This article is part of our FPL Barometer series.
In addition to depriving fantasy Premier League managers of the action they desire, international breaks are of significance for several other reasons. These disruptions in the Premiership's arduous schedule can also empower players to find their form while playing with their national teams, allow Premiership managers to rethink their lineup choices and, in some cases, present us with injury-related developments that create additional fantasy value. The latest break was no different, as several top Premier League players put forth notable performances, while Manchester City's Sergio Aguero was lost to injury after erupting for five goals in his last league appearance. Today we will discuss the fallout from the latest round of internationals as it pertains to this weekend's FPL games.
Pelle has recently come alive after a slow start to the season, scoring a brace against Manchester United which he followed with a one-goal, two-assist performance against Chelsea that brought his total to four goals and two assists in his last five league matches. The Italian's form carried over to international duty, as he netted the game-winning goal against Norway on Tuesday. Saturday's home matchup against free-flowing Liecester City should allow Pelle plenty of chances to continue his fine run of form, while the matchups with Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Sunderland on the horizon further add to his season-long appeal.
Arnautovic has shown flashes of FPL brilliance at times this season, including an excellent debut in which he scored a goal, fired off five shots, provided three crosses and drew three fouls. The Austrian failed to repeat that performance for over a month, but he has recently regained his form, with three goals and two assists in his last five starts for club and country after Monday's strike versus Lichtenstein. Arnautovic is a skillful, physically gifted player who thrives on confidence, and his recent exploits will have him soaring into Sunday's matchup with a struggling Swansea City side. Arnautovic's price has dropped off a bit after his dip in form, and he could prove to be an excellent bargain for as long as this form continues.
Bony is a player whose fantasy value will receive a massive boost after Aguero suffered a hamstring strain during international duty last week. While a large portion of Aguero's FPL production was a direct result of his immense talent, playing in front of a supporting cast that includes David Silva (ankle), Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and the indomitable Yaya Toure should be enough for many strikers of lesser ability to see consistent scoring chances. Bony, a former 16-goal scorer with Swansea, will now have the luxury of starting at the head of the City attack for roughly the next month, which will include matches against Bournemouth, Norwich and Aston Villa. The Ivorian's price is relatively depressed after playing sparingly for much of the season, making him an excellent short-term play.
Bertrand was an FPL force a season ago, when he played his part as a key figure in Southampton's second-ranked back line while providing plenty of offensive support from the flank. This season, the 26-year-old began the season on the sideline due to injury, and he has hardly resembled the breakout player from last year. In two matches since making his return, Bertrand has attempted one shot and provided just one cross even as the Saints have outscored their opponents 6-2 during that time. This indicates that the Englishman is playing less of a role on offense than he has in the past, allowing the club's deep attacking corps more room to operate. What's more, Southampton's defense isn't nearly as formidable as the aforementioned unit from last season, which limits Bertrand to a mere matchup play due to his current lack of involvement at the other end of the pitch.
Sterling was expected to be an impact addition to an already explosive Manchester City attack this season, but he has failed to make a significant impact early on. Although he showed some promise when he followed his first assist of the season with his first goal the following week, the speedy winger has failed to factor into a goal since then and has little more to show from his first seven league matches other than those two contributions. Perhaps more worrisome is the fact that he has failed to provide more than three crosses in a match this season, cutting down on a steady source of his fantasy points that provide a high floor for owners in formats that count such statistics. Sterling will now have an opportunity to step up, with several injuries to the Citizens' attacking corps, but he has failed to live up to his price tag through nearly a quarter of the season.
Although he scored 11 goals in just 11 starts for Newcastle last season, Cisse's production has failed to translate over to this season. The Senegalese striker buried a crucial goal on opening day in a draw with Southampton, but he has failed to score in every match since then and has been dropped from the first team in recent weeks, as Ayoze Perez and Aleksander Mitrovic have started together up top. Cisse has proven himself a capable goal-scorer in the past when given the minutes, but he is no longer the fixture in the Magpies' attack that he once was. He could reportedly return to the starting lineup this weekend as Norwich City visit St. James' Park, but FPL owners with an eye on his return to form will also need to have an eye on the pregame lineups.