Rolando Aarons is closing in on a return for Newcastle United, with the young talent already stumping for a chance to participate in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday.
In a season filled with many disappointments at St. James', Aarons has looked a real prospect in his appearances early in the season before his hamstring knocked him out of action since November 1. Once he is ready, you can be certain that John Carver and the Newcastle brass will want to get him on the pitch. Question marks are already circling around his future with the club with a year remaining on his contract so with a handful of games remaining, now is the chance to showcase his talents ahead of the summer transfer window should the club look to deal.
Raheem Sterling expects to be available for Liverpool's important match against Arsenal this weekend despite an early exit from the Three Lions for a toe injection.
The injection is supposed to heal damaged tissue in the area around the speedster's toe. Unless there is an unexpected setback between now and Saturday, one would imagine that based on the crucial nature of the upcoming match, Brendan Rodgers will name Sterling to his XI. With Daniel Sturridge already sidelined, the odds of Mario Balotelli getting a start are increasing by the day.
Jordon Ibe is hoping to be available for first team selection well ahead of schedule following a return to light training less than a month after knee surgery.
Ibe strained his lateral collateral ligament during a Europa League tie in Turkey and despite Brendan Rodgers initially confirming 3/4 weeks further tests revealed the damage was far worse than originally feared with his surgeon advising a realistic time-frame of up-to 3 months. However it now looks like Jordon Ibe could return in GW32 for the visit of Newcastle to provide the Reds with a welcome boost. Having impressed during his loan spell at Derby earlier this season Ibe arrived at Anfield in great form and made his first league start during the Merseyside derby draw at Goodison in February. Long-term Ibe could go head-to-head with Markovic for a place on the right in a 3-4-3 and this emerging talent will almost certainly see Javier Manquillo return to the La Liga following his loan move from Atletico Madrid.
Garry Monk is sweating on the fitness of two of his squad members after Jefferson Montero was replaced just before half-time for Ecuador on Sunday while Tom Carroll will also return to the club having limped off for England U21s on Friday.
Montero reportedly suffered a thigh injury - the extent of which is unknown – moments after the Swansea winger had a chance to level a Javier Hernandez opener for Mexico. If confirmed this latest setback could represent Montero’s fourth hamstring injury of the season following his $8 million move from Liga MX side Morelia. The news comes on the back of an English FA statement confirming midfielder Tom Carroll will not be included in the under-21 squad that takes on Germany this Monday after the Tottenham loanee grabbed the winner in Prague on Friday before limping off.
Ayoze Perez has needed to step up his scoring in the absence of Papiss Cisse but has failed to do so as Newcastle United continue to look in rough shape.
Perez caught everyone's attention earlier in the season when he tallied a goal in each of his first three league starts. He would add a couple more in the month of December, but since then the well has dried up, going over 800 minutes now without scoring. It's not like John Carver has any great alternatives. Emmanuel Riviere has been an absolute bust, failing to score once in league play this season, and Siem De Jong, who is more of a midfielder by trade anyway, is still battling back from a long injury layoff. The position must be addressed in the summer, as Cisse has built a reputation for missing too many matches - 11 entirely in league play, and another 10 where he only featured for 45 minutes or less.
Jack Cork has been a revelation for Swansea City since his transfer from Southampton in January, and is still a cheaper fantasy option than most of his teammates, though that may not last much longer.
We began monitoring Cork and pointing out his production a month ago, and since then, he has continued to thrive both in reality with a Man of the Match award and in fantasy. His past four starts have garnered scores of 15, 10, 14 and 6 in the Yahoo game. Incredibly, he could have been owned for under 6m at the beginning of that run, but his current 8.96m price is still extremely good value for his output. With only a minuscule .55% ownership right now, he is a fantastic difference maker if you find your XI every week to be too similar to your rivals.
Kevin Mirallas has been sidelined for the past three league games due to a dead leg picked up against Dynamo Kiev but is pushing for a return next weekend when the Toffees host Southampton.
Roberto Martinez expressed confidence earlier in the week that the Belgian would be back in action immediately after the international break but has since admitted that his availability for the match against the Saints is still in question. Unless there is extremely positive news heading into next weekend, it would be wise to avoid Mirallas for fear he may not start. However, his price in the Yahoo game has dropped drastically in recent weeks and is an absolute bargain once he gets his spot back. He is one to monitor for a barndoor move the next time his name makes Martinez's XI.
Michael Kightly, one of the few Burnley players with any top flight experience at the start of the season, looks to be a forgotten man at Turf Moor these days.
The Clarets do not have deep pockets to put it mildly, so even though Kightly isn't exactly All-World, when he was signed to a permanent deal from Stoke City after a successful loan spell saw him help Burnley gain promotion last season, it was for them, a major acquisition. However, the bigger impact signing has been George Boyd, who has nailed down a wide midfield position opposite Scott Arfield, and Sean Dyche has shown to keep the changes to his XI at a minimum. When Dean Marney went down injured, it could have opened the door for Kightly, but instead Ashley Barnes is out wide with Arfield tucked inside and Kightly hasn't so much as earned an appearance as a substitute for the past two matches. It wouldn't be surprising to see him request a transfer this summer.