Swansea City is starting to come healthy again just in time for the final run-in in its desperate chase to avoid relegation.
The Swans currently sit two points behind Hull City in the final relegation place. Ahead of the weekend clash with Manchester United, manager Paul Clement confirmed that Martin Olsson, Jack Cork and Leroy Fer are all participating in training as of Friday: "Martin Olsson has made good progress and he should join training tomorrow. Leroy got a dead leg and it has kept him out of training but he is also back tomorrow. Jack Cork has had a full week. So they are all in contention, we have to make an assessment of the physical work they have put in as to whether they start or are on the bench. We are almost at full strength."
Swansea City manager Paul Clement said he hopes to have veteran Wayne Roultedge back for the end of the season.
The winger underwent groin surgery to repair a hernia that has affected him over the past month of the season, causing him to miss the last three matches for the club. "Wayne could play again this season, he has had an operation on his hernia. He his resting and will be back shortly. It does not keep you out long and hopefully he is back training in 10 days." Clement also said that defender Angel Rangel is also pushing for a return before the end of the season as he recovers from a broken foot.
Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was taken off on a stretcher in Thursday's draw with Manchester United.
Bravo didn't have much to occupy him with Manchester United only recording one shot on goal, but the Chilean had to be replaced by Willy Caballero in the second half after sustaining a calf injury while defending a corner kick. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he expects Bravo to miss the next couple of matches as the Sky Blues fight for a Champions League spot: "I haven't spoken to the doctor but it looks like the calf. We will know more tomorrow. He has an injury and it looks like it could be a few games, but we will have to see."
Substitute Gabriel Jesus had a late header correctly ruled offside as Manchester City and Manchester United fought out a goalless draw at the Etihad.
Manchester City lacked the killer touch on Thursday, dominating possession and the attacking chances throughout an eventful derby clash. Sergio Aguero, who piled up a season-high number of shots (8), came closest for City when he hit the post early on before Aleksandar Kolarov saw his strong effort denied by David De Gea. Pep Guardiola's side continued their offensive assault in the second-half with both Raheem Sterling and Aguero forcing De Gea again into action. The match tilted even further in the home side's favor when Marouane Fellaini was dismissed after headbutting Aguero, while Jesus had his close-range header disallowed for offside in stoppage time. The result means City remain fourth in the table, one point and place above United.
Marouane Fellaini was sent off in the 84th minute as Manchester United saw off an inspired Manchester City to draw 0-0 in an eventful Manchester derby.
Manchester City were the better club at the Etihad but Manchester United held firm, as Jose Mourinho's defensive game plan proved too much for the Citizen break. City twice hit the post in the first half, with Sergio Aguero hitting the right post from close-range before David de Gea touched an Aleksandar Kolarov strike against the left. While United came close to opening the scoring just before the break when Ander Herrera headed a Marcus Rashford free-kick wide, it was the closest the visitors would get to finding a goal. City dominated the second-half and seemed to be on the verge of a victory after Fellaini was sent off for a rash headbutt on Aguero. Gabriel Jesus then appeared to have headed home the winner injury-time, but a good eye by the linesman saw him rightfully signal that the striker was in an offside position. All things consider, United will be happy with a share of the points.
Hull City will once again be without the services of Omar Elabdellaoui when they face Southampton at St Mary’s this weekend.
The Norwegian international has been struggling with a back problem since March and Marcos Silva will have to wait for another week, at least, before Elabdellaoui is ready for a return to first-team action. Everton loanee Oumar Niasse is available for selection after the Football Association decided to rescind the red card he was issued versus Watford in game week thirty-four. The Tigers have no fresh injury concerns but Ryan Mason [skull fracture], Moses Odubajo, Will Keane and David Meyler [all knee] remain on the sidelines. Greg Luer and Brian Lenihan continue to build fitness with the development side.
Joey Barton will appeal his 18-month suspension after he admitted a Football Association charge relating to betting on matches.
The Burnley midfielder is said to be "very disappointed at the harshness of the sanction" and if Barton is unsuccessful in having his ban reduced, then it’s unlikely he will ever play professionally again, certainly in the top-flight. At the age of 34, Barton admits: "The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football. I accept that I broke the rules governing professional footballers, but I do feel the penalty is heavier than it might be for other less controversial players." Barton was reunited with his former boss Sean Dyche in January following an unhappy stint at Rangers, and has enjoyed a successful return to Turf Moor. However, his contract will be terminated with immediate effect, if his ban for placing 1,260 bets between March 2006 and May 2016, breaching FA Rule E8, is not reduced. Steven Defour is poised for a return at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
After a delay of several weeks, the FA have punished Joey Barton with an 18-month ban for his decade-long gambling offenses.
The FA initially charged Barton back in early March, but the disciplinary hearing was delayed for several weeks because a chief investigator on the case fell ill. This allowed Barton to make a few more appearances for Burnley but, with a 34-year-old banned from football for a year and a half, one has to speculate whether Barton may have kicked the last ball of his professional career, a career with no shortage of controversy. While his temperament led to trouble both on and off the pitch, he has been able to succeed at a high level as a midfield enforcer, most recently helping Burnley to the top flight last season. Whether or not this is the end of the line for Barton, it is hard to imagine him fading quietly into the sunset. For the handful of fantasy managers who had been using Barton in draft leagues, it is now safe to drop him.