Premier League football is back this weekend following the flashing lights and bright colours of the international break.
And while our love for the national team has grown in recent months – thanks to that whirlwind summer romance in Russia – we’re still not overly keen on our fantasy football fun being put on hold so early on in the season.
Still, it’s full-steam ahead for the next few weeks, which means it’s time to think long and hard about your Dream Team line-up.
But we’ve got some bad news for you.
Two very big fantasy football favourites have returned to the daily grind with weekend-ruining injuries.
Spurs duo Hugo Lloris and Dele Alli – who are always rather popular picks and have been selected by 5.3% and 9.4% of you respectively this season – are both out for the clash against Liverpool at Wembley.
But don’t worry, because we’ve picked out some ready-made replacements for you.
Fantasy football: Hugo Lloris replacements
Let’s start with Spurs’ World Cup-winning goalkeeper, who’s had a particularly bad couple of weeks recently.
The Frenchman was fined £50,000 and banned from driving for 20 months after admitting to drink-driving earlier this week, while it looks like he’ll be out of action for ‘several weeks’ with a nasty thigh injury that kept him out of Spurs’ last game against Watford, as well as both of France’s games during the international break.
So if you’re one of the 5.3% who currently have Lloris in your Dream Team, then perhaps you’ll want to replace him with Liverpool’s Alisson instead.
With Spurs missing Alli and possibly Son Heung-min, coupled with Harry Kane’s stuttering form at the moment, he’d fancy himself to pick up a clean-sheet against them this weekend (unless he attempts another Cruyff Turn, that is).
He’s currently boasting 24 points and is just £0.4m pricier than Lloris.
Fancy a left-field option instead?
Southampton’s Alex McCarthy isn’t far off Allison in the points tally, having notched an impressive 19 points so far.
The Saints host Brighton this weekend, before heading off for tricky games against Liverpool, Wolves and Chelsea, as well as Everton in the Carabao Cup.
His recent form hasn’t gone unnoticed, as Gareth Southgate called him up to his England squad.
Fantasy football: Dele Alli replacements
Poor old Spurs will be without Alli this weekend too.
The midfielder – who’s racked up 14 points so far this season – picked up a hamstring injury while playing for England against Spain last week.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “Alli is a bit unlucky, he suffered a small injury after 20 minutes against Spain.
“Disappointed, because we’re going to miss him for this game, and possibly Inter Milan in the Champions League, but it is not a big issue.”
We imagine this is bad news for quite a few of you.
But don’t worry; if you picked Alli in your Dream Team because he’s a goalscoring-midfielder who’ll be playing in Europe this weekend, then maybe all is not lost.
You see, there’s still Brazilian winger Lucas Moura, who’s already been a big hit on Dream Team thanks to his excellent display against Man United a couple of weeks ago.
He’s experienced, has an eye for goal and is £1.5m cheaper than Alli.
We’ve got a left-field replacement for Alli in place too.
How do you fancy Chelsea’s Pedro?
The occasionally peripheral figure at Stamford Bridge has been one of the success stories of the season so far, enjoying plenty of game time under new boss Maurizio Sarri and netting three times so far this season.
The Blues host Cardiff this weekend and travel to Greece to face PAOK on Thursday, so there’s plenty more goal-scoring opportunities on the horizon.
Join the Winners Club this weekend…
Want to show off your fantasy football credentials every weekend? Fancy joining an elite club? Then Dream Team Weekender is just for you – and it’s absolutely free to play.
Simply pick seven players with no budget limitations from the Saturday and Sunday fixtures to be in with a chance of winning a whopping £10k this weekend.
And the best thing about it? If you don’t win, you’ve only got to wait until the following weekend for another shot at the prize money.
Sound like a bit of you? Sign up to play Dream Team Weekender here and join the club.
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