The Premier League is back: festive team news and statistics

All the team news as the Premier League returns following the World Cup break


Arsenal (1st) v West Ham (16th)

Arsenal will be without striker Gabriel Jesus after the Brazilian sustained a knee issue at the World Cup, joining midfielders Emile Smith Rowe (groin) and Reiss Nelson (hamstring) on the sidelines. Defender William Saliba will be assessed after returning to training on Friday following his participation with France in Qatar.

West Ham will check on forwards Gianluca Scamacca (ankle) and Michail Antonio (calf). Morocco international Nayef Aguerd (adductor strain and illness) will also be assessed, while fellow defender Kurt Zouma is set for a spell on the sidelines after having surgery on a knee problem.


Last season: West Ham 1 Arsenal 2, Arsenal 2 West Ham 0

Last five league matches: Arsenal W D W W W; West Ham L W L L L

Top scorers: Martin Odegaard (Arsenal) 6; Said Benrahma, Gianluca Scamacca, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen (West Ham) 2

Referee: Michael Oliver

Aston Villa (12th) v Liverpool (6th)

Aston Villa will be without World Cup winner Emi Martinez with the goalkeeper returning to the squad next week after a period of rest. Other players who featured in the World Cup including defenders Matty Cash and Jan Bednarek and midfielder Leander Dendoncker will all return to action.

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino (calf) and midfielder James Milner (hamstring) will miss the trip to Molineux. However, right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is set to return after illness while goalkeeper Alisson Becker and centre back Virgil van Dijk are available again after the World Cup.

Last season: Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2, Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 0

Last five league matches: Aston Villa L W L W W; Liverpool W L L W W

Top scorers: Danny Ings (Aston Villa) 5; Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) 6

Referee: Paul Tierney

Brentford (10th) v Tottenham (4th)

Brentford captain Pontus Jansson is back after a hamstring issue. But fellow defenders Aaron Hickey (knee) and Kristoffer Ajer (ankle) are still recovering from injuries.

Tottenham will definitely be without World Cup winner Cristian Romero while runner-up Hugo Lloris will be in the squad but only on the bench with Fraser Forster set to deputise. Midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur (suspension) and forwards Lucas Moura (tendon) and Richarlison (hamstring) are unavailable, but striker Harry Kane is expected to start.

Last season: Brentford 0 Tottenham 0, Tottenham 2 Brentford 0

Last five league matches: Brentford D L D D W; Tottenham L L W L W

Top scorers: Ivan Toney (Brentford) 10; Harry Kane (Tottenham) 12

Referee: David Coote

Crystal Palace (11th) v Fulham (9th)

Crystal Palace will be without defender Marc Guehi through suspension after he picked up a fifth yellow card during the defeat against Nottingham Forest before the World Cup break. Midfielder James McArthur (groin) and full-back Nathan Ferguson (ankle) continue their recovery.

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is a doubt due to foot injury. Defenders Antonee Robinson and Layvin Kurzawa will also need assessing while midfielder Neeskens Kebano is still out with an Achilles issue.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Crystal Palace W L W W L; Fulham W W D L L

Top scorers: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) 6; Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) 9

Referee: Andrew Madley

Everton (17th) v Wolves (20th)

Everton will make a late decision on Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with boss Frank Lampard wary of risking the forward after a stop-start season due to several injuries. Defender Conor Coady is ineligible to face his parent club, while winger Andros Townsend has suffered a slight setback in his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament knee injury and will also miss out.

Wolves defender Jonny has been stepping up his recovery from a hamstring problem, while midfielder Boubacar Traore (groin) missed the midweek Carabao Cup victory over Gillingham, but could also be involved. Forwards Pedro Neto (ankle) and Sasa Kalajdzic (knee) continue their own rehabilitation.

Last season: Everton 0 Wolves 1, Wolves 2 Everton 1

Last five league matches: Everton L W D L L; Wolves L L D L L

Top scorers: Anthony Gordon (Everton) 3; Ruben Neves (Wolves) 4

Referee: Craig Pawson

Leicester (13th) v Newcastle (3rd)

Leicester will make a late decision on midfielder James Maddison as he battles an ongoing knee issue. Defenders Jonny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu, Ricardo Pereira, James Justin and Ryan Bertrand all remain sidelined through injury.

Newcastle’s record signing Alexander Isak is unlikely to be available despite stepping up his recovery from a troublesome thigh injury. Head coach Eddie Howe has no fresh issues after Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup fourth-round victory over Bournemouth, although defenders Emil Krafth (knee) and Paul Dummett (calf) remain on the sidelines.

Last season: Newcastle 2 Leicester 1, Leicester 4 Newcastle 0

Last five league matches: Leicester W W L W W; Newcastle W W W W W

Top scorers: James Maddison (Leicester) 7; Miguel Almiron (Newcastle) 8

Referee: Jarred Gillett (Australia)

Southampton (19th) v Brighton (7th)

Southampton will assess Romeo Lavia after the midfielder was absent for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win over Lincoln after suffering a setback following a hamstring problem. Defender Tino Livramento remains sidelined due to a knee injury.

Brighton will be without forward Danny Welbeck and defender Adam Webster due to injury. Midfielder Alexis Mac Allister, who helped Argentina win the World Cup, will not be involved, but Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi has said goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, part of Spain’s squad at the tournament in Qatar, is ready to return to club action.

Last season: Brighton 2 Southampton 2, Southampton 1 Brighton 1

Last five league matches: Southampton W D L L L; Brighton D L W W L

Top scorers: Che Adams (Southampton) 4; Leandro Trossard (Brighton) 7

Referee: Robert Jones


Chelsea (8th) v Bournemouth (14th)

Midfielder Mateo Kovacic and winger Hakim Ziyech will not be available for Chelsea after their World Cup heroics, but defender Reece James is likely to return.

Centre back Wesley Fofana (knee) suffered a small setback in his recovery and remains out, while forward Armando Broja is expected to miss the remainder of the season after undergoing successful surgery for an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Midfielder N’Golo Kante (hamstring) is not likely to return until late February or early March.

Midfielders Jefferson Lerma and Marcus Tavernier could be back for Bournemouth after missing the midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Newcastle. Cherries boss Gary O’Neil confirmed club captain Lloyd Kelly has returned to full training but the clash against the Blues could come too soon for the 24-year-old.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Chelsea D D L L L; Bournemouth L L L L W

Top scorers: Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz (Chelsea) 3; Kieffer Moore and Philip Billing (Bournemouth) 4

Referee: Simon Hooper

Manchester United (5th) v Nottingham Forest (18th)

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag does not expect winger Jadon Sancho, who has been on an individual training programme, to be available. There are doubts over defenders Harry Maguire (illness) and Diogo Dalot, while it also remains to be seen whether there is any involvement for World Cup finalists Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.

Dean Henderson is unavailable to face his parent club and Wayne Hennessey is doubtful, meaning third-choice goalkeeper Jordan Smith could start for Forest. Midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White and right-back Serge Aurier are doubts, with defenders Cheikhou Kouyate, Moussa Niakhate (both hamstring) and Omar Richards (leg) definitely missing out.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Manchester United W D W L W; Nottingham Forest D W L D W

Top scorers: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) 4; Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest) 3

Referee: Anthony Taylor


Leeds (15th) v Manchester City (2nd)

Leeds were without 10 first-team players due to injury and illness for their midweek friendly defeat to Monaco, but head coach Jesse Marsch is hoping most of them will be back. Striker Patrick Bamford is expected back in full training after his return from a hip problem was hampered by illness and midfielder Adam Forshaw (ankle) could make his first competitive appearance since August. Winger Luis Sinisterra (foot) and midfielder Stuart Dallas (broken leg) are out.

City midfielder Kalvin Phillips is unlikely to be fit for a return to Elland Road, while defender Ruben Dias (hamstring) is injured. Defenders Kyle Walker, John Stones and Joao Cancelo and attackers Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden could all be restored to the XI after they were substitutes for the midweek Carabao Cup win over Liverpool.

Last season: Leeds 0 Manchester City 4, Manchester City 7 Leeds 0

Last five league matches: Leeds L L W W L; Manchester City L W W W L

Top scorers: Rodrigo (Leeds) 9; Erling Haaland (Manchester City) 18

Referee: Stuart Attwell