This "week" just keeps getting stranger and stranger. It began, of course, with Wigan/Bolton postponed and since then we've gone through the "Nasri or won't he" drama. But the news just hasn't stopped. So we've got updates from Chelsea, Manchester United, Spurs, the African Cup of Nations and more.
Let's start with top of the table Chelsea.
Already missing are Michael Essien and Nicolas Anelka, both ruled out for the matches against Birmingham and Fulham, while Deco is the latest to join the list of casualties.So I assume we'll see a lot of JCole and Malouda, for better or for worse. And Sturridge becomes a viable two-game option at just over 6. Now what about the implication above that Drogba will be a one gamer this week? Ancelotti continued by saying that,
That means Daniel Sturridge will be given a first Chelsea Premier League start alongside Didier Drogba, who could be playing his final game before departing for Angola and the African Cup of Nations.
Against Fulham maybe we have only Sturridge and Borini, but in January we have Anelka.Great. So nothing definitve/100% but maybe as close as we're going to get. Pick him or sell him according to your preferences but I think he may be a goner for me. Yes, he'll start earning the big points again in February but it won't be any fun to have the zeros for a month. And a month is a long time to be in a lousy mood over a hole in one's fantasy roster. Further, in a week featuring potential three-game players, I don't even think I can countenance having a one-gamer in my eleven. Especially one playing @Birmingham, which isn't an easy match these days.
Next stop is Manchester, where United may have reinforcements.
The Reds still have a depleted backline, but the Da Silva twins could both be available, with Fabio having come on as a substitute in the Fulham reversal. Gary Neville and Wes Brown are also on the mend and have an outside chance of being included, while Nemanja Vidic (calf) and Ryan Giggs (hamstring) are set to return. Edwin van der Sar is still struggling with a knee complaint.Kuszczak would have been a great buy for this week but somehow he jumped in price after losing 5 points against Fulham.
Spurs got some good news today.
Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong has not been included in the Cameroon squad for next month's African Nations Cup.That article also notes that Cameroon's camp doesn't start until Jan 5, so maybe the likes of BA-E, Song and Bikey play both of their club's matches this week - or in Song's case all three.
The 23-year-old, who moved to White Hart Lane from Newcastle in the summer, missed a couple of qualifying games but had been expected to join team-mate Benoit Assou-Ekotto in Paul Le Guen's 23-man group. His omission will come as a boost for Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who has been without central defenders Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate for much of the season due to injuries.
And speaking of potential three gamers, I say potential because Bolton could see another match postponed.
Doubts have been cast over whether Wanderers’ Boxing Day game against Burnley will go ahead as planned...That would be a blow to those with the likes of Lee, Klasnic, etc on their teams but at least Bolton could still play two matches. Eagles owners could find him with only one match, at Everton.
It is understood the undersoil heating at Burnley will ensure the pitch surface is playable, despite heavy snowfall in the last 24 hours.
But there are concerns over safety in the surrounding areas, including roads, pathways and car parks around the ground.
Clarets staff are believed to be working hard with the local council to make sure the sell-out game goes ahead, and there are encouraging signs that temperatures are likely to rise slightly towards the weekend.
Neal will be coming along shortly with a big Week Ahead post, but that's the state of play right now.