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Week 4 Pre-Deadline Chat: Will Torreira finally start? Barkley or Kovacic?

Let’s have a look at who’s missing in game-week 4. Whom can we expect to see lining up across the Premier League this weekend?

Ross Barkley and Lucas Torreira - Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Leicester v Liverpool

Special note: For all you Fantrax managers out there, this is the match that will announce starting lineups about 45 minutes before your deadline, so stay tuned!

Following his dismissal against Southampton, James Vardy will be missing this game, Iheanacho likely to lead the line in his absence. Rachid Ghezzal could make his first league start for his new club after impressing in the midweek cup game against Fleetwood Town.

Other than the long term injury to Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Liverpool’s only other injury concern is Dejan Lovren who will remain out until after the international break now. This should allow Gomez to continue his run at center back. Fabinho may have to wait to make his league debut, Klopp probably continuing to put faith in his midfield 3 of James Milner, Keita and Henderson. Shaqiri is another who faces time on the bench with the star trio of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino picking up where they left off last season.


Crystal Palace v Southampton

James Tomkins faces a late fitness test after pulling up lame in the warm up against Watford last week. If he doesn’t make it then Martin Kelly will likely take his place as he did last Saturday as Scott Dann continues his recovery from long term injury. Max Meyer could be set for his first league start after playing 90 minutes in the EFL cup during the week. Roy Hodgson was full of praise for his new signing, comparing him to N’Golo Kante and Lucas Torreira (let’s be realistic Roy!)

Southampton’s only injury concern seem to be Danny Ings who is suffering from blisters and missed the team’s EFL cup game. Charlie Austin will likely step in if he doesn’t make it. Elyounoussi looks to have won a place in the side now alongside Redmond and Lemina, with Romeu likely to take Hojbjerg’s place after he picked up a second yellow against Leicester.


Everton v Huddersfield

Everton will be missing their £50m striker Richarlison after he received his marching orders against Bournemouth. With Bernard out until after the international break, Calvert-Lewin and Niasse will likely battle it out to partner Cenk Tosun. Michael Keane’s fractured skull means Kurt Zouma may make his league debut as Mina and Phil Jagielka are also missing for a couple more weeks. Andre Gomez will need to wait a little longer, with the end of September his likely return date. Idriss Gueye will also miss this weekend’s action after picking up a knee injury. Morgan Schneiderlin will probably start in his place.

Sobhi was only a substitute in week 1 and will not make any progress into the first team this week as he recovers from a knee injury. Jonathan Hogg is suspended after his red card for an off-the-ball incident against Cardiff and will miss three games, although his low scoring fantasy returns means few will care.


Brighton v Fulham

Lewis Dunk returned to training only today, so he is not expected to play this weekend. Balogun will probably maintain his place in Brighton’s back line as a result. Izquierda should be available again at the end of September but will miss the Fulham game. Jahanbakhsh is still to start in the league but did begin the EFL cup game in midweek. His perfomance was mildly disappointing though, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Chris Hughton opted to put him back on the bench for a little while longer. Pascal Gross should return to first team action with his absence last week likely more tactical than on merit.

Fulham’s Tom Cairney could be missing for a few weeks after picking up a foot injury against Burnley last weekend. This gives Zambo Anguisssa an opportunity to start again. Ryan Sessegnon could be doubtful after Slavisa Jokanovic aired his concern’s about the youngster playing too many matches. Having played midweek, he could be rested again like he was against Burnley.


Chelsea v Bournemouth

Chelsea are still missing Cesc Fabregas whose transformation from footballer to pundit is looking more and more permanent. Despite his absence, there are still questions surrounding who will start in the Sarri midfield. He has put a lot of faith in Ross Barkley over the summer and first two games, but he dropped him for Kovacic against Newcastle. Sarri commented that this was to give his new signing some game minutes, but his line-up this weekend may disclose who exactly is his first choice this season. Pedro looks like he is currently the preferred option wide right, so Willian owners may want to look at some alternatives.

Stanislas is still not ready to return for Bournmouth, but other than that there are no other major concerns for Eddie Howe. In fact, Bournemouth may name the same 11 for the 4th week running, a rare sight in the modern Premier League era.


West Ham v Wolverhampton

West Ham could be fortunate enough to have Marko Arnautovic available after he was taken off against Wolves last week. He missed the EFL cup tie, but he returned to training and signs are positive. Aaron Cresswell made his long awaited return from injury during the week. After missing pre-season though, two games in 4 days may be too much, so Masuaku could hold onto the left back role for another week.

Nuno Espirito Santa will need to decide whether he wants to give Adama Traore his first league start for Wolves after giving him 90 minutes in the EFL cup. After an impressive 1-1 draw against Man City though, he may maintain continuity by sticking with Helder Costa.


Manchester City v Newcastle

Man City are of course without their talisman Kevin de Bruyne, but that doesn’t mean that Pep has no selection issues. Sane, Sterling and Mahrez are all competing for the same role with Bernardo Silva also an option out wide. Sterling got the nod last week, but Mahrez has been impressive when he has been on the field. Sane seems least likely to start, having been a substitute in all 3 games so far.

On-loan midfielder Kenedy is available again for Newcastle after being inelligible to play against his home-club Chelsea. Jonjo Shelvey will miss another game through injury, and Matt Ritchie joins him in the treatment room after injuring his knee in training. Lascelles may make a return but will face a late fitness test.


Cardiff v Arsenal

Cardiff could have Junior Hoilett available again but will need to wait until match day to see if he passes a fitness test. With Mendez-Laing picking up a long term injury against Huddersfield, Kenneth Zohore could be given the opportunity to play if Hoilett falls short.

Arsenal’s back line may be afforded more time to adjust to playing with each other as they are still missing a number of defenders through injury: Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson, and Sead Kolasinac are all still receiving treatment in some form or another. The two main questions around Arsenal’s lineup will be: 1) Will Mesut Ozil return after his ‘illness’ last week? 2) Will Lucas Torreira finally replace Xhaka after impressing in each game he has appeared in so far. The answers to both these questions could deliver some noteworthy answers as to how this Arsenal team will look for the remainder of the season.

Watford v Tottenham

Watford will be hoping to welcome back Gerard Deulofeu to first team action but perhaps a substitute appearance is more likely. Chalobah is another who could make his first appearance this season after injury. Like Bournemouth, Watford have fielded the same 11 every week so far. After winning 3 out of 3, there is no reason why they won’t make it four weeks in a row.

Tottenham will still be missing Heung-Min Son who has made the final of the Asian games with South Korea. Lucas Moura is expected to keep his place after an excellent performance against Man Utd last weekend. Erik Lamela’s injury in the warm up last week doesn’t appear to be serious but don’t expect him to be included in the first 11 against Watford. Spur’s biggest loss will be Hugo Lloris who has a thigh injury, meaning Michael Vorm will be a good fantasy value pick up for this gameweek.

Burnley v Manchester United

Burnley fans may be upset that their European campaign has ended so soon, but at least their squad will have time to recuperate future weeks. They will be missing Berg Gudmundsson who was taken off early against Fulham with a hamstring injury, although he could return after the international games. He could be joined by Robbie Brady and Steven Defour who will also miss this week’s match. The most interesting aspect of Burnley’s line-up will be the goalkeeper position where Tom Heaton is once again in contention for after missing all of last season. It could be a risky decision to start with arrgh Joe Hart arrgh this week.

Man Utd’s starting eleven has been somewhat erratic so far this season, Jose making every attempt he can to convince his board that they failed by not backing him financially in the summer transfer window. At least he can welcome back Alexis Sanchez who should start for the first time since week 1. Diogo Dalot is expected to become a first team player when he is fully fit, but he probably must wait another two weeks.


Where are you set with your fantasy team line-ups, and what last-minute changes are you pondering? Be sure to share any late-breaking news in the comments section!