Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Chelsea ensured they will be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day after a hard-fought victory over Stoke City.

Once again, Cesc Fabregas was at the heart of everything as Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. The Spaniard picked up his 12th assist of the season when his corner was headed in by John Terry inside two minutes and the Premier League leaders deservedly doubled their lead through Fabregas' own finish with just over 10 minutes remaining to secure the three points. It was a heated match, and Stoke gave it a good go, but Jose Mourinho's team were just too strong and they restore their three point gap over Manchester City to sit top of the table at Christmas.
Source: BBC Sport
Dec 22 - 5:11 PM

Fabio Borini may have played his final game in a Liverpool shirt after the Italian striker was sent-off for two bookable offences following his introduction during Sundays’ last gasp draw with Arsenal at Anfield.

A frustrated Borini cut a forlorn figure as he trudged off after a high challenge on Santi Cazorla left referee Michael Oliver with no option after he had been booked moments earlier for dissent. Borini rejected summer moves to both Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers to "fight for his place" but it is evident that the player does not feature in Brendan Rodgers’ long-term plans having only started one league game this season. Despite the stuttering and out-of-form Mario Balotelli and the disappointing Lazar Markovic Borini has been continuously overlooked and with Raheem Sterling also staking a claim for a place up front the forward may look elsewhere during the January transfer window.
Source: Metro
Dec 22 - 8:10 AM

Newcastle enforcer Cheick Tiote has been ruled out of the clash at Old Trafford on Boxing Day against Manchester United because of suspension.

The Ivorian midfielder picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in Sundays’ defeat to Sunderland following a number of persistent fouls during the first half of a tense Tyne-Wear derby. Tiote has just returned to the United squad following a recent calf strain but has failed to live up to his previous high standards with many questioning his inclusion in recent games. Mehdi Abeid would’ve been an option but is still struggling with a broken toe – although a pain-killing injection will help – while Vernon Anita has a chance to come in from the cold as Newcastle struggle with a number of midfielders out. However great news for Jonas Gutierrez who steps up his recovery from testicular cancer by playing for the under-21 side on Monday.
Source: Squawka
Dec 22 - 7:44 AM

Queens Park Rangers made it four home wins from five at Loftus Road on Saturday as a Charlie Austin treble capped a remarkable comeback against West Brom who had stormed into an early two goal lead.

Austin – returning following a one game ban – took his tally to 9 goals in 8 games by scoring his first competitive hat-trick since signing for the Hoops while helping his side climb to 17th in the division. However the win was tinged with disappointment as South Korean Suk–Young Yun was replaced during the first half because of an ankle problem. The central defender has established himself in the heart of the Rangers defence and his absence would be a blow for Redknapp although there are a number of potential suitors should tests rule Yun out over Christmas – Clint Hill his replacement on Saturday appears to be the preferred option while Rio Ferdinand can also be called upon if required.
Dec 22 - 6:00 AM

Tottenham will need to check on Ryan Mason ahead of the upcoming games against Leicester City and Manchester United after limping out of Saturdays’ win over Burnley at White Hart Lane moments before half-time.

Mason has seen his stock rise significantly at Spurs this season – having enjoyed a number of loan spells including Swindon and Lorient the midfielder has come of age since his debut back in Septembers’ North London derby and has been a key player for Mauricio Pochettino ever since managing to nail down a place in Tottenhams’ highly competitive midfield. With 12 league starts to his name already only Christian Eriksen has more and Mason is the preferred option over the more established Moussa Dembele and Benjamin Stambouli so this setback will come as a blow although Pochettino did add post-match that "he hoped the [ankle] injury wasn’t too serious."
Source: Daily Mail
Dec 22 - 4:48 AM

Gus Poyet will consider bringing Billy Jones straight back into the first team after more than two and a half months if the injury to Anthony Reveillere is serious enough to keep the defender out of Thursdays’ clash against Hull City at the Stadium of Light.

The veteran French full-back has impressed since arriving in October following his release from Napoli providing defensive cover for the injured Patrick van Aanholt [dislocated shoulder] and Billy Jones [hamstring] starting all 7 games since his debut against Arsenal. However Reveillere missed Sundays’ derby win over Newcastle because of a muscular problem suffered during the pre-match warm-up - the 35 year-old limped to the sidelines having tweaked his calf which forced a last minute reshuffle and Liverpool loanee Sebastien Coates came in for only his third league start since May 2013. Gus Poyet must now decide whether to risk Billy Jones who is close to a return or continue with the same side that managed a shut out at St James’ Park.
Dec 22 - 4:14 AM

Leonardo Ulloa was quiet in Leicester's 0-2 loss against West Ham United.

The striker was red-hot at the beginning of the season and has had a few strong weeks throughout the season but has failed to produce consistent fantasy points. He didn't even start this week and received a yellow card during his 30 minutes on the pitch. He is a non-option in almost all formats at this time.
Source: Sky Sports
Dec 21 - 5:35 PM

Wes Morgan finished week 17 with a double digit fantasy score.

The Leicester City defender was able to earn enough phantom points for a solid fantasy return but has no established himself as a consistent source of points. Morgan can be ignored in almost all formats as he is not even the best fantasy defender on his team. Leicester remain without a consistent producer of fantasy points.
Source: Sky Sports
Dec 21 - 5:26 PM

Jose Fonte registered a great stat line that included a clean sheet in Southampton's match this weekend.

Fonte finished the game with 18 fantasy points and his average is now at 8 points per game on the season. With Southampton's defense proving to be one of the best in the Premier League and Fonte's ability to get a lot of phantom points, he remains a good option for fantasy managers. Unlike his defensive partners Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand, Fonte is owned by under 1% of managers and can prove to be a great differential option.
Source: Sky Sports
Dec 21 - 5:22 PM

Graziano Pelle scored a tap-in in Southampton's 3-0 rout of Everton.

The Italian striker had a scoring drought earlier this month but has now scored in two of his last three and is beginning to build some momentum again. Southampton's schedule gets easier in the coming weeks so if you could grab Pelle at a reasonable price, he could be a great addition to your fantasy squad.
Source: Sky Sports
Dec 21 - 5:09 PM

American goalkeeper Brad Guzan was exceptional this weekend in Aston Villa's 1-1 draw against Manchester United.

Guzan saved an incredible eight shots, including two late in the game after Villa were down to 10 men. The performance is yet another one that supports the view of those who think Guzan should replace Tim Howard at the next World Cup. The American will be 33 years old at that time and will have a solid chance of winning the job.
Source: Sky Sports
Dec 21 - 5:04 PM

Swansea manager Garry Monk made seven changes for the trip to Hull City on Saturday but the Jacks still left the KC Stadium with all three points as the pressure begins to mount on Steve Bruce - his Tigers’ side are now 19th in the division.

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was back following his one game suspension to replace Gerhard Tremmel while Argentine defender Frederico Fernandez returned after more than six weeks out because of a calf strain. Monk also made three enforced changes with Jefferson Montero [hamstring], Leon Britton [knee] and Gylfi Sigurdsson [foot] all carrying minor "niggles" which saw them rested as a precaution ahead of a busy Christmas fixture period. Bafetimbi Gomis was afforded only his third start of the season as Wilfried Bony warmed the bench – the French attacker was given his chance to stake his claim for a place in the eleven when their leading scorer departs for African Cup of Nations duty in January but the forward failed to light the touch paper.
Dec 21 - 4:51 PM

Fabian Delph was strong in his first start since returning from injury.

Delph came off the bench last week and started this weekend, leading Aston Villa to a point against Manchester United. The midfielder played well and came out with 12 fantasy points. Despite the strong fantasy game, Delph remains an average option at best while still averaging only six fantasy points per game. He is better in real life than in fantasy.
Dec 21 - 4:43 PM

Gabby Agbonlahor was sent off during Aston Villa's 1-1 draw against Manchester United.

Agbonlahor committed a tough challenge against Ashley Young on Saturday and was sent off as a result. He will now be serving a three-match ban that will last through gameweek 20 and will be eligible to return in the Premier League against Leicester City on the 10th of January. Christian Benteke takes a slight bump down with Agbonlahor not present to set him up while no other Villa attackers become an option during the suspension.
Dec 21 - 4:38 PM

Olivier Giroud scored his third goal in his past two matches to put Arsenal up 2-1 in the 64th minute but they couldn't hold on and had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Arsenal were up a man and a goal heading into the waning minutes of second half extra time. The Gunners answered Philippe Coutinho's first half opener with some head tennis that ended in Mathieu Debuchy scoring in first half stoppage time. In the 64th minute, Giroud was at his best deftly flicking a ball to Cazorla who reversed it to the France international who powered it through Brad Jones' legs for a 2-1 lead. Things looked up for the Gunners when Fabio Borini was sent off with a few minutes left in stoppage time but Liverpool continued to press Arsene Wenger's defensive substitutions and got a late equalizer for the final score.
Dec 21 - 1:07 PM

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