Late Fitness Check: Fantasy EPL Injury and Suspension Analysis for Week 35

Him being unused last weekend couldn't have been tactical, could it? - Alex Livesey

With extra focus on Manchester City (vs. West Ham) and Tottenham (@ Wigan) where the best match-ups are.

It has been a rough week. I was in Utah for work which was fun but the travel portion of the program was less than spectacular. When I scheduled my trip I knew I was in for a red eye flight on my return home (the choice was that or lose all of Friday night in travel time). What I didn't anticipate were the delays getting TO Utah which saw me not make it to my hotel room until 2:20 AM Mountain Time (which for those not familiar with US geography and time zones is 4:20 AM in Eastern Time where I spend most of my life). We are getting a new company up and running and starting that process on very little sleep is a bit of a challenge. I got back this morning after the anticipated red eye and let's just say I feel like a Spanish team that has just played a German team in a cup semi-final. A long way to go to use that joke but I'm going to blame it on the lack of sleep.

As I start to get my head back focused on my Premier League fantasy team, I can't say that I saw a great deal in the consolidated Team News that made much of a difference to me.

There was the reminder that Olivier Giroud is suspended but no REAL indication as to whether it will be Lukas Podolski or Theo Walcott that takes the central spot from the poor-tackling Frenchman.

There are some vague mentions of possible (but not definite) squad rotations for Manchester United with the implication being that Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick might be rested which, at least in Evans' case is true just about any week that United's defense is healthy.

The Chelsea team news reminds us that Gary Cahill could feature but doesn't really say who is likely to give way. Will it be John Terry (who has been scoring more than Fernando Torres) or David Luiz (who could also move up to holding midfield)?

Hapless QPR will be missing one of last weekend's popular picks/flame-outs Andros Townsend who flamed out due to an injury that persists into this week. Adel Taarabt is also a question mark which undermines his value as well as the value of any potential replacement.

Finally some definitive news which comes from Anfield where Daniel Sturridge (who finally woke up last weekend after a two month nap) WILL start (not "may start" or "hopes to be recalled" but "WILL start" which is refreshing) in place of the toothy Luis Suarez.

For Everton, it looks like Darron Gibson, Victor Anichebe and (maybe) Phil Jagielka will be missing from the line-up. Could this mean Ross Barkley's opportunity? Nikica Jelavic? With Fulham the traveling opposition, either could be worth a risk.

Finally, we get to the cases of Manchester City and Spurs:

Manchester City has players that are fit - Sergio Aguero and David Silva specifically - but you wonder if they are being babied a bit ahead of the only match that really matters for the rest of City's season - the FA Cup Final. The fact that Aguero was unused on the bench as City choked away the Spurs match last weekend leaves you wondering what circumstances might have to come into play before Aguero plays a league match.

Finally, Spurs have Aaron Lennon back in training and at least likely to play at some point. As Jeremy points out, Spurs with Lennon improves their attacking prospects. The one downside is that it would mean that someone from last weekend's attacking formation (Clint Dempsey?) would have to make way for the wee right winger. As a fantasy manager, that has to make you nervous.

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