Loading scores...
Season Preview

World Cup Hangover

by Jeremy Spitzberg
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Below is the player list, from the Premier League site, of each team's World Cup participants. I've updated it as I could to reflect transfers to and from the clubs. More importantly, for fantasy managers, is which of those players may not be available for their clubs in week one due to extended holidays, fitness concerns, or injuries picked up on international duty. Let's take a closer look.


Thomas Vermaelen (Belgium), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere (both England), Mathieu Debuchy, Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny (all France), Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski (all Germany), Santi Cazorla (Spain), Joel Campbell (Costa Rica), Alexis Sanchez (Chile)

Arsene Wenger has already ruled his German trio out of Arsenal's opening match against Crystal Palace. With Vermaelen a transfer target for Barcelona, new signing Calumn Chambers may be pressed into service alongside Koscielny. While Campbell and Sanchez have been praised for their readiness, Olivier Giroud's fitness is a doubt. The Frenchman faded down the strech last season, and with the World Cup, didn't get the break he desperately needed. Sanchez could play at center forward, making him a very tempting, if exspensive, fantasy option. A cheaper differntial could be Yaya Sanogo, if he gets the nod.

Aston Villa

Ron Vlaar (Netherlands), Brad Guzan (United States)

Vlaar may not even be at the club in two-weeks time, and Villa are giving time to their bevy of young center backs in pre-season.


Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois (all Belgium), Oscar, Ramires, Willian (all Brazil), Gary Cahill (England), Andre Schurrle (Germany), John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses, Kenneth Omeruo (all Nigeria), Cesar Azpilicueta, Fernando Torres, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas (all Spain), Christian Atsu (Ghana), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)

Chelsea's Spanish stars, new and returning, will be ready for the season to start and hoping to put the World Cup behind them for good. The Brazilian trio will want the same closure, but may have to wait, having just returned to training along with Germany's Andre Schurrle. Everyone else is back with the club and being eased through pre-season commitments.

Crystal Palace

Mile Jedinak (Australia)

No worries here.


Kevin Mirallas, Romelu Lukaku (both Belgium), Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley, Phil Jagielka (all England), Tim Howard (United States)

The Belgian pair have yet to make a pre-season appearance for the Toffees. Both should be available, with Lukaku a near-certainty, given the club's lack of options at forward.

Hull City

Nikica Jelavic (Croatia), Maynor Figueroa (Honduras)

Neither player will be considered for Hull's pre-season friendlies or their early European matches. However, they should be available once the Premier League season starts.

Leicester City

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

Mahrez is back with the club, and has already scored in pre-season. However, Nigel Pearson hinted that he may be used sparingly at the start of the season.


Simon Mignolet (Belgium), Dejan Lovren (Croatia), Adam Lallana, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert (all England), Mamadou Sakho (France), Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast), Sebastian Coates (both Uruguay)

Adam Lallana, and possibly Daniel Sturridge, will be the only absentees come kick-off, but that's due to injury, not international duty.

Manchester City

Sergio Aguero, Martin Demichelis, Pablo Zabaleta (all Argentina), Vincent Kompany (Belgium), Edin Dzeko (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Fernandinho (Brazil), Joe Hart, James Milner (both England), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast), David Silva (Spain), Bacary Sagna (France)

City have concerns over a number of their World Cup stars. The Argentines, along with Kompany, Sagna, and Fernandinho just returned to training and are doubts for the match at Newcastle United. The others should be available. While City have enough options in attack, the worry is on defence. At right back, both Zabaleta and Sagna are doubts. James Milner could be drafted in as cover. In the center of defence, both of last year's starters are doubtful. That may provide opportunities for Dedryck Boyata and Matija Nastasić, but it also would devalue City's defence for fantasy purposes - and in real life.

Manchester United

Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj (both Belgium), Antonio Valencia (Ecuador), Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck, Luke Shaw (all England), Shinji Kagawa (Japan), Javier Hernandez (Mexico), Robin van Persie (Netherlands), Nani (Portugal), David de Gea, Juan Mata (both Spain)

The big news is that Robin van Persie has been ruled out of United's opening fixture. That puts the goal-scoring burden (opportunity?) on Rooney, Mata, and whomever Louis van Gaal chooses to add as his third attacker.

Newcastle United

Moussa Sissoko (both France), Cheick Tiote (Ivory Coast), Tim Krul (Netherlands), Shola Ameobi (Nigeria), Daryl Janmaat (Netherlands)

Janmaat was the biggest doubt, having just signed for the club, but Alan Pardew is confident that he'll be available to face Manchester City.

Queens Park Rangers

Suk Young-Yun (South Korea), Loic Remy (France), Stephane Mbia (Cameroon), Julio Cesar (Brazil)

QPR's doubts come from contract squabbles, not World Cup play, with Remy and Cesar on their way out of the club, should buyers be found.


Maya Yoshida (Japan), Gaston Ramirez (Uruguay), Morgan Schneiderlin (France)

Unless Liverpool or Spurs come calling again, or Schneiderlin's transfer-related "injury" continues, they'll be available.

Stoke City

Asmir Begovic (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Wilson Palacios (Honduras), Peter Odemwingie (Nigeria), Geoff Cameron (United States)

No worries here.


Jozy Altidore (United States)

Back with the club, but what is his future?

Swansea City

Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast), Sung Yueng-Ki (South Korea)

Despite being linked to a host of clubs, Bony is still with Swansea, and will be looking to pick up where he left off last season.

Tottenham Hotspur

Michel Vorm (Netherlands), Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria), Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen (all Belgium), Paulinho (Brazil), Hugo Lloris (France), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)

Spurs' Belgian contingent is back in training this week, and should be available to face West Ham, unless any Southampton players are brought in to take their places.

West Bromwich Albion

Ben Foster (England), Diego Lugano (Uruguay)

No World Cup-related issues here. Other issues abound, however.

West Ham United

Enner Valencia (Ecuador)

Valencia won't be fit to face Spurs as he works to build up his fitness. West Ham are looking to bring in a striker to cover but it may be our old friend, Carlton Cole, who gets the nod. Mauro Zarate could also come in from the flanks to play up top.

Jeremy Spitzberg
Jeremy Spitzberg writes about fantasy soccer (football) and is a Rotoworld contributor. You can find him on Twitter @JSpitzberg.