A total of 17 Premier League clubs were in EFL Cup action in midweek, with only Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur not involved.
We’ll bring you up to speed with all you need to know from a Fantasy perspective, from minutes played to any wider talking points.
There was a wave of flags added in FPL following the midweek action.
We’ve covered everything on the injury front in detail in a separate piece (the link is above) but if you’re looking for a quick round-up of what’s new, these players were freshly flagged following their respective cup ties having either missed out or come off with an injury:
- Leon Bailey – Aston Villa – muscle
- Jacob Ramsey – Aston Villa – knock
- Lloyd Kelly – Bournemouth – calf
- Chris Mepham – Bournemouth – knock
- Dominic Solanke – Bournemouth – ankle
- Evan Ferguson – Brighton – illness
- Manuel Benson – Burnley – knock
- Ben Chilwell – Chelsea – hamstring
- Dean Henderson – Crystal Palace – thigh
- Jairo Riedewald – Crystal Palace – muscle
- Vitalii Mykolenko – Everton – knock
- Calvin Bassey – Fulham – back
- Tom Lockyer – Luton Town – muscle
- Christian Eriksen – Manchester United – illness
- Scott McTominay – Manchester United – illness
- Martin Dubravka – Newcastle United – illness
- Dan Burn – Newcastle United – illness
- Sven Botman – Newcastle United – knee
- Bruno Guimaraes – Newcastle United – ankle
- Alexander Isak – Newcastle United – calf
- Callum Wilson – Newcastle United – hamstring
|Team||No. of starting XI changes made from GW6||Players who kept their places (mins played)||Other minutes for key players|
|Arsenal||8||Gabriel (90), Nketiah (87), White (69)||Ramsdale (90), Havertz (90), Jesus (32), Zinchenko (21), Odegaard (8), Saka (0), Saliba (0)|
|Aston Villa||5||Cash (90), Konsa (90), Torres (90), Luiz (90), Diaby (90), McGinn (45)||Zaniolo (59), Digne (45), Watkins (45)|
|Bournemouth||8||Zabarnyi (90), Kerkez (90), Cook (70)||Solanke (40), Neto (0)|
|Brentford||2||Flekken (90), Collins (90), Pinnock (90), Janelt (90), Mbeumo (90), Wissa (90), Hickey (79), Roerslev (63), Norgaard (63)||Jensen (27)|
|Brighton||7||Verbruggen (90), Estupinan (90), Buonanotte (78), Dahoud (70)||Lamptey (90), Pedro (90), Mitoma (64), March (45), Fati (45), Welbeck (26), Ferguson (0), Dunk (0), Steele (0)|
|Burnley||11||–||Al Dakhil (8), Taylor (0), Beyer (0), Koleosho (0), Amdouni (0)|
|Chelsea||5||Sanchez (90), Disasi (90), Colwill (90), Caicedo (90), Jackson (87), Mudryk (68)||Chilwell (90), Palmer (75), Sterling (22), Enzo (15), Broja (3)|
|C Palace||7||Mitchell (90), Ayew (90), Doucoure (60), Schlupp (60)||Johnstone (71), Guehi (45), Eze (30), Henderson (19), Andersen (0)|
|Everton||5||Pickford (90), Tarkowski (90), Branthwaite (90), Garner (90), Onana (79), Mykolenko (45)||Calvert-Lewin (72), Young (45), McNeil (25), Beto (18), Doucoure (11)|
|Fulham||7||Castagne (90), Diop (90), Palhinha (90), Willian (79)||Vinicius (79), Leno (0), Andreas (0), Jimenez (0)|
|Liverpool||10||Jones (79)||Gakpo (90), Jota (90), Darwin (25), Szoboszlai (25), Robertson (0), Alexander-Arnold (0), Salah (0), Diaz (0), Alisson (90)|
|Luton||10||Doughty (64)||Bell (26), Kabore (26), Morris (15)|
|Man City||8||Akanji (90), Gvardiol (90), Alvarez (73)||Grealish (90), Ake (68), Doku (22), Foden (17), Ederson (0), Dias (0), Walker (0), Haaland (0)|
|Man Utd||7||Onana (90), Dalot (90), Casemiro (90), Mejbri (71)||Mount (45), Hojlund (15), Fernandes (0), Rashford (0)|
|Newcastle||10||Pope (90)||Livramento (90), Isak (62), Guimaraes (45), Gordon (45), Almiron (28), Schar (1), Botman (0), Burn (0), Trippier (0), Wilson (0)|
|West Ham||10||Soucek (90)||Kudus (90), Areola (0), Ward-Prowse (0), Bowen (0), Antonio (0)|
|Wolves||10||Hwang (69)||Neto (0)|
HAALAND RESTED, ALVAREZ NOT
Despite trailing for much of the second half at St James’ Park, Pep Guardiola opted not to turn to Erling Haaland (£14.1m) to rescue the game.
The Norwegian, plus Ruben Dias (£5.5m) and ever-present league starter Kyle Walker (£5.3m), were all unused substitutes on Tyneside, having welcome breathers before Gameweek 7.
That’s not a luxury that was afforded to Julian Alvarez (£7.0m), who led the line in Haaland’s absence and saw a couple of first-half chances thwarted.
The Argentina international was at least spared after 73 minutes, and further encouragement for owners worried about a weekend rest can perhaps be taken from the fact that he was one of the sacrificial lambs when City were reduced to 10 men in Gameweek 6. Alvarez was hooked before the hour in that game.
“No. I thought Kyle had a lot of minutes, Erling had a lot of minutes. We have a lot of games ahead of us. Maybe the last 10-15 minutes, but I decided not to do it.” – Pep Guardiola on whether he was tempted throw Erling Haaland on with Man City trailing 1-0
DE ZERBI HINTING AT A MITOMA START
Kaoru Mitoma (£6.6m) was another unwelcome starter, from an FPL owners’ perspective anyway. He was at least spared after 64 minutes, with Roberto De Zerbi having one eye on the weekend.
Mitoma was only a half-time substitute at Bournemouth last Sunday and his manager appeared to be hinting at a start against Aston Villa in the early kick-off on Saturday, explaining the Japan international’s midweek withdrawal.
“Dahoud and Mitoma couldn’t play 90 minutes and then Saturday in Birmingham another 90 minutes.
“In this moment I have to manage in a different way. We have to adapt, we have to improve.” – Roberto De Zerbi
Pervis Estupinan (£5.3m) lasted 90 minutes for the third time in seven days, which is a bit of a concern given the swift turnaround to the game at Villa Park. One glimmer of hope is that the injury-prone Tariq Lamptey (£3.9m), who deputised for Estupinan in Gameweek 5, was himself given the whole game against Chelsea. It’d be a surprise if he’s asked to go again at Villa Park, having previously not completed a full game in seven months.
Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) owners have been looking over their shoulders ever since Crystal Palace signed Dean Henderson (£4.5m) in the summer transfer window.
Roy Hodgson has so far kept faith with Johnstone, who turned in a solid showing against Fulham in Gameweek 6.
The received wisdom is that Henderson is the long-term number one at Selhurst Park so there will have been a guilty sigh of relief when Johnstone’s positional rival hit the deck at Old Trafford on Tuesday, potentially with the same thigh problem that curtailed his 2022/23 campaign.
“Not really [any update], because like all those muscle injuries the doctors can tell you which part of the leg the injury occurs in, but are not prepared to give any suggestion on the severity of it. That will need a scan I am sure, and we will have to wait for the result of the scan.
“Often you have to wait a day or two before they can even do the scan. At the minute, we just know he had a very unfortunate end to a game he was really looking forward to playing.” – Roy Hodgson on Dean Henderson’s injury
Palace have a particularly strong set of fixtures from Gameweeks 11-15, which is still over a month away:
STERLING ‘OOP’ IN GAMEWEEK 7?
Having marked his comeback from a lengthy lay-off with a cameo in Gameweek 6, Armando Broja (£4.9m) again made it onto the pitch in the EFL Cup on Wednesday – but only as an 87th-minute substitute.
Mauricio Pochettino had said before that clash with Brighton that Broja was “still not ready to start” and “needs time to be fit”, so he looks very unlikely to be leading the line in Gameweek 7 if his manager wasn’t prepared to chance him in a less-important cup contest.
Chelsea are in need of a new striker against Fulham on Monday because Nicolas Jackson (£6.9m) is suspended for one match for yellow card accumulation.
Could we see Raheem Sterling (£7.1m) up top at Craven Cottage, then? The winger was only given a brief run-out against the Seagulls, appearing as a second-half substitute, and is one obvious candidate for centre-forward duties across west London.
Cole Palmer (£4.9m), who has played as a false nine at Manchester City, is another option. He looked bright on his first Chelsea start, deployed in the number 10 role and claiming the assist for Jackson’s match-winning strike. Palmer’s passing caught the eye: he had the highest accuracy (92%) of any of Chelsea’s starters, creating a few openings in an otherwise so-so team display.
Jackson was sighted with a splint on his hand at full-time, so it remains to be seen if his unavailability extends beyond Gameweek 7.
Elsewhere at Chelsea, Marc Cucurella (£4.8m) played at right-back in the absence of a natural option in that position. Ben Chilwell (£5.6m), who you’ll know by now came off with a hamstring injury, was stationed at left-back, rather than on the left wing where we’d seen him previously.
BURNLEY AND LUTON LOOKING AHEAD TO DOUBLE GAMEWEEK 7
Burnley and Luton play twice in little more than 72 hours in Double Gameweek 7, so there’s a concern that Messrs Kompany and Edwards freshen up their sides when they meet on Tuesday.
The good news to report from the EFL Cup in midweek is that both managers heavily rotated with one eye on the upcoming Gameweek. Kompany changed his entire XI, with Edwards making 10 alterations and retaining only Alfie Doughty (£4.4m).
Carlton Morris (£5.5m), signed by over 300,000 FPL managers in the run-up to Saturday’s deadline, was handed only 15 minutes of the Hatters’ disappointing defeat to Exeter City.
MAN UTD FITNESS BOOST
Probably Manchester United’s best performance of the season arrived on Tuesday, not that the bar had been set very high. It was also against a Crystal Palace side who made seven changes, just for context.
Still, there were positives to take from the return of Raphael Varane (£5.0m), Mason Mount (£6.8m) and Sofyan Amrabat (£5.0m) to the starting XI.
Varane unquestionably makes United stronger at centre-half, while Amrabat was impressive as a makeshift left-back before moving into midfield in the second half.
Marcus Rashford (£8.4m) and Bruno Fernandes (£8.4m) were fully rested for the swift rematch with the injury-hit Eagles on Saturday, meanwhile.
With Sergio Reguilon (£4.4m) and two others hoping to be back for Gameweek 7, might the gloom be starting to lift at Old Trafford?
DARWIN TO START AGAIN IN GAMEWEEK 7?
Darwin Nunez (£7.4m) looks good for a start against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday night, giving him the platform to build on his five attacking returns in the last four Gameweeks.
The striker, along with Luis Diaz (£7.6m) and Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), was named on the bench for the glorified second-string’s 3-1 win over Leicester City on Wednesday.
Even better was the sight of Cody Gakpo (£7.3m) and Diogo Jota (£7.8m), Darwin’s two main positional rivals, lasting the full 90 minutes against the Foxes.
NEWCASTLE ASSETS WELL RESTED
Of the 17 Premier League managers taking charge of their clubs in the EFL Cup in midweek, only two changed all 10 starting outfielders. One was Burnley’s Vincent Kompany, the other was Newcastle United’s Eddie Howe.
It’s been an absolutely perfect week for owners of Kieran Trippier (£6.6m), who saw their premium defender taken off early in Gameweek 6 after banking an 18-point haul and then rested entirely on Wednesday night.
There’s no reason he now won’t start all three remaining competitive matches before the October international break, then, barring injury.
Tino Livramento (£4.4m) had an excellent full debut in Trippier’s stead and there’s every chance he starts the EFL Cup fourth-round tie at Old Trafford in between Gameweeks 10 and 11, as well as being used as relief for Trippier at the end of upcoming league games – as he was at Bramall Lane last weekend.
Time will tell whether the injuries affecting the likes of Sven Botman (£4.7m), Alexander Isak (£7.6m) and Callum Wilson (£7.8m) are anything other than glorified precautions. Howe will face the media on Friday morning, to hopefully provide us with further updates.
If Isak and Wilson are somehow both ruled out, then Anthony Gordon‘s (£5.6m) stock will rise even further: the winger was pretty much Newcastle’s third striking option in the summer friendlies, playing through the middle with Isak on the left flank in one warm-up game.