This weekend’s Premier League team news

Liverpool have just two fit centre backs while Aaron Connolly could return for Brighton

Aaron Connolly could play for Brighton and Hove Albion in their Monday night clash with Crystal Palace. Photo: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Aaron Connolly could play for Brighton and Hove Albion in their Monday night clash with Crystal Palace. Photo: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

 

Saturday, December 14th (kick-offs 3pm unless stated)

Liverpool (1) v Watford (20) (kick off: 12.30pm)

Dejan Lovren (hamstring) will miss out for Liverpool, leaving boss Jurgen Klopp with just two fit centre-backs in Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

New Watford boss Nigel Pearson should have defender Craig Dawson (head) available.

Midfielder Roberto Pereyra (thigh) will be monitored along with left-back Adam Masina. Jose Holebas (ankle) remains sidelined, while Danny Welbeck (hamstring), Tom Cleverley (heel), Daryl Janmaat and Sebastian Prodl (both knee) continue their own rehabilitation.

Last season: Liverpool 5 Watford 0, Watford 0 Liverpool 3

Last five league matches: Liverpool W W W W W; Watford W L L L D

Top scorers: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) 13; Ismaila Sarr, Roberto Pereyra, Gerard Deulofeu & Andre Gray (Watford) 2

Match odds: H 1-5 D 6-1 A 14-1

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

Burnley (13) v Newcastle (11)

Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez will be available despite breaking a finger.

Fellow striker Ashley Barnes and midfielder Ashley Westwood could both return from groin injuries after resuming training, but Charlie Taylor (hamstring) remains doubt and defender Kevin Long (hip) and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson (hamstring) are unavailable.

Jonjo Shelvey (calf) and Miguel Almiron (hamstring) are doubts for Newcastle as head coach Steve Bruce faces up to an injury crisis.

Fellow frontman Allan Saint-Maximin is expected to be sidelined for a month with a hamstring tear.

Last season: Newcastle 2 Burnley 0, Burnley 1 Newcastle 2

Last five league matches: Burnley W W L L L; Newcastle W L D W W

Top scorers: Ashley Barnes & Chris Wood (Burnley) 6; Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle) 5

Match odds: H 1-1 D 12-5 A 29-10

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)

Chelsea (4) v AFC Bournemouth (15)

Fikayo Tomori will not feature due to a minor hip problem.

Fit-again Antonio Rudiger is likely to continue in central defence in his absence, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek continues his recovery from a long-term heel issue.

Bournemouth have been dealt an injury blow after it was revealed that Nathan Ake faces six weeks on the sidelines.

The defender was substituted with a hamstring injury during Bournemouth’s 3-0 defeat against Liverpool last weekend. The former Chelsea player will not be available again until next year.

Last season: AFC Bournemouth 4 Chelsea 0, Chelsea 2 AFC Bournemouth 0

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

Top scorers: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) 13; Harry Wilson (AFC Bournemouth) 6

Match odds: H 1-4 D 11-2 A 10-1

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)

Leicester (2) v Norwich (19)

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has no fresh injury worries as the Foxes chase a ninth straight league win.

Matty James (Achilles) remains a long-term absentee for Rodgers’ side but is back in training.

Norwich manager Daniel Farke has no new injury concerns as his struggling side look to avoid a third straight defeat.

Club captain Grant Hanley has returned to training following three months out with a groin problem, and the Scotland defender could be back in contention for the Christmas schedule. Swiss forward Josip Drmic (hamstring) continues his own rehabilitation, along with centre-back Timm Klose (knee).

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Leicester W W W W W; Norwich L W D L L

Top scorers: Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 16; Teemu Pukki (Norwich) 8

Match odds: H 1-5 D 11-2 A 14-1

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

Sheffield Utd (8) v Aston Villa (17)

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder will hope to have an unchanged squad. Wilder reported “a few tight bodies” following the win at Norwich on Sunday but stopped short of revealing any new injury issues.

Tyrone Mings (hamstring) misses the trip to Bramall Lane, but left-back Matt Targett is available after a knock.

Last season: No corresponding Premier League fixture

Last five league matches: Sheff Utd D D D L W; Aston Villa L W D L L

Top scorers: Lys Mousset (Sheff Utd) 5; Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) 6

Match odds: H 88-100 D 27-10 A 3-1

Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside)

Southampton (18) v West Ham (16) (kick-off: 5.30pm)

Southampton should have midfielder Stuart Armstrong (hamstring) in contention. Winger Sofiane Boufal continues to recover from stubbing his big toe on the kitchen table at home. Defender Yan Valery (illness) will need more time to regain full fitness.

West Ham should have Aaron Cresswell fit. Manuel Pellegrini will continue to be without goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (hip), playmaker Manuel Lanzini (fractured collarbone) and midfielder Jack Wilshere (groin) for the trip to the south coast.

Last season: West Ham 3 Southampton 0, Southampton 1 West Ham 2

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

Top scorers: Danny Ings (Southampton) 11; Sebastien Haller (West Ham) 4

Match odds: H 88-100 D 29-10 A 14-5

Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

Sunday, December 15th

Wolverhampton Wanderers (6) v Tottenham Hotspur (7) (kick-off: 2pm)

Wolves are expected to revert back to the team which drew 2-2 with Brighton last weekend. Raul Jimenez is available after being suspended for Thursday’s 4-0 Europa League win over Besiktas while Diogo Jota, who scored a hat-trick after coming off the bench, will return to the starting line up. Morgan Gibbs-White (back) and Willy Boly (fractured leg) remain out for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.

Tottenham will recall their big guns for the trip.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Serge Aurier were all rested for Wednesday’s Champions League game at Bayern Munich, but will come back at Molineux. Harry Winks is back in training, but Hugo Lloris, Tanguy Ndombele, Ben Davies, Erik Lamela and Michel Vorm are all injured.

Last season: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Wolverhampton 3, Wolverhampton 2 Tottenham Hotspur 3

Last five league matches: Wolverhampton W W D W D; Tottenham Hotspur D W W L W

Top scorers: Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton) 15; Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) 15

Match odds: H 11-5 D 5-2 A 6-5

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Arsenal (9) v Man City (3) (kick-off: 4.30pm)

Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe will have his knee injury assessed.

Hector Bellerin (hamstring) will also undergo a fitness test but Kieran Tierney (shoulder), Granit Xhaka (concussion), Rob Holding (knee) and Danny Ceballos (hamstring) will all miss out.

City will again be without record goalscorer Sergio Aguero (thigh) and defender John Stones (hamstring).

Playmaker David Silva is also doubtful after missing the midweek Champions League game at Dinamo Zagreb after what manager Pep Guardiola described as a kick in the leg. Goalkeeper Ederson should be available again after illness but defender Aymeric Laporte and winger Leroy Sane (both knee) are long-term absentees.

Last season: Man City 3 Arsenal 1, Arsenal 0 Man City 2

Last five league matches: Arsenal L D D L W; Man City L W D W L

Top scorers: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) 13; Raheem Sterling (Man City) 15

Match odds: H 5-1 D 17-4 A 4-9

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)

Manchester United (5) v Everton (14) (kick-off: 2pm)

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard will be assessed (knock). Paul Pogba is out along with Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Nemanja Matic returned from a 10-week absence against AZ Alkmaar, while Diogo Dalot and Marcos Rojo are building fitness.

Everton have been dealt a double injury blow with Theo Walcott and Morgan Schneiderlin sidelined by calf injuries. Lucas Digne is a doubt after feeling tightness while training on Friday, while Fabian Delph, Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman remain short of full fitness. Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Andre Gomes are long-term absentees.

Last season: Everton 4 Man Utd 0, Man Utd 2 Everton 1

Last five league matches: Man Utd W D D W W; Everton W L L L W

Top scorers: Marcus Rashford (Man Utd) 13; de Andrade Richarlison (Everton) 8

Match odds: H 78-100 D 13-5 A 19-5

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Monday, December 16th

Crystal Palace (10) v Brighton (12) (kick-off: 8pm)

Mamadou Sakho will sit out for Crystal Palace as he serves the second part of a three-match ban.

Joel Ward (knee), Patrick Van Aanholt (hamstring) and Jeffrey Schlupp (muscle) are also sidelined.

Brighton will give striker Aaron Connolly as much time as possible to prove his fitness ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park.

Connolly is a doubt after missing Albion’s draw with Wolves because of a groin problem, while winger Solly March remains sidelined by a similar issue. Seagulls midfielder Dale Stephens serves a one-match ban after collecting his fifth yellow card of the campaign. Winger Jose Izquierdo (knee) is still out.

Last season: Crystal Palace 1 Brighton 2, Brighton 3 Crystal Palace 1

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

Top scorers: Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) 4; Neal Maupay (Brighton) 6

Match odds: H 31-20 D 1-5 A 19-10

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

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