The Everton defense is hoping to see the return of two starters for the weekend match against West Bromwich Albion, Roberto Martinez revealed today.
Tim Howard is set for a return from a knock that has kept him out for the past two games, while John Stones is also back in training following a hamstring injury. Said Martinez: "Tim Howard is very similar. He had a very good session on a one-to-one basis. We knew that they were problems that could be managed and treated in a short-term and conservative manner. We are very pleased with how their bodies have reacted. Now it’s about taking it step-by-step, introducing them to the group and seeing how they react. Hopefully they will be available for the West Brom game, if not at the maximum Bournemouth." Joel Robles has played in the last two matches, one FA Cup and one league, and has recorded clean sheets in each, giving Martinez and fantasy manager a difficult choice for the weekend.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez revealed more good injury news as John Stones has returned to light training following a hamstring injury.
Martinez said he hopes the defender can be available to face West Bromwich Albion on Saturday after it initially looked as though Stones would be out until the FA Cup in two weeks: "Yesterday we had a very productive day in respect [of injuries]. John had a really good feeling after his work and we are hoping that he can join the group this week leading up to the West Brom game." However, starting Stones this week presents a bit of a risk as it is unclear whether Stones will be risked to start in his return with Ramiro Funes Mori filling in last weekend. But West Brom has only scored one goal in its last four Premier League matches, making Everton defenders a hot pick for the weekend.
Siem de Jong has confirmed via social media that he is finally ready to resume full training after missing the last month due to an eye problem.
The injury stricken 27-year-old was left with blood pouring down his face after the former Ajax player was caught by a stray finger in a freak training ground accident. The force of which, damaged his contact lense and De Jong was rushed to hospital amid initial concerns that his sight may be affected. However, further tests revealed there was no lasting damage although De Jong was not allowed to train until he was given the green light from an eye specialist. On Sunday, the attacking midfielder tweeted: "Important win yesterday! Last few weeks had treatment on the eye. Tomorrow I can finally start individual training #nufc #backsoon."
West Brom have been plunged into a defensive crisis ahead of Wednesday nights’ FA Cup fourth round replay against Peterborough United at the London Road Stadium.
The League One outfit grabbed a dramatic equaliser in the original tie at the Hawthorns just as it seemed Tony Pulis’ men had done enough, taking the lead in the 84th minute. But parity was restored moments later and the sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. Now the Baggies face a trip down South with up-to five defenders at risk of missing the game. Jonny Evans (hamstring) and Chris Brunt (calf) are definitely ruled out while Jonas Olsson, Gareth McAuley and Craig Dawson picked up problems at Newcastle on Saturday. That leaves the Premier League outfit with only three fit senior defenders at the club - James Chester, Cristian Gamboa and Sebastien Pocognoli – and Pulis may need to call upon some Albion youngsters for cover.
Leicester City fans have more reason to celebrate an exhilarating season so far after the club announced Jamie Vardy has signed a long-term deal.
The new three-year contract is set to keep Vardy at the King Power Stadium until the summer of 2019. The announcement comes at a time when Vardy is the league's leading goalscorer with 18 tallies on the season. But that doesn't mean fantasy managers should automatically expect the striker to stay at the club after this summer (see Fabian Delph, 2015). However, it allows the club more leverage in any possible move while rewarding Vardy for the season at hand.
Manchester United defender Phil Jones is in the starting lineup for the club's U21 side tonight in his first match action during his recovery from an ankle injury.
The defender has missed the last month—five Premier League matches—since suffering the injury against Swansea City in Week 20. Since returning to training last week, the club has deemed him ready to participate fully and will surely welcome his return, which could allow Daley Blind to move to the club's thinnest position at left-back when Jones returns to pair with Chris Smalling. Memphis Depay and Adnan Januzaj will also start for the U21s as neither have seen much action in 2016, combing for 62 minutes of Premier League action since Week 21.
The Chelsea defense was dealt a major blow with the news that Kurt Zouma will undergo surgery to repair an ACL injury sustained in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
The club announced the French defender will miss the next six months with the injury, ruling him out for the rest of the season, this summer's European championships and putting the start of next season in jeopardy as well. Zouma was taken off the pitch on a stretcher in the 59th minute on Sunday after landing awkwardly after jumping for a header, hyperextending his knee as he fell to the pitch instantly. Without Zouma, who has started 21 of the club's 25 league matches, Chelsea will surely turn to Gary Cahill, who made his first appearance in the last six Premier League matches after coming on for Zouma.
Arsenal, looking to capture some of the magic of Leicester City's team-building magic, have recruited away top Foxes scout Ben Wrigglesworth.
Arsenal won't be the only club looking to duplicate what clubs like Leicester City and West Ham have done in the transfer market in recent seasons with captures like Riyad Mahrez, Ngolo Kante, and Dimitri Payet but the Gunners are taking a proactive step in that direction. The hiring of Ben Wrigglesworth will be seen as a move to bring new blood, and new blood with a successful recent track record, into the scouting mix.