Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

With Dimitri Payet dropped from the West Ham squad for Saturday's 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, Michail Antonio shouldered the creative responsibilities and recorded three assists.

Despite the omission of Dimitri Payet, who manager Slave Bilic stated "does not to play" for West Ham, Antonio stepped up and was easily the best Hammer on the pitch. Antonio's first contribution to the match saw him glided around Crystal Palace's goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey before setting up Sofiane Feghouli with a close-range finish. The English international was also the provider of the cross for Andy Carroll's stellar mid-air volley and feed Manuel Lanzini in the 86th-minute who sealed the match with a sublime chip. After his man of the match performance, Antonio has now scored eight goals and added three assists in 20 league appearances. Given the uncertainty surrounding Payet's future and Antonio's current form, the 26-year-old is a must-start in all formats of fantasy for Saturday's trip to Middlesbrough.
Source: BBC Sports
Jan 17 - 5:35 PM

While West Ham United topped Crystal 3-0 on Saturday, Andre Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyate both got off to a winning start at the 2017 African Cup of Nations.

Ayew was the star for Ghana as he scored the match-winner to lift the Black Stars over Uganda 1-0 on Tuesday. Ayew, who has scored one goal in 12 appearances for the Hammers this season, converted from the penalty spot to score his 13th international goal in their opening match of Group D. Elsewhere, Chiekhou Kouyate captained Senegal to a 2-0 win over Tunisia in Group B. While Ghana will host Mali and Senegal will take on Zimbabwe in their second fixtures of the AFCON group stage, West Ham will try to capture their second-straight win when they travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Jan 17 - 4:59 PM

Victor Valdes has been named in WhoScored.com's Premier League Team of the Week for the second time this campaign.

Valdes celebrated his 35th birthday on Saturday by making five saves and earning a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Watford at Vicarage Road. Valdes, who made his appearance in the weekly XI after Middlesbrough's 0-0 draw at Arsenal in October, recorded his fifth clean sheet of the season last Saturday. While Boro boasts the fourth-best defensive record across the Premier League, The Mirror has also revealed that Valdes has conceded just three goals from the last 22 shots faced. Valdes will look to continue his fine form when Boro face West Ham at the Riverside Stadium this weekend.
Jan 17 - 4:37 PM

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka says he was impressed by the glimpses of promise Rudy Gestede showed in his debut at Watford last Saturday.

After making his Premier League debut against Watford, introduced as a substitute with half an hour to play on Saturday, Karanka says Gestede will have a big role to play in Middlesbrough's campaign moving forward. Karanka said: "I said when we brought him here that he brings us something different...With him on the pitch, we have the kind of striker who you need sometimes to hold the ball, to create an impact on the pitch, score and defend from set pieces." Karanka added that Gestede will 'for sure' start games in the future, making the Beninese a forward to watch in fantasy over the new few weeks. Middlesbrough will close out the month of January with Premier League matches against West Ham (GW22) and West Brom (GW23), split by their fourth round FA Cup tie with Accrington Stanley on January 28th.
Jan 17 - 4:28 PM

Diego Costa rejoined training with Chelsea's first-team on Tuesday, Sky Sports reports.

Costa did not travel with the Chelsea squad for their 3-0 win over Leicester City last weekend, with a back injury listed as the official reason for his absence. While it was reported by several media outlets the omission was due to a spat during training over interest from China, worries seemed to be quelled by the striker's return to full training, after spending Sunday and Monday training by himself.
Source: Sky Sports
Jan 17 - 4:07 PM

Chelsea confirms Lucas Piazon has extended his loan with Championship side Fulham until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old forward scored on his debut for Fulham in the EFL Cup against Bristol City, and now scored four goals in 17 appearances for the Cottagers since joining on loan this summer. Piazon, a Brazil Under-23 international, has featured three time for Chelsea since joining the club in January 2012.
Jan 17 - 3:38 PM

After nearly a month of being out of action, Theo Walcott faces uncertainty over his role once he is healthy again.

The prognosis for Theo Walcott's return from injury has been consistently moving back. What was originally categorized as a one-match absence has now swelled to nearly a month. With Olivier Giroud red hot playing as a center forward and Alexis demanding a spot somewhere every week, Arsene Wenger will have to decide if Walcott will move immediately back into the line-up on his return. Walcott was off to a blistering start but Alex Iwobi has played well and Danny Welbeck has also returned since Walcott went out injured.
Source: arsenal.com
Jan 17 - 2:32 PM

Scan results confirm what most of us suspected on Saturday when a teary Jan Vertonghen was helped from the sidelines in obvious discomfort.

An innocuous stretch by the touchline, unchallenged, has almost ended the Belgium defenders season. Mauricio Pochettino admitted after the game that the ankle "looks bad" and tests since confirm Vertonghen is set for a lengthy spell on sidelines. How long? We can’t be sure at this point, swelling around the ankle joint makes it difficult to give a definitive timeline, but as a guide, Vertonghen will spend a minimum of 6 weeks in the treatment room with the likelihood that it will be closer to ten. The MRI highlighted extensive ligament damage, somewhere between a grade two and grade tear, almost a complete rupture which would’ve resulted in surgery and even more time out. The news will not force Pochettino into the market for a replacement, instead he will turn to the likes of Kevin Wimmer and Ben Davies to maintain the Tottenham title charge.
Jan 17 - 1:28 PM

Swansea City have completed the transfer of midfielder Tom Carroll from Tottenham on a three-and-a-half year deal.

Swansea City continue their January shopping with their second signing of the day and third of the month in Carroll. Carroll has been completely blocked from 1st team action with Spurs, especially with the emergence of Harry Winks this season, having played a total of one minute in league play this season. Now 24 years old, it makes sense for Tottenham to sell. Carroll is familiar with the Welsh side, spending a season there on loan in 2014/2015. Swansea are showing they are willing to buy players in this window in an attempt to survive a drop to the Championship, but, like Martin Olsson signed earlier today, Carroll is not the kind of impact player to lift a club from the bottom of the table. There is not much fantasy appeal in any format, except perhaps deeper draft leagues, and that's only if Carroll can nail down a regular starting role.
Jan 17 - 11:50 AM

Swansea City made their second signing of the January window, bringing in Martin Olsson from Norwich City on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Olsson has been Norwich City's primary left back for the past three and a half seasons, two of those in the top flight, and earned Premier League experience prior to that with Blackburn Rovers. He also has 40 caps for the Swedish national team. The timing of the signing helps buffer the loss of Neil Taylor, who is out for a few weeks from a fractured cheekbone and blocks Stephen Kingsley from deputizing in the mean time. Mired at the bottom of the table and on their third manager of the season, Swansea are making transactions, with Spurs Tom Carroll rumored to be headed for the Liberty Stadium. However, Olsson arguably isn't much of an upgrade to Taylor and they need to set their sights on a high-impact player or two to turn their season around.
Source: BBC Sport
Jan 17 - 8:29 AM

The Stoke City attack will be even more depleted following the news that Jon Walters has undergone surgery on his knee.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes confirmed the attacker will miss weeks after requiring knee surgery to fix a minor problem that has affected the Irishman, who has two goals in 17 league matches, throughout the season. The club is already without forwards Wilfried Bony and Mame Diouf due to the African Cup of Nations and could look to the transfer window for help. Said Hughes: "We are missing Jonny Walters unfortunately, who is suffering a problem with his knee. As a consequence of that he is going to be missing for a little bit, so that leaves us short up front to be perfectly honest."
Jan 16 - 6:27 PM

Following a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Spurs this weekend, West Brom will look to get Jonny Evans and Allan Nyom back as soon as possible.

Evans missed out on the weekend due to a calf injury as Jonas Olsson filled in for the former Manchester United man. Manager Tony Pulis said the club hopes to have him back in action for the upcoming weekend against Sunderland. "We were not expecting him to miss the Spurs game so we’re taking nothing for granted. It’s a different injury to his earlier problem but it is in the same area as his calf. We will have to wait and see." Meanwhile, Nyom continues to miss out as the club waits to receive international clearance from Cameroon, who is also holding up Joel Matip at Liverpool. But FIFA is set to intervene this week with the hope of clearing them for the weekend.
Jan 16 - 5:28 PM

An ever-growing injury list combined with a threadbare squad didn’t stop Hull City from earning three valuable points at home to Bournemouth on Saturday.

The Tigers were rocked during the build-up to game week 21 with the news that Markus Henriksen would be sidelined for up-to three months after he suffered an unspecified shoulder injury during the EFL Cup semi-final defeat at Old Trafford. The Norwegian had started in Marco Silva’s first two games but now the midfielder looks set to miss a large chunk of the relegation dogfight. However, in the face of adversity, cometh the hour, cometh the man as Abel Hernandez served a timely reminder of the what Hull supporters have been missing in recent weeks with a brace in the 3-1 victory. Hull went nine games without a win during his recent absence, a persistent groin problem which ultimately left the striker needing surgery, but his comeback, which coincided with the appointment of Silva has already shown signs that the pair can revive the fortunes of the club.
Source: Sky Sports
Jan 16 - 6:52 AM

Chelsea have recalled forward Patrick Bamford from Burnley and are said to plan to sell him permanently to Middlesbrough for a fee up to £10m. .

There is news out of Stamford Bridge about a striker not named Diego Costa. When Chelsea recalled Bamford, one might speculate initially that he was brought back for depth if Costa was to be sold. The Costa situation is still murky but now we know Bamford's recall was to push through a permanent transfer. It has been a tough 18 months for Bamford, having half-season loan spells for Crystal Palace, Norwich City and the Clarets, scoring no goals in any competitions over a total of 22 appearances. Before his career stalled, he had a great 2014/2015 season for Middlesbrough, scoring 19 goals across all competitions. He is still young enough at 23 to get his career on track, but he will still need to earn the trust of Aitor Karanka to earn regular playing time and become a fantasy prospect.
Source: Telegraph
Jan 16 - 6:20 AM

Nathaniel Clyne should be back for Liverpool’s next Premier League game after missing the 1-1 draw against Man United because of injury.

The big news prior to kick off at Old Trafford was the surprise inclusion of Trent Alexander-Arnold who made his full Premier League debut at right-back in the absence of Clyne. Previously, the 18-year-old had managed only a brief injury time cameo at Middlesbrough [GW16] although Arnold has been involved in both domestic cup competitions this term. There was no mention of an injury doubt during Friday's media briefing, but Jürgen Klopp did offer an update ahead of the north-west derby: "We all have – a few of us probably have a few more – 14 muscles between the ribs and one of these hurts a lot. He got a knock at Southampton," before going onto to add. "Clyne can nearly cope with everything so we all thought it will work out, but in training [Saturday] he twisted it a little bit. We had to wait overnight and he said this morning ‘no chance’.
Source: The Metro
Jan 16 - 5:20 AM



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