Friday, 1 April 2011

Week 31 - Update

It's been a week of uncertainty with a number of major names struggling with injuries that may or may not have kept them our of Week 31's round of fixtures. The news is starting to filter out of the clubs via the manager's press conferences, so I'll be updating you with this information throughout the afternoon.

Lets start with the team with the most injury worries at this moment in time, Arsenal, and the player on most people's minds - Robin Van Persie. Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he is fit for tomorrow's clash with Blackburn after suffering no more than a dead leg in mid-week, getting a kick above his knee. I'd expect him to start the game with the 3 points essential.

Further good news for the Gunners is the return of Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott, Alex Song and Abou Diaby & Nicklas Bendtner. They are all in the squad, but whether they all start is another matter. Wenger did confirm one certain starter, and that is Manuel Almunia: "He will play tomorrow. I can announce that today, he will be in goal."

Manchester City will be boosted by the return of their talisman Carlos Tevez, who has trained all week and is fully fit to start against Sunderland. Paulo Zabaleta is also ready to go after flying back from South America, and will replace the injured Micah Richards at right-back. No news on Adam Johnson's starting status at this moment in time, so (unless I'm feeling risky) I'll probably go with Jamie O'Hara instead.

Nemanja Vidic returns to captain Manchester United for their trip to West Ham, and he's likely to line-up alongside Chris Smalling, Fabio & Evra - the only defenders available to Sir Alex. Reports are suggesting Berbatov could start alongside Rooney ahead of Hernandez after his winner vs Bolton. Fletcher remains out with a virus that could threaten the rest of his season, but Anderson is back in the squad.

Carlo Ancelotti has doubts over Fernando Torres & Kalou after the pair returned from International duty with knocks, so it's possible both start on the bench. Other than that it should be a full strength Chelsea side at Stoke.

Kenny Dalglish is set to pair Andy Carroll & Luis Suarez from the start at West Brom this weekend, as Liverpool fans will finally get to see the new £50 million strike-force in action. Steven Gerrard is also fit to return, but he could have to settle for a place on the bench as he's eased back in.

Spurs have something of a defensive crisis, with Gallas, Kaboul, King & Woodgate all missing, so Bassong may come in to partner Michael Dawson. Bale is also missing and Redknapp may look to rest a few players (or sub them early) ahead of Tuesday's trip to Real Madrid. I'm assuming Crouch will be one of those rested, so Defoe is likely to continue upfront.

Everton look set to be without Louis Saha for the rest of the season, so we can assume Jermaine Beckford will lead the line for the run-in. Seamus Coleman is also a doubt for the game with Aston Villa, as are Tim Cahill & Rodwell. Arteta & Fellaini remain out.

Some other news; Kyle Walker is in the Villa squad, Zamora is being tipped to start for Fulham, but that's not a certainty, Ebanks-Blake will replace the injured Kevin Doyle.

Probably final team:

Almunia, Kolarov, Smalling, Luiz, Hitzlsperger, O'Hara, Dempsey, Nani, Defoe, Suarez, Van Persie

What have you settled on? 



Anonymous said...

RvP fit.. good news ;)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Shan MIG !!

Tony said...

Thanks for the update!

My team is looking like this: Almunia, Luiz, Smalling, Koscielny, VDV, Valencia, O'Hara, Nasri, RVP, Suarez, Defoe

Staffer said...

I switched my team once again cause of Torres' uncertainty so I'll go with:


Hopefully this will be my team but still unsure whether to drop Essien/Tevez and get Van Persie and Wilshere...any comments will be appreciated! Thanks for the update AM!

Anonymous said...

smallng murphy* luiz
hitz vdv c.adam ohara
suarez rvp tevez

Is murphy -birmingham playing?

Mike said...

Rooney/Van Persie/Suarez

Don't really like my team, anyone has any suggestions?

Data Head said...

Thanks for the update, AM. I wanted to say that even though the debate about player analysis may have been put to bed yesterday, I agree that providing your readers with what you can when you can is more than enough. The real draw of your site is its community, and for that reason (not alone, but primarily), yours has become a benchmark for other sites on the topic. It's a reciprocal relationship -- you wouldn't have a huge following unless they saw something worthwhile in your work. When I started my blog, I did so hoping to supplement information from this site rather than copy your winning formula, so to speak. The part I want to emphasize, though, is that I had this blog in mind the whole time, and I'll continue to look to it for ideas and inspiration.


Anonymous said...


Both Liverpool strickers? 1.66 left over

I have VDV at 15.26 but have concerns over his minutes/impact ahead of the Madrid match.


kwyjibo said...

My Team:

What do you think? Bah! April Fools!

Anyone, currently my REAL team:


Not sure about Osman(@7.73) + Bentley, but not too many other choices at that price point. I switched up Howard+VdV for Almunia+Tevez. Hopefully Almunia won't be too awful, and Tevez can score a brace!

Assistant Manager said...

Thanks DH, that's appreciated mate.

I don't mind people criticising/arguing against my opinions, that's all part of writing a blog and it helps me improve, but it did sting a bit when I get criticised for not writing enough, especially the "what's the point of just writing a list of players?" comment.

I was hoping some analysis of the fixtures alongside a list of my top 30-40 player picks would be enough to get people thinking & start some discussion in the comments & in the chat room. Unfortunately that was the best I could do as I had less than 2 hours to analyse the upcoming fantasy week, but evidently it was not good enough for some readers.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as aware as anyone that the analysis in my posts over the past two months has not been as extensive as it was before Xmas - I'd love to spend the usual 5+ hours writing my player picks like I used to each week, but I just don't have the time at the moment. Luckily, as you said, the community is here to help out, and that is the most important part of what has been created here.

Good luck this week!


Anonymous said...

AM any news on Adam?

NaD4123 said...

Relax Nik,
1 or two bad comments will only spice up your blog even more ^^ You have every right to live your life and those ppl who just want to get a fast solution on their YFF squad can just get the hell out of here.

NaD4123 said...

was I being to harsh??

Wait a minute..

I don't care ^^

Anonymous said...


Still waiting for news on walker. If injured ill go with koscielny "barf"


Anonymous said...

walker will be in the squad,,10265~2328097,00.html

Anonymous said...

Which Fulham forward will start for sure??

Johnson Dembele Zamora

I'm thinking Dembele, but if Zamora is starting he'd be the obvious choice.

Thanks in advance

Martin said...

I'm considering

Luiz/ Smalling/ Koscielny
Valencia/ Nasri/ Dempsey/ Malouda
Suarez/ Dzeko/ Tevez

Any comments?
Is having both Dzeko & Tevez counter productive?

I'm hoping for a tonne of goals at home against a very out of form Sunderland!

Steev said...

For anyone worrying about Clint Dempsey, this is from the Fulham press conference:

“Everybody’s come back fit and well and we’re in pretty good shape in terms of injuries and getting people back from injury,” said Hughes on Friday afternoon.

We’ve had guys who’ve had a lot of air miles so we’re conscious of that, looking after the likes of Carlos Salcido and Clint Dempsey. Travelling can take a lot out of players but we don’t think it will have an impact on Sunday’s game."

Not sure exactly what "looking after" means but I do think Hughes will play Dempsey, the extra days rest will help also. Although if anyone can manage a 0-0 vs Blackpool it'll be Fulham. I reckon I'll still pick Dempsey though.

I also have a sneaky feeling for Stephen "average of 1.35" Ireland this week. You'll all feel stupid after he unleashes his fury on Wolves but maybe I've just got my toon tinted glasses on.

Anonymous said...

Is Valencia a sure starter?
I'm not convinced

Anonymous said...

i'm holding foster @7.89, should i drop him in favour of cheaper GK such as almunia,harper or howard.

any suggestion?? thanks

Adam.B said...

35 mil for 3 midfielders but who?

Anonymous said...

guys plz help me out..cesc or nasri????/
and o'hara or a.valencia ???

Ken said...

@Adam B.

Cahill or Silva

Anonymous said...

@Steev: Pardew confirmed Ireland will not start but be on bench, so yes your Toon tinted glasses are on. But spot on with the Dempsey info, I am sure he'll start but keep in mind he did play 90min against a full strength Argentina and Paraguay side, not to mention if Zamora is fit enough to start he will take PK's away from Dempsey.

Anonymous said...

cesc and ohara ofcouse

Ken said...


My fillers of Heitinga/Zigic are looking better to me all the time for the small investment.

Hoping for positive points from Carson. If he
does have a fair game I like my chances for a good week.

Zigic is back and hoping for that sleeper pick of the week from him.

Good luck all.....

Anonymous said...

Cant decide on Nani @19 or Tevez. Any advice? Nani is so consistent but Tevez could have one of his 30+ weeks.....

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on this team??:

Fabio, Luiz, Walker, Murphy
Adam, Valencia, Dempsey
Van Persie, Tevez, Saurez

Birty said...

Hey AM - you know if you ever need some help just holla and I'm sure there will be plenty of people out there who'd pitch in.

As for my team - foster, walker, smalling, nani, valencia, vdv, puncheon and as always rooney and gyan. Last place came down to suarez vs luiz - chelsea or liverpool. Tough choice for a united fan. i'd rather play with 10 in my team!

kwyjibo said...

O'Hara or Bentley?
Nasri or Dempsey?

Those are my final two choices. I'll probably go with Dempsey, but the other choice I have no idea. Any thoughts?

kwyjibo said...

@Anon 8:43PM - Yes, Nani or Tevez is a tough choice.

I went with Tevez because Man City are at home against a Sunderland side that only has 1 point from their last 6 matches.

Compare this to Man Utd on the road against a resurgent West Ham side that has 11 points from the last 6 (tied for 5th best over the last 6).

Then again, Man Utd and Man City only have 9 and 8 points, respectively, from the last 6. So, who knows, but that was my reasoning, at least.

Anonymous said...

Murphy is on PK for Fulham .

Anonymous said...

Is S.Downing a good choice????????

Anonymous said...

No new news about van der sar means he'll play? Supposedly injured in training

Anonymous said...

Almunia is especially bad with the defence he has in front of him.
Teves may come alive, but he would have to as lately he's been a waste at any price.
Walker, Smalling, Heitinga, Valencia, O'Hara Defoe all second raters resulting from lack of funds blown on DGs earlier.
No point having 2 FWDs from same team

Raconteur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raconteur said...


Out of interest, have you got Adam, VDV, Lamps or Nani at discount? (All midfielders, but you put them in player picks, but then only picked one of them)
Are you picking your XI purely based on current prices?
Are you picking your team just on match-ups?

Anonymous said...

Rac -- I think Nik picks the 11 he can afford from his own team which would include his discounts, such as on Kolorov.

The lists give a variety of players to fit your budget. I know that some top 200 players eschew (big word) discounts and pick fresh each week. good luck.

Kellz said...

@Anon: Last PK taken in the Premiership by a Fulham player was Bobby Zamora, Murphy was on PK's previously due to his absence maybe?

Rikthimi i Lavdis said...

@Assistant manager

When you don't have time to write a full analysis with all the important news on matches and players then I think you should give the readers also a chance to try their luck. This is just an idea but I think it could work.
What I mean is, in your article you tell that you don't have time to write a complete analysis so you advice the readers to look the comments and I'm sure there are many of us(including me) who would love to give our analysis and our judgments about the games.

So we would not just be writing our teams but we also would be sharing our own ideas.

I think it's something worth trying.

Anonymous said...

Nobody else picking Walcott???

Anonymous said...

Zamora or Beckford?

Mell 10-11 said...

Is Tevez really good to go? Anybody have some source?

There is a possibility that both VPersie and Suarez might not be profitable due to unfit condition and Hodgson's defensive tactics against his old club respectively. VPersie may share his kicks since Fab & Nasri are available. But I rather choose Suarez than Tevez though

Anonymous said...

tevez+nasri or barton+defoe or nani+beckford

Anonymous said...

beckford or zigic? please answer

Anonymous said...

hey nick, great post as always. 1 thing that I find missing in today's post.. no love for VDV? isn't he a great pick vs Wigan?

I'm thinking of getting him in my squad for this week.. comments pls? thx :)

SK said...

Walcott - he's just back from injury and will probably start on the bench.

I'm not sure Zamora will start so I would go Beckford to be safe.

Good chance Birm/Bolton will end up with CSs so would go for Beckford over Zigic if you have the cash.

VDV normally would be a great pick against Wigan, but he's over 15 and may be subbed early. Tottenham just cant seem to win enough of these games, esp around CL ties.

According to FFS, Mancini revealed that Tevez could have played last game but wasn't risked. I'm pretty sure he'll start.

My question is: Arshavin + O'Hara or Defoe + Nolan?

Anonymous said...

you all may try e.blake..he will be pk taker

Anonymous said...

"Charlie Adam could very well miss Blackpool's trip to Craven Cottage."
can someone confirm this..?

Anonymous said...

My team
luiz fabio Small
hitz adam Dempsey silva
suarez tevez carroll
what do you think torres?
Cheers Imp

SK said...

@Imp - ManU doesn't have a good chance of getting a CS. You should replace fabio or smalling. I also wouldn't get both suarez and Carroll; LVL doesn't have a great matchup. Torres might be an interesting choice, although I heard he's a doubt.

Anonymous said...

Here we go, my team currently:


Need opinion about Foward around 8ish and below? Zamora, Ba, Balotelli, Gyan or even Beckford.. which one is better? holding Zamora right now..

Most of us going with Dempsey so i'm gonna stick with A.young just to be different hoping it will work out for me..

Anonymous said...

Charlie fit for Fulham clash

Anonymous said...

Thanks, your post SK
Good luck all

Anonymous said...

WHY THE 1st GAME is WHM vs MU?
many player injury & i cannot switch my player in last 5 minutes.


Adam.B said...

My team now;
smalling kolarov luiz
vdv o'hara lampard valencia
defoe suarez rvp

I pretty much like this, any tips?

Anonymous said...

guys.......nasri or cesc ?????and y ?????? plz help

Anonymous said...

NASRI is suspend.

Anonymous said...

nope he isnt and hes gonna start 4 sure

TwoFace said...


i hope defoe and VDV returned the goods tonight as they did not on the last outing..i could easily change them to beckford and dempsey but i stick to my guts..moses is just a hunch n filler

wish u guys all the best this week!

Anonymous said...

Almunia, Kolarov, Squillaci, Luiz, Hitzlsperger, Adam, Lampard, Valencia, Dempsey, Suarez, Van Persie

Currently in the top 50, really want to stay there....

Anonymous said...

Finally my team look like this:

Smalling Heitinga Koscielny Luiz
O'Hara Dempsey Nani
Beckford Suarez Van Persie

I believe Ameobi, Salcido, Adam Johnson, Carroll and Ba will do well this week. But i can squeeze them in my team. All the best..


Kendo said...

Sitting on

Replaced Torres (doubtful)? with caroll (as you do)!

Luiz Koscien Smalling
Osman Vdv Barton Adam
Ba Suarez rvp

Feelin lucky this week


Anonymous said...


Manager Arsene Wenger will hope the knee injury suffered by Robin van Persie playing for the Netherlands is minor but he might not risk his top striker anyway, especially after losing him for the second half of last season after he suffered an ankle injury on international duty.

SO pick or not?

Anonymous said...

Last change,

i got news, the Arsenal capt come back from injury.


GOOD / WORTH decision i made?


Anonymous said...

GOOD / WORSE i mean?


Anonymous said...

RVP will play, it's just a matter of money if you want to pay the full cost.

That quote is just a writer trying to fill space. Arsenal have to try to win something.

Anonymous said...

RVP fit and play

Anonymous said...

Anybody know United vs hammer starting line up?
Reference please

Anonymous said...

Will Dzeko play?


Anonymous said...

*anon at 11:13*

please update / stay tuned in

hope this help u.


Anonymous said...

West Ham vs Man Utd
West Ham: Green, Jacobsen, da Costa, Upson, Bridge, O’Neil, Parker, Noble, Hitzlsperger, Cole, Ba

Subs: Boffin, Reid, Tomkins, Spector, Piquionne, Obinna, Keane

Man Utd: Kuszczak, Fabio Da Silva, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Gibson, Carrick, Park, Giggs, Rooney

Subs: Amos, Owen, Anderson, Berbatov, Hernandez, Nani, Gill

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