Hello and welcome to another instalment of the News Wrap. Thank god we’re back from the International Break, it really is the most hated thing in football. As always with International Breaks there are injuries left right and centre and unfortunately a few popular Fantasy Premier League players have succumb to injury since gameweek 3. So lets see who is going to front up this weekend and who it set for a stint on the sidelines.
- In the biggest news of the International Break, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has suffered a hamstring injury which is set to see him sidelined for around 3 weeks. His injury will mean Sturridge will miss league games against Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton. Should return for the home game against West Brom on 4th of October. Until then Mario Balotelli should occupy the striker role with the possibility of Rickie Lambert getting some gametime as well.
- Siem de Jong suffered a thigh injury over the International Break and consequently is set to miss a massive 4 months of football! In what is shocking news for Newcastle their biggest summer signing is now set to miss the majority of the season. Shocking news for both de Jong and Newcastle and unfortunately meaning he will return around well and truly after the New Year.
- Diego Costa was once again in the headlines due to injury after he was withdrawn from the Spain squad because of “an injury to his hamstring muscle in the thigh”. The striker returned to London for treatment and thankfully is looking likely to make the Swansea game this Saturday after his withdrawal was seen as more of a precaution. After massive news circling regarding his fitness against Everton last week the striker responded with a brace, begging the question what he will produce against Swansea this weekend? Mourinho has however thrown the usual spanner in the works after his press conference, saying “Diego came back injured on Saturday so he’s had one week to work with the medical department. He has a chance to play.” Mourinho also said that he had to get through a training session later that day in order to prove his fitness, subsequently he did get through the session meaning it’s all down to Mourinho as to who will start. Very interesting considering the availability of recently purchased Loic Remy.
- Manchester City and Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic was also withdrawn from International duties during the week after reportedly suffering a hamstring problem. He along with teammate Fernando, have been ruled out of the Arsenal clash.
- Phil Jones is another popular FPL choice that is set to be sidelined due to injury over the International Break. The Manchester United centre half suffered a hamstring injury during England’s narrow 1-0 win over Switzerland and is now looking likely to miss around 2-3 weeks of football. United were looking shocking defensively so this might actually be a blessing in disguise, especially if you activated your wildcard over the International Break. Fellaini, Carrick, Johnstone, Smalling, Wilson, James, Lingard and Young are also out for the Red Devils.
- Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was yet another key player to suffer an injury while on International Break. The Welsh midfielder copped a knock against Andorra during the week on what was simply a horrible pitch, especially for International Football. News over the past 24-48 hours has emerged that Ramsey is likely to miss the crucial game against Manchester City this weekend, with Wenger saying he has “little chance“ of playing. Interesting considering after the game Ramsey said, “I’ll be right, the pitch was hard, there’s no give – I rolled my ankle. Hopefully it’ll be nothing and I will be available for Saturday”
- Romelu Lukaku was yet another striker who suffered an injury while on International Break but thankfully for Everton it is not looking as serious as first thought. The Belgium injured his toe while on International Duties but returned to Merseyside to receive treatment. The treatment has seemingly helped and Martinez is confident Lukaku will be right to face West Brom.
- After dominating against Crystal Palace last weekend, new boy on the scene Rolando Aarons has suffered a hamstring injury and has been a confirmed out for the trip to Southampton this weekend. In better news for the Magpies, Cheick Tiote is in contention to return after injury.
- Roberto Soldado has emerged as a serious doubt against Sunderland this weekend after strangely hurting his neck. The striker will be assessed before the game but is currently a big doubt.
- Liverpool summer signing Emre Can was another player to pick up an injury while on International Break with the German injuring his ankle playing for the U/21 national side. In unfortunate news Rogers has confirmed a 6 week absence for the holding midfielder which will see him sidelined until the end of October. In worrying news for Liverpool, Johnson, Skrtel, Sturridge and Flanagan are all absentees for the game against Villa this weekend.
- Adam Lallana is finally set for his Liverpool debut after the attacking midfielder has fully recovered from a knee injury sustained during pre-season. The Englishmen scored the only goal in a behind-closed-doors friendly during the week and is looking good for a return against Villa. With the Liverpool injury crisis at the moment it wouldn’t surprise me if he starts. One to watch.
- Manchester United summer signing Ander Herrera has declared himself fit for the game against QPR this weekend after being sidelined for games against Sunderland and Burnley. It will be interesting to see whether the midfielder fits into Van Gaal’s strongest XI with all the attacking options joining the club over the past few weeks. Luke Shaw is also available to make his Manchester United debut after returning from a hamstring injury sustained during pre-season. Van Gaal said in his press conference that Shaw “is fit enough to play some minutes”. By the sounds of this he may well feature off the bench. Rafael also fit and available for selection.
- West Brom could receive a boost ahead of their clash against Everton this weekend with Foster, McAuley and Dorrans all recovering well after suffering respective injuries. They are still under some level of doubt as to whether they will play but if they pass a fitness test before Saturday they should be fine
- Theo Walcott has been vocal during the week giving everyone an update on his fitness levels. The pacey winger has said he is about 2-3 weeks away from a return and in the coming weeks will continue to work on his fitness. Definitely keep an eye on him when he returns because he is simply a must have when fit and firing.
- Manchester City could welcome back a host of stars against Arsenal this weekend with Pablo Zabaleta, Eliaquim Mangala and Frank Lampard all in line to play their first Premier League minutes of the season. Mangala should be the preferred partner for skipper Vincent Kompany meaning his tasty price tag of 6.0m might be something to keep an eye on. Wait and see first.
- Despite not being injured, I thought it would be worthwhile making mention of the vast attacking options Manchester United now have and what it may mean for some of their players. During pre-season both Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata looked like absolute bargains after a sparkling tour of America. Fast forward 6 weeks and now the two are looking like being shifted out of their preferred positions, with the possibility of not even getting on the park for Mata. Due to this uncertainty I believe it’d be wise to dump them over the coming weeks, this week if you have activated your wildcard. Di Maria and Falcao look like taking their respective positions so their scoring output may well decrease rapidly.
Well that’s a wrap of the latest injury and team news ahead of big gameweek 4. It’s great to have Premier League football back so let’s hope it’s a high scoring one! Just quickly, as the transfer window has slammed firmly shut the ‘Transfer Rumours’ section of the News Wrap will be removed until the January Transfer Window opens in the New Year. Good luck for this weekend and I’ll be back next Saturday for another edition of the News Wrap.