Weekend Premier League team news
All the latest news ahead of the Premier League weekend fixtures.SATURDAY
Liverpool (12) v Fulham (13)
Reds defender Jose Enrique returned to training this week after a hamstring injury and comes back into contention. Midfielder Nuri Sahin is fit after surgery on a broken nose but winger Oussama Assaidi is out with a knee problem. Manager Brendan Rodgers has spoken about the need to rest forward Raheem Sterling and if he does Suso would be his likely replacement.
Fulham boss Martin Jol has been forced to recall goalkeeper David Stockdale from his loan spell at Hull. Third-choice goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has been ruled out with a leg injury and Stockdale will now provide cover to Mark Schwarzer. Midfielder Steve Sidwell is banned while Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Bryan Ruiz (hamstring) are missing, although full back Sascha Riether has recovered from a knee problem suffered last weekend.
Last season:Liverpool 0 Fulham 1, Fulham 1 Liverpool 0
Last five league matches:Liverpool D L W W L; Fulham L D L W L
Top scorers (all competitions):Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 13; Dimitar Berbatov & Mladen Petric (Fulham) 5
Match odds:H 4-7 A 9-2 D 14-5
Referee:Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
Manchester City (2) v Reading (20)
City striker Mario Balotelli will miss out because of a virus. Captain and defender Vincent Kompany (groin) hopes to prove his fitness while midfielders James Milner (hamstring) and Gareth Barry (suspension) return. Forward Samir Nasri (hamstring) will miss the game and the St Stephen’s Day trip to Sunderland while defender Aleksandar Kolarov (knee) is also out this weekend.
Reading striker Jason Roberts will miss the game with a hip problem. Jem Karacan (knee), Jimmy Kebe (groin) and Danny Guthrie (thigh) should be available, but Sean Morrison (ankle) is still sidelined. Alex McCarthy is out long-term after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Last season:No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:Man City D W D L W; Reading L L L L L
Top scorers (all competitions):Sergio Aguero & Carlos Tevez (Man City) 8; Adam Le Fondre & Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) 5
Match odds:H 3-20 A 12-1 D 13-2
Referee:Mike Dean (Wirral)
Newcastle (15) v QPR (19)
Utility man James Perch is Newcastle’s only new concern. Perch has a minor neck problem, but is expected to be available, while midfielder Gabriel Obertan is fit after working his way back from toe surgery. Winger Hatem Ben Arfa, central defender Steven Taylor (both hamstring) and midfielder Yohan Cabaye (groin) are still both out.
QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar and right back Jose Bosingwa miss the match after both sustained back injuries, with midfielder Kieron Dyer also missing out through injury. Park Ji-sung (knee) is another player sidelined, while strikers Andrew Johnson (knee) and Bobby Zamora (hip) remain absent.
Last season:Newcastle 1 QPR 0, QPR 0 Newcastle 0
Last five league matches:Newcastle L L W L L; QPR L D D D W
Top scorers (all competitions):Demba Ba (Newcastle) 11; Adel Taarabt & Bobby Zamora (QPR) 4
Match odds:H 1-1 A 5-2 D 12-5
Referee:Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)
Southampton (17) v Sunderland (16)
Adam Lallana is Southampton’s only absentee. The Saints captain suffered a knee injury in the defeat of Reading and, while coy on the severity of the complaint, manager Nigel Adkins confirmed he will not be available. Goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga is fit after a shoulder injury, while Frazer Richardson and Richard Chaplow are also back in contention.
Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill will await fitness tests on a trio of key players before naming his team. Full backs Phil Bardsley (knee), Danny Rose (ankle) and striker Steven Fletcher (back) have returned to light training, but are yet to prove they are ready to play. Skipper Lee Cattermole remains on the long-term casualty list with a knee ligament injury, and David Meyler is set to be recalled from his loan spell at Championship side Hull after tonight’s game at Derby.
Last season:No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:Southampton W W D L W; Sunderland D L L W L
Top scorers (all competitions):Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 6; Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) 7
Match odds:H 1-1 A 5-2 D 12-5
Referee:Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)
Tottenham (4) v Stoke (9)
Gareth Bale has recovered from his hamstring injury and is available for Spurs. Scott Parker could feature after an Achilles problem while fellow long-term injury victim Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) was due to have a test today. Emmanuel Adebayor (hamstring) was also due to face a fitness test. Defender Younes Kaboul (knee) is out but Michael Dawson is fit after a hamstring injury.
Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam is set to miss out after being granted compassionate leave by the Potters following the death of his father this week. Defender Ryan Shotton is available for selection again having completed a one-match ban, but it is expected the game will come too soon for striker Michael Owen to make his first-team return.
Last season:Tottenham 1 Stoke 1, Stoke 2 Tottenham 1
Last five league matches:Tottenham W W W L W; Stoke W W W D D
Top scorers (all competitions):Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 13; Peter Crouch (Stoke) 5
Match odds:H 8-13 A 9-2 D 14-5
Referee:Lee Mason (Lancashire)
West Brom (7) v Norwich (8)
West Brom will be without Youssouf Mulumbu, who serves a one-game ban after incurring his fifth yellow card of the season. Fellow midfielder Claudio Yacob (hamstring) remains doubtful but goalkeeper Ben Foster is pushing for a recall after his return to training this week following two groin operations which sidelined him for six weeks.
Canaries captain Grant Holt is doubtful because of a hamstring injury. On-loan Tottenham forward Harry Kane could be back in contention after two months out with a broken metatarsal, while defender Ryan Bennett (knee) is also set to resume full training. Winger Andrew Surman (knee) and England goalkeeper John Ruddy (thigh) remain sidelined.
Last season:West Brom 1 Norwich 2, Norwich 0 West Brom 1
Last five league matches:West Brom W L L L D; Norwich D D W W W
Top scorers (all competitions):Shane Long (West Brom) 7; Grant Holt (Norwich) 4
Match odds:H 17-20 A 14-5 D 13-5
Referee:Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)
West Ham (11) v Everton (6)
West Ham welcome midfielder Jack Collison back into their squad for the first time since the final game of last season after a knee injury. Manager Sam Allardyce is struggling with a long injury list with Mohamed Diame (hamstring), Andy Carroll (knee), Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) and Alou Diarra (thigh) missing and Yossi Benayoun (knee) unlikely to feature.
Everton will be without midfielder Marouane Fellaini as the Belgium international begins a three-match suspension for headbutting Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross. Boss David Moyes, who has had Kevin Mirallas, Victor Anichebe (both hamstring), Tony Hibbert (calf) and Phil Neville (knee) sidelined in recent,weeks, said this morning there was “quite a lot” of injury news within his squad, but would not be drawn on any specifics.
Last season:No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:West Ham L L W L D; Everton D D D W D
Top scorers (all competitions):Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 5; Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 8
Match odds:H 19-10 A 13-10 D 23-10
Referee:Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
Wigan (18) v Arsenal (5)
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez faces an injury headache. He will definitely be without four players after defender Adrian Lopez (hamstring) joined Ben Watson (broken leg), Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and Albert Crusat (knee) on the long-term injury list. Another four should feature over the festive period, with captain Gary Caldwell (hamstring) the most likely to make it for Arsenal ahead of fellow defenders Ivan Ramis (hamstring), Antolin Alcaraz (groin) and midfielder James McCarthy (ankle).
Arsenal report no fresh injury problems. England forward Theo Walcott could again be preferred in a central striker’s role ahead of Olivier Giroud after scoring in the 5-2 win at Reading. Full back Andre Santos (stomach muscle) and midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) continue their rehabilitation.
Last season:Arsenal 1 Wigan 2, Wigan 0 Arsenal 4
Last five league matches:Wigan W L L D L; Arsenal D D L W W
Top scorers (all competitions):Jordi Gomez (Wigan) 5; Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 11
Match odds:H 16-5 A 8-11 D 3-1
Referee:Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)
Chelsea (3) v Aston Villa (14)
Blues boss Rafael Benitez cannot guarantee John Terry would be fit for Chelsea’s Christmas fixtures. Terry’s recovery from knee surgery is proving more problematic than first thought and he will definitely miss this game. Ramires and Gary Cahill return from suspension but John Obi Mikel serves the final instalment of his three-match ban, Daniel Sturridge is available after his hamstring injury but Ryan Bertrand is doubtful after being forced off in the Capital One Cup win at Leeds.
Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland is available after he missed the win over Liverpool at Anfield last weekend through illness. But skipper and central defender Ron Vlaar and striker Gabriel Agbonlahor remain major doubts with calf and thigh problems respectively.
Last season:Aston Villa 2 Chelsea 4, Chelsea 1 Aston Villa 3
Last five league matches:Chelsea L D D L W; Aston Villa D W D D W
Top scorers (all competitions):Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 13; Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 11
Match odds:H 3-10 A 8-1 D 4-1
Referee:Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Swansea (10) v Manchester United (1)
Swans goalkeeper Michel Vorm is set to return from a groin injury. The Dutchman has been out for eight weeks but is set to replace Gerhard Tremmel while Pablo Hernandez returns to the squad after a thigh injury. Angel Rangel is set to miss out again with the calf problem that kept him out of the defeat at Tottenham, with Dwight Tiendalli to continue at right back.
United full back Rafael has been ruled out - he missed the win over Sunderland with a hamstring injury and has still not recovered. Shinji Kagawa (knee) and Nani (hamstring) are still sidelined, but Jonny Evans (hamstring) is available.
Last season:Man Utd 2 Swansea 0, Swansea 0 Man Utd 1
Last five league matches:Swansea D W W L L; Man Utd W W W W W
Top scorers (all competitions):Michu (Swansea) 13; Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 15
Match odds:H 19-5 A 8-13 D 4-1
Referee:Michael Oliver (Northumberland)