International breaks can be a real drag these days. Watching a randomly assembled and poorly directed England team in a series of uninspiring World Cup Qualifiers simply does not generate the same excitement as the hustle and bustle of the Premier League.
These fortnights can be a particularly difficult period for Fantasy Premier League managers, with the extra time between fixtures providing an unwanted opportunity for contemplation and self doubt as they aim to turn the fortunes of Men Behaving Chadli around.
So muddled might a manager’s mind be that the squad is given a complete makeover, possibly enforced by casualties of injury from international exploits (reopening the old fantasy versus country row), and definitely influenced by who is playing Crystal Palace next.
But there is no need to panic, because we have studied the fixtures and form to identify the players that you need in your team for when the Premier League returns on 14 October.
7. Eden Hazard
The Chelsea star's Fantasy Premier League season hasn’t really got going yet because of ankle surgery. As it stands, only 3.3% of managers have the Belgian genius in their team.
That number will start to rise now that Hazard is approaching full fitness - he made his first league start of the season in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat by Manchester City. But quick-thinking managers will be able to get a step ahead of their rivals by picking Hazard in their team now.
Chelsea’s first piece of business upon returning from the international break is the visit of rock-bottom Crystal Palace, who have yet to collect a point or score a single Premier League goal this season. Subsequent games against Watford and Bournemouth, who are both among the worst seven defences in the division, are also opportunities for serious points.
Hazard does not come cheap - his £10.5m price tag makes him the second most expensive midfielder in the game behind Alexis Sanchez - but he is a long-term investment, as well as a guarantee of short-term reward. He was the second-top scorer in the entire game for the 2016-17 campaign, amassing 215 points, again only behind Arsenal’s want-away Chilean.
Sports Journalism graduate. Writer on football, WWE, film and TV. The greatest TV show ever is The West Wing, and the greatest footballer ever is Harry Kane. One of those claims carries greater weight than the other. Disagree? Discuss with me on Twitter @JoeFish08