Last week, put simply, was a nightmare for FPL managers. Everything that could have gone wrong regarding selection did. Silva featured from the bench, as did Rooney, while Adebayor marked his first game as a Tottenham player in ordinary fashion from the bench. Even some P.O.D’s in Szczesny and Riise missed out. So, with deadline day completed, there will be an influx of new players. Is it too early for them to start? Probably. But…. stranger things have happened.
Let’s kick it off.
West Ham v Fulham
Jaaskelainen; Demel, Collins, Reid, McCartney; Diarra, Noble, Nolan; Vaz Te, Carroll, Jarvis.
On the injury front, Collins, Reid and McCartney are expected to overcome knocks, and should be ready. The back four could change if anyone pulls out, with O’Brien and Tomkins waiting in the wings, although the latter has been deployed in a midfield role so far this season. Diarra gets the nod over Diame due to his fitness levels returning to where they should be. Carroll should make his start over Cole as his deal was apparently finalised on Thursday, but obviously monitor the situation carefully.
Schwarzer; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Sidwell, Diarra, Kacaniklic; Ruiz; Petric.
Life begins without Dembele, where Sidwell should step in. The midfield looks devout of creativity without him, so look for them to play through Kacaniklic. Petric should start, with Berbatov given a week or so to adjust. New boy Richardson could feature on the left instead of Kacaniklic if Jol feels he needs more spark in the middle, but I doubt it happening.
Swansea v Sunderland
Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Taylor; Britton, De Guzman, Michu; Dyer, Graham, Routledge.
Expect much of the same from Swansea, with midweek signings Yeung from Celtic and Hernandez from Valencia likely to feature after the international break. When they do get debuts however, Dyer and Routledge owners might want to think about offloading as they are the most likely to make way.
Mignolet; Gardner, Cuellar, O’Shea, Colback; Johnson, Larsson, Cattermole, McClean; Sessegnon; Fletcher.
The Black Cats’ front 6 players look as good as any teams. Johnson and Fletcher look like featuring for their first runs of the campaign. Larsson’s shift to midfield role excites me, as does Fletcher and Johnson’s inclusion. It’s the back four for Sunderland that looks shaky at best. Richardson‘s departure means Colback might have to fill in at LB (I’m guessing Rose won’t be deployed the day after he was acquired.) With Bardsley and Brown still injured, Gardner will have to continue as a makeshift RB. That leaves them with no fullbacks, against a team that love their wingers….Uh oh….
Tottenham v Norwich
Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Dembele, Sandro; Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale; Adebayor.
A lot to cover with Tottenham. Kaboul has gone under the knife so he’s out for a few months, enter Gallas. Caulker may be given the opportunity due to Gallas’ age and mobility not really suiting AVB’s High defensive line. Adebayor should start over Defoe, while Sigurdsson should start at CAM with VDV’s departure. Dembele should start after completing his move on Wednesday. Parker isn’t ready until after the international break. Dempsey probably won’t feature so soon after being signed.
Ruddy; Martin, Bassong, Barnett, Garrido; Howson, Fox, Snodgrass, Johnson, Surman; Holt.
Meh. Surman should be part of a 5 man midfield at the expense of Jackson as Norwich play away. Bassong will start after his transfer from Spurs and should make for a bit of beef early.
West Brom v Everton
Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgwell; Dorrans, Yacob, Morrison; Odemwingie, Lukaku, Long.
a 4-3-3 should be adopted for the Baggies home clash v Everton. Thomas remains in doubt, while Fortune could start instead of Lukaku given his recent run of tasty form. Gera and Brunt could also feature, but that would require a change in formation to see them start with an extra midfielder, or perhaps deploy El Ghanassay on the wing.
Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman, Gibson, Neville, Pienaar, Fellaini; Jelavic.
Let me just say it. Everton’s squad and first team looks as good as I can remember it looking in the last half decade. Moyes, is a genius. Mirallas may start following his brace in the Blues 5-0 win over orient, and Naismith may also crack the starting team if Moyes opts to inject a bit of pace in an otherwise fairly toothless centre midfield partnership of Gibson and Neville. Heitinga could also be deployed in midfield if a defensive minded approach is adopted.
Wigan v Stoke City
Al Habsi; Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, McArthur, Moloney, McCarthy, Beausejour; Kone, Di Santo.
Much the same side, apart from Alcaraz missing for seeing red during their mid-week cup tie. Kone should start up front alongside Di Santo given his recent run of impressive substitute performances. Miyaichi hasn’t featured yet, surely it’s just a matter of time.
Begovic; Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson; Pennant, Cameron, Whelan, Kightly; Walters; Crouch.
Same as usual from Stoke, with Adam likely to be given until after the international break to make his debut in the middle. Etherington looks set to miss out through injury, giving Pennant his starting role again.
Manchester City v QPR
Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Silva, Rodwell, Toure, Nasri; Tevez, Balotelli.
I’m guessing Man City will adopt a 4-4-2 for the home clash, and do away with this ridiculous 3-5-2 experiment. This sees Clichy and Rodwell in for Kolarov and Milner as a wide man. Balotelli might also be shelves in favour of Dzeko, following the enigma’s lacklustre start at Anfield last week. De Jong‘s departure means Rodwell looks in line for first team apperances… who’s got big enough balls to pick him though? Not me.
Cesar; Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Fabio; Hoilett, Park, Derry, Taarabt, Mackie; Cissé.
Presuming QPR will take a 4-5-1 into their away clash in order to make the scoreline semi-respectable. Derry will come in for Diakite who is absent for personal reasons, whilst Faurlin is fit again and featured on Tuesday night. It’s really impossible to tell what Hughes will do with their new signings, but Granero is pretty tough to ignore in the centre of the midfield. He should start after the break though.
Arsenal v Liverpool
Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla; Podolski, Giroud, Gervinho.
Szczesny should be right to start after missing last week. Koscielny is fit, but I doubt Wenger will tweak with a back four that’s kept two clean sheets in a row. Walcott will likely miss a starting place after having a mid-week scuff with the club about wages.
Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Allen, Sahin, Gerrard; Borini, Suarez, Sterling.
Skrtel returns from his suspension, and should be joined by Enrique, who faces a three way positional battle with Kelly and Downing at LB. Sahin should feature for the injured Lucas, but Henderson or Shelvey could also start. Sterling should retain his spot on the LW after a sparkling performance v City. Downing or Assaidi are other options there.
Newcastle v Aston Villa
Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, Taylor, Santon; Guitierrez, Cabaye, Tiote, Ben Arfa; Ba, Cissé.
Only real battle here is whether Tiote will be fit or Anita will take his place as a precaution. Ryan Taylor’s midweek injury solidifies the positions of Santon and Simpson at fullback.
Given; Lowton, Clark, Vlaar, Baker; Holman, Delph, El Ahmadi; N’Zogbia, Bent
Aston Villa have to change something. And fast. What? I dont know. I’m not a manager. They need to sign somebody to link the forwards to the midfield. Someone like an Agbonlahor. He’s still injured though, so expect Bent to start by himself again. Delph could easily be Bannan, while Clark served his suspension for a red card during the week vs Tranmere.
Southampton v Manchester United
Davis; Clyne, Hooiveld, Fonte, Fox; Schneiderlin, Davis, Lallana, Do Prado; Rodriguez, Lambert.
The Saints should adopt a 4-4-2 at home, with Schneiderlin anchoring. Not many positional battles, apart from maybe Ward-Prowse sneaking into the midfield.
De Gea; Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Nani; Kagawa; Van Persie.
It still doesn’t feel right writing Van Persie into a United First XI, but given Rooney’s leg gash he’s there for a while, with Kagawa hopefully sitting in the hole, but Welbeck may usurp him. Scholes and Anderson could start also. Evans looks like finally easing the defensive crisis. Rafael should hold his spot with Jones still injured. Young has also been ruled out of the trip.
So there we have it. Plenty of deadline day transfer news to keep up with, we’ll have a piece up about that soon enough.
Cheers guys, here’s to a good GameWeek.