Hello and welcome to another edition of the News Wrap. Thank god we’re back – I hate those International Breaks. As always when players go on International Duty there are injuries left, right and centre. Let’s take a look at who’s unavailable this weekend.
- Perhaps the biggest news that emerged from gameweek 7 fixtures, and this was marginally overshadowed by the quick occurrence of the international break, was the injury sustained by Arsenal superstar Mesut Ozil. Ozil apparently felt a ‘crack’ in his knee during the first half against Chelsea but soldiered on for the remainder of the game, thinking he was fine. It emerged later that week that the German had in fact actually done some serious damage to his knee ligaments. As a result, Ozil will miss around 3 months of football in a time where Arsenal desperately need all their stars out on the park. Disappointing for Arsenal this one! In even worse news for the Gunners, centre-half Laurent Koscielny will miss the game against Hull this weekend too after succumbing to his ongoing Achilles problems. It isn’t serious however meaning the Frenchman will hopefully return against Anderlecht midweek. With Koscielny and Chambers both out, Arsenal may well be forced to put out a very vulnerable defence against Hull this weekend. Beware.
- Some big news has emerged from Jose Mourinho’s press conference with the Portuguese manager declaring that Diego Costa, Ramires, Didier Drogba, Jon Obi Mikel and Andre Schurrle are all doubts for the game against Crystal Palace this weekend. Costa is apparently suffering from more hamstring trouble after breaking down in training due to featuring in both games for Spain over the international break. In the past what Mourinho has said re Costa’s fitness has turned out to be false but honestly you never really know with him. He has played tricks before on the fitness of Costa but one of these days it might actually be true. There are pretty strong rumours saying that he is a big doubt so keep an eye out.
- Everton youngster John Stones went down in the dying stages against Manchester United before the International Break and it has been revealed that the centre half has undergone ankle surgery. He is expected to consequently miss around 3 months. Watch out for Sylvain Distin to take his place. He may well be the cog to turn Everton’s defensive woes around.
- Tottenham full back, Kyle Naughton will face an extended stint on the sidelines after he was withdrawn early against Southampton before the International Break. Spurs have confirmed that scans revealed ankle ligament damage, which means he will be out for a while. The full extent is unknown at this point in time but it’s likely Eric Dier will regain his spot at Right Back after losing it due to a couple of disappointing games.
- Aston Villa midfielder, Fabian Delph will require surgery after suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder. Paul Lambert said in his press conference, “We don’t know yet. That will be up to the medical people to see what is the best procedure.” This was in regards to whether he would require and it has now been revealed that he does indeed need surgery. Expected to be out for around 2 months!
- In some better news for Arsenal, speedster Theo Walcott has made his long-awaited return from injury for Arsenal’s U21 side against Blackburn on Friday evening. The winger got through the game unscathed but will not feature this weekend against Hull. Walcott will be working on his match fitness over the coming days/weeks and a return next weekend is the more probable of the two. Even then it’ll probably be from the bench. Whenever there is good news for Arsenal it is seemingly quickly followed by some bad news. Summer signing Calum Chambers will miss the game against Hull this weekend due to already picking up his 5th yellow card of the season…Not a great statistic considering there has only been 7 games thus far this campaign….
- After leaving the game against Arsenal early due to concussion, Thibaut Courtois has praised the medical team saying, “the doctor of Chelsea did well. She asked me the questions. I could repeat immediately so I was feeling well”. The keeper was feeling well enough to feature for Belgium over the break meaning he should be fine to face Crystal Palace this weekend. Even worse news for Petr Cech who finally thought he was in for an extended stint in goals after being relegated to back-up to the young Belgium.
- Newcastle keeper Tim Krul was in doubt for the game against Leicester this weekend after scans revealed damage to ligaments in his elbow. Newcastle medical staff brushed off any possibility of the Dutchman not playing this weekend by saying the damage is only minor. He, along with Janmaat and Dummet, have all trained strongly and are expected to face Leicester this weekend. Emmanuel Riviere is now a doubt for the game after picking up a knock during training. Will have a late fitness test but is doubtful at this stage.
- In good news for Liverpool, trio Emre Can, Joe Allen and Daniel Sturridge are expected to return this weekend to face QPR after each recovering from their sustained injuries.
- Pienaar, Coleman and McCarthy are all facing assessment for the game against Villa this weekend. If the trio miss this week’s game then they are expected to return in Everton’s midweek Europa fixture. A boost for the struggling Toffees.
- Burnley manager Sean Dyche has confirmed than Danny Ings and David Jones are in contention to return this weekend after training strongly during the week. Should both feature.
- West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob will miss the game against Manchester United after returning home to Argentina due to personal issues. A member of his family is ill so his return is unknown as of yet.
Well that about wraps things up for another week. Gee it’s good to have the footy back so sit back and enjoy. Good luck with your team this weekend and post any queries you may have regarding last minute selection issues below. Until next week, cheers!