Which one gets the nod for Wigan?
Thanks very much to all our readers for you good wishes this week, it's appreciated. The flu is subsiding so I'm out of bed but not well enough to go out just yet, so I'm opening this post to start adding the injury and team news which will be flooding in throughout the day. If you hear or read anything of note then please post it in the comments section below as this will assist me and your fellow fantasy managers.
Yahoo have done the decent thing and put the deadline back 4 hours to 4pm BST (British Summer Time) and by this time we should have most of the information from the manager press conferences. We'll definitely have the line-ups for Swansea v Newcastle by this time as that kicks-off at 4:30pm. We'll post them up as soon as we have them (probably around 3:45).
I've literally not looked at my own team yet - I'll focus on that later today - but these are the players I expect to be considering (before any of today's team news came in).
Now on to the injury and team news - I expect the majority of this will start to arrive around lunchtime here in the UK ...
Swansea are expected to freshen things up, with Nathan Dyer being tipped to start after sitting on the bench against Tottenham last weekend and Steven Caulker (on loan from Spurs) should comes back in for Gary Monk after being illegible to play against his parent club.
Newcastle are unlikely to change anything after beating Liverpool comfortably last Sunday which would mean a line-up of: Krul, Williamson, Perch, Simpson, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Guthrie, Tiote, Cabaye, Cisse, Ba.
Manchester United have Nani back in the squad for QPR after he trained all week and Ferguson had stated he will be rotating his team over the Easter period, which makes me worried about Antonio Valencia. However, there's no way I'm dropping him @10 so I'll have to cross my fingers that he gets the start. Ashley Young should start as he only got a cameo against Blackburn and I reckon Danny Welbeck may also get the nod over Javier Hernandez.
Liverpool reserve keeper Doni is set to make his debut against Aston Villa with Jose Reina suspended. Dalglish did mention Brad Jones in a press conference but I think that was just to be nice; Doni has been on the bench all season waiting for his chance so to suddenly be dumped for the 3rd choice keeper makes no sense. Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly remain out so Flanagan @1.00 should continue.
Chelsea have problems ahead of the Wigan match, with John Terry & Ashley Cole both definitely out due to rib and ankle injuries respectively and Frank Lampard also a fitness doubt with a dead-leg. With two big names in defence missing it should mean Branislav Ivanovic continues with either Ryan Bertrand, Jose Bosingwa or Paulo Ferreira coming in to join David Luiz and Gary Cahill. No news on who starts upfront but my gut says Didier Drogba over Fernando Torres as Torres looked quite tired against Benfica, while Daniel Sturridge should return after being benched in midweek.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis has doubts surrounding three key players. Defender Andy Wilkinson and wingers Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant, but all 3 are expected to make it. Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters should lead the line with Walters on penalties.
West Brom's Jerome Thomas remains sidelined with a knee problem which kept him out of the defeat at Everton last weekend while midfielders Zoltan Gera and James Morrison and right-back Steven Reid are long-term absentees.
Tottenham have no new injury concerns. Ledley King will have a test to see if he is fit enough to play while Aaron Lennon may make his first start in a month after coming off the bench against Swansea last week.
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill is unlikely to make many changes although Wayne Bridge is expected to return after being ineligible for last weekend's game against Manchester City under the terms of his loan agreement.
Aston Villa right-back Alan Hutton is expected to be fit which could mean goalscorer Eric Lichaj is relegated back to the bench. Rookie striker Andreas Weimann, who made his first league start against the Blues, is doubtful with an ankle injury suffered during that game but Nathan Baker should continue in the centre of defence with Carlos Cueller, Richard Dunne and Ciaran Clark all out.
Norwich captain Grant Holt returns from a one-match suspension and Anthony Pilkington is back in training following a hamstring problem, but remains short of match fitness. Defenders Marc Tierney and Daniel Ayala aggravated injuries when playing for the reserves in midweek so miss out again.
*** More to follow throughout the day ***
Remember it's The Blog Cup Final this week so best of luck if you're one of the remaining 41 teams.
How's your team looking?
N.B. I don’t have the energy to chat all day so I’ll just be popping online every 20 minutes or so to update this post with the latest news – hopefully I’ll be online permanently for the final hour before deadline but until then I’ll leave you to chat amongst yourselves and assist each other. Cheers!