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Premier League Injuries & Suspensions Week 26

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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.

Everton has a favorable match-up hosting West Brom. Will John Stones and Tim Howard be fit for selection?
Everton has a favorable match-up hosting West Brom. Will John Stones and Tim Howard be fit for selection?
Paul Thomas/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, Tomas Rosicky, Danny WelbeckJack Wilshere

Doubt: Mathieu Flamini (rotation)

In: Francis Coquelin

Win: Mesut Ozil

It's hard to envision a repeat of the goalfest from the reverse fixture, but clean sheets seem unlikely even with Francis Coquelin returning from injury to displace Flamini. Unless you have a hunch about Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey or Alexis Sanchez, you have to go with maestro Mesut Ozil, don't you?

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Aston Villa

Out: Jordan Amavi, Jordan Ayew (suspension), Jack Grealish, Carlos Sanchez, Adama Traore

Doubt: Rudy Gestede

In: N/A

Win: Leandro Bacuna

Simon Mignolet looks shaky against set pieces, so Leandro Bacuna could take advantage. Villa's defense has looked surprisingly stout recently and a home fixture against Liverpool offers a shot at a clean sheet, but I think the likely return of Philippe Coutinho will make the visitors too much to handle in that regard.

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AFC Bournemouth

Out: Max Gradel, Tyrone Mings, Callum Wilson

Doubt: N/A

In: N/A

Win: Charlie Daniels

Stoke is also struggling defensively, but the Potters have scored the second fewest goals in the league and is on the road, so a clean sheet is a better possibility for Bournemouth than an offensive explosion. Daniels will look to be involved on both ends.

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Chelsea

Out: Radamel Falcao, Matt Miazga (fitness), Alexandre Pato (fitness), Loic Remy, Kurt Zouma

Doubt: Diego Costa

In: Gary Cahill

Win: Branislav Ivanovic

Diego Costa will probably be o.k. to play with a broken nose, albeit with a mask which could limit his effectiveness. Kurt Zouma is out with injury, but Gary Cahill is not too shabby as far as replacements go. With the favorable home match-up against Newcastle, Ivanovic should be able continue his string of wonderful returns.

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Crystal Palace

Out: Yannick Bolasie, Joe Ledley, James McArthur, Jason Puncheon, Bakary Sako

Doubt: Dwight Gayle

In: Connor Wickham

Win: Scott Dann

Between recent transfer addition Emmanuel Adebayor, injury doubt Dwight Gayle and suspension returnee Connor Wickham, Alan Pardew has some choices to make from an offensive standpoint. Given the continued absence of Bolasie amidst Palace's struggles, defender Scott Dann remains the safest choice from a fantasy perspective, offering a good chance of returns on both ends of the pitch as defensive-minded Watford coming to town.

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Everton

Out: Muhamed Besic, Tyias Browning, Tony HibbertJames McCarthy

Doubt: Tim Howard, Oumar Niasse (fitness), John Stones

In: N/A

Win: Bryan Oviedo

Tim Howard and John Stones could return to the starting line-up if they are judged fit to play, but Everton's been on a roll and the Toffees have a favorable match-up with West Brom coming to Goodison, so if it's not broke, why fix it, right? Oviedo has been delivering big time in place of Leighton Baines at an even cheaper price, so instead of bemoaning Baines' absence, why not embrace Oviedo's newfound fortune?

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Leicester City

Out: Daniel Amartay (fitness), Matty James, Jeffrey Schlupp

Doubt: N/A

In: N/A

Win: Christian Fuchs

Leicester City at Arsenal is the game of the week, and the usual suspects (Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy) will be fun to watch, but as the Tigers have turned from offensive juggernaut to defensive machine, Christian Fuchs has been adept on both ends as the Foxes' fantasy machine of late.

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Liverpool

Out: Joe Allen, Joe Gomez, Danny Ings, Dejan Lovren, Divock Origi, Martin Skrtel

Doubt: Daniel Sturridge

In: Philippe Coutinho, Kolo Toure

Win: Roberto Firmino

Coutinho should be ready to start following injury, which is fortunate timing given Allen's injury. Daniel Sturridge will probably also return to the pitch, but more likely as a sub off the bench. Kolo Toure likely will get the call in place of Lovren, who went out with injury against Sunderland. Aston Villa is no defensive pushover, but Firmino has been largely unstoppable of late and will love having Coutinho back to give the offense even more explosiveness.

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Manchester City

Out: Wilfried Bony, Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph, Eliaquim Mangala, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas

Doubt: Martin Demichelis (rotation)

In: Fernando, Vincent Kompany

Win: Sergio Aguero

Manchester City's squad depth will certainly be tested with a glut of injuries, but Vincent Kompany's return will be welcomed with tough Tottenham coming to the Etihad; recent fill-in Martin Demichelis should make way.  In midfield, Fernando should replace the injured Fabian Delph. This expects to be much more low-scoring than the usual Manchester City home game, but it is impossible to pick against Kun who has scored in four straight games with six goals in that period.

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Manchester United

Out: Phil Jones, Adnan Januzaj, Marcos Rojo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Guillermo Varela, Ashley Young

Doubt: N/A

In: N/A

Win: Wayne Rooney

Phil Jones will have to wait another week before returning to the starting line-up, which would likely leave things unchanged for the visit to Sunderland. The world is a better place when Wayne Rooney is delivering for fantasy owners and the Black Cats should accommodate that continuance.

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Newcastle

Out: Vernon Anita, Papiss Cisse, Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara, Tim Krul, Chancel Mbemba, Gabriel Obertan

Doubt: Siem De Jong

In: N/A

Win: Steven Taylor

Newcastle has plenty of players still on the shelf, but that's one reason why the team brought in so many transfers and Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend should continue to start. Jack Colback and Emmanuel Riviere are fit to feature, but their appearances will likely come via the bench. The match-up at Chelsea will be difficult, so I'll turn to Steven Taylor who has a knack for grabbing phantom points.

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Norwich City

Out: Alex Tettey (suspension), Andre Wisdom

Doubt: Dieumerci Mbokani and/or Gary O'Neill (rotation)

In: Patrick Bamford, Graham Dorrans

Win: Robert Brady

Graham Dorrans returns to midfield after illness, likely replacing O'Neill in the starting line-up. Chelsea loanee Patrick Bamford could earn his first start, with Dieumerci Mbokani making way if that is the case. With West Ham coming to town and Norwich struggling, you're probably not banking on much here, but consistent Robbie Brady seems like the way to go.

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Southampton

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

Doubt: Graziano Pelle and/or Maya Yoshida (rotation)

In: Charlie Austin, Matt Targett

Win: Fraser Forster

Charlie Austin and Matt Targett will look to push into the starting line-up following return from injury, with Maya Yoshida and/or Graziano Pelle possibly making way. Steven Davis offers another option after getting over his injury, but is probably more likely to feature from the bench. A sixth straight clean sheet, this time at Swansea, would be hard to bet against for Forster and company.

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Stoke City

Out: Charlie Adam, Geoff Cameron, Ryan Shawcross, Marc Wilson

Doubt: Ibrahim Afellay (rotation), Jonathan Walters (illness)

In: Bojan Krkic

Win: Marco Arnautovic

Stoke City has been unable to come up with a cohesive plan on either side of the pitch, but the addition of Giannelli Imbula leaves Afellay's starting spot in jeopardy, with Marc Hughes possibly pushing Bojan back into the mix after another poor result last week. Jonathan Walters should be available following illness, but is far from an automatic choice by any means. The Cherries will be difficult to handle for a Shawcross-less defense, leaving the need for Arnautovic to go after Bournemouth on the other end.

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Sunderland

Out: Adam Johson (released), Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Larsson, Jeremain Lens, Duncan Watmore

Doubt: Billy Jones

In: Fabrio Borini, DeAndre Yedlin

Win: Wahbi Khazri

Fabio Borini should fill in for the injured Duncan Watmore, with DeAndre Yedlin doing likewise for Billy Jones if he is unable to pass the fitness test. Sunderland will have plenty of confidence following the spirited comeback draw against Liverpool and will need Khazri to have another nice game with David De Gea a tougher nut to crack than Simon Mignolet.

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Swansea City

Out: N/A

Doubt: Wayne Routledge (rotation)

In: Ki Sung-Yeung

Win: Gylfi Sigurdsson

Ki has passed clear following a concussion and is expected to slot in for Routledge. Swansea should have difficulty scoring against stout Southampton, but if anybody's going to do it, Siggy's been absolutely on fire.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Out: Clinton N'Jie, Jan Vertonghen

Doubt: Nacer Chadli or Erik Lamela (rotation)

In: Dele Alli

Win: Christian Eriksen

After a couple of appearances from the bench due to illness, Dele Alli should return to the starting line-up with Erik Lamela or Nacer Chadli making way. You're probably not loading up on Spurs as much as usual given the tough locale, so you've really got to pick between the usual stars Alli, Eriksen and Kane.

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Watford FC

Out: Joel Ekstrand, Tommy Hoban

Doubt: Miguel Britos

In: Sebastian Prodl

Win: Odion Ighalo

Miguel Britos is a doubt, with Sebastian Prodl waiting in the wings if necessary. Watford has lost a bit of its shine, but Crystal Palace has dulled even more, so going offense and/or defense could pay off handsomely. Let's look for Odion Ighalo to break out of his slump.

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West Bromwich Albion

Out: Gareth McAuley, Callum McManaman, James Morrison

Doubt: Chris Brunt, Craig Dawson, Jonny Evans

In: Sebastian Pocognoli

Win: Salomon Rondon

With Gareth McAuley, Chris Brunt and Jonny Evans likely all missing from the back line, Sebastian Pocognoli may sneak into the starting line-up. Especially given Albion's injuries, Everton should prove a more formidable opponent than midweek's Petersborough, so you're probably not looking for much winning in this side, but you could always get lucky with someone like Rondon.

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West Ham United

Out: Cheikhou Kouyate, Manuael Lanzini, Joey O'Brien, Winston Reid, Diafra Sakho, James Tomkins

Doubt: Victor Moses (rotation)

In: Sam Byram, Angelo Ogbonna, Alex Song

Win: Dimitri Payet

With O'Brien, Reid and Tomkins out injured, Byram and Ogbonna should start in the back line, while Alex Song has recovered from injury and could slot in for Victor Moses if Slaven Bilic opts to shore up the defense.  It's not exactly going out on a limb to pick Dimitri Payet to return value at Norwich.

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

Forster / Bellerin, Fuchs, Targett / Alli, Mahrez, Ozil, Payet (V) / Aguero (C), Kane, Vardy / Bench: A Ayew, Alderweireld, G Johnson, Fabianski [Official BPL]

Forster / Ivanovic, Oviedo, S Taylor / Eriksen, Khazri, Mahrez, Payet / Aguero, Firmino, Kane [Fantrax]

Forster / Coleman, Fuchs, Ivanovic, Soares  / Eriksen, Mahrez, Ozil, Payet / Firmino, Lukaku [Togga Perfect XI]

How are your squads coming together?