Premier League injury and team news

Busy Christmas period gets underway with full weekend programme of games

Jonathan Walters is a doubt for Stoke’s home game against Aston Villa with an ankle injury. Photograph:  Dave Thompson/PA

Jonathan Walters is a doubt for Stoke’s home game against Aston Villa with an ankle injury. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

Fri, Dec 20, 2013, 17:24


Crystal Palace (18) v Newcastle (6)
Defender Dean Moxey has recovered from a hamstring injury but Palace manager Tony Pulis will have to give late fitness tests to midfield duo Stuart O’Keefe and Kagisho Dikgacoi, who both have small muscular complaints. Jack Hunt, Glenn Murray, Jerome Thomas and Adlene Guedioura and Jonny Williams are all definite absentees.

France midfielder Yohan Cabaye will return to the Newcastle squad after suspension, giving manager Alan Pardew more or less a full complement of players from which to choose – with no fresh injury concerns having arisen.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Crystal Palace W L W W L; Newcastle W W L W D
Top scorers (all competitions): Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) 4; Loic Remy (Newcastle) 8
Match odds: H 2-1 A 7-5 D 11-5
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Fulham (19) v Man City (4)
Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen has no new injury worries. Striker Hugo Rodallega has resumed training after his lengthy lay-off with a muscle injury but is unlikely to be rushed back into the squad. Central defender Brede Hangeland is making good progress after surgery on his sciatic nerve complaint as is defender Matthew Briggs after his hernia operation.

City have a problem at right back with Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards (both hamstring) injured. Possible alternatives include central defender Dedryck Boyata, midfielder James Milner or left backs Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov. The forward line is also weakened by the absence of top scorer Sergio Aguero (calf) and Stevan Jovetic (illness) is not ready to return. Defender Matija Nastasic (calf) is also still out.

Last season: Man City 2 Fulham 0, Fulham 1 Man City 2
Last five league matches:
Fulham L L L W L; Man City W W W D W
Top scorers (all competitions):
Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) 4; Sergio Aguero (Man City) 19
Match odds:
H 7-1 A 4-11 D 4-1
Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Liverpool (2) v Cardiff (15)
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers may stick with the same side which beat Tottenham 5-0. Captain Steven Gerrard is sidelined by a hamstring injury, while striker Daniel Sturridge (ankle) and left back Jose Enrique (knee) are out until the new year.

Cardiff have no new injury concerns. Craig Bellamy could return from a hamstring injury while Craig Noone may feature against his boyhood club. Andreas Cornelius is pushing for a first Premier League start but is likely to again have to settle for a place on the bench behind Fraizer Campbell.

Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:
Liverpool D L W W W; Cardiff D L D L W
Top scorers (all competitions):
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 17; Fraizer Campbell
(Cardiff) 3
Match odds:
H 2-9 A 12-1 D 5-1
Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

Man Utd (8) v West Ham (17)
United winger Nani has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, joining Robin van Persie (thigh) and Michael Carrick (Achilles) on the sidelines. Wayne Rooney could be available after a groin injury as United look to avoid a third successive league defeat on home soil for the first time since 1979.

Hammers defender James Tomkins is back in contention after a groin injury but captain Kevin Nolan again misses out through suspension while Winston Reid (ankle), Stewart Downing (calf), Andy Carroll (heel), Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) and Mladen Petric (thigh) are all injured.

Last season: West Ham 2 Man Utd 2, Man Utd 1 West Ham 0
Last five league matches:
Man Utd D D L L W; West Ham L W L L D
Top scorers (all competitions):
Wayne Rooney & Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 10; Ravel Morrison (West Ham) 5
Match odds:
H 1-3 A 8-1 D 4-1
Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Stoke (13) v Aston Villa (11)

Stoke boss Mark Hughes hopes captain Ryan Shawcross will be fit to face Villa – the defender suffered a groin problem in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup defeat by Manchester United and will be given a late fitness test. Shawcross’s absence would be a major blow given his centre back partner Robert Huth (knee) is still out, while strikers Peter Crouch (groin) and Jonathan Walters (ankle) are also doubts and midfielder Stephen Ireland cannot play against his parent club.

Villa are without suspended forward Gabriel Agbonlahor but midfielder Fabian Delph has served a ban of his own. Gary Gardner has returned to first-team involvement having recovered from a back complaint and fellow midfielder Chris Herd should be fit to play after a facial injury. Defender Ron Vlaar (calf) is still a major doubt, while it remains to be seen whether or not striker Christian Benteke – now without a goal in his last 10 Villa appearances – retains his starting place.

Last season: Stoke 1 Aston Villa 3, Aston Villa 0 Stoke 0
Last five league matches: Stoke W L D W D; Aston Villa D D W L L
Top scorers (all competitions): Peter Crouch & Kenwyne Jones (Stoke) 4; Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 5
Match odds: H 13-10 A 11-5 D 11-5
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

Sunderland (20) v Norwich (14)

Black Cats boss Gus Poyet can bring back striker Steven Fletcher and midfielder Jack Colback, who missed the midweek Capital One Cup win over Chelsea due to illness but have returned to training. Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) and defender Carlos Cuellar (hip) are both still missing.

Striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel (toe) and winger Robert Snodgrass (knee) are set to be back in Norwich’s squad. Goalkeeper Mark Bunn is back training after his ankle operation and could be involved again but midfielder Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) remains sidelined, along with winger Elliott Bennett (knee) and midfielder Alexander Tettey (ankle).

Last season: Sunderland 1 Norwich 1, Norwich 2 Sunderland 1
Last five league matches:
Sunderland L D L L D; Norwich L W L W D
Top scorers (all competitions):
Phil Bardsley & Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland) 3; Gary Hooper (Norwich) 6
Match odds:
H 21-20 A 13-5 D 12-5
Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

West Brom (16) v Hull (12)

Goalkeeper Ben Foster could return from a foot injury for West Brom, whose caretaker boss Keith Downing has no other injury worries to contend with.

Midfielder Robbie Brady is out with a groin injury which means he is a doubt for all Hull’s matches over the Christmas period. Sone Aluko (Achilles) and Stephen Quinn (hamstring) remain long-term absentees.

Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:
West Brom D L L L L; Hull L W L D D
Top scorers:
Saido Berahino (West Brom) 6; Robbie Brady & Matt Fryatt (Hull) 4
Match odds:
H 10-11 A 3-1 D 5-2
Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)


Southampton (9) v Tottenham (7)
Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino will definitely have to do without the injured Artur Boruc, Kelvin Davis, Danny Fox, Guly do Prado and Victor Wanyama, while defender Nathaniel Clyne will face a fitness test on his hamstring complaint.

Tottenham are without Andros Townsend, who was forced off during Spurs’ Capital One Cup loss to West Ham with a hamstring injury. Caretaker manager Tim Sherwood will have captain Michael Dawson available after a ban but Paulinho is still suspended and defensive duo Younes Kaboul (thigh) and Jan Vertonghen (ankle) are also missing.

Last season: Tottenham 1 Southampton 0, Southampton 1 Tottenham 2
Last five league matches:
Southampton L L L D D; Tottenham L D W W L
Top scorers (all competitions):
Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) 7; Jermain Defoe & Roberto Soldado (Tottenham) 9
Match odds:
H 8-5 A 8-5 D 12-5
Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Swansea (10) v Everton (5)

Swansea forward Michu is a doubt with an ankle problem, while Nathan Dyer is facing a long spell on the sidelines after suffering ankle ligament damage at Norwich. Goalkeeper Michel Vorm has undergone ankle surgery, knee trouble continues to keep out Garry Monk but midfielder Leon Britton and defender Chico Flores should return from a toe injury and suspension respectively.

Everton have James McCarthy available after a ban but on-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu has been ruled out for between six and eight weeks with the hamstring injury he sustained against Fulham, and Tony Hibbert (knee) is not yet ready for first-team involvement again. Fellow defender Leighton Baines is pencilled in for a St Stephen’s Day return from a broken toe.

Last season: Everton 0 Swansea 0, Swansea 0 Everton 3
Last five league matches:
Swansea W L W D D; Everton D W W D W
Top scorers (all competitions):
Wilfried Bony (Swansea) 9; Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 8
Match odds:
H 21-10 A 13-10 D 23-10
Lee Mason (Lancashire)


Arsenal (1) v Chelsea (3)
Arsenal will be without midfielder Jack Wilshere, who starts a two-match ban. Defender Laurent Koscielny is a major doubt after suffering a gash to his knee in the loss at Manchester City but German forward Lukas Podolski is available after a hamstring injury. Forward Yaya Sanogo (back), midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) are all out.

Chelsea left back Ashley Cole is to return to the subs’ bench at best. With Branislav Ivanovic available after a ban, the defender will return at right back, with Cesar Azpilicueta reverting to left back and Cole dropping out of the side. Captain John Terry will also return, but Michael Essien is banned and fellow midfielder Marco van Ginkel (knee) is also out.

Last season: Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1, Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2
Last five league matches: Arsenal W W W D L; Chelsea W W W L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) 13; Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 8
Match odds: H 11-8 A 19-10 D 12-5
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

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