Premier League team news
A look ahead to the weekend’s cross-channel action
Saturday, October 26th
Aston Villa (13) v Everton (7)
Christian Benteke could return to Aston Villa’s starting line-up following his recent hip injury. The Belgian striker was back in action as a substitute in last weekend’s defeat by Tottenham. Defender Ciaran Clark is available after illness, leaving long-term absentees Jores Okore (knee), Charles N’Zogbia (Achilles) and Gary Gardner (back) as manager Paul Lambert’s only casualties.
Defender Johnny Heitinga is a doubt for Everton. Manager Roberto Martinez revealed the Holland international suffered tissue damage in training and has rated his chances of being involved at 50/50. Steven Pienaar will be pushing for a start after recovering from a hamstring problem to score as a substitute against Hull, but Antolin Alcaraz (hernia) and Darron Gibson (knee) remain sidelined.
Last season: Everton 3 Aston Villa 3, Aston Villa 1 Everton 3
Last five league matches: Aston Villa L W W D L; Everton W W W L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 5; Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 4
Match odds: H 5-2 A 11-10 D 12-5
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).
Crystal Palace (19) v Arsenal (1)
Crystal Palace caretaker manager Keith Millen has no new injury concerns as he takes charge of the Eagles for the first time, following Ian Holloway’s departure. Only captain Paddy McCarthy, who has returned to training after a prolonged spell on the sidelines with a groin injury, and Glenn Murray (knee) remain sidelined.
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere (ankle) will be assessed. Mathieu Flamini comes back into contention after he missed the midweek Champions League defeat against Borussia Dortmund with concussion. England forward Theo Walcott remains sidelined following a minor setback after surgery on an abdominal problem. Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) are also all still recovering.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Crystal Palace L L L L L; Arsenal W W W D W
Top scorers (all competitions): Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) 2; Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) 9
Match odds: H 13-2 A 4-11 D 4-1
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).
Liverpool (3) v West Brom (12)
Midfielder Lucas Leiva returns to the Liverpool squad having missed last week’s draw at Newcastle after the birth of his second child. Playmaker Philippe Coutinho has returned to training after shoulder trouble but is more likely to be involved against Arsenal next weekend. Left-back Jose Enrique is likely to miss a second successive game as his knee problem continues to be managed.
Winger Scott Sinclair misses out for West Brom and is still recovering from the hamstring injury he sustained against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Goalkeeper Ben Foster is progressing well in his 12-week recovery from a stress fracture in a bone in his right foot, while George Thorne and Zoltan Gera are said to have “little niggles”.
Last season: Liverpool 0 West Brom 2, West Brom 3 Liverpool 0
Last five league matches: Liverpool D L W W D; West Brom D W W D D
Top scorers (all competitions): Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) 9; Saido Berahino (West Brom) 5
Match odds: H 4-11 A 15-2 D 19-5
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).
Manchester United (8) v Stoke (16)
Robin van Persie is set to return for Manchester United. The Holland striker missed the Champions League win over Real Sociedad with a combination of niggling injuries, but has recovered and could partner Wayne Rooney. Striker Danny Welbeck (knee) and midfielder Tom Cleverley (calf) are unlikely to figure for the home side.
Captain Ryan Shawcross and defender Geoff Cameron are Stoke’s major doubts. Shawcross has not trained all week due to illness, whilst Cameron missed last week’s draw with West Brom after sustaining a calf injury. Stoke have not won at Old Trafford since 1976 and have lost on their last 10 visits.