With Liverpool’s Boxing Day game against Leeds postponed, FPL managers will be scratching their heads as they work out how to field a competitive XI after Christmas.
The Reds boast three of the top four FPL points scorers in Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold, but it is the Egyptian who will be most sorely missed.
Selected by more than 70 per cent of all FPL bosses, here are three ways for Salah backers to approach gameweek 19.
Salah is the most expensive player in the game at £13.1m – one option is to use those funds to bring in another premium attacker.
None have demonstrated the ability of Salah this season, but a couple have the potential: Raheem Sterling and Son Heung-min.
At £10.6m Sterling has failed to live up to his goalscoring exploits of recent years, but has managed three goals in his last three appearances, contributing 26 FPL points in that time.
The England forward is owned by around two per cent of managers at present, making him a potential differential, while he ranks fifth for Threat among midfielders this term.
With Leicester and Brentford up next for league leaders Manchester City, might he make a worthy Salah replacement?
Son is another who has demonstrated an ability to score and assist heavily in recent seasons, and with Tottenham’s form improving under Antonio Conte he could prove a wise investment.
At £10.3m the midfielder has scored three and created one in his last three league games, accumulating more than 100 Threat in that time.
Spurs, meanwhile, are undefeated in five games and in GW18 took a point against an in-form Liverpool side – they face Crystal Palace, Southampton and Watford next in a favourable festive fixture run.
Spread the wealth
Such is Salah’s (justifiably) high price tag that an FPL manager could afford a couple of overperforming affordable midfielders if they were to sell their star player.
Leicester’s James Maddison springs to mind – at £6.8m the midfielder has scored three and assisted four in his four most recent games.
The England man has earned double figures points returns for his backers in three of those four games – with City and Liverpool up next. However, he will have to be at his best to have an impact.
Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli has more favourable fixtures over the festive period, with Norwich and Wolves up next for the Gunners.
The Brazilian costs just £5.3m and has scored four and assisted two in his last six games, scoring 15 FPL points against Leeds thanks to a brace in a 4-1 win.
Staying in London, Chelsea’s Mason Mount looks to have found his shooting boots once more with four goals in as many games between gameweeks 14 and 17.
With Aston Villa and Brighton up next, and a price tag of £7.7m, might he prove a better investment than Salah over Christmas?
If you don’t want to part with this season’s stand-out player however, you could always keep him on the bench in the hope that Liverpool’s GW20 fixture goes ahead.
After all, it is unlikely anybody will be able to match Salah at present – the 29-year-old has 15 goals and 10 assists so far, earning double figures points returns on seven separate occasions.
At 9.4 points per match he would normally be the first name on any FPL manager’s team sheet – he has 44 points more than his nearest rival.
Five goals clear at the top of the scoring charts and two assists clear in the race for the Playmaker of the Season race, can anyone stop Salah, let alone fill his boots?