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FPL tips: What can FPL managers learn from the midweek cup games?

West Bromwich Albion v Harrogate Town – Carabao Cup – Second Round – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: Andrew Couldridge)

While Fantasy Premier League managers mostly look at league performances in their pursuit of players, analysing cup competitions can offer insight too.

With plenty of teams competing in the Carabao Cup in midweek, fringe players were given chances to show what they can offer.

Two forwards who will be hoping they can offer a hand in helping their clubs avoid a relegation battle this season are Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and West Ham’s Sebastien Haller.

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic appeals to the linesman during the Premier League match at Craven Cottage, London

(Clive Rose/PA)

Both featured in the Carabao Cup, and both showed what they can do.

After playing just 23 minutes in West Ham’s 2-0 defeat at Newcastle, Haller, for example, may already be knocking on the door after Michail Antonio blanked in gameweek one, having scored a brace in the Hammers’ 3-0 win against Charlton.

He also completed 90 minutes, allowing David Moyes to get a good look at the Frenchman. With seven goals last term, could he improve on that this season?

Mitrovic meanwhile was left out of Fulham’s starting XI on the first day of the new season, but after his side flopped 3-0 against Arsenal, he could be on for a quick return.

Mitrovic notched the only goal in the Cottagers’ 1-0 win against Ipswich, playing the full 90 as Fulham looked to gain momentum going into their game against Leeds this weekend.

Elsewhere, that rarest of players – a £4m FPL point scorer – may just have emerged in Brighton’s 4-0 win against Portsmouth.

Defender Bernardo played 90 minutes of the Seagulls’ cup win, contributing to the clean sheet and notching a goal himself.

Brighton and Hove Albion’s Bernardo (right) celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game with his teammates during the Carabao Cup second round match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton

(Glyn Kirk/PA)

Backed by 12.8% of managers already, his cup performance may suggest he is worth having as a fifth-choice defender who has potential to get on the pitch in league games.

Finally, many top managers often like to buy as cheap a goalkeeper as possible (£4m) to free up funds, and while they don’t often play in the league, simply knowing they are a nailed-on second choice can make them valuable.

Plenty of these £4m goalkeepers received the backing of their manager to protect the goal in the cup this week, including Aston Villa’s Orjan Nyland, West Brom’s David Button, and Brighton’s Jason Steele.

All three featured in victories for their side, while Steele and Button recorded clean sheets in the process.

And while Nyland conceded once in a 3-1 win against Burton, his very presence on the pitch suggested he may be higher up the goalkeeper chain at Villa than teammate Jed Steer.

Which of these fringe players might just have played their way into your FPL side this week?