Christian Benteke is ruled out for over a month by Paul Lambert. Jermain Defoe scores twice as Spurs ease past Villa. Gary Hooper and Stevan Jovetic also bag braces for Norwich and City respectively, Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent end Everton’s unbeaten run, Ramires limps out of Chelsea’s win at Swindon, while Ravel Morrison nets again as West Ham edge out Cardiff:
Benteke Sidelined For Villa
Paul Lambert has confirmed Christian Benteke will miss up to six weeks of action due to the hip problem picked up in Saturday’s win at Norwich. The Villa boss was asked whether the Belgian would require surgery and went on to say:
“It’s just a muscle injury. It’s nothing like that. It’s not too severe. We will try to get him back as quick as possible. It’s not as bad as we feared it was going to be. It’s maybe four, five, six weeks or so. You have that international break which certainly helps us. But he’s feeling a lot better to be fair. We will have to wait and see. We spoke to the medical people before and they give the best and worst case scenarios. You are never quite sure until you hear from the professor to find out how it is.”
The Scout Says: For Benteke owners, the decision to sell is now a straightforward one, with Lambert quickly clearing up the issue four days ahead of the weekend Fantasy deadline. Given that Villa now have City, Spurs and Everton in the next four, last weekend’s replacement Libor Kozak is likely to remain firmly off Fantasy radars, with Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez all receiving significant investment in recent days. Benteke’s injury merely compounds the frustration of many Fantasy managers as yet another popular figure bites the dust – Philippe Coutinho and Theo Walcott have both been sidelined in recent days and with Robin Van Persie remaining a doubt, Fantasy plans are being quickly restructured, with many managers resorting to taking points hits in order to patch up threadbare squads.
Defoe at the Double
Having grabbed a couple of goals in last Thursday’s Europa League victory over Tromso, Jermain Defoe repeated the feat again yesterday as Spurs battered Villa 4-0. Jan Vertonghen, Paulinho and Kyle Walker were the only players retained from the side that edged past Cardiff on Sunday, with new boys Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches amongst the starting line-up. Paulinho was on the scoresheet again, as he continued the scoring form that saw him notch a late winner against Malky Mackay’s side, while Nacer Chadli returned from injury to find the net for the first time since joining up this summer.
After the game, Defoe’s deadly eye for goal was acknowledged by his manager:
“He is doing extremely well, ticking all the right boxes. It was once again a great performance – two goals, one assist. Defoe is making things available for the team. You have to give him credit for what he has done here.”
The Scout Says: While Defoe’s form is certainly giving Andre Villas-Boas plenty to ponder, it would still be a real surprise if he managed to oust Roberto Soldado as Spurs main forward. With Emmanuel Adebayor still training with the development squad, Defoe is benefitting from a busy schedule and is earning plenty game time in cup competitions, affording Soldado a break in between league games. The Spaniard has been subject to plenty sales due to the fact that he has failed to find the net in open play yet but he’s offered a substantial threat over the first five Gameweeks, suggesting his owners’ patience could soon be rewarded.
Five-Star City Hammer Latics
Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko helped steer City to a home hammering of Wigan as Manuel Pellegrini’s side eased into the fourth round. The league’s top scorers demonstrated their attacking prowess under the Chilean as Jovetic bagged a brace and Dzeko grabbed a goal, while Yaya Toure once again highlighted his free-kick prowess by climbing off the bench to fire home his third set-piece of the season. Gael Clichy and Micah Richards returned from injury to start in the full-back positions for the home side.
The Scout Says: While the performance highlighted City’s strength in depth, the line-up perhaps hinted more towards the first-team pecking order under Pellegrini. The Chilean made eight changes from the side that hammered United and, significantly, gave Sergio Aguero the night off entirely – an indication of just how crucial the Argentine is to his prospects of league success. Jovetic and Dzeko may have caught the headlines but, with Alvaro Negredo afforded a brief 11-minute run out, it seems more likely that he will also return for Saturday’s trip to Villa alongside Aguero as City look to register their first away win of the season.
Ramires Worry for Blues
Jose Mourinho rolled out 10 changes for Chelsea’s trip to Swindon and saw Fernando Torres chip in with a goal and assist in the 2-0 win. Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne and Willian were handed the roles in the attacking midfield three, with the former supplying the assist for Torres’ strike, though the visitors will be concerned after suffering a couple of injuries to central midfielders during the game. Marco Van Ginkel was subbed off after 10 minutes with a potentially serious knee injury, while Ramires, his replacement, was also withdrawn after finding the net for the Blues’ second.
After the game, Chelsea’s assistant manager Steve Holland gave an update on the Brazilian:
“Ramires had to go off with a muscular injury at the top of his hip which was causing him more discomfort as he tried to run it off. He’ll be a major doubt for Saturday at Tottenham, not out for sure yet, but a major doubt.”
The Scout Says: One of only three outfield players to have played every minute of the season so far under Mourinho, Ramires’ potential absence would be a real loss for the Spurs clash. Perhaps more significantly, though, it boosts Frank Lampard’s chances of returning to the starting line-up at the Lane – the veteran has been utilised as a late sub in the last two Gameweeks but was rested for last night’s match and looks in line for a recall to the first XI.
Hooper the Canaries Hero
Gary Hooper made a statement of intent upon his first start of the season for Norwich last night. Fully recovered from the shin injury picked up towards the end of the pre-season program, the former Celtic man scored twice as Norwich sealed a 3-2 win at Watford after extra-time. After the match, Chris Hughton was delighted with his forward’s contribution and level of fitness, after he only returned to action as a second-half sub last weekend:
“He is a finisher. I’m probably as delighted that he has got 120 minutes under his belt than I am with the goals. He is used to scoring but with all strikers it is about the service they get and showing a little bit of quality when they can. Both goals showed great movement, a super ball from Leroy Fer for the third. Even in that second half of extra time I was looking at how he was running and he was fine.”
The Scout Says: With Ricky Van Wolfswinkel missing out due to a knock last night, Hooper has certainly staked a claim for a role in the starting XI at Stoke this weekend. Hughton’s side have failed to score on the road so far this season and the availability of Hooper could see him revert to a front two in order to boost the Canaries goal power against a Potters side that kept out City in their last home game. Coming in at 6.3 in FPL, Hooper is a budget-friendly option but with games against Chelsea, Arsenal and City in the next five, many will be giving Hughton’s side a wide berth until the schedule smiles a little kinder.
Berbatov and Bent Steer Fulham Through
Dimitar Berbatov recovered from a hamstring problem to help Fulham end a much-changed Everton’s unbeaten start to the season. The Bulgarian was fielded as the lone forward, with Pajtim Kasami tucking in behind, but moved back to the role in “the hole” to accommodate substitute Darren Bent – the latter was only on the pitch for three minutes before he grabbed the hosts’ winner and hand Martin Jol’s men a morale boost, after a run of three losses and a draw in the last four league games.
The Scout Says: With their two main forward now firing, the Cottagers could be poised to take advantage of one of the kindest schedules around. Fulham now entertain Cardiff and Stoke before travelling to Palace in the next three – with Bryan Ruiz possibly fit for the weekend, Jol’s side could be set to turn the corner and offer us some decent mid-price options over the short-term; Bent remains at 6.5 in FPL, while Berbatov has now dropped down to 7.2.
Morrison Notches Again for Hammers
Ravel Morrison continued his recent form by grabbing a goal after just 20 seconds in West Ham’s home win over Cardiff. The youngster – who also found the net in Saturday’s home loss to Everton – has now scored three times this term and is demonstrating an eye for goal that has been somewhat lacking in the majority of his Hammers team-mates.
The Scout Says: Our pre-season expectations were high after Morrison racked up the goals over the summer but he was immediately dropped to the bench as Sam Allardyce opted for either Joe Cole or Stewart Downing ahead of the former United player. Injuries to the latter two have meant Morrison has been handed a chance to impress and he has more than delivered, suggesting he could be worthy of a regular role under Allardyce – at 4.4 in FPL he’s an enticing option but with Cole and Downing edging towards fitness, there’s no doubt his acquisition won’t come without risk.
- 2 months, 13 days ago
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Is Ramsey a long term rotation risk?
Whilst planning my Walcott/Benteke exit strategy, I was thinking about Ramsey's future in the starting 11 to see if he could feature in my team. Whilst this sounds ludicrous to consider given his recent form, I was trying to think of Arsenal's first team assuming no injuries.
I think the nailed on players are below:
LAM | Ozil | Walcott
CM1 | CM2
I think Cazorla/Podolski/AOC are favoured for the LAM role, which leaves the 2 CM roles. Arteta/Flamini would seem suited to the holding, defensive role with Wilshere/Ramsey candidates for the slightly more advanced role. However, Wilshere is a proven favourite with Wenger and I think starts if he's fit.
To this end - where does Ramsey fit in? Who drops out to make way if he plays? I'd be interested in opinions - especially from Gunners fans.
For this reason I think Ozil is the better candidate for Arsenal coverage, though Ramsey will continue to feature whilst players are out injured and given his recent goal scoring form.
- 2 months, 13 days ago
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I finally broke and got him. Even though i know his numbers will drop off, right now, he is the form player with easy fixtures up and coming. (minus Swansea). I already have ozil and he will remain there for the entire season. Ramsey will probably be rotated eventually, but as long as he's scoring, Wenger will play him. regardless of who comes back.
- 2 months, 13 days ago
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For Gameweek 15
Next Six Ticker
|Down||De Gea||MUN||C, Vs|
|Up||McGregor||HUL||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Speroni||CPL||A, Vs|
|Up||Pantilimon||MCI||B, Rest, £|
|Up||Williamson||NEW||B, Vs, £|
|Down||Evans||MUN||C, Vs, Rest, £|
|Up||Olsson||NOR||C, Vs, £|
|Up||Turner||CAR||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||McAuley||WBA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clark||AVL||A, Vs, Rest, £|
|No Change||Ward||CPL||A, Vs, £|
|Down||Flanagan||LIV||C, VsX, Rest, £|
|No Change||Ramsey||ARS||A, VsX|
|No Change||Ozil||ARS||B, VsX|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, VsX|
|Up||Walcott||ARS||C, VsX, Inj|
|Up||Bannan||CPL||B, Vs, £|
|Down||Sessegnon||WBA||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Whittingham||CAR||B, Vs, £|
|Up||De Guzmán||SWA||C, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Lallana||SOT||C, VsX|
|Up||Morrison||WHM||B, Rest, £|
|Up||Brady||HUL||C, £, Sus|
|Up||Mirallas||EVE||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Suárez||LIV||A, Vs|
|No Change||Aguero||MCI||A, VsX|
|Down||Rooney||MUN||A, Vs, Sus|
|No Change||Giroud||ARS||B, VsX|
|No Change||Long||WBA||B, Vs, Rest, £|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
“He has qualities modern football demands, he is fast, he has a good shot, he can also play on both sides or through the centre. He is multifunctional in attack and I'm very happy the club signed him.”Jose Mourinho talks up his new German forward