With no red cards shown in the fixtures this week, we’d a sparse looking inbox in terms of suspensions, but never fear – there are still some tidbits to throw your way, as the tightrope continues to creak under a heavy load.
Easing that load on Saturday, and perhaps the highest profile of those newly banned for next weekend, Chris Baird is the first to take our interest. Booked for protesting the injury time penalty award for Arsenal at the Emirates, the Northern Irishman had his pain immediately eased by the outstanding glovework of his goalkeeper but a ban still follows; he’ll be absent for the visit of Sunderland next Sunday, with Mahamadou Diarra the obvious replacement should he regain his fitness.
Also doing their bit to free up space on the sidebar widget were Stoke City’s Dean Whitehead and Sunderland’s Craig Gardner, both falling foul of the referee for the fifth time this season in their respective second halves against QPR and Everton. While Gardner will now accompany Baird in the stands at Craven Cottage, Whitehead will be missing a tricky trip to the Boleyn Ground, as the Potters face an in-form West Ham.
Replacing those three unbalanced folk up on the high wire this week we have a former Galactico in the shape of Esteban Granero, and a man capped by France at every age group level (though with the notable exception of the seniors) in Morgan Schneiderlin. Grabbing Southampton’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Swansea which lifted his side off the foot of the table, Schneiderlin also picked up his fourth yellow for unsporting behaviour. The Saints were replaced at the bottom by the QPR side of ‘El Pirata’ Granero, who picked up his censure in the final throws of their latest defeat.
Finally in our round up, it’s the old timers, with Cheick Tioté completing his three-match ban this week to be available for the Gameweek 12 shakeup; he waved goodbye to teammate Fabricio Coloccini who will sit out his second game of three, and QPR’s Stéphane M’Bia serving the last of his trio of enforced absences.