The injury headlines have been dominated this week by Harry Kane who was seen clutching his left hamstring before being replaced against Liverpool last Sunday. His 42 per cent FPL ownership [at the time of writing] sent my timeline into meltdown despite comments from Pochettino [and the player himself] insisting there were no major concerns and that his withdrawal was due to fatigue. The Club even maintained on Thursday morning that Kane was NOT injured after Poch had hinted [following the defeat to West Ham] that the striker’s availability could not be guaranteed.
Then on Friday, the news that broke the hearts of over two million managers, but while it was “impossible” for Kane to feature at Old Trafford, there is still hope for game week 11 suggesting the problem is only minor.
Whilst still digesting the fact that I had essentially wasted a free transfer, several media outlets began to report that Philippe Coutinho would miss out on Saturday, although Jurgen Klopp remained coy on the subject, offering a sliver of hope: “We’ll make the decision after training today.”
A raft of changes in the Carabao Cup shouldn’t impact on the Premier League too much, however, tread carefully with Man City who were forced into extra-time by Championship outfit Wolves. That meant the likes of Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling competed in over two hours of football. The upside to the domestic competition, saw players such as Callum Wilson and James McCarthy gain valuable competitive minutes, to aid their quest for a return following long injury lay-offs.
The path to glory is never easy – as managers plan, the fantasy Gods laugh.
Manchester United – vs – Tottenham Hotspur
Phil Jones was forced off at Huddersfield because of a hip problem, but after making the bench midweek, Jose Mourinho confirms the defender is okay. Eric Bailly “is a possibility" following his recent groin strain. However, no-one else is expected back for United. “We have no Zlatan Ibrahimović, no Paul Pogba, no Marouane Fellaini, no Marcos Rojo, no Michael Carrick, so don’t speak to me about Harry Kane.” Marcus Rashford [tight hamstring] and Ander Herrera [ankle] picked up minor injuries in the cup but the pair have trained ahead of the early kick-off.
Harry Kane underwent assessment this week and tests confirm the striker has a minor strain to the left hamstring. "We cannot take a risk for tomorrow, we'll see after for Wednesday [vs Real Madrid]," said Mauricio Pochettino. "But tomorrow, it is impossible. I’m not happy, I’m disappointed, because Harry is our main striker. He’s one of the best players, not just in Tottenham, [but] in Europe [and] in the world." Fernando Llorente could be handed his first Premier League start since arriving from Swansea, although Heung-Min Son is another option if Pochettino fancies shuffling his pack - Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier are fit. “We’ll make the best decision for the team." Victor Wanyama continues to go through rehabilitation and will meet with a specialist next week.
Arsenal – vs – Swansea City
Calum Chambers will be back in full training from Monday while goalkeeper David Ospina could return against Red Star [in the Europa League next Thursday] after recovering from a minor groin strain. Everyone who played against Everton [and Norwich in the Carabao Cup] “will be available” this weekend - the only certain absentees are Shkodran Mustafi and Danny Welbeck who are due to comeback after the international break. Arsène Wenger believes the victory on Sunday [at Goodison Park] showed that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are committed to the club and the Arsenal boss believes the German is back to his best. "He's in very good shape, physically, motivated, focused, so I would say yes."
Paul Clement confirms Martin Olsson will have a scan after tweaking his hamstring on Tuesday. "We are almost certain he won't be available for this weekend," he said. Sam Clucas, Kyle Naughton or Angel Rangel are poised to cover the left-back if he does miss out: "We have players with versatility who can play.” Swansea are also set to be without Bony who lacks conditioning and won’t be ready. “Wilfried is rehabbing. He is clear of the injury now, but he needs to get his fitness up and it’s a matter of how long that will take. We will see for the Brighton game.” Renato Sanches is also missing and it may be after the break before he’s available again. “I think next weekend will be a push for him, but he is showing signs of improvement.” Kyle Bartley [knee] is not expected to feature again until December.
Crystal Palace – vs – West Ham United
Roy Hodgson confirms Chung-Yong Lee is having a scan after picking up an injury during the 4-1 Carabao Cup defeat at Bristol City. James McArthur picked up a knock at Newcastle and the 30-year-old "has been receiving treatment all week," that said, Palace remain hopeful that he will be fit to feature. Christian Benteke is not progressing as he hoped - the Eagles striker is still around 4-5 weeks away from a return to first-team action. Connor Wickham is out until 2018.
Michail Antonio [bruised rib] managed to work [without contact] on Thursday. "He will be assessed before a decision [based on what we see in training on Friday] is made." Slaven Bilic says "only James Collins [ankle]" is missing this weekend, meaning Diafra Sakho should be okay after recovering from a minor back injury.
Liverpool – vs – Huddersfield Town
Philippe Coutinho has picked up an abductor injury and is rated as a doubt for Saturday. Jurgen Klopp insists "it is not clear" whether he will miss tomorrow's game, but several media reports suggest the strain could side-line him until mid-November. The Brazilian was struggling prior to GW9 due to a back problem and now he has a hip flexor issue. Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana should "hopefully" return after international break - the pair are expected to train fully within the next 7-10 days. Gini Wijnaldum missed out against Tottenham after taking a knock to the knee, but he re-joined the group on Wednesday.
Chelsea loanee Kasey Palmer [hamstring] is on course to return in around three weeks while Colin Quaner is back in contention following his recovery from a calf injury. The Terriers forward played 45 minutes for the U23s on Monday night. Elias Kachunga "is available" having trained all week - he was forced off with a back problem at Old Trafford. Huddersfield confirm Philip Billing will be side-lined for up-to three months after tests confirm the full-back will require surgery on his right ankle. Chris Lowe shifted to left-back in his absence as Danny Williams returned to the midfield for the 2-1 win over Man United. Michael Hefele [Achilles] and Jon Stankovic remain long-term absentees.
Watford – vs – Stoke City
Pereyra is out of the match with Stoke City but Marco Silva has allayed fears that the playmaker could be out for a prolonged period. "We had a problem with Roberto in the last match," he said. "He's out for Saturday. I can't say to you 100 per cent sure [he will be fit to face Everton] but we hope." The loss of Pereyra could earn André Carrillo a recall. Meanwhile, Sebastian Prödl and Younès Kaboul, are still sidelined. "We believe in the next week they will start to do full training with the team." Isaac Success, Nathaniel Chalobah and Craig Cathcart [all knee related injuries] remain out.
A minor back problem threatens Peter Crouch’s involvement and a decision will be made after training on Friday. Bruno Martins Indi remains on the side-lines due to the hamstring injury he picked up a fortnight ago - still no definitive timeline on when the defender will be back in action. Tom Edwards and Xherdan Shaqiri [both ankle] are in contention having trained this week.
West Bromwich Albion – vs – Manchester City
Tony Pulis is "hoping" Gareth Barry will be okay. The veteran midfielder has been hampered by a niggling back problem. James Morrison [Achilles] is out. "It’s a disappointment. We’ve had a set-back [and] he’s not going to be fit for the foreseeable future." The availability of Jonny Evans remains uncertain as he battles to overcome the groin injury which forced him off last weekend. The Baggies confirm Craig Dawson suffered a thigh muscle tear, plus, damage to his knee capsule at Southampton. A serious injury which is expected to keep him out for around 8 weeks. Pulis will make a late call on Hal Robson-Kanu and Oliver Burke who returned to training this week.
Vincent Kompany will be back with the main group by the end of next week after being given the all-clear by world-renowned surgeon Dr Ramon Cugat. Benjamin Mendy remains the only other player side-lined after Ilkay Gundogan confirmed he was suffering from cramp on Tuesday night 'nothing serious'. Pep will assess his players following 120 minutes of Carabao Cup action, and if City avoid defeat, then Gabriel Jesus will have gone a whole year without being beaten.
AFC Bournemouth – vs – Chelsea
Jermain Defoe [hamstring] is training and "should be fine" for the game. Josh King has recovered from illness, however a back problem, which was affecting him during pre-season, could rule him out. "He'll be seeing a specialist this week. We don't think it's anything serious, but it's resurfaced." Ryan Fraser could also miss out after taking a knock in the Carabao Cup win over Middlesbrough. "We've still got the long-term injuries [Tyrone Mings / Brad Smith / Adam Federici] not available," confirmed Howe.
No Victor Moses for Chelsea this weekend [hamstring]. "We must have patience" before a return to the first-team. Antonio Conte is hoping N'Golo Kante [also hamstring] can return to face Roma in the Champions League next week. "No other injury concerns." Danny Drinkwater is not fully fit despite starting against Everton on Wednesday. "He has to find a right physical condition."
Brighton and Hove Albion – vs – Southampton
Steve Sidwell [back] is the only Brighton player currently injured. "There's no real time frame you can put on it with a nerve injury.” Otherwise, it’s fully-fit squad for Southampton on Sunday although Beram Kayal and Sam Baldock may continue to build fitness with the U23s. Tomer Hemed returns from suspension to boost the Seagulls' attacking options.
Mauricio Pellegrino says Mario Lemina [ankle] will not be available for Southampton this weekend due to an ankle injury. His place in the starting XI could go to Sofiane Boufal following his superb solo effort against West Brom. “He is a young lad and this action can give him more confidence to be better."
Leicester City – vs -- Everton
New Leicester City manager Claude Puel reveals centre-back Robert Huth is still around one or two months away from a return. Matty James is taking a little longer than hoped and his Achilles injury could keep him out for at least another week.
No fresh injury concerns for Everton. Caretaker boss David Unsworth can call upon James McCarthy and Aaron Lennon who both returned midweek. Morgan Schneiderlin is over his recent bout of illness. Yannick Bolasie and Seamus Coleman are still working in the gym and are said to be "months away," however, there was better news regarding Ross Barkley who could be back within 3-4 weeks.
Burnley – vs – Newcastle United
Chris Wood [hamstring] is rated as touch and go. “It’s nothing too major,” confirmed Sean Dyche. “But whether it’s right for Monday we will have to wait and see.” If he does miss out then Sam Vokes, who has recovered from an abdominal strain, is likely to come in. Dean Marney and Nahki Wells will remain with the under-23 squad. Jon Walters [knee] and Tom Heaton [shoulder] remain out with a return scheduled for December.
Dwight Gayle has been declared fit after recovering from the calf strain he sustained at St Mary's in game week eight. Massadio Haidara [knee] is also available leaving only Paul Dummett [hamstring] in the United treatment room.