Fantasy Premier League

Fantasy Premier League returns with a full schedule after the Double game week. The start of the second half of the season sees Kevin De Bruyne and Jamie Vardy struck with injuries for game week 20.

Hence, a new approach is required for managers who have either or both of this season’s heavy-hitters. Football Castle provides their possible replacements and differentials as the battle for FPL supremacy rumbles on, ahead of the game week 20 deadline at 16:30 GMT on Tuesday 26 January 2021.

The KDB and Vardy conundrum- replacements

Kevin De Bruyne is out for up to six weeks, a big blow considering his form in recent weeks has sparked a frenzy as managers scramble for replacements. Jamie Vardy is also Leicester City’s top scorer with 11 goals and five assists who is out due to a hernia surgery.

Bruno Fernandes(£11.3m) is the top-scoring midfielder this season and scored a magnificent freekick to win the classic cup tie against Liverpool. Although the Portuguese has tailed off somewhat in recent weeks (disappointing managers who captained for DGW 19) as United rose to the top of the table, he looks set to return to his best against lowly Sheffield United.

Betway Nigeria

Jack Grealish(£7.7m) has scored five goals and assisted 10 this season as Aston Villa are flying high. Although the 25-year-old faces a favourable run of fixtures in the short term (Burnley, Southampton and West Ham), he is a booking away from a one-game suspension.

Raheem Sterling (£11.5m) faces West Brom and Sheffield and is certainly City’s biggest asset – alongside Foden – following KDB’s injury. Sterling has started seven of City’s last eight games so is perhaps safe from rotation.

Phil Foden
Phil Foden is set to star in De Bruyne’s absence. (Getty Images)

Elsewhere, Phil Foden (£6.3m) is a huge differential considering his attacking returns in his last three starts. Foden comes up against the league’s worst defence (West Brom) and is now primed to take on KDB’s creative influence in the team.

Callum Hudson-Odoi(£5.7m) is Chelsea’s brightest spark at the moment as he has turned in brilliant performances, scoring or assisting against Arsenal and Man City in recent weeks. Frank Lampard’s sacking makes Hudson-Odoi a likely pick for the new manager given his current form as he would be looking to hit the ground running in London. 

Bertrand Traoré(£5.9m) keeps registering brilliant returns whenever he starts for Aston Villa. The Burkina Faso international has four goals and one assist in the last six games and benefits from Villa’s clean sheets being a midfielder. 

Traoré would be confident of a double-whammy of attacking and clean sheet returns against Burnley.

İlkay Gündoğan (£5.5m) is in prime attacking form as he has scored his five goals this season in the last seven games. The German’s bargain price is a dangling carrot whose significance is set to increase in KDB’s absence. 

City’s first-choice penalty taker faces a favourable run of fixtures ahead (West Brom, Sheffield and Burnley) and has the most shots (12) of any midfielder in the last four gameweeks.

James Maddison (£7.2m) has scored in three consecutive fixtures and netted against Brentford in the FA Cup. The Leicester man has admitted to be in the hunt for more goals and is a must-have at the moment.

He is the Foxes’ best asset with his attacking returns set to come to the fore in the absence of Vardy against Everton.

Vardy replacements

Dominic Calvert-Lewin(£6.7m) returned from injury and scored against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup, Everton’s fixture postponements will have given the 23-year-old ample recovery time and he should be firing again. After a goal drought before his injury, it is pertinent to note only Mo Salah, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min have scored more than his 11 goals this season. 

Patrick Bamford

Patrick Bamford(£6.3m)

The England striker faces a Newcastle side who are shorn of confidence with 10 games without a win in all competitions and a defensive crisis. Leeds enjoyed a 5-2 rout of the Magpies in the corresponding fixture and Bamford would be looking to add to his 10 goals this season having scored nine times away from home.

The 27-year-old has hit 13 shots in his last six game weeks and would be feeling lucky at St James’ Park.

Defensive reinforcements

John Stones(£5.1m) has stepped up massively for Man City this season. The centre back is enjoying a solid partnership with Rúben Dias as Guardiola’s men have conceded twice in the last ten games.

Furthermore, the 26-year-old netted a brace against Crystal Palace as his attacking prospects have gone up alongside high clean sheet potentials against West Brom.

Harry Maguire(£5.4m) and Man United have kept three clean sheets in their last five and the hosting of goal-shy Sheffield United outfit makes Harry Maguire an interesting addition. The England defender has the most shots in the box (20) from defenders this season and faces Sheffield who are incredibly suspect at defending set pieces. 

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
January 25, 2021
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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