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Week 23 - Team, Injury & Suspension News

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Wes Brown receives treatment during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough yesterday.
Wes Brown receives treatment during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough yesterday.

It seems strange to be researching and writing about team, injury and suspension news on a Monday afternoon but that's what happens when you have a midweek deadline. In case you weren't already aware the Week 23 cut-off is 12:00GMT on Tuesday 31st January, which is tomorrow. I'll begin by looking at the teams I highlighted as having the best chance of victory in my Player Picks, starting with Tottenham.

Team news from White Hart Lane suggests both Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon are struggling with hamstring injuries but Gareth Bale is back in training and should be fit start. Michael Dawson started the FA Cup tie at Wigan so Ledley King will probably get the nod this time and Emmanuel Adebayor will lead the line in a familiar looking starting line-up.

Manchester United have a number of injury concerns with Nani and Wayne Rooney both major doubts for the visit of Stoke. This news makes Danny Welbeck a certain starter but it's unclear whether Javier Hernandez or Dimitar Berbatov will partner him. Rio Ferdinand could return but David De Gea is expected to be demoted to the bench after another shaky display against Liverpool. Phil Jones is definitely out along with Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Anderson, Nemanja Vidic & Ashley Young.

Arsenal news is a bit thin on the ground as they played less than 24 hours ago but the general consensus is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has done enough to stay in the starting line-up ahead of Andrei Arshavin; Mikel Arteta could start after getting some FA Cup minutes but Bacary Sagna is likely to start on the bench as he's eased back in after a long spell out. Thomas Vermaelen should continue at left back.

Manchester City's squad had a rest over the weekend as they were knocked out of the FA Cup in the previous round, so expect a full strength team at Everton. Vincent Kompany is back from suspension to replace Stefan Savic and Mario Balotelli sits out the 2nd of his 4 match ban so Edin Dzeko should partner Sergio Aguero again.

Fulham have doubts over Moussa Dembele, Orlando Sa and Steve Sidwell so I'm expecting to see a similar team to the one that finished the Newcastle game, with Clint Dempsey playing upfront with Bobby Zamora. Chris Baird should replace Sidwell in the center of midfield and David Stockdale will continue to deputise for the injured Mark Schwarzer.

Sunderland were in the wars yesterday, losing David Vaughan for a few weeks with ankle problem and suffering injuries to Wes Brown and Connor Wickham. Brown and Lee Cattermole are having scans while Wickham went off with a knock and all have to be considered major doubts so Michael Turner could come in to the defence. Nicklas Bendtner is definitely out so Stephane Sessegnon may be pushed upfront, possibly alongside Fraizer Campbell.

Chelsea will be without John Terry, Frank Lampard, Jon Obi Mikel and Ramires due to injury so Michael Essien may start in midfield with two of Florent Malouda Oriol Romeu and Raul Meireles. Fernando Torres is expected to continue upfront with Didier Drogba still absent at the African Cup of Nations.

Craig Bellamy should be restored to the starting line-up after being rested against Manchester United, along with Charlie Adam and Dirk Kuyt. Andy Carroll and Jamie Carragher are likely to return to the bench.

Everton will not be looking forward to the visit of Manchester City as they remain without the injured Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, Seamus Coleman, Jack Rodwell and Leon Osman but Daniel Stracqualursi could start upfront after scoring his first goal for the club in the FA Cup.

Matthew Etherington is the only doubt for Stoke after suffering a groin injury in the FA Cup win over Derby. Jonathan Walters could be moved out to the wing to allow Cameron Jerome to come in to partner Peter Crouch.

Swansea's new loan signing Josh McEachran is ineligible to face his parent club Chelsea so expect the Swans to line up in a familiar 4-3-3 with Dyer and Sinclair on the wings and Gylfi Sigurdsson in an attacking midfield role behind Danny Graham.

Aston Villa will check on Mark Albrighton, James Collins and Charles N'Zogbia prior to their games against QPR. The result of these checks will determine whether Stephen Ireland starts as Robbie Keane partner's Darren Bent upfront.

At QPR we still have no confirmation regarding Taye Taiwo's work permit so he's one to avoid unless we hear something tonight / tomorrow morning. Jay Bothroyd, Akos Buzsaky, DJ Campbell and Heidar Helguson are all injury doubts so Federico Macheda could make his first league start.

The only Newcastle news is that Yohan Cabaye has been charged with violent conduct following an incident in The FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Brighton. He's likely to be given a 3 game suspension but we won't know for sure until after the deadline, so avoid him.

That was quite difficult as there seems to be a real lack of information across the interweb so please keep checking back for updates.

My team currently:

Krul, Kelly, King, Smalling, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sessegnon, Silva, Dempsey, Valencia, Adebayor, Aguero

I'm still considering King to Ayala (held @ 1.00) which would free up funds to switch Oxlade-Chamberlain to Sigurdsson, Robbie Keane or Javier Hernandez.

How's your team looking? If you've found any team, injury or suspension news that I haven't mentioned then please add it as a comment below.

Cheers - Nik