With this week’s player and captain tips out of the way it is time for us to have a look at all the news from this morning’s press conferences as we try and gleam some sort of understanding about how the teams will line up this weekend.
We start this weekend’s team news off at the Etihad as Machester City prepare to take on West Ham. Roberto Mancini has said that James Milner, David Silva and Sergio Aguero all all fit to face the Hammer and he has admitted that he want’s to finish the season as well as possible and win the remainder of their games. The Hammers have no new injury worries ahead of the game with James Tomkins, George Mc Cartney and Dan Potts all still sidelined through injury.
Over at Goodison David Moyes is hopeful of having Phil Jagielka and Darren Gibson fit for the weekend saying that the pair had a “chance” of making it, while Tony Hibbert is unlikely to return as he struggles to pick up match fitness. Martin Jol says Damien Duff will be back for the trip to Everton, while Sascha Riether will have an assessment prior to the trip to Merseyside.
Southampton managers Mauricio Pochettino has moved to assure us that Morgan Schneiderlin will be ok to play against West Brom this weekend. Schneiderlin picked up a knock at the start of the week but Pochettino says “he now looks to be over that”. There was however bad news for James Ward-Prowse, the midfielder suffered a set back in his recovery after picked up an injury while playing for the Under-21s on Sunday and looks unlikely to be available this weekend. For the Baggies, Steve Clark has told us that Peter Odemwingie has recovered from injury and is available, but Chris Brunt has been ruled out of Saturday’s trip to Southampton due to a knee problem and Clark is awaiting news on Billy Jones after he sustained a gashed leg that makes him a doubt for the St Mary’s clash.
Tony Pulis looks like he will once again be without Matthew Etherington as the midfielder continues his recovery from a back injury. There was further bad news for the under pressure Pulis with Charlie Adam, Marc Wilson and Cameron Jerome all doubtful ahead of the Potters game with Norwich and it looks like all three will be subject to a late fitness test. The Canaries are also going to be without one or two for this one with manager Chris Hughton ruling out a return for Michael Turner after he picked up a groin strain against Reading and goalkeeper John Ruddy also looks to be out of the game, Ruddy is nearing a return and will feature for the Norwich under 21′s against Manchester City under 21′s this afternoon, but Hughton admitted that this weekend’s game has come too soon for his number one.
Thankfully for both Wigan and Roberto Martinez the Latics have no new injury worries ahead of their game with Spurs at the DW this Saturday, while AVB has said that Aaron Lennon is back in the frame for the game after he recovered from injury and has trained all week, there was not so good news for William Gallas, Younes Kaboul and Sandro, the trio will remain sidelined this weekend. Injuries were not the only thing on AVB’s mind with the Spurs boss admitting that he had a big decision to make between Adebayor and Defoe up front this weekend.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was relieved to announce that Papiss Cisse will be ok to face Liverpool this weekend and he expects to have Cheick Tiote available, while he feels Hatem Ben Arfa is getting fitter all the time and could feature this weekend. The news on Davide Santon wasn’t so good however with reports suggesting that he may be out for the season with a hamstring problem. Sylvian Marveaux is another set to miss out after he has failed to recover from a groin problem he picked up in round 33.
Liverpool have no new injury concerns with Allen, Sterling and Borini all still out of action, but the big news is that the F.A have announced that Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has not appealed his 10 game ban which was handed down to him for biting Branislav Ivanovic. So the suspension begins with immediate effect and applies to Liverpool FC’s next ten domestic first-team fixtures.
Basement boys Reading will be without Jimmy Kebe, Adam Federici and Hope Akpan for their relegation six pointer with QPR at the Madejski this weekend, while Harry Redknapp will also have to do without Andros Townsend as he struggles with a hamstring injury and there was more bad news for Harry as he awaits news on whether or not Adel Taarabt will be ok to play after he picked up a shoulder injury.
All of Chelsea’s players came through their Europa League semi final unscathed and will be ok for selection this weekend against Swansea. Michael Laudrup’s side are also fighting fit with the manager reporting no new injury concerns ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal will have to do with Olivier GIroud after the strikers appeal over the red card shown to him was unsuccessful, meaning the Frenchman will be forced to sit out three of the Gunners remaining four games. Apart from the absence of Giroud Arsene Wenger has no new injury worries ahead of the visit of the champions elect.
Sir Alex has been up to his old tricks again, having hinted at some squad rotation to come saying:
“Two of the players played (against Villa) with an injury throughout the game. Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick.
“Next week, I should have Vida (Nemanja Vidic) and Rio (Ferdinand) back and I can put Jones into the middle of the pitch and play Vida and Rio together and we’ll get the experience going to Arsenal.
“A lot of younger players, the ones who have been on the fringes for the last few weeks, and I desperately want them to feel their contribution has been big.
“Chicharito, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Nani – I think it’s important to get them involved in the last few weeks.”
Sir Alex then when onto say:
“We have a few bumps and bruises from the other night but it is hopefully nothing serious and I expect to have a strong side on Sunday,” the boss told reporters.
“Having won the league, there’s always a danger of falling into the trap of ‘it’s all over and we can relax’ and enjoy ourselves but I think we’ve got a duty to other clubs who are chasing Champions League places.
“Also, the rivalry we’ve had with Arsenal and then Chelsea over the years does put an edge to these games anyway so hopefully we’ll represent ourselves in the right way.”
So with all that said and done we are still none the wiser as to whether or not we can expect the rotation to kick in this weekend or not, but one thing is for sure, with Anders Lindegaard needing two more games to collect a winners medal we can expect him to come into the side over the remaining four games, but again whether that will be this weekend or not we will have to wait and see!
And finally Aston Villa are nervously awaiting news on Joe Bennett after the defender picked up an ankle injury at Old Trafford on Monday night but apart from that Paul Lambert says his side are fine. While Paolo Di Canio is also without any new injury concerns after he gave his side a clean bill of health ahead of the crunch game at Villa Park on Monday night.
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