Late Fitness Check GW18

Late Fitness Check GW18
Ben Dinnery is back for the third time in a week as Leicester City kick-off another exciting Premier League programme.
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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed Alvaro Morata is available for the visit of Southampton on Saturday.

Morata missed the midweek victory over Huddersfield Town, with Conte citing a back issue and fatigue as the reason for the striker's absence. However, the Spain international has returned to full training and is expected to feature when the Blues host Southampton on Saturday afternoon. Morata is Chelsea's top scorer this season, with ten goals in 21 appearances across all competitions and nine from 15 league outings. If Morata isn't fit enough to start though, Eden Hazard could again play as a striker with Pedro and Willian in supporting roles. Speaking to reports at a press conference on Friday, Conte said: "He [Morata] trained with us two days ago, again yesterday and also today. He has this pain in his back but he’s in contention for tomorrow’s game."
Dec 15 - 5:38 PM

West Ham will be without Winston Reid through a one-man ban for Saturday's match against Stoke City.

The New Zealand international clocked up his fifth yellow card of the season in Wednesday's draw with Arsenal and will have to sit out the match at the bet365 Stadium. The good news for David Moyes is Reid will be the only enforced changed, with no new injuries to report following the midweek clash. James Collins was fit enough to make the bench against Arsenal and could start in place of Reid, while Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell will likely round out the back line.
Dec 15 - 4:59 PM

Gareth Barry, Matt Phillips, and Craig Dawson are all close to returning from their respective injuries and could feature for West Brom against Manchester United on Sunday at the Hawthorns.

Alan Pardew has been limited in his selection since arriving in the Midlands but things are looking better as some of his troops return from minor injuries. Gareth Barry is the most likely of the three to recover from his thigh injury. Whether he features against an athletic Manchester United side is another question but he should be ready to play some part. Phillips and Dawson are probably closer to 50/50 propositions with Phillips probably the more likely of the two. Dawson has been out for a while and reintroducing him against Manchester United seems like it would be a desperate move.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 15 - 1:57 PM

Watford talisman Richarlison has been passed fit for Saturday's match against Huddersfield Town at Vicarage Road.

With injuries and suspensions piling up, Watford might have been in some real trouble if Richarlison's injury had prevented him from playing this weekend. His bright play in his first season in the Premier League has been a real difference for Marco Silva's side as compared with the lackluster group put out by Walter Mazzarri last season. The visit of Huddersfield Town should be an attractive fixture for a top half team and it will remain so with Watford's star Brazilian fit to play his part.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 15 - 1:52 PM

Kurt Zouma went off in mid-week with a hamstring injury and will now miss Stoke City's Week 18 trip to West Ham while he recovers.

Zouma will join Bruno Martins Indi and Glen Johnson on the sidelines as Stoke City suffer through yet another defensive injury crisis this season. Kevin Wimmer is likely to join Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron in a three-man center back group with Zouma out. Stoke City have slipped from their perch as a rugged defensive side over the past few years and being short-handed will certainly not help. West Ham, on the other hand, seem to be rebounding under David Moyes which will make this a difficult trip for the Potters.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 15 - 1:47 PM

Shkodran Mustafi should be fit to return to the Arsenal line-up for the visit of Newcastle on Saturday as part of Week 18 in the Premier League.

Mustafi is hardly the perfect center back but his absence has been felt at Arsenal. The match against Southampton could reasonably have expected to unfold differently if it had been Mustafi instead of Per Mertesacker trying to track Charlie Austin for the Saints' early goal. In general, Mertesacker's lack of mobility seems to have finally overcome his height and positional sense making him better suited for early round cup matches and, ultimately, the coaching role at the academy he is set to take next season. Look for Arsenal to tighten things up at the back if Mustafi does, indeed, return for Saturday as expected.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 15 - 1:41 PM

Theo Walcott has been a peripheral figure for Arsenal in the Premier League and he will get even further from the action as he misses the Week 18 match with Newcastle due to a groin injury.

Presumably, Walcott injured his groin in training but, given his injury history, it is possible that it was just getting out of bed in the morning. Such have been the struggles that the former Southampton youth product has faced in his years at Arsenal. The player has hopes of engineering a move away from the Emirates in January in an effort to get more playing time. Hopefully, he will get healthy soon and find a happy home for the second half of the season that will see him contribute in a meaningful way on the pitch.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 15 - 1:38 PM

Despite hopes that he would be ready for the weekend, Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out of Arsenal's side that will face Newcastle at the Emirates on Saturday.

The Gunners will need a big bounce back after failing to score against West Ham in midweek. Part of the hope for a rebound was a quick return from the in form Welsh midfielder but it will apparently not come to pass. It seems more likely that he will have to wait until the Friday match with Liverpool to kick off Week 19. Jack Wilshere will almost certainly deputize again and, based on what we saw against West Ham, Arsenal shouldn't suffer too much for the difference between the two.
Source: espnfc.com
Dec 15 - 1:35 PM
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