To be honest, my first scan of the injury and suspension news didn't yield a lot of definitive insight. There are lots of items that say things like "Vincent Kompany is back" (meaning he's training) but "he only has an outside shot at returning..." (meaning that he hasn't trained enough to be a starter). There are similarly vague passages here about Carlos Tevez, Martin Kelly, Charlie Adam, Branislav Ivanovic, Phil Jones, and Charles N'Zogbia.
In addition to having implications for those players, there are also implications for:
- All of City's other forwards (who the hell knows how Mancini will use his four forwards once he has all of Aguero, Tevez, Balotelli, and Dzeko to choose from)
- Sebastian Coates (he came in and scored well after Kelly went off in mid-week)
- Steven Gerrard and Stuart Downing (Adam being out would likely mean more set piece attempts for both)
- Jose Bosingwa - If Ivanovic is out then Bosingwa is a semi-interesting option at just over 8. If Ivanovic plays then he's the semi-interesting option at 7.58 (granted, the match-up is a tough one).
- Uncertain - Hard to know the impact of Phil Jones being available. Evans is playing better so it may be Michael Carrick that gives way. Hard to imagine that it would be Rio Ferdinand even if that might be the right answer at this point in his career.
- Andreas Weimann - If N'Zogbia is out then Gabby likely moves wide with Weimann playing at forward. If N'Zogbia passes his fitness test then Gabby likely stays up top and Weimann's status is less certain.
Elsewhere, there are some definite injuries and suspensions that you should take note of:
- Nani - He remains out this week which should mean Rooney stays in midfield with Chicharito and Welbeck at forward and at least one of Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia out wide. Hard to know how it will evolve once Nani comes back.
- Aaron Lennon - Amazing how important he seems to be to Spurs. He creates a lot of defensive problems when he and Bale are wide PLUS he ensures that Rafael van der Vaart doesn't play a wide role which is a good thing if you're a Spurs supporter. Oh, the bad news is that he's still out.
- Craig Bellamy - Oh how different Liverpool's season might have been if Bellamy were available more frequently. Luis Suarez may be their most talented forward but Bellamy is their most effective one.
- Nathan Dyer - Still out suspended which means Wayne Routledge is a nice potential value play in midfield.
- Jolene Lescott - While Kompany is a question mark, Lescott is definitely out which means that Kolo Toure and Savic might be the defensive pairing. Not good news for Joe Hart's value, huh?
That's all the injury and suspension news that's fit to print (or type). We'll see you tomorrow for some live chatting before and during the matches.