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Antonio Valencia could see his fortunes - and fantasy value - improve significantly if Louis Van Gaal decides to go with a 3-5-2 system after seeing what his current squad has to offer.

Van Gaal was famously praised for his tactical flexibility during Holland's World Cup run but Valencia's own ability to play defensively or in the midfield on the right could provide the new United boss with lots of options during a match without having to make a substitution. Valencia fits the "wingback" mold better than Rafael and has slotted into that role during pre-season. At 5.38 in the Yahoo game he's definitely one to watch even if he won't get defender points for clean sheets.
Wed, Aug 6, 2014 12:13:00 PM

Bournemouth standout defender Charlie Daniels is expected to return from injury to face Burnley this weekend.

The attack-minded left-back has missed the last two matches due to a hip injury, which has opened up a spot for Chelsea loanee Nathan Ake in the starting lineup. Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe confirmed Daniels is in line to return, which could cause a shake-up on the Cherries back-line: "Charlie has improved, he trained earlier this week and should be in contention, while Andrew Surman is not available." Howe also confirmed that winger Junior Stanislas is set for a period on the sidelines due to an ankle injury.
Dec 9 - 6:26 PM

Liverpool find itself caught in an all-too-familiar waiting game with Daniel Sturridge sidelined by a calf injury.

The forward has missed the last two Premier League matches due to the calf problem, giving Divock Origi a shot at the starting lineup with Philippe Coutinho also out. However, manager Jurgen Klopp said the only thing he knows about the forward's timetable is that he won't be available for this weekend or the midweek fixture on Tuesday: "[We have] no real idea. Until now he didn’t train on the pitch - maybe today but it wasn’t 100 per cent clear yesterday...He will be back as quickly as possible, but I have no idea at this moment. If he is not training with the team at the moment then we don’t have to think about him for West Ham, or think about him for Middlesbrough."
Dec 9 - 6:32 PM

Stoke City will have to keep on without defender Ryan Shawcross for another game due to a lingering calf injury.

The Potters captain has missed the club's last two Premier League matches after suffering an injury in training as manager Mark Hughes is cautious to bring him back too soon given his injury history. "Ryan hasn’t managed to join in with the group yet so it is unlikely he will be involved. It’s frustrating but we want to make sure he is right - he is progressing and is doing the right work with the right people, so hopefully it won’t be long until he is back available." Without Geoff Cameron, Shawcross' absence puts the club in a tough spot at center-back, but Marc Muniesa is expected to continue in his role.
Dec 9 - 6:18 PM

Slaven Bilic will welcome Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell back into his squad for Sunday's trip to Liverpool.

Antonio and Cresswell returned to training this week after recovering from groin injuries and are set to rejoin the West Ham squad for their trip to Anfield. The pair missed last weekend's 5-1 defeat by Arsenal but will be fit for this weekend, according to Slaven Bilic: "Antonio and Cresswell are training with us today after the press conference and according to the medical reports they are fit and they are OK." The return of Antonio and Cresswell is a huge boost for West Ham as they go in search of their first Premier League win since October.
Dec 9 - 1:51 PM

Cheikhou Kouyate sat out last weekend's defeat to Arsenal with a groin problem that will again keep him sidelined for Sunday's match with Liverpool, Slaven Bilic confirmed on Friday.

While Slaven Bilic will welcome back Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell, the manager will be without Kouyate for West Ham's trip to Anfield this weekend. Bilic said: "With Cheikhou Kouyate, it is a little bit different. We were hoping he would be OK for Sunday’s game, but unfortunately he will have to miss it." Bilic did however add that Kouyate's injury is "not a big one" and has a "great chance" to make his return ahead of next Wednesday's match with Burnley.
Dec 9 - 2:20 PM

Alvaro Negredo, Gaston Ramirez and Jordan Rhodes are all doubts for Middlesbrough's trip to Southampton this Sunday.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has confirmed that Negredo, Ramirez and Rhodes all missed training on Friday and are doubts for this weekend's fixture. "I need to check tomorrow with the doctors," Karanka said. "The main thing for me is the players who are ready to play are ready to take that chance." While this doesn't necessarily mean any or all won't feature, the loss of Nergredo and Ramirez would be major blows to Karanka's side ahead of Sunday's fixture. If the duo is rule out then Cristhian Stuani and Viktor Fischer could be handed starting roles, while David Nugent would likely replace Rhodes on the bench.
Dec 9 - 1:38 PM

Watford return to something resembling their full squad for the visit of Everton on Saturday.

The Hornets were significantly understaffed last weekend with Daryl Janmaat, Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul, Miguel Britos and Valon Behrami all missing for one reason or another. This week sees most of that group back with Cathcart definitely still out and Kaboul questionable. Still, the return of Behrami along with Janmaat and Britos will help Walter Mazzarri return the Hornets to the defensive solidity that served them well from mid-October until last weekend when, outside of the destruction at Anfield, they gave up only a single goal across five matches (4 wins and a nil-nil draw).
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 9 - 1:05 PM

Daryl Janmaat will be available to Walter Mazzarri again in Week 15 after missing Week 14 with a minor injury.

The Dutch international missed last weekend's match after suffering a minor head injury in training in the week leading up to the match. With a week to recover he should be expected to not only be back and available but starting. Janmaat hasn't been quite as effective for Watford as he was for Newcastle from a fantasy point of view but he is certainly a worthy starter most weeks in draft/auction formats.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 9 - 12:49 PM

Walter Mazzarri will welcome back Miguel Britos after he had to sit out last weekend's loss suspended.

The Hornets defense was decimated by absences last weekend contributing to a resounding loss for the club. They will welcome back Miguel Britos and Daryl Janmaat to the back line as well as Valon Behrami (also coming back from suspension) to the base of midfield. The returning solidity could see the Hornets give Everton a tough match as the Toffees haven't been playing very well in recent weeks.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 9 - 12:56 PM

After recovering from an elbow to the face last weekend, Bruno Martins Indi will be fit for Stoke City's Week 15 trip to Arsenal.

The Potters will be happy to have Martins Indi back because Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron are unlikely and definitely unable to participate respectively. Shawcross' continued absence means that Marc Muniesa is likely to get a second consecutive start for Mark Hughes' side. Expect the Potters to line up with Pieters, Muniesa, Martins Indi, and Johnson across the back in front of Lee Grant. Despite the strong results over the past month, expect the trip to the Emirates to be a little less successful for the Stoke City defense. Any fantasy interest in them should be based on the expectation that tackles won, interceptions and aerial duels won will have to more than make up for the likelihood that they will concede more than the odd goal.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 9 - 12:32 PM

Marko Aruautovic came out of the 2-0 win over the Clarets last weekend with a minor knock. He will overcome that knock and be available to start against Arsenal on Saturday.

Stoke City have come on in recent weeks as their squad has returned to something at least resembling full fitness. Integral to that is the opportunity to have Joe Allen, Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri all available at the same time along with first choices at right and left back. All of the above should be available for the match against Arsenal with Joe Allen boasting a crucial goal against the Gunners last season while in a Liverpool uniform. Expect the Potters to be tougher competition than their early season efforts might lead you to believe.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 9 - 12:35 PM




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