Time to transfer out Salah? Five fantasy football questions answered ahead of Gameweek 20

Liverpool’s Egyptian star has only blanked twice this season - in his last two games. With AFCON fast approaching, is an early transfer worth considering?

The outbreak of COVID-19 in the Premier League has made fantasy football an even more difficult process than it usually is, with injuries and rotation adding to the frustration.

But, with postponements and injuries impossible to predict, all we can do is make the usual decisions - and mistakes - and hope to see those points come pouring in at the weekend.

This week, following Mohammed Salah's score of zero, we discuss whether to transfer out the Liverpool forward, while the form of James Maddison and Harry Kane is catching the eye.

Elsewhere, we explore how Chelsea's defenders have gone from being fantasy heroes to scoring zeroes, and how they can be replaced in the market.

With just days to go until the January transfer window, here's five answers to this week's biggest fantasy football questions.

Is it time to get rid of Salah?

Mo Salah penalty miss vs Leicester Dec21

It was always the plan to remove Mohamed Salah once he departed for the Africa Cup of Nations, but with the Egyptian forward blanking in his last two games, is it actually worth transferring him out earlier than planned?

Well in short, yes. The only game Salah is scheduled to play before leaving for international duty is against Chelsea.

He's only recorded two points in his last two games, with the last match against Leicester being the first time in his career that he failed to register a single point.

A trip to Stamford Bridge is unlikely to bring him much more luck, with Thomas Tuchel's Blues boasting one of the best defences in the league.

A better option would be to look towards an in-form midfielder with favourable fixtures while Salah is away.

Heung-min Son (£10.5m) is one potential replacement. The South Korean forward has racked up 42 points in his last five games, and faces Watford next.

His fixtures do get harder afterwards though, with a visit from Arsenal followed by a trip to Chelsea.

Is Harry Kane's form worth investing in?

Harry Kane applauds fans Spurs vs Southampton Dec21

After picking up the most goals and assists last season, Harry Kane was a fantasy football dream. This season, though, he's been more of a nightmare.

The England captain only managed one goal in his first 15 matches of the season, but he's since hit form, scoring three in his last three to bring in 18 points.

Tottenham look far more dangerous under Antonio Conte, and as they push for a spot in the top four, Kane is definitely worth considering.

We all know what he's capable of, and with Spurs having had multiple games called off in recent weeks, that also means they will benefit from some double gameweeks in the near future.

That's something no one will want to miss out on, meaning his price may even rise from the hefty £12.2million he's already valued at.

So, if you're backing Kane to keep up his scoring form, then my advice is to invest sooner rather than later.

Are Chelsea's defenders losing their grip?

Reece James injured Chelsea Dec21

Chelsea have fallen back in the title race over the last few weeks, and much of that has been down to their defence.

At the start of the season, Thomas Tuchel's side were near enough watertight, so while they didn't score as many as Manchester City or Liverpool, they didn't really need to.

However, that's changed in the last month or so, with the Blues only keeping one clean sheet in their last eight games.

As for fantasy football, it's made owning Chelsea defenders a lot less enticing. Firstly, Ben Chilwell suffered a season-ending injury, and now Reece James hobbled off in their last match against Brighton.

Selected in 35% of teams, James' injury has left plenty of managers needing to look elsewhere for a new defender, but having glanced at Chelsea's defensive stats, that may be a good thing.

So, who should replace James? Well, other than the obvious Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.3m) and Joao Cancelo (£6.9m), Arsenal's Kieran Tierney looks a great asset for your back line.

Kieran Tierney goal celebration Dec21

The Scotsman has been in superb form, racking up 46 points in his last five games. At £4.9million he's a bargain right now, but with Manchester City and Tottenham up next, it may be worth waiting to bring him in.

Another option is Wolves' Romain Saiss (£5m). Bruno Lage's side have been sturdy at the back this season, with their 14 goals conceded ranking second in the league.

They've largely gone under the radar this season and look incredibly hard to break down. It's left Saiss with 75 total points this season, which makes him the ninth-highest scoring defender.

With a misfiring Manchester United up next, followed by Southampton and Brentford, Saiss could keep up his clean sheets points in the following weeks.

Can James Maddison continue his rich vein of form?

James Maddison, Fantasy football, Leicester City

One of the biggest surprises over the last few weeks has been the revival of James Maddison at Leicester.

Having been largely left out of Brendan Rodgers' side last season, he's rediscovered his form this campaign and been superb in the last month.

With four goals and five assists in his last six fixtures, Maddison is topping the form charts with 56 points, taking his total up to 82.

His inactivity beforehand saw his price drop to just £6.9million, and with the 25-year-old in such great form it's hard to ignore him.

But, is he here to stay or are we looking at a purple patch for Leicester's No. 10? Well, with NorwichBurnley and Brighton on the horizon for the Foxes, he shouldn't be slowing down any time soon.

Therefore, if you're in need of a midfielder over January, turn towards the King Power Stadium and Maddison.

Who should be captain this week?

Heung-min Son goal celebration Dec21

If you do decide on kicking out Salah - or even if you don't - picking who gets the armband this week is far from simple (not that it ever is).

There are plenty of big, unpredictable clashes in the Premier League with Liverpool facing Chelsea, while Arsenal and Manchester City go head to head at The Emirates.

With it difficult to anticipate a winner, it's equally as difficult to pick a captain in those games, so it's probably best we look elsewhere.

Tottenham's trip to Watford is a more attractive fixture, with the north London side building momentum and scoring at will.

Both Kane and Son have laced up their shooting boots and are in great form - they're both great options for the captaincy this week.

Leicester also host Norwich, which makes both Jamie Vardy and James Maddison tempting options, while Cristiano Ronaldo can never be dismissed as a goalscorer, even against a resolute Wolves side.

READ MORE: The Analyst: See where your team ranks in a Premier League table of New Year’s Day games

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