Mario Balotelli grabs a last-ditch spot-kick to earn City a point against Dortmund. Gervinho and Lukas Podolski are amongst the goals as Arsenal maintain their 100% record at the expense of Olympiakos. Elsewhere, Dimitar Berbatov hopes to be fit for Fulham this weekend, Emmanuel Adebayor could return for Spurs, Danny Simpson and Yohan Cabaye are back for Newcastle and West Brom remain hopeful on Liam Ridgewell and Gareth McAuley for this week’s clash against QPR:
Man City 1 Dortmund 1
Carlos Tevez was the only City forward not to feature last night ahead of Saturday lunchtime’s home clash with Sunderland. Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko both lasted the full 90 minutes against the German champions, while Mario Balotelli climbed off the bench to slot home a late penalty and earn a point for Roberto Mancini’s side. At the back, Joleon Lescott again missed out as Vincent Kompany was partnered by Matija Nastasic in the heart of defence, with Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy the full-backs. Yaya Toure played in a deeper role alongside Javi Garcia, though the latter lasted just more than 30 minutes before limping off with a thigh problem. David Silva played the full 90 minutes and Samir Nasri was withdrawn before the hour mark to be replaced by Aleksandar Kolarov.
Arsenal 3 Olympiakos 1
Mikel Arteta recovered from an ankle knock to take his place in the starting line-up, with Francis Coquelin given the nod alongside the Spaniard in light of Abou Diaby’s absence. Laurent Koscielny was again preferred to Per Mertesacker as Thomas Vermaelen’s central defensive partner, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started on the right and Gervinho again led the line. The Ivorian had a hand in the Gunners’ first two goals – he opened the scoring thanks to an Arteta assist before teeing up Lukas Podolski for the second. Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud were introduced as subs late on in the second-half, with the Frenchman setting up Ramsey to fire home the third.
In Other News
Dimitar Berbatov has given Fantasy managers reason for optimism ahead of Fulham’s trip to Southampton this weekend. The Bulgarian took to Facebook yesterday to reveal:
“I need to speed up the healing process of my injury, by increasing the amount of oxygen in the body’s tissues…So here i am, breathing pure oxygen.. let see if it’s going to help me…Hope to be ready for next game.”
Bearing in mind there is a two-week international break to follow, Berbatov would be expected to return in time for the Gameweek 8 home match with Villa anyway – clearly, the Cottagers must feel he has a chance for this Saturday if they’ve given the okay for his treatment. While it’s far from certain he’ll make it, it’s somewhat reassuring for Berbatov’s owners, with the vast majority likely to hold until Martin Jol’s Friday press conference for confirmation.
Alan Pardew is set to welcome back Danny Simpson and Yohan Cabaye to the Newcastle fold ahead of this evening’s Europa League clash with Bordeaux. Simpson has missed the last three league matches with a hamstring injury but has been named in the squad to face the French outfit, as has Cabaye – the midfielder has recovered from the mouth infection that forced him out of last weekend’s trip to Reading. While their inclusion is welcome news ahead of Sunday’s home clash with United, Pardew is still sweating on his first-choice central defensive pairing of Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini. The Argentine has missed the last three with a hamstring injury while Taylor was subbed off before the hour mark at the Madejski with a leg problem – James Perch and Mike Williamson may be set to square up to Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie if the pair don’t make it. With Tim Krul also omitted from this evening’s squad with an ongoing arm problem, many Fantasy managers will be a little more confident of handing Van Persie the captain’s armband once again this weekend.
West Brom assistant boss Kevin Keen revealed he is optimistic of a return to fitness for the club’s walking wounded this weekend. The Baggies are sweating on the fitness of defenders Liam Ridgewell, Gareth McAuley, Billy Jones and Steven Reid ahead of the visit of QPR, while Chris Brunt is also a doubt with a hamstring problem:
“We’re hoping that everyone might be available for Saturday but if not we’ve got the cushion of a couple of weeks for the international break…we’re hopeful we will have as many fit as possible, which would give the gaffer a bit of a problem team selection-wise.”
Having returned clean sheets and wins in each of their first three home games, Steve Clarke’s side have afforded us a strong source of mid-price options at the back this term. Ridgewell and McAuley, in particular, have picked up plenty of suitors, with their tendency to chip in with attacking points also furthering their appeal – while the former missed out at Villa last weekend with a calf problem, McAuley remained on the pitch after picking up a knock after Clarke had used all three substitutions in the derby draw. With three home games in the next four, the West Brom backline looks primed for investment, with Ben Foster and Jonas Olsson the obvious alternatives should the aforementioned pair fail to make it.
Emmanuel Adebayor has returned to training for Tottenham ahead of this weekend’s home clash with Aston Villa. The Togo international has yet to start for Spurs this season after a permanent transfer from City and while he will sit out this evening’s Europa League game with Panathinaikos, reports suggest he may be in line to play some part against Paul Lambert’s strugglers as the Londoners go looking for their fourth straight league win. With Jermain Defoe bagging four goals in the opening six Gameweeks, though, Adebayor may face a battle to initially claim a starting role but yesterday’s news suggests he could be finally on the road to step up and afford us another strong up-front alternative to consider this season.
Commenting is now closed for this post.
For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
|Up||Robles||WIG||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
|No Change||Foster||WBA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Vorm||SWA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
|Up||Boruc||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Kompany||MCI||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Vertonghen||TOT||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Luiz||CHE||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Boyce||WIG||C, Vs, OoP|
|No Change||Cuéllar||SUN||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Rangel||SWA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clyne||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Mata||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
|Up||Maloney||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, Vs|
|No Change||Silva||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Tevez||MCI||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Koné||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Ba||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
“I understand you don't consider Dempsey a striker. He has developed into playing in different positions, but for me he is a pure striker. ”Andre Villas-Boas reveals his views on Clint Dempsey's best position.