The weekend’s Premier League team news
Man City - West Ham and Man United’s trip to Chelsea the weekend’s headline fixtures
Scott McTominay remains a doubt for Manchester United’s clash with Chelsea. Photograph: Michael Regan/PA
Saturday February 27th
Man City (1) v West Ham (4) (12.30pm)
Sergio Aguero is pushing to make his first start since Manchester City played West Ham last October — and only his fourth of the season — as the Premier League leaders host the London side at the Etihad Stadium. Aguero, City’s record goalscorer, has seen his campaign to date ravaged by a combination of knee and hamstring problems and Covid-19. Playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, fit again after a hamstring injury, could feature after being an unused substitute in midweek. Central defender Nathan Ake is the only notable absentee with a muscular problem.
West Ham are still without defender Angelo Ogbonna, wing-back Arthur Masuaku and forward Andriy Yarmolenko. Full-back Ryan Fredericks needs a fitness test on a groin strain. Boss David Moyes may revert to a back three with youngster Ben Johnson at left wing-back.
Last season: Man City 2 West Ham 0, West Ham 0 Man City 5.
Last five league matches: Man City W W W W W; West Ham L W D W W.
Top scorers: Ilkay Gundogan & Raheem Sterling (Man City) 13; Tomas Soucek (West Ham) 8.
Match odds: H: 1-4; D: 5-1; A: 12-1.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
West Brom (19) v Brighton (16) (3pm)
West Brom are without suspended central defender Semi Ajayi for Brighton’s visit to the Hawthorns. Ajayi serves a one-match ban after being sent off in the goalless draw at Burnley and Dara O’Shea is expected to partner Kyle Bartley at the heart of the Albion defence. Robert Snodgrass’ knee injury will not be risked, but the Scotland winger is expected to be fit for the home game against Everton on Thursday.
Brighton manager Graham Potter is expected to include Tariq Lamptey in his matchday squad for the first time since December 16. The 20-year-old has trained this week, and will need to be assessed ahead of the trip, but is expected to be included. Adam Webster will remain sidelined however, with the Seagulls manager confirming his return was not likely before the international break.
Last season: No corresponding fixture.
Last five league matches: West Brom D L L D D; Brighton W W D D L.
Top scorers: Mbaye Diagne (West Brom) 12; Neal Maupay (Brighton) 7.
Match odds: H: 16-5; D: 12-5; A: 19-20.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).
Leeds (10) v Aston Villa (8) (5.30pm)
Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich is an injury doubt to face Aston Villa while Marcelo Bielsa has ruled both Rodrigo and Kalvin Phillips out of the fixture. Klich was substituted in the second half of Leeds’ midweek win over Southampton after appearing to injure his back. Head coach Bielsa said he was being cautious with midfielder Phillips after a calf problem, while defender Robin Koch is not expected to return to training until next week.
Jack Grealish will sit out Villa’s trip to Elland Road as he continues to recover from a shin problem. The skipper missed Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester and while boss Dean Smith hopes he could be available for Tuesday’s game against Sheffield United, there is no exact time frame for the midfielder’s return. Right-back Matty Cash is expected to be out for at least another two weeks with a hamstring injury. Defender Kortney Hause (foot) and forward Wesley (knee) remain on the sidelines although both are close to a return.
Last season: No corresponding fixture.
Last five league matches: Leeds L W L L W; Aston Villa W L W D L.
Top scorers: Patrick Bamford (Leeds) 13; Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) 12.
Match odds: H: 13-10; D: 13-5; A: 15-8.
Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside).
Newcastle (17) v Wolverhampton (12) (8pm)
Newcastle defender Federico Fernandez could return to the squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Wolves. The Argentinian has missed the last eight games with a thigh problem, but has trained all week and could be included in the matchday party along with striker Joelinton, who has recovered from the kick he took in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester United. Head coach Steve Bruce faces a decision over his goalkeeper with the fit-again Martin Dubravka, who has not made a league appearance since suffering an ankle injury in pre-season, pushing Karl Darlow, while striker Callum Wilson (hamstring), full-back Javier Manquillo (ankle) and Fabian Schar (knee) are still out.
Wolves are still without Willy Boly and Daniel Podence as they bid to extend their unbeaten league run to five matches. Centre-half Boly (hamstring) and winger Podence (hip) have both missed the last four games after being forced out of the home win against Arsenal at the start of this month. Brazilian defender Fernando Marcal is also unavailable after being withdrawn from last week’s home win against Leeds.
Last season: Wolverhampton 1 Newcastle 1, Newcastle 1 Wolverhampton 1.
Last five league matches: Newcastle W L W L L; Wolverhampton L W D W W.
Top scorers: Callum Wilson (Newcastle) 10; da Silva Willian Jose (Wolverhampton) 6.
Match odds: H: 27-10; D: 21-10; A: 6-5.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).
Sunday February 28th
Crystal Palace (13) v Fulham (18) (12pm)
Crystal Palace full-back Nathaniel Clyne will miss Sunday’s visit of Fulham because of a minor muscle injury. Wilfried Zaha returned to light training on Friday and Palace boss Roy Hodgson is optimistic the Ivory Coast forward could be available at some point next week after missing the last three games with a hamstring problem. Jeffrey Schlupp and Connor Wickham were also in the early part of training on Friday, but the match against the Cottagers comes too soon. James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho and James McArthur are among the other absentees.
Fulham will have Aleksandar Mitrovic available again. The Serbia striker tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Fulham’s surprise 2-0 win at Everton, but has returned to training following a period of self-isolation although Scott Parker said he will be assessed ahead of the game. The Cottagers will continue to be without captain Tom Cairney as he steps up his recovery from a knee problem, while Terence Kongolo also remains sidelined.
Last season: No corresponding fixture.
Last five league matches: Crystal Palace W W L L W; Fulham L D W D W.
Top scorers: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) 9; Bobby Reid (Fulham) 7.
Match odds: H: 12-5; D: 21-10; A: 13-10.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).
Leicester (3) v Arsenal (11) (12pm)
Harvey Barnes, Ricardo Pereira and Timothy Castagne are expected to be recalled to face Arsenal on Sunday. The trio started on the bench in Thursday’s 2-0 Europa League defeat to Slavia Prague which knocked the Foxes out of the last-32. James Maddison remains out with a hip problem and James Justin (knee), Dennis Praet (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (hamstring), Ayoze Perez (knee) and Wes Morgan (back) are all sidelined.
Arsenal should have a fully-fit squad to take to the King Power Stadium. Midfielder Thomas Partey came off the bench in Thursday’s Europa League win over Benfica and will be pushing for a recall following a hamstring injury. Defender Rob Holding (concussion) missed the trip but should be in contention as manager Mikel Arteta must decide if any players are in need of a rest.
Last season: Arsenal 1 Leicester 1, Leicester 2 Arsenal 0.
Last five league matches: Leicester L W D W W; Arsenal D L L W L.
Top scorers: Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 14; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) 11.
Match odds: H: 6-4; D: 9-4; A: 19-10.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire).
Tottenham Hotspur (9) v Burnley (15) (2pm)
Tottenham will welcome back Serge Aurier for the visit of Burnley. The right back has missed the last four matches with a calf injury but is in condition to play, according to boss Jose Mourinho. Giovani Lo Celso is back training with the group, but he will not be ready for another couple of weeks after a long hamstring injury.
With a week between games, Burnley have seen their injury problems begin to ease. The break has allowed Chris Wood and Dale Stephens to return to training, while Jay Rodriguez has shaken off a knock. However, Robbie Brady and Ashley Barnes remain sidelined and Johann Berg Gudmundsson is also unlikely to feature, with Erik Pieters described as “touch and go”.
Last season: Burnley 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1, Tottenham Hotspur 5 Burnley 0.
Last five league matches: Tottenham Hotspur L L W L L; Burnley L D W D D.
Top scorers: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) 21; Chris Wood (Burnley) 4.
Match odds: H: 4-7; D: 14-5; A: 11-2.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).
Chelsea (5) v Man Utd (2) (4.30pm)
Chelsea remain without Thiago Silva for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United. The Brazil defender has not featured for the Blues since the 1-0 win at Tottenham on February 4 due to a thigh injury. Boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed Silva should return to full training next week and has no other injury concerns ahead of the Stamford Bridge meeting.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping Edinson Cavani, Donny Van De Beek and Scott McTominay can return for Man United. Cavani and Van De Beek have missed the past three matches with muscle complaints, while McTominay has been absent since coming off 60 minutes into last week’s Europa League last-32 first-leg win against Real Sociedad. Daniel James will be assessed after limping off in Thursday’s second leg and Solskjaer has confirmed Juan Mata will be out for a couple of weeks, joining Paul Pogba (thigh), Phil Jones (knee) and Hannibal Mejbri (shoulder) on the sidelines.
Last season: Chelsea 0 Man Utd 2, Man Utd 4 Chelsea 0.
Last five league matches: Chelsea W W W W D; Man Utd D W D D W.
Top scorers: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) 12; Miguel Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd) 22.
Match odds: H: 6-5; D: 23-10; A: 12-5.
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).
Sheff Utd (20) v Liverpool (6) (7.15pm)
Jayden Bogle has joined Sheffield United’s lengthy injury list ahead of their home game against Premier League champions Liverpool. Bogle (shin) was injured by a tackle from Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola last weekend and is one of six defenders now unavailable to Blades boss Chris Wilder. Chris Basham (hamstring) is also out having been injured at Craven Cottage, while Jack Robinson (foot), Jack Rodwell, John Egan (toe) and Lys Mousset are still out. Jack O’Connell (knee) and Sander Berge (hamstring) remain long-term absentees.
Liverpool forward Diogo Jota could be in contention having returned to training this week after three months out with a knee injury. Midfielders Fabinho and James Milner are due to rejoin the squad on Saturday but the game at Bramall Lane may come too soon for both, while captain Jordan Henderson is out for a month after a groin operation. Manager Jurgen Klopp will make a late decision on the availability of goalkeeper Alisson Becker after the death of his father.
Last season: Liverpool 2 Sheff Utd 0, Sheff Utd 0 Liverpool 1.
Last five league matches: Sheff Utd L W L L L; Liverpool W L L L L.
Top scorers: David McGoldrick (Sheff Utd) 6; Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) 24.
Match odds: H: 13-2; D: 15-4; A: 2-5.
Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham).
Monday March 1st
Everton (7) v Southampton (14) (8pm)
Everton duo Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Allan are fit to start against Southampton on Monday night. The pair were substitutes for the Merseyside derby win at Anfield and although Calvert-Lewin came on, midfielder Allan has yet to make an appearance since returning from two months out with a hamstring problem. Centre-back Yerry Mina faces another two weeks out with an ankle injury while long-term absentee Jean-Philippe Gbamin, who has not played since August 2019, is still working his way back to full fitness in training.
Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu is set to miss the rest of the season because of a fractured ankle, which will need surgery. On-loan Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino (hamstring) also suffered an injury in Tuesday night’s defeat at Leeds, so will miss the trip back to Merseyside. Forward Theo Walcott, defender Kyle Walker-Peters and midfielder Ibrahima Diallo all continue their recovery from respective thigh problems, while Michael Obafemi and William Smallbone are long-term absentees.
Last season: Everton 1 Southampton 1, Southampton 1 Everton 2.
Last five league matches: Everton W D L L W; Southampton L L L D L.
Top scorers: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) 18; Danny Ings (Southampton) 9.
Match odds: H: 6-5; D: 12-5; A: 23-10.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).