What a short turn around it is, December is a great time of year for Football as there is so much of it! It was a fairly fascinating weekend, Saturday was all guns blazing despite City, United, Chelsea, Southampton and Tottenham all not playing. Sunday was… Well let’s no even talk about Sunday, that was a horror show. There are a few injuries from the weekend and, with games coming thick and fast this month, rotation will be coming into managers’ consideration more frequently, let’s get into it!
- Arthur Boruc has unfortunately been ruled out for up to 6 weeks with a fractured hand which he suffered at the start of Chelsea’s comeback. Obviously Paulo Gazzaniga will be his replacement. Not much value there, somewhat of a tough month coming up for Southampton with a home game against Villa the only likely clean sheet.
- Vincent Kompany is right in contention for a return to the Manchester City starting XI this week against West Brom. Pellegrini said “I think he will be fit on Wednesday”. He will likely replace Lescott as Demichelis is seemingly favored by his former Gaffer at Malaga.
- Oscar was substituted in the first half against Southampton on Sunday after suffering a knock to his ankle. It was seemingly a precautious move from Mourinho and the Brazilian attacking midfielder will be pushing to start against Sunderland midweek, currently rated as a 50/50 chance.
- O’Shea is a major doubt for the game against Chelsea on Wednesday after limping off in the latter stages of Saturday’s stalemate with Aston Villa. Poyet said he was not going to risk former Manchester United defender, Wes Brown, but admitted that he is likely to start him against Chelsea on Saturday.
- Kolo Toure is a doubt for the game against Norwich on Wednesday after picking up a hip injury late on in Liverpool’s embarrassing defeat to Hull City. Rogers said “We’ll assess that in the next 24 hours, but hopefully he should be available”.
- Angel Rangel suffered a calf injury in Swansea’s narrow Europa League defeat last week and is now ruled out for around 2-3 weeks. In better news for the Swans, Bony is expected to only miss 10 days with a minor hamstring strain. Michu also returned to training this weekend after missing a month with an ankle injury. The game on Wednesday is expected to be too early for the Spaniard but a return is not too far away.
- After only featuring off the bench against Hull on Sunday, Coutinho “will be fine for Wednesday” according to Rogers. He had to have injections just to feature on the bench on Sunday so it seems like a fairly quick recover from the Brazilian.
- Martinez has confirmed that Everton have no fresh injury concerns ahead of their clash against Manchester United on Wednesday, saying “We’ll have the same squad”.
- Swansea are hoping to retain the services of Britton and Vorm for their game against Newcastle although Vorm may not be risked after missing last weekend’s game against Manchester City with a knee injury. If he doesn’t come up, Gerhard Tremmel will remain in goals.
- Ashley Cole is a chance to return to the starting lineup for Chelsea after suffering a reoccurrence to his rib injury. If he doesn’t start, Azpilicueta will seemingly retain his spot at left back.
- Robin Van Persie is a chance to return for Manchester United against Everton on Wednesday after missing United’s last two matches against Bayern Leverkusen and Tottenham respectively. If he doesn’t return, Welbeck or Hernandez will partner Rooney up front. Although Welbeck said after the game, “Unfortunately, after 60-70 minutes my legs were gone, it was my first game back after two months and I started cramping up”. If he doesn’t recover in time and Van Persie also misses out, Hernandez will likely get a start.
- West Ham will face Crystal Palace with a similar squad to the weekends game after Allardyce said “We have a few niggles from Saturday’s game. We don’t consider they will cause us any difficulties in terms of selection”.
Well that’s the latest wrap of all the Injuries and Team News ahead of this week’s midweek games. Expect rotation to be high on the agenda for Mangers this time of year. So don’t be surprised if the likes of Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Lampard, Ramsey, Ozil, Rooney, Van Persie, Aguero ( 😦 ) are all rotated and used sparingly over this hectic period, especially considering the strength and depth of their respective clubs. Good luck for this week, hope all goes well!