Hello and welcome to another edition of the News Wrap. The International Break caused carnage last weekend and I consequently copped my first donut of the year! Not happy Jan considering I had an absolute barry crocker of a week! Let’s hope this week is better for everyone. There are some key players still under injury clouds heading into Gameweek 13, let’s check them out!
- Arsenal duo Wojciech Szczesny and Jack Wilshere were both prematurely substituted during Arsenal’s agonising 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United last Sunday. The pair both missed Arsenal’s Champions League game against Dortmund midweek and news has emerged that Jack Wilshere will consequently miss around 3 months after undergoing ankle surgery during the week. Szczesny’s injury however isn’t as serious but as he has not trained this week it will keep him out of the game against West Brom this weekend. Expect Martinez to start considering the injury to Ospina as well. Welbeck is also under some doubt for the game against West Brom after missing their midweek Champions League game through a knee injury. He will face a fitness test before the game on Saturday and with the sudden availability of Giroud it would not be surprising if Wenger opts for the Frenchman instead of risking Welbeck. Walcott is also once again “not available” after returning from England duties with a groin problem.
- Leighton Baines did end up missing the game against West Ham last weekend which was extraordinarily frustrating for many managers who own the full-back. The Englishman did not play in Everton’s midweek Europa League fixture and Martinez confirmed that he has a “small chance” of facing Spurs this weekend. He will be given every opportunity to play so a decision will seemingly be made as last-minute as possible. Touch and go and will be determined by his last minute fitness assessment. As will be the availability of Barry, Piennar and Naismith as they all face last minute fitness tests.
- Diego Costa was substituted early in the second half against Schalke in the Champions League during the week but thankfully Mourinho has confirmed that it was nothing serious and was purely substituted “after taking a knock to the leg.” Mourinho also confirmed that he would be available for Chelsea’s trip to the Stadium Of Light this weekend. Phew!
- Nacer Chadli was a surprise absentee from Spurs’ squad against Hull City last weekend as no news regarding an injury emerged during the lead up to the game. The full extent of his injury has become more clear over the course of this week and he has declared himself fit and available to face Everton this weekend. He is available so it is just down to whether or not Pochettino sees fit to start him. One should hope so considering his importance to the lacklustre Spurs outfit.
- Manchester United left back Luke Shaw has been ruled out for around a month after suffering some ligament damage in his ankle. Van Gaal revealed that from the damage sustained “there are no serious complications”, however it is enough to keep him out of the beginning of the hectic Christmas period. Van Gaal also confirmed that both Rojo and Falcao “may be back” in the match day squad to take on Hull this weekend. Will be determined by how they pull up from their respective fitness tests. I’d expect a spot on the bench at best.
- Stoke City have confirmed during the week that loaned player from Chelsea, Victor Moses, will miss the next 8 weeks of football after suffering a strain to his thigh against Burnley last weekend. The winger was in decent form for the Potters but has unfortunately succumb to a frustrating injury. Unlucky for Moses and Stoke.
- After being ravaged by injury thanks to the International Break, West Ham have received a massive boost ahead of their game against Newcastle this weekend after news emerged during the week that both Stewart Downing and Cheikou Kouyate trained strongly during the week. Allardyce also confirmed that Song, Sakho, Valencia and Noble “have got a chance, but a slimmer one.” They’re probably all 50/50 at the moment so a late fitness test will determine whether or not they face Newcastle come Saturday.
- QPR midfielder, Sandro, suffered some MCL damage to his knee during the week and as a result will be sidelined until after Christmas. In some good news however, it is not related to his previously damaged ACL injury which is good news for both the player and the club. A return in the New Year imminent.
- Alan Pardew confirmed during the week that “Coloccini, Tiote, Steven Taylor and Riviere are back on the training pitch.” The quartet have all returned from injury but are unlikely to be available for the game against West Ham this weekend. Ryan Taylor was substituted after only 33 minutes against QPR last weekend in what was his first start since he sustained a serious injury. There were initial scares that he had suffered another long-term injury however that was dismissed during the week, with Pardew saying “we expect Ryan Taylor to be back training in 3-4 weeks. It’s not as bad as we first feared.” Great news considering. Tim Krul has also emerged as a doubt for the game after the keeper picked up a knock during training. The full extent of the knock isn’t fully known but he is seemingly almost certain to miss the game this weekend. Elliot likely to start in goals.
- Mario Balotelli has once again been ruled out of Liverpool’s game against Stoke this weekend after the striker continues to suffer from ongoing groin issues. He is however expected to overcome the problem over the weekend and is aiming to be available for the game against Leicester in gameweek 14. Brendan Rogers also confirmed that youngster Raheem Sterling is battling with an illness which is threatening to keep him out of their trip to the Britannia. The manager did however confirm that Liverpool will use the same squad that drew with Ludogorets in the Champions League midweek, which did include Sterling. I’d be expecting him to overcome the illness and be fine to face Stoke.
- QPR will welcome back to their squad Rio Ferdinand for the game against Leicester after the seasoned centre-half served his 3 match ban initiated by the FA for inappropriately tweeting an abusive fan. I wouldn’t of giving him a ban, I would’ve applauded him. Absolutely wrecked the guy!
- West Ham will be without Winston Reid for their game against Newcastle United this weekend after receiving his 5th yellow card for the season against Everton last weekend. Will be available for selection against West Brom next gameweek.
- Oussama Assaidi will be unavailable for Stoke this weekend due to loan agreements with his parent club Liverpool. Will be free to face Manchester United next gameweek should he be selected.
- Hull City will be without Abel Hernandez for their game against Manchester United & Everton in gameweeks 13 and 14 after the striker returned home for the birth of his child. Should return when they face West Brom on December 6.
- Manchester City will once again be without trio Dzeko, Kolarov and Silva as they all continue with their respective rehab. Pellegrini revealed that Dzeko “will be fit next week” while David Silva is “still recovering”. Looks like Silva will miss next week as well but in a boost for City Dzeko’s return is seemingly imminent.
Well that wraps up the latest injury and team news ahead of a big gameweek. Last week was absolutely abysmal for myself so let’s hope it’s a biggen this weekend! Feel free to post any last-minute selection queries down below regarding team selection! Until next time, good luck! Cheers.