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Late Fitness Check: Fantasy EPL Injury and Suspension Analysis Week 31

The good news is that Manchester United plays the early match and we will have a small window to see who will be playing before making line-up decisions. The bad news is that it will lead to a lot of chaos early in the day on Saturday.

We wait (not so) patiently for his line-up decisions
We wait (not so) patiently for his line-up decisions
Alex Livesey

As is always the case we bring you the link to the full summary of team injury and suspension news from SoccerNet and then we've gone ahead and done our match-by-match analysis of how this impacts your line-up decisions. Also keep in mind that Manchester United's match is early and their line-up SHOULD be available before the roster deadline if you live in a part of the world where you're likely to be awake at that time (or you're Jeremy and you decide to be awake at a point in the morning when you have no business being awake because you're just that dedicated). With that brief intro out of the way, here we go:

Sunderland vs. Manchester United: Nani, Phil Jones, and Paul Scholes are all available which is annoying because it means more options and Javier Hernandez and Antonio Valencia are listed less likely to feature despite being healthy due to the scope of their international travel. With the FA Cup replay with Chelsea coming up quickly it is almost impossible to predict how Sir Alex will line them up and fortunately we don't have to. Unless SAF hates us and releases his starting line-up just a little late (and he's proven over the years that he hates me and my fantasy manager-ship). Oh, as a bonus for those buying ManU defenders/goalkeeper Steven Fletcher is out for the season and Stephane Sessegnon is a doubt so Danny Graham and AJ it is - doesn't exactly strike fear into your heart does it?

Arsenal vs. Reading: The midfield injuries are mounting. It's just the Arsenal way. Jeremy detailed the new news on Diaby and Wilshere here as well as speculating on the rest of the questions. There is still a lot of question over the starting line-up but the midfield is likely pretty set with Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, and Santi Cazorla. Jeremy is predicting Gervinho over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the Theo Walcott spot joining Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Wenger provided exactly zero transparency on his line-up plans at goalkeeper or anywhere in the defense.

Manchester City vs. Newcastle United: Vincent Kompany played in midweek for Belgium and his price has gone down to a very reasonable 8.36 but the combination of him having been out for 8 weeks and City's defensive frailties this season makes me wonder if this should be more of a BD play than an opportunity for this weekend. Sergio Aguero is also fit to return - the same general comments from Kompany apply to Aguero - he could be value but he hasn't done much since Week 21 and has generally been less impressive than last season.

The one reason to have hope for City's attack is the chaos at the back for the Magpies which sees Tim Krul, Mathieu Debuchy, Davide Santon, Fabricio Coloccini and Massadio Haidara all out. That's a lot of first team defenders against a team that is second in the table no matter how disappointing they've been compared to last season.

Southampton vs. Chelsea: The same concerns that exist with Manchester United - players coming back from international travels and the need to conserve players for Monday's FA Cup replay - apply to Chelsea PLUS we won't see Chelsea's starting line-up before the deadline. To my mind, John Terry is the big question as it is assumed he'll only play once between Saturday and Monday. The team news implies that Gary Cahill could be back for Monday so maybe Terry is a decent option over the weekend. Adam Lallana is a "late fitness check" which means you might want to pick one of Southampton's other midfielders (Gaston Ramirez or Morgan Schneiderlin) if you're betting on this being a "trap game" for Chelsea between the international break and the big FA Cup match.

Swansea City vs. Tottenham: Looks like just about everyone is healthy on both sides with Clint Dempsey on the Spurs side a major doubt based on his travel itinerary over the international break. This is a tough match to call and I'd be staying away other than the two premium performers (Gareth Bale and Michu) that you might have at a discount.

West Ham United vs. West Bromwich Albion: Mark Noble (WHU) and James Morrison (WBA) are the only mildly interesting absences from a fantasy point of view. I wouldn't have rated either very highly if they were available so this doesn't make much of a dent in the weekend for me.

Wigan Athletic vs. Norwich City: Lee Camp is confirmed as the (relatively inexpensive) starter for the Canaries. The only other item of mild interest is the health of Callum McManaman who, while he hasn't done much, is really cheap (3.51) and possibly starting at home against Norwich.

Everton vs. Stoke City: Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka both COULD feature which makes things miserable for anyone who BD'd Jan Mucha or Johnny Heitinga - unless you have some additional insight I'd avoid all four players based on the uncertainty. Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar are both suspended which means a likely start for Darron Gibson who is reasonably priced and hasn't met a long range shot he didn't like. For Stoke Robert Huth is back which may mean that Marc Wilson slides to the Geoff Cameron spot while Cameron is rested given the long commute back from Mexico City over and above the rigors of playing at altitude in a hostile environment.

Aston Villa vs. Liverpool: There really aren't any important injuries or suspensions here so the questions will all revolve around rotation questions - especially at Liverpool. I'd only be looking at one or more of the group of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, and/or Steven Gerrard.

Fulham vs. QPR: There really aren't any significant injury or suspension issues for this match but it will be fascinating to see if a) Fulham's home form stands up; b) QPR's mercenary crew has stopped caring and started looking for their next job; or c) QPR has one last sprint in them to try to save their Premier League status.