First, a note from Jeremy who pointed out the strangeness of N'gog being on the LIV bench yesterday but apparently not fit enough to come in and so much so that he is not even likely to make it to the weekend that won't be played until Sunday. That Rafa is an odd dude. Either that or he was basically saying, my squad is left so thin right now that I'd rather bring someone I will definitely not throw on rather than bringing along someone who is able-bodied.
So, first the important notes from Stoke, Fulham, Citeh, and Spurs...
- Stoke -Sidibe could be back but that hardly sounds like a ringing endorsement and Begovic will start both matches which is only mildly attractive given the opposition and Stoke's mid-table quality;
- Fulham - Zamora is definitely out and the news suggests Dempsey will fill in - not much word on other expected changes to rest starters ahead of the Europa Cup final but expect a similar line-up to last weekend;
- Spurs - Word is that Lennon may start which isn't terribly helpful; you'd have to expect that even if he starts both matches he'll make way for Bentley between the 60th and 70th minute in both matches as he makes his way back to total fitness; typical news on King - could feature but can't imagine he'll start both given his fragile nature - figure Bassong starts vs. Bolton and King starts @Citeh;
- Citeh - We were hoping for something more specific from Citeh - apparently Mancini isn't saying who his choice in net will be (Fulop vs. Nielsen) or give a definitive answer on K2 (Barry is fairly irrelevant based on his performance this season but he's in question as well). I'm leaning toward ignoring the Citeh goalkeeping situation altogether and doing to same with K2 and praying he doesn't play two and score a bunch;
- Looks like Rooney and Rio will be risked and its hard to argue since ManYoo have slight title hopes - all of England will hold their collective breath in hopes that their key men for this summer aren't being rushed back to the detriment of the Three Lions;
- O'Hara still out for Pompey;
- Geoffrey Mujangi Bia to start for Wolves in midfield vs. Pompey;
- N'gog out and Kuyt and Masch are question marks against Chelsea;
- JT is back from suspension for CHE;
- Hutton (the b@stard) is suspended for SUN and BFAR is out after calf surgery;
Cheers - Neal