His likely return to the line-up certainly makes things complicated in choosing a Spurs attacker. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Once again we take a last look at your fantasy line-up choices through the lens of the players who are injured, suspended or facing the dreaded late fitness test. More importantly, we discuss the people who may increase in value as a result of those absentees. With a reminder that you should be focusing your energy on the two-gamers - Spurs, Chelsea, Newcastle, Liverpool, Everton, Stoke, Fulham, and Bolton - away we go. If you'd like the consolidated team news, you can find it here on SoccerNet.
Spurs - It says here that Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor will both return to the line-up but Ledley King and BAE will be sidelined. The only clear impact is that K2 has to jump into your consideration set over the course of the two matches while Jermain Defoe's value takes a huge hit. The potential presence of a K2/Defoe partnership also reduces Rafael van der Vaart's value somewhat in my opinion. If VDV is pushed wide, as Harry has done from time-to-time this season, he isn't likely to be nearly as impactful. I'd err on the side of caution and go with Gareth Bale over VDV if you're choosing one of the two Spurs premium midfielders.
Chelsea - So, who partners John Terry in the center of defense? Gary Cahill and David Luiz are injured and Branislav Ivanovic is suspended. Does Mikel move back? Does Essien continue to prove he can play pretty much any role on the soccer field? Is there an unknown youngster that will get a run out? Hard to say but regardless, this defensive uncertainty a) makes Newcastle's attacking prospects look better; and b) reduces the value of Petr Cech and the other Chelsea defenders.
Newcastle - No news of note here. All the players you are presumably considering should be healthy.
Liverpool - The only definitive news here is the Charlie Adam will NOT be playing. The bad news is that there isn't any insight into how King Kenny will rotate his players leading up to the FA Cup final.
Everton - It appears that Leighton Baines and Jack Rodwell will NOT be ready for this weekend's matches. Sylvain Distin should get a start and he is a solid value. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you think Baines will be ready for the mid-week match which likely means Distin only gets one match (which isn't such great value). I'm more inclined towards options that are more certain to get both matches.
Stoke - It looks likely (but not certain) that Andy Wilkenson will miss both matches this week which makes Ryan Shotton an attractive option at a reasonable price at the back although Marc Wilson has played more, been more productive, and is cheaper. Just saying.
Fulham - Not a lot of news that is likely to reshape your team given that Fulham are away (where they stink) for both matches.
Bolton - Talk about making life difficult for fantasy managers. Chris Eagles and Ryo Miyaichi are both uncertain for the first of Bolton's two matches with minor injuries. The implication is that they ARE both pretty certain for the second match. Looks like that leaves Tim Ream and Martin Petrov as the only two reasonable Trotters for your line-up.
Good luck with your final selections. We'll see you on the Internets right here tomorrow to chat live about the matches before and as they happen.