Weekend Premier League team news

All the latest injury and availability updates ahead of the weekend action

Aston Villa  top-scorer Christian Benteke is expected to be sidelined for up to six months after   suffering a serious Achilles tendon injury in training on Friday. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Aston Villa top-scorer Christian Benteke is expected to be sidelined for up to six months after suffering a serious Achilles tendon injury in training on Friday. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 17:39

SATURDAY

Aston Villa (12) v Fulham (20)
Paul Lambert faces a striker crisis with Christian Benteke expected to be sidelined for up to six months after suffering a serious Achilles tendon injury in training on Friday, while Gabby Agbonlahor is battling to recover from a sickness bug. Nathan Baker has recovered from a foot injury while Karim El Ahmadi is also set to return to contention after a thigh strain.

Fulham midfielder Scott Parker could return from a knee problem but striker Kostas Mitroglou continues to be sidelined by a knee problem. Defender Fernando Amorebieta returns from suspension after being sent off in the 5-0 defeat by Manchester City.
Last season: Aston Villa 1 Fulham 1, Fulham 1 Aston Villa 0
Last five league matches: Aston Villa L W W L L; Fulham L L W L L
Top scorers (all competitions): Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 11; Steven Sidwell (Fulham) 7.
Match odds: H 10-11 A 13-5 D 12-5
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

Cardiff (18) v Crystal Palace (16)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have Craig Noone available after the winger missed the last three games because of a groin injury. The manager could start with the side that drew 3-3 at West Brom last weekend, although Noone and loan signing Wilfried Zaha, who impressed off the bench at The Hawthorns, will push strongly for inclusion.

Tony Pulis is hoping to have Marouane Chamakh available for selection after he returned to training earlier in the week following four games out with a hamstring problem. Fellow striker Dwight Gayle (ankle) is unlikely to return in time but Pulis has no other injury concerns as he looks to build on the 1-0 win over Chelsea last weekend.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Cardiff L W L L D; Crystal Palace D L D L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff) 9; Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) 6.
Match odds: H 13-10 A 2-1 D 21-10
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Chelsea (2) v Stoke (10)
Striker Samuel Eto’o remains out for Chelsea with a hamstring injury but Ashley Cole is back from a knee problem, while Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are available again after being ineligible to face Paris St Germain on Wednesday. Ramires serves the final game of his three-match domestic suspension.

Jonathan Walters returns from suspension for the in-form Potters while on-loan Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi is close to returning from a knee injury but is not yet back in contention. Defender Robert Huth is out for the rest of the season with his knee injury.
Last season: Stoke 0 Chelsea 4, Chelsea 1 Stoke 0
Last five league matches: Chelsea W W L W L; Stoke W D W W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 17; Peter Crouch (Stoke) 9
Match odds: H 1-5 A 12-1 D 9-2
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

Hull (14) v Swansea (13)
George Boyd is back for Hull after serving a three-game suspension for being found guilty of spitting at Manchester City’s Joe Hart. Hull still deny he intended to do so. Goalkeeper Allan McGregor is still in hospital after suffering a bruised kidney and broken ribs against West Ham and Steve Harper will continue in his place.

Garry Monk is set to select from strength after reporting no fresh injury concerns as the Swans look to make it three games unbeaten following a draw against Arsenal and a resounding 3-0 home win against Norwich last time out.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Hull L L W L L; Swansea D L L D W
Top scorers (all competitions): Robbie Brady, Curtis Davies, Matty Fryatt, Nikica Jelavic (Hull) 4; Wilfried Bony (Swansea) 20
Match odds: H 6-4 A 17-10 D 21-10
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

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