News & Notes for Thursday, 20 September include an update on Emmanuel Adebayor and speculation on the Fantasy EPL impact of West Ham’s back line.
The biggest news up front. Andre Villas-Boas ruled Emmanuel Adebayor out of Thursday’s Europa League fixtures with an injury, and that Benoit Assou-Ekotto still has to see a specialist about his knee:
Andre Villas-Boas reports that Emmanuel Adebayor is out of Thursday night’s Europa League clash against SS Lazio. The striker has a hamstring injury and joins Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Younes Kaboul (both knee), Jake Livermore (groin) and Scott Parker (Achilles) on the sidelines. “Benoit is still out, we’re waiting for the specialist to see his knee,” Andre said on Wednesday. “Ade has been struggling with a muscle injury, so he will be out of the game.”
There is the suggestion that the powerful forward has been dealing with it for a while, but the fact remains he is behind Jermain Defoe in the pecking order at the moment. Defoe makes an interesting addition in the short-term. Spurs next five fixtures run:
Scott Parker is still several weeks away and his position in the team will be far from certain upon his return. Aaron Lennon and Moussa Dembélé have played outstanding football of late:
“Scotty is still a bit far off, maybe three weeks before he returns to first team training, so slowly making progress and Younes is out for some time,” [Villas-Boas said].
Birmingham Post with news that Marc Albrighton is nearing a return to action:
Albrighton resumed training on Sunday after missing the first month of the season and is aiming to return to contention later this month. The 22-year-old winger admits it has been frustrating watching from the sidelines after suffering the setback in the first week of pre-season. “I have been out for three months,” he said. “It’s dragged out like it’s been years.”
No immediate Fantasy EPL impact, but the midfielder is priced £5.3m and selected in 0.0% of Fantasy Premier League sides. He is one full season removed from a five goal, five assist campaign over 1800′ in 2010-11.
Adam Johnson still has not passed fitness for the trip to West Ham, via BB
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has said he will not rush winger Adam Johnson back to first-team duty following a thigh problem. Johnson, 25, picked up the injury after he was called up to the England squad, and missed last weekend’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool. O’Neill told BBC Newcastle: ”Rather than risking him, we left it another week, I was reasonably hopeful last week, maybe this extra week will help but I couldn’t be certain.”
Johnson is priced £7.0m — 2.0% selection in FPL — and would present an interesting opportunity for Fantasy EPL managers who wanted to invest in a mid-tier midfielder with modest potential and low ownership. These next to Barclays Premier League fixtures — West Ham away and home to Wigan — would have provided fertile ground for establish himself with his new side. Last year, with Manchester City, Johnson recorded six goals and six assists over 1147′ and in 2010-11 he had four goals with seven assists in 1542′.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has said that Antolin Alcaraz faces a late fitness test ahead of this weekends fixture:
The Paraguayan picked up a groin injury whilst on international duty last week causing him to miss Latics’ last match against Manchester United, with no guarantee he’ll be back to full fitness in time for Saturday. “Antolin is the only player you could say is doubtful for the game,” explained Martinez. “He’ll have a late fitness test before the game, but everyone else is fit and healthy ready to try and make the team.”
Information on discount defenders in Fantasy EPL available here. Fantasy EPL managers should be avoiding Latic’s defenders regardless, but this is a valuable bit of information. Wigan were shelled last gameweek in their visit to Old Trafford. This week they face a resurgent Fulham FC and their newest hitman – Dimitar Berbatov. Berba hit a brace last weekend and there is every reason to think he can find the net again in this match.
We have to hand it to Nani, he does not lack confidence. This rather long-winded passage can best be summed up by saying ‘Robin van Persie will take all penalties moving forward’:
Nani is confident the next Manchester United penalty will end up in the back of the net. The Portuguese winger became the third Red to miss from the spot in as many matches when his tame shot was saved by Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera on Wednesday night. “I was waiting for the goalkeeper to make a movement but he was very clever and didn’t move until I’d chosen a side,” Nani told MUTV after the match. “He made a great save.” Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie have also missed penalty kicks this term, while Wayne Rooney, Nani and Ashley Young all wasted efforts from the spot during the summer’s pre-season tour.
We’re less confident that Nani remains in the starting XI, though his presence in this weekend’s fixture at Anfield could well spark a feeding frenzy over the 25-year-old winger. Fantasy Premier League ownership is down to 3.1% and he price has dipped to £8.6m. More on the Champions League match available here.
A couple of quick points from AVFC:
Ciaran Clark has warned top-flight attackers that his partnership with Ron Vlaar will get “stronger and stronger” in the coming weeks and months ahead. Clark and Vlaar are Paul Lambert’s No.1 pairing in central defence for Villa.
They have posted 1 cleansheet to date, in gameweek 4, but both are discount defenders capable of rounding out your 4/5th defensive spot with players who are guaranteed to see the pitch. Clark, £4.4m, is the slightly better value than Vlaar, £4.9m, and we’re not forecasting much offensive contribution from either.
The left-back role has a bit more drama, with two players fighting for the starting role each week:
Eric Lichaj admits he’s feeling “extra pressure” with Joe Bennett breathing down his neck – but says that’s spurring him on to even better performances. Lichaj is currently first-choice left-back after solid performances against Newcastle and Swansea. Former England U21 ace Bennett was snapped up from Middlesbrough after impressive displays on Riverside alerted manager Paul Lambert. However, Lambert stuck with Lichaj for Swansea – and the USA international is keen to retain that position in the team.
The to Villans left-backs are priced equally in Fantasy Premier League at £4.5m and Lichaj is, similarly to Vlaar or Clark, a decent fourth or fifth option off your bench.
Finally, an important Fantasy EPL note coming from Baggies manager Steve Clarke:
Clarke says new signings Romelu Lukaku and Markus Rosenberg are vying for their first Barclays Premier League starts against Reading on Saturday as he looks to fill the void left by Peter Odemwingie. “Peter is out for three games and I’ll concentrate on those players we have available,” said the Baggies boss. “Yeah, Romelu could come into the picture. He’s been in my thoughts since the minute he came into the club.”
A start for Lukaku against a porous Reading defensive is a dream start for Fantasy EPL managers. If you’re struggling to make a mark in your mini-league, taking a punt on the £6.5m-rated forward could yield immediate results. WBA face Reading, Aston Villa and QPR in their next three matches. Odemwingie will begin his three-match ban against Reading for his gameweek 4 red card. He will miss the next two gameweeks and be eligible to return for the 6 October fixture at home vs. Rangers.
Everton travel to Liberty Stadium this weekend but the Swans fortress posses no intimidation for the Toffess, who won there 0-2 last season. Leighton Baines expects more of the same:
Leighton Baines says Everton can take confidence from last season’s win at Swansea when they return to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. Baines scored a magnificent free-kick to set-up a 2-0 victory in South Wales as David Moyes’ side completed a league double over the Swans.
Baines. Always Baines.
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