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FPL team news: Austin blow for bosses

The Scout 10 Dec 2016
Crystal Palace v Southampton, 3 December

Popular Southampton forward ruled out of Gameweek 15, but Chelsea duo expected to be fit

Charlie Austin’s (£6.9m) Fantasy Premier League owners are on the lookout for a replacement after the Southampton forward was ruled out of the Gameweek 15 home match against Middlesbrough.

Sitting in 15.5% of FPL squads, Austin suffered a shoulder injury in the UEFA Europa League tie last night and will be assessed over the next few days.

There are fears he may be set for a spell on the sidelines, with an FPL exodus expected over the busy festive period. More than 87,000 FPL managers have sold him in the last 24 hours.

Southampton manager Claude Puel is likely to hand Shane Long (£6.1m) or Nathan Redmond (£6.0m) the lone-forward role at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Diego Costa (£10.8m) and Pedro (£7.3m) are both expected to recover from knocks from the previous Gameweek for Chelsea’s home match  with West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Willian (£7.1m) could challenge Pedro for a spot on the right of the Chelsea front three after emerging from the bench to score against Manchester City last weekend.

Cesc Fabregas (£6.9m) may retain his start ahead of the fit-again Nemanja Matic (£5.1m) in central midfield after impressing at the Etihad Stadium, while West Brom head to Stamford Bridge with doubts over Gareth McAuley’s (£4.9m) fitness. 

Liverpool's Sadio Mane (£9.3m) and Joel Matip (£5.5m) are expected to recover for Sunday’s visit from West Ham United after both returned to training in the week.

West Ham will welcome back Michail Antonio (£6.7m) and Aaron Cresswell (£5.3m) after conceding five times at home to Arsenal in Gameweek 14.

Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin (£6.4m) faces a late test after stepping up his recovery from an ankle injury ahead of a home match against Stoke City.

Last season’s top-scoring FPL defender has missed the last three Gameweeks, yet remains in 15.7% of squads. 

Stoke will likely be without captain Ryan Shawcross (£4.9m), with Marc Muniesa (£4.2m) in line to retain his place after featuring in back-to-back clean sheets, grabbing a goal in the process.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche remains optimistic over the fitness of Tom Heaton (£4.8m) for a home encounter with AFC Bournemouth.

Owned by 13.8% of FPL managers, the Clarets’ first-choice goalkeeper has missed the last two Gameweeks due to a calf complaint, yet is placed second in the goalkeeper standings, only five points behind Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois (£5.7m).

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