Get up to speed with all the team talk and injury news for this weekend’s Premier League matches before you place your bets.
Aston Villa v Man United
ASTON VILLA’s injuries mount as both Steve Sidwell (Achilles) and Nigel Reo-Coker (knee) are set for a spell out but good news came in the form of Gabriel Agbonlahor’s return to fitness midweek. MAN UTD’s Patrice Evra (ankle) and Rafael (thigh) both limped off during the Manchester derby and are doubtful while Paul Scholes is suspended for 1 game.
Man City v Birmingham
Mario Balotelli is suspended for MAN CITY but their only definite absentee through injury is Michael Johnson (knee) as full-back Aleksandar Kolarov pushes for a starting berth. Kevin Fahey may get the nod over Jean Beausejour for BIRMINGHAM while ‘keeper Maik Taylor (shoulder) is injured for up to 2 weeks, meaning Colin Doyle steps up to the bench.
Newcastle v Fulham
Joey Barton starts a 3-match ban for NEWCASTLE and Shola Ameobi (hamstring) is a doubt after coming off at half-time in midweek so Nile Ranger could deputise up front. FULHAM will be without Carlos Salcido (ankle) for around a month so youngster Matthew Briggs is set to fill in a left-back while Chris Baird (thigh) will not recover in time.
Tottenham v Blackburn
SPURS are short up front after Roman Pavlyuchenko (back) hobbled off against Sunderland but both Robbie Keane (ankle) and Jermain Defoe (ankle) have outside chances of making the team, depending on fitness, while Modric will play despite injury fears. Benjani and El-Hadji Diouf are pushing for recalls for BLACKBURN after shaking small injuries.
West Ham v Blackpool
Carlton Cole and Valon Behrami should be fit to turn out for WEST HAM after both picked up minor knocks and Manuel Da Costa (anke) could be ready but while Kieron Dyer could retain his place due to Julien Faubert’s suspension. BLACKPOOL will swap it about after making 10 changes midweek but Craig Cathcart (knee) is unlikely to feature.
Wigan v West Brom
Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) is a doubt for WIGAN this weekend but Steven Gohouri returns from a 1 match suspension in an otherwise clean bill of health. Gonzalo Jara and Youssouf Mulumbu are both suspended for WEST BROM while Ishmael Miller (thigh) will probably miss out but Nicky Shorey should be fit to take his place should he be rewarded it.
Wolverhampton v Bolton
Stephen Ward (leg) is a doubt for WOLVES after injury midweek, as is Kevin Doyle (hand) but Ronald Zubar and Jody Craddock are both nearing fitness and eyeing places in the squad. BOLTON have no new injury concerns to add to long termers Sean Davis (knee), Ricardo Gardner (thigh) or Joey O’Brien (knee) and could hand a start to Martin Petrov.
Stoke v Liverpool
Ryan Shawcross returns after suspension for STOKE and surprisingly, Tony Pulis may be forced to drop Ricardo Fuller because of fears of over-exerting him which means Tuncay will replace. LIVERPOOL have confirmed Daniel Agger (calf) will be out ‘long-term’ while Glen Johnson will most likely return and Joe Cole is pushing for a start after a brief layoff.
Everton v Arsenal – Sun
As quickly as Marouane Fellaini returned from injury for EVERTON he is out again, this time with suspension and Leon Osman (ankle) will remain sidelined but Jack Rodwell is fit again. ARSENAL will be without Thomas Vermaelan (Achilles), the suspended Laurent Koscielny and Abou Diaby (ankle) but Samir Nasri is fit to play.
Chelsea v Sunderland – Sun
CHELSEA have parted ways with assistant Ray Wilkins and Michael Essien is suspended but Frank Lampard is to make his long-awaited comeback and Nicolas Anelka has overcome a back problem. SUNDERLAND are without star striker Darren Bent (hamstring) and John Mensah (shoulder) is a doubt but Craig Gordon is fit after 90 minutes midweek.