The premier league has a 25-man squad rule.
The importance of raising this point is there is quite literally 500 players plus extras to include in an injury report from the smallest niggle to a broken bone it gets quite in-depth. The focus of this piece is to discuss the injuries important to us fantasy managers.
Feel free to write in the comments: anyone you think I have missed, why you consider them a fantasy asset or even if you think I have got it wrong, get the debate going.
Giroud, Oliver: He has been struck down by illness over the past couple of weeks but seems fit to return this weekend. It will be interesting to see whether Walcott remains upfront, or if he gets shifted back to a wing to accommodate Giroud’s return.
Vlaar, Ron: Has been missing with a calf injury for 6 games now suggesting it is much more then a simple 3 week tear. Who knows when he will return the injury, it has not been well documented as he is a low profile player. Anyway I would be steering clear of Villa assets (besides Guzan) with the amount of goals they have been conceding as confidence is low once again.
Terry, John: He’s missed 7 games but Chelsea are continuing to fight on without him. He still should slip into the defense upon return, which could possibly on the 2nd of January. Although that seems unlikely as he is STILL experiencing some pain while training so they could slowly ease him into things. A 25% chance at best of appearing on the 29th.
Felliani, Marouane: Into his 3rd match of his three match ban! I among with others are waiting for him to return (along with a few more price drops).
Ruiz, Bryan: He returns and Berbatov scores, quite simply amazing. A friend was looking at the top 10 in the game and noticed a lot of them had Berbatov as captain last week. If the top players in the game are keeping the faith we should continue to as well.
Suarez, Luis: It was reported earlier this week that he had sustained an ankle knock and was in doubt, however Rodgers has confirmed that he should be good to go this weekend.
Tevez & Balotelli are currently ill like a number of players in the league. Winter is taking its toll on community as a whole. Tevez is rated a 75% chance, while Balotelli is out of favour anyway so I doubt he will appear (10%).
Richards & Maicon are both currently suffering from knee injuries with unknown return dates. This boosts the appeal of Zabaleta who has played 8 of the last 9. Priced at 5.9 he is worth a look although I still recommend Nasatasic.
Rafael: Missed the last THREE games with a hamstring injury. As I mentioned last time that is beside the point as he is due rotation with Jones and Smalling back to fitness. An outstanding FPL player but his natural mindset seems to be contributing to United’s lack of clean sheets (some may argue that point). I would be looking to jump off NOW as his price continues to dive.
Vidic, Nemanja: The key man stays in injury watch as he regains his fitness. He did not play in the game against Newcastle and it showed with united leaking 3 goals. I must stress this guy will be a must have once his fitness is at an acceptable level (and Fergie has balanced the team out). Manchester United are going to fail in europe unless they tighten up at the back it is as simple as that. When the mentality is changed I will be jumping on board.
Rooney, Wayne: Knee injury, some ligament damage I expect him to be out for 2-3 weeks with that one. Then his now notorious lack of fitness after a few weeks off will kick in. This injury makes Robin Van Persie a certified must have.
NEWCASTLE: (in trouble)
The Taylors: Out long term, not many people would have them anyway. The important note is if Newcastle manages to stay up (outrage expected) these two will be at a friendly 4.5 next season. Injury prone but both excellent when fit.
Cabaye, Yohan: Hes got a nasty one, groin injuries are not often easy to shake off, he is gone long term.
Ben Arfa, Hatem: No festive fixtures for the young winger. Not that many people would be holding onto him as Newcastle’s hopes continue to drop.
Gutierrez, Jonas: Not a great fantasy asset but this guy is devastating on the left hand side for Newcastle. Another one of their key players really struggling with injury. Not good signs down at St. James Park simply too many first team players missing for them to be effective.
Ruddy, John: Out with a long term injury, don’t look at Bunn as a cheap keeper at 4.0 his simply doesn’t have premier league ability. Bunn cost his team heavily against West Brom with very average positioning for both goals.
Whittaker, Steven: Has been very good at right back for a minimal 4.3 but has picked up a strain. A doubt to return this week but with captain Russell Martin in the wings the unit remains quite solid (Chelsea only put 1 past them).
Cesar, Julio: Appears to be fit but Robert Green is still between the sticks somehow. Nothing like competition for places and at a generous 4.1 he is worth monitoring especially if QPR recruit some decent defenders in the transfer window (Michael Dawson?).
Nelsen, Ryan: Age is catching up with the fan favourite and budget friendly squad filler (or so I thought) with Nelsen being rested for the last game. It turns out he was another player to be suffering flu so hold on to the 5th defender he is a definite starter for the club when fit.
Rotation is crushing any kind of assets that Reading had (Shorey & Gorkss) so steer clear people nothing to be seen here.
Lallana, Adam: Captain, future star, hopefully his knee injury is not too badm however it is appearing worse then first thought. A return date is unknown, another 2-3 weeks could be expected at a minimum. The bad news is it dints the potential of Puncheon as there is no strong replacement for the captain to lead the attack.
Shawcross & Cameron miss through picking up too many yellow cards (typical Stoke). It shall be interesting this week, Upson & Shotton could get starts which could be fantasy gold for Southampton. You never know what you are going to get from frozen out players, they can bounce back like Jones has (who is leading the attack) or totally fail and make mistakes leading to a loss.
Johnson, Adam: “Has been carrying something for the last few weeks and it is effecting his output obviously. Time to sell if you are one of the 1.8% that own him.”
– Well didn’t he just throw up the form book in hindsight he would of been chomping at the bit to play Manchester City the club that ruined his career to a degree. Bit of justice he scored the winner don’t you think? (should be fit to go again this week)
MICHU: Injured & OUT of GW20, the article written about him on this site was spot on. Matt having actually sustained the same injury as Michu during his glorious sporting career was 100% right on the diagnoses. As Matt mentioned Michu is a heavy doubt for the game on the 1st as the swelling will continue to restrict his movement.
Having personally picked his guy up for 6.5 I can’t let him go now it is simply not worth the risk. If you picked him up between 7.5-8.3 I would consider a move to Kevin Nolan he is just about to return to form.
Rangel, Angel: Is fit again and ready to start. I would look at Ben Davies (4.2) if I wanted to invest in this unit though.
Hernandez, Pablo: Still adjusting to the league, has great potential but is not a replacement for Michu over the next few gameweeks. Hernandez has simply missed too many games lately to provide an instant impact on return (is fit this week).
Dempsey, Clint: Has picked up a groin injury which is nasty. This could well of contributed to the 0-0 draw with Stoke. Not as explosive as Bale but still and important asset to Tottenham on the pitch. If you own him look to move back to Bale as soon as possible.
Assou-Ekotto: lacking match fitness but is a possibility to appear (75%). This should reveal AVB’s back 3 or back 4 plans to a degree.
Dawson, Michael: Some heavy question marks remain over this guy. AVB’s defensive rotation is giving me many headaches. Tottenham have a great run of fixtures & are beginning to tighten up at the back. Dembele is providing excellent defensive cover Spurs have barely lost a game with him in the line up. Not to mention the supremely talented Scott Parker is picking up minutes again. This team is quite simply set to explode at both ends on the fantasy scene.
I know I did this with Wigan vs Arsenal the other week and it was only 0-1 (via a crap penalty) but I am going to do it again. WBA have Olsson (centre back) with only a 25% chance to play. The two holding midfielders (Mulumbu & Yacob) are both extremely doubtful (25% and 5%).
So with a replacement centre back and two different players in holding midfield West Brom could well be on the end of a few goals. This boosts the chance of a RVP return and hence my captains armband.
McCartney (4.0) has an MCL Knee injury. Typically this kind of injury is anywhere from 2-6 weeks. The game lists him as 50-50 but having only played 45 minutes in the last 4 games it would be safe to move him on to someone more reliable.
Demel (4.0) was sick last week which would of initially made owners nervous of his seemingly constant rotation. He is first choice when fit though & also (currently) the best budget defender in the game. (should have overcome illness 85% chance of playing)
Having discussed the possible replacement of Michu for Kevin Nolan in the Swansea column I failed to note the fact West Ham are missing a few key assets (in terms of team performance not fantasy).
Diame has pretty much tore his hamstring off the bone which is very disappointing. He is such a good link player and was the reason they defeated Chelsea. Vaz Te was providing excellent width early on in the season although they did manage to play well for a while after he got injured. Andy Carroll the big lump has a brilliant relationship with Nolan. Apparently he is only a few weeks away from a return which will strengthen the Hammers on a kinder run of fixtures. Steer clear for now though.
Caldwell & Co. are back to fitness but Alcaraz remains a doubt with a groin injury. They are not great fantasy assets thats for sure but Wigan should be a little bit (I must stress a little) more consistent with a regular back 3.
Plenty of niggles expected at this time of year that are not listed (especially people pulling out with illness), expect last minute changes and rotation so ensure you have a strong squad to fill in any blanks.
Also quite randomly for anyone that has an iPhone check out this app called “Score!” it is a great app (and free) for people who enjoy the world game (anyone reading this website really). I should get royalties for promoting this app, everyone I have suggested it to has loved it.