Premier League team news

Fri, Dec 28, 2012, 00:00

All the latest team news ahead of the weekend Premier League programme

SATURDAY

Arsenal (7) v Newcastle (15)
Striker Olivier Giroud and midfielder Tomas Rosicky have both recovered from illness and are available for the Gunners. Defender Andre Santos (stomach muscle) and midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) are expected to return to training next week, while back-up goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is out with a foot injury.

Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote returns from a one-match ban and should come straight in for Vurnon Anita, who suffered an ankle injury in the 4-3 defeat to Manchester United. Centre half Mike Williamson is suspended after collecting his fifth booking of the season and Jonas Gutierrez (knee) misses out.

Last season:Arsenal 2 Newcastle 1, Newcastle 0 Arsenal 0
Last five league matches:
Arsenal D L W W W; Newcastle W L L W L
Top scorers (all competitions):
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 11; Demba Ba (Newcastle) 11
Match odds:
H 4-9 A 6-1 D 10-3
Referee:
Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Aston Villa (16) v Wigan (18)
Defender Nathan Baker is the latest Villa player to sustain injury after he picked up a hamstring problem on St Stephen’s Day. Baker joins captain Ron Vlaar (calf), Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh), Charles N’Zogbia (knee), Darren Bent (hamstring), Richard Dunne (groin) and Andreas Weimann (calf) on the sidelines.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is considering making changes at Villa Park, with Franco di Santo among those angling for a recall. The game might is likely to come too soon for defender Ivan Ramis, who is still to make an appearance after suffering a hamstring injury at the end of last month.

Last season:Wigan 0 Aston Villa 0, Aston Villa 2 Wigan 0
Last five league matches:
Aston Villa D D W L L; Wigan L D L L L
Top scorers (all competitions):
Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 11; Arouna Kone & Jordi Gomez (Wigan) 5
Match odds:
H 13-10 A 23-10 D 21-10
Referee:
Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Fulham (14) v Swansea (9)
Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz has been passed fit to start against the Swans. The Costa Rica international made his return from a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with

Southampton, playing the second half on St Stephen’s Day. Mahamadou Diarra and Mladen Petric are doubts, while Damien Duff could miss out again.

Top scorer Michu will miss the journey due to the ankle injury he suffered in the St Stephen’s Day draw at Reading. Danny Graham, Itay Shechter and Luke Moore will compete for his place in attack. Winger Pablo Hernandez and full-back Angel Rangel are set to return from thigh and ankle problems respectively.

Last season:Fulham 0 Swansea 3, Swansea 2 Fulham 0
Last five league matches:
Fulham L W L L D; Swansea W L L D D
Top scorers (all competitions):
Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) 6; Michu (Swansea) 14
Match odds:
H 6-5 A 12-5 D 11-5
Referee:
Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

Manchester United (1) v West Brom (6)
Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck could both be back to bolster Manchester United’s attacking options after the pair missed the St Stephen’s Day win over

Newcastle with minor ailments. Shinji Kagawa (knee) may also be involved for the first time since October, but Wayne Rooney (knee) and Phil Jones miss out and veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are expected to be rested.

West Brom have doubts over defenders Jonas Olsson (groin) and Goran Popov (hamstring) as well as midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu (hamstring) after a bruising St Stephen’s Day win at QPR. Claudio Yacob (hamstring) remains sidelined and as a result Albion have recalled George Thorne from a loan spell at Peterborough.

Last season:Man Utd 2 West Brom 0, West Brom 1 Man Utd 2
Last five league matches:
Man Utd W W W D W; West Brom L L D W W
Top scorers (all competitions):
Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 16; Shane Long (West Brom) 7
Match odds:
H 3-10 A 9-1 D 4-1
Referee:
Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

Norwich (11) v Manchester City (2)
Norwich manager Chris Hughton has no new injury concerns as he welcomes the Premier League champions to Carrow Road. Defender Steven Whittaker will miss out with an ongoing hip injury, with Andrew Surman also unlikely to feature as he continues his recovery from a knee problem. Ryan Bennett is back in contention after returning to the bench against Chelsea on St Stephen’s Day, while John Ruddy (thigh) is the only long-term absentee for the Canaries.

Midfielder Samir Nasri (hamstring) could return for City and defender Gael Clichy has also recovered from a knock. Striker Carlos Tevez is available after taking a day off training due to illness and right back Pablo Zabaleta’s cut head is not a problem, but forward Mario Balotelli (virus) remains a doubt.

Full backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Maicon (both knee) are still out along with the long-term casualties of defender Micah Richards (knee) and midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring).

Last season:Norwich 1 Man City 6, Man City 5 Norwich 1
Last five league matches:
Norwich W W W L L; Man City D L W W L
Top scorers (all competitions):
Robert Snodgrass & Grant Holt (Norwich) 4; Carlos Tevez & Sergio Aguero (Man City) 8
Match odds:
H 5-1 A 4-7 D 14-5
Referee:
Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Reading (19) v West Ham (12)
Midfielder Danny Guthrie could make his second appearance inside a week after he impressed manager Brian McDermott on his comeback to the side in the Royals’ St Stephen’s Day draw with Swansea. Veteran striker Jason Roberts has missed the last four matches with a hip injury. Defender Sean Morrison is still sidelined with ankle injury and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is out long term with a shoulder problem.

West Ham have striker Carlton Cole available after his red card against Everton last weekend was rescinded. Otherwise, Sam Allardyce is short of attackers, with Andy Carroll out with a knee problem, Ricardo Vaz Te recovering from a dislocated shoulder, Mohamed Diame dealing with a hamstring strain and Yossi Benayoun back at parent club Chelsea.

Last season:No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:
Reading L L L L D; West Ham L W L D L
Top scorers:
Adam Le Fondre & Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) 5; Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 5
Match odds:
H 9-5 A 6-4 D 9-4
Referee:
Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Stoke (8) v Southampton (17)
Stoke manager Tony Pulis will be forced into a defensive reshuffle as captain Ryan Shawcross and right back Geoff Cameron both serve one-match bans. Matthew Upton and Ryan Shotton are the two most likely deputies.

Southampton captain Adam Lallana will be on the sidelines once again as his persistent knee problem keeps him out if the reckoning. Manager Nigel Adkins revealed one or two unnamed players picked up knocks in the 1-1 draw with Fulham on St Stephen’s Day, but expects them to be available at the Britannia Stadium.

Last season:No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:
Stoke W D D D W; Southampton D L W L D
Top scorers (all competitions):
Jonathan Walters (Stoke) 6; Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 7
Match odds:
H 4-5 A 4-1 D 9-4
Referee:
Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Sunderland (13) v Tottenham (4)
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill will be without full back Danny Rose as he is ineligible to face his parent club under the terms of his loan. John O’Shea

could return to the back four after missing the St Stephen’s Day victory over Manchester City through illness. O’Neill has also recalled midfielder David Meyler from his loan spell at Hull after he completed a one-match ban.

Forward Clint Dempsey and midfielder Tom Huddlestone have a chance of returning for Tottenham from their respective groin and knee injuries.

Defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto may make his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury while midfielder Scott Parker could also make his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the last three games following his recovery from an Achilles injury.

Midfielder Mousa Dembele should be fit despite coming off against Aston Villa with his niggling hip injury, but defender Younes Kaboul (knee) remains out.

Last season:Sunderland 0 Tottenham 0, Tottenham 1 Sunderland 0
Last five league matches:
Sunderland L W L W W; Tottenham W L W D W
Top scorers (all competitions):
Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) 8; Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 14
Match odds:
H 13-5 A 11-10 D 11-5
Referee:
Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

SUNDAY

Everton (5) v Chelsea (3)
Everton midfielder Darron Gibson is hoping to prove his fitness in order to feature against Chelsea after his red card in last week’s win at West Ham was overturned . Right back Seamus Coleman could return after a knock but midfielder Marouane Fellaini completes a three-match ban. Defender Tony Hibbert has a hamstring problem and striker Kevin Mirallas has a calf injury.

Ramires is expected to return but Sunday’s game is set to come too soon for defender John Terry (knee), while striker Daniel Sturridge could be omitted from the squad again ahead of his proposed move to Liverpool.

Last season:Everton 2 Chelsea 0, Chelsea 3 Everton 1
Last five league matches:
Everton D W D W W; Chelsea D L W W W
Top scorers:
Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 8; Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 14 Match odds: H 2-1 A 7-5 D 11-5
Referee:
Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

QPR (20) v Liverpool (10)
QPR defender Ryan Nelsen is a doubt to a virus. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar with a back injury, full back Nedum Onuoha and midfielder Park Ji-sung who has a knee problem are also doubts. Strikers Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora are sidelined with long-term injuries.

Striker Luis Suarez has been playing with a swollen ankle in recent weeks but is expected to play, while Raheem Sterling could be rested and Joe Allen could be recalled.

Last season:QPR 3 Liverpool 2, Liverpool 1 QPR 0
Last five league matches:
QPR D D W L L; Liverpool W W L W L
Top scorers:
Djibril Cisse, Bobby Zamora & Adel Taarabt (QPR) 4; Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 14
Match odds:
H 3-1 A 10-11 D 12-5
Referee:
Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

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