Fantasy EPL owners continue the countdown to gameweek 4 as a looming international fixtures provide a respite for the fantasy EPL, but most of they key players will place at least one international match in the coming days.
A bit of transfer buisness as Leroy Lita departs Liberty Stadium on loan:
The 27-year-old passed a medical at St Andrew’s on Thursday and will officially become a Blues player when the loan window opens at the weekend.
Another Swan has earned a call-up:
Swansea defender Jazz Richards has become the latest player to be called up by Wales for their World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Serbia. The Wales Under-21 skipper joins uncapped club-mate Ben Davies as the latest call-ups to Chris Coleman’s injury-hit squad.
The more interesting note from this story on BBC is that Ban Davies has already stepped up to replace Neil Taylor on the international level, and could remain in line to replace him at Swansea:
Davies, 19, is in for left-back Neil Taylor who fractured his ankle in Swansea’s draw with Sunderland. Taylor is set to miss the rest of the season after his injury last Saturday, which saw Davies impress as his replacement and the youngster could find himself doing the same for Wales.
The £4.0m rated defender is still owned in only 0.2% of Fantasy Premier League sides. Swansea have Aston Villa, Everton, Stoke, Reading and Wigan over the next five, with three of five at home. If Davies gets the nod at left-back, he becomes one of the most valuable pieces in fantasy EPL – a starting defender with a 50% shot at a clean sheet who cost, effectively, the minimum.
Sky Sports, quoting the AFA, bring the news that Newcastle have not survived the international break without further incident:
The Argentina Football Association (AFA) has confirmed that the centre-half is nursing a hamstring problem. No details as to the severity of the problem have been revealed, but the fact that Coloccini will be remaining with Alejandro Sabella’s squad suggests that it may not be as bad as the Magpies fear.
Newcastle are, as we all now by now, without Ryan Taylor for months, Perch for days at best, and Simpson an undetermined amount of time. Alan Pardew will likely be looking at all available bodies to fill the many vacant positions in his starting XI.
The Liverpool Echo has wise words from Brendan Rodgers, pleased that Raheem Sterling was not moved up another level in the international set-up:
The Reds boss was pleased that Sterling wasn’t promoted to the England Under-21s’ squad for today’s European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku. “I think with young players you have to be careful,” said Rodgers. “They can be elevated above their station too quickly. That is a part of it in this country. They have one good game and they get elevated into superstar status. You then see them at 23 and 24 and you wonder why they are not superstars any more. “
A better question might be asked of Rodgers, will he follow his own advice and not allow Sterling to become an every-match starter at the tender age of 17?
Other Reds news via the Daily Post:
The 26-year-old defender admits he still has much to learn a year after his £6m move from Newcastle United but he’s determined to cement his place under Brendan Rodgers. The manager has suggested that Stewart Downing’s future could be at left-back and Rodgers played him in that deeper role throughout last Thursday’s Europa League clash with Hearts. Enrique, who struggled after being recalled for last Sunday’s visit of Arsenal, knows he faces a battle to hold on to his starting spot this season but is up for the challenge.
It would be very interesting, and a bit of bad news on two fronts for fantasy EPL managers, if Downing were to replace Enrique at left-back. Downing’s price has fallen 0.3 to £6.2m while JE has fallen 0.1 to £5.9. Given the positional ratings and the scoring discrepancies in various fantasy EPL leagues, it would be inadvisable to add Downing even if he were to win the starting role.
Manchester City official point out that the papers are finally reporting a story that matches the Club’s own denials, they are not pursing one Madrid-based player:
Cristiano Ronaldo has ruled out a move to City in the January transfer window, declaring that he will never join United’s rivals while Sir Alex Ferguson is in charge. City club officials had already ruled out a move for the Portuguese forward but that’s done nothing to stop giddy headlines predicting a world record bid.
City were mentioned in the Spanish capital again in today’s media, this time by Miguel Angel Gil Marin, Atletico’s President who revealed that he rejected a bid from the Blues for Falcao in the summer.
Shockingly, nothing to add on the Falcao front from ESPN. They’re concentrating today’s effort on Fat
Frank Wayne , quoting those same serialized excerpts:
Rooney, 26, had a spell as an emergency central midfielder in October and November 2011 and he feels it could become a permanent move, saying he would love to be a playmaker. ”I did my bit by dropping into a central midfield role when the team got hit by injuries last season,” Rooney said in My Decade in the Premier League, which is being serialised by the Daily Mirror.
ESPN is also running the quotes, and in an entirely different article, in which Rooney astutely points out he is not Ryan Giggs:
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has revealed he reported for pre-season training with his club seven pounds overweight. ”The scales in the club gym tell me I’ve put on a few more pounds than expected – seven. Seven! Then I remember – I drank a few bevvies while I was away. I’m stocky. I’m not like Ryan Giggs, all bone and lean muscle.”
ChelseaFC discuss their players away on international duty and also one pertinent note on their captain:
John Terry, not included in that experimental squad, has recovered from the neck injury that ruled him out of Chelsea’s last league game, increasing Roy Hodgson’s selection possibilities in central defence.
Ahead of those games, Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard are hoping a winning start to their club’s domestic league campaign stands them in good stead to represent their nations well. Cahill is one of five Blues in the England party travelling to Moldova today, with Ashley Cole possibly recovering from an ankle injury in time for a meeting with Ukraine on Tuesday at Wembley.
Finally, Adam Johnson has been ruled out. Not good news for England, Sunderland, the player or fantasy EPL managers but The Guardian reports:
Adam Johnson succumbed to a thigh injury in training and was released for treatment back to his new club, Sunderland. His new club will hope his recovery is complete in time for the Premier League game against Liverpool next weekend.
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