Welcome to my first feature-length column for Rotoworld.com. You likely know my name from Twitter or my work from sites like PhysioRoom.com or radio spots on TalkSport and the like. Each week I'll be updating the injury status of players via news blurbs and the injury table here on the Rotoworld site culminating in this column each match week. My goal will be to summarize each club's injury situation and the implications for your fantasy selections. Let's get started because I have an entire summer of injuries to cover and fantasy transfer deadlines are getting closer with every passing minute.
[Get in the game: Play Fantasy Premier League]
Manchester United – vs – Swansea
Louis van Gaal confirmed he could be missing up to nine players as Manchester United kick the 2014/15 British Premier League season into action against Swansea City. Dutch striker Robin van Persie has "no chance" of being available as he continues to work on his fitness with Sam Johnstone, Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans and Danny Welbeck all-out having failed to recover from various ailments although Rafael (groin) does return. Anderson (calf) and Michael Carrick (ankle) remain sidelined. Ashley Young could deputise for Luke Shaw (hamstring) who has been ruled out for up to a month.
Gary Monk will welcome back Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge who missed the clubs final preseason defeat to Villarreal last weekend; Dyer was absent as his wife went into labour with Routledge having an injection to combat foot pain. Summer signing Jefferson Montero will provide options out wide but Leon Britton, Marvin Emnes and Jay Fulton will all miss out with knee injuries. Rory Donnelly could miss up to three months after undergoing ankle surgery following an injury during preseason.
Leicester City – vs – Everton
Marc Albrighton is rated as very doubtful after picking up a groin injury during last weekend’s victory over Werder Bremen; he will be joined by Jamie Vardy (thigh) who has improved but Saturday is likely to come too soon for the player who scored 16 goals last term. However Anthony Knockaert looks to be a surprise inclusion after a return to full training on Thursday; the French wide man was pictured on crutches seven days ago with his ankle in a protective boot but has responded well to treatment. Matthew Upson is out after the defender underwent foot surgery.
Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and Seamus Coleman all returned to full training on Wednesday and manager Martinez will make a late decision on whether to involve the trio at the King Power Stadium. Coleman has worked well after his recent hamstring problem and despite Lukaku and Mirallas lacking match-fitness they could still play a part. Loan signing Christian Atsu should be playing “very soon;” the Chelsea loanee has been “keeping himself very fit.” New boy Muhamed Besic is a player to watch, the Everton manager was full of superlatives for the defensive midfielder describing him as the “complete” player with a “high degree of football intelligence” and the attributes to forge an "incredible" career
QPR – vs – Hull City
No injury concerns for Coach Harry Redknapp; Queens Park Rangers kick-off their return to the Premier League against Hull City on Saturday. New signings Rio Ferdinand, Steven Caulker and Jordan Mutch could all feature with the boss confirming Loic Remy is “likely” to be included after impressing in training. Adel Taarabt will miss out however; the player has not trained since his return from a loan spell in Italy.
Hull City travel to Loftus Road without the services of striker Shane Long who was sold late on Thursday to Southampton. Steve Bruce expects to have a fully fit squad to choose from however Yannick Sagbo (suspended) starts the first of his two game ban. Expect lots of change from Bruce during the early part of this season as the Tigers manager juggles domestic fixtures with a midweek Europa League campaign.