News Wrap – GW23

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Hello and welcome to another edition of the News Wrap. There have been plenty of wildcards activated this week, especially on this site, so how will this weekend’s games pan out? Let’s take a look at the players injured and unavailable from last weekend’s matches and those who are nearing a return.


  • Arsenal summer signing Mathieu Debuchy suffered yet another long term injury last weekend, this time the fullback suffered a dislocation of his shoulder. Debuchy has only recently returned to the Arsenal XI after injuring himself all the way back in gameweek 4, only to again suffer a long term injury. Both Callum Chambers and Hector Bellerin will be used as his replacement after scans revealed the Frenchman will be out for around 3 months. Not great news for Arsenal considering their already apparent lack of defenders!
  • Cesar Azpilicueta was withdrawn just before half time in Chelsea’s victory over Newcastle last weekend. The fullback suffered a groin injury and scans partaken during the week revealed he will miss around 10-14 days. The trip to Swansea this weekend will be too soon, meaning Felipe Luis will slot into the left back position. A return against Manchester City next gameweek is looking more realistic for the Spaniard.
  • Robin Van Persie sustained an ankle injury in Manchester United’s shock 1-0 defeat at home to Southampton last weekend with the Dutchman forced off the ground on the hour mark. Reports during the week revealed that Van Persie is a huge doubt for the game against QPR this weekend, and with Radamel Falcao waiting in the wings it would not be surprising to see Robin miss out. If he does indeed miss out a return against Leicester in gameweek 24 is certainly on the cards.
  • Raheem Sterling was a surprise absentee from the Liverpool squad against Sunderland last weekend after the English youngster was rested due to his heavy workload over the past year. Sterling was sunning it up in Jamaica while Liverpool where facing the cold at the Stadium Of Light last weekend, but the ‘holiday’ has seemingly worked with the midfielder set to return against Aston Villa this weekend.
  • Manuel Pellegrini confirmed in his weekly press conference that midfielder Samir Nasri has sustained a calf strain and consequently will miss around 3-4 weeks. He also confirmed that skipper Vincent Kompany was “100% fit” so his chances of a return this weekend against Arsenal have strengthened. There are however doubts over the fitness of Dzeko, with the gaffer saying “we have some doubts about Edin Dzeko. We will see tomorrow the squad list.”
  • Danny Welbeck is once again ruled out this weekend after Wenger confirmed during the week that he “is not ready, we will have to be patient”. Along with the news regarding Debuchy, Arsenal will also be without midfielder Mikel Arteta for around 3 months after he required surgery on his troublesome left ankle. This only highlights Arsenal’s need for a quality defensive midfielder. Sign someone Arsene!
  • Southampton centre half Toby Alderweireld was withdrawn early against Manchester United last weekend and scans have revealed that he may face a further month on the sidelines. The defender on loan from Athletico Madrid sustained a hamstring injury during the game and the initial assessment suggests he will face around a month on the sidelines.
  • Hull City have confirmed during the week that striker partnership Abel Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic could face up to 6 weeks on the sidelines with respective injuries, joining teammates Robertson, Ramirez and Rosenior on the casualty list. There is however some decent news for Hull with Aluko expected to return soon from a calf injury, even so a massive injury crisis at Hull!
  • Southampton have confirmed during the week that Morgan Schneiderlin has sustained an ‘abductor strain’ which is set to see the defensive midfielder miss around 2-3 weeks. He will miss out against Newcastle this weekend and most likely Swansea on the first day of February, but a return against QPR in gameweek 25 is likely. Koeman said regarding his injury, “Schneiderlin has an adductor problem in his right leg & he will be out for three or four weeks like Toby Alderweireld”.

Team News:

  • Aiden McGeady will be unavailable against West Brom this weekend after the Irishman was sent off during the week against West Ham in the FA Cup. His suspension only stands for one game and will be available against Crystal Palace next weekend.
  • Sergio Aguero returned against Everton last weekend after a long injury lay-off, coming off the bench and featuring for a solid 24 minutes of play. With a huge game against Arsenal this weekend our saviour will be hoping he can start the game, especially considering his love for scoring goals at the Etihad Stadium. Pellegrini said in regards to his chances of a start, “Sergio is working with the squad everyday and he doesn’t have any problem. We will see if he will start.” I’ve brought him in this week so I’m hoping he’ll start – if not he will at least feature from the bench. Either way lets hope Sergio can get his name back on the scoresheet!
  • Daniel Sturridge has returned to training during the week after not featuring in the Premier League since the end of August. The Englishman has been battling an ongoing thigh injury, with it serious enough to warrant a trip to America to work on a 100% recovery. Rogers said during the week that he is “not ready to play as of yet, hopefully in the near future he’ll be ready”. He will begin to work on his conditioning over the coming weeks and will gradually return through appearances off the bench. Due to such a large injury lay off he will need to rebuild his fitness and gain back that match practice. Hopefully over the next 2-3 gameweeks he will be ready to start again! Welcome back Danny!

Well that wraps up another edition of the News Wrap. Feel free to post any last minute selection issues in the comments below. Cheers and good luck!

11 comments on “News Wrap – GW23

    • nburk53 Post Author

      Cheers Matt 🙂 Haha yeah – it’s so evident they need a decent holding mid & centre half yet Wenger seems to be oblivious. I’m a Chelsea fan and I’m sitting here waiting for Arsene to spend some cash!

  1. Ricci2810

    Great Article mate. Was going to Play my Jan Wildcard and I was wondering how this sounds and wanted to ask someone with a bit of know how. With a spare £0.4 team As goes
    Krul (Pantilimon)
    Shaw, Chambers, Janmaat (Wasilewski, van Aanholt)
    Sánchez, Di Maria, Hazard, Elia, Chadli
    Agüero, Kane (Gayle)

    Or if I should just make changes to my team without Wildcard, using my 2 free transfers
    Lloris (De Gea)
    Terry, Janmaat, Bertand (Shawcross, Azpilicueta)
    Downing, Sanchez, Hazard, Chadli (Milner)
    Perez, Kane, Austin

    Idea? And improvements??

    • nburk53 Post Author

      Thanks mate, appreciate it! Your current team is very decent but there are a few areas which could do with improvement. Firstly Lloris and De Gea is overkill, which is good to see you’ve rectified with your potential wildcard team. The main objective with this January wildcard is seemingly to find a way to get Aguero in, which is what you have done which is good. Whilst Gayle has been on fire in recent weeks, seemingly due to the appointment of Pardew, I think he is someone we should be watchlisting for the time being, as apposed to bringing him in. I quite like the fact you’ve gone for a formation change, switching to a 3-5-2, and your Elia pick could pay massive dividends – I’m contemplating him as well. So all in all I think it is definitely time to wildcard. As far as I’m concerned it’s either use it or loose it this gameweek anyway – either this week or next, so it’s well worth using now. Hope this somewhat answered your questions

      • Ricci2810

        Gayle and van Aanholt to me look really risky, Idk who else I should switch them for. I want Terry in the back line but I know This coming game kind of makes it not worth it, any idea?

        • nburk53 Post Author

          Van Aanholt is a good option going forward. Very cheap and locked on. Sunderland are also normally a fairly good shout for the odd cleany here and there in terms of budget options. I think going budget in defence is the best way to go about it, with perhaps a Chelsea and maybe Southampton defender – that way you leave more room to spend big on midfielders and forwards (your main point accumulators). Chelsea play City this week but one game should not deter you from getting someone. Long term it will be worth it.

          • Ricci2810

            The problem with bringing in terry is that he pushes me over the budget by at least £1.2M??

          • Ricci2810

            Just found out value changes during games, last question who do you think is a better pick Ayoze Perez (NEW) or Gayle (CRY) can keep the other on the watch list

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