For the entire recap of team press conferences, you can click here to see the consolidated Soccernet report . The important parts of those reports and the implications for your fantasy line-ups can be found after the jump.
Both squads are fairly healthy and will feature big names coming back into fitness in Gerrard for Liverpool and Vidic for United. Of the two, Gerrard is the more attractive option for fantasy managers but Vidic is likely more important to the outcome of the match. If Vidic is back to full health he gives United the rock that they've been missing as the kids have featured in the center of their defense. Gerrard at around 12 is an interesting proposition but hardly a no-brainer given the opposition. I'd put him firmly in the "calculated risk" category.
Aguero is out but Balotelli seems to be fit. No word given on some of the players who are likely tired from international duty over the past 10 days (e.g., Nasri). The bet here is that Nasri and Balotelli play in an attempt to make up for the lack of their stud forward. Both are fairly attractive fantasy options although Nasri is a bit pricey. On the Villa side, Gabby is back from his injury worries and should be available. Not the weekend to get on this particular bandwagon but if you're already on (at a discount) then you should feel safe staying.
Nothing particularly relevant to report for fantasy purposes. Anyone you might be considering is healthy and should be ready to go.
Not much that you'd care to discuss for the home side but Rovers have all kinds of questions (what else is new). With a potentially promising match in front of them they're not sure if they'll have the services of MGP, Goodwillie, Nelsen, and Dunn (as if that last one is ever a surprise). If you don't believe in the QPR defense the uncertainty around most of Rovers' other fantasy options makes Hoilett even more obvious of a pick. On the other hand, if you just throw up your hands and decide that Rovers are too big a risk between being bad and having some key attacking injuries, I wouldn't blame you at all.
I'm not sure how much it will impact your fantasy plans (probably not too much) but the injury list at Stoke is pretty incredible featuring Eth, Pennant, Kenwyne Jones, and Marc Wilson (all facing a late fitness test to doubtful) along with Wilson Palacios, Ricardo Fuller, and Danny Higgenbothem (all out). That's about two thirds of a solid starting eleven of a mid-table Premier League team. Could get ugly for them even though they're at home this weekend. Even more so because Fulham are pretty close to full strength.
Wigan vs. Bolton
The only real news here is about the returnees who include Klasnic and Wheater. Klasnic was in great form before his suspension and scoring against Wigan wouldn't be the biggest shock ever. The question is whether he has enough support to get the ball in a decent position. Unless you're in on Klasnic, there probably isn't much here worth mentioning.
Not too much said in this report. There are some questions for Everton (Cahill and Osman) who could increase the value of the Chelsea defense if they don't play but the reports are hardly certain so I wouldn't make many decisions based on expecting one or both to be out. The only other reminder here is that Torres is still suspended.
West Brom vs. Wolves
The issues in this match all revolve around injured forwards including Fletcher, SEB, and (possibly) Odemwingie. My recommendation would be to stay away from all of them and go with Shane Long if you're looking for a forward in this match. Not too much else worth noting here.
Arsenal vs. Sunderland
There is the typical raft of news surrounding Arsenal's long list of injuries with the most obvious being that Jenkinson is likely to replace Sagna who is out for 3 months or so. I'd favor Gibbs over Jenkinson if you're looking for an inexpensive Arsenal defender though. The other reminder is that Bendtner can't play for Sunderland against the team that holds his registration. Unfortunately, there wasn't any word on which of Wickham or Magic Dong-won will start for Sunderland. All-in-all only minimal useful information for your fantasy selection process coming from these injury/suspension reports
Newcastle vs. Tottenham
Speaking of long injury lists, there must be something in the water in North London because Spurs look to be challenging Arsenal for more than the fourth spot this season but also the "number of man matches missed" title. I'll just quote the report and let you read it in all of its glory:
Tottenham will give a fitness test to Emmanuel Adebayor to see if he is fit after the striker suffered a hamstring injury in the club's win over Arsenal two weeks ago. Rafael van der Vaart should be fit despite a hamstring niggle, but Sandro (calf) and Aaron Lennon (groin) are doubts and Niko Kranjcar is likely to be out for some time after tearing a thigh muscle while on international duty with Croatia. Vedran Corluka also suffered a foot injury with Croatia and will miss this weekend's game, while long-term absentees William Gallas (calf), Michael Dawson (Achilles) and Tom Huddlestone (ankle) remain sidelined.
VDV and Defoe both make for interesting options but I'd be cautious given that NUFC are fully healthy and they've been very stingy thus far. The only thing you might use to talk yourself into Spurs attackers is that NUFC have been stingy but they've been so against mediocre-at-best attacking opposition thus far. Spurs, even the depleted version, could represent a more formidable challenge than the Magpies have seen thus far this season. I don't have any particular intuition on how this one is going to turn out.
LIVE CHAT UPDATE
FYI, we're going to try out the SBNation facilities for our Live Chat tomorrow at the normal time. We'll see how it goes since it will be a new experience for us as well as you.