Week 22 - EPL Injuries, Suspensions & Team News

Could he return? - Claudio Villa

All the breaking team and injury news and how it could impact your fantasy selections ahead of the Week 22 deadline. Expect some headaches when you read the Chelsea news ...

Let's be honest, the majority of us playing the Yahoo game are focused on Chelsea and Southampton. If you're not picking players from the two teams with two games then you're holding long-term discounts who you wouldn't drop even if they were injured. And so ...

Chelsea's team news give us numerous headaches. Let's go through it:

- Petr Cech took part in training today, will travel with the Chelsea squad and will be assessed via a fitness test tomorrow. I don't need to tell you what bad news this could prove to be for owners of Ross Turbull.
- John Terry plaed 45 minutes in a reserve match on Thursday and trained today, so he could also be involved in both games. This presents a risk to Branislav Ivanovic who made two huge errors in midweek, although Ivan's height could prove vital against Stoke. Azpilicueta is always a rotation risk but Gary Cahill should play both. I'll reiterate that Ashley Cole and David Luiz are the safest bet if you're picking Chelsea defenders. Cole was rested against QPR - he doesn't need another break.
- Why is David Luiz a safe bet? Because Jon Obi Mikel has travelled to the African Cup of Nations and Michael Essien is on loan, leaving Luiz as the only defensive midfield option in the squad.
- Victor Moses has travelled to the African Cup of Nations with Mikel so Eden Hazard and Juan Mata should be good for two starts and Oscar's value increases significantly. Ramires should also get at least one start and Marko Marin should get some game time.
- Demba Ba had a hamstring complaint and Fernando Torres had a stomach bug in midweek. Both men are tipped to be fit enough for this weekend but I'd expect Ba to start at Stoke and Torres to start the Southampton game (unless Ba proves too good to drop).

It's a little bit more simple for Southampton ...

- Adam Lallana remains out with his knee injury and Jose Fonte is also set for a spell on the sidelines (up to six-weeks)
- Gaston Ramirez is in the squad and should be fit to start after a slight knee twang. Rickie Lambert is also expected to return to the starting line-up after missing out in the FA Cup tie with Chelsea.
- Nathaniel Clyne is fit after a calf problem and is should return at right back.

I'm probably going to stick with the team I've had since Wednesday:

Lloris, Vertonghen, A.Cole, David Luiz, Cazorla, Marin, Puncheon, Ramirez, Lambert, Hazard, Mata

My dream-team would be Marin to Oscar but I'll never have enough cash for that move so expect the above to be final.

From the single gamers

- Ryan Nelsen will play for QPR but Junior Hoilett and Armand Traore are out.
- Emmanuel Adebayor is available for his final game for Spurs before travelling to the ACN but William Gallas is out.
- Leighton Baines is a slight doubt but should be ready to start for Everton.
- Mladen Petric, Damien Duff, Mark Schwarzer and John Arne Riise all return to fitness for Fulham.
- Grant Holt is back for Norwich.
- Fabricio Coloccini and Papiss Cisse are fit to start for Newcastle and Yohan Cabaye is expected to return to the bench after a groin strain but Steven Taylor and Hatem Ben Arfa are still out.
- Danny Rose and Carlos Cuellar are out for Sunderland while John O'Shea and Stephane Sessegnon are doubts.
- Nani and Anderson both return to the Manchester United squad but Wayne Rooney is still missing.
- Theo Walcott should remain in the lone forward role for Arsenal with Gervinho at the ACN and Olivier Giroud struggling with a knee injury.
- Manchester City are without Sergio Aguero (injured), Samir Nasri (convientienly suspended) and Yaya Toure (ACN).

That'll do ya. How does this news affect your plans?

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