Injuries and Suspensions: Week 4

Premier League team news - ESPN Soccernet:

Here is the important news from behind the link along with the fantasy implications that the news implies.

Song and Gervinho are back from suspension which means a few things: 1) Frimpong and Arshavin will almost definitely head to the bench; 2) The defense will be better with Song in front of Mertesacker and Koscielny (and Rovers doing the attacking); 3) Arsenal could feature a lot of speed between Theo and Gervinho. 4) Ramsey faces a late fitness test which might mean a start for the even less expensive Yossi Benayoun. I think having most of their squad back together and speed in multiple positions going forward will be key. The question is whether they can get an early goal to go in. If they do, I think they'll put in 3 or more. If not, it will likely end up 1-0 or even worse 1-1. You have to decide what you believe between those two scenarios.

Saha is still out which means Cahill/Osman will definitely play attacking roles. The question is whether Royston Drenthe, who impressed the people writing the textcast I was using last weekend while driving home, will come in and what impact that might have on Bilyaletdinov. Both are nice, inexpensive options but not so much when you have to worry whether they'll start or not. I'd pick SWP on the road over the uncertainty of Bily/Drenthe/Ramsey/Yossi unless some of those decisions become more clear between now and the fantasy transfer deadline.

Remember yesterday when I said that Steven Fletcher was a good idea? Well scratch that as he is a doubt to recover from a groin problem according to the team news behind the link above. Hunt on the other hand looks like he'll pull through after missing some training time during the week. For me, that makes the order of priority with Wolves picks Hunt > Doyle > Jarvis > O'Hara.

Because I thought it funny, I figured I'd comment on the fact that the Sunderland team notes indicate that Connor Wickham may partner Bendtner for Sunderland. I find that funny because between them and Stoke's general love of tall players it is going to look much more like a basketball game than a Premier League match. Lots of battles in the air and flying elbows - you get the feeling Kevin Davies will be watching and saying to himself "that's what footie is all about". The rest of us, probably less so.

Manchester City
NdJ is still out which for me means that a City clean sheet on the road will be doubly difficult as he is their only true midfield destroyer. People talk about Barry and Yaya as holding players but they really aren't. I certainly wouldn't spend big expecting clean sheet points from Hart or the City defenders. I'm keeping Richards because I believe he could return value to me based on a) a price around 7 and b) his attacking/phantom defending points. I wouldn't buy him for retail this week.

Manchester United
No real news other than that the guys who were out last week are still out. We should expect the healthy first team players to be starting.

Drogba is still out but there's still some question as to which of Mata/FloMal/Elk/Torres/Sturridge/Lampard/Ramires will start - my assumption is that Meireles and Mikel will both feature. I'd guess we'll see Mata/FloMal/Elk with Lampard joining the midfield trio. Sturridge and Ramires will get their chances off the bench as a "super subs" while Torres looks on with a hangdog expression. But that's just my guess, it could go lots of ways all of which say "these guys are too expensive to buy on the road at Old Trafford especially if they're not guaranteed to start".

I hope that helps and we look forward to seeing you for the kickoff of Rovers vs. Arsenal on the live chat tomorrow.

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