Early Doors

It's still more than a week away from the end of the current game week, but it's not too early to count the cost of the "hectic festive period" (TM English Football Punditry Ltd) and see what team news is available ahead of the weekend's FA Cup matches.

Double injury blow for Spurs
Tottenham full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto is set to miss most of January after suffering a groin strain, boss Harry Redknapp has confirmed.

Assou-Ekotto, 25, has withdrawn from Cameroon's African Nations Cup squad and requires an injection next week for the injury, but it is understood he will not require an operation.
It is a double blow for Spurs manager Redknapp as England winger Aaron Lennon has been ruled out for a fortnight with a similar problem.

"Benoit is having an an injection on Monday," Redknapp said. "And he will be out for a few weeks...

Gareth Bale is set to deputise for Assou-Ekotto at left-back but Redknapp has still not decided how to replace Lennon on the right flank.
Bale, of course, is 2.65. Spurs are @Liverpool this week, which isn't such a great match up. However they follow that with home games against Hull and Fulham.

Carragher the right man for right-back
The ever-reliable Jamie Carragher can expect to again be thrust into action at right-back on Saturday when Liverpool travel to face Reading in the third round of the FA Cup.

The loss of England full-back Glen Johnson for "a month at least" with a knee injury means Rafael Benitez has a difficult balancing act in team selection against the Coca-Cola Championship side.

"Johnson has a problem, so he'll see a specialist and then we'll talk but we know he'll be out for at least one month," Benitez said. "But we are waiting for another opinion and then we'll know how long."
If Carragher moves to full back, Skrtel is a good bet at 6.27.  Well, as good a bet as Liverpool defenders have been this season.  This month might actually be the time to buy in with games home to Spurs, then @Stoke, @Wolves and home against Bolton.  If Rafa wants to play Degen, that might be even better for fantasy managers as he's only 6.03 and would be a more attacking option than Carra.

Everton suspend striker Jo
Everton manager David Moyes has suspended on-loan striker Jo for a breach of club discipline.

Moyes is furious that the player, who has been suffering from a knee injury, has returned home to Brazil without permission.

Jo is a on a season-long loan deal from Manchester City but his future at Goodison Park now looks uncertain.
Everton have been striker-light all season and now they've lost Yakubu to the ACN after just getting him back from injury. However, Vaughan is back from injury himself - and he scored the winner last weekend against Burnley. He'll be Saha's understudy this month, and still costs under 5, even after his goal.

UPDATE:  Saha struggling with a hamsting injury.  Is Vaughan your starter @Arsenal?

FA Cup Team news: Anelka back for Chelsea
Wright-Phillips injury doubt for City
Anelka back for Blues - Do we get an early look at how Carlo plans to line-up sans Drogba? Or will we see the B team?
Duo out for Burnley - Burnley host low-scoring Stoke next, so it's nice to see Mears and Jordan get their suspensions out of the way in the Cup.


  1. Anonymous1:31 PM

    Re: Carragher - its Rafa so it will be an entirely unpredictable mix of the above options.

  2. Anonymous1:37 PM


    Liverpool going for Maxi! maybe a new YFF fav soon.

    don't forget that there is a Sotirios Kyrgiakos playing CB for Liverpool as well.
    And after Carra, it will be Stephen Darby. Degen hasn't been seen on bench for quite sometime(1 app in Dec only) .

  3. Anonymous11:36 PM

    Donovan for Everton?