In other news, the takeover at Rovers is complete. It will be interesting to see how the league's first Indian owners approach their investment in a club. Is there the possibility that Rovers could become the unofficial club of India in the same way that all Americans have a soft spot for Fulham due to the number of American players who have (and currently) play there? India isn't ready to start supplying Premier League players but if Rovers could carve out a niche, it could be an opportunity to capture an over-sized portion of interest from a huge country that is growing incredibly quickly from an economic standpoint that is paralleled by a rising interest in the Premier League as well. For those of our readers in India, I'd be curious to hear if Indian ownership makes you even slightly more interested in following Rovers. If it doesn't right now, is there anything that would?
Finally, we welcome TheScore to our blogging family. The start-up Irish sports site has asked Jeremy and I to derive a more general version of "The Week Ahead" appropriate for people playing any fantasy game for their site and our first installment was published this morning. Check it and the rest of the site out. If you like what you see, remember to hit the "Like" button - it's always important to show some traction when you're launching a new media property and advertisers like to see things like that.
OK, on to the injuries:
- Almunia/Diaby/Vermaelen/Ramsey - The list continues to shrink with Koscielny back from suspension and RVP back in the squad (but no word on whether he'll start). The big question is now selection with so many attackers and attacking midfielders all available. This increases the value of Cesc and Nasri (who I can't imagine would be rotated given current form).
- Dawson/King/THud/Keane - This list is notable for the lack of Lennon and Defoe on it - Defoe will be in the squad and Lennon is still doubtful but Spurs are slowly returning to health as well. The down side is that the small chance of Lennon playing devalues Bentley somewhat.
- Essien/Zhirkov/Terry/Lamps - With Essien suspended and the rest injured the following players will start with the RB decision mentioned above the only question: Cech, Alex, Ivanovic, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Malouda, Anelka, Kalou and Drogba
- Gilks - Ouch! A broken knee cap sounds really painful. On the plus side, Adam may be fit - there are conflicting reports on his readiness ranging from "he looks doubtful" (Football365) to "confident he will play" (BBC).
- Tiote/Barton - Both are suspended for NUFC (just a reminder) which should improve Bolton's chances
- Gerrard/Spearing/Lucas - Injuries to the spine of Liverpool's team. Not good. Good thing the opposition isn't strong.
- Rooney - The injury report implies that he'll be on the bench rather than starting so Berbs is probably the bet if you want in on this match-up and then take a sedative until the matches start to prevent yourself from going crazy over having picked a striker who hasn't scored in 10 matches or something like that. Rafael is also a doubt.
- Ollson/Miller - I don't think either of these guys will concern you but the fact that Brunt is a major doubt could make a difference to a lot of fantasy managers.
- Villa's entire team - OK, not really but there's a lot of them missing, so much so that Pires may go right into the starting line-up (sadly, he's not available in the Yahoo game yet) - would be a fun pick-up for old time's sake.
- Dembele - He's hurt again but Salcido is back.
- Not Joe Hart! - He has apparently recovered from his injury and should be joined by Tevez who was famously subbed out for a dead leg toward the end of the match last weekend.
- Fellaini - Still suspended but both EVE and SUN are pretty healthy with DBent likely to feature in some way or another.
Have a great weekend.