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EPL Injuries and Suspensions: Will Tevez Start?

Doesn't look like this guy will be starting even with Aguero out (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Doesn't look like this guy will be starting even with Aguero out (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
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Hard to know what exactly is going on at Manchester City. As you have read elsewhere on this site (and presumably many others), Sergio Aguero is injured and will not play this weekend. In this summary of team news, there is a very clear statement that Carlos Tevez will start the match on the bench despite being healthy and Edin Dzeko/Mario Balotelli being a rotten combination for City at each time of asking so far this season.

Outside of that odd decision, what a strange and sad late season it has been for the Premier League. First Fabrice Muamba collapses and nearly dies on the pitch without any real warning that there might be any risk. Today there is news that Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with Leukemia. Like Muamba in the immediate aftermath of the story breaking there isn't a great deal of news on Petrov's prognosis. Fantasy teams and sports aside, we are pulling for both players and hope nothing but the best for their respective recoveries.

From that somber note back to your late deliberations before you lock in your fantasy roster for the week:

Aston Villa vs. Chelsea - Alan Hutton will be missing which could put Eric Lichaj in position to be an enabler. The opposition isn't easy but if you're looking for a viable play for cheap then he's at least in the frame. Not much else from this one other than the reminders that Darren Bent, Charles N'Zogbia, Ciaran Clark, and Richard Dunne are all still out. No real news on the Chelsea front other than the fact that this isn't a Champions League match so they are likely to struggle.

Everton vs. West Brom - The two items of note here are that Royston Drenthe and James Morrison are out for their respective sides with a personal matter and injury respectively. The interesting note is that Steven Pienaar is available for 6.01 and is likely to start.

Fulham vs. Norwich - Grant Holt is suspended after his red card last weekend and Anthony Pilkington is a question mark while Fulham appears to have no real injury concerns. What that means to me is that Fulham's defense (plus Schwarzer) are more valuable as two of the Canaries' main threats are unlikely to be available.

Manchester City vs. Sunderland - Other than the Aguero news above the only significant news from this one is that Wayne Bridge can't play against the team that owns his rights and Joelene Lescott is still out. Not much for fantasy managers to do based on that situation.

QPR vs. Arsenal - Not much from this one other than reminding you that Djribil Cisse is suspended AGAIN. Arsenal looks like they will have Koscielny back and Andre Santos will make Keiron Gibbs owners a little nervous as well.

Wigan vs. Stoke City - Not much excitement here unless you were considering Hugo Rodallega and if you were you're probably confused and think it's still 2009 or 2010.

Wolves vs. Bolton - Another match without any significant information for fantasy managers. Just keep thinking good thoughts for Fabrice.

Newcastle vs. Liverpool - Cheik Tiote and Ryan Taylor are both back for Newcastle but Coloccini is out as is Charlie Adam for Liverpool. There is far less certainty about Liverpool's injured defensive corps (Glen Johnson, Martin Kelly, etc.). Hard to know what to make of that information for fantasy purposes so I'm likely to ignore it.

Tottenham vs. Swansea - Aaron Lennon looks to be fit again after missing a few weeks. This could be big for Spurs as he really provides a big boost by giving them frightening pace on both wings (and keeping VDV away from the wing where he shouldn't play). I'd bet on Spurs to break out of their slump a bit. Lennon will be important but he's not likely to be the one to get the points - think improved value from Bale, K2, Saha, and Modric.

Rovers vs. Manchester United - Looks like Rio Ferdinand will be fit so those hoping to get some value from Chris Smalling are likely to be disappointed. Nani is still out meaning Valencia and Ashley Young should still be safe starts.

Good luck with your selections and we will see you tomorrow for a live chat.