Fantasy Premier League Dilemma as Aston Villa and Newcastle United Postponed

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Newcastle postponed
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Trezeguet of Aston Villa gives a thumbs up to the bench before being substituted with a head injury during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Aston Villa at London Stadium on November 30, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images )

FPL managers face another Fantasy Premier League Dilemma this week with Aston Villa versus Newcastle United postponed due to an ongoing coronavirus outbreak at the Magpies. Many FPL managers have multiple assets from the two sides and are now facing a dilemma about what to do with them? Read on to find out the best course of action about this issue.

Fantasy Premier League Dilemma: Aston Villa and Newcastle United Postponed

Aston Villa versus Newcastle United Postponed

The match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United was originally scheduled for the evening of Friday, December 4 at 20:00 BST. It was the opening fixture of gameweek 11. However, the match between Burnley and Everton on Saturday will start the gameweek now.

The Current Situation

After four players had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier, Newcastle United went for additional testing on Sunday. Unfortunately, a large number of positive tests came back from those tests.

In a statement, the Premier League said: “Following a Premier League Board meeting today, Newcastle United’s fixture at  Aston Villa, due to be played at 20:00 GMT, Friday 4 December, has been postponed.

“Newcastle lodged a request with the Premier League to rearrange the game following a significant increase in COVID-19 cases at the club, which resulted in Public Health England North East (PHE) advising that their training facilities remain closed.

“The Premier League Board agreed, as a consequence, that the club are unable to train and adequately and safely prepare for their match on Friday.

“The decision has been taken in consultation with Newcastle United and  Aston Villa, and following extensive consultation with PHE and Premier League medical advisors, with the health of players and staff the priority.

“The Premier League wishes those with COVID-19 a safe and speedy recovery and will rearrange the postponed fixture against Aston Villa in due course.”

Possible Rearrange Date

At the moment, it is very difficult to say when this match might be rescheduled. Both Aston Villa and Newcastle have a free midweek fixture slot in the week beginning Monday, December 7.  Tuesday, December 8 or Wednesday, December 9 offer possible dates to reschedule this fixture in. If that were to be the case, then it would remain in Gameweek 11.

However, it is unlikely that the situation will improve that quickly. It all depends on the next round of testing at Newcastle United.

Fantasy Premier League Dilemma: Should Aston Villa and Newcastle United Assets be sold?

Jack Grealish, Callum Wilson, Emiliano Martínez, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Ollie Watkins are the key FPL assets with significant ownership. Many FPL managers have three players from  Aston Villa in their side. Jack Grealish in particular is a very popular choice with 42% ownership. After Callum Wilson‘s goal last week many brought him in. So, the postponement has caused a lot of headaches that is for sure.

It definitely depends on the makeup of each particular squad. Those with three or four playing options on the bench can easily bench the Villa and Newcastle assets. However, many FPL managers are holding Tyrick Mitchell. The youngster has lost his starting spot and doesn’t look like getting it back this week. Then, there are players at risk of rotation like João Cancelo to consider. Many do not have a backup keeper to Emiliano Martínez as well. Accepting zero points for a player from the outset is not easy. Probably one should use the free transfer to change one of the assets in question. Taking hits is never nice and since it’s only for one week, it is best to avoid.

Replacements for Jack Grealish

With the fixtures this week, one can make a strong case to bring in Riyad Mahrez or  Diogo Jota for Grealish. It is true that Grealish is a great player and has produced a lot of points this season but there is a chance to get some points from Mahrez or Jota this week itself. Villa will be away at Wolverhampton Wanderers next which is not an easy fixture.

Replacements for the other players

To replace Emiliano Martinez, Edouard Mendy is a great choice although that blocks one of the three Chelsea picks one can make. Alex McCarthy could be a good option as well. For the brave, Illan Meslier provides a fun option too.

For Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa, options include Kyle Walker-Peters, Jannik Vestergaard, Tariq Lamptey and Stuart Dallas. If more units are available, one can go for Reece James also.

To replace Ollie Watkins and Callum Wilson, Patrick Bamford and Che Adams are the best options.

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