Hello and welcome to a Christmas edition of the News Wrap! I hope everyone has had a safe and happy Christmas & New Year and the old fella bought you everything you wanted and more! Last gameweek was disappointing for many (mainly me) but some still managed a very respectable score. Let’s hope Santa brings us some points this week, let’s get into the latest news!
Eden Hazard was withdrawn very late on in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Stoke last Monday after the Belgian hurt his ankle in a challenge. It looked rather painful but thankfully he has emerged without doing any serious damage and is looking likely to be available to face West Ham on Boxing Day. When asked about the fitness of Hazard, Mourinho simply stated “don’t worry”, so I’m hoping that means he will be available. Great news for all his owners.
- Gylfi Sigurdsson was a shock absentee from Swansea’s lineup that faced Hull City last weekend with the Iceland international missing due to a foot injury. Gary Monk described the injury as a ‘niggle’ and his absence from the squad was more precaution than anything else. He should return against Villa on Boxing Day thankfully.
- Arsenal will welcome back Rosicky, Ospina and Sanogo to their matchday squad against QPR on Boxing Day after the trio have fully recovered from their respective injuries. Hector Bellerin and Laurent Koscielny however are not expected to make the Boxing Day game, instead are targeting a return on Sunday against Southampton.
- Dusan Tadic missed out on Southampton’s win against Everton last gameweek as the midfielder was battling with injury and fixture congestion. After missing out last weekend he is expected to return on Boxing Day against Crystal Palace in a boost for the Saints. Koeman said during the week, “I am happy that we will have players back after last weekend. Dušan Tadić did a normal training session today”. Good news for the Saints.
- Manchester City will again be without key players in Aguero, Kompany, Jovetic and Dzeko for their game against West Brom on Boxing Day. Pellegrini said during the week, “The injuries are the same as last week – Sergio, Edin, Stevan and Vincent are not fit for this game”. Gael Clichy was a shock absentee against Crystal Palace last weekend but thankfully it has emerged that he only missed out through a precautionary rest after he was battling with a slight foot problem. Expect the fullback to be available for the trip to West Brom.
- After missing out against Southampton, Everton winger Kevin Mirallas is expected to return against Stoke on Boxing Day after recovering from the challenge he sustained late on in their win against QPR recently. He will face a late fitness test but if all goes well he will be available for selection.
- Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Gardos, Cleverley and Hutton are all the latest players to serve suspensions and be available ahead of this gameweeks fixtures. Cheick Tiote, Jake Livermore and Connor Wickham are the latest stars to be unavailable for their respective clubs this gameweek. All available on Sunday for gameweek 19.
- Mario Balotelli will be available to face Burnley this weekend after the striker served his imposed suspension for an ‘inappropriate Instagram post’ last weekend against Arsenal. Just a matter of whether or not Brendan decides to pick the out-of-form Italian.
Well thats a wrap of al the latest news ahead of a big Boxing Day of football! Good luck and feel free to post any last-minute selection queries in the comments below. Cheers!