Fantasy EPL Injury and Suspension Analysis: The Late Fitness Check

Will this guy be restored to the starting line-up against Villa? - Alex Livesey

Everything you need to know about injuries, suspensions, rotation, and the likelihood of newly arrived players starting or sitting for this weekend's matches in the English Premier League from a fantasy manager's point of view.

Yesterday wasn't nearly as exciting as we would have hoped. The biggest moves happened outside the Premier League and only a few EPL moves promise a great deal of hope to either supporters or fantasy managers. While there were definitely no huge moves, there were definitely some that could provide modest returns as soon as the players get settled into their respective starting line-ups.

Of yesterday's arrivals, Christopher Samba (QPR) and Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) are likely the most promising. Samba has a Premier League track record and the potential to score the odd goal from the center back spot. Monreal, in addition to delighting headline writers with numerous groan-inducing nacho-related headlines, will likely get an extended run at left back with Keiron Gibbs sidelined and Andres Santos being Andres Santos. The big question for this column is whether that happens starting this weekend or the next match week. Turning to the Team News, it appears that both Samba and Monreal have a chance to go straight into the line-up. This means that it will be up to you to decide if you want to take the risk. The fact that QPR's match is the early match means that you should have the opportunity to bring Samba into your line-up once you know whether he is going to start or not. The Monreal decision will be more of a risk with the key word being he "could" feature - it'll be your choice as to whether you want to take the risk or pick him up on the Barn Door after seeing what happens. My guess is that he plays but I don't know if I'm confident enough to make a move based on that intuition.

Elsewhere in relevant team news:

Everton (vs. Aston Villa) - No word on whether Nikica Jelavic will start or whether Kevin Mirallas will start again as he returns from his long injury layoff. Mirallas isn't expensive but it would definitely hurt if Moyes rotated his forwards to ensure that Mirallas didn't aggravate his old injury. As much as I like this match-up, I'm sticking to Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini over either of the forwards.

Chelsea (@ Newcastle) - It looks like Petr Cech will be back in the nets so Ross Turnbull won't be available on the cheap (although I'm not sure you would have wanted him even at that low price on the road against a Magpies team with some momentum after all the new blood has arrived). It's also possible that John Terry will start which is at least mildly attractive given his low, low price of 5.75.

Swansea (@West Ham) - Michel Vorm is out again but Gerhard Tremmel is only a fraction cheaper so probably not a terribly exciting development for fantasy managers but Danny Graham's departure likely pushes Michu back up to the forward spot which is exciting for those who have kept the faith with the Spaniard over a rough month or so.

Southampton (@Wigan) - Nothing definitive on Adam Lallana and his starting status (they use the "could" word again which is very frustrating). I'm going to wait until I see him start a match before diving back in.

Manchester United (@Fulham) - The team news intimates that Sir Alex will be making changes and refers specifically to Rio Ferdinand getting a start. Hard to say what other changes he has in mind but given the irregular nature of Shinji Kagawa's role, I'd be worried about selecting him. The same applies to both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

West Brom (vs. Tottenham) - Apparently Peter Odemwingie is still stuck on the highway between Loftus Road and the West Midlands after his drive to the QPR facility didn't force his desired transfer to happen yesterday. He will not feature this weekend. No definitive word on whether Lewis Holtby will get a start in his second match for Spurs but one of our resident SBNation Spurs bloggers seems pretty convinced that he will slot in for Clint Dempsey. The price is right if you want to take the risk.

Manchester City and Liverpool - Vincent Kompany is out and Matija Nastasic's status is uncertain meaning the defense could be a problem for City tomorrow. One person they won't have to worry about exploiting the potential weakness is Philippe Coutinho who will not be in the squad for the trip to Manchester.

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