Nik Argiropoulos

Yahoo! Premier League

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Late Fitness Check - Week 24

Friday, January 31, 2014


It's transfer deadline day here in England, and the deals are starting to flow thick and fast ahead of the 11:00pm GMT cut-off. You can check all the latest confirmed moves via the transfers section of Rotoworld PL, but this column will be purely focused on the team and injury news you need to know to ensure your Week 24 team is ready to go.

 

Get all of your Premier League news at RotoWorld

 

Manchester City v Chelsea
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed Sergio Aguero is out for a month, so Edin Dzeko will be expected to partner the returning Alvaro Negredo. The rest of the side picks itself, with a midfield of Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho and David Silva and a defence featuring Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis. The only question mark is who gets the nod between Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov, with Kolarov favourite after Clichy started at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

 

Chelsea will be without Fernando Torres, so Samuel Eto'o will start at the Etihad. It seems unlikely Jose Mourinho will do any rotating, so expect to see the strongest line-up available. This could mean a start for Matic in midfield alongside Ramires, with Oscar, Eden Hazard and Willian supporting Eto'o.

 

West Brom v Liverpool
West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka has been ruled out with a knee injury, and will not feature against one of his former sides. Stephane Sessegnon will also miss out, as his groin injury keeps him on the side-lines, so Victor Anichebe is likely to lead the Baggies attack.

 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no new injuries so could be tempted to stick with the same XI that crushed Everton in midweek. That would mean: Mignolet, Cissokho, Skrtel, K.Toure, Flanagan, Sterling, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sturridge, Suarez.

 

Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Arsenal will be without Mathieu Flamini who begins a three-match suspension. Tomas Rosicky is available following surgery on a broken nose, but Theo Walcottt, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere are out. That will mean Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla continue in support of Olivier Giroud with Serge Gnabry, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rosicky competing for a place alongside Mikel Arteta. Kieran Gibbs should continue at left-back ahead of Nacho Monreal.

 

Crystal Palace’s Jonny Parr remains a doubt with concussion, while Jerome Thomas and Kagisho Dikgacoi are still injured. Ex-Gunner Marouane Chamakh will start upfront alongside Cameron Jerome but it's probably best to avoid all Eagles players this weekend given their incredibly tough match-up.

 

Stoke v Manchester United
Stoke are without midfielder Steven Nzonzi, who serves a one-game ban following his red card at Sunderland, so Stephen Ireland could get a start in the role behind Peter Crouch.

 

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney could start his first game since New Year's Day alongside Robin van Persie, with Juan Mata shifting out to the wing. Given Ashley Young's return to form it could be another match on the bench for Adnan Januzaj, who has already featured far more than David Moyes would've wanted this season and could be at risk of burn-out at such a young age. Nemanja Vidic is still banned, Rio Ferdinand remains doubtful and Michael Carrick is out with an ankle injury so Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones are all likely to start.

 

Hull v Tottenham
Hull will have Steve Harper in goal with Allan McGregor starting a three-match ban after his midweek red card. Jake Livermore is ineligible to play against his parent club so Stephen Quinn could start, while January signings Nikicia Jelavic and Shane Long should continue upfront.

 

Tottenham defender Danny Rose has had his red card overturned so is able to feature. Tim Sherwood may revert to 4-4-2 to allow a recall for Roberto Soldado, with Gylfi Sigurdsson dropping to the bench. Jan Vertonghen, Paulinho, Sandro and Younes Kaboul are training and may have a chance of making the bench but Andros Townsend and Erik Lamela are still out.

 

Everton v Aston Villa
Everton will be without striker Romelu Lukaku due to the ankle injury he picked up against Liverpool on Tuesday, so either Kevin Mirallas or Steven Naismith will start upfront. The Toffees have injuries at the back with Sylvain Distin, Seamus Coleman and Antolin Alcaraz all out, so John Stones and Tony Hibbert should start.

 

Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor remains a fitness doubt so reports suggest Paul Lambert will start with the same starting line-up that beat West Brom. That would mean: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bertrand, Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph, Bacuna, Weimann, Benteke.

 

Fulham v Southampton
Fulham's new loan signing Lewis Holtby could make his Fulham debut against Southampton after training with the squad on Friday, but new striker Kostas Mitroglou signed too late to feature this weekend. Darren Bent and Hugo Rodallega will battle it out to lead the line, with Dimitar Berbatov set to leave the club for Monaco.

 

Southampton forward Rickie Lambert is winning his battle to be fit after a hamstring problem which would mean young striker Sam Gallagher goes back to the bench. Victor Wanyama is also set to return to the starting line-up after injury and Stephen Davis should continue in his role behind the main striker, with Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez supporting from the wide areas.

 

Cardiff v Norwich
Cardiff's new signings Fabio and Wilfried Zaha could make their debuts against Norwich, while Kenwyne Jones will battle it out with Fraizer Campbell to start upfront. Jordan Mutch should recover from a knock but Mark Hudson will miss out with a hamstring injury.

 

Norwich midfielder Bradley Johnson is free to play after his midweek red card against Newcastle was rescinded. Jonas Gutierrez returns, having been ineligible in midweek, while Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper should continue up front.

 

Newcastle v Sunderland (one of two early Saturday kick-offs, so we'll get line-ups via Twitter before Yahoo's deadline)
Newcastle will of course be without Yohan Cabaye, who moved to PSG earlier in the week. They will also be missing striker Loic Remy, who was sent off at Norwich and serves the first game of a three-match suspension, so Shola Ameobi could lead the line. Papiss Cisse and Yoan Gouffran missed that game at Carrow road and remain doubts which means Ben Arfa could get a rare start, while new signing Luuk de Jong could take his place on the bench.

 

Sunderland have doubts over Phil Bardsley and Lee Cattermole, with late fitness checks required. Adam Johnson will be looking to continue his good form in support of either Jozy Altidore or Steven Fletcher, and Jack Colback should start in midfield after impressing.

 

West Ham v Swansea (the other early Saturday kick-off)
West Ham could give starts to Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino but neither man has been added to the Yahoo game yet. Mohamed Diame is a doubt, Winston Reid is still out and Joey O'Brien faces several months on the side-lines after dislocating his shoulder in midweek. Andy Carroll should start as the lone striker ahead of Carlton Cole.

 

Swansea have no new injury concerns, so could start with the same line-up that was good enough to beat Fulham 2-0 in midweek. That would mean: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, de Guzman, Shelvey, Routledge, Hernandez Bony. However, Nathan Dyer will be pushing for a start after coming off the bench on Tuesday night following his return for injury.

 

Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve

 

I've been focused on all the transfer and injury news today, and because Neal covered the player picks this week I actually haven't started looking at my own Week 24 team. So, a busy evening ahead in the Argiropoulos household, but you can assist me by posting your team in the comments section below. Good luck this weekend.



Nik Argiropoulos is a London-based soccer writer for Rotoworld and co-founder of Never Manage Alone. You can find him on Twitter @nikarg.
Email :Nik Argiropoulos



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