Premier League team news
All the latest team news ahead of the weekend’s Premier League programme
Arsenal (10) v West Brom (5)
Arsenal will be without forwards Lukas Podolski (hamstring) and Theo Walcott (calf) against West Brom. Defender Bacary Sagna (foot) is a major doubt, but Laurent Koscielny (thigh) is definitely out. Full back Andre Santos (stomach muscle) and midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) continue their rehabilitation.
West Brom head coach Steve Clarke has virtually a full squad to choose from with goalkeeper Ben Foster the only absentee as he continues his rehabilitation after a second groin operation. Boaz Myhill again deputises. Clarke has to decide whether to recall the likes of striker Peter Odemwingie and midfielders James Morrison and skipper Chris Brunt, who were rested for last weekend’s encounter with Stoke.
Last season:West Brom 2 Arsenal 3, Arsenal 3 West Brom 0
Last five league matches:Arsenal D W D D L; West Brom W W W L L
Top scorers (all competitions):Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 10; Shane Long (West Brom) 7
Match odds:H 1-2 A 5-1 D 3-1
Referee:Mike Jones (Cheshire)
Aston Villa (15) v Stoke (9)
Aston Villa winger Charles N’Zogbia has returned to training after a six-week absence with a knee problem but may not feature against Stoke. Skipper and
centre back Ron Vlaar remains a major doubt with a calf problem which ruled him out of the last two games with Reading and QPR. Left backs Enda Stevens (ankle) and Joe Bennett (knee) are still sidelined.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis is hopeful striker Peter Crouch will be able to return. Crouch, who missed last weekend’s 1-0 victory at West Brom having lost some teeth in a collision with Newcastle’s Fabricio Coloccini in the previous match, has had a mouthguard fitted and is being monitored in training. Pulis is also optimistic Cameron Jerome will be fit after an ankle injury. The Potters will definitely be without midfielders Charlie Adam (suspension) and Rory Delap (hernia), along with defender Marc Wilson (broken leg).
Last season:Aston Villa 1 Stoke 1, Stoke 0 Aston Villa 0
Last five league matches:Aston Villa L L D W D; Stoke W D W W W
Top scorers (all competitions):Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 8; Peter Crouch (Stoke) 5
Match odds:H 11-8 A 2-1 D 21-10
Referee:Roger East (Wiltshire)
Southampton (18) v Reading (19)
Gaston Ramirez will be available to face Reading despite spending the week in Uruguay. The 22-year-old returned to his homeland last Sunday on compassionate leave but will be in the squad to face the Royals. Richard Chaplow and Frazer Richardson are back in training after injury, although the latter is not yet ready for a first-team return.
Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak is a doubt after sustaining an unspecified injury while on reserves duty. Danny Guthrie should return from a thigh problem, but his fellow midfielders Jimmy Kebe (groin) and Jem Karacan (knee) are definitely out. Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has undergone shoulder surgery, but manager Brian McDermott is refusing to set a date for his return.
Last season:No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:Southampton D W W D L; Reading D W L L L
Top scorers (all competitions):Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 6; Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) 5
Match odds:H 19-20 A 13-5 D 5-2
Referee:Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)
Sunderland (17) v Chelsea (3)
Defender John O’Shea and striker Steven Fletcher are both in contention to face Chelsea. O’Shea is the more likely to feature having trained this week following a calf injury, while leading scorer Fletcher will be assessed after being forced off at half-time in last weekend’s defeat by Norwich with an ankle problem. Captain Lee Cattermole is expected to be out for another two months after damaging knee ligaments.