FPL Gameweek 13 – The Fixtures: Mendy replacements, international break flags, Martial form & Everton options

Benjamin Mendy’s absence may lead to a reshuffling of squads, as FPL bosses choose between premium replacements and reinvestment through budget purchases. The international break has left a litter of yellow flags though both Sergio Aguero and Anthony Martial have been pictured in training, while Everton are one of several sides with favourable upcoming schedules.

GW13 FIXTURES

Saturday 24th November

Brighton vs Leicester (15:00)

Everton vs Cardiff (15:00)

Fulham vs Southampton (15:00)

Man Utd vs Crystal Palace (15:00)

Watford vs Liverpool (15:00)

West Ham vs Man City (15:00)

Spurs vs Chelsea (17:30)

Sunday 25th November

Bournemouth vs Arsenal (13:30)

Wolves vs Huddersfield (16:00)

Monday 26th November

Burnley vs Newcastle (20:00)

ON THE MENDY

The hot topic of this year’s final international break has been replacements for the injured Ben Mendy (£6.4m). The Manchester City left-back underwent knee surgery last week. While no timeline has been set on his recovery, owners will need to move the Frenchman on for the time being.

Team-mates Aymeric Laporte (£6.0m) and John Stones (£5.3m) are both popular switches, considering Pep Guardiola’s team have the league’s best defensive record. City have been breached just five times this season – once at Molineux as Willy Boly (£4.5m) got away with a handball to score and four times at the Etihad, including two penalties and a collector’s item from Jon Stankovic (£3.9m) as the champions beat Huddersfield 6-1.

Laporte has yet to miss a league game this season, while Stones has started each fixture from GW8. The Frenchman has somehow dodged an international call-up so far this campaign, while Guardiola’s comments on the centre-back are encouraging from a pitch-time perspective. The manager said: “He gives us an alternative for the build-up, quicker and faster than the other ones who are right-footed because he is left-footed playing on the left side. But it is not just the left, his attention defensively, winning duels, that is why. At the end I can move the squad but when one player plays good, good and good, it gives me confidence so I give you another opportunity. It is not complicated.”

While Stones’ minutes over the last five gameweeks are encouraging, he has more competition from fellow right-footed central defenders in Vincent Kompany (£5.2m) and Nicolas Otamendi (£6.1m). The Citizens play West Ham (a), Bournemouth (H), Watford (a), Chelsea (a), Everton (H) and Crystal Palace (H) over the next six gameweeks.

In attack, the 52.7%-owned Sergio Aguero (£11.4m) is still the go-to City asset. The striker has been ever-present in Guardiola’s league starting XI and a 90-minute showing in GW11 suggests the foot injury which saw his pitch time reduced may no longer be an issue. Reports that a hamstring problem curtailed Aguero’s Manchester derby outing in GW12 are unconfirmed but the forward, who was again not picked in the Argentina squad, trained on Monday night.

Raheem Sterling (£11.2m) has outscored Aguero by 29 to 22 over the last three gameweeks. The attacker was rotated to the bench in GW9 following the previous international break. Sterling was an unused substitute in England’s friendly win over the USA last Thursday, while he played the full 90 in a 2-1 Nations League win against Croatia last Sunday. In contrast, the midfielder logged 168 minutes for his country over two competitive fixtures between GW8 and GW9.

Mendy’s absence could also be good news for Leroy Sane (£9.2m). The German, who netted twice for his national side over 157 minutes this break, started all three games in the defender’s absence between GW5 and GW7. He racked up 21 points over those fixtures, while adding a further 21 in two other starts since then against Burnley (GW9) and Southampton (GW11).

Riyad Mahrez (£8.6m) – who scored twice in Algeria’s sole fixture against Togo last weekend – has totalled 26 points in three starts over the past four gameweeks, as Guardiola’s options in the wide attacking areas continue to make FPL selection difficult.

If Kevin De Bruyne (£9.7m) remains out for a further spell, both David Silva (£8.6m) and Bernardo Silva (£7.6m) present further routes into City’s ferocious attack (36 goals scored in 12 gameweeks). The Spaniard (28) leads the Portuguese (21) in points over the last four fixtures. Bernardo was withdrawn from the Portugal squad with injury, however, to add to the growing list of yellow and red flags currently taking over the FPL website. Ilkay Gundogan (£5.4m) returned from injury to score against Manchester United in GW12 and could offer budget returns in the short term.

EVERTON OF OPTIONS

Another popular Mendy replacement is fellow left-back Lucas Digne (£4.8m). The French defender ousted Leighton Baines back in GW4 and has started every league tie under Marco Silva since then.

The Toffees have kept three clean sheets since Digne’s introduction to the starting XI, at home to Fulham and Crystal Palace along with a slightly fortuitous shut-out away to Chelsea in GW12. The full-back’s only assist came on his first start against Huddersfield, though only Watford’s £4.8m defender Jose Holebas (100) has put in more crosses than Digne (83) so far. The Frenchman has taken 24 corners, second to £7.5m midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson (42) – who is a GW13 injury doubt – in the Everton ranks. Digne leads Siggy on corner-taking duties since GW9, hitting 17 of an available 25.

Digne has also laid on four big chances for his team-mates over the season and leads defenders for opportunities created (11) across the last four gameweeks. Michael Keane (£4.9m) presents another budget option as Kurt Zouma (£5.0m) and Yerry Mina (£5.4m) look set to battle it out for the other Everton centre-back spot.

Digne played 90 minutes last Friday as France lost 2-0 away to Holland and was an unused substitute for the 1-0 home win over Uruguay last night. Everton take on Cardiff (H), Liverpool (a), Newcastle (H), Watford (H), Man City (a) and Spurs (H) in the next six.

Having a rotation option for a Toffees defender looks a must, with the fixtures improving again from GW19. Richarlison (£6.9m) scored a brace at home to Brighton in GW11 as he continues to adapt to the centre-forward role and could be a decent captain punt at home to the Bluebirds this weekend.

Marco Silva’s first-choice striker played 23 minutes for Brazil against Uruguay last Friday and scored a Willian (£7.4m) assisted header in his country's 1-0 win against Cameroon yesterday.

MARTIAL ARTS

Man United left-back Luke Shaw (£5.0m) would present another Mendy-plus-cash switch for FPL managers but is suspended for the GW13 visit of Crystal Palace. Jose Mourinho’s men take on Southampton (a), Arsenal (H), Fulham (H), Liverpool (a) and Cardiff (a) to GW18.

That fixture list further promotes the prospect of FPL’s form player Anthony Martial (£7.6m). The Frenchman, who withdrew from his national squad with a groin injury, was pictured in training yesterday. The Red Devils also host Young Boys in the Champions League next Tuesday.

Now owned by 12.1% of managers, Martial has scored at least seven points in each of the last five gameweeks. That period includes three double-figure hauls, with the winger amassing 54 of his 58-point total since GW8.

Martial has netted six goals from just 14 shots so far this season, with nine of those efforts hitting the target. While the midfielder's conversion rate is likely unsustainable, his form is extremely hard to ignore at the moment and he could still provide value at his current price.

The United star is also in the penalty-taking mix at Old Trafford, as he slotted home a spot-kick won by Romelu Lukaku (£10.7m) against Man City in GW12 with Paul Pogba (£8.0m) absent. Potential investors will still want a fitness update but Martial’s acquisition has been made simpler for any Mendy owners willing to downgrade in defence.

DISMANTLING THE RAM

For those upgrading in defence, Marcos Alonso (£7.1m) and Andy Robertson (£6.5m) are the standout premium defenders. The Chelsea defender (86) is FPL’s top-scoring player, six points ahead of Aguero and four in front of team-mate Eden Hazard (£11.3m). The Blues face Spurs (a), Fulham (H), Wolves (a), Man City (H), Brighton (a) and Leicester (H) in a mixed schedule over the next six. Alonso was not called up to the Spain squad this time around, while Hazard played 165 minutes for Belgium.

Robertson, who logged 180 minutes for Scotland over the break, has racked up 71 points so far. Liverpool’s next six fixtures are against Watford (a), Everton (H), Burnley (a), Bournemouth (a), Man Utd (H) and Wolves (a). Those first four games in particular look ripe for returns at both ends of the pitch, with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.1m) another option to replace Mendy and free up some cash. The right-back bagged a first England goal against the USA last Thursday in a 90-minute showing.

TAA has been selected by Jurgen Klopp for the last three gameweeks in a row after being rotated in GW8 and GW9. With midweek fixtures coming up in GW15, centre-backs Dejan Lovren (£4.9m) and Joel Matip (£4.9m) will continue to threaten the pitch time of Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez (£5.1m).

Virgil van Dijk (£6.0m), with 180 minutes and a goal under his belt for Holland, has started every league game so far. Alberto Moreno (£4.2m) does not provide huge competition for Robertson but did deputise for the Scotsman in GW10, something ‘Robbo’ owners and Liverpool defence investors will hope is a rarity.

Reds attacker Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) is set to battle it out with Aguero to top the captaincy selections for GW13. Liverpool have a pivotal Champions League tie away to PSG next Wednesday, though Egypt played just one fixture over the international break. Man City travel to Lyon on the Tuesday following GW13, though have qualification more-or-less wrapped up with a six-point lead on third place in Group F.

NUNO DOS TRES

Having avoided any lengthy injuries for the first 10 gameweeks, three Wolves first-teamers have been in the wars since. Diogo Jota (£5.9m) missed GW11 with a thigh problem, Matt Doherty (£4.9m) could not answer Ireland’s call after suffering a facial injury in GW12 and Jonny (£4.5m) is now sidelined after sustaining a partial knee ligament tear on Spain duty. The left wing-back is expected to miss more than a month of action.

Both Doherty and Jonny were viable budget options to bring in for Mendy, as Nuno’s men face a run of games against Huddersfield (H), Cardiff (a), Chelsea (H), Newcastle (a), Bournemouth (H) and Liverpool (H). The Irishman’s owners and potential investors will be keen for an availability update before the weekend, while Ruben Vinagre (£4.3m) is expected to take Jonny’s place in Wolves’ 3-4-3 set-up.

Raul Jimenez (£5.8m) was back in England on Monday after playing 90 minutes for Mexico against Argentina on Friday night. With the captaincy choice for GW13 looking tougher than usual, the budget striker represents an armband punt against a Terriers outfit that have conceded 14 of their 22 goals on the road.

BUDGET BUSTERS

Newcastle defenders represent another avenue of reinvestment for that Mendy money. DeAndre Yedlin (£4.5m) offers the greatest security of starts in a backline with two clean sheets in the last four, conceding twice over that period. The Magpies did ride their luck in GW11 as Watford failed to convert any of the five big chances they created at St James’ Park.

GW13’s differential captain pick Salomon Rondon (£5.7m) has the chance to show that his GW12 brace was no flash in the pan at Burnley on Monday. Rafa Benitez’s side then gear up for games against West Ham (H), Everton (a), Wolves (H), Huddersfield (a) and Fulham (H) in a relatively kind schedule to GW18.

West Ham are another club with a potentially profitable fixture run following the visit of Man City this weekend, though an early concession to Huddersfield in GW12 was not the best audition for Fabian Balbuena (£4.4m) and co. Leicester pair Ben Chilwell (£5.1m) and Ricardo Pereira (£5.0m) are further defensive candidates, though the Foxes’ fixtures take a turn for the worse in GW16.

For Mendy owners – who can expect a price fall imminently – the final decision on who to bring in is yours. After assessing all of the available options, managers must select the player they feel is the best option for their team.

Discussed ahead of GW12: West Ham, Leicester, Brighton, Cardiff, Chelsea, Spurs