As expected, the Premier League made use of the break in its calendar for the third-round of the FA Cup and the semifinals of the Carabao Cup to make up some postponed league games. The Southampton/Brentford and Everton/Leicester matches were penciled in for Jan 11, and West Ham/Norwich for Jan 12, creating the first double game-week of the 2021-22 fantasy campaign.
Perhaps unsurprisingly (and as we warned in our pre-deadline coverage!), one of the rescheduled matches has been postponed again — EVE vs LEI is scratched yet again, COVID conspiring with AFCON duty and injury absences to render the Foxes unable to field a game-day squad. Fantasy managers will be vexed if they were counting on two bites of the apple for their Toffees and/or even one appearance by a Fox (who now blank in GW-21).
Such is life in fantasy football these days however, so keep calm and carry on. There are still two fixtures on the docket for the second half of the game-week, and there are still two teams with doubles. It has been a week and a half since our original GW-21 Pre-Deadline and Live Chat, so below we offer Part 2 with the latest news:
Tuesday, January 11
Southampton vs Brentford
You could be excused for confusing 14th-place Southampton with 12th-place Brentford — both traditionally wear red-and-white vertical stripes, and only two points separate them in the table, the Saints poised to leapfrog the Bees with a win. Both won their FA Cup matches on Saturday, Bryan Mbuemo announcing his return to fitness by notching a hattrick after entering the game in the 62nd minute. Ivan Toney was spared except for the final minutes, so both Bees should be rested and ready for the trip to St. Mary’s.
Che Adams (COVID), Kyle Walker-Peters (COVID), Moussa Djenepo (AFCON), Valentino Livramento (knee), Alex McCarthy (knee)
Frank Onyeka (AFCON), Charlie Goode (hamstring), Zanka (muscle), Rico Henry (hamstring), David Raya Martin (knee)
[ Here we go again... Leicester requested and has been granted postponement due to combination of injuries, Covid tests, and four departures to AFCON. ]
Rafa Benitez nicked a critical win in Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Championship side Hull City, even if it was by a thin 3-2 margin. Recent transfer Vitaliy Myolenko started at left wing-back, while Everton’s other January transfer, right wing-back Nathan Patterson, didn’t make it off the bench. We could see them both make their home debuts
against Leicester tomorrow when Everton returns to action.
Leicester’s attack is in the midst of a manpower crunch: Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka are injured, and Kelechi Iheanacho has left for international duty with Nigeria at AFCON. You’d never know that from the score in Saturday’s FA Cup win over Watford though: 4-1, with Ademola Lookman lining up as the #9 and assisting two of his team’s four goals, which came from Youri Tielemans, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, and Marc Albrighton. Could these men have stepped up again if the Foxes had traveled to Goodison Park?
Alex Iwobi (AFCON), Richarlison (calf), Yerry Mina (calf), Andros Townsend (foot fracture), Jarrad Branthwaite (hamstring)
Kelechi Iheanacho (AFCON), Daniel Amartey (AFCON), Wilfred Ndidi (AFCON), Jamie Vardy (hamstring), Patson Daka (hamstring), Luke Thomas (knock), Caglar Soyuncu (hamstring), Johnny Evans (hamstring), Ryan Bertrand (knee), James Justin (knee), Boubakary Soumare (illness), Ricardo Pereira (broken leg), Wesley Fofana (broken leg)...
And the length of that list is why the match was scratched.
Wednesday, January 12
West Ham vs Norwich
Despite a brief new-manager bounce, Norwich is still the EPL’s whipping boy — After 19 games the Canaries are rooted to the foot of the table with a measly 10 points, having lost their last five league matches by a wretched cumulative score of 14-0. They did manage to defeat third-tier Charlton 1-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday though, Milot Rashica netting the winner in the 79th minute.
Since West Ham’s vital victory over Chelsea last month, the Hammers have won only two of five. So David Moyes is looking for a third win on the trot as he pushes for Champions League qualification — currently he’s just one point outside a berth. Like Norwich, West Ham also won its FA Cup match on Sunday, Moyes fielding a strong side that defeated Leeds 2-0.
West Ham outs/doubts:
Said Benrahma (AFCON), Aaron Creswell (back), Angelo Ogbonna (knee), Kurt Zouma (hamstring), Vladimir Coufal (illness)
Todd Cantwell (illness), Billy Gilmour (ankle), Mathias Normann (pelvis), Andrew Omobamidele (back), Jonathan Rowe (COVID), Lukas Rupp (hamstring), Christoph Zimmerman (ankle)
How have your fantasy teams weathered AFCON, the FA Cup, and the January transfer window during our long wait for the flip side of this six-team DGW? Are your DGW players still slated to play? Whether your plans are bearing fruit or lying in tatters, please share in the comments as we chat over our three make-up matches Tuesday and Wednesday.