Hey lads, Matt here to bring you another summary of this week’s breaking EPL news. I will analyse how this may affect our early team drafts and which potential bargains may have emerged during the pre-season. Injuries are also a concern so they will be reviewed to make sure you go into GW1 with a fit 11! Let’s begin!
Sagna is set to miss until the end of august at least as he continues to recover from his broken leg suffered last season. This leaves arsenals RB slot free for the first month, so it will be interesting to see who wenger goes with. Agbonlahor is set to miss the first month after undergoing knee surgery, this should help Bent’s prospects as Villa should play a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-5-1. However they may lose some of the penetration and attacking edge Agbonlahor provides, even so you would think Bent is good to go with a great run of early fixtures. Evans is set to miss the opener against Everton putting United’s defence into more disarray. Add to this that Jones is in doubt with illness, things may not start well for Valencia who has started at RB in their last 2 pre-season contests. Although having said this I expect Jones to be fit and firing come season start, but only time will tell.
Richards is also in doubt after sustaining a knock for GB at the Olympics. This will frustrate managers and leaves us with even more questions as to City’s starting lineup. Almost impossible to predict at this stage, but perhaps we will get a better idea with the community shield this weekend. Huth is very doubtful for Stoke’s season opener with illness, his manager holds grave concerns. Definitely try to avoid him, Shawcross is the option here. Sessegnon will undergo scans on his ankle making him yet another doubt. O’Neil has stated they are concerned and will hope for the best, so will the 6.2% of managers who currently have selected him. Keep an eye out for the results of those scans when they are revealed.
Van der Vaart still remains a doubt over his injury picked up against the LA Galaxy, probably try to avoid to start with as fitness is a real worry, Bale or Sigurdsson are the better options as a route into spurs midfield. Nolan remains in doubt with a toe injury he picked up very early this pre-season, another risky option to start with fitness a concern.
Onto transfer news now and the big one is Arsenal’s latest addition in Santi Cazorla. He is priced at 9.0 which I feel is a little harsh, I had held hopes of 8.5 but anyway he could still be a great option. Will be interesting how Wenger uses him as he can play many different roles so he is a very dangerous option to start with. He may not make the first game against Sunderland as he joins his new teammates for the first time this weekend. Avoid to begin with but keep an eye on him incase he explodes, expect similar returns to Mata last season.
EDIT: Just an update on Sinclair, he is currently selected in my team by there is now speculation that Manchester City have tested Swansea’s resolve with an offer. If this is the case and he goes he will no longer be fantasy relevant, but with Swansea’s easy fixtures Michu will become far more entising, while Graham may take penalty duties.
Kightly has joined stoke but is not a viable option, priced at 5.5 in midfield he won’t be fantasy relevant. Allen seems to be closing in on his dream move to Liverpool, although he may turn out to be just like Adam. Great potential and fantastic at a lower club but less relevant at a big club. Avoid for mine. Finally a quick rumour, Schurlle could be on his way to Chelsea as a replacement for Didier Drogba, and he would make a very neat prospect in fantasy terms. Torres form may be a key if this move goes through. Also they are looking at a RB as Ivanovic has been less than convincing pre-season. Cole seems the option here.
Finally a quick wrap of the pre-season movers. Graham’s hat-trick has been well talked about but now Naismith has joined the party bagging a hat-trick for Everton. He seems a great option playing behind Jelavic, definitely one to watch and could be a bargain option in midfield. His competition and more popular pick from Everton, Pienaar looked great again, pulling the strings on his way to 3 assists. At 6.5 he is still looking a great option, although Everton’s early season form has typically been very poor. Surely that will change this time round? Well this has been the way for the last 5 years so be wary early on. De Gea had a brilliant performance for United against Barca keeping United’s 4th clean sheet in 5. They are looking very solid at the back so De Gea is looking a steal at this stage, Lindegaard still on watch though. Finally McClean has scored for Sunderland which could be a sign of things to come. With no striker currently, you would think O’Neil will sign one soon. Even so this should just create better attacking returns for the Black Cats and McClean will be a part of this. Watchlist for sure, if not a first up selection.
So that wraps up the news from the EPL. We are edging closer to season start day by day, until then you can leave a comment in the section below to have a chat or just tweet me @MattCraigDT. Don’t forget to keep up with the news by following us @FPLaddicts. Until then just keep tweaking your squads and countdown, only 8 days to go!