Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Stoke striker Bojan Krkic had an eventful 30 minute cameo during Monday nights’ FA Cup fourth round tie as Stoke City took on League One side Rochdale at Spotland.

A crisp volley within 4 minutes opened the scoring as the Spanish summer signing made it 3 goals from the last 5 games as he continued his rich vein of form. Bojan then picked up his third yellow card of the season – unsporting behaviour – before going down unchallenged holding his knee. Mark Hughes was taking no risks and despite Bojan insisting he was okay to continue the physio signalled to the bench that a change would need to be made. Hopefully his withdrawal was only precautionary with Mame Biram Diouf currently away on AFCoN duty and Peter Odemwingie [ACL] expected to miss the remainder of the campaign – Peter Crouch is the only out-and-out striker currently available although Jon Walters and Marko Arnautovic are able to play in more advanced roles.
Jan 26 - 4:18 PM

Jefferson Montero will be pushing for his first start mid-December after making an appearance off the bench for Swansea City in their FA Cup loss to Blackburn Rovers.

Garry Monk will need the talents of Montero if the Swans have any hopes of scoring when they travel to Southampton for their next league match. With Wilfried Bony no longer with the club and Gylfi Sigurdsson set to serve a three match ban, it is hard to look to anyone else as a serious goal threat. Wayne Routledge will miss the match as well, nursing a calf injury, so unless Monk sees something he doesn't like in training this week, he should be penciling Montero into his lineup. Playing as a winger but classified as midfielder, Montero has potential fantasy appeal for what is currently a very attractive price.

With Cheick Tiote away to play for Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations, Vurnon Anita looks poised to earn his third straight start for Newcastle United when they travel to Hull City next.

Anita has been partnering Jack Colback as central defensive midfielders for the Magpies lately, and while Colback has been one of the pleasant surprises of the fantasy season, Anita offers very little in production. His only redeeming quality in comparison to Tiote is that he is not nearly as prone to being carded, but he will also come nowhere near Tiote's numbers when it comes to winning tackles.
Jan 26 - 3:47 PM

Liverpool's recent defensive improvement may have more to do with the presence of Lucas in the XI than anything else.

Liverpool kept only two clean sheets in their first twelve league matches this season, with Lucas starting just one of them. He has started the following ten matches since and the Reds have racked up five cleanies, with their most recent coming on the road at Villa Park. His defensive efforts combined with Phillipe Coutinho's creative contributions has given the Reds midfield the necessary spark to compensate for what as been disappointing production at the striker and defender positions. Unfortunately, Lucas' style does not translate to fantasy production and will probably remain an afterthought for those purposes.
Jan 26 - 3:32 PM

Looking for anything positive to build off of, Everton's defense surely received a morale boost after keeping West Brom from scoring in their last league mach.A

A solid 14 points from Seamus Coleman in the Yahoo game against the Baggies, reminiscent of potential from season's past, but not nearly common enough this term. Leighton Baines would have 17 himself and would have doubled that score in all likelihood were it not for the stinginess of Kevin Mirallas. Their next match against Crystal Palace looked promising enough a couple weeks ago, with Mile Jedinak and Yannick Bolasie off on international duty, but the Eagles have scored five times over their past two as Alan Pardew has changed the club philosophy and Jason Puncheon is hitting form again. Still, with an increase in scoring has impacted their defending negatively and an attacking fullback like Coleman can still deliver the goods even if Everton concede.

The changing of the Michaels appears to be official as Michael Keane continues to start instead of the now-fit veteran Michael Duff.

With Keane's loan spell at Turf Moor having become a permanent deal, it is clear Sean Dyche sees the youngster as the future for the Clarets at center back. The veteran Duff had a nice run starting twelve straight in the top flight, but will need to adjust to spending time on the bench and waiting for another chance. Keane is a budget option in fantasy relative to his defensive teammates, Kieran Trippier, Ben Mee and Jason Shackell.

Arsenal transfer target Gabriel Paulista was granted a work permit ahead of a proposed move from Villarreal.

The Brazilian central defender has only played half a season as a starter in La Liga but has been highly rated for his performances this season. He has been compared to Laurent Koscielny as something of a no-nonsense, athletic center back who is strong with his positioning and solid in the air. The only weakness that has been pointed out at this stage in his development is an inability to ignite the attack with most of his passes going sideways rather than up the field. Assuming that the deal goes through as expected this week this will be a huge boost to a defense currently lacking a starting-quality center back.
Source: ESPNFC.com
Jan 26 - 10:53 AM

West Brom are determined to sign Callum McManaman from Wigan.

The Baggies have been trying to sign the 23-year-old midfielder for some time during the current transfer window and had a second bid of £4 million turned down by the Lancashire club last week. Tony Pulis confirmed that talks were continuing in his press conference ahead of Saturday's FA Cup fourth round victory over local rivals Birmingham. McManaman, a former England U-20 international, has also been the subject of interest from Hull City, having scored five times in 23 appearances for Wigan, who are struggling in the lower reaches of the Championship.
Source: Sky Sports
Jan 26 - 1:37 AM

Fabian Delph has signed a new four-and-a-half year contract with Aston Villa.

Delph, who made his England debut in September last year, had been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham with the suggestion Villa may look to sell in January rather than lose him for nothing when his previous contract was due to expire at the end of this season. Delph's new contract will keep him at Villa Park until the summer of 2019, much to the delight of head coach Paul Lambert. "When you get someone like Fabian - who might have had the possibility of going elsewhere to pastures new - to have him commit is a massive, massive coup for us. No-one expected it. I think everyone thought Fabian was going to go and we would have to get someone else in. I don't think anyone saw this coming. But it's been something we've been trying to do, as I have always said. It's great for Aston Villa. It's great for Fabian. I think this is a massive, massive step."
Source: Sky Sports
Jan 26 - 1:24 AM

Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil both started and scored for Arsenal in their 3-2 FA Cup fourth round win over Brighton but it was Tomas Rosicky that stole the show.

Tomas Rosicky has experienced something of a resurrection over the past month at Arsenal. He has enjoyed both good health and great form, a combination that has eluded him for most of his lengthy tenure at Arsenal. In the FA Cup fourth round tie at the AmEx stadium in Brighton, the Czech creator pulled the strings for Arsenal's attack as well as scoring a goal the likes of which we haven't seen from him since the 2006 World Cup against the United States. If Rosicky can stay healthy he will be a great piece to the Arsenal rotation as they fight to retain their FA Cup and finish in a Champions League spot in the league.
Jan 25 - 2:40 PM

Garry Monk cut a forlorn figure at Ewood Park on Saturday as his Swansea side crashed out of the FA Cup but the home side were helped by a contentious refereeing decision early in the game.

Kyle Bartley was adjudged to have committed a professional foul on opposition striker Josh King after just six minutes and his sending-off effectively levelled the game as a contest for the Championship team. Despite a thunderous Gylfi Sigurdsson strike to put the Jacks ahead Swansea were unable to maintain their lead and as fatigue began to play its part Rovers were able to step up and progress through to the fifth round. Swansea ended the match with just nine men as the frustrated Sigurdsson lunged with no intention of playing the ball in injury time. The referee awarded a straight red card for serious foul play – an offence which carries an automatic three game ban.
Jan 25 - 7:01 AM

Liam Moore has had limited first team opportunities in the Premier League recently having failed to start a game since early December but Nigel Pearson does like to use his defender in the FA Cup.

Moore was starting his second domestic cup tie this month although it maybe his lack of sharpness which brought about the opening goal in yesterdays’ fourth round tie at White Hart Lane – the Foxes defender was drawn into a clumsy challenge by Roberto Soldado giving the referee no other option than to award a penalty. His misery was further compounded five minutes later after he was booked before an ankle injury ended his afternoon on 26 minutes – Marcin Wasilewski his replacement. Moore will be assessed but Pearson does have a number of defensive options and with Matthew Upson close to a return his availability will add some valuable experience and cover during the season run in.
Jan 25 - 6:35 AM

Ben Foster was hoping for an easy day on Saturday as Tony Pulis confirmed back-up stopper Boaz Myhill would get the nod for the fourth round away tie at Birmingham in the FA Cup.

However a collision with Blues centre-forward Lloyd Dyer left the reserve goalkeeper with a split finger and suspected dislocation which required stitches and an X-ray. Although minor the injury could potentially keep Myhill out for a few weeks and with Ben Foster as the only other experienced first team keeper his absence will be a concern. Pulis will wait for further assessments / test results before deciding his next steps but with a week of the transfer window still to go the Baggies boss could yet bring in a fresh face.
Jan 25 - 6:04 AM

Villarreal have reached agreement with Arsenal for the sale of center-back Gabriel Paulista, with the Gunners forward Joel Campbell heading to the Spanish club on loan for the rest of the season.

The deal was agreed on Saturday evening, shortly before Villarreal's Primera Division match against Levante kicked off at El Madrigal. It comes at a good time for Campbell who has made just four appearances for the club this season, totaling 41 minutes in all.
Jan 24 - 4:26 PM

West Ham’s Ravel Morrison has agreed to join Italian side Lazio on a free transfer at the end of the Premier League season.

Morrison’s deal expires in the summer and he has agreed to a contract with the Serie A side, although he has not formally signed yet. He was signed by the Hammers on a three-and-a-half year deal in January 2012, but his career has stalled a little since his arrival and he has been sent to three different clubs on loan. Several teams in Europe have reportedly expressed an interest in signing Morrison during the current transfer window, but it looks like he has opted to let his contract expire before departing Upton Park.
Source: Sky Sports
Jan 24 - 3:25 PM



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