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Gameweek 8: The Impact of Yaya Toure's Injury

Injuries are the curse of the Fantasy Premier League. We beg and hope and pray that our prizes players remain with a clean bill of health, but it’s never the way. Following in the footsteps of popular strikers Christian Benteke and Callum Wilson, the confirmation that Yaya Toure missing the home fixture against Newcastle is perhaps an even bigger blow. The Hype Train looks at whether it’s worth taking Yaya out of the hype, and if so, who to replace him with.

Owned by 3 in every 10 FPL players, the Ivorian tank in the middle of Man City’s midfield has gained 39 points from seven Gameweek’s. An average of 5.57 points per game rocketed Yaya onto the Hype Train since GW2. With Man City entertaining Newcastle at the Etihad, it’s a major blow for City and fantasy owners, especially given that Man City haven’t lost to Newcastle in the league for 17 games. Yaya legitimately had a chance to increase on the 2 goals and 3 assists he’s acquired thus far.

Should managers get Yaya out of your squads? Well before Pellegrini announced in his Friday team news that the other half of Kolo wouldn’t be playing in the game City always win, over 150,000 FPL players taking Yaya out. Expect that number to raise near the 200,000 transfers out mark before the GW8 deadline at 11:45 on Saturday 3rd October.

If you’ve not made a transfer, and you’re one of the 30%, then it could be a wise move. With an international break immediately following the Toon fixture, if the current trend to take out Yaya continues, there is a realistic thought that Toure could drop all of the 0.4 million that he’s amassed from the first seven weeks. The extended two weeks of transfer activity means there is more room for Yaya to drop in price.

A home fixture at home to Bournemouth follows is one reason to keep Yaya in. Hampered by a hamstring strain, it’s likely Yaya will be back in the fold almost immediately in the FPL, meaning that if manager’s will risk his inclusion in their squads for the long term, it could be a stroke of genius. Then again, on a level of opinion and fear as a group of FPL addicts trying to keep our heads above water, we’d be terrified keeping Yaya aboard our squads knowing that his transfer fee is about to be obliterated by like-minded players that see alternative points.

*the Yaya cover was created prior to his price drop this GW*

What are the alternatives to Yaya? Three of the top five midfielders drafted in this week gives a good indication at who Yaya is being replaced with. All three players in question have either gone up in price, or are on the verge of.

Dimitri Payet (WHU) – 7.9 million: 49 points and an away day at Sunderland makes Payet an almost irresistible option.

Alexis Sanchez (ARS) – 11.1 million: A treble at the King Power means Alexis is on the verge of boarding the hype. Only downfall is a challenging run of games, which you can find on the Weekly Hype page.

Juan Mata (MUN) – 8.8 million: The 3rd best midfielder in the game, Mata’s 48 points means an average of 6.85 points a game. Mata has a lot of room to grow in price and player selection for the foreseeable future.

Are there any left-field options?

Wes Hoolahan (NOR) – 5.1 million: Norwich have been reliant on West to pin the team together, and with five assists to his name already, his 4.5% selection isn’t a reflection of how good he’s been in the FPL this season.

Nathan Redmond (NOR) – 5.7 million: Having scored 2 goals from coming off the bench this season, there really is no alarm if Redmond doesn’t make the team sheet. He’ll find a way. Aboard our Hype Train, Redmond is likely to see some points given that Leicester just can’t keep clean sheets.

Jurado (WAT) – 5.5 million: Less than 1.0% own one of Watford’s more successful signings. With an assist to his name, Jurado is on all set pieces and is playing every match, and isn’t at risk of being subbed at half time. Away at Bournemouth, there are certainly worst options.

Georginio Wijnaldum (NEW) – 6.8 million: The tragedy with Wijnaldum is that the team around him isn’t at the level he’s been performing at for years as Cpatain of PSV: Champions League worthy. If you’ve Yaya in your teams, and a back up to come in, the Gini is a long term solution, with the Toon facing Norwich, Sunderland, and Stoke after the international break.

Yohan Cabaye (CRY) – 6.4 million: Much like the City midfield, the new Palace penalty taker has scored in the upper 20’s. Playing a deeper than Puncheon, Cabaye is stringing it all together for Palace, and looks the bigger threat from set pieces. Pardew also doesn’t have a habit of losing so often, so if we had Yohan in our teams, we’d not dare bench him.

Dusan Tadic (SOU) – 6.9 million: We like to call some FPL assets “one in five players”. Tadic is one such example of a player that’ll come into some insane form, fade for a month, and then jump back on the radar. 16 points against Norwich, and 11 against Swansea, both at home, means Tadic has been as lethal as Mane. A 5.5% player selection is around right for a player who can turn it on, just as easily as he turns it off.

Sadio Mane (SOU) – 7.8 million: Owned by 4.6% of all players, Mane is actually selected less than Tadic. We count him as a ‘wildcard’ player, an FPL hidden gem, and with Mane not missing much game time when he’s fully fit, he’s a threat both home and away, unlike Tadic. At the Bridge, we wouldn’t be surprised if Mane or Tadic were in the points.

More alternatives are available in our weekly differentials article. Check out the lowly selected players who we're touting for a big week in the FPL. Click here or on the image with Yaya's team mate Otamendi.

Does Man City’s midfield offer points to replace Yaya? Man City are likely to line up with Fernando and Fernandinho against Newcastle. Aguero is going to lead the line due to injuries up top, and behind him we expect to see the trio of Silva, De Bruyne, and Sterling. Navas might come into the midfield in place of Silva, but it’s likely that City will go for a big return to help ease the pressure of being destroyed by Spurs (and a host of offsides not given), and humbled by the Hammers. With there being no games to follow, expect BPL teams to line up without much rotation for GW8, and with City facing a delicious home-game, it’s hard to look away at the visit of Steve McLaren’s winless Magpies.

Raheem $terling (MCI) – 8.9 million: Scored his final Liverpool goal against Newcastle at Anfield, and should fair relatively well against a prone defense that has barely improved since last season. 25 points, and no proper FPL returns in 3 means that the money could strike big.

David Silva (MCI) – 10.1 million: 1-%, or around, head into GW8 with Silva in their FPL teams. With 26 points to his name, one more than Sterling, if Silva plays, he could add to his 4 assists so far.

Fernandinho (MCI) – 6.0 million: A little over 2.5% of the FPL bank faith with the more defensively minded Brazilian guardian. 2 goals and 4 bonus points’ means that the budget midfielder has better returns than every midfielder in the City squad. Could be an inspired pick for the next two home fixtures against the Toon and a Callum Wilson-less Bournemouth.

Kevin De Bruyne (MCI) – 10.2 million: Steadily growing pace in the City squad, De Bruyne has seen action in 3 BPL games, with returns in his last 2. Goals against West Ham and Spurs in losing efforts is the least the club will expect, given that his fee surpasses Sterling’s. Our pick for a direct replacement for Yaya, given that you’ve the extra money in the bank.

Jesus Navas (MCI) – 6.4 million: Not guaranteed a starting birth anymore, the Spaniard has, like many FPL players predicted, had an indifferent but most disappointing season thus far. 1 assist and 4 clean sheet points is the bar for Navas. He’ll unlikely to start, but if he does, he could cause Haidara all sorts of trouble. Not worth the gamble.

Fernando (MCI) – 4.9 million: Will start alongside his fellow Brazilian in the middle park, most likely with a specific plan to counter the threat of Gini Wijnaldum. If you’ve only 3 City players to pick from, you’re not going to pick Fernando under any circumstance, even if he scores five against the Toon. 99.9% of the FPL agree.

Samir Nasri (MCI) – 6.9 million: The fringe French midfielder has only seen 225 minutes of action this season, but has a goal and an assist to his name for his efforts. 0.6% have selected Nasri. We’re wondering how many of those squads are second accounts, inactive players and general joke teams.

Still doubting what to do? If you’re one of the Yaya massive, don’t be concerned. Little niggling injuries like this come and go. The international break is your friend. The biggest plus of all is that the 2015/16 season has proven highly effective at uprooting some great FPL players. So what if Toure isn’t performing? You’ve got a bucket full of options.

One of the Hype Team, the SweatyMongoose (Phil), has this exact dilemma, and for now he’s leaving Yaya in his fifteen. We’re just not convinced that taking a points deduction is worth taking the City midfielder out. Most FPL players are experiencing low scoring weeks, so the thought of taking a hit is not just a feasible option if you’re looking to stay competitive in mini-leagues and the overall global rankings.

One thing we know for sure is that Man City are most likely going to win tomorrow. Newcastle just haven’t performed at the Etihad. But without Kompany and Yaya, there is a glimmer of hope that Steve McLaren can mastermind another loss to City’s squad. A team that two weeks ago looked near impervious.

If you’re looking for some last minute reading in the FPL, we’ve had our Weekly Hype for GW8 up for days. So take a look through our galleries and our Scout Picks, with players we’re tipping to do well this coming weekend.

All aboard.


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