More injury news in Wednesday’s News & Notes, with EPL fantasy analysis of the Spurs attack, West Brom and Arsenal midfield and a certain Captain Fantastic has joined the Twitter ranks (two weeks ago).
First up the Baggies, who experienced a full compliment of injuries in their draw with the Villans:
The Baggies lost Chris Brunt to a hamstring strain during Sunday’s draw at Aston Villa, while Billy Jones suffered a knee injury. Steven Reid, Liam Ridgewell and Gareth McAuley also took knocks but medical staff hope to give all five the green light to face QPR on Saturday. ”We will keep an eye on Chris Brunt too. It’s maybe not as bad as it looked but we’ll just see how we go on Saturday,” said assistant Kevin Keen.
The impact on the team’s play will not be known until kickoff, but EPL fantasy managers should continue to show faith in James Morrison. The midfielder leads Steve Clarke’s squad with 11 chances created and will be more heavily leaned upon in the absence of Brunt, who is second in the squad with eight chances created. Morrison can be had in Fantasy Premier League for £6.0m and is currently 1.6% selected.
Andre Villas-Boas may soon have a selection headache, with Emmanuel Adebayor possibly passing fit ahead of this weekend’s fixture with Aston Villa:
The forward was back in training with the first-team squad yesterday following a hamstring injury but the coaching staff are thought to consider it too soon to bring him back into action. At the start of the campaign, Jermain Defoe was preferred to Adebayor — who was still building match fitness — as Villas-Boas’s lone forward, before the former Arsenal striker’s injury kept him out of the next five fixtures.
Adebayor is down to £9.0m, 1.1% selected and EPL fantasy managers should keep careful eye on Villas-Boas selection following the international break. Last season, Ade was the only player in the Premier League to record double-digit goals and assists and would be had for a modest discount at his current FPL price.
Two other quick notes:
Both Kyle Naughton and Jake Livermore are making progress in their recoveries from foot and hernia problems respectively but neither is thought to be fit enough to make the trip to the Greece.
Spurs have a Thursday match against Panathinaikos in the Europa League. We’ll have a recap of all the Europa League action posted late Thursday evening, early Friday morning in advance of Last Minute Tinkers. With Naughton and Assou-Ekotto still absent, Steven Caulker (£4.7m, 0.5% selected) is a decent buy for the Sunday visit from Aston Villa.
Chelsea have profiled the work put in by Frank Lampard and Victor Moses as the duo earned starts in the Champions League fixture Tuesday:
One of the new faces made his European debut in Copenhagen, and Victor Moses impressed before being replaced by Eden Hazard shortly after the hour. The former Wigan man believes he must offer more, however. “I enjoyed it very much, my first Champions League game,” he commented. “It was different and is something I will have to get used to. It wasn’t my best game but the most important thing was we won.” Both Lampard and Moses will be hoping to keep their places when Norwich City visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
We’ve covered Chelsea a bit of late, particularly their midfield rotation and the excellent form of Juan Mata. We are expecting Hazard/Torres/Oscar to lead the line again this weekend, with Mata taking up a position in the middle “3″. But we’ve been wrong before and likely will be again. Mata and Hazard can both be owned by EPL fantasy managers.
The Arsenal midfield will be without Abou Diaby for the next several weeks after picking up another knock. Lay the blame on the French doorstep, Monsieur Wenger:
The midfielder is set to miss the next three weeks after picking up a thigh strain in the early stages of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea. Diaby, 26, has struggled with injuries but started the season in good form. ”I think it was a mistake to play him with the national team,” said Wenger, who asked the FFA not to pick him. The knock will see Diaby miss Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Olympiakos after Wenger told his compatriots to give him a rest if they wanted him fit for next month’s qualifier against Spain.
Diaby has played 334′ and was replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain in the loss to Chelsea. Unsure which midfielder will assume his mantle for the remainder of the month, but we have the Champions League fixture on Wednesday to provide some guidance. Additional minutes for the OX would see his current 0.7% selection increase and raise his price from £7.4m. This could also be the opening for Theo Walcott to re-establish himself in Wenger’s first-choice starting XI.
One note we missed yesterday, the FA has confirmed that Wigan’s Jordi Gomez will not face a ban:
The club can confirm that following an appeal to the FA, the red card shown to midfielder Jordi Gomez by referee Howard Webb following a tackle with Sunderland midfielder Danny Rose in the Barclays Premier League game at the Stadium of Light on Saturday September 28, has now been rescinded.
The fantasy points will not be restored to EPL fantasy managers who started Gomez — 0.5% selected means there were not many — and it remains unlikely he is much of a factor in gameweek seven. The midfielder has played 207′ this season and has not earned more than 61′ in any of the Latics opening six Premier League fixtures.
Welcome to Twitter, Steven Gerrard:
The skipper has set up @SGF08 to promote the work of his charity, the Steven Gerrard Foundation.
This just made the Liverpool page on what must be a verrrry slow news day at Melwood. The verified account has been active since 20 September and has more than 45,000 followers. We expect to read tomorrow that Luis Suarez had a decent outing against Norwich – 28 April, 2012.