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Yesterday brought us rumors of Thomas Vermaelen to Manchester United and today brings rumors of Chris Smalling and/or Tom Cleverley heading in the opposite direction.

Let's start with the reality that swap deals almost never happen in soccer so we're taking this with a grain of salt. As far as swap rumors go though, including Chris Smalling in this sort of transaction wouldn't be a bad idea for either side. Why would Arsenal want him? He's young, versatile, English (meaning he counts as home grown), theoretically still has some upside, and isn't sufficiently accomplished that he would have a case to complain when Mertesacker and Koscielny start ahead of him. The case for bringing in Cleverley as makeweight is less clear unless his regression is being blamed on David Moyes.
Tue, Jun 17, 2014 09:32:00 AM

Phillipe Coutinho marked his return from a hamstring injury by getting a start in the FA Cup replay against West Ham United.

Coutinho had been out of action for just over a month with a hamstring injury but was handed a start straight away upon his return. Liverpool lost the match in the final moments against the Hammers, but it was the Brazilian playmaker who equalized the affair shortly after the second half commenced, driving a free kick under the West Ham wall and into the net. His return will be welcome news to fantasy owners in draft leagues and he may be available at a discount in weekly salary leagues due to his prolonged absence, but he is not a recommended pickup in the FPL game. For one, the Reds have a blank immediately following the Week 26 round this weekend, not to mention he can be frustratingly streaky. Take away the four goals he scored in a three week span from gameweeks 11-13, he has scored just once on the season and that was opening day.
Source: BBC Sport
Feb 10 - 3:48 AM

Steven Caulker failed a late fitness test for Liverpool ahead of their FA Cup replay with West Ham United and was kept out of the squad on matchday with a back problem.

Brought in on loan last month from Queens Park Rangers, Caulker was thought to be able to assist Jurgen Klopp with the injuries he has at the center back position. Now Caulker joins the list with Martin Skrtel, who is certain to miss at least a couple more weeks, and Dejan Lovren, who is looking to return from a leg cramp that saw him leave just 11 minutes into the Reds draw against Sunderland in Week 25. Caulker has made just three appearances in league play that have totaled five minutes in pitch time in his return to Anfield, hardly making him any sort of fantasy prospect. It appears Kolo Toure is firmly ahead of him in the pecking order, so we may not even see Caulker make the bench very often when the likes of Skrtel, Lovren and Mamadou Sakho are all fit.
Feb 10 - 4:06 AM

The Everton defense is hoping to see the return of two starters for the weekend match against West Bromwich Albion, Roberto Martinez revealed today.

Tim Howard is set for a return from a knock that has kept him out for the past two games, while John Stones is also back in training following a hamstring injury. Said Martinez: "Tim Howard is very similar. He had a very good session on a one-to-one basis. We knew that they were problems that could be managed and treated in a short-term and conservative manner. We are very pleased with how their bodies have reacted. Now it’s about taking it step-by-step, introducing them to the group and seeing how they react. Hopefully they will be available for the West Brom game, if not at the maximum Bournemouth." Joel Robles has played in the last two matches, one FA Cup and one league, and has recorded clean sheets in each, giving Martinez and fantasy manager a difficult choice for the weekend.
Feb 9 - 6:39 PM

Everton manager Roberto Martinez revealed more good injury news as John Stones has returned to light training following a hamstring injury.

Martinez said he hopes the defender can be available to face West Bromwich Albion on Saturday after it initially looked as though Stones would be out until the FA Cup in two weeks: "Yesterday we had a very productive day in respect [of injuries]. John had a really good feeling after his work and we are hoping that he can join the group this week leading up to the West Brom game." However, starting Stones this week presents a bit of a risk as it is unclear whether Stones will be risked to start in his return with Ramiro Funes Mori filling in last weekend. But West Brom has only scored one goal in its last four Premier League matches, making Everton defenders a hot pick for the weekend.
Feb 9 - 6:20 PM

West Brom have been plunged into a defensive crisis ahead of Wednesday nights’ FA Cup fourth round replay against Peterborough United at the London Road Stadium.

The League One outfit grabbed a dramatic equaliser in the original tie at the Hawthorns just as it seemed Tony Pulis’ men had done enough, taking the lead in the 84th minute. But parity was restored moments later and the sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. Now the Baggies face a trip down South with up-to five defenders at risk of missing the game. Jonny Evans (hamstring) and Chris Brunt (calf) are definitely ruled out while Jonas Olsson, Gareth McAuley and Craig Dawson picked up problems at Newcastle on Saturday. That leaves the Premier League outfit with only three fit senior defenders at the club - James Chester, Cristian Gamboa and Sebastien Pocognoli – and Pulis may need to call upon some Albion youngsters for cover.
Feb 9 - 3:44 AM

Siem de Jong has confirmed via social media that he is finally ready to resume full training after missing the last month due to an eye problem.

The injury stricken 27-year-old was left with blood pouring down his face after the former Ajax player was caught by a stray finger in a freak training ground accident. The force of which, damaged his contact lense and De Jong was rushed to hospital amid initial concerns that his sight may be affected. However, further tests revealed there was no lasting damage although De Jong was not allowed to train until he was given the green light from an eye specialist. On Sunday, the attacking midfielder tweeted: "Important win yesterday! Last few weeks had treatment on the eye. Tomorrow I can finally start individual training #nufc #backsoon."
Feb 9 - 4:14 AM

The Chelsea defense was dealt a major blow with the news that Kurt Zouma will undergo surgery to repair an ACL injury sustained in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

The club announced the French defender will miss the next six months with the injury, ruling him out for the rest of the season, this summer's European championships and putting the start of next season in jeopardy as well. Zouma was taken off the pitch on a stretcher in the 59th minute on Sunday after landing awkwardly after jumping for a header, hyperextending his knee as he fell to the pitch instantly. Without Zouma, who has started 21 of the club's 25 league matches, Chelsea will surely turn to Gary Cahill, who made his first appearance in the last six Premier League matches after coming on for Zouma.
Feb 8 - 3:16 PM

Arsenal, looking to capture some of the magic of Leicester City's team-building magic, have recruited away top Foxes scout Ben Wrigglesworth.

Arsenal won't be the only club looking to duplicate what clubs like Leicester City and West Ham have done in the transfer market in recent seasons with captures like Riyad Mahrez, Ngolo Kante, and Dimitri Payet but the Gunners are taking a proactive step in that direction. The hiring of Ben Wrigglesworth will be seen as a move to bring new blood, and new blood with a successful recent track record, into the scouting mix.
Source: espnfc.com
Feb 8 - 11:31 AM

Dejan Lovren was substituted early in Liverpool's draw with Sunderland on Saturday with a leg cramp, putting some doubt in the center back's availability for the Reds FA Cup replay against West Ham United on Wednesday.

Lovren lasted only eleven minutes against the Black Cats and it was revealed today by Jurgen Klopp that the Croatian felt cramping in the same area two or three times before being removed, labeling the substitution as precautionary. He was replaced by Kolo Toure and is likely to have the veteran fill in for the FA Cup tie with the Hammers. It sounds though that Lovren will be fit enough for Week 26 against Aston Villa barring a setback in training.
Source: Express
Feb 8 - 10:31 AM

James Tomkins is likely to miss a "few weeks" following a calf injury at Southampton on Saturday.

The Hammers defender has struggled due to a number of minor problems recently - most notably a head wound which required thirteen stitches. However, this latest setback – a suspected calf strain - is likely to keep the 26-year-old sidelined for the longest period yet. A scan on Monday will confirm the extent of the damage suffered during the defeat at St Mary's. In his absence, Joey O’Brien could fill in at right-back for the FA Cup replay against Liverpool while Sam Byram – who is ineligible on Tuesday – is a candidate in the league. Speaking ahead of the match, Slaven Bilic revealed Dimitri Payet should be okay after he escaped relatively unscathed following a rash Victor Wanyama scissor challenge which resulted in his sending-off. Andy Carroll will face his former employers following his recovery from a hamstring strain.
Source: London 24
Feb 8 - 6:21 AM

Steve McClaren is hoping Daryl Janmaat will be available to take his place in United’s patched up defence when the Magpies travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in game week twenty-six.

Janmaat picked up a knock during the open exchanges of Saturdays' encounter with West Brom but the Dutch full-back managed to complete ninety minutes. Post-match the Newcastle head coach revealed: "He got a kick and a dead leg but he should be okay." United managed to secure a crucial three-points as Fabricio Coloccini (knee) played through the pain-barrier to partner Steven Taylor who was making his first start since August. Rolando Aarons was used as a make-shift left-back with Massadio Haidara, Vernon Anita, Jack Colback and Kevin Mbabu all missing through injury to help the Geordies to a rare win and clean-sheet.
Feb 8 - 6:51 AM




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