Hello and welcome to another addition of the News Wrap. It was nice to have a week off from the Premier League as fixture congestion and re-scheduled games are going to start affecting our teams drastically. With FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League action all taking place over the past week, there is bound to be injury and team news to talk about, lets get into it!
- Samir Nasri made a surprise return in Manchester City’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea last weekend. He was expected to miss another few weeks but has made a return after a successful rehab program. In a way it’s a bad thing because of the midfield rotation that City will now employ with the Frenchman returning. However it is advisable that you don’t bring any city players in because of their blanks over the coming gameweeks.
- Cahill did not fully complete training last week and had a scan, yet still faced Manchester City at the Etihad last weekend. He was a serious doubt for the game and was a shock to everyone when he lined up. He will be right for the game against Everton this weekend, albeit surprisingly.
- Lukaku has progressed nicely since his innocuous ankle injury but is ineligible to face Chelsea this weekend due to his loan conditions. He should be available for next weekend’s game against West Ham. Martinez said, “Romelu has shown good signs and is working well. He can’t play this weekend. Everyone is fit bar the 3 long-term absentees.”
- Walker, Adebayor, Lennon Lloris and Kaboul all picked up ‘niggles’ and subsequently did not play in Tottenham’s midweek clash against Dnipro. Sheerwood is hopeful that they will all be available to face Norwich this weekend after all trained yesterday in their main training session.
- Kieran Gibbs has been ruled out of today’s game against Sunderland after hurting his hamstring. It isn’t too serious so he should be available to take on Stoke next week. Wenger also hinted in his press conference that he will heavily rotate the squad ahead of this weekend’s fixture. Interesting to see what his idea of ‘rotate’ is.
- Manchester City skipper, Vincent Kompany, is likely to face Stoke this weekend despite receiving a hamstring injury against Barcelona midweek.
- Mark Hughes confirmed today that Liverpool Loanee, Oussama Assaidi, suffered a knee injury during Stoke’s heat training camp in Dubai last week. He is unfortunately expected to miss around 4-6 weeks. Hughes said, “The only disappointment in Dubai was Assaidi picked up a knee injury, which will rule him out of action between 4-6 weeks.”
- Sergio Aguero is a very slim chance to make the bench this Saturday against Stoke, despite not even training with the first squad. Manchester City’s next game falls in gameweek 30, away at Hull, meaning the Argentine should be 100% fit and raring to go.
- Nicolas Anelka returned to training on Thursday but the game against Fulham is likely to become too soon. He will be targeting a return against Manchester United in gameweek 29.
- Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez are a big chance of making the Southampton Squad this weekend after missing the past few matches. The pair are likely to feature off the bench if deemed fit enough to play.
- Jonny Evans is rated as a 50/50 chance for this weekends trip to Crystal Palace. He suffered a calf injury against Stoke and hasn’t featured since. Will face a last minute fitness test to see his availability.
- David Luiz has been ruled out of this weekends match against Everton after picking up a muscle injury during the week. Nothing at all serious, more precautionary than anything, and the Brazilian is expected to return against Galatasaray midweek. Could be a blessing in disguise really in the hope that Cahill and Terry can reunite their solid defensive partnership and bring back the Chelsea clean sheets!
- Santi Cazorla missed Arsenal’s victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup last weekend purely because of illness. Nothing at all serious and he should be right for this weekends Premier League action.
- After being in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, Oliver Giroud is now likely to return to the starting XI in this weekend’s game against Sunderland. Sanogo has surprisingly taken his spot in recenet games but Giroud is now past his issues and ready to prove his critics wrong by making up for his mistakes. Could be a good shout for a goal this weekend.
- Lacina Traore made a successful debut for Everton last weekend, scoring his first goal for the club. With Lukaku unavailable for the game against Chelsea, he will likely be given another start. A big task for the Chelsea defence, in more ways than one!
- After missing the past two games, John Terry is all but locked in for a return against Everton this weekend. He was apparently on the verge of an injury so Mourinho gave him a week off playing and it has seemingly payed dividends. The solid partnership of Cahill and Terry will be reunited this weekend, after the news of David Luiz’ injury, which hopefully will bring the clean sheets back!
- After being continually sidelined since mid-December, Aaron Ramsey finally has a target in terms of a return. He has been given the all clear to step up his rehab program and is now targeting a return against Chelsea, in gameweek 31. With 21.4% of teams still owning the Welshman, his price will surely continue to drop over the next month, which will be handy for managers, especially if trying to squeeze in the SAS (Suarez, Aguero, Sturridge). He has dropped 0.5 since December meaning another month on the sidelines may see him drop even more, all the better for us managers!
Well that’s the latest wrap of all the team and injury news ahead of an all-important gameweek. As you all should know, the following weeks are filled with top four teams drawing blanks meaning team selection and transfers are pivotal. We will provide you the best ways of beating this horror run over the coming week so make sure you stay tuned. Good luck for this weekend, Cheers!