Around the Grounds FPL Team News Gameweek 11
Welcome to Around the Grounds FPL Team News Gameweek 11. Ah look at you lot getting all excited over one great week of scoring last time out. Well the proof they say, will be in the pudding, so let’s see if you can pull out the stops again and reproduce last week’s epic scores. It’s a strange game-week is GW11 – no Friday match, no Saturday lunchtime game either, not even any Monday Night Football – it’s all about Saturday and Sunday, almost a throw-back to the 80’s. The Saturday 3pm matches sees Moyesie Livin’ on a Prayer as Sunderland go to Bournemouth, Tom Heaton’s issues a Take On Me challenge to Palace strikers as Burnley visit Selhurst, Man City host Boro with Sergio Aguero reminding FPL managers Don’t You Forget About Me, 3 wins in a row and there’s Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now for Stoke as they take on West Ham. The evening match sees a trip to West London for Everton to visit a Chelsea side who are very much Into the Groove.
And then onto Sunday Bloody Sunday. And first up is the big one – North London turns into Funkytown and we expect a Thriller as the derby takes place at the Emirates, before Micky Phelan will urge his troops to Don’t Stop Believing as they host Southampton and FPL managers Just Can’t Get Enough Liverpool midfielders when they aim to dismantle Watford. Bob Bradley and Jose Mourinho’s message to their players will be to Beat It as Man United travel to Swansea before the Final Countdown to our game-week sees Champions Leicester host West Brom.
Don’t forget we have a dreaded International break between GW11 & GW12.
That’s enough 80’s memories for me – let’s Go Around the Grounds to see what our Under Pressure managers have had to say.
Bournemouth vs Sunderland (Sat 5 Nov 15.00)
Roll up, roll up, FPL points available – cheap as you like – a Bournemouth defender, a fit Junior Stanislas, a hungry Callum Wilson will all be popular options as FPL’s very own BHS rolls into town. What is there to say about Sunderland that we haven’t already said over the last few weeks? They appear to be this season’s errrrm Sunderland without the great escape……unless Moyesie is binned and Big Sam makes a guest appearance as himself to lead the Black Cats to another survival mission. Unlikely? Sure, but you never know, life has a strange way of turning up the unexpected. After all, we could have a scary, scheming, conceited, untrustworthy psychopath voted in as US President next week….or they could vote for Trump. Ah back to the game – a home win surely – it was last season with Wilson amongst the scorers.
Eddie Howe says there are no real “long term injuries” but his squad is suffering with “a few bumps and bruises” which will be assessed before the weekend. Howe is pleased with the home form of his team and though he used the old “there are no easy matches in the Premier League” line, he is clearly confident that his team will gain the three points vs Sunderland. Andrew Surman looks likely to miss out again, while Junior Stanislas is one of those who will be assessed. Brad Smith and Lewis Cook are out, while Marc Pugh is still a doubt.
John O’Shea will miss out for Sunderland this weekend after limping off in the first half of last week’s defeat to Arsenal with a hamstring injury. There is some positive news though as Seb Larsson may make an appearance for the U23s and Vito Mannone is closing in on being available again. Not so good news though as Moyesie says that Lee Cattermole could return to training next week.
Burnley vs Crystal Palace (Sat 5 Nov 15.00)
One consolation of Liverpool winning last week was of course it occurred at the expense of the Lord. The good Lord who leadeth his sheep to the pastures of the Championship with any luck. This week the sheep head up north to face the Premier League’s one-man save machine. Yes Tom Heaton is making quite a name for himself – last week’s 0-0 draw at Old Trafford may have been one of the surprise results of the season, but the man did his job, keeping out 37 United efforts on goal and single-handedly achieving an unlikely point for his team. These two have only met twice before in the Premier League – the match at Burnley ended 3-2 to Palace, well that ain’t happening with Big Tom in goal – the result at Palace was a more predictable 0-0 draw with that man Heaton in goal again. Not much gets past him – be warned Benteke owners.
Good news for Burnley as creative midfielder Steven Defour has recovered from a hamstring injury and is in contention for a recall. However, defender Stephen Ward limped off at Old Trafford with a similar injury and has failed to recover, leaving Jon Flanagan the favourite to deputise.
The Lord reveals that Bakary Sako is the only fresh doubt after the winger picked up a small strain in training on Thursday. Connor Wickham should return to the squad after missing the Liverpool match with a minor knock, while Pape Souare and Loic Remy remain unavailable.
Man City vs Middlesbrough (Sat 5 Nov 15.00)
Crisis, what crisis? Six matches without a win, Sergio Aguero not the force he was, dressing room discontent with Pep and his methods, a stadium half full. Ok the last one is fair, but all the others were all put to bed over the last few days as a 4-0 win at “tough and uncompromising” West Brom was followed by the crushing of Barcelona in the week. And the camp was a happy camp again. So Boro have it all to do this week but they at least come into the weekend on the back of a win over Bournemouth, a shut out vs the Gooners and two clean sheets in a row. Will it be three? Well, of course not. City will have too much firepower – if Kun doesn’t get you KdB will, if he doesn’t Iheanacho will, or Sterling, or Silva, or Nolito – jeez even Gundogan is getting in on the act and he hasn’t been able to walk for seven months.
Pep says that Vincent Kompany “may” play vs Boro – assuming “may” means “he will if he doesn’t get injured in the meantime” then either John Stones or Nicolas Otamendi will miss out. Definitely out are Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph though both are making good progress – Delph is training and Sagna should return to training after the international break. Regarding Yaya Toure and his public apology to the manager, Pep says “nothing has changed.” Raheem Sterling is believed to be ready to start after being substituted after 70mins vs Barca, while Gael Clichy may come in for Aleksandar Kolarov.
Boro boss Karanka says his squad has gained great confidence from the last two results and although going to City will be a tough assignment, he is sure that if Boro play to their strengths they will have their chances vs City. Its a return to the Etihad for Alvaro Negrado but Gaston Ramirez misses out through suspension. Marten de Roon and Cristhian Stuani are both expected to be available after missing last week’s win over Bournemouth but Daniel Ayala is struggling to shake off a knock and is likely to miss out. Grant Leadbitter and James Husband won’t feature but will instead build up their fitness by playing for the U23s.
West Ham vs Stoke (Sat 5 Nov 15.00)
It’s not been the dawning of the new era that West Ham had envisaged as they successfully won the battle to rent the Olympic Stadium for a cut down price – the Hammers are on 10 points from 10 games, just two wins at their new rented accommodation and they lie a place above the drop zone with just Hull, Swansea and Sunderland below them. Couldn’t happen to a nice club. Talking of nice clubs, Stoke are the latest visitors to the Taxpayer Stadium and the Potters have a great recent record vs the Irons, unbeaten in the last six meetings, though the last two clashes at West Ham have ended in dull draws.
Bilic reports just one fresh injury and it’s a brilliantly timed one as Winston Reid has picked up a hamstring injury just as he serves a suspension. Timing is everything. There are no other new injuries, though Andy Carroll was chased by armed motorcyclists on Wednesday. I shouldn’t laugh. Carroll remains out anyway as do Arthur Masuaku, Sam Byram, Gokhan Tore and Diafra Sakho. Bilic is frustrated by the lack of goals but says the squad is confident that the goals and then the results will come.
Mark Hughes hasn’t fully ruled out Xherdan Shaqiri for the trip to West Ham but says the midfielder needs to train today and come through that ok to even be considered. The injury is not serious, just a slight strain, but the lack of recovery time may well force Shaqiri to miss out. Geoff Cameron is even less likely to travel though the defender is recovering well and should be available shortly after the international break. Marko Arnautovic misses out through suspension, Jack Butland and Glen Johnson remain out but are recovering well, Ibrahim Afellay is training and Stephen Ireland is “making progress.”
Chelsea vs Everton (Sat 5 Nov 17.30)
Be in no doubt, Chelsea are on the charge – four wins in a row, four clean sheets in that time, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard scoring for fun, they’re even making David Luiz look half decent. Sitting just a point off our three leaders, Chelsea are waiting in the wings ready to pounce on any signs of weakness from those above them – and given that those above them are Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool then that weakness is unlikely to be far away. Everton are welcomed to the Bridge Saturday evening and they too arrive in good form – two wins on the bounce, beaten just twice this season with ex-Blue Romelu Lukaku finding the back of the net seven times already. It was Big Rom’s brace that knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup the last time these two met but you have to go back to 1994 for the Toffees’ last league win at the Bridge and with Chelsea firing things up a fifth Chelsea win in a row is favoured.
Antonio Conte says that Kurt Zouma and Cesc Fabregas have both returned to training and will be available after the international break. The manager is likely to name an unchanged side unless he decides to recall Willian in place of Pedro as Chelsea look to continue their excellent run.
Leighton Baines continues to miss out for the Toffees with manager Ronald Koeamn hoping the defender will be back after the international break. There is better news of keeper Maarten Stekelenburg who has recovered from the foot injury that kept him out of the win over West Ham. James McCarthy and Mo Besic remain out while Idrissa Gueye is missing through suspension. Arouna Kone has returned to training but won’t be ready for the trip to Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal vs Spurs (Sun 6 Nov 12.00)
The emergence of Spurs as true title contenders has only increased the excitement, rivalry and hostility on North London derby day. Much of the fun around the day usually surrounds Spurs’ failure to finish above their neighbours since 1994/95 – of course they could of put that unwanted stat to bed with a last-day draw at Newcastle last season – however they proceeded to lose 5-1 to the relegated rabble. The pair have lost just a single match this season, with Spurs remaining unbeaten, though it’s Arsenal, of course, who are in front, due to mainly to three draws on the spin for Spurs – these draws coming after their impressive win over Man City. The last two derbies at the Emirates have ended in 1-1 draws. Harry Kane has scored four goals in the last three league meetings and Spurs will be desperate for their leading man to be fit for Sunday.
The Gooners may have a small issue in defence with left backs Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal struggling with knocks. Santi Cazorla remains a doubt, but there is better news of Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott. Bellerin should be ok with Wenger saying the right back could have played in the Champions League and so should be ok for the derby while Walcott is the likeliest of the injured crew to be fit for Sunday. Walcott, Bellerin and Monreal have all been pictured training so one must assume they all have a chance. Granit Xhaka is available again following suspension, but Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez all remain sidelined.
Well there is good news for Spurs as Mauricio Pochettino says that Harry Kane is fit enough to return to the squad – the bad news is that the team mate Kane often relies up, Mousa Dembele, is a doubt for the derby as is Erik Lamela. Toby Alderweireld is again ruled out meaning Eric Dier will again partner Jan Vertonghen at the back. Ben Davies is also out injured while Moussa Sissoko is suspended.
Hull vs Southampton (Sun 6 Nov 14.15)
Forget the romance. Forget that the Saints were firmly put in their place by an inform Chelsea last weekend. Forget that Hull only lost narrowly to an own goal at Watford. Southampton beat Hull. Well, they have won the last six meetings anyway and eight of the last nine and lost just one of the last eighteen meetings, home and away. Before last weekend, the Saints were going along nicely so the disappointment that the Chelsea result brought should be exorcised by the weekend trip to Hull. How life changes quickly – Thursday night they beat Inter Milan then just 48 hours they are trekking up to dull Hull. We remain sympathetic to Hull but they remain the whipping boys of the divison alongside Sunderland (Troy Deeney owners may disagree) – now if that is not motivation enough to pull your sleeves out and dig out an unlikely win I don’t know what is.
Mickey Phelan says that Robert Snodgrass will resume training today but it is thought that Sunday’s game will come too soon for the Scot. Adama Diomande is suspended, so Will Keane and Abel Hernandez are likely to buddy up again up front, although Dieumerci Mbokani has returned to training and is in contention. Allan McGregor and Brian Lenihan are likely to play for the U23s tonight as they continue to build up their fitness, but Andrew Robertson, Moses Odubajo and Alex Bruce all remain sidelined.
Saints chief Claude Puel was full of praise for his team after Thursday’s Europa win over Inter but doesn’t see any of the injured players returning for Sunday’s trip to Hull – meaning Shane Long, Cedric Soares, Matt Targett and Jereny Pied all remain out. Jose Fonte, Charlie Austin, Steven Davis and Ryan Bertrand were all benched on Thursday so expect them to start while Sofiane Boufal will also be hopeful of a first start.
Liverpool vs Watford (Sun 6 Nov 14.15)
There seems little that can stop the Liverpool Jurgernaut right now, except themselves and their amusing habit of failing to cross the finishing line. Whether Klopp is the man to change that, only time will tell, but the signs are promising for the locals. Liverpool are joint top, though officially third on goal difference – they are the league’s joint top scorers with Man City, but fears of their stamina to last the race due to a suspect defence will remain until the clean sheets start coming in. Just one clean sheet so far this season (vs goal-shy Man United) is a concern, but in the meantime the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana et al will continue to strut their stuff to the extent that strikers Sturridge and Origi don’t get a look in. While goals are not a problem for the hosts, then finding the net has become a problem for the Hornets who’s only joy over the last three matches is a Michael Dawson own goal. Liverpool won this fixture 2-0 last season and a similar result is likely on Sunday, though we can’t guarantee the clean sheet!
Klopp says he is wary of Watford’s three clean sheets in a row but is confident his team will find a way through. The illness that spread through the camp last week and kept James Milner out of the win at Palace has gone and a nearly full squad should be available to the German. Joe Gomez and Sheyi Ojo have returned to training but won’t be considered this weekend, Mamadou Sakho remains out and Danny Ings has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Defensive nightmares for Watford as Sebastian Prodl is almost certainly out of the trip to Anfield after failing to recover from a groin injury picked up last week vs Hull. Craig Cathcart has already been ruled out so manager Walter Mazzarri must decide if Christian Kabasele or Adrian Mariappa will line up alongside Miguel Britos and Younes Kaboul or whether to switch to a conventional back four. Stefano Okaka is also struggling and unlikely to be risked and Kenedy and Isaac Success add to the injury misery for the Hornets.
Swansea vs Man Utd (Sun 6 Nov 15.00)
This is not the time for United fans to turn round, bemoan their lack of luck vs Tom Heaton and say, “thank gawd we’re playing Swansea at the weekend” – for United have lost on their previous two trips to the valleys. Both teams have become a bit of a joke – United for their excessive spending and poor results and Swansea because they are seemingly on their way to the Championship and because they are Welsh. Bob Bradley has come to Swansea on a rescue mission, but the Welshies were humbled easily by Stoke on Monday night and with just one win this season, confidence is low and the gap between themselves and safety is already five points. For United, they are lagging behind their rivals and badly need a win to get back on track.
Bradley says he is still unsure of his best XI – “I’m trying to figure it out. Guys who have played well in the past are not at their best.” Jefferson Montero is fit at last and in contention to feature with Bradley urging his squad to react better to situations in games and claims also that the players are lacking confidence.
Paul Pogba is a doubt for the Reds after limping out of the defeat to Fenerbahce with what looked like a dead leg. Also missing will be the suspended Ander Herrera and the injured Antonio Valencia and Eric Bailly while Chris Smalling remains a doubt. Michael Carrick and Jesse Lingard are likely to play having been left behind in the week, while Juan Mata is also likely to start having come off the bench in Turkey.
Leicester vs West Brom (Sun 6 Nov 16.30)
They may not be the free flowing, carefree side we saw last season, but there are signs that after a slow start the Foxes are finding their way – last week’s battling draw at Spurs being a case in point. The home form has been good, they are unbeaten with three clean sheets. The Baggies were taken apart by Man City last week, though there is little disgrace in that but they have not won any of their last five in the league and are ensconced in a group hanging precariously above the drop zone. The Baggies were one of the teams to come away from the King Power Stadium last season with any joy after holding the Foxes to a 2-2 draw – for those looking for a cheapish striker that isn’t called Austin or Wilson, don’t rule out Salomon Rondon who scored in both matches vs Leicester last season.
Leicester have been hit by the injury to Kasper Schmeichel – the keeper has fractured his hand and has been ruled out for a number of weeks, with Ranieri saying it could be anything from 2 weeks to 7 weeks! Schmeichel will be replaced by Ron-Robert Zieler with Ranieri saying, “he gives me all the confidence”! Islam Slimani trained on Thursday and is expected to be ok for the weekend, but Nampalys Mendy remains missing with his ankle injury but should be back after the international break.
Nacer Chadli has been ruled out of the trip to Leicester after undergoing surgery on his cartilage – manager Tony Pulis is hopeful that his premium midfielder will be fit for the GW12 visit of Burnley. Jonas Olsson has a slight hamstring injury, Saido Berahino has been sent off to some fitness camp in France and James McClean is suspended which may mean chances this weekend for the likes of James Morrison, Sam Field and Jonathan Leko.
Suspension Report for GW11
Any player who receives 5 yellow cards before 31st December will face a one-match suspension. There are a number of players on four yellow cards so we thought it prudent to detail those suspended and those nearing a suspension in case it affects your transfer decision.
Suspended for GW11:
Idrissa Gueye (Everton)
Adama Diomande (Hull)
Ander Herrera (Man Utd)
Gaston Ramirez (Middlesbrough)
Moussa Sissoko (Spurs)
Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City)
James McClean (West Brom)
Winston Reid (West Ham)
One yellow card away from suspension:
Adam Smith (Bournemouth)
Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace)
Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Gareth Barry (Everton)
Sam Clucas (Hull)
Robert Huth (Leicester)
Danny Simpson (Leicester)
Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City)
Marouane Fellaini (Man Utd)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd)
Paul Pogba (Man Utd)
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
Danny Rose (Spurs)
Jan Vertonghen (Spurs)
Didier Ndong (Sunderland)
Valon Behrami (Watford)
Jose Holebas (Watford)
Craig Dawson (West Brom)
Mark Noble (West Ham)
Thanks for reading Around the Grounds FPL Team News Gameweek 11. This article was written by Cookie
Fixture Tracker – the next 6 games