Footstock Midweek Tournaments Preview
With users having the luxury of viewing three of the sets of lineups for the midweek tournaments on Footstock before the deadline for entries, this preview focuses on the remaining three matches. The predicted lineups are therefore not confirmed and are purely the best guess of Footstock’s new partner, WhoScored.
West Ham United vs Chelsea – Wednesday, 8.15 p.m.
Last match: Tottenham 2 vs 0 West Ham
David Moyes’ side have suffered consecutive 2-0 defeats post-lockdown and will want to slow the slide towards the relegation places as soon as possible. However, the Scotsman has probably highlighted the fixtures following this London derby, against Newcastle, Burnley, Norwich and Watford, as the key to survival. The return of Angelo Ogbonna is a boost after makeshift centre back pairings in the last two matches, featuring Declan Rice and then Fabian Balbuena alongside Issa Diop, failed to keep out the opposition. Sebastien Haller is rated 50-50, with fellow Common player Michail Antonio likely to continue up front should he miss out.
Injuries: Robert Snodgrass (out)
Sebastien Haller, Arthur Masuaku (both doubts)
Last matches: Chelsea 2 vs 1 Manchester City (EPL), Leicester 0 vs Chelsea 1 (FA Cup)
Chelsea have won three on the bounce in all competitions since lockdown eased and will be hopeful of continuing that run against the struggling Hammers. However, Frank Lampard’s penchant for rotation makes this an unfortunate choice for the late kick-off. N’Golo Kante has been ever-present in recent weeks, but that may mean he is due a rest, with Jorginho back from suspension an option. Christian Pulisic, who is still rated one-star for the time being, will face a late fitness test, and Ross Barkley will hope to start after scoring the winner off the bench in the FA Cup quarter-final vs Leicester.
Injuries: Marco van Ginkel (out)
Fikayo Tomori, Christian Pulisic, Andreas Christensen (all doubts)
Sheffield United vs Tottenham Hotspur – Thursday, 6 p.m.
Last matches: Manchester United 3 vs 0 Sheffield United (EPL), Sheffield United 1 vs Arsenal 2 (FA Cup)
Sheffield United lack the depth of many other Premier League outfits, so Chris Wilder is unlikely to make major changes from recent games despite a disappointing return to competitive action for the Blades. John Lundstram looks set to miss out after landing awkwardly on his shoulder in the FA Cup. Sander Berge is the obvious replacement. Jack Robinson may continue to deputise for the recovering Jack O’Connell: “We won’t make a high risk decision on him. We want to give him the best chance to fully recover,” Wilder confirmed yesterday.
Injuries: John Lundstram, Jack O’Connell (both doubts)
Last match: Tottenham 2 vs 0 West Ham
Tottenham have been one of the more difficult sides to predict in lineup terms in recent weeks, but Footstock’s resident Spurs expert Callum Lagdon anticipates an unchanged starting 11 from the victory over West Ham. Alternatively, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli could be replaced by Harry Winks and Steven Bergwijn. Gio Lo Celso would then be free to play a more attacking role. Tanguy Ndombele’s future at the club remains in doubt and he seems certain to be benched by Jose Mourinho once more.
Injuries: Juan Foyth, Japhet Tanganga, Troy Parrott (all out)
Manchester City vs Liverpool – Thursday, 8.15 p.m.
Last matches: Chelsea 2 vs 1 Manchester City (EPL), Newcastle 0 vs 2 Manchester City (FA Cup)
This could be a significant moment for those looking to gain an insight into the winners and losers of Pep Roulette between now and the end of the season. In the continued absence of Sergio Aguero through injury, the Catalan opted for Bernardo Silva as a ‘false 9’ in the last league match and gave Gabriel Jesus 90 minutes as the central striker in the weekend cup match. A return to the former system may suggest that is the Premier League template for the time being. David Silva played a little over an hour against the Magpies and may drop out for the more solid option of Rodri against this high-calibre opposition.
Injuries: Sergio Aguero (out)
Eric Garcia (doubt)
Last match: Liverpool 4 vs 0 Crystal Palace
This is the Reds’ first match since Liverpool were crowned Premier League champions, so it remains to be seen to what extent Jurgen Klopp mixes things up in the remaining games. However, it seems unlikely he will risk too many changes against the second best side in the country. If he does field his strongest side, the only real question is whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can displace Gini Wijnaldum in midfield.
Injuries: Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner, Joel Matip, Nathaniel Clyne (all out)