Hello and welcome to a Christmas addition of the News Wrap! I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday and got lots of presents. We are heading into the most difficult part of the year for Fantasy Manager’s, so paying attention to our articles over the coming days could prove pivotal in your success this year. Lets analyse the latest injury and possible team news ahead of Gameweek 18!
- Aston Villa gun, Christian Benteke, will now miss the entirety of the festive period with injury. He has since returned to Belgium for treatment and it is currently unknown as to when he will return. He has been in shocking form since returning from his injury at the start of the year, which includes not scoring since 14th of September. A interesting POD while Benteke is out, is Villa striker Libor Kozak. The Czech Republic forward has been showing some decent attacking returns when getting a chance and should be locked in now that Benteke is now out, however there are far better and safer options out there in my opinion.
- Another person in the same boat as Benteke, in that they haven’t been 100% since returning from injury, is Michu. The Spaniard took the Premier League by storm last year and constant ankle troubles has disappointingly limited his ability severely so far this year. The Swan will now miss 6 more weeks of football as he requires surgery on his troublesome ankle.
- After filling the boots of Robin Van Persie nicely over the past couple of weeks, Danny Welbeck is now a doubt for the trip to Hull on Boxing Day. After what was seemingly a precautionary substitution after half time, it is apparent that Welbeck has a problem with his knee and is touch and go whether he will be fit in time. Moyes said “It was only a kick on the knee. He had a problem a few weeks ago, but he’s trained and we hope he’s okay”. He will face a late fitness test but I reckon he’ll play, especially if he’s been training during the week and has travelled with the team.
- Shaw, Davis, Clyne and Osvaldo will all face late fitness tests to determine whether they will take part in Southampton’s Boxing Day clash against Cardiff. Fonte and Yoshida are rated as doubts.
- Flanagan has emerged as a doubt for the big game against Manchester City on Boxing Day, with the fullback reportedly suffering from a hamstring injury. Rogers said “We just have to assess Flanagan, he had a tight hamstring. He was fit enough to start against Cardiff and play, but he felt it”. Will face a very late fitness test.
- Robbie Brady has been ruled out for the remainder of 2013 with his on-going Hernia problems. He hasn’t regained his confidence at all since he first had his Hernia operation and it has really affected his scoring output. A break from football will hopefully be the cure and we see a fit and firing Brady come the new year!
- Kevin Nolan will return for West Ham this weekend after serving his two match suspension. Gabby Agbonlahor will also return after serving his respective suspension.
- Wes Brown will miss Sunderland’s trip to Everton on Boxing Day after his red card last weekend.
- Koscielny reportedly has a chance to return for Arsenal on Boxing Day for their important trip to West Ham. He suffered a horrific leg gash against Manchester City two weeks ago and initial reports suggest him missing around a month of football. If he does return, he will have had to pass several fitness tests before the game. Has a chance to return.
- Zabaleta is a chance to return this weekend after initial thoughts he was going to miss the whole festive period. He reportedly trained during the week so he will be fighting for a start in a massive game against Liverpool. Will face a late fitness test.
Well that’s the latest wrap of all the Injury and Team News. A few key knocks to players that will require fitness tests but nothing drastic from last week. Once again, I hope you all had a good Christmas and I hope Santa brought everyone some points for these coming Gameweeks! Remember, they’re coming thick and fast so stay alert, cheers!