Ben Dinnery

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Late Fitness Check GW38

Friday, May 11, 2018

The final day promises to be more beach than battlefield after results midweek saw West Brom relegated from the top-flight for the tenth time. Too late was the cry despite the impressive turnaround under caretaker boss Darren Moore. Southampton’s win at Swansea also left their Welsh counterparts teetering on the brink and the fat lady has already begun her warm-up barring a 9-goal swing.


In the fight for a Top Four finish, Chelsea cling onto the hope that Brighton can somehow manage to smuggle an unlikely three-points from Anfield. Bookies make the visitors an 18/1 shot which is about right. Jurgen Klopp should go strong as Liverpool still need a draw and have the Champions League final to come.


Conte’s line-up will be a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final, but elsewhere, with a host of dead-rubber games, you’ll probably have more chance of predicting starters using a Magic ‘8’ Ball. Mourinho has already confirmed six United starters against Watford which includes one last hurrah for Michael Carrick.    


Now, all that’s left is for me to say thank you for your continued support and I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. The 2017/18 Premier League campaign may be over, but myself and the team will continue to post throughout the close season with the latest Transfer News, and of course, coverage of the World Cup finals in Russia.


Follow the entire Rotoworld Premier League team on Twitter: Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag | Ben | Nik



Burnley – vs – AFC Bournemouth

Ben Mee [shin] has been ruled out of the final game. Ashley Barnes will also miss the match after he over-stretched the ligaments in his shoulder at Arsenal. Following a specialist consultation, the striker is expected to ready to return in pre-season. Sean Dyche reveals that he will meet with Scott Arfield and Dean Marney to see whether they want to play any part in the final game. The pair will leave Turf Moor in the summer. Chris Wood [foot laceration] is expected to return to matchday squad.


"The ones that were out are still out," confirmed manager Eddie Howe in his pre-match press conference. "Harry Arter, Junior Stanislas and Adam Smith will all miss the game. There are one or two other knocks that we'll have to check and make decisions on."



Crystal Palace – vs – West Bromwich Albion

Roy Hodgson was full of praise for his backroom as the Eagles finish an injury-ravaged season with only Scott Dann and Bakary Sako unavailable: "It's amazing our medical team have done such an incredible job. We have everyone who could be available ready to play.” Connor Wickham [groin] is training but won't be risked and Joel Ward recovers from the ankle sprain which forced him off at Stoke. Jason Puncheon is back into contention following a serious knee injury.


Gareth Barry [knee] and James Morrison [Achilles] are still absent. "Bar that, we have a fully fit squad to choose from,” meaning Darren Moore could once again name an unchanged side. “I'll be taking a look at everyone today and tomorrow." Nacer Chadli is hoping for a second run out of the year after recovering from a thigh injury.  



Huddersfield Town – vs – Arsenal

David Wagner will respect the competition but says he will take “zero risk with any players with knocks” following a midweek draw at Stamford Bridge which guarantees another season in the top-flight. No fresh injury concerns. Tom Ince returned to the bench on Wednesday after missing the last two with a minor hamstring strain while Dean Whitehead - who will retire after the final game - could play a part against Arsenal.


Sunday is likely to come too soon for Mo Elneny [ankle], although the Egypt midfielder will be fine for the World Cup. Similarly, Mesut Ozil who is nursing a back complaint. Laurent Koscielny [Achilles] will be lucky to play again this year and youngster Konstantinos Mavropanos must sit this one out due to suspension. No Santi Cazorla either in what will be Arsène Wenger’s final game in charge.



Liverpool – vs – Brighton and Hove Albion

Jurgen Klopp said a week off is "exactly what was needed" following a busy month. A few players are carrying minor knocks, but the extra recovery time will help. "It would have been difficult to play [a midweek fixture]." Trent Alexander-Arnold would be a "good choice" if Gareth Southgate needs a right-back to go to the World Cup. The defender could be named in the Three Lions 23-man squad next Wednesday. Nothing new on Emre Can who looks to be losing his battle to be fit for the Champions League final later this month. Adam Lallana has trained normally for the past week and Klopp may consider the midfielder for some minutes on Sunday. "It's been a long time with no football, but Adam is Adam. He looks quite okay to be honest." Joe Gomez "sacrificed" himself a little bit against Stoke which ended his hopes of playing in Russia. The defender picked up an ankle injury early on and played through the pain-barrier to complete 90 minutes: "I told him it was not the smartest decision in his life, but it was brave."


Chris Hughton made a single change at The Etihad having beaten city rivals United five days earlier. That switch, Leonardo Ulloa for Glenn Murray could be reversed with more/less a full squad to choose from. Only Steve Sidwell is currently sidelined.



Manchester United – vs – Watford

Jose Mourinho confirms he will make a raft of changes for the final game after United's 0-0 bore-draw at West Ham secured second place. Sergio Romero "plays on Sunday because he deserves that" leaving David De Gea to warm the bench while Michael Carrick will make his final appearance for the club. Anthony Martial, Daley Blind, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford are among those tipped to come into the side. Despite being injured, Romelu Lukaku is still hoping to play in the FA Cup. "He is in Belgium having treatment with communications between doctors and our medical department at the moment. We are waiting to see if he can play [in the] final – if not starting at least to be on the bench." Marouane Fellaini will not feature.


Nathaniel Chalobah is nearing a return after almost eight months out: “He has a chance. We’ll see in the last training session tomorrow, but he is an option. He deserves this chance because he has worked very hard all this time,” confirmed Javi Gracia. "He is not in the best condition yet, but if he can play say 5-10 minutes – it will be very good for him. He’s been training with the team the last two weeks and he feels well.” The Watford coach also confirmed that Kiko Femenía, Miguel Britos and André Carrillo all missed training on Friday with different injury issues, and therefore are doubts ahead of the weekend. Étienne Capoue will miss out due to personal reasons.



Newcastle United – vs – Chelsea

No major changes in terms of team news for Newcastle. Ciaran Clark and Christian Atsu [both knee] are ruled out. Islam Slimani serves the last game of his ban and winger Kenedy cannot face his parent club due to the terms of his loan agreement.


Thibaut Courtois is in contention following a return to training on Friday after missing the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield due to a minor back injury. Regarding - David Luiz, Danny Drinkwater and Ethan Ampadu - Antonio Conte mused:  "[It's] always the same, no news."



Southampton – vs – Manchester City

Mario Lemina faces a late fitness test, but Mark Hughes is "hopeful of getting him back" for the clash with the Champions. "It's touch and go. It was a hamstring issue so you're never quite sure how quickly those resolve themselves. We'll have to wait on that one." Jan Bednarek might miss out after taking a whack on the head at Swansea: "He'll need checking nearer the time. Apart from that we'll have a clean bill of health." Maya Yoshida could be handed a recall after completing a one match ban.


Guardiola says his side will try to break triple figures of Premier League points (100) with a win at Southampton. "We will try to win the game. That is no doubt about that, we have done that all season. These last weeks, these numbers helped us to be focused and we are going to be the same on Sunday." Pep made eight changes for the win over Brighton, but you can expect to see the likes of David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker and Nicolas Otamendi back in the matchday squad. Sergio Aguero is on track to be in “perfect condition” for the World Cup.



Swansea City – vs – Stoke City

Swans legend Leon Britton plans to retire at the end of the season and Carlos Carvalhal could consider the midfielder for a sentimental starting role. A home defeat by Southampton on Tuesday all but guaranteed Championship football next term - attack will be the only way to go in this one if they are to stand any chance of beating the drop. Kyle Bartley, Leroy Fer and Bony are ruled out.


Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has trained this week but "it may be a big ask for him to play on Sunday" after nearly two months on the sidelines with a groin problem. Injury rules Bruno Martins Indi [groin] and Kostas Stafylidis [fractured rib] out. Jese Rodriguez is on compassionate leave and Ibrahim Afellay has not featured in recent weeks due to an internal disciplinary matter.



Tottenham Hotspur – vs – Leicester City

Serge Aurier [hamstring] and Mousa Dembele [ankle] face a late fitness test. No Harry Winks though who continues his rehabilitation. Eric Dier should come back into contention after missing the win over Newcastle: "He is still a little bit weak because he got a virus. We need to assess him, but I think he is going to be involved." Kieran Trippier [knee] and Victor Wanyama [thigh] will be checked on Saturday: "We hope that they will be involved." Pochettino will consider playing some of his fringe and development players - Juan Foyth and Kyle Walker-Peters are among those at the forefront of the managers thinking.


Claude Puel will wait until Saturday before deciding if Danny Simpson [groin] and Aleksandar Dragović [shoulder] are fit enough to face Tottenham. Meanwhile, Schmeichel [ankle] is likely to miss out: "I think we will see, but it will be difficult for Kasper." Marc Albrighton is suspended while Leicester are also without - Ben Chilwell, Wilfried Ndidi, Daniel Amartey, Robert Huth, Matty James and Shinji Okazaki - through injury. Adrien Silva seems okay "which is good news," and Fousseni Diabaté is fine.



West Ham United – vs – Everton  

Two unbeaten, four points and back-to-back clean-sheets has lifted the mood at West Ham who live to fight on for another season in the Premier League. David Moyes may keep faith in the same XI for the third consecutive game. Winston Reid, Sam Byram and Michail Antonio are long-term absentees, but Javier Hernandez and James Collins are both close, although Sunday may come too soon.


Sam Allardyce said "there is a chance" that Theo Walcott could return to the starting line-up after overcoming a calf injury. Wayne Rooney has been ruled out of the game after failing to recover from a knee problem. The Everton boss admits he remains in the dark regarding interest from MLS side DC United for the former England captain: "My understanding, there seems to have been some negotiation along the line, but as for clarity whether Wayne is staying or going, I'll find out when he comes in for training. He has not asked to leave.” Mason Holgate is back with the group, but the defender may not be risked "because he is short of match practice.” Gylfi Sigurdsson "is still a way off, unfortunately."

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 as well as a contributor of injury commentary to The Huffington Post UK,, @MetroUK, @EurosportCom_EN, Fantasy Football Pundits, talkSPORT and @bbc5live. He can be found on Twitter @BenDinnery.
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