Ben Dinnery

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Late Fitness Check GW25

Monday, January 29, 2018


A full midweek programme follows quickly on the heels of the FA Cup which saw 14 top-flight sides in action. While the quick turnaround won’t affect most given the number of changes made in the fourth round – Man United [10] / Leicester City [10] Swansea City [8] / Brighton [7] – injuries and suspension meant the likes of West Ham and Watford were forced to keep the nucleus of their team.

 

With the deadline due to pass AFTER the last match of game week twenty-five, fantasy managers may also have to contend with a late flurry of transfer activity.  

 

As always, we will endeavour to keep you up-to date every step of the way.

 

Rotoworld Premier League team on Twitter: Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag | Ben | Galin | Nik

 

 

Swansea City – vs – Arsenal


Carlos Carvalhal confirms Renato Sanches has been ruled out after suffering a recurrence of the hamstring injury which has hampered him since the beginning of the month. "We are still waiting for news [on how long he will be sidelined] but he will not feature in tomorrow's game." Otherwise the Swans have a clean bill of health following the return of Tammy Abraham and Angel Rangel in the cup.

 

Olivier Giroud [hamstring] is expected to return to the squad but the game will be too early for Danny Welbeck. Wenger will make a late call on new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan based on his work over the past 2-3 days. "I haven’t decided [whether he'll start], but he’s available like everybody else. I think he can play everywhere in the midfield - certainly not in a defensive role - but all the other positions are not out of reach for him." The Arsenal boss admits "it will be hard" for Santi Cazorla to play in 2017/18 - in a recent interview the player more/less said he was focusing on a return next season.

 

 

West Ham United – vs – Crystal Palace


David Moyes confirms Manuel Lanzini "has a tear in his hamstring" which could sideline him for between 4-6 weeks. The injury looks more serious than the one suffered by Arnautovic who was injured during the same game. "Marko should be back sooner but it is still a worry because he is a player who uses that explosive power in sprinting." Antonio "is not too far away" but while Jose Fonte is back on the training pitches, he is likely to need a few practice matches having missed the last three months. A hamstring problem is hampering Andre Ayew, although he has done some outside running. Cheikhou Kouyate is managing a niggling ankle complaint while captain Mark Noble has been suffering from a bruised foot. Moyes reveals Pedro Obiang is out for an extended period. "He's got a medial ligament injury. We can't get the result straight away. He's not done anything to his cruciate which is good news. We're still assessing it.” Arthur Masuaku will serve a six-match ban for spitting at Wigan midfielder Nick Powell. "I spoke to him, he was sad, remorseful and really down. He has played well for us and we will miss him. It was a terrible thing he did, in our culture is not acceptable."

 

Roy Hodgson has been handed an unexpected triple injury boost ahead of the trip to the London Stadium. Long-term absentees Mamadou Sakho and Joel Ward are back in contention while Yohan Cabaye, who was expected to be ruled out for at least a month, “has recovered too." Connor Wickham [ACL] and Jeffrey Schlupp [MCL] are next in line to return although it could be another 3-4 weeks. No further news on Loftus-Cheek who is struggling to overcome an ankle ligament injury.

 

 

Huddersfield Town – vs – Liverpool


David Wagner is expected to make a host of changes after "several" of his fringe players were involved in the 1-1 draw with Birmingham. Monaco loanee Terence Kongolo is okay after picking up a minor knock but Danny Williams is a doubt having been forced off due to a hip injury. Elias Kachunga is out until March but "everyone [else] is healthy". That said, the game comes too early for Jon Stanković [ACL] who has only been training for the last 10 days.

 

Adam Lallana will miss out after suffering a setback. "The medical department told me no chance for West Brom, no chance for Huddersfield and a chance for Tottenham. After Tottenham for sure, but before Tottenham I don't know exactly," mused Klopp. No fresh injury concerns following the FA Cup defeat to West Brom. “[It] looks like all the players from the last game are available again, but not 100 per cent [carrying a few minor knocks]." Ragnar Klavan remains on the sidelines. James Milner and Jordan Henderson could be in line for a recall after the pair impressed from the bench. “They brought fresh ideas and confidence. They showed up, had good moments in the game. Very important for us."

 

 

Chelsea – vs – AFC Bournemouth


Conte confirmed Alvaro Morata returned to training on Monday, although he wasn’t with the first team. "He needs a bit of time to recover. It's important to have a player like this [back] soon." The Chelsea boss also revealed that David Luiz missed the win over Newcastle after suffering an ankle issue in training. Ross Barkley is expected to start on the bench. "As you know, after a bad injury you need a bit of time to be fit 100 per cent. If you want to accelerate this process, he has to play, not only have the training session." Thibaut Courtois trained ahead of the FA Cup, but complained of discomfort in his ankle, leaving his availability hanging in the balance.

 

Harry Arter should return after missing the last game through illness. Jermain Defoe is ahead of schedule while there is no definitive timeline on when Tyrone Mings will be available.

 

 

Everton – vs – Leicester City


Seamus Coleman will be included in the matchday squad following his recent run out for the U23s. The right-back has been sidelined since suffering a double leg fracture, playing for Ireland, back in March 2017. Sam Allardyce confirms James McCarthy's recent operation went well.... the midfielder is currently recuperating in his hometown, Glasgow. Funes Mori is back training with the squad, although the defender is not taking part in full sessions, however, he is progressing. "We monitor him closely." His original timeline was 6-9 months and he is bang on schedule. Luke Garbutt will be included in the squad but there was no mention of Leighton Baines who suffered a setback earlier this month.

 

No fresh injury concerns for Leicester. Only Wes Morgan [hamstring] remains in the Foxes treatment room following the return of Danny Simpson and Robert Huth on Saturday. The Captain should be back in full training soon. Claude Puel was full of praise for new boy - Cheick Diabaté - who scored twice on his debut in the FA Cup victory over Peterborough. "He can give opportunities for the team for the future. Of course, I am happy with his game. It was a perfect introduction to England. But he is just a young player and we need to have patience with him. I gave this name because I think the player can give good attributes." Kelechi Iheanacho is another who impressed on his return to the side. "He's more demanding with his training sessions and you can see this on the pitch. It's a good positive attitude and he needs to continue this now."

 

 

Newcastle United – vs – Burnley


Benitez will make a late call on Chelsea loanee Kenedy who arrived at the club last week. “Physically, he is fine.... it's just a question of match fitness." Florian Lejeune [ankle] is back out on the training pitches running and Aleksandar Mitrovic is over his recent injury. Jesus Gamez is the only definite absentee. "The rest are okay, some have little issues,” which includes Rob Elliot which means Freddie Woodman could provide back-up.

 

James Tarkowski is described as "touch and go" due to a minor groin injury. Steven Defour will meet with a knee specialist. "It’s something he’s had in his knee for a couple of weeks. It’s been a bit of a problem and he felt, and we felt, it was right to get it looked at. We will make a decision when we know more." Dean Marney is ruled out after suffering a minor setback – tweaked his medial knee ligament – no timeline on his recovery. Stephen Ward has returned to full training, but a lack of conditioning may ensure that Charlie Taylor starts at least one more game. Chris Wood has begun light outdoor work while Tom Heaton continues to progress. Aaron Lennon could be included following his switch from Everton. The winger "seems in good shape". Despite a growing injury-list, it remains "doubtful" that Dyche will add further to his squad.

 

 

 

Southampton – vs – Brighton and Hove Albion


Pellegrino says he will make a late decision on Ryan Bertrand who limped off against Watford with a suspected hamstring injury. "We wait, do the scan with the doctor and after we decide. We don’t know the consequence of the injury," he said post-match. However, the Saints boss revealed on Monday that the left-back was "much better" and he we will see what condition he is. New signing Carrillo isn't 100 per cent yet and he is likely to start on the bench again. Charlie Austin "is back on the pitch training, something that is really good news for us."

 

Steve Sidwell [back and ankle] is missing through injury while Chris Hughton expects new signing Jürgen Locadia to be available "in a couple of weeks" having arrived from Ajax with a hamstring injury. "He has settled in really well. He has done some really good work outside with our medical department." The 24-year-old could begin full training from next Monday. Brighton hope to learn the extent of Jiří Skalák’s injury soon after he was forced off at Middlesbrough. Loan signing [and former Seagull] Leonardo Ulloa will be included in the squad.

 

 

Manchester City – vs – West Bromwich Albion


Pep Guardiola was left fuming after Leroy Sane was on the receiving end of a horror tackle which almost broke the wingers leg. The City boss wasn’t happy with Cardiff’s roughhouse tactics on Sunday and called for more protection from the officials. "You have to protect the players," he said. "Not just my players, all players. Where there is fault, there is fault and when it is dangerous, it is dangerous. You are not [braver] for kicking." Sane was caught late [high on the shin] by left-back Joe Bennett, and a scan on Monday confirmed the German international has damaged ankle ligaments. “He will be out for a while - minimum two weeks, three weeks, one month, we will see tomorrow exactly," Guardiola mused. David Silva should return while captain Vincent Kompany could make way for John Stones who was rested last weekend.

 

The Baggies win at Anfield on Saturday came at a cost as Hal Robson-Kanu, Kieran Gibbs, Jake Livermore and Jonny Evans all suffered muscular injuries. The quartet were still being assessed at the time of writing, but with such a quick turnaround, it’s difficult to see any of the quartet making the game. Gareth McAuley and Sam Field are expected to recover from the flu-bug which swept through camp last week. Nacer Chadli and James Morrison are still around a month away.  

 

 

Stoke City – vs – Watford


"Everybody seems not too bad," said Lambert ahead of the Watford game. We have one or two niggly things, but on the whole, everybody is in good shape." The Potters have enjoyed an extended break, undertaking double training sessions, since enjoying the 2-0 win over Huddersfield in game week twenty-four.

 

Tom Cleverley [hamstring] and Younes Kaboul [metatarsal] have returned to training. Will Hughes, Miguel Britos and Femenía are all progressing well following their recent assessments and the trio are commencing 'pitch rehab'. Troy Deeney, heavily linked with a move away, could return after missing Javi Gracia's first game in charge through illness. Karnezis is poised to deputise in place of Heurelho Gomes who is struggling to overcome a back problem [spasm]. Molla Waguè is a definite absentee having picked up a hamstring injury at Leicester. Isaac Success is close following a return to full training.

 

 

Tottenham Hotspur – vs – Manchester United


Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen [both illness] are expected to come back into Pochettino’s thinking while Erik Lamela [glute] and Serge Aurier [calf] face a late fitness test. Toby Alderweireld has re-joined the group but the Tottenham boss is unlikely to throw him straight back in following injury. Danny Rose [knee] and Harry Winks [ankle] are struggling with ongoing problems.  

 

Jose Mourinho made ten changes for the win at Yeovil and the appearance of Juan Mata, the only player to retain his place, could be telling when the teams are announced on Wednesday. All eyes will be on Alexis Sanchez and whether the Chilean will be handed his Premier League debut. Michael Carrick was back to captain the side on Friday, but the veteran midfielder is nothing more than a bit part player these days. Mourinho says if Ibrahimović wants a future with another club, in another country, then "we are here to help and create conditions for that to happen, not to make his life difficult." However, at the moment he is “working hard to be fit” to cope with the rigours of the top-flight. 



Ben Dinnery is a leading expert on Premier League injuries and the Founder of Premier Injuries. He is the man behind the PL Injury Table at PhysioRoom.com as well as a contributor of injury commentary to The Huffington Post UK, ESPNFC.com, @MetroUK, @EurosportCom_EN, Fantasy Football Pundits, talkSPORT and @bbc5live. He can be found on Twitter @BenDinnery.
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