Ben Dinnery

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Late Fitness Check GW30

Friday, March 9, 2018


David Moyes will be hoping his troops can secure three-points before they jet off to Miami for a spot of warm-weather training while Pep plans to take full advantage of the extended break with a trip to Abu Dhabi following Monday nights’ game at Stoke.

 

Even Rafa is getting in on the act with the promise of some Spanish sun. “Not too long. No parties. Just to train, to make sure we have a competitive game.” Newcastle play Southampton on Saturday and then have 21 days before their next league fixture due to the FA Cup quarter-finals and international break.

 

Only four scheduled Premier League matches in game week thirty-one, so plan accordingly….  

 

Keep up-to speed with all of the latest news and follow the entire Rotoworld Premier League team on Twitter: Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag | Ben | Nik

 

 

 

Manchester United – vs – Liverpool


Mourinho confirms Marouane Fellaini is back in contention following minor knee surgery [lateral meniscus] but admits he isn't expecting anyone else back for the early kick-off. “It’s basically the same [squad as Monday]," he said. “The people injured are recovering step by step and a few of them are very, very close to a return – but not yet.” That means the likes of Phil Jones, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo are among those who remain out. Eric Bailly is fully fit and pushing for his first PL start since November.

 

Team News Update: Reports suggest Paul Pogba pulled up in training on Friday afternoon and the United midfielder faces a late fitness test. 

 

Andy Robertson has been given the all-clear after picking up a minor knock against Newcastle. Jordan Henderson suffered a dead leg during the Champions League bore-draw with Porto midweek, but the skipper looks to be okay. Gini Wijnaldum is on his way back following illness and has "looked good" in training. On a potential return for Nathaniel Clyne, Jurgen Klopp said. "We can be 100 per cent honest. He is back [on the training pitches] but has absolutely no rhythm. One match in the last nine months or so."

 

 

Everton – vs – Brighton and Hove Albion


The Toffees will be forced into at least one change for the visit of Brighton, but with Phil Jagielka, Funes Mori and Leighton Baines all fit for the visit of Brighton, Sam Allardyce has plenty of options as Ashley Williams begins a 3-game ban. Elsewhere, Everton are missing James McCarthy and Eliaquim Mangala who are ruled out for the remainder of the campaign. Maarten Stekelenburg is said to be close to a return following groin surgery.

 

No fresh injury concerns for Chris Hughton. "We've been fortunate and have good competition." Steve Sidwell [back and ankle] remains out long-term. Jiri Skalák is in full training while Ezequiel Schelotto is fine following a heavy collision with Sead Kolasinac which forced him off last weekend. "There's normal processes he has to go through. He hasn't trained since then,” Hughton said. "All of his training has been with our medical department, but that is only really to tick some boxes. He's been fine. It's just really the normal checks, which should be done."

 

 

Huddersfield Town – vs – Swansea City


Aaron Mooy [knee laceration] has been in full training this week. "He may not be able to play 90 minutes at the highest level, but he could be involved from the start still," revealed David Wagner. Elias Kachunga [MCL knee] was also back with the group although he won't be ready for a few weeks. Terence Kongolo suffered a hip injury at Wembley [GW29] which will keep him out until after the international break. Michael Hefele underwent knee surgery on Wednesday to repair damaged cartilage – it’s envisaged that the German will spend a further 6-8 weeks on the sidelines. Sean Scannell is still out due to a shoulder injury, but Alex Pritchard has recovered from the dead leg which forced him off against his former employers.  

 

Leon Britton felt a small problem in his back on Thursday, "nothing serious," and he should be able to train ahead of the game. That's it in terms of injuries other than long-term absentees - Leroy Fer, Wilfried Bony and Angel Rangel. Renato Sanches has been warm-weather training [in Portugal] as he steps up his recovery from the hamstring strain which has kept him out since early-February. Carlos Carvalhal expects him to available this month.

 

 

Newcastle United – vs – Southampton


Rafa Benitez will make a late call on Jonjo Shelvey [knee and groin] who has trained this week. "[However], we have to be careful and decide [on Saturday] if he can play." Third-choice goalkeeper Rob Elliot is not available while Jesus Gamez is still recovering from ankle surgery. Islam Slimani is doing better, "he is improving," and it is hoped that he can be ready for Huddersfield [GW31]. "We will have to see how he progresses."

 

This is the first of four away matches in a row for Southampton and Mauricio Pellegrino believes it represents a “nice challenge” for his players. Maya Yoshida will not travel with the squad to Tyneside. The Saints boss confirmed he has not recovered from a knee injury in time for the trip to St James' Park, and will continue his rehab back at Staplewood. Long-term absentee Charlie Austin is "making progress" but he will also miss out. "Steven Davis continues with his treatment," after he “felt something” in his hamstring during the build-up to game week twenty-nine.

 

 

West Bromwich Albion – vs – Leicester City


Jonny Evans and Chris Brunt have been ill, but while the latter is expected to feature, the Baggies skipper remains a major doubt. Only Hal Robson-Kanu is expected to return for the visit of Leicester with Nacer Chadli and James Morrison both set to miss out. The game will come too soon for Gareth Barry [knee] while Daniel Sturridge - who was hoping to return next weekend - won't feature until after the international break.

 

Claude Puel admits the saga around Riyad Mahrez's proposed transfer to Manchester City has had a negative impact on his side, particularly during their deadline day match against Everton. "It was a strange atmosphere," he said. "We lacked confidence after this game." However, the Algerian international appears to be back on song following his last-gasp free-kick which snatched a point from the jaws of defeat last time out. A hamstring strain is likely to keep Daniel Amartey sidelined for around a month meaning Danny Simpson is in line for a recall after he was dropped from the matchday squad. Shinji Okazaki is back in contention after recovering from a knee injury.

 

 

West Ham United – vs – Burnley


A decision on James Collins [tight hamstring] will be made in training on Friday. However, Angelo Ogbonna [illness] is expected to return to the matchday squad. Winston Reid [knee] will miss the remainder of the campaign. "Unfortunately, we lost him and Byram last week," revealed David Moyes. "Winston will be out for the rest of the season, and it doesn't look great for Sam either." The New Zealand international had surgery to repair his medial collateral ligament after he was knocked unconscious and landed awkwardly at Swansea. Arthur Masuaku serves the final game of his six-match ban.

 

Sean Dyche confirms there are "no changes" in the injury situation ahead of the trip to West Ham. Scott Arfield [calf] won't be ready for the game while Tom Heaton could "possibly" return after the international break. The goalkeeper has stepped up his recovery in recent weeks by playing in a couple of behind-closed-doors friendlies.

 


Chelsea – vs – Crystal Palace


Conte confirms N'Golo Kante is fine. The holding midfielder has "trained the whole week" and he is okay after fainting last Friday. David Luiz [ankle] remains out while Ross Barkley [hamstring] has suffered a setback. "After a bad injury and surgery, it is not simple when you stay out for several months to recover quickly. You must have patience to wait until the right moment." The Chelsea boss has a "couple of other situations" to check on between now and kick-off. Olivier Giroud is in "good physical condition" while Alvaro Morata is still working his way back to full fitness after a "strange injury" to his back. Both players are in the managers thinking. Tiemoue Bakayoko [calf] has been with the squad for the last week and may return - his physical condition is "not bad".

 

Roy Hodgson reveals Zaha is ahead of schedule but stresses "it was a serious [knee] injury" and the winger must not be rushed back. He has been training with the rehab people and the physios for a while, however he only joined the team on Thursday "albeit in a modified session". A decision on whether to involve him on Saturday will be made following discussions with the player, the doctor and the physios. "He will be with us [on Friday] in another light session - it has been a remarkable recovery." Mamadou Sakho is also back with the group. "He's been out for weeks now, [so it will be a while before he's back in contention]." Aaron Wan-Bissaka could feature again. "We have believed in him since we saw him in training and playing for U23s and we have always thought this is a player who could do a good job in the Premier League.” Yohan Cabaye, Joel Ward and Julian Speroni remain out but there was some encouraging news on Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Hodgson is hoping to have him back at Palace from Monday - the Chelsea loanee injured his ankle during the festive period but has been training with the U23s at Cobham.

 


Arsenal – vs – Watford


Sead Kolasinac is struggling due to an ankle problem, but Wenger won't rule the full-back out just yet - Calum Chambers was suffering from cramp in Milan and should be okay. Nacho Monreal is in a good way and he could be available for the Europa League next Thursday. Tests are ongoing but Hector Bellerin [knee] won’t be ready and there is no timeline on his return. "We don't know yet, we have to see." Alexandre Lacazette had his first run on Friday and is expected to be back in contention at the end of March.

 

Team News Update: I was told on Friday that Kolasinac and Chambers will train as normal ahead of the game. Both players were withdrawn as a precaution in Milan.

 

Jose Holebas has recovered sufficiently from the ankle injury he picked up late on vs West Brom. "He is okay,” confirmed Javi Gracia. “He trained for two days away from the team and two days with the team. He will train tomorrow, and I think he will be fit for the next match.” Kiko Femenía should also return to the Hornets’ matchday squad after missing out last weekend due to sickness. Craig Cathcart trains with the first-team as he steps up his recovery from a knee injury, however, Sunday’s game will come too soon. Tom Cleverley [hamstring] has been involved in some light work away from the group. "We will see in the next weeks if it is possible he can come back with us.” Christian Kabasele, Gerard Deulofeu, Younès Kaboul, Nathaniel Chalobah, Tommie Hoban and Molla Wagué remain absent.

 

 

AFC Bournemouth – vs – Tottenham Hotspur


Jordon Ibe, Marc Pugh and Ryan Fraser will be monitored ahead of Tottenham on Sunday. "We have a couple of concerns," Eddie Howe said. "I think Pugh will miss the game, but we also have problems with Ibe [hamstring] and Fraser [back]. We'll check on them close to the game [and] maybe we'll have a better idea.” Meanwhile, Defoe is pushing to be involved against his former club. "Jermain has looked good since he's returned from his ankle injury, he made a difference in the Newcastle game and he's certainly in my mind for selection."

 

Toby Alderweireld [hamstring] is in the early stages of integrating in parts of first team training – although it could be a few weeks before he is back in contention. Eric Dier is being assessed after sustaining an elbow injury against Juventus.

 

 

Stoke City – vs – Manchester City


The Potters are not "too bad" in terms of injuries currently. No timescale on Mame Diouf who dislocated his shoulder at Southampton, but if he does require surgery, then he won’t feature again in 2017/18. Lee Grant [wrist] and Stephen Ireland [calf] are not ready to return.

 

Fernandinho and Sterling [both hamstring] are "much better" and the pair are back in contention. Pep will make a late call as his team don't play again until Monday. Fabian Delph is rated as 50-50 "like this, like that" but the City boss does not know the "exact situation" as the players are off today [Friday].

 



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.
Email :Ben Dinnery





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