 107 Cash Aston Villa 90
Areola West Ham 0 Gabriel Arsenal 174
Isak Newcastle 147 Joao Pedro Brighton 7
Maddison Spurs 65 Alvarez Man City 98
Mbeumo Brentford 90 Turner Nott'm Forest 90
Salah Liverpool 90 Botman Newcastle Injured
Onana Man Utd 90 Udogie Spurs Withdrew
Odegaard Arsenal 152 Foden Man City 96

FPL managers who own Estupinan and/or Fernandes should at least be reassured that neither player has ever been benched by their current manager after a previous international break.

Gabriel, Alexander Isak (£7.7m) and Martin Odegaard (£8.5m) were given two starts over the last week too, but all of the other popular Fantasy picks enjoyed at least one rest.

Indeed, Ollie Watkins (£8.0m) and Raheem Sterling (£7.2m) weren’t involved for England at all.

They should be refreshed for Gameweek 5, when their respective clubs have favourable matches against Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth respectively that score two on the Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR).

See: FPL experts: What to do with Chelsea players?

FPL managers should pay attention to the pre-match press conferences on Thursday and Friday for updates on their returning players.

That includes Destiny Udogie (£4.7m) and Sven Botman (£4.5m), who were prevented from representing their countries by illness and injury respectively.

For more useful FPL information on the international break, Fantasy Football Scout’s round-up covers all 20 Premier League clubs in detail.

Also in this series

Part 1: FPL experts: What to do with Chelsea players?
Part 2: The Scout's FPL must-haves for Gameweek 5 onwards
Part 3: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 5 Ones to watch
Part 4: FPL long view: Target Villa, Liverpool and Luton for favourable fixtures
Part 5: 
FPL experts: Best club to invest in for next four Gameweeks
Part 6: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 5 Differentials
Part 7: How return of European football brings threat of rotation in FPL
Part 9: Scout Selection: Best FPL team for Gameweek 5
Part 10: Son's change of role makes him captain contender in FPL

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