Filed under: Scout Notes - Posted by: Paul
Emmanuel Adebayor is sidelined for Tottenham’s European clash with Lazio. Steve Clarke admits Goran Popov is unlikely to feature in West Brom’s home clash with Reading. Michael Kightly is hoping for a less defensive role with Stoke, while Oscar steals the headlines as Chelsea and Manchester United get their respective Champions League campaigns underway:
Emmanuel Adebayor has been ruled out of Tottenham’s Europa League clash with Lazio this evening. Andre Villas-Boas revealed in yesterday’s press conference that the Togo international has picked up a hamstring injury and will miss the White Hart Lane opener – Benoit Assou-Ekotto is also sidelined while the club assess his knee problem. Major question marks must now be placed against Adebayor’s availability for Sunday’s home clash against QPR, further enhancing Jermain Defoe’s chances of starting as he looks to add to his three goals and an assist from the opening four Gameweeks.
Steve Clarke gave Fantasy managers an early injury update yesterday. In particular, the West Brom boss spoke of Steven Reid and Goran Popov’s chances of making Saturday’s home clash with Reading:
“Steven’s been outside working with the medical staff towards being fit as soon as possible. He’s had a hamstring injury and he’s recovered to a point where it’s almost right, but you don’t want to take the next step too quickly. We will monitor it as the week goes on but we are still hopeful for the weekend. As for Goran, he had to go back to Kiev after the Fulham game and we will assess him when he’s back, but he is very doubtful for the weekend.”
The Popov prognosis is particularly good news for Fantasy managers, in the short-term at least. A start at left-back for the loan signing would have a major knock-on effect on the game time of Liam Ridgewell and possibly Gareth McAuley, with Ridgewell’s versatility meaning he is also capable of moving to the centre of defence. Both have been drafted in by plenty Fantasy managers ahead of a schedule that sees (RDG, QPR, SOT) in the next six and with clean sheets in both their first two at the Hawthorns, more investment can be expected.
Michael Kightly has admitted he’s had to rein in his attacking instincts for Stoke after a tough opening start to the season:
“I am having to play a bit more defensive than I would like, but we have had a tough start with our games and sometimes you have to do that for the team. We’ve played top sides at home and played at Wigan where they play a different system. Hopefully, against the so-called lesser teams at home we can be a bit more free-flowing and attacking. When the big clubs come, you know you aren’t going to have as much possession and their full-backs play advanced, so if you don’t track them back they will punish you. You are thinking about their full-back and stopping him scoring rather than thinking of getting past him to create a goal.”
Despite facing home clashes with Arsenal and City, Tony Pulis’ side remain unbeaten after four Gameweeks, with Kightly still managing to average five points per game in FPL. Trips to Chelsea, Liverpool and United in the next four is likely to have the Potters on the back foot once again before the fixture list begins to favour Stoke from Gameweek 9 onwards.
Manchester United 1 Galatasaray 0
Sir Alex made three changes at the back for the visit of Galatasaray. David De Gea was given the nod in goal, Jonny Evans replaced Rio Ferdinand in central defence and Patrice Evra reclaimed the left-back berth from Alexander Buttner. Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa were both handed starts, having been rested for the weekend match with Wigan. Kagawa supplied the assist for Michael Carrick to notch the only goal of a game that saw Darren Fletcher return to action after a lengthy lay-off, replacing Paul Scholes with just over 10 minutes remaining.
United’s spot-kick problems continued last night, though. Nani’s failed attempt against the Turkish side, following on from Javier Hernandez and Van Persie’s misses against Wigan and Southampton respectively means United have now failed to score with their last three penalties. While Wayne Rooney looks likely to remain number one for penalties when he returns from injury, Ferguson admitted Van Persie should have taken last night’s effort, suggesting the Dutchman is first in line until Rooney returns.
“I think he (Nani) just ran and grabbed the ball. I thought Robin should have taken it, to be honest with you.I think we will have to decide before the game. That was my fault, I should have done that.”
Chelsea 2 Juventus 2
It was all about Oscar last night as the young Brazilian made a sensational Champions League debut for the defending champions. Handed a starting role alongside Eden Hazard and Ramires in the attacking midfield three, the young Brazilian fired a superb brace against Juventus to announce his intentions to Fantasy managers. Just as we begin to perhaps consider him as a differential, he was then withdrawn on 74 minutes for Juan Mata, with Roberto Di Matteo admitting post-match:
“It was a bad tackle on Oscar before he came off. He had a knock on his ankle and we will assess him tomorrow.”
In other injury news, Chelsea were without the services of Daniel Sturridge for last night’s match – the club revealed via their official twitter stream that the forward was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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“We have dynamic players with good movement, so if he can link with them fine. He can play a bit higher because his timing getting into the box is very good.”Rafa Benitez talks up the role that Frank Lampard can play in his Chelsea revolution