Unlucky number GW 13 serves us up Europa league and Champions league ties for us to contend with. Let’s see if your doubtful stars are going to line up!
Sunderland v West Brom
Mignolet; Bardsley, Cuellar, O’Shea, Rose; Gardner, Larsson, Cattermole, Johnson; Sessegnon; Fletcher.
McClean may be forced to warm the bench again for this one, with Gardner and Larsson being preferred on the right side of midfield. No other injury concerns for the Black Cats.
Myhill; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Odemwingie, Morrison, Yacob, Brunt; Gera; Long.
Mulumbu is in doubt, which could see the versatile Morrison drop back to CM and Gera come into the hole. (Say that after a few drinks and try not to laugh.) Foster is still expected to miss out, while Lukaku is available after being disallowed to play against his parent club last week.
Everton v Norwich
Howard; Coleman, Distin, Jagielka, Baines; Mirallas, Osman, Hitzlsperger, Pienaar; Naismith, Jelavic.
Fellaini is unavailable because of yellow card accumulation, meaning Hitzlsperger or the recently recalled Barkley will feature at CM. Gibson is almost available, having come back via the U21’s last week, but it likely to be given another week. Mirallas is also in doubt, and his failure to come up may hand Anichebe a start.
Ruddy; Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido; Tettey, Johnson; Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Pilkington; Holt.
Nothing new for Norwich here, as no new injuries mean they can take the same XI that beat Man United into this clash at Goodison Park.
Manchester United v QPR
De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra; Scholes, Carrick; Valencia, Rooney, Young; Van Persie.
Evans is a massive doubt, leaving the fit again Smalling to fill the CB slot. Rooney has been declared fit, and RVP has been rested midweek and should bag a couple.
Cesar; Onuoha, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Traore; Hoilett, Faurlin, Diakite, Granero; Taarabt; Cisse.
Bosingwa is out with a virus, so Onuoha will deputise at RB. Park is fit but will not be rushed in… but then again, a new manager may bring another team completely- I’m guessing no one has QPR players that they are relying on anyway.
Stoke v Fulham
Begovic; Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Shotton; Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam, Etherington, Walters; Crouch.
Wilkinson limped off last week, so Shotton should be set to fill in at LB. Etherington has been favoured to Kightly lately, while Adam has moved into a role in the hole.
Schwarzer; Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise; Duff, Baird, Sidwell, Rodallega; Petric, Berbatov.
Kacaniklic, Richardson, Ruiz, Hangeland and Diarra. These are some of the names that have been ruled out, apart from Diarra who is a slight chance. Dejagah or Rodallega could play on the flanks if needed, while Petric should fill in for the injured Ruiz. Senderos will take the suspended Hangeland‘s place.
Wigan v Reading
Al Habsi; Ramis, Piscu, Figueroa; Boyce, McCarthy, Jones, Beausejour; Kone, Di Santo, Maloney.
Wigan have finally got some injuries to their XI, with Caldwell, McArthur and Watson all been ruled out. This means that Jones and Piscu will get their first look at PL action for the year.
Federici; Gunters, Gorkss, Morrison, Shorey; Robson-Kanu, Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff; Le Fondre, Roberts.
Pogrebnyak has been benchwarming for the best part of a month now, and it looks like continuing with Roberts being preferred up front. Le Fondre is keeping Hunt out of the XI. Karacan is still injured.
Aston Villa v Arsenal
Guzan; Lowton, Clark, Vlaar, Stevens; Ireland, Westwood, Bannan; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor.
Stevens looks likely to continue at LB, although the return to fitness of Lichaj could see him on the bench. Bent is fit, but probably won’t start, as Lambert has preferred his attacking trio of Weimann, Benteke and Agbonlahor in recent weeks. Westwood has seemingly taken El Ahmadi‘s defensive midfield post.
Szczesny; Sagna, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Podolski.
Walcott is out, meaning Ox gets a starting gig on the right. Gibbs is back too, meaning Verm will move to CB and Koscielny will drop to the bench.
Swansea v Liverpool
Tremmel; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Britton, Ki, De Guzman; Dyer, Hernandez, Michu.
Chico is a doubt, so Monk will be a massive chance to come in. Ki is fit, meaning that there is enough midfield depth to allow Michu to play up front in place of Graham and Shechter.
Reina; Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Allen, Gerrard, Suso; Sterling, Suarez, Enrique.
Liverpool have used Jose Enrique has a left winger in previous weeks, which has reaped some benefits. It says a lot about Downing‘s role in the side that a LB that was purchased for 1/4 of the price can start on the LW ahead of him. Surely he will move in January. Elsewhere, Suso has been given the nod as a CAM in favour of Sahin.
Southampton v Newcastle
Gazzaniga; Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Fox; Schneiderlin, Cork, Ramirez; Puncheon, Lambert, Lallana.
No injury worries for Southampton, who will be seriously backing themselves to take some points off of an injury ravaged Newcastle.
Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Taylor, Santon; Anita, Tiote, Guitierrez; Cisse, Ba, Ameobi.
A 4-3-3 looks likely, given the injuries Newcastle have. Ben Arfa and Coloccini are out, while Cisse is expected to play through a minor niggle. Guitierrez is also a doubt, so Ferguson will be on standby.
Chelsea v Man City
Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Ramires; Hazard, Mata, Oscar; Torres.
New manager, no idea what to expect. Benitez played a 4-2-3-1 in his time at LFC, meaning not much should change. Torres will come back in, that’s for sure. The thing I’m looking at is the CM spot. Having been blessed with Alonso and Mascherano during his time at Liverpool, Benitez will be used to a CM that can play a long ball. This is where Oscar could possibly make the switch back, allowing Marin or Moses to play in the 3. Just speculation though, it probably won’t happen!
Hart; Maicon, Nastasic, Kompany, Kolarov; Toure, Nasri, Barry; Tevez, Aguero, Silva.
Kompany is a real doubt, meaning Lescott and Nastasic could be partnered together…which will spell goals for Chelsea. Silva is back and making Aguero and Tevez looking all the more potent, while Garcia could come in for Barry. Maicon has been playing well and should keep Zabaleta at bay you’d imagine. Clichy is injured
Tottenham v West Ham
Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen; Sandro, Dempsey, Dembele; Bale, Defoe, Lennon.
Friedel and Lloris … take your pick. Elsewhere Dembele featured from the bench v Lazio midweek, and should be right to go. If not, Huddlestone is always waiting. Defoe will start up front in Adebayor‘s suspended absence.
Jaaskelainen; O’Brien, Reid, Tomkins, McCartney; Diame, Noble, Nolan; Jarvis, Carroll, Maiga.
O’Brien and McCartney seem to be preferred at fullback, meaning Demel is afforded a bench role again. Collins is still out, so Tomkins will start alongside Reid. Jarvis missed last week, but should be ready to come in given Benayoun‘s doubt. Maiga was played last week and that should continue.
Anyway if I’ve missed anything let me know! Last game this round is on Monday and then we have a quick turnaround for Wednesday when the next GW starts over Wed and Thurs. Then GW15 starts the next Saturday! Take a deep breath everyone, we’re in for a hectic week.