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The Late Fitness Check: EPL Fantasy Transfers, Injuries, and Suspensions

Transfer window day is mostly a fun affair but we're sad to see her (and her husband) leave the Prem.  Has it only been two seasons?   (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Transfer window day is mostly a fun affair but we're sad to see her (and her husband) leave the Prem. Has it only been two seasons? (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
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Somewhere amid all of the transfer-related madness, apparently they are going to play some matches this weekend and those of us who have (one or more) fantasy teams will be required to field a team that we hope will contain players who are actually playing for their respective teams. Usually we try to focus on specific match-ups that will be impacted by injuries and suspensions but given that it's deadline day, we're going to run down each team and indicate where there might be impact from injuries suspensions AND/OR transfers. More often than not, our advice will be to avoid the situation entirely if there is uncertainty over a new player being ready to go on short notice or an existing player potentially having to make way for that new player.

Away we go:

Arsenal - Not much news on the transfer front yet today other than some spare parts like Bendtner and Park headed out the door. On the injury front, Laurent Kosciely kills both his and Per Mertesacker's fantasy value by "being back in the squad" but maybe or maybe not ready to start. Szczesny is also a question. I'd tend to ignore Arsenal's back line - too much upheaval and a third clean sheet in a row is a lot to ask.

Aston Villa - New left back Joe Bennett is ready to go and Cairan Clark is back from suspension but overall, I'd say very little impact here from either injuries or the transfer window.

Chelsea - Not playing and not much movement anyway.

Everton - Fully fit and with little likely transfer-related activity. Whatever you were contemplating with the Everton squad should still be on.

Fulham - Hard to know where things are going with Clint Dempsey at this point so we may have to account for his return and the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov as well as the departure of Moussa Dembele. We assume that Kieran Richardson is just cover and won't meaningfully impact the starting XI most weeks. In addition it doesn't sound hopeful for Bryan Ruiz on the injury front. Mladen Petric seems like the best bet in the Fulham attack but you'd be excused for ignoring it entirely given the upheaval.

Liverpool - Other than Lucas, the team is relatively healthy. Stable in light of all of the transfer upheaval is another question entirely with Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll out and the Reds looking to push Jordan Henderson out as well. Inbound could be Clint Dempsey and/or Daniel Sturridge. If you're "in" on anyone from Liverpool, I'd make it someone who has been there for a while and isn't likely to lose their spot.

Manchester City - Lots of last-day-of-the-window activity with Maicon, Javi Garcia, and Matija Nastasic coming in and body-crushing beast Nigel de Jong headed out. For this weekend, I'd imagine that the big impact will be that Jack Rodwell almost HAS to start in the holding midfield role with de Jong gone and Gareth Barry still out. I'd imagine the other newbies will have to wait until after the International Break to get their first matches for the champs.

Manchester United - Quiet day on the transfer front but the big news for United is that Jonny Evans is back meaning that they have two actual center backs for the first time this season. Sounds like about the right time to start thinking about Vidic in your line-up.

Newcastle - Quiet on the transfer front and the team is healthy other than Ryan Taylor. Just a bunch of decisions to be made about which Newcastle players you might want in your line-up for their match this weekend.

Norwich - Not too much excitement other than the smart signing of Mark Bunn (not starting this weekend) that will likely make QPR's double purchase of Green and Julio Cesar look very expensive and a bit foolish (especially the Robert Green part).

Queens Park Rangers - Speaking of Green/Cesar, Green will retain his place while Cesar waits for clearance which means that the Manchester City attack is still most definitely "ON". This weekend will give us the opportunity to watch new signing Esteban Granero and figure out if he's worthy of fantasy consideration as well as any impact he might have on Adel Taarabt who, as you'll recall, didn't start last weekend without Granero around. Elsewhere, the other new signings Mbia, etc. will have to wait until the Rs next match.

Reading - *Crickets chirping* as Reading are off this weekend and haven't done much in the window to comment on either.

Southampton - Worry for Ricky Lambert who, despite his Yahoo fantasy studly-ness, has been in the transfer rumors frequently as well as starting out on the bench once. With the arrival of Emmanuel Mayuka at forward Lambert could find himself on the bench again. I'm not saying that's what WILL happen, just that I'd be worried.

Stoke City - Stoke just keep signing players with Charlie Adam arriving and Maurice Edu on the way (but likely not in time to figure this weekend). Adam will presumably go into the line-up but there isn't too much else to contemplate other than that Matty Etherington is still out injured.

Sunderland - Hard to know how the signings of Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson will impact the preferred starting line-up but with a match against Swansea where I don't think many of us (other than @NickyButt who has Fletcher as his Funny Feeling Friday) will be banking on Sunderland we'll have a weekend to watch and decide how to approach the new line-up.

Swansea - New signing Ki Sung Yueng will be in the line-up, presumably in the Joe Allen spot but Pablo Hernandez, presumably tabbed for the Scott Sinclair spot, won't be available yet. Otherwise the Swans are fully fit and available to continue marauding through the middle-reaches of the Premier League table.

Tottenham - Some big movement at Spurs as well as the news that Younes Kaboul is out for an extended period. Steven Caulker is likely to take Kaboul's spot with Moussa Dembele likely playing in the "Modric" spot. It appears that Hugo Lloris is on his way in but no word yet on whether he'll be ready to slot into the line-up immediately. I'd tend to doubt it.

West Brom - Not much action on the transfer front and they look healthy going into the weekend. The big question, and we do mean big, is whether Romelu Lukaku gets his first start.

West Ham - Not much to report other than the fact that Andy Carroll will move right into the line-up. I'm very interested to see what sort of a connection he and Matt Jarvis make. Jarvis certainly looked like he'd be holding up his end of the bargain last weekend and if Carroll can improve on the business end of that connection the value of both could go up.

Wigan - ZZzzzzzzz....Alcaraz is suspended and Boselli and Miyaichi could both see their first action. Marginally interesting but I can't say I'm feeling the urge to start making changes to my team based on that news.

For more on team news, here's the full rundown. We'll try to comment on other big transfer news as it happens.