Barclays Premier League team news
Saturday, January 19th Liverpool (8) v Norwich (12)Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is pushing for his first Barclays Premier League start after two goals in as many games since his #12million transfer. Defender Jose Enrique is still not fully fit after a hamstring problem, so Glen Johnson will continue to deputise at left-back. Jordan Henderson could challenge for Joe Allen’s place in midfield.
Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson has recovered from the illness which kept him out of the Newcastle game last weekend. Andrew Surman returns to the squad after recovering from a knee injury and Grant Holt (hamstring) has been declared fully fit by manager Chris Hughton after coming on as a substitute against Newcastle. Defender Steven Whittaker (hip) and striker Steve Morison (knee) are still recovering but could return in 10 days.
Last season: Norwich 0 Liverpool 3, Liverpool 1 Norwich 1
Last five league matches: Liverpool W L W W L; Norwich L L L L D
Top scorers (all competitions): Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 19; Robert Snodgrass (Norwich) 5
Match odds: H 2-7 A 9-1 D 9-2
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Man City (2) v Fulham (13)
Forwards Sergio Aguero (hamstring) and Samir Nasri (suspension) are available again for the home clash with Fulham. Midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring), who has been out since October, is in contention for a place on the bench and captain Vincent Kompany is available after having last week’s red card against Arsenal overturned. Midfielder Yaya Toure, defender Kolo Toure and back-up striker Abdul Razak are at the African Nations Cup, while full-backs Micah Richards and Maicon (both knee) are still sidelined.
Fulham boss Martin Jol has confirmed Dimitar Berbatov will return to his side for the clash with champions Manchester City after being rested for Tuesday’s FA Cup third-round replay win over Blackpool. Steve Sidwell is also available after recovering from a hamstring problem but both Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Kerim Frei (pelvis) are still missing.
Last season: Man City 3 Fulham 0, Fulham 2 Man City 2
Last five league matches: Man City W L W W W; Fulham L D L W D
Top scorers (all competitions) : Edin Dzeko (Man City) 11; Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) 7
Match odds: H 1-4 A 10-1 D 5-1
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)
Newcastle (16) v Reading (19)
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew could welcome back defender Steven Taylor against Reading. Taylor has returned to training after recovering from a hamstring injury suffered in November, while striker Shola Ameobi is available after suspension. Fabricio Coloccini looks set to continue in defence despite continuing rumours linking him with a move back to Argentina, but Hatem Ben Arfa remains sidelined.
Right-back Stephen Kelly looks set to make his Reading debut after his move from Fulham. Midfielder Hope Akpan could also start his first match for the Royals following his move from Crawley. Striker Jason Roberts (hip) and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) are out, but midfielder Mikele Leigertwood is available after recovering from an unspecified knock.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Newcastle W L L L D; Reading L D W L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Papiss Cisse (Newcastle) 6; Adam Le Fondre & Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) 8
Match odds: H 3-4 A 7-2 D 11-4
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)
Swansea (9) v Stoke (10)
Swansea will be without midfielder Kemy Agustien for the visit of Stoke with the Dutchman facing a four-week spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury. Danny Graham is set to be included despite Swansea receiving two bids for the striker, while loan signing Roland Lamah is in line for his debut after joining from Osasuna. The likes of Ben Davies, Ashley Williams, Michu, Angel Rangel and Ki Sung-yueng could all return to the starting line-up.
Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson is a doubt after coming off in the FA Cup replay against Crystal Palace on Tuesday with a back problem. Fellow full-back Ryan Shotton (hamstring) could return along with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and midfielder Charlie Adam, who were rested. Manager Tony Pulis says he has a “big decision” over whether or not to bring striker Kenwyne Jones back into the first XI.
Last season: Stoke 2 Swansea 0, Swansea 2 Stoke 0
Last five league matches: Swansea D D W D D; Stoke D W D L L
Top scorers (all competitions): Miguel Michu (Swansea) 16; Jonathan Walters (Stoke) 8
Match odds: H 23-20 A 5-2 D 11-5
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
West Brom (7) v Aston Villa (18)
West Brom boss Steve Clarke will check on the fitness of a trio of players before finalising his side. Midfielder Claudio Yacob (hamstring) and strikers Shane Long (dead leg) and Marc-Antoine Fortune (hamstring) will be assessed after recent spells on the sidelines. But right-back Steven Reid will miss the game as a precaution after suffering a knock on the bone he fractured in his leg against Arsenal last month.
Aston Villa skipper Ron Vlaar is in contention to return after a seven-week absence with a calf injury. The Dutchman was an unused substitute against Southampton last weekend and has since put in a full week’s training. Left-back Joe Bennett is also available after a bout of flu and head coach Paul Lambert will check on the fitness of striker Darren Bent (knee). Winger Marc Albrighton and defender Chris Herd are still ruled out with foot injuries.
Last season: West Brom 0 Aston Villa 0, Aston Villa 1 West Brom 2
Last five league matches: West Brom W W L L L; Aston Villa L L L D L
Top scorers (all competitions): Romelu Lukaku (West Brom) 9; Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 12
Match odds: H 7-10 A 19-5 D 14-5
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
West Ham (11) v QPR (20)
West Ham should have defender Joey O’Brien back from a hamstring injury for the first time since New Year’s Day. Centre-back James Collins (hamstring) will be assessed, but midfielder Mark Noble has shrugged off a calf problem while Joe Cole comes into contention having been rested for the midweek FA Cup loss at Manchester United. New signing Wellington Paulista may need more time before being included. Mali forward Modibo Maiga is away at the African Nations Cup. QPR’s new signing Loic Remy will feature at West Ham. Junior Hoilett (hamstring) returns, but Esteban Granero (hamstring) and Armand Traore (knock) are doubtful. Samba Diakite is at the African Nations Cup, Jose Bosingwa (back) is out and Andrew Johnson (knee) and Bobby Zamora (hip) are absent.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: West Ham D L L W L; QPR L L L W D
Top scorers (all competitions): Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 5; DJ Campbell (QPR) 10
Match odds: H 21-20 A 13-5 D 12-5
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)
Wigan (17) v Sunderland (14)
Wigan are likely to revert to a more familiar line-up after making nine changes in the FA Cup in midweek. But manager Roberto Martinez has issues in defence with Antolin Alcaraz (groin) training but not yet match-fit and Ivan Ramis (knee) ruled out for the season. Midfielder Roger Espinoza and striker Angelo Henriquez are pushing for places but defender Adrian Lopez (hamstring) and midfielders Ben Watson (broken leg), Albert Crusat (knee) and Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) are still out.
Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill will hope to have John O’Shea and Steven Fletcher back at his disposal. O’Shea was rested for Tuesday’s FA Cup defeat by Bolton after complaining of tightness in his hamstring and Fletcher missed out through illness, but both are expected to return. Defender Kader Mangane and midfielder Alfred N’Diaye could be included after being ineligible in midweek, but skipper Lee Cattermole is likely to miss out despite returning as a substitute against Bolton after aggravating his knee problem.
Last season: Wigan 1 Sunderland 4, Sunderland 1 Wigan 2
Last five league matches: Wigan L L W L D; Sunderland W W L L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Jordi Gomez & Arouna Kone (Wigan) 6; Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) 8
Match odds: H 11-10 A 13-5 D 23-10
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
Sunday, January 20th
Chelsea (3) v Arsenal (6)
Chelsea captain John Terry could make his first start since November. Terry, who came off the bench at Stoke last weekend, will have a test tomorrow on his knee injury before interim manager Rafael Benitez decides whether to start the defender. Nigeria duo John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses are at the African Nations Cup while long-term absentee Oriol Romeu (knee) remains sidelined.
Arsenal will have defender Laurent Koscielny back from a one-match suspension, but injured midfielder duo Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky (both calf) remain sidelined. Forward Gervinho is away at the African Nations Cup with Ivory Coast.
Last season: Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0, Chelsea 3 Arsenal 5
Last five league matches: Chelsea W W L W D; Arsenal W W W D L
Top scorers (all competitions): Demba Ba (Chelsea) 16; Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 14
Match odds: H 4-5 A 10-3 D 13-5
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)
Tottenham (4) v Man Utd (1)
Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker could make his first Barclays Premier League start of the season against Manchester United. Brazil international Sandro has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage in the draw at QPR last weekend and Parker, who has not started a league game since April, is likely to replace him. Striker Emmanuel Adebayor is at the African Nations Cup while defenders William Gallas (calf) and Younes Kaboul (knee) remain absent.
Manchester United defender Jonny Evans again misses out with a slight hamstring strain which saw him sit out training on Friday. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to make plenty of changes following the midweek FA Cup win over West Ham, with Robin van Persie among those set to return.
Last season: Tottenham 1 Man Utd 3, Man Utd 3 Tottenham 0
Last five league matches: Tottenham D W W W D; Man Utd D W W W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 14; Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 21
Match odds: H 15-8 A 7-5 D 12-5
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)
Monday, January 21st
Southampton (15) v Everton (5)
Winger Kevin Mirallas is not expected to be risked when Everton travel to Southampton after virtually two months out with a hamstring injury. The Belgian is reported to be back in training but, after attempting to come back last month and breaking down again, manager David Moyes will not want to rush him. Defender Johnny Heitinga could return after missing the last two games with a knock but full-back Tony Hibbert (calf) and midfielder Darron Gibson (thigh) remain on the sidelines.
Southampton’s new manager Mauricio Pochettino must decide whether to bring top scorer Rickie Lambert back into the starting line-up for the clash with Everton. Lambert came off the bench to head his 10th Barclays Premier League goal of the season in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea. Pochettino, taking charge of his first game since replacing Nigel Adkins, will monitor the fitness of Adam Lallana who has returned to light training after a knee injury.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Southampton D D D W D; Everton W W L W D
Top scorers (all competitions): Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 10; Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 9
Match odds: H 12-5 A 21-20 D 13-5
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)