The international break has once again taken a toll on Premier League squads, with a host of stars returning to their clubs with injury problems.
For FPL managers this undoubtedly provides issues, with injured picks requiring transfers out. For the shrewd though, there is also opportunity, as identifying which squad players could fill the vacant spots could provide a healthy low-cost points boost.
An already depleted Manchester United, have been among the worst affected with four stars returning from their national sides with complications.
English centre-back pair Chris Smalling and Phil Jones make up half of that number, limiting the options for Jose Mourinho at the heart of his defence.
With the United manager seemingly in the notion of a back three at present, it looks like summer signing Eric Bailly (£5.3m) is set to be the lynchpin in the coming weeks.
United have consecutive home games in the pipeline, followed by a trip to rock-bottom Sunderland.
Their mean rearguard therefore, looks set to continue it’s accumulation of points. Marcos Rojo is £0.1m cheaper than Bailly and also looks set for further game time. The Argentine could also be offered the chance to get forward as the left sided wing-back.
The highest-profile injury of the internationals was undoubtedly the horrific leg-break suffered by Everton’s Seamus Coleman.
The right-back was in sensational form and the Toffees’ second-highest points scorer this term.
It might well be a couple of games before boss Ronald Koeman is able to find the solution in terms of a replacement but FPL managers should consider athletic youngster Mason Holgate.
Holgate has already enjoyed a run in the first team this term and at just £4m, will be an absolute steal if he can establish himself in Coleman’s absence.
Everton head into a massive week with additional injury concerns.
£4.8m Ramiro Funes Mori will also miss the Merseyside derby on Saturday and the Tuesday clash with Manchester United.
His absence gives further strength to Holgate’s claim for a starting berth but FPL managers would be unwise to fancy either side for a clean sheet ahead of the derby.
Everton’s defensive casualties and the prospect of the Liverpool rearguard facing an almost unplayable Romelu Lukaku (£10.5m) would point to goals at both ends.
Liverpool meanwhile, have their own problems as the increasingly important FPL favourite Adam Lallana (£7m), will also miss out, having being injured on England