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Week 4 - Injury & Team News

Tell us what you know please.
Tell us what you know please.

There is a word that every fantasy manager in the world lives in fear of, and it's a word I'm reading and hearing an awful lot this Friday afternoon. The word is 'rotation', and it's being used to describe Roberto Mancini's plans for Manchester City's game again Wigan on Saturday.

The Manchester Evening News has suggested that due to their international exploits both Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero could be given a rest to ensure they are fresh for Napoli in the Champions League. Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson are all being mentioned as possible replacements, but the worst thing about it is it's all unconfirmed. My gut feeling is Aguero gets a rest and Dzeko continues, but it really is just a guess so it'll be tough to pull the trigger on dropping the little Argentinian.

What Mancini did confirm is that Micah Richards is fit so I reckon he'll come back in for Zabaleta. Samir Nasri hand-injury wasn't serious so he's in contention, but Gareth Barry is doubtful, De Jong is out and Kolo Toure isn't ready to start. David Silva wasn't mentioned but he's so key to the style of football City have played this season so I'm pretty sure he'll start.

We have some more concrete information coming out of Arsenal today, as Arsene Wenger revealed that Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Yossi Benayoun are all in contention to make their debuts against Swansea this weekend. Andre Santos is not match-fit and Chu Young Park isn't available. Wilshere, Diaby & Vermaelen are out, Song is suspended and Rosicky is a doubt.

What does that mean? Well, Kieron Gibbs is back from injury, so the left-back represents fantastic value @ 3.12. Theo Walcott is also fit so I reckon he starts along with Arteta, Robin van Persie and Aaron Ramsey, which means Benayoung and Arshavin fighting it out for the final attacking midfield spot (assuming Frimpong will play the shielding role?)

So that's the news from the two teams with the stand-out fixtures in Week 4. There's load more stuff to get through so please keep checking back as I'll be updating this post as the afternoon progresses...

Updated @ 3pm

Manchester United have Antonio Valencia back in the squad but Alex Ferguson has stated that he'll find it very hard to make any changes to the team that thrashed Arsenal 8-2 last time out. That should mean the only change will be Javier Hernandez replacing the injured Danny Welbeck, although I wouldn't be shocked it Rio Ferdinand came in for Jonny Evans at Bolton.

Over at Chelsea it appears Fernando Torres will continue to lead the line as Didier Drogba sits out the Sunderland game through injury. Petr Cech and David Luiz fit to return although one wonders where Luiz will fit in? Juan Mata is being tipped to make his full debut on the left or right of the 4-3-3 formation.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has to decide whether Andy Carroll is ready to start alongside Luis Suarez at Stoke, with many of the press predicting it will be Dirk Kuyt who gets the nod ahead of the the Geordie giant. Glen Johnson is expected to return at right-back and Charlie Adam is likely to continue after overcoming his hip injury.

Tottenham Hotspur will be without Rafael Van Der Vaart for the next 4 weeks, but they have Emmanuel Adebayor & Scott Parker ready to make their debuts at Wolves and Luka Modric is back after he got over his Chelsea-induced strop. Adebayor should partner Jermain Defoe in a genuine 4-4-2 and Bale will be on set pieces in VDVs absence.

Wolves are likely to name an unchanged team for the fourth successive league match if Matt Jarvis is passed fit.

John Arne Riise is expected to start for Fulham after returning for Norway in mid-week, which is a good thing, as Matty Briggs is doubtful. Bryan Ruiz will be battling it out with Bobby Zamora, Moussa Dembele and Andy Johnson to partner Clint Dempsey.

Aston Villa should have Darren Bent & Shay Given ready to face Everton after injury scares suffered on international duty, while Hutton and Jenas will be hoping to make their debuts.

Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie are both fit to face Norwich but Zoltan Gera is only expected to be ready for the bench.

Everton will be relived to hear that Leighton Baines is OK after his injury scare and he'll be taking over penalties and set pieces with Arteta now at Arsenal. Johnny Heitinga is a slight doubt but Seamus Coleman is in the squad and Roysten Drenthe could make his debut.

Stoke's new boy Peter Crouch is likely to make his debut against former club Liverpool

Blackburn are without Morten Gamst Pedersen because of a hamstring problem, while Ryan Nelsen and David Dunn are doubtful. Yakubu, Scott Dann and Simon Vukcevic could make their debuts.

Joey Barton, Luke Young and Shaun Wright-Phillips are set to make their debuts for QPR this weekend. Barton vs Newcastle - tasty!

More to follow...

My own team currently looks like this:

De Gea, Gibbs, Riise, Richards, Cabaye, Arteta, Silva, Walcott, Mata, Aguero, Van Persie

Richards, Arteta & Aguero could still be changed but the rest is likely to remain as is.

How's your team looking?

Cheers,
AM