Thursday, 1 October 2009

Champions League Update

Firstly, yesterday's injury news...there'll be more later on today I'm sure.
While the first team were enduring a torrid evening in Florence, there was some good news for Liverpool back in the north-west on Tuesday night with Daniel Agger making a successful comeback in the reserves.

The Danish defender played 68 minutes as Liverpool's reserves beat their Manchester City counterparts 2-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium.

"It was a good win for us and Daniel did really well and it was great to see him back," reserves boss John McMahon told the club's website.

"He was committed, he made some good challenges and he helped the young lads around him. He enjoyed himself and was pleased to be back."

Playing against Liverpool in that game was Man City midfielder Michael Johnson, who got another 30 minutes under his rather large belt after a long lay-off with an abdominal injury.

Another player to make a welcome (if low-key) return to action was Theo Walcott. The occasional Arsenal winger started on the right of a front three as the reserves team took on an Olympiacos academy side at the club's training ground. He played for an hour and, according to Arsene Wenger, "came through well".

"He will be available for England selection and for us on Sunday," added the Arsenal manager.

On the other side of north London, Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is hopeful of having Croatia playmaker Luka Modric back from his fractured right fibula after the international break.

"He's coming along okay, it's a matter of waiting for the bone to heal now," Redknapp said. "We'll see how it goes. We have a break of two weeks coming up after the Bolton game so that could be enough time to get him back playing after that international break."

There's also a glimmer of something like good news about Jonathan Woodgate's ongoing battle with a groin injury.

"He had the injection and feels a lot easier. We hope that does the trick rather than operating again," Redknapp said.

Last week we brought you news of Owen Hargreaves' return to Carrington, and Sir Alex Ferguson reports that everything is going to plan.

"Owen is doing very well," said Ferguson. "Obviously he is delighted to be back because it has been such a long time and I am very pleased with his progress.

"We will probably get him into football training in 10 days' time and depending on how well he does he should be back at the beginning of November."

We mentioned yesterday that Hull hope to play Jimmy Bullard in a reserves game next week and Phil Brown has now leapt ahead to pencil in a first-team comeback for mid-October.

"The plan of attack with Jimmy will mean his first game back will probably be against Bolton in the reserves next Tuesday.

"Hopefully, one or two supporters will get the chance to see him in a Hull City strip and we'll see where that takes us.

"We'll have the game against Bolton and then a game against opposition behind closed doors the following week before he can then play some part in the Fulham game."

Returning for the reserves on Tuesday night was Steve Finnan, who came through 85 minutes for Portsmouth's second string after missing the start of the season because of a hamstring injury.

The Aston Villa manager has his fingers and toes crossed for Steve Sidwell, who has returned to light training after missing two games with a thigh injury.

"Steve did a little bit of training with the physio yesterday," he said. "He has not felt the effects of any running he did on Monday.

"Fingers crossed if he comes through the next couple of days he might join in with the team on Friday with a view to being involved Monday. It's looking better but I would still be cautious."

There's also good news for Stoke, with Ricardo Fuller doing his first serious running since suffering a groin injury in the Carling Cup last week.

"Ric has given it a bit of a blast out on the training field," Tony Pulis told the Stoke Evening Sentinel, "and there doesn't seem to have been any reaction. That's good news and we'll obviously give him as long as possible to prove his fitness if we think he's in with a shout for Everton."

James Beattie has been doing extra training after his season start was disrupted by knee and ankle injuries, while Liam Lawrence is expected to face the Toffees despite a minor bout of flu.

There's also brilliant news for Everton fans as Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta are back in training and ahead of schedule - with the pair expected to return this side of Christmas.

Everton head physio Mick Rathbone said: "Mikel is only seven-and-a-bit months post-op so you've got to be careful because these injuries take a long time to come back from but we are talking about a return to action for him in weeks not months."

And on Neville: "Two weeks ago it looked as though the problem did not require surgery but It is very difficult to assess a knee that is sore and full of fluid so a specialist will now take a look.

'We have put a Christmas time-frame on a return but if all goes well maybe that will be a bit pessimistic."

Phil Jagielka is also back in training following his knee injury but no date has been put on his return.
The news on Stoke is something Tuncay holders should note, as it sounds like Fuller & Beattie could be back - leaving Tuncay to warm the bench again.

Moving on to the Champions League - Arshavin, Van Persie, Giggs, Berbatov & Carrick were all impressive, whilst Chelsea were nothing more than efficient (they missed Drogba big time) & Liverpool were just plain awful.

It's interesting to note that Liverpool have only really played 3 decent sides this season - Tottenham, Villa & Fiorentina...they've lost all 3. Maybe the victories vs Hull, Bolton, Burnley & Stoke are masking the fact that Liverpool are way off last season's form.

Giggs was outstaing again but having played 90 minutes last night I guess he's now a bench candidate for Saturday, with Nani in as a possible replacement? If I was sure Giggs would start he'd be in my Week 7 team.

Finally, a word on Michael Owen - he's injured again, meaning Berbatov will definitely start vs Sunderland. He looks like he may be starting to hit form & could be a really good pick this I'm considering myself.



leon said...

Seeing Berbatov's game yesterday.. it makes me want to pick him over rooney for sunderland's match...

what makes him such a good pick is that he can either score and definetely set up assists for his team.

Ian Sanderson said...

I don't normally ask advice, but this is Fantasy Cup week.
I just can't decide between Cesc and Arsh; Cesc is more consistent and is currently in my team, but Arsh is due a monster game...decisions, decisions.

mudwalkerz said...

Not something that will please AM.. but one "concern" less for the weekend as Defoe will not make it.

ben. said...

Ditto to Ian. Thats the biggest dillema I face too..

Assistant Manager said...

Mud - Unbelievably Defoe broke his own hand! His shot rebounded off the post and snapped 2 of his fingers!

Ian & Ben - Same dilemma, along with many others :D


Anonymous said...

AM -

Diaby as an outside bet/gamble for week 7 ??

Or should i stick with O'Hara full price??

I have 10$$ left over,what do i do??

Hunt/Moko?? Diaby/Rodwell?? o'H/Rodwell ??

Can you suggest a gud combo??

Douchebag United said...

Is anyone loading up on Wolves players this week? It would seem to be a solid strategy considering that some of the players on Portsmouth haven't been paid? How motivated will the Pompey side be if they aren't even receiving a pay check? To that point does anyone know if Kightly is due to start or will it be Jarvis holding down the majority of the duties?

Another quick question I've been hearing rumblings that RVP might not start this week against Blackburn. I think this is a ridiculous rumor but nevertheless RVP has been known to take a seat at Wenger's behest. Is the news I'm hearing disinformation or so I be more cautious when selecting him this week?

Anonymous said...

heard something on the man u website saying that rooney had an injury and was doubtful for the sunderland game

Douchebag United said...

Do you have a link haven't seen anything like that...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone spreading misinformation about Rooney on this blog...I haven't seen anything about him being doubtful for the Sunderland match.

Anonymous said...

DU - where did you hear that about RVP?

Bradley said...

I see nothing about RvP, but Eduardo will be out after aggravating a thigh muscle against

OS said...

AM - this whole RvP business makes me nervous. I think he's a great pick this week but I've lost count of the number of times he has been inexplicably rested... do you think there is there anything to suggest Wenger won't start him vs Blackburn?

greginho said...

hey question for y'all:
if i drop giggs down to geonvanni, which i would have in the midfield with lennon, ohara and billy, i can go up from bridge, only +.30 to gallas. my defenders would be verm., heit. and gallas.

the other option is to go from bridge down to sonko which would give me fabregas in the middle. do you folks think one of these is a good option?

Anonymous said...

dnt mind me asking but who is billy?

Gooner said...

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

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