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MX News Update 2024

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How long Bruno Fernandes will be out and 5 FPL substitutions

Fantasy Premier League managers will be hoping for a positive update from Erik ten Hag on Bruno Fernandes’ injury after the Manchester United captain missed Monday’s thrashing at Crystal Palace.

Fernandes was not included in Ten Hag’s matchday squad at Selhurst Park and his teammates struggled without him, losing 4-0.

The 29-year-old has been an almost ever-present for United in the Premier League this season. He started all but two of his 35 games and had not missed a league match due to injury in four and a half years. club until Monday.

More than 100,000 FPL bosses had bought the Portugal international before doubts were raised over his fitness in preparation for United’s double matchweek against Arsenal and Newcastle.

Here’s the latest on Fernandes’ fitness and five potential FPL replacements if he’s ruled out of Gameweek 37.

How long is Bruno Fernandes out?

Ten Hag admitted Fernandes suffered the injury during United’s FA Cup semi-final win over Coventry and was seen with a band on his wrist in the subsequent match against Burnley.

Ten Hag hinted that the Portuguese playmaker could recover in time for the match against Palace, but ultimately he was unable to play.

“After the match we had a problem with Bruno,” Ten Hag said last Thursday.

“He is a doubt for Monday, we all know Bruno, never rule him out for any match. He will do his best to be available.”

The extent of the injury is unclear but it should be debilitating as Fernandes has been in exemplary fitness since joining United from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.

According to the football statistics website Transfer market, Fernandes has missed just two of United’s competitive games due to injury or illness.

Ten Hag will address the media again on Friday ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Arsenal, where he will hopefully provide an update on Fernandes’ condition.

5 potential FPL replacements for Fernandes

Until we learn more about the nature of Fernandes’ injury, he’s probably worth keeping in the FPL for United’s double matchweek if you already have him, but perhaps not worth buying if you thinking about doing that.

There are plenty of excellent options, but it’s wise to focus on those who are playing twice in Gameweek 37. The clubs that have a double gameweek are: Brighton, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle and Tottenham.

The most obvious replacement for those clubs is Phil Foden (£8.4 million). The City midfielder has missed three of his side’s previous five games but has been brilliant when he has played, scoring 41 points in his last three appearances.

With three games remaining, Foden has already enjoyed the most productive Premier League campaign of his career with 16 goals and eight assists from 32 games. That form led to Foden being named the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year last week.

Anthony Gordon (£6.4m) is another obvious target due to his phenomenal performances for Newcastle. The winger has scored an impressive 10 goals and 16 assists in 33 games this season and has a promising game ahead of him.

The only caveat to buying Gordon is that two of Newcastle’s remaining four games are away from home and he has been much more productive at St James’ Park. The England international has earned 131 FPL points in home games, compared to just 44 on the road.

Investing in Tottenham assets may seem counterproductive given how poor their recent performances have been, but Son Heung-min (£9.9m) is always worth considering. A double matchweek against Burnley (h) and City (h), a team he has a great record against, seems reasonable for his FPL prospects.

Son’s teammate Richarlison (£6.8m) looks an excellent difference this week after coming off the bench to score a goal and provide an assist in last weekend’s 4-2 defeat at Anfield. That cameo will certainly lead to a start against Burnley on Saturday.

Everyone has Cole Palmer (£6.2m), but hardly anyone has got their hands on their Chelsea team-mate Noni Madueke (£5.3 million). The winger is owned by just 0.7 percent of managers, but has managed 15 and 13 points respectively in the past two gameweeks.

Mauricio Pochettino has certainly been impressed with Madueke’s performances and called him ‘great’ after Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Spurs. It seems like an excellent differential for the run-up.