RSL Fantasy: Five replacements for injured Mitrovic

The announcement by Al Hilal of the six-week absence of their star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic because of a hamstring injury came as a blow not just for the Roshn Saudi League leaders and their supporters, but also for the 50 percent of RSL Fantasy managers who included the Serbian in their teams.

A mainstay for half of the 177,000 managers in the game, Mitrovic was second only to Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of total points amassed this season. At the time of his injury, he was one of only two players to have hit 100 points, thanks to 12 goals and six assists since the game was launched in November.

With seven more matchweeks to go in the 2023-24 season, here are five alternatives to consider spending those SAR 12.0M on, as you chase valuable points in the race for the grand prizes worth SAR 500,000 and the weekly prizes of iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Abderazzak Hamdallah (Al Ittihad – 9.6)

The Moroccan has been a goal-scoring machine since his arrival to the RSL five years ago, and this season has not been any different. Hamdallah is likely to be one of the key beneficiaries of Mitrovic’s absence, with only four goals separating him from the Serbian in the league charts.

The Al Ittihad ace has delivered attacking returns in seven of his past outings, including four braces. Currently sitting at 93 points, Hamdallah is likely to be the next player to hit triple digits in RSL Fantasy, and his ownership is still at a fairly reasonable 15% - which is set to rise quickly in coming weeks.

He will also be motivated by his pursuit of the RSL all-time top scorer accolade. 

Feras Al Buraikan (Al Ahli – 8.0)

After a slow start to life at Al Ahli following a summer move from Al Fateh, A Buraikan has flourished in a flexible attacking role, often swapping positions with Roberto Firmino and finding spaces in opposition areas.

The highest-scoring Saudi in the league with 14 goals, he is likely to overtake last season's tally of 18, and with his side’s final eight games featuring only one opponent out of the current top seven, the 23-year-old is poised for a strong finish to the campaign. Al Buraikan is currently owned by only 10.5% of RSL Fantasy managers.

Fashion Sakala (Al Fayha – 8.5)

Not many players in the RSL offer as much differential value as Sakala. The Al Fayha forward is owned by just 1.7% of RSL Fantasy managers, yet has delivered big hauls in recent weeks, with double-digit points in two of his past five matches.

With 11 goals to his name this campaign, Sakala is set to overtake Ronnie Fernandez’s record of 13 goals in 2017-18 as the highest scorer for Al Fayha in a single season and, having recently served a one-match suspension, he’s had his card reset. 

Saleh Al Shehri (Al Hilal – 4.2)

Al Hilal have been breaking all sorts of records this season, most recently surpassing their own mark of 72 goals in a single RSL campaign. The runaway leaders are now at 79 goals for the season, and are unlikely to stop soon.

At present, Al Shehri stands out as the direct replacement for Mitrovic in Jorge Jesus’ plans, and he’s already shown his quality with a goal in the 3-0 win over Al Okhdood in Matchweek 26.

Priced at just 4.2, transferring Al Shehri into your team could serve a dual purpose, delivering points while also freeing up funds to upgrade other positions in your squad. What's more, keeping it within Al Hilal could be a win-win situation.

Karl Toko Ekambi (Al Ettifaq – 7.2)

Starting the season at relegation-strugglers Abha, Toko Ekambi has blossomed following a January move to Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq, where he replaced Swedish forward Robin Quaison.

The Cameroonian winger has completed the 90 minutes in each of Al Ettifaq’s past seven matches and has delivered attacking returns in three of his past four. Owned by only 3.1% of RSL Fantasy managers, Ekambi has favourable fixtures ahead, with only two of the top seven coming up in the remainder of the season.