MONACO - AUGUST 30: Roberto Di Matteo, manager of Chelsea during a press conference at the Grimaldi Forum on August 30, 2012 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
News is starting to come in from the manager's press conferences, so why don't we start this party! We'll update this throughout the day as more word comes in.
Most updates are now down below plus some analysis ...Fixture | Tottenham vs QPR
Villas-Boas expects Kyle Naughton to be fit despite the defender injuring his right foot against Lazio...
Queens Park Rangers have a number of injury worries to contend with. The defence will be without Anton Ferdinand (hamstring), Fabio (hamstring), Stephane Mbia (groin) and Armand Traore (leg) for the White Hart Lane fixture. Adel Taarabt is a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury in training, while Samba Diakite (personal reasons) and Andrew Johnson (anterior cruciate ligament) are unavailable.
Moyes: Gibson (thigh), Jelavic (bruised knee) both out for Swansea. Hibbert a doubt, Oviedo available.— Official Everton (@Everton) September 21, 2012
Seemingly this opens the door for Victor Anichebe. He's always been a bit hit and miss for fantasy managers, and isn't cheap anymore after scoring late against Newcastle last weekend. He's not expensive yet, but if you want to gamble at forward to you go for Anichebe, or the cheaper Kevin Mirallas? Or with Everton on the road at a usually tough Swans side, do you go cheap with Romelu Lukaku (see below)?
I'm guessing that Ryan Shotton comes in to replace Wilkinson, though Robert Huth can move out to fullback if Tony Pulis wants a more rugged side at Chelsea - and that's not outside the realm of possibility, is it?
Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) September 21, 2012
So... that leaves Fernando Torres, and... who exactly, at striker?
Danny Graham, Ashley Williams and Jonathan de Guzman have all missed training this week with ankle injuries, while Leon Britton has been absent with a bout of flu.
It seems like these players will be available, but the seeds of doubt are planted.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed Wojciech Szczesny will miss "two to three weeks" of action with an ankle problem. Szczesny, 22, will play no part in Sunday's clash with Manchester City, or the match at home to Chelsea on September 29. Vito Mannone, who is yet to concede in the Premier League this season, is likely to deputise at the Etihad Stadium in the absence of the Poland international.
If only Arsenal weren't facing Manchester City and Chelsea over the next few weeks!
Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri seems certain to miss Sunday's Premier League encounter with former club Arsenal. Nasri limped out of the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday night with a hamstring problem. And, whilst the problem is not serious, manager Roberto Mancini feels this weekend will come too early for the France international. "I do not think he will be ready for Sunday," said Mancini. "We will try but it is difficult. "I hope he will be okay for next week." Striker Sergio Aguero, meanwhile, should be fit to start after injuring his knee on the opening day of the season against Southampton.
A substitute brace for Kun? We've seen it before.
ALAN PARDEW is hoping Cheick Tiote will be back for the clash with Norwich City at St James’ Park on Sunday. There is also good news in that skipper Fabricio Coloccini will be available for the Premier League clash at Reading on Saturday week. There was real light at the end of the tunnel for boss Pardew today as his stars began to return to fitness after the Toon squad had been ravaged by injury in recent weeks. Pardew will also hope Papiss Cisse – who has been suffering with illness and missed the trip to Madeira – will be back to face the Canaries, the side he scored a wonderful winning goal against last term.
Defender Antolin Alcaraz is Roberto Martinez's only worry.
West Bromwich Albion will be without striker Peter Odemwingie who is suspended. The Nigeria forward serves the first game of a three-match ban for kicking Sascha Riether in last week's 3-0 defeat at Fulham, opening the door for Markus Rosenberg, Romelu Lukaku and Marc-Antoine Fortune to seize their chance up front. Manager Steve Clarke hopes to have full-back Stephen Reid available after a hamstring injury but defender Goran Popov is set to miss out with a groin problem.
I would LOVE to field Lukaku, but am leaning towards the idea that he comes off the bench in this one. Whether or not to field him, a cheap forward option, is what will weigh on my mind most of the day. If I sell him, there will need to be other moves to afford a replacement.
Southampton v Aston Villa from ESPN
Gaston Ramirez and Maya Yoshida are pushing for full debuts after coming off the bench in last weekend's 6-1 thrashing by Arsenal with the latter replacing Jos Hooiveld, who is optimistic of returning from the calf injury which forced him off. Guly do Prado could return after being left out of the squad at the Emirates Stadium, while Jack Cork has overcome an ankle problem picked up in pre-season.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert could be tempted to hand summer signing Christian Benteke his first start following the striker's goalscoring cameo last week. He is vying for a place alongside Darren Bent at St Mary's. Lambert has Chris Herd and Fabian Delph available after injuries but Marc Albrighton (foot) is not quite ready and Richard Dunne (groin) and Gary Gardner (ligaments) are long-term absentees.
Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Joe Allen and Martin Kelly were all rested for the Europa League win at Young Boys but will return. Forwards Fabio Borini and Raheem Sterling, substitutes in Switzerland, are likely to start while midfielder Jonjo Shelvey pressed his claims for inclusion with a two-goal second-half cameo.
Ashley Young has been ruled out for a further two to three weeks with knee cartilage trouble. Wayne Rooney will also be absent due to a gashed thigh despite reports he was due to make an earlier-than-expected comeback. Darren Fletcher, who came on as a substitute in the Champions League win over Galatasaray in midweek having recovered from a chronic bowel condition, is not being considered for a return to the starting line-up with Sir Alex Ferguson instead pin-pointing next Wednesday's Capital One Cup clash with Newcastle.
Nik Update: Thanks to Jeremy for keeping us all informed about the going-ons today, I've adjusted my line-up accordingly.
All that's left to do is provide you with the following summary and prediction links from around the UK press and blog world ....
Fantasy Football Scout's Team News + Predicted Line-Ups:
Guardian Squad Sheets + Predicted Line-Ups:
Remember - it's Round 1 of The Blog Cup!
See you all in the morning for the Pre-Deadline Countdown LIVE Chat - Cheers