Premier League team news
All the latest team news ahead of the Premier League weekend fixtures
Aston Villa (18) v Arsenal (6)
Aston Villa striker Darren Bent is back in contention after a three-game absence due to an ankle injury. The England international has returned to training this week after missing the games with Sunderland and the two Manchester clubs. Left back Eric Lichaj is also available after a leg muscle strain but Joe Bennett, Chris Herd, Charles N’Zogbia (all knee) and Richard Dunne (groin) are still out.
Arsenal will again be without forward Theo Walcott (shoulder). Defender Andre Santos (stomach muscle) is also out, but forward Gervinho and defender Kieran Gibbs are again in contention having been in the squad for the midweek Champions League win over Montpellier. Midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) and Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) continue their rehabilitation.
Last season:Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0, Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2
Last five league matches:Aston Villa L D W L L; Arsenal L W L D W
Top scorers (all competitions):Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 7; Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 9
Match odds:H 4-1 A 4-6 D 5-2
Referee:Lee Mason (Lancashire)
Everton (5) v Norwich (13)
Injury-hit Everton could welcome back midfielders Kevin Mirallas and Darron Gibson against Norwich. Mirallas missed last weekend’s defeat by Reading with a hamstring problem while Republic of Ireland international Gibson has been out since the start of September with a hamstring injury but played for Everton’s Under-21 side earlier this week. Captain Phil Neville is unlikely to play again this year following knee surgery while key midfielder Marouane Fellaini is suspended. Striker Victor Anichebe (hamstring) and full back Tony Hibbert (calf) are doubtful.
Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy looks set to make the trip to his former club after making good progress with the knee injury suffered against Manchester United last weekend. Full back Russell Martin (back) is back in training and could also feature. Defender Michael Turner (shoulder) is described as “touch and go” by manager Chris Hughton.
Last season:Norwich 2 Everton 2, Everton 1 Norwich 1
Last five league matches:Everton D D D W L; Norwich W D W D W
Top scorers (all competitions):Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 6; Grant Holt (Norwich) 3
Match odds:H 4-9 A 6-1 D 3-1
Referee:Mike Jones (Cheshire)
Man Utd (2) v QPR (20)
Wayne Rooney will return to the Manchester United starting XI against QPR. Rooney has recovered from tonsillitis, which prevented him making the midweek trip to Galatasaray, and will be involved along with Chris Smalling, who has shrugged off a shoulder problem. Jonny Evans (groin) has returned to training but will not play while Nani (hamstring) is also sidelined.
QPR captain Park Ji-sung remains a doubt for the trip to his former club. Park has been suffering from a knee problem and, despite returning to training, is likely to miss out. Stephane Mbia is back after serving a three-match ban but strikers Bobby Zamora (hip) and Andrew Johnson (knee) are out and on-loan defender Fabio cannot feature against his parent club.
Last season:Man Utd 2 QPR 0, QPR 0 Man Utd 2
Last five league matches:Man Utd W W W W L; QPR D L D L L
Top scorers (all competitions):Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 11; Bobby Zamora (QPR) 4
Match odds:H 1-5 A 11-1 D 5-1
Referee:Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
Stoke (14) v Fulham (9)
Stoke could be without defender Andy Wilkinson (back) who had to come off in the first half of Monday’s 1-1 draw at West Ham with a back problem. If he is ruled out, his replacement at Upton Park, Ryan Shotton, is likely to deputise once again at full back. Midfielder Dean Whitehead is available after suspension but striker Michael Owen is not expected to make his return from a hamstring complaint, while midfielder Rory Delap (hernia) and defender Marc Wilson (broken leg) remain sidelined.
Fulham will again be without a number of key players. Alex Kacaniklic and Bryan Ruiz are both out for the next two weeks with hamstring injuries, while Mickael Tavares and Kieran Richardson miss out with similar complaints. Manager Martin Jol can call upon Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Chris Baird (suspension) again, although captain Brede Hangeland (suspension), Simon Davies (hip) and Kerim Frei (loan return) are also unavailable. David Stockdale, Marcello Trotta and Alex Smith have left the club on loan.