Manchester United hosts West Brom on Saturday in the first of many games for the Red Devils in the month of April. The international break was not kind to Utd as the defense was hit with a pair of injuries to central defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, plus Marouane Fellaini picked up a minor one of his own but could still feature. And José Mourinho will be hoping that the Belgian big man will be fit enough as Paul Pogba also remains sidelined while Ander Herrera serves the last game of his suspension. And speaking of suspensions, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in the same situation as he will also have to wait one more game to make his return. So the attacking onus will fall to a combination of Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford. Wayne Rooney is also set to return after a lengthy absence and it comes at the perfect time. Utd sit in 5th place currently and will be looking to start a push for the top 4 with win at Old Trafford.
Premier League Fantasy Football is back after the International break and there is plenty to talk about, injuries, travel concerns, etc. It’s all in my latest GW Preview up on the Draft Fantasy blog:
England continued their World Cup Qualifying campaign on Sunday with a home matchup v. Lithuania at Wembley Stadium. The Three Lions were sitting atop of Group F heading into the game having picked up 10 (3W-1D-0L) of a possible 12 points so far and had yet to concede a goal against. Lithuania (1W-2D-1L) were in 4th position on 5 points and would need to pull off a big upset to get back into mix. England were coming off of a 1-0 loss to Germany in a midweek friendly but it was a good effort that showed a lot of promise. Shortly after their last qualifying win, Gareth Southgate was named the full time manager and here is how he lined his squad up for this important qualifier:
The TDA Bulls wrapped up their regular season on Friday night in a game v. Barcelona #1. First place was already a guarantee but both these teams come to play every night so it was expected to be a good one. There was a major pre-game announcement as the news trickled in that Doug had his unjust suspension reduced and was back eligible to play, it was about time the “Attica!, Attica!” chants were taken seriously, unfortunately a back injury delayed his return. Justin was also missing for the men so Brandon got the call to sub once again. For the ladies, Captain Carolyn was the only omission as she went out of town which practically handed the Golden Boot to Kim. And the final bit of pre-game info to mention is that Barcelona wears a shade of green so instead of wearing the bibs (because those are for babies) the Bulls decided to wear Red on this night. Here is how the action went down:
Before we get to the Game 8 Recap, let’s first take care of Game 7 for those readers that were distraught at the lack of a blog post last week. It was Spring Break so Crown had over half of their regulars on vacation, plus it was an 11:30pm game time so subs were hard to come by. This all led to a Forfeit loss to Black Ops which had the standindgs looking like this:
So what did this mean for Crown you ask? It meant that the only way the playoff round was possible was for Crown to knock off the undefeated top-placed Honey Badgers and then hope other results go their way, a tough ask for sure. It was another game with a personnel crisis with regulars Captain Keller, Mark, Eddie, Jeremy and John out, so subs were called as Simon, Micah, Rob and Pistol stepped up to help out. There was a bit of pre-game texting banter going on which included this confidence booster from our very own Captain:
Manchester Utd travelled to take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium for the early kickoff on Sunday looking to move into 5th place with a win. Their opponent were in desperate need of 3 pts of their own as they went into the game in 19th position in the Premier League and in real relegation danger. José Mourinho did not have his full complement of players to choose from due to injury and suspension. The influential duo of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera were serving their respective bans and Wayne Rooney continued to be out, but Antony Martial was available from the bench. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was perhaps a surprise omission from the starting eleven which looked like this:
It was 1st v 2nd on Friday night as the TDA Bulls took on Reccos FC but there was the added complication of it being Spring Break week and St. Patrick’s Day so the Bulls were struggling to field a full lineup. Already without the suspended Doug, TDA were also without the services of Captain Carolyn, Tyler, Ricardo and Claudia for various reasons. So Ryan was called in to sub in the goal and Brandon on the field. There was also a scare in the lead up to the game as Kim had some babysitting issues but they were resolved so the Bulls had just enough to field a full team with no subs.
The games keep coming for Man Utd as they visit Middlesbrough on Sunday in Premier League action. The Red Devils are coming off of a triumph over Russian side Rostov in Europa League action on Thursday which saw them advance to the Quarter Finals of the competition. Unfortunately, the bad news from the game was that Utd’s recent injury woes continued with the loss of Paul Pogba. He joins a list of sidelined players which has included Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial most notably and it is compounded by the fact that both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera are suspended for this matchup too. Utd’s depth will be tested but the good news is that the backline is mostly in tact so that should not be an issue and Marouane Fellaini can fill in at centre mid. There is still plenty of skill in attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard likely to be named to the starting eleven.
Manchester United took on Rostov in the 2nd leg of their Round of 16 matchup on Thursday at Old Trafford holding a slim away goal lead after tying 1-1 in the 1st leg in Russia. José Mourinho could once again call on the services of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is serving a domestic ban, and it was a good thing because Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney were not available for selection due to injury. It was still a lineup that oozed creativity with Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba joining Zlatan in attack. Here is a look at the full starting eleven for this all important deciding game:
There is a sense of relief for Premier League Fantasy Football managers as GW29 has a full set of games to choose from. Check out my latest Preview article for Draft Fantasy Football: