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Battling niggles for most of the season, it has been revealed that Everton defender John Heitinga now suffers from a groin injury, but manager Roberto Martinez is hopeful the veteran will be in contention soon.

Heitinga has not played a minute this season in the Premier League, making just two appearances in cup play thus far. If he can ever get back into the XI, he will be a bargain for Everton defensive coverage if you aren't willing to splurge on Leighton Baines.
Source: Sky Sports
Thu, Oct 24, 2013 05:22:00 PM

Southampton announced the new signing of Wesley Hoedt and simultaneously re-stated their intentions with Virgil Van Dijk, lest anyone thought the new centre-back was a replacement.

Hoedt has arrived from Serie A club Lazio for a reported £15 million fee. He has signed a five year deal. The arrival of the left-footed Dutch international will undoubtedly lead to increased speculation about his international compatriot Van Dijk even though Vice-Chairman Les Reed explained: "Wesley has proven his talent through his performances for Lazio, as well as the Netherlands, and we believe he can develop even further here at Southampton, alongside his international teammate Virgil van Dijk..." Van Dijk handed in a transfer request earlier in August and is currently unavailable for selection, although some progress appears to have been made as he is now training with the Reserves having previously worked alone.
Source: The Guardian
Aug 23 - 10:20 AM

Tomer Hemed, Richie Towell, and Liam Rosenior were among the Brighton squad players who joined Anthony Knockaert in the starting line-up for Brighton's EFL Cup Second Round encounter with Barnet.

Knockaert, who was Championship Player of the year last season, continued his recovery from an ankle injury sustained in pre-season by completing 45 minutes against the League Two opposition. The Frenchman delivered a good performance which will give manager Chris Hughton something to think about as PL GW3 approaches, but he did squander his side's best chance of the half by taking too long on the ball before seeing it smothered by the goalkeeper. The only goal of the game went to the PL strugglers and it was Knockaert's replacement, James Tilley, who got it. He scored the rebound after Rosenior's effort was parried.
Source: BBC Sport
Aug 23 - 10:08 AM

Strikes from Ryan Fraser and Marc Pugh were enough to give Bournemouth a narrow 2-1 win over Birmingham City in the EFL Cup Second Round.

Former Cherries boss Harry Redknapp had hoped to pull off an upset against his former employers at St. Andrew's and his side took an early 11th minute lead from a set-piece. A ball from a corner was met by the head of Jonathan Grounds, he nodded it across the area to Maikel Kieftenbeld finished. Ryan Fraser scored the equaliser almost straight after half-time, putting away a cross by Adam Smith from the right flank. Lys Mousset teed up Marc Pugh for his winner, sealing a confidence boosting win for Bournemouth who have struggled to find the net so far this term. Otherwise of note from a fantasy point of view in this encounter was that Jermain Defoe played the full 90 minutes - he may get more minutes in the PL soon as pressure mounts on Eddie Howe to grind out results.
Source: BBC Sport
Aug 23 - 12:44 AM

Swansea City, in desperate need for reinforcements before the summer window closes, have had their £16.5m bid for Sam Clucas accepted, and the Hull City midfielder is expected to make the move to Wales very soon.

Both Burnley and Swansea have been courting Hull for Clucas in recent weeks, but Swansea are willing to spend a considerable amount more than the Clarets, who were reported to have 10m on the table a couple of days ago. Clucas had a big spike in development last season, being thrust into action for the Tigers when they barely had enough bodies to put together an 18-man squad and grew further under the guidance of Marco Silva. That said, Clucas is no spring chicken, turning 27-years-old next month, and certainly seems to fall short of the kind of impact player the Swans desperately need after the departure of Gylfi Sigurdsson. For the price they are willing to pay, you have to think Clucas finds a regular spot in the XI rather quickly.
Source: Sky Sports
Aug 23 - 3:43 AM

Barcelona refuse to give up on their pursuit of want-away Philippe Coutinho, increasing their offer to Liverpool that, with add-ons, has now reached upwards of £138m.

The Reds may being holding their stance in the press that Coutinho is not for sale, but if their aim was to force Barcelona to spend a great deal of cash, then you have to applaud the strategy. Two things are certain in the biggest saga of this summer's transfer window - Coutinho wishes to play for Barca and Barca's pockets are bottomless when it comes to looking for a superstar replacement to help offset the loss of Neymar. The current deal drawn up by the La Liga side includes a transfer fee of £101m up front with an additional £37m in potential bonuses. The Reds could potentially upgrade positions in need, particularly at the back, with that kind of cash and still have money left to invest in an up-and-coming playmaker.
Source: Sky Sports
Aug 23 - 3:56 AM

Swansea City were 4-1 winners over MK Dons in last night's Carabao Cup but it came at a cost as defender Kyle Bartley had to be stretchered off with a knee injury.

Bartley went in for an aerial challenge and landed awkwardly on the knee, unable to leave the pitch without need for a stretcher. Paul Clement commented post-match that it was too soon to tell the extent of the injury but he expects the defender to spend "some time on the sidelines". You can all but rule him out to make the squad this weekend against Crystal Palace and the international break follows immediately after, so even in a best-case scenario, Bartley looks to be absent for a few weeks. There is little fantasy impact with the news, other than it makes Mike van der Hoorn the preferred backup at the center back position for the time being.
Source: Wales Online
Aug 23 - 4:26 AM

Salomon Rondon has been relegated to the bench thus far this season in the Premier League but he returned in Carabao Cup with a goal and an assist as Tony Pulis' side moved on to the 3rd round Tuesday.

Tony Pulis spent a reasonable part of the off-season trying to find a replacement for Salomon Rondon as the focal point of the attack. Jay Rodriguez has come in and started both Premier League matches with Rondon having played only a handful of substitute minutes the wins in Weeks 1 and 2. Rondon's return for the Carabao Cup was fruitful with the hitman opening the scoring from a Jay Rodriguez assist and then turning provider for Matt Phillips' second. It remains to be seen if Rondon can translate that to the league when action restarts with the visit of Stoke City on Sunday. West Brom won the match 3-1 with both Jay Rodriguez and Matt Phillips both matching Rondon with a goal and an assist each.
Source: espnfc.com
Aug 22 - 4:33 PM

Watford captain Troy Deeney returned to the starting line-up for the Hornets' Carabao Cup match against Bristol City on Tuesday.

After missing out entirely in Week 1 and being an unused substitute in Week 2, Marco Silva has an opportunity to see his captain in competitive action. After getting goals from both Stefano Okaka in Week 1 and Richarlison in Week 2 and assists from both Richarlison and Andre Gray, Silva is hardly desperate for help but he will be happy to have a proven Premier League forward back in contention. It will be interesting to see how he chooses to deploy the trio in the league come the weekend assuming that all three are healthy.
Source: espnfc.com
Aug 22 - 3:50 PM

Xherdan Shaqiri will miss the Carabao Cup tie against Rochdale on Wednesday but Mark Bowen is hopeful the Swiss international can recover in time to face West Brom.

Shaqiri was forced off after with less than half-an-hour on the clock in game week two [against Arsenal] after pulling up with a "slight [hamstring] strain". However, subsequent tests confirm the injury is not as serious as initially feared. "He will miss the game tomorrow night but we hope that he is available and fit for the match on Sunday." There was better news regarding full-back Erik Pieters who could be included in the squad: "His was more of a twist," revealed the assistant manager after Pieters was caught late on by Shkodran Mustafi: "He's feeling a bit tender, but I'm sure he'll be in the frame." The Potters intend to name a strong side against their League One counterparts: "There's only so many competitions you've got a chance of winning, so it's massively important to get through this tie."
Aug 22 - 1:21 PM

Burnley have found their replacement for Andre Gray with the acquisition of Chris Wood from Leeds United for a transfer fee of £15m.

On paper, this looks to be a fair bit of business for the Clarets. They sell the Golden Boot winner of the Championship from two seasons ago and get last season's Golden Boot winner in his place (Wood scored 27 goals for Leeds), at a savings of 3m and Wood is half a year younger than Gray. At the end of the day, what matters most is if Wood can make the leap to the top flight and return Burnley around 15 goals. The addition would allow Sean Dyche to return to a two-man striker partnership, with Wood sharing the pitch with Sam Vokes. Vokes certainly drew attention with a hot end to last season followed by an opening day brace but time will tell if Wood's presence eats into Vokes' goal output or helps Vokes and the rest of the attack to be a more formidable one. If needing help at forward in your fantasy league, Wood is definitely worth a look.
Source: Sky Sports
Aug 22 - 5:23 AM

Raheem Sterling's late volley saved face for 10-man Manchester City as the Citizens rallied to draw 1-1 with Everton at the Etihad on Monday night.

Pep Guardiola's side produced a dominate second-half performance to overcame a Kyle Walker red card and deny Everton a win as Wayne Rooney scored his 200th Premier League goal. The hosts entered the break down a goal and man after Walker was issued a pair of yellow cards within a span of three minutes. But City didn't let the disadvantage hindered their spirit as they pushed after the restart and dominated with 65% possession. Sterling would lead the charge with a lively cameo off the bench and provide the equalizer in the 82nd minute, with a splendid side-footed volley off Everton defender Mason Holgate's failed clearance. Though it was a bad start to the match, Pep will be happy with the sharp turnaround as the Citizens grabbed their fourth point of the season.
Source: NBC Sports
Aug 21 - 5:43 PM




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