Forward Planning – Part 1


Often in a season, distant events will have an influence on our short-term transfer strategy. Whether it be bolstering the bench to cope with the more intense rotation the festive period brings or trying to negotiate Blank or Double Gameweeks without using your chips, sometimes we have to make transfers with the future in mind.

These articles will cover those times where a bit of forward planning is needed.

Usually, this doesn’t take place until later on in the year, but this season there is an unusual issue on the horizon that might cause you to rethink your next move.

The issue at hand is actually two separate factors that could come together to cause us FPL managers major problems:

Issue 1

The postponement of World Cup qualifiers in March 2021 means that extra World Cup qualifying dates have been added to the back end of the international breaks (in September and October) for South American countries. This means South American FPL assets are playing international matches mere days before GW4, making them unavailable in their respective Premier League fixtures. The same issue could affect FPL assets in GW8 (although the timetable is still to be announced).

Issue 2

The UK’s coronavirus guidelines state that any individual arriving back from a ‘red list’ country must quarantine in a hotel for 10 full days from the point of their arrival. FPL assets returning from affected countries could miss GWs 4-5 due to self-isolation. This same issue could also affect GWs 8-9 and GWs 12-13.

Players potentially affected*:

  • ARSENAL: Elneny, Partey
  • ASTON VILLA: Martínez, Buendía, Bailey
  • BRENTFORD: Pinnock
  • BRIGHTON: MacAllister, Alzate, Caicedo, Mwepu, Tau, Bissouma
  • CHELSEA: Silva
  • CRYSTAL PALACE: Schlupp, Ayew, Zaha
  • EVERTON: Richarlison, Mina, Rodriguez, Gbamin, Iwobi
  • LEICESTER: Amartey, Ndidi, Iheanacho
  • LEEDS: Raphinha, Costa
  • LIVERPOOL: Alisson, Fabinho, Firmino, Salah
  • MANCHESTER CITY: Jesus, Ederson
  • MANCHESTER UNITED: Fred, Cavani, Bailly, Amad
  • NORWICH: Rashica
  • NEWCASTLE: Almiron
  • SOUTHAMPTON: Salisu, Djenepo
  • SPURS: Romero, Lo Celso, Sanchez, Aurier
  • WATFORD: Sierralta, Dennis, Etebo
  • WEST HAM: Masuaku, Antonio
  • WOLVES: Jimenez, Boly

*affected players data from @MattKearney92 (Twitter)

What does this mean for my squad?

This is one of those issues which may or may not prove to be a problem. With Covid-19, nothing is static for long and some form of compromise (or exemptions) could be agreed to reduce or eradicate the issues. If nothing changes, any of the above listed players could be affected.

My advice is to monitor the situation rather than panic and shift out any potentially affected players. As always, giving yourself as much flexibility as possible is key to navigating through these tricky situations.

If your team is in good health, then perhaps it would be worth banking the transfers between now and GW4 so that you have a full complement of FTs at your disposal, should this turn out to be a real problem. If you don’t like banking transfers (or you have fires to put out) then perhaps avoid targeting players on the above list until the situation becomes clearer.