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Week 25 Premier League Injuries & Suspensions + Pre-Deadline Chat

With a quick turnaround from the weekend to another full slate of Premier League fixtures midweek, there's a bunch of news you need to be aware of before selecting your fantasy team.

Carles Gil is quietly establishing himself as a fantasy star. Don't miss out on him while he's still cheap!
Carles Gil is quietly establishing himself as a fantasy star. Don't miss out on him while he's still cheap!
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Below is a breakdown of what each of the categories means:

Out: Fantasy-relevant players who have been confirmed out for the week, either through injury or suspension

Doubt: Players facing the dreaded late fitness test, rotation concerns and those who are out of form/favor

In: The likeliest replacements for the Outs & Doubts

Win: Fantasy player to watch / my hunch pick of the week



Out: Mathieu Debuchy, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta

Doubt: Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck (both rotation)

In: Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott (maybe)

Win: Aaron Ramsey (hunch)

It's difficult to see anything other than an Arsenal win here, but with the doubts surrounding who lines up in the midfield behind Olivier Giroud, it could be risky to load up on players, especially those in attacking midfield positions. Giroud, as well as consistent starters like Ramsey and David Ospina, should be strong considerations.


Aston Villa

Out: Philippe Senderos, Libor Kozak

Doubt: Christian Benteke (form), Ciaran Clark (rotation)

In: Ron Vlaar (maybe)

Win: Carles Gil

A 10-point haul in a losing effort against Chelsea is nothing to scoff at, and Carles Gil is beginning to look like a really valuable acquisition for Villa. He'll need to be at his best in the crucial match against Hull City, especially if Christian Benteke continues life on the bench, and I think the Spaniard is the man to step up for the second-city club.



Out: Dean Marney, Stephen Ward, Matt Taylor, Kevin Long

Doubt: N/A

In: Michael Kightly (maybe)

Win: George Boyd

Burnley have been a much more difficult proposition since Sean Dyche settled on his preferred starting eleven. With Danny Ings, Kieran Trippier, Ashley Barnes and Boyd all in form, it wouldn't be entirely unsurprising to see the Clarets push United hard for a result. The attacking group is firing on all cylinders and should manage at least a couple chances against Louis van Gaal's patchwork defense.



Out: Diego Costa (suspended), Filipe Luis

Doubt: Didier Drogba, Willian, Gary Cahill, Ramires (all rotation)

In: Cesc Fabregas, Loic Remy, Kurt Zouma, Juan Cuadrado (all maybe)

Win: Oscar (hunch)

The likely return of Fabregas should bring a major boost of confidence to the Blues, who haven't looked anywhere near their best in the absence of the Spaniard and his compatriot Costa. This could be the match where new boy Cuadrado gets his chance from the start and he's not a bad investment given his low price tag, but the sure starters are better bets and this feels like one of those matches where Oscar slips everyone's mind and then puts up 20 points.


Crystal Palace

Out: Mile Jedinak

Doubt: Yannick Bolasie, Scott Dann, Marouane Chamakh, Jordon Mutch (rotation), Martin Kelly (rotation)

In: Brede Hangeland, Yaya Sanogo (maybe), Pape Souare (maybe)

Win: Dwight Gayle

I'm expecting Alan Pardew to get one over on his former employers in this match. The former Newcastle boss has taken a liking to Gayle, who has been putting up some impressive scores since Pardew arrived. On penalty duties in the absence of Mile Jedinak, I like Gayle's chances of another big day in what should be an open encounter at Selhurst Park.



Out: Leon Osman, Stephen Pienaar, Christian Atsu (ineligible)

Doubt: Joel Robles, Stephen Naismith, Aiden McGeady, Mohamed Besic, Bryan Oviedo (rotation)

In: Tim HowardLeighton Baines (maybe), Aaron Lennon (maybe)

Win: Romelu Lukaku (hunch)

The Toffees have earned four crucial points in their past two matches, but are coming up against the league leaders at a pivotal moment in the season. This has troll written all over it. It would be like Lukaku to show up just when we least expect him to, right? Then again, the inspiration is always there to get back at your old club, so maybe we should expect the big Belgian to get on the score sheet. But that probably means he won't score...


Hull City

Out: James Chester, Mohamed Diame, Liam Rosenior, Robert Snodgrass

Doubt: Sone Aluko (rotation), Curtis Davies (form)

In: Nikica Jelavic / Dame N'Doye (maybe)

Win: Michael Dawson

Aston Villa finally broke their goal scoring drought last week against Chelsea, but it took a stoppage time miracle from James Milner for Man City to break down a solid Hull defensive unit last week. Both sides will be high on confidence, but Steve Bruce's men have a good shot at a clean sheet at home in this match and Dawson seems least likely to fall victim to rotation among the rearguard.


Leicester City

Out: Kasper Schmeichel

Doubt: Marcin Wasilewski, David Nugent (both rotation)

In: Robert Huth, Andrej Kramaric (both maybe)

Win: Riyad Mahrez

Arsenal will be out for vengeance after their derby loss to Spurs at the weekend, but that may mean a more open game against the Foxes. Mahrez was sorely missed while he was away at the African Cup of Nations, and his return last week gave Leicester a spark in the attacking third. I expect him to continue to provide solid returns, even against difficult opposition.



Out: Lucas Leiva, Jon Flanagan

Doubt: Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Steven Gerrard (rotation)

In: Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic (all maybe), Joe Allen

Win: Philippe Coutinho

Missing Lucas means a clean sheet isn't a major likelihood this game week, despite Liverpool's defensive improvements recently. Add in that they're facing Spurs' one-man wrecking crew and they'll need their attack to be firing to get a result in what could prove a vital match in the race for the top 4. Coutinho has consistently been the best creator for the Reds, and if Sturridge gets a start you can expect the little Brazilian will provide the striker with chances in addition to the shots he takes himself.


Manchester City

Out: Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony (both travel)

Doubt: Gael Clichy, Jesus Navas (both rotation)

In: Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner

Win: Sergio Aguero

The Champions just can't seem to get things going without Yaya Toure, and they'll be thrilled to have him back along with new signing Wilfried Bony in their next match. They've still got another week to go without the Ivorians, though, and they'll be desperate to put another 3 points on the board after their slip against Hull. Sergio Aguero hasn't been himself since his return from injury, but there's no one else you'd look to as more capable than the Argentine striker.


Manchester United

Out: Luke Shaw (suspended), Michael Carrick

Doubt: Adnan Januzaj (rotation)

In: Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young

Win: Robin van Persie

I can tell you now...the fact that I'm recommending RVP and will not select him for my team is a decision I will regret this week. As many of you are aware by now, the Dutch striker is eternally on my dead-to-me list given his atrocious performances every single time I put him in my squad. He always does well when I don't pick him for favorable, though. Enjoy your 25 points!



Out: Rolando Aarons, Cheikh Tiote (travel)

Doubt: Sammy Ameobi, Mike Williamson (both rotation)

In: Yoan Gouffran, Paul Dummett (both maybe)

Win: Daryl Janmaat (hunch)

New manager John Carver has plenty of options at his disposal in midfield and attack, and we've yet to see enough from him to know what his preferences are for the squad. Janmaat should be one of the few with a nailed-on starting spot, and his capabilities to contribute to the attack make him an intriguing option away to Crystal Palace.


Queens Park Rangers

Out: Charlie Austin, Richard Dunne, Sandro

Doubt: Adel Taarabt, Matt Phillips (both rotation)

In: Rio Ferdinand, Eduardo Vargas, Bobby Zamora (maybe), Mauro Zarate (maybe)

Win: Joey Barton

You're not likely investing in any Rangers players, and with good reason. There's almost no way of knowing who will line up for them this week given it will be the manager's second match in charge, on limited rest and with a number of key injuries. If you feel compelled to grab somebody from QPR, you could do worse than the consistently average Joey Barton, but I wouldn't recommend it.



Out: Ryan Bertrand (suspended), Toby Alderweireld, Shane Long, Jay Rodriguez

Doubt: Matt Targett, Victor Wanyama (rotation), James Ward-Prowse (rotation)

In: Florin Gardos, Morgan Schneiderlin (maybe)

Win: Eljero Elia

The Saints just keep on getting it done, and are looking more likely every week to achieve a spot in the Champions League next season. New arrival Elia has played a major part in the team's success through January, but the spotlight has been on Sadio Mane since his return from Africa. Elia was unlucky not to score in the last match, though, and if he can keep the fouls to a minimum he's a great option this week.


Stoke City

Out: Bojan Krkic, Ryan Shawcross, Erik Pieters

Doubt: Stephen Ireland, Marc Wilson

In: Peter Crouch (maybe), Marc Muniesa

Win: Victor Moses

Stoke are one of the strangest teams in the league this season; on their day they're giant-killers, but they're also capable of falling to heavy defeats against the minnows depending on who shows up. On paper this looks like a massive win for City, but don't count out Moses and company adding more misery to City's hopes of repeating as champions.



Out: Lee Cattermole, Valentin Roberge

Doubt: Ricky Alvarez (rotation), Jack Rodwell, Danny Graham (rotation)

In: Connor Wickham, Adam Johnson

Win: Patrick Van Aanholt

A shocking 0-point return from PVA last weekend shouldn't deter you from investing in him this weekend. A match against QPR sans Charlie Austin should offer plenty of chances at a clean sheet for the Black Cats, and Rangers' road record suggests attacking returns are there for the taking for the left-back as well.


Swansea City

Out: Gylfi Sigurdsson (suspended), Marvin Emnes

Doubt: Jefferson Montero, Jack Cork (both rotation)

In: Wayne Routledge, Leon Britton (both maybe)

Win: Jonjo Shelvey

Shelvey has been in inspired form playing in the hole in Sigurdsson's absence, and he's got one more match to stake his claim on keeping the role longer-term. It's unlikely he'll change the manager's mind, but he'll be giving his all in a winnable match against West Brom, plus he's on set piece duty.


Tottenham Hotspur

Out:  N/A

Doubt: Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier (rotation)

In: Nacer Chadli, Federico Fazio (both maybe)

Win: Harry Kane

If anyone can manage to break down the staunch Liverpool defensive unit of Can-Skrtel-Sakho, it has to be man-of-the-moment Harry Kane. Probably not worth the investment at retail, especially this week, but definitely hang on if you have the England man at any sort of discount as his form is scintillating at the moment.


West Bromwich Albion

Out: Youssouf Mulumbu

Doubt: Stephane Sessegnon, Victor Anichebe (both rotation), Andre Wisdom (form)

In: Saido Berahino, Brown Ideye (maybe)

Win: Callum McManaman

With Saido Berahino's attitude causing problems, the signing of McManaman from Wigan is looking like a very smart purchase by Tony Pulis and West Brom. The youngster has already made an impact for his new side, and will be eager to impress again as the Baggies face off against Swansea at the Hawthorns.


West Ham United

Out: Modibo Maiga

Doubt: Andy Carroll, James Collins, Winston Reid, Guy Demel, Mark Noble (rotation)

In: Morgan Amalfitano

Win: Stewart Downing

An away trip to in-form Southampton will be a difficult test for Sam Allardyce's men, but with a near victory over United at the weekend they'll be confident of keeping their top 4 hopes alive. Downing has enjoyed arguably his best ever season in the Premier League and will look to build upon his impressive goal and assist tally, especially if Andy Carroll is passed fit and able to take part against the Saints.


There's always a lot of difficulty figuring out who will be rested and who will continue in their starting roles following a short amount of time between matches, so you should go for certain starters as often as you can when putting your team together this week. My team is still a work in progress, but at the moment, here is where things stand:

van Aanholt | Okore | Cresswell
Gil | Ramsey | Larsson | Hazard
Kane | Aguero | Gayle

Bench: Sinclair | Targett | Blackett | Robles

I'm not happy with the lack of bench coverage or the absence of Alexis Sanchez, so there is a good chance the group above will change significantly before the deadline. Eden Hazard, Aaron Ramsey, Seb Larsson and Dwight Gayle are all at risk of dropping out to help spread funds more evenly.

How is your team shaping up? Who are your must-have players for this week?