Premier League team news
A look ahead to the weekend's fixtures in the English Premiership
Arsenal v Newcastle
Striker Olivier Giroud and midfielder Tomas Rosicky have both recovered from illness and are available for the Gunners. Defender Andre Santos (stomach muscle) and midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) are expected to return to training next week, while back-up goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is missing with a foot injury.
Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote returns from a one-match ban and should come straight in for Vurnon Anita, who suffered an ankle injury in the 4-3 defeat to Manchester United. Centre-half Mike Williamson is suspended after collecting his fifth booking of the season and Jonas Gutierrez (knee) misses out.
Odds: Arsenal 1-2 Draw 3-1 Newcastle 6-1
QPR v Liverpool
QPR defender Ryan Nelsen is a doubt to a virus. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar with a back injury, full-back Nedum Onuoha and midfielder Park Ji-sung who has a knee problem are also doubts. Strikers Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora are sidelined with long-term injuries.
Striker Luis Suarez has been playing with a swollen ankle in recent weeks but is expected to play. “Luis will be fine,” Brendan Rodgers told a news conference yesterday. “Hes been playing with a bad ankle for a couple of weeks and took a heavy knock the other night, but he’s fine.” Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling could be rested and Joe Allen could be recalled.
Odds: QPR 11-4 Draw 5-2 Liverpool evens
Reading v West Ham
Midfielder Danny Guthrie could make his second appearance inside a week after he impressed manager Brian McDermott on his comeback in the Royals’ draw with Swansea. Veteran striker Jason Roberts has missed the last four matches with a hip injury. Defender Sean Morrison is still sidelined with ankle injury.
West Ham have striker Carlton Cole available after his red card against Everton last weekend was rescinded. Otherwise, Sam Allardyce is short of attackers, with Andy Carroll out with a knee problem, Ricardo Vaz Te recovering from a dislocated shoulder, Mohamed Diame dealing with a hamstring strain and Yossi Benayoun back at parent club Chelsea.
Odds: Reading 17-10 Draw 9-4 West Ham 13-8
Norwich v Man City
Defender Steven Whittaker will miss out for Norwich with an ongoing hip injury, with Andrew Surman also unlikely to feature as he continues his recovery from a knee problem. Ryan Bennett is back in contention after returning to the bench against Chelsea , while John Ruddy (thigh) is the side’s only long-term absentee.
Midfielder Samir Nasri (hamstring) could return for City and defender Gael Clichy has also recovered from a knock. Striker Carlos Tevez is available after taking a day off training due to illness and Pablo Zabaleta’s cut head is not a problem, but forward Mario Balotelli (virus) remains a doubt. Full-backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Maicon (both knee) are still out .
Odds: Norwich 9-2 Draw 3-1 Man City 8-13
Aston Villa v Wigan
Defender Nathan Baker is the latest Aston Villa player to sustain injury after he picked up a hamstring problem on St Stephen’s Day. Baker joins captain Ron Vlaar (calf), Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh), Charles N’Zogbia (knee), Darren Bent (hamstring), Richard Dunne (groin) and Andreas Weimann (calf) on the sidelines.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is considering making changes at Villa Park, with Franco di Santo among those angling for a recall. The game is likely to come too soon for defender Ivan Ramis, who is still to make an appearance after suffering a hamstring injury at the end of last month. Wigan have lost their last three league games.
Odds: Villa 11-8 Draw 11-5 Wigan 21-10
Everton v Chelsea
Everton midfielder Darron Gibson is hoping to prove his fitness in order to feature against Chelsea after his red card in last week’s win at West Ham was overturned. Ireland international right-back Séamus Coleman could return after a knock but Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini completes a three-match ban. Defender Tony Hibbert has a hamstring problem and striker Kevin Mirallas is still out with a calf injury.
Ramires is expected to return but tomorrow’s game is set to come too soon for defender John Terry (knee), while striker Daniel Sturridge could be omitted from the squad again ahead of his proposed move to Liverpool.
Odds: Everton 15-8 Draw 9-4 Chelsea 6-4
Stoke v Southampton
Stoke manager Tony Pulis will be forced into a defensive reshuffle as captain Ryan Shawcross and right-back Geoff Cameron both serve one-match bans.
Matthew Upton and Ryan Shotton are the two most likely deputies.
Southampton captain Adam Lallana will be on the sidelines once again as his persistent knee problem keeps him out of the reckoning.
Manager Nigel Adkins revealed one or two unnamed players picked up knocks in the 1-1 draw with Fulham on St Stephen’s Day, but expects them to be available at the Britannia Stadium.
Odds: Stoke 4-5 Draw 5-2 Southampton 15-4
Sunderland v Spurs
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill will be without full-back Danny Rose as he is ineligible to face his parent club . John O’Shea could return to the back four after missing the victory over Manchester City through illness.
Clint Dempsey and Tom Huddlestone have a chance of returning from their respective groin and knee injuries. Benoit Assou-Ekotto may make his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury while Scott Parker could also make his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the last three games. Mousa Dembele should be fit but defender Younes Kaboul is out.
Odds: Sunderland 13-5 Draw 23-10 Tottenham 11-10
Man Utd v West Brom
Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck could both be back to bolster Manchester United’s attacking options after the pair missed the St Stephen’s Day win over Newcastle with minor ailments. Shinji Kagawa (knee) may also be involved for the first time since October, but Wayne Rooney (knee) and Phil Jones miss out and veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are expected to be rested.
West Brom have doubts over defenders Jonas Olsson (groin) and Goran Popov (hamstring) as well as midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu (hamstring) after a bruising St Stephen’s Day win at QPR. Claudio Yacob (hamstring) remains sidelined.
Odds: Man Utd 3-10 Draw 9-2 West Brom 9-1
Fulham v Swansea
Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz has been passed fit to start against the Swans. The Costa Rica international made his return from a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with Southampton, playing the second half on St Stephen’s Day. Mahamadou Diarra and Mladen Petric are doubts, while former Ireland international Damien Duff could miss out again.
Top scorer Michu will miss the journey due to the ankle injury he suffered in the St Stephens Day Day draw at Reading. Danny Graham, Itay Shechter and Luke Moore will compete for his place in attack. Winger Pablo Hernandez and full-back Angel Rangel are set to return from thigh and ankle problems respectively fro Michael Laudrups men.
Odds: Fulham 23-20 Draw 23-10 Swansea 5-2