Hello and welcome to another edition of the News Wrap. We’re back earlier than usual as we are treated to some more midweek fixtures – you beauty! With such a quick turnaround from the last gameweek, many managers may well choose to use their squad depth in order to successfully deal with the amount of games in such quick succession. Lets take a look at who is in line to return during the week with some huge names expected to feature.
- Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has missed Chelsea’s last two matches against Manchester City and Aston Villa but the Spaniard is finally set to return against Everton at the Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Jose Mourinho indicated after the Villa game that Fabregas was not risked on the weekend, instead electing to give him a few more days of recovery so he would be 100% to face Everton. Having missed the past two games I’d suggest he’ll slot straight back into the starting XI to face the Toffees come Wednesday night.
- Arsenal’s main man, Alexis Sanchez, is another star FPL player who has been absent from first team football for the past two gameweeks. The Chilean Winger has been sidelined with a minor hamstring complaint but Wenger has confirmed early in the week that he will indeed be included in the squad to face Leicester on Tuesday night, saying Sanchez “will be back in the group”. Having just lost their North London Derby to rivals Spurs on the weekend, Arsenal will be out for revenge against cellar-dwellers Leicester, meaning Sanchez is every chance to return a huge points haul should he start.
- Leighton Baines was a shock absentee from Everton’s starting XI in the Merseyside Derby on the weekend after the fullback was left out with a knee injury. Roberto Martinez confirmed after the game that he was a doubt for the game against Chelsea, saying “I’m not sure if Leighton will be fit to face Chelsea but it’s not a long-term injury. If it was a week away, I would be confident.” It looks like one of those injuries that had there be no midweek fixtures he would have been unavailable to front up come the weekend. At this stage is set to miss out on the Chelsea game but should well be in line to return against Leicester next weekend should he indeed miss out.
- Charlie Austin had scans during the week after the striker experienced pain in his foot during the game against Southampton last weekend. Original reports suggested he may face an extended period on the sidelines with a broken foot, however the scans have rubbished those rumours, revealing he will only miss around a week due to heavy bruising. He will miss the game against Sunderland during the week but will be fit and firing to take on Hull next weekend.
- Brendan Rogers has suggested during the week that there is a “strong possibility” that summer signing Adam Lallana will return against Tottenham on Tuesday night. The creative midfielder has played only once in the last four league games as he battles an ongoing groin complaint. He is finally set to shake off those groin troubles and is odds on to return against the Spurs this gameweek. Teammates Philipe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling are also expected to be fine after the pacey pair suffered knocks to their knee and foot respectively from the Merseyside Derby on the weekend.
- Wilfried Bony and Yaya Toure will not be available for Manchester City’s trip to Stoke during the week despite the pair returning home from Africa Cup of Nations duty. The pair have been unavailable for the longest possible time after their nation, Ivory Coast, made it all the way to the final – beating Ghana on penalties over the weekend. Pellegrini ruled them out of the Stoke game on Wednesday, saying “We don’t want both of them to come back so quickly, it is impossible for them to play on Wednesday.” A return next weekend at home to Newcastle is the most likely scenario.
- Nigel Pearson has confirmed during the week that he has a fully fit squad to pick from ahead of their game against Arsenal on Tuesday. The rock-bottom Leicester gaffer said during the week, “we don’t have any injuries from the weekend. It’s been a nice day to train and the players are looking forward to the game.”
- Luke Shaw will be unavailable against Burnley on Wednesday after the fullback recieved his marching orders late on against West Ham on Sunday. The Englishman is only facing one game on the sidelines and will be available for selection against Swansea next weekend.
Well that wraps up another edition of the News Wrap. Good luck for the midweek fixtures and I’ll be back next weekend for another edition, Cheers!