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The Late Fitness Test: EPL Week 23 Injury and Suspension Analysis

The last word on your fantasy team before you lock down your starting XI for Match Week 23 in Premier League fantasy games.

Is he finally fading? Is he going to start this week?  Big questions.
Is he finally fading? Is he going to start this week? Big questions.
Laurence Griffiths

I'm going to try to get to some analysis of the Theo Walcott deal a little later this afternoon but here's everything you need to know about injuries and suspensions and how they impact your fantasy roster for this weekend's matches. Obviously, we continue to focus specifically on Arsenal and West Ham since they will likely form the bulk of people's transactions. Here is the full compilation of news from ESPN SoccerNet.

Arsenal - Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are both still injured and Gervinho is away on ACN duty. The absences probably mean one start for Diaby and even two if Wenger is feeling good about his health. Given that this is Diaby and no one should feel good about his health, I'd bet that one of the other midfielders (Ramsey, etc.) will get a start in one of the two matches. Overall, not much here to change our opinions from our player picks features earlier in the week.

West Ham United - Joey O'Brien's return is the only mildly interesting news and that isn't really all that interesting to me to be honest. I did neglect to mention Kevin Nolan yesterday in TWA and I'll correct that error now. Nolan has been very quiet for fantasy purposes for the past 10 weeks. He has broken 5 points exactly twice in that time and he hasn't sniffed double digits even once. He was on the bench in mid-week against Manchester United which could be him getting a rest or it could be a signal that his lack of impact is being punished. Hard to like his chances to be a big scorer with his participation in question. There's also nothing in the team news to indicate a certain return to the starting line-up. If anyone has seen anything from Big Sam on the topic, feel free to enlighten us in the comments section.

The Rest

Manchester City - Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany are all back and available for an attractive home match against road dogs Fulham.

Reading - Stephen Kelly, he of the 3.19 price tag, looks like he'll start his first match for his new team this weekend. Definitely worth a buy or at least a very intensive Barn Door look.

QPR - Looks like Loic Remy will get a run and the intimation is that he'll start so we should all be watching and evaluating since we'll be watching the match for our WHU players anyway.

West Brom - The only mildly interesting news is that there's a chance Shane Long will be ready to return to action. My guess is that he'll come back as a sub first given a) the form of Lukaku and b) that he's been off for a few weeks. Still, this is a word of caution to Lukaku owners (myself included).

That's about it for the interesting news. Good luck with your selections and we'll see you tomorrow for our chat.