Premier League Team News - Barclays Premier League - ESPN Soccernet
No certainty of O'Hara playing for Pompey - I like the thought of him as a cheap option but I'm not willing to go too far out on a limb until I know how (and if) they intend to deploy him regularly. More a BD option than something for this week if you ask me (and you sort of did by being here to read this column).
Aurelio is back in contention for Liverpool meaning that Insua's position as the de facto starter is at least somewhat at risk. No definitive statements on what Rafa will do but certainly risk for fantasy managers.
Deco and Zhirkov (still) out for Chelsea meaning that Ballack's value goes up (less likely to be rotated).
Someone named Trevor Carson is in contention for the Keeper role at Sunderland this weekend. In my mind the fact that there are two fitness tests (Gordon and Fulop) plus an untested player puts the value of the Sunderland keeper at almost nil. I'd look for other options (Robbo if you're looking cheap or, more likely, just spend a bit more money and save yourself the agony of hoping that Robbo doesn't have another rotten fantasy match).
Looks like the well-named Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink will get his debut while Altidore (as predicted) will be a late decision.
Tevez definitely out for the Arsenal match and Robinho is a late fitness test - no word on MPet's prospects so I'd ignore the hope that he'll start in place of Robinho.
Arshavin is out for Arsenal but Cesc is back and, what's this? There's a 'sicky sighting. He probably won't have anything more than a substitute role but worth mentioning since who knows when we'll get to say he has a chance to feature in an actual match again after this weekend's inevitable hamstring strain 5 minutes after coming on.
Great news for fantasy managers with SeaBass at a big discount who wanted to hold on to him despite this weekend's opposition - looks like he'll be available and will likely feature. Ditto Kranjcar and possibly Ledley King - could be a fun match vs. the Champions.
GNev is "in contention" for ManYoo which sounds to me like he'll get no more than 60 minutes of action in the best case scenario. Not enough to qualify for CS points and I'm not sure I'd bet on that happening regardless. I'd stay away. O'Shea is also out if you were thinking of going in that direction. Implication that Valencia will start on the bench (not a statement of fact, just an implication) due to travel rigors. I assume that means a midfield with Nani and Park on the wings.
Newcomers Dunne and Collins are both going to start for Villa in central defence as Davies will be out for a while (January?). The interesting test for that pairing will be Benitez who appears to be at a high enough fitness level (finally) that McLeish is considering starting him for the first time.
Finally, you have to think that Heitinga will start at right back for Everton - his reputation is certainly strong but with a trip to Fulham no easy task I'm going to watch this one before making a decision on the Barn Door the same goes for Bilyaletdinov who may also feature.
Good luck and remember not to make any rash Friday moves. Oh yeah, for those of you here in the USA, welcome back to the NFL - going to be an ugly Sunday of TV watching between two Premier League matches and then the first afternoon and evening of the NFL.
See you tomorrow morning for the live chat.