AM's Perfect XI - Week 26

AM's Perfect XI - Week 26
Nik Argiropoulos continues to focus on Togga's Perfect XI game, presenting his player picks for Week 26 of the Premier League season.
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Michael Carrick is expected to miss the EFL Cup final at Wembley after he was forced off with a calf injury in France.

Carrick was named in the starting XI for Manchester United’s Europa League second leg tie versus Saint-Etienne, but the 35-year-old only lasted an hour before a calf problem ended his evening. Speaking after the game, Jose Mourinho defended his line-up: "You can get hurt when you leave your house, you never know when or where." Mourinho will consider his options ahead of Sunday, but Marouane Fellaini and Bastian Schweinsteiger are two potential replacements. United could also be without Mkhitaryan who limped off with a hamstring injury: "I think Henrikh and Michael are both out," said Mourinho. "But, this is based on my experience, not on my medical knowledge and not based on tests and what they have to do tomorrow."
Feb 23 - 5:10 AM

Andy Carroll looks to have lost his battle to be fit for this weekend’s trip to Vicarage Road.

Slaven Bilic revealed during the build-up to game week 25 that the injury plagued 28-year-old had been carrying a niggling groin problem which resulted in him missing out against West Brom at the London Stadium. It was envisioned that Carroll would be ready for a return this weekend, but speaking to talkSPORT radio on Wednesday, the Hammers manager confirmed: "He is in good form. The only thing about him is that now he is a little bit injured and he didn't train for 10 days. That is a big blow for us but, saying that, he is going to be back very soon." His absence is likely to see Antonio lead the West Ham attack, although club-record signing Andre Ayew will come back into contention following his return from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Source: Daily Mail
Feb 23 - 4:54 AM

Johann Berg Gudmundsson picked up a knock in Burnley's FA Cup loss to Lincoln City last weekend, putting a slight doubt on his availability heading into this weekend's trip to Hull City.

Gudmundsson had just returned from a hamstring injury that had kept him out since early January but he had to exit early against Lincoln City. His removal from the match by Sean Dyche may have been more precautionary than anything, as he will look to the Icelandic international as a source of attacking influence with Burnley entering their season's run-in. Having picked up only one point away from Turf Moor so far this campaign, the Clarets will be looking for a positive result against upstart Hull in an intriguing matchup.
Source: Goal.com
Feb 23 - 1:02 AM

Mauricio Pochettino confirmed that Tottenham left-back Danny Rose is still a number of weeks away from returning to full training as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

This is a concern for Tottenham supporters and owners of Danny Rose in fantasy as recovery timelines out of White Hart Lane have a reputation for being underestimated or, as is the case with Erik Lamela, not estimated at all. Rose is too good to drop in draft leagues, but owners in that kind of format will hope weeks will not turn into months as a player's fantasy value begins to fade quickly as the matches start to run out. Ben Davies should continue to occupy the role in the meantime and makes for a fine plug and play if still available on free agent markets.
Feb 23 - 12:52 AM

Manchester United are through to the last 16 of the Europa League after beating Ligue 1 side St. Etienne 4-0 on aggregate.

The Red Devils added a 0-1 win in France to their 3-0 triumph at Old Trafford to secure the result. In spite of their lead going into the game, Jose Mourinho took no chances and named a strong line-up which included Pogba, Ibra and Mkhi in spite of Sunday's upcoming EFL Cup final. The plan started well, with the tie effectively ended after 16 minutes when Mkhitaryan finished a fine team goal with a deft flick at the near post. United were rarely threatened by the French, with Perrin having their best chance from a header which was easily dealt with by Romero. Rashford could have scored too but blew his chance. The sending off of Eric Bailly for two bookable offences frustrated Mourinho, and the Ivorian will miss the first leg of United's next European game. Mkhi and Carrick picked up injuries and may now miss Sunday's EFL Cup final.
Source: BBC Sport
Feb 22 - 8:48 PM

Hull City striker Abel Hernandez is currently subject to string links with a move away from the club to Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan.

The Uruguayan has been the subject of numerous rumours this season, with this latest one emerging from Italian site Calciomercato.it. They say that the Chinese club may be willing to break Hull's largest transfer windfall record (from Shane Long) with a £15.3m bid. The Chinese transfer window remains open until February 28th, so there is still time for the value of a bid to escalate towards a figure closer to the £20m tabled by Aston Villa last summer. While Hernandez isn't a key part of Hull's team at present due to injuries and variable form, the squad is still thin and it may be a stretch for the club to lose another player as the crucial battle to survive relegation comes to a head.
Feb 22 - 8:29 PM

Hull City defender Harry Maguire's performances and stats in the Premier League this season have seen him become a genuine prospect for an England call-up.

Maguire has been at Hull for three seasons, but has only properly cemented his starting position in a string of eye-catching performances while replacing the injured Michael Dawson and Curtis Davies at centre-back. He made his full PL debut in October in the 6-1 loss to Bournemouth but has been generally good since. He has shown his ability to read the game well through his interceptions (2.44 pg) which is far better than nearest Englishman Michael Keane 2.04. Chris Smalling has 0.57. Maguire has also steered clear of any defensive errors according to the stats this term which neither Stones, Cahill, Smalling, or Keane can say. He is ahead of all those players too in tackles won and duels won per game and 2nd only to Keane for blocks. In attack, he leads English CBs in terms of take-ons per game, shots and fouls drawn.
Feb 22 - 8:17 PM

Bournemouth forward Joshua King is confident that he can step up to the plate and replace Callum Wilson as the club's main striker for the rest of the season.

Wilson has been ruled out with another long term knee injury, leaving Norwegian international King to fill the vacuum as he did last term. Last season, he did well in his preferred striker position and finished the season as the club's top scorer. He scored some important goals in wins over Manchester United, Newcastle, Swansea and Aston Villa. In recent weeks, he has again prospered in Wilson's absence, finding the net four times in the Cherries’ past seven games. When quizzed on the atter King said: "I am confident in the team. I have been playing the number 10 role for most of the season and sometimes on the wing... Unfortunately, we have lost one of our main players to injury so it is going to need other people to step up, like we did last season."
Feb 22 - 7:52 PM
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