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West Ham have striker Carlton Cole available after his red card against Everton last weekend was rescinded.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.