Premier League team news


Latest Premier League team news ahead of the new year fixtures


Manchester City (2) v Stoke (8)

Manchester City will be without Samir Nasri after deciding against appealing his sending-off at Norwich. Striker Mario Balotelli (virus) is not yet ready to return while full backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Maicon (knee) also remain on the sidelines. Defender Micah Richards (knee) and midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) are still long-term casualties.

Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi is available after appealing against his sending-off for an alleged stamp on Southampton’s Jack Cork on Saturday. Captain Ryan Shawcross and full back Geoff Cameron are both likely to return after serving one-match bans, while defenders Robert Huth and Andy Wilkinson should also play despite a clash of heads on Saturday that forced the latter off with concussion.

Last season:Stoke 1 Man City 1, Man City 3 Stoke 0
Last five league matches:Man City L W W L W; Stoke D D D W D
Top scorers:Sergio Aguero (Man City) 9, Edin Dzeko (Man City) 9; Jonathan Walters (Stoke) 6
Match odds:H 1-4 A 10-1 D 5-1
Referee:Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Southampton (18) v Arsenal (5)

Southampton will again be without captain Adam Lallana, with manager Nigel Adkins once more refusing to confirm how long the midfielder’s knee injury would rule him out for, while right back Nathaniel Clyne is a doubt with a knee complaint that forced him to miss Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Stoke.

Arsenal centre back Per Mertesacker could be available after illness and midfielder Tomas Rosicky may come into contention after he was left on the bench for the 7-3 win over Newcastle. Defender Andre Santos (stomach muscle) and midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) are expected to start training again this week.

Last season:No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:Southampton L W L D D; Arsenal L W W W W
Top scorers:Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 8; Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 14
Match odds:H 7-2 A 7-10 D 3-1
Referee:Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

Swansea (10) v Aston Villa (17)
Swansea striker Michu will undergo a late fitness test on his ankle problem, while Angel Rangel is also a doubt with a calf injury. Ben Davies, Chico Flores, Michel Vorm and Leon Britton could all be restored to the starting line-up after being omitted from the starting XI in the 2-1 win at Fulham.

Midfielder Fabian Delph will make a timely return from suspension for Aston Villa, whose injury problems show no sign of abating, with strikers Darren Bent (hamstring) and Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh), winger Charles N’Zogbia (knee) and defenders Ron Vlaar (calf), Nathan Baker (hamstring) and Richard Dunne all sidelined.

Last season:Aston Villa 0 Swansea 2, Swansea 0 Aston Villa 0
Last five league matches:Swansea L L D D W; Aston Villa D W L L L
Top scorers:Michu (Swansea) 14; Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 11
Match odds:H 6-10 A 9-2 D 3-1
Referee:Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

Tottenham (4) v Reading (19)
Gareth Bale’s latest controversial booking for diving has earned him a suspension, with the winger’s third yellow card of the season for simulation in Saturday’s win at Sunderland his fifth overall. Clint Dempsey (groin) and Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) are also unavailable but Scott Parker will look to step up his recovery.

Reading boss Brian McDermott could stick with the same starting line-up for the third game running. Defender Sean Morrison returned to the bench for Saturday’s win over West Ham after recovering from an ankle injury, although Jason Roberts (hip) is unlikely to feature with Alex McCarthy (shoulder) a long-term absentee.

Last season:No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:Tottenham L W D W W; Reading L L L D W
Top scorers:Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 14; Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) 6
Match odds:H 4-11 A 15-2 D 19-5
Referee:Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

West Brom (7) v Fulham (14)
Defenders Jonas Olsson (groin), Steven Reid (ankle) and Goran Popov (hamstring) and midfielders Youssouf Mulumbu and Claudio Yacob (both hamstring) will all be checked over by West Brom boss Steve Clarke, while midfielder George Thorne could make another start after impressing against Manchester United at the weekend.

Fulham will hope Mark Schwarzer can recover from a neck injury after understudy David Stockdale had a forgettable 90 minutes in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea. Damien Duff is battling to be fit but the game is set to come too soon for Mahamadou Diarra and Mladen Petric.

Last season:Fulham 1 West Brom 1, West Brom 0 Fulham 0
Last five league matches:West Brom L D W W L; Fulham W L L D L
Top scorers:Shane Long (West Brom) 7; Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) 6
Match odds:H 1-1 A 13-5 D 5-2
Referee:Mike Dean (Wirral)

West Ham (12) v Norwich (11)
West Ham will be without suspended captain Kevin Nolan, who picked up a fifth booking of the season at Reading on Saturday. Defender James Collins is also missing through suspension with injured duo Andy Carroll (knee) and Mohamed Diame (hamstring) also not in contention.

Norwich midfielder Bradley Johnson will serve a one-match ban after collecting his fifth yellow card, while defender Steven Whittaker (hip), winger Andrew Surman (hip) and goalkeeper John Ruddy (thigh) miss out. Striker Steve Morison (thigh) is doubtful, as is captain Grant Holt (hamstring), so on-loan Tottenham forward Harry Kane could lead the attack.

Last season:No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches:West Ham W L D L L; Norwich W W L L L
Top scorers:Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 5; Grant Holt (Norwich) 4, Anthony Pilkington (Norwich) 4, Robert Snodgrass (Norwich) 4
Match odds:H 23-20 A 9-4 D 5-2
Referee:Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Wigan (16) v Manchester United (1)
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has no fresh injury worries, with defender Ivan Ramis coming through a full match against Aston Villa on Saturday with no problems after a hamstring injury. Midfielders Ben Watson (broken leg), Albert Crusat (knee) and Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and defender Adrian Lopez (hamstring) are all still out.

Manchester United full back Rafael is expected to return from a four-match absence with a hamstring injury, while Phil Jones could also be available as United manager Alex Ferguson once again prepares to rotate his squad, with top scorer Robin van Persie almost certain to be recalled to the starting XI.

Last season:Wigan 1 Man Utd 0, Man Utd 5 Wigan 0
Last five league matches:Wigan D L L L W; Man Utd W W D W W
Top scorers:Arouna Kone (Wigan) 6; Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 17
Match odds:H 9-2 A 11-20 D 10-3
Referee:Andre Marriner (W Midlands)


Chelsea (3) v QPR (20)

Goalkeeper Petr Cech is expected to sit out after suffering an adductor problem in the win at Everton on Sunday, with Ross Turnbull likely to replace the Czech. Midfielder John Obi Mikel missed the Goodison Park victory with a knee injury but it is not deemed serious by manger Rafael Benitez.

QPR have no fresh injury problems although Park Ji-sung remains a doubt and strikers Andrew Johnson (knee) and Bobby Zamora (hip) are sidelined with long-term injuries.

Last season:Chelsea 6 QPR 1, QPR 1 Chelsea 0
Last five league matches:Chelsea L W W W W; QPR D W L L L
Top scorers:Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 14; Djibril Cisse (QPR) 4, Bobby Zamora (QPR) 4, Adel Taarabt (QPR) 4
Match odds:H 1-5 A 12-1 D 11-2
Referee:Lee Mason (Lancashire)

Liverpool (9) v Sunderland (13)
Liverpool defender Jose Enrique has failed to recover from a hamstring injury, with Stewart Downing an option at left back. Illness has been sweeping through
the camp but the club are confident of keeping infection down to a minimum after midfielder Jordan Henderson and back-up goalkeeper Brad Jones were affected prior to the win over QPR.

Sunderland have suffered a blow as defender John O’Shea will miss out at Anfield due to a hamstring injury although full back Danny Rose returns to the squad after being ineligible to face parent club Tottenham at the weekend.

Last season:Sunderland 1 Liverpool 0, Liverpool 1 Sunderland 1
Last five league matches:Liverpool W L W L W; Sunderland W L W W L
Top scorers:Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 16; Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) 8
Match odds:H 2-5 A 7-1 D 7-2
Referee:Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Newcastle (15) v Everton (6)
Mike Williamson returns from suspension but Newcastle’s injury woes show no sign of abating as full back Danny Simpson suffered a broken toe in the 7-3
defeat at Arsenal and he joins defenders Ryan Taylor and Steven Taylor
(hamstring) and midfielders Yohan Cabaye (groin) Vurnon Anita (ankle), Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) and Jonas Gutierrez, Dan Gosling and Haris Vuckic (all knee) on the sidelines.

Everton will welcome back Marouane Fellaini from a three-match suspension and the Belgian’s return will offset the loss of Darron Gibson with a thigh strain for a month. Kevin Mirallas (hamstring), Tony Hibbert (calf) and Seamus Coleman are all unlikely to feature but Phil Neville (knee) could return having been rested for the defeat by Chelsea.

Last season:Everton 3 Newcastle 1, Newcastle 2 Everton 1
Last five league matches:Newcastle L L W L L; Everton W D W W L
Top scorers:Demba Ba (Newcastle) 13; Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 8
Match odds:H 9-5 A 7-5 D 5-2
Referee:Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

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