The Injury Files: Friday October 23
Not too many explicit updates of note...
The big guys - Gerrard, Nando, Johnson, Rooney, and Fletcher - from the big game are still all facing the dreaded "late fitness tests". Given the match-up and the doubt, that rules all of them out of my line-up for this weekend. What does it mean? Berbs becomes more valuable...Owen becomes a possibility (although there's no guarantee he'll start over Giggs playing a deeper lying striker role with 4 midfielders behind him)...Evra IS healthy which means he'll play over Fabio who had a chance to be an interesting option this weekend. Hard to pick any of Liverpool's reserve attackers given their quality, the quality of the opposition, and the uncertainty surrounding the starting line-up.
Elsewhere...EdS is available for Arsenal and there's a chance he'll slot into the spot Walcott's injury is opening up. With Sicky and Bendtner no better than 50/50 to play, there aren't too many other choices unless Wenger is going to start Eboue or dip into his Carling Cup squad (Wilshere? Vela? Ramsey?). What does that mean to me? Too much doubt to pull the trigger on any of the above...
At Chelsea, Bosingwa is confirmed out which means that Ivanovic is a strong bet to get a start either centrally or on the right. He is available at a good price.
At Citeh, Robinho is still out increasing the chances that MPet will get another start (and he's been very good when he's played). No word on K2 which is very odd because PhysioRoom (see the widget to the right) has him listed, like Bellamy and Toure as "Doubtful" - not sure what to make of this. I saw someone on the TWA comments thread indicate that he should have been in the "Best of the Rest" category for the week - I'd tend to agree if I had a better sense of whether he was going to play. Like Arsenal, this situation is a bit of a mess so unless you have strong convictions on a specific player (you're SURE he's going to play AND do well) then I'd stay away in favor of guys who are going to start.
Finally, the news that we all feared - while at no point do they actually say Bily WON'T play for Everton this weekend, they do call him "the latest casualty" of Everton's injury crisis. Could just be me reading too much into word choice but that seems incredibly vague. Also odd that between Football365 (thigh) and BBC (calf) they can't even agree on what's wrong with him. In any event, the low-risk move is to change him out of your line-up. That said, the injury certainly doesn't seem like a major one so if you have him for less than 5.00, you might want to suck up the 0 for this week and hope he comes back next week. Sort of depends on your financial situation.
Finally, the virtually useless information that Jummy "might" get his first start. Will he? Who knows. If he does, I'd imagine he'll do well for fantasy managers. That said, at his current price, he's definitely a risk of having another weekend like last weekend where he came on as a sub and did very little. This also impacts the value of Geovanni and Hunt who will be more valuable if Jummy starts the match on the bench and JVoH who will probably be more valuable if Jummy starts.
Sorry not to be more helpful but the information available this weekend isn't the greatest or the most certain. I guess maybe my best advice is to go with the guys from places like Villa who you know are going to start and have a good match-up.
Good luck with your final moves of the week and I'll see you on the Live Chat tomorrow if you can make it.
Cheers - Neal