Ben Dinnery

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Late Fitness Check GW22

Sunday, December 31, 2017


Another full programme to get your teeth into on New Year’s Day and game week 22 could see some of the biggest names in fantasy – regardless of format – missing out.

 

Harry Kane will be most people’s go to in a double game week, but the striker is feeling a little under the winter weather and his fitness cannot be guaranteed for Tuesday. Hot shot Mo Salah has picked up a knee problem while Kevin de Bruyne was viciously hacked down by Jason Puncheon to all but end his hopes of playing against Watford.

 

Jose Mourinho has been bemoaning the fixture schedule in recent weeks and now United must contend with injury and suspension following a disappointing seven-days. Romelu Lukaku is still feeling the after effects of his head injury while Ashley Young should know better, especially in light of the recent James Tarkowski suspension.

 

This week’s preview is most definitely a working document… Remember to keep checking for updates and cross referencing with the Rotoworld Injury Table.  

 


Brighton and Hove Albion – vs – AFC Bournemouth


Anthony Knockaert, Bruno, Gaetan Bong, Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross were all recalled to starting XI last-time out and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chris Hughton ring the changes [despite an impressive performance on Tyneside] in the early kick-off. Steve Sidwell [back] is the only confirmed injury absentee while Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown will be itching to return after failing to make the matchday squad on Saturday.

 

Eddie Howe will be forced into at least one change after Josh King picked up another hamstring injury. "You're looking at least a few weeks [which] may change our transfer policy [in January]," revealed the Cherries boss. Harry Arter and Charlie Daniels are back in contention after recovering from injury but Jermain Defoe, Tyrone Mings and Brad Smith aren’t due back for a while yet. Andrew Surman is closest with the midfielder set for a late fitness test.

 

 

Burnley – vs – Liverpool


James Tarkowski is back after serving his three-match ban but the central defender recently underwent surgery to pin and plate a broken bone in his hand flagging him as a doubt. Kevin Long will continue to deputise if he does miss out. Stephen Ward and Chris Wood [both knee] won’t be too far away but Sean Dyche is in no hurry to recall either given the form of the Clarets in recent weeks. No timeline for Tom Heaton with Robbie Brady expected to miss the remainder of the season.  

 

“I don’t know exactly how many changes we will make but I would say for sure more than one,” revealed Jurgen Klopp following the 2-1 win over Leicester. Mo Salah is at risk of missing out after limping to the sidelines due to a knee injury. “I don’t know in this moment exactly [what it is], we have to see,” although late reports on New Year’s Eve suggest the in-form attacker is set for a couple of weeks on the sidelines. Simon Mignolet will be back between the sticks on Monday after Loris Karius stepped into the breach at Anfield. Sturridge suffered a minor setback and his availability remains uncertain. “Daniel was ill and now [has] a little muscle thing. It’s not a big deal, to be honest, but in this period, all these things keep you away from games." Alberto Moreno is targeting a return against Manchester City on January 14. "He's quickest healer in the squad - after the next three games he could be back." Regarding the rest of his squad, Klopp will leave that decision up-to his medical team. “They will tell me who is available for playing again and that’s all I need to know. Then I’ll make the line-up.”

 

 

Leicester City – vs – Huddersfield Town


Christian Fuchs will continue at left-back if Ben Chilwell fails to recover from illness. The England under-21 travelled to Merseyside on Saturday but was sent home by the club-doctor. Daniel Amartey was given the nod over Aleksandar Dragović at right-back with Danny Simpson out for a month. Adrien Silva will be registered in January; however, Monday will come too soon for the former Sporting CP star. Robert Huth is training but will need to build fitness with the development side before he can be considered.

 

Florent Hadergjonaj was forced off at the break on Saturday and David Wagner will make a late decision on the right-back. Either way, the Terriers boss is expected to recall skipper Tommy Smith. Michael Hefele was named amongst the substitutes [vs Burnley] but the centre-back is lacking match-fitness and won’t threaten a start just yet. Philip Billing [ankle] and Jon Stankovic [knee] could return later this month while Elias Kachunga is hoping to be back by late February.

 

 

Stoke City – vs – Newcastle United


Despite a 5-nil drubbing at Chelsea, manager Mark Hughes was still upbeat ahead of the Newcastle game. "If we win on Monday, it's a decent Christmas period for us. The reality was it was always going to be difficult to get a result here, even with a full-strength squad, sometimes you have to be pragmatic." Stephen Ireland is close to ending his injury nightmare after spending more than 600 days recovering from a double leg fracture. The Stoke midfielder travelled with the group to Stamford Bridge but failed to make the squad. Kurt Zouma [ineligible] last weekend will provide some much-needed cover in defence while Hughes is hoping Eric Pieters can overcome a hip problem. Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi remain out.

 

Rafa rung the changes, seven in total, following a disappointing performance against Man City three days earlier, but the Geordies once again failed to deliver which may prompt another cull. Of those currently sidelined, goalkeeper Rob Elliot [thigh] is the only potential returner with Aleksandar Mitrovic [back], Florian Lejeune [foot] and Jesus Gamez [ankle surgery] still injured.

 

 

Everton – vs – Manchester United


Wayne Rooney is poised to make his first start of the festive programme having been limited to just 45 minutes because of illness. Sam Allardyce suffered his first defeat since taking over and he would love to get back to winning ways against their north-west rivals. Long-term absentees remain the same [Seamus Coleman / Funes Mori] but James McCarthy is back in the reckoning and Ross Barkley isn’t too far away. Leighton Baines will be a little longer following a minor setback in training.

 

Mourinho admits he will find it difficult to rotate his squad due to the number of players unavailable for the match. Romelu Lukaku has been ruled out after suffering a sickening clash of heads with Saints defender Wesley Hoedt. "I don’t know [about a timescale]," he said. "I know that normally bad, bad news arrives immediately. Bad news didn't arrive. I think that there’s a problem for the next two matches. For sure." Ashley Young begins a three-game ban after accepting a violent conduct charge following an off-the-ball incident involving Dusan Tadic. Zlatan Ibrahimović will be sidelined for a month. “It's a massive problem," said the United boss. "He is a 36-year-old with a bad knee.” No timescale for Marouane Fellaini [knee] who has been sidelined since November. Antonio Valencia [hamstring] and Chris Smalling [groin] are not expected to feature. Michael Carrick [heart] is ruled out. Matteo Darmian has trained ahead of the trip to Goodison Park.

 

 

Southampton – vs – Crystal Palace


Shane Long was given the nod at Old Trafford with Charlie Austin ruled out until at least March. "He will have another test to analyse the grade of his injury. We will see, but I expect him to be out for a couple of months minimum. It's a big pity because he was in a really good moment." The Saints were good for their 0-0 draw but Pellegrino is still expected to make a couple of changes – Nathan Redmond and Mario Lemina being the two obvious choices. Alex McCarthy made his first Premier League start for the club with Fraser Forster dropping to the bench.

 

Roy Hodgson is hoping to have one or two players back for the trip to St Marys’ on Tuesday, although the former England boss refused to name individuals. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, James McArthur and Jeffrey Schlupp all missed the 0-0 draw with Man City on New Year’s Eve. Scott Dann looks set for an extended period on the sidelines. "The doctors loathe to make any bold statements - it doesn’t look good. It looks like a serious knee injury, but how serious it turns out to be after he has the scan, we will have to wait and see." Palace are “massively stretched” at the back with Mamadou Sakho out and Joel Ward not yet ready to return. Jason Puncheon hurt himself following his horror tackle on Kevin de Bruyne, and the Palace midfielder was stretchered off in injury time, but no further details have been released on his status.

 

 

Swansea City – vs – Tottenham Hotspur


Swansea produced a dramatic late finish at Vicarage Road in Carlos Carvalhal’s first game in charge to secure an unlikely three-points. Tammy Abraham faces a late fitness test after sustaining a stomach injury during the victory. Wilfried Bony will return to the side if he can prove his fitness. Ki Sung-Yeung, Leon Britton [both calf] and Kyle Bartley [knee] are all struggling and could miss out again. Kyle Naughton has been banned for three-games after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct. Television cameras showed the Swansea full-back stamping on Watford striker Stefano Okaka last weekend.

 

Following a free weekend, Tottenham play the first of two games in the space of 48 hours. Toby Alderweireld [hamstring] is continuing his rehab with outdoor work [estimated return February]. Harry Kane [Illness] is hopeful of being fit to face Swansea. Victor Wanyama [knee] has returned to full training with the first team and is ready to return. “It’s great for the team to be available in such a busy schedule." Pochettino confirms Mousa Dembele suffered hip and groin problems [vs Southampton]. "He asked to come off. Now we are assessing him. He’s a doubt for Tuesday."

 

  

Another full programme to get your teeth into on New Year’s Day and game week 22 could see some of the biggest names in fantasy – regardless of format – missing out.

 

Harry Kane will be most people’s go to in a double game week, but the striker is feeling a little under the winter weather and his fitness cannot be guaranteed for Tuesday. Hot shot Mo Salah has picked up a knee problem while Kevin de Bruyne was viciously hacked down by Jason Puncheon to all but end his hopes of playing against Watford.

 

Jose Mourinho has been bemoaning the fixture schedule in recent weeks and now United must contend with injury and suspension following a disappointing seven-days. Romelu Lukaku is still feeling the after effects of his head injury while Ashley Young should know better, especially in light of the recent James Tarkowski suspension.

 

This week’s preview is most definitely a working document… Remember to keep checking for updates and cross referencing with the Rotoworld Injury Table

 

 

Brighton and Hove Albion – vs – AFC Bournemouth


Anthony Knockaert, Bruno, Gaetan Bong, Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross were all recalled to starting XI last-time out and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chris Hughton ring the changes [despite an impressive performance on Tyneside] in the early kick-off. Steve Sidwell [back] is the only confirmed injury absentee while Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown will be itching to return after failing to make the matchday squad on Saturday.

 

Eddie Howe will be forced into at least one change after Josh King picked up another hamstring injury. "You're looking at least a few weeks [which] may change our transfer policy [in January]," revealed the Cherries boss. Harry Arter and Charlie Daniels are back in contention after recovering from injury but Jermain Defoe, Tyrone Mings and Brad Smith aren’t due back for a while yet. Andrew Surman is closest with the midfielder set for a late fitness test.

 

 

Burnley – vs – Liverpool


James Tarkowski is back after serving his three-match ban but the central defender recently underwent surgery to pin and plate a broken bone in his hand flagging him as a doubt. Kevin Long will continue to deputise if he does miss out. Stephen Ward and Chris Wood [both knee] won’t be too far away but Sean Dyche is in no hurry to recall either given the form of the Clarets in recent weeks. No timeline for Tom Heaton with Robbie Brady expected to miss the remainder of the season. 

 

“I don’t know exactly how many changes we will make but I would say for sure more than one,” revealed Jurgen Klopp following the 2-1 win over Leicester. Mo Salah is at risk of missing out after limping to the sidelines due to a knee injury. “I don’t know in this moment exactly [what it is], we have to see,” although late reports on New Year’s Eve suggest the in-form attacker is set for a couple of weeks on the sidelines. Simon Mignolet will be back between the sticks on Monday after Loris Karius stepped into the breach at Anfield. Sturridge suffered a minor setback and his availability remains uncertain. “Daniel was ill and now [has] a little muscle thing. It’s not a big deal, to be honest, but in this period, all these things keep you away from games." Alberto Moreno is targeting a return against Manchester City on January 14. "He's quickest healer in the squad - after the next three games he could be back." Regarding the rest of his squad, Klopp will leave that decision up-to his medical team. “They will tell me who is available for playing again and that’s all I need to know. Then I’ll make the line-up.”

 

 

Leicester City – vs – Huddersfield Town


Christian Fuchs will continue at left-back if Ben Chilwell fails to recover from illness. The England under-21 travelled to Merseyside on Saturday but was sent home by the club-doctor. Daniel Amartey was given the nod over Aleksandar Dragović at right-back with Danny Simpson out for a month. Adrien Silva will be registered in January; however, Monday will come too soon for the former Sporting CP star. Robert Huth is training but will need to build fitness with the development side before he can be considered.

 

Florent Hadergjonaj was forced off at the break on Saturday and David Wagner will make a late decision on the right-back. Either way, the Terriers boss is expected to recall skipper Tommy Smith. Michael Hefele was named amongst the substitutes [vs Burnley] but the centre-back is lacking match-fitness and won’t threaten a start just yet. Philip Billing [ankle] and Jon Stankovic [knee] could return later this month while Elias Kachunga is hoping to be back by late February.

 

 

Stoke City – vs – Newcastle United


Despite a 5-nil drubbing at Chelsea, manager Mark Hughes was still upbeat ahead of the Newcastle game. "If we win on Monday, it's a decent Christmas period for us. The reality was it was always going to be difficult to get a result here, even with a full-strength squad, sometimes you have to be pragmatic." Stephen Ireland is close to ending his injury nightmare after spending more than 600 days recovering from a double leg fracture. The Stoke midfielder travelled with the group to Stamford Bridge but failed to make the squad. Kurt Zouma [ineligible] last weekend will provide some much-needed cover in defence while Hughes is hoping Eric Pieters can overcome a hip problem. Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi remain out.

 

Rafa rung the changes, seven in total, following a disappointing performance against Man City three days earlier, but the Geordies once again failed to deliver which may prompt another cull. Of those currently sidelined, goalkeeper Rob Elliot [thigh] is the only potential returner with Aleksandar Mitrovic [back], Florian Lejeune [foot] and Jesus Gamez [ankle surgery] still injured.

 

 

Everton – vs – Manchester United


Wayne Rooney is poised to make his first start of the festive programme having been limited to just 45 minutes because of illness. Sam Allardyce suffered his first defeat since taking over and he would love to get back to winning ways against their north-west rivals. Long-term absentees remain the same [Seamus Coleman / Funes Mori] but James McCarthy is back in the reckoning and Ross Barkley isn’t too far away. Leighton Baines will be a little longer following a minor setback in training.

 

Mourinho admits he will find it difficult to rotate his squad due to the number of players unavailable for the match. Romelu Lukaku has been ruled out after suffering a sickening clash of heads with Saints defender Wesley Hoedt. "I don’t know [about a timescale]," he said. "I know that normally bad, bad news arrives immediately. Bad news didn't arrive. I think that there’s a problem for the next two matches. For sure." Ashley Young begins a three-game ban after accepting a violent conduct charge following an off-the-ball incident involving Dusan Tadic. Zlatan Ibrahimović will be sidelined for a month. “It's a massive problem," said the United boss. "He is a 36-year-old with a bad knee.” No timescale for Marouane Fellaini [knee] who has been sidelined since November. Antonio Valencia [hamstring] and Chris Smalling [groin] are not expected to feature. Michael Carrick [heart] is ruled out. Matteo Darmian has trained ahead of the trip to Goodison Park.

 

 

Southampton – vs – Crystal Palace


Shane Long was given the nod at Old Trafford with Charlie Austin ruled out until at least March. "He will have another test to analyse the grade of his injury. We will see, but I expect him to be out for a couple of months minimum. It's a big pity because he was in a really good moment." The Saints were good for their 0-0 draw but Pellegrino is still expected to make a couple of changes – Nathan Redmond and Mario Lemina being the two obvious choices. Alex McCarthy made his first Premier League start for the club with Fraser Forster dropping to the bench.

 

Roy Hodgson is hoping to have one or two players back for the trip to St Marys’ on Tuesday, although the former England boss refused to name individuals. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, James McArthur and Jeffrey Schlupp all missed the 0-0 draw with Man City on New Year’s Eve. Scott Dann looks set for an extended period on the sidelines. "The doctors loathe to make any bold statements - it doesn’t look good. It looks like a serious knee injury, but how serious it turns out to be after he has the scan, we will have to wait and see." Palace are “massively stretched” at the back with Mamadou Sakho out and Joel Ward not yet ready to return. Jason Puncheon hurt himself following his horror tackle on Kevin de Bruyne, and the Palace midfielder was stretchered off in injury time, but no further details have been released on his status.

 

 

Swansea City – vs – Tottenham Hotspur


Swansea produced a dramatic late finish at Vicarage Road in Carlos Carvalhal’s first game in charge to secure an unlikely three-points. Tammy Abraham faces a late fitness test after sustaining a stomach injury during the victory. Wilfried Bony will return to the side if he can prove his fitness. Ki Sung-Yeung, Leon Britton [both calf] and Kyle Bartley [knee] are all struggling and could miss out again. Kyle Naughton has been banned for three-games after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct. Television cameras showed the Swansea full-back stamping on Watford striker Stefano Okaka last weekend.

 

Following a free weekend, Tottenham play the first of two games in the space of 48 hours. Toby Alderweireld [hamstring] is continuing his rehab with outdoor work [estimated return February]. Harry Kane [Illness] is hopeful of being fit to face Swansea. Victor Wanyama [knee] has returned to full training with the first team and is ready to return. “It’s great for the team to be available in such a busy schedule." Pochettino confirms Mousa Dembele suffered hip and groin problems [vs Southampton]. "He asked to come off. Now we are assessing him. He’s a doubt for Tuesday."

 

 

 West Ham United – vs – West Bromwich Albion


Mark Noble was rested as a precaution last time out after complaining of a tight hamstring. However, the Hammers captain has trained and he could return to the squad. Injury ruled Michail Antonio out of the game at Bournemouth and the attacker is still struggling to shake off the effects of a niggling calf problem. Sam Byram and Jose Fonte are pencilled in to return later this month.

 

Salomon Rondon picked up a hamstring problem on Boxing Day which Alan Pardew said would “probably" keep him out of the next two games. Hal Robson-Kanu deputised against Arsenal. A setback could leave Nacer Chadli sidelined for up-to two months but there was better news concerning James Morrison who is getting closer to a return.

 

 

Manchester City – vs – Watford


Gabriel Jesus “will be one month, maybe two months” out after suffering a knee injury. Sergio Aguero is a shoo-in for the game against the Hornets. Initial reports suggest Kevin de Bruyne was lucky not to be seriously hurt at Selhurst Park, although the full extent of his injury won’t be known for a day or two and his involvement remains a major doubt. Guardiola has asked everyone to respect the private wishes of David Silva who is missing due to personal reasons. “He’ll come back when he’s ready to return.” Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph could return to the matchday squad.

 

Troy Deeney serves the final game of his four-match ban. No one from the Watford treatment room is expected to return for this one but Kiko Femenía, Will Hughes [both hamstring], Isaac Success [knee] and Miguel Britos [foot] are all close. Younes Kaboul, Craig Cathcart and Nathaniel Chalobah are among the long-term casualties and Marco Silva will have to wait a little longer before they are ready.

 

 

Arsenal – vs – Chelsea


Ozil was replaced by Alex Iwobi at West Brom due to a persistent knee issue and the German international remains a doubt for the visit of Chelsea. "He is injured and cannot contribute," Wenger told reporters on Sunday. "He has a little chance [of returning on Wednesday]." Sead Kolasinac is an early doubt for the game after he was forced off at the Hawthorns. The marauding wing-back failed to recover from a heavy first-half challenge by Gareth Barry. The game will come too soon for Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal and Olivier Giroud.

 

David Luiz and Charly Musonda, respective knee and groin injuries, have returned to training, but a lack of conditioning means the FA Cup match at Norwich on Saturday is a more realistic return. Expect a recall for Eden Hazard, Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas after the trio were rested for the win over Stoke City.  


West Ham United – vs – West Bromwich Albion

Team news to follow.

 

 

Manchester City – vs – Watford

Team news to follow.

 

 

Arsenal – vs – Chelsea

Team news to follow.



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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