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Premier League Injuries & Suspensions, Week 21

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A gander at who may be missing from your potential fantasy line-ups due to suspension, injury or rotation and returning players who will look to make an impact.

Are you playing the waiting game on streaky scorers Romelu Lukaku or Jamie Vardy this week?
Are you playing the waiting game on streaky scorers Romelu Lukaku or Jamie Vardy this week?
Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

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

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

In: The likeliest replacements for the Outs & Doubts or those returning from injury

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

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Arsenal

Out: Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Tomas Rosicky, Alexis Sanchez, Danny WelbeckJack Wilshere

Doubt: N/A

In: N/A

Win: Mesut Ozil

The wait continues for many fantasy stars, while the regulars of late keep on keeping on. The trip to Anfield could be tricky, but the offensive side is probably a better bet than the defensive side, and nobody's on fire like Mesut "Wedding Toast" Ozil.

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Aston Villa

Out: Jordan Amavi, Alan Hutton, Carols Sanchez, Adama Traore

Doubt: Gabby Agbonlahor, Jack Grealish

In: Jores Okore

Win: Joleon Lescott

A home fixture with Crystal Palace should be a low-scoring affair, so let's go with Lescott. Not that you should really go with anyone from Aston Villa except perhaps Jordan Ayew or Jordan Veretout if you've already got either them on the cheap.

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AFC Bournemouth

Out: Tommy Elphick, Max Gradel, Tyrone Mings, Callum Wilson

Doubt: Joshua King

In: Juan Iturbe, Benik Afobe

Win: Junior Stanislas

Bournemouth has a couple of shiny new signings on the offensive end in the form of Afobe and Iturbe, either or both of whom could see some action. But if you're looking for someone reliable who is basically guaranteed a start, can you look at anyone else but Stanislas?

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Chelsea

Out: Radamel Falcao, Eden Hazard, Loic Remy

Doubt: Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic, Oscar

In: Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bertrand Traore

Win: Branislav Ivanovic

With West Brom in town and with Hazard and possibly several other key offensive players out, a low scoring affair seems in order. You have to love the chance at a clean sheet, and Ivanovic offers plenty of attacking bonus points as well.

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Crystal Palace

Out: Yannick Bolasie, Dwight Gayle

Doubt: N/A

In: Yohan Cabaye, Connor Wickham

Win: Joel Ward

Cabaye returns from suspension and injury, but with Bolasie and Gayle out and Wickham fit but doubtful to start, Palace will probably go for a low scoring win at Villa Park. So let's stick with the defensive side, where you could toss a coin between Dann and Ward, who always offer the possibility of offensive returns as well.

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Everton

Out: Tyias BrowningSeamus Coleman, Luke Garbutt, James McCarthy

Doubt: Tom Cleverley, Ramiro Funes Mori, Romelu Lukaku, Steven Naismith

In: Phil Jagielka

Win: Leighton Baines

The trip to the Etihad is obviously imposing, even moreso given the possible absence of Romelu Lukaku and several others. With fitness doubts in the back line, Phil Jagielka may slot into the starting line-up.

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Leicester City

Out: Jeffrey Schlupp

Doubt: Jamie Vardy

In: Shinji Okazaki

Win: Riyad Mahrez

Jamie Vardy is rated 50/50 to start by Claudio Ranieri, which makes the usual choice between Vardy and Mahrez pretty easy, right? Matty James is fit, but is there a place for him in the starting line-up? Leicester City has been struggling to score goals lately while their defense has been holding down the fort, so you could just as easily choose Schmeichel or a defender. At White Hart Lane, though, this is a week when you probably shouldn't load up on Tigers.

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Liverpool

Out: Philippe Coutinho, John Flanagan, Joe Gomez, Danny Ings, Dejan Lovren, Divock Origi, Martin Skrtel

Doubt: Jordan Henderson, Jordon Ibe, Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Sturridge, Kolo Toure

In: Lucas Leiva

Win: Adam Lallana

Arsenal is healthier than Liverpool?!  Amazingly enough, indeed.  It's not as if Liverpool is completely devoid of talent or hope, but without Coutinho, Lovren and Skrtel on the sidelines and with several other key doubts, proceed with caution.

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Manchester City

Out: Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri

Doubt: Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala

In: Martin Demichelis

Win: Kevin De Bruyne

While Vincent Kompany's injury leaves the preferred starting 11 unfulfilled and Demichelis may start if Mangala cannot, the offensive side should be humming with Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Yaya Toure running rampant. De Bruyne has enjoyed several memorable home performances this season, so he's as good a pick as any for fantasy glory.

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Manchester United

Out: Marcos Rojo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia

Doubt: Phil Jones

In: N/A

Win: Chris Smalling

The back line could be messy if Jones cannot suit up, but this is not Alex Ferguson's Manchester United, so you've still got to like the chances of a clean sheet better than an offensive explosion, right?

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Newcastle

Out: Papiss Cisse, Tim Krul, Massadio Haidara, Gabriel Obertan, Steven Taylor

Doubt: Rolando Aarons, Vernon Anita, Jack Colback, Fabricio Coloccini, Kevin Mbabu, Florian Thauvin

In: N/A

Win: Robert Elliot

Robert Elliot and the Newcastle defense seem to be feast or famine. With the anemic offense of Manchester United visiting, let's go with feast here.

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Norwich City

Out: N/A

Doubt: Matt Jarvis

In: Andre Wisdom

Win: Martin

Matt Jarvis looks to make a return from injury, but will likely do so from the bench. Visiting the fortress of Stoke City, Norwich is probably hoping to keep it nil-nil as long as possible before nicking a late goal. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but it could.

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Southampton

Out: Florin Gardos, Jay Rodriguez, Victor Wanyama (suspended)

Doubt: Fraser Forster

In: Graziano Pelle

Win: James Ward-Prowse

It is probably too early for Fraser Forster's long-awaited return from injury, but Pelle should be able to. Watford tends to play a more open style on the road than at home, so let's go on the offensive end. Pelle could be rusty, while Mane and Tadic are inconsistent, so let's take a punt on Ward-Prowse who is due a big game.

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Stoke City

Out: N/A

Doubt: Phil Bardsley, Geoff Cameron, Stephen Ireland

In: N/A

Win: Jack Butland

Stoke City has to like its chances on both ends in this one with Norwich coming to town. But a clean sheet is always a better bet than an offensive explosion for Stoke, and it's tough to bypass Butland.

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Sunderland

Out: Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Larsson

Doubt: Jack Rodwell, John O'Shea

In: Jan Kirchhoff

Win: Jermain Defoe

New transfer Jan Kirchhoff could see action straightaway given Kaboul's injury and O'Shea's doubtful status. Defoe scored a brace, so let's pick him to continue his form.

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Swansea City

Out: N/A

Doubt: N/A

In: N/A

Win: Ashley Williams

Swansea did eke out a win last week, but it came via a fluky goal and the club's defense remains the best bet, though both sides of the ball look attractive with Sunderland coming to town.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Out: Clinton N'Jie

Doubt: Moussa Dembele, Ryan Mason

In: N/A

Win: Dele Alli

Leicester City's offense is not as dangerous as it once was and its defense has looked more formidable lately, but I still like Spurs' chances of scoring better than their shot at keeping a clean sheet in this one, and Alli is a veritable beehive of activity.

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Watford FC

Out: Nathan Ake (suspension), Joel Ekstrand, Tommy Hoban

Doubt: N/A

In: N/A

Win: Odion Ighalo

As mentioned, Watford tend to score and allow goals on the road with much more frequency than at home. With Troy Deeney the subject of transfer rumors, Ighalo should be the pick here. Not exactly going out on a limb there!

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West Bromwich Albion

Out: Ben Foster

Doubt: Victor Anichebe, Jonas Olsson

In: N/A

Win: Solomon Rondon

Chelsea rarely gets shut out at home, even this season when it has been putrid, so if you're going to take a punt on West Brom, a look to the offensive side may be in order.

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West Ham United

Out: Manuael Lanzini, Victor Moses, Diafra Sakho

Doubt: Cheikhou Kouyate, Enner Valencia

In: Dimitri Payet

Win: Adrian

Fantasy owners everywhere rejoice at the return of Dimitri Payet who should get the start. At least, those who held on to him do. Difficult to imagine him going the full 90 minutes, though, so how about we go with keeper Adrian who has been doing well lately?.

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My fantasy teams (named Stallone Wall) at the moment:

Butland / Alderweireld, Bellerin, G Johnson, Ward / Alli, De Bruyne (C), Mahrez, Ozil / Kane, Lukaku (V) / Bench: Kolarov, Barkley, Vardy [Official BPL]

Hennessey / Baines, Ivanovic, Shawcross / Cabaye, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Veretout / Aguero, Kane, Lukaku [Fantrax]

Butland / Dann, Koscielny, G Johnson, Wollscheid  / Alli, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Ozil / Aguero, Kane [Togga Perfect XI]

How are your squads coming together?