Demba Ba maintains he has no problems playing on the left for Newcastle. Gary Cahill joins David Luiz as an injury worry for Chelsea. The injuries rack up for Blackburn, Everton are sweating over Leighton Baines’ fitness, while Royston Drenthe’s disciplinary problems raise their head once more:
Demba Ba has spoken out on his new role at Newcastle following the arrival of Papiss Cisse and the recent emergence of Hatem Ben Arfa. Ba has been stationed on the left-flank in recent matches and, resultantly, has scored just a single goal since January. Ba, for now at least, seems content with the situation…
As a striker you like to be in the striking position but now the coach has made a decision. He has decided for Papiss to be there. I do what I have to do to balance the formation for the good of the team. If I can be in the finishing area I do everything to be there, if I cannot, we do the work for Papiss….I like to be up front but lately the coach has decided to play with three strikers (Hatem Ben Arfa is the other) and I do not mind playing on the side….If I score, that’s great, but if I don’t score there is someone else who does.
Ba’s decline in Fantasy terms have been stark. He’s failed to return a goal or an assist in nine matches, whilst Cisse has flourished into a prolific scorer and top Fantasy target. Ba’s FPL price has dropped through the floor having peaked at 8.0 in Gameweek 26 – he is now available for just 7.1 with few considering him an option following Cisse’s stunning run that has brought him eight goals in his last five league outings with maximum FPL bonus in every one of those matches.
Royston Drenthe’s days as a maverick Fantasy pick look over. Everton have revealed that the Dutch winger was omitted from their semi-final squad for the clash with Liverpool due to a “disciplinary matter”. Reports claim that Drenthe failed to turn up for a training session on Friday, with the suggestion that his future at Goodison may now be over. The Dutchman has struggled to win the trust of his manager David Moyes, despite producing some effective displays which have brought him three goals and six assists in the Premier League. His direct attacking play had, for short periods, seen him flash on the Fantasy radar but given these latest developments, he looks unlikely to be seen in Everton colours in the remaining four matches.
Everton have more pressing concerns involving the fitness of Leighton Baines, after the left-back was forced off late on in the semi-final defeat suffering from a hamstring problem. The club have revealed that Baines will now undergo a scan ahead of next weekend’s trip to Old Trafford. Baines himself brought us this hopeful prognosis…
We’ll do a scan in the next couple of days…I don’t think it’s going to be too bad. We’ll just have to wait and see.
While Fantasy managers won’t be overly concerned on Baines’ fitness ahead of the United clash, he is, nonetheless, a prime target for transfers for the Toffees double Gameweek fixtures with Fulham and Stoke.
Gary Cahill is another defender firmly on the radar for the double fixtures in Gameweek 36. He will face two home encounters with QPR and Newcastle and, with David Luiz picking up a hamstring injury in Sunday’s semi-final, would seem set up to play both games, given the rib problems still endured by skipper John Terry. Our enthusiasm for Cahill should be tempered somewhat, however, with news that the former Bolton man left Wembley with an injury of his own. Reports are vague but suggest that Cahill has a foot problem which adds him to the list of doubts for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona.
Steve Kean’s troubles are mounting on and off the pitch once again. Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Swansea left them floundering in the bottom three and counting the casualties. Grant Hanley, Yakubu and Junior Hoilett all picked up problems. It’s feared that ankle ligament damage may have ended Hanley’s season, with Steve Kean giving us a gloomy prognosis post-match…
Grant Hanley has quite a bad ankle injury, Yakubu is feeling his patella tendon on his knee so he had to come off and also Junior Hoilett has come off with a hamstring injury. Grant Hanley could miss the rest of the season, and we hope that we’ve caught Yakubu and Hoilett in time, but Grant is a huge doubt.
Hanley’s potential absence is compounded by off-pitch wranglings with Gael Givet. Reports suggest that he was fit and able to take part at Swansea but was left out of the Rovers squad by Kean who revealed outside factors were at play…
I spoke to Gael this morning and after having a chat with him it was very apparent to me that he was nowhere near in the right mindset to be involved in this game…I don’t want to go into the reasons why, we’ll keep that private, but there was no way he could have been on the pitch today.
Rovers are now three points from safety and face crucial home encounters with Norwich and Wigan, with testing trips to Spurs and Chelsea also ahead of them. Next weekend’s meet with the Canaries is surely pivotal – fail to find three points in that one and Kean’s sideseem doomed.