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.
Last season: Stoke 0 Manchester United 2, Manchester United 4 Stoke 2
Last five league matches: Manchester United W L L W D; Stoke D L L L D
Top scorers (all competitions): Robin van Persie (Manchester United) 7; Kenwyne Jones (Stoke) 3
Match odds: H 1-3 A 9-1 D 19-5
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).
Norwich (18) v Cardiff (17)
Norwich record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel will have his fitness assessed following a foot injury. Swedish forward Johan Elmander is expected to return to the squad after suffering a hamstring injury on international duty. Winger Elliott Bennett continues his recovery from knee surgery.
Craig Bellamy will return to the Cardiff matchday squad. The Wales striker was rested for last weekend’s defeat at Chelsea after playing 90 minutes against Macedonia and Belgium for his country. Jordon Mutch is set to continue in midfield after another positive performance at Stamford Bridge while Kim Bo-kyung may line up alongside him having been on the bench in London.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Norwich L L W L L; Cardiff D L W L L
Top scorers (all competitions): Gary Hooper, Anthony Pilkington, Steven Whittaker, Johan Elmander & Jonathan Howson (Norwich) 2; Peter Odemwingie, Jordon Mutch & Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff) 2
Match odds: H 6-5 A 23-10 D 23-10
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).
Southampton (6) v Fulham (14)
Midfielder Steven Davis is a doubt for Southampton. The Northern Ireland captain picked up a knock in the draw against Manchester United last weekend and faces a late fitness test. Midfielder Gaston Ramirez could return to the squad after missing out last weekend.
Captain Brede Hangeland is expected to miss the game for Fulham because of a nerve injury in his leg. Midfielder Bryan Ruiz is doubtful due to a back injury. Defender Aaron Hughes could make his first appearance since August 31st if he overcomes a thigh injury, but full-back Matthew Briggs (hernia) is still out.
Last season: Fulham 1 Southampton 1, Southampton 2 Fulham 2
Last five league matches: Southampton D W W W D; Fulham D L L W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Steven Davis, Adam Lallana, Gaston Ramirez, Jay Rodriguez & Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 2; Darren Bent (Fulham) 3
Match odds: H 6-10 A 9-2 D 3-1
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).
Sunday, October 27th
Chelsea (2) v Manchester City (4)
Ashley Cole is available again for Chelsea. The England left-back has been absent with a rib problem, but is expected to slot into the side in place of Cesar Azpilicueta, the right-back who played on the left in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Schalke. Midfielder Marco van Ginkel, who is out for the long term with a knee injury, is the only injury absentee.
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is still sidelined by a thigh problem and will miss Sunday’s clash at Chelsea. Midfielder Jack Rodwell is fit to be involved after a hamstring injury, according to manager Manuel Pellegrini. Defender Martin Demichelis has made progress from a knee injury having not yet featured since his summer arrival.
Last season: Manchester City 2 Chelsea 0, Chelsea 0 Manchester City 0
Last five league matches: Chelsea L W D W W; Manchester City D W L W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Oscar & Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 5; Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) 9
Match odds: H 11-8 A 19-10 D 12-5
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).
Tottenham (5) v Hull (9)
Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul are set to be absent for Tottenham. They have toe and adductor complaints respectively. Etienne Capoue is also likely to miss out, while Zeki Fryers is a doubt after limping off in the first half of Thursday’s Europa League victory at Sheriff Tiraspol. Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend and Paulinho return to the fold, having been rested for the midweek trip.
Hull are facing a raft of injury problems. Goalkeeper Allan McGregor (thigh) and striker Danny Graham (knee) have both been consigned to the sidelines following last week’s defeat at Everton, while manager Steve Bruce is also expecting bad news on Sone Aluko (calf) and Robbie Brady (hernia). With James Chester (hamstring) and Robert Koren (foot) still unavailable and Jake Livermore unable to face his parent club, Bruce will be forced to call on a handful of back-up players.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Tottenham W W D L W; Hull D W W D L
Top scorers (all competitions): Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 7; Robbie Brady (Hull) 4
Match odds: H 4-9 A 13-2 D 10-3
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Sunderland (20) v Newcastle (10)
Sunderland defender Wes Brown could make a first competitive appearance for the club in almost 21 months. The 34-year-old former Manchester United player is available after ridding himself off a calf injury sustained in pre-season. Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, who was ineligible to play against his parent club Swansea last weekend, also returns to the squad as the Black Cats attempt to secure a first Barclays Premier League victory of the season.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will make late decisions on central defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor. Coloccini is battling his way back from a groin problem, while Taylor is nursing a hamstring injury. Defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is suspended following his red card in the draw with Liverpool last Saturday, while midfielder Jonas Gutierrez remains in Argentina after being given leave to deal with a personal issue.
Last season: Newcastle 0 Sunderland 3, Sunderland 1 Newcastle 1
Last five league matches: Sunderland L L L L L; Newcastle W L L W D
Top scorers (all competitions): Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland) 3; Loic Remy (Newcastle) 5
Match odds: H 13-8 A 8-5 D 12-5
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).
Swansea (11) v West Ham (15)
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup must decide whether to risk Ashley Williams. The Wales defender has been sidelined for almost five weeks due to an ankle ligament problem, but took part in training earlier this week with Laudrup hoping to give his captain some match action before the south Wales derby against Cardiff. Pablo Hernandez could finally get back on the pitch after a hamstring problem, but left-back Ben Davies (ankle) will be missing.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has no fresh injury concerns. James Collins (hamstring) and Alou Diarra (knee) are still missing, with Andy Carroll (heel) also absent. Allardyce will have to decide whether to give Carlton Cole a start or operate without a recognised striker for a third successive game.
Last season: West Ham 1 Swansea 0, Swansea 3 West Ham 0
Last five league matches: Swansea D W L L W; West Ham D L L W L
Top scorers (all competitions): Wilfried Bony (Swansea) 6; Ravel Morrison & Ricardo Vaz Te (West Ham) 4
Match odds: H 3-4 A 7-2 D 11-4
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).