The September international break has barely begun and already the injury flags are starting to appear in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
From early squad withdrawals to in-game fitness concerns, we round up the latest FPL team news from around the globe.
Stay tuned for our comprehensive international guide later today, which details which players from all 20 Premier League clubs are on duty with their respective countries.
Thursday morning brought news that Alexander Isak (£7.1m) had withdrawn from the Sweden squad.
The Newcastle United striker had missed training with his national side earlier in the week because of a “little feeling” and will now head back to England.
“It is of course sad mainly for Alex but also for us as a team. After speaking with both our medical team and Alex, it is the right decision for him to leave. I hope he is back as soon as possible.” – Sweden head coach Janne Andersson
The issue perhaps sounds more precautionary based on the comments above but it’ll leave Isak’s new and existing owners sweating on his fitness ahead of next weekend. He is the most-bought forward of Gameweek 9 so far and has been subject to over 110,000 transfers in.
Just when Nathan Patterson was establishing himself as Everton’s first-choice right-back and perhaps also many Fantasy managers’ preferred budget defender, Nathan Patterson (£4.1m) has been hit by injury.
The Scotland international picked up a knee problem in Wednesday’s win over Ukraine, initially trying to run the injury off but ultimately departing Hampden Park on a stretcher.
National team coach Steve Clarke didn’t sound too optimistic after full-time:
“He felt something on his leg. We’ll wait and see what the medics say. Obviously, we don’t know [yet] because he’s got to go away and get assessed but it doesn’t look like a good one. Fingers crossed it’s not too bad.” – Steve Clarke
The Liverpool Echo also reported that Patterson’s team-mate Vitalli Mykolenko (£4.5m) wasn’t risked by Ukraine last night because of a “slight issue” but he remains with his national team for now.
Aston Villa’s injuries are mounting at the back, with midfield shield Boubacar Kamara (£4.9m) joining Matty Cash (£4.7m) and Diego Carlos (£4.8m) on the injury list after Gameweek 8.
The news got even worse from France earlier this week, with reports suggesting that Lucas Digne (£4.7m) will now be sidelined with a suspected stress fracture to his ankle.
Ludwig Augustinsson (£4.3m) would be in line to deputise for Digne should the Frenchman be ruled out for a lengthy period, although Ashley Young (£4.4m) – currently filling in for Cash on the opposite flank – is another possibility.
Unlike everyone else in this article, Martin Odegaard (£6.5m) hasn’t actually withdrawn from his national team’s squad.
But the chances of him representing Norway in their two UEFA Nations League ties remain in some doubt.
Odegaard missed the Gameweek 8 win over Brentford with a calf problem, heading to Scandinavia for international duty thereafter.
However, Norway boss Stale Solbakken suggested he could be there merely in a cheerleading capacity, with concerns remaining about his fitness.
“He’s not doing well now. Now it’s a matter of getting a final decision on whether he can be in both or one game. We’ll certainly see him in Norway, either as a player or a ‘fourth coach’. It means a lot to have him.” – Stale Solbakken
Hugo Lloris (£5.5m) is an early doubt for the north London derby at the beginning of October after withdrawing from international duty for France.
A “small injury” to the goalkeeper’s right thigh was diagnosed by the national team doctor upon his arrival at Les Bleus’ Clairefontaine base.
It doesn’t sound too serious but there’ll be plenty of FPL managers – particularly those on a Wildcard – who wouldn’t mind Lloris having to endure a spell on the sidelines, with the cut-price Fraser Forster (£4.0m) next in line to start between the posts for Antonio Conte’s team.
Team-mate Ben Davies (£5.0m) was also pulled out of the Wales squad and faces a race against time to be fit for Gameweek 9.
There’s a similar goalkeeping situation at Chelsea, with injury concerns hanging over the more expensive first-choice custodian and his cheaper deputy waiting in the wings for a chance.
Edouard Mendy (£4.9m) has pulled out of the Senegal squad to continue his rehab from a knee injury at Cobham, having been sidelined since Gameweek 6.
The Athletic report that he “has a chance” of being fit for Gameweek 9.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (£4.4m) was selected in Mendy’s absence to play in Graham Potter’s first match in charge, a one-all draw with RB Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League last Wednesday.
Potter, of course, might favour Kepa over Mendy regardless of fitness, with the Spaniard seen as being more comfortable on the ball – a quality the new Chelsea boss has historically liked his goalkeepers to have.
Two Nottingham Forest players have pulled out of their respective national team squads with unspecified issues: Morgan Gibbs-White (£5.5m) and Nigeria international Emmanuel Dennis (£5.9m).
Brentford’s Keane Lewis-Potter (£5.3m) has joined Gibbs-White in leaving the England under-21 camp; again, the severity of the injury isn’t known at this stage.
Naby Keita (£4.8m) reported for international duty with Guinea as a formality but, suffering from a muscle injury, has now returned to Liverpool.
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