I’m back! And what a welcomed sight i’m returning to – midweek fixtures AND a double gameweek!!! You beauty. As always with midweek fixtures players are prone to rotation. With Spurs having just played in the Capital One Cup Final on Sunday it would not be surprising if the depth of their squad is used throughout the two games they play this gameweek, mind you as Baysie touched on earlier, can they afford to rest players considering they only have the league to focus on? I guess time will tell. As for now, let’s see who’s available for this set of mouthwatering midweek fixtures!
- Leighton Baines is expected to miss the game against Stoke on Wednesday after the fullback picked up a knock during training last Friday and consequently missed the Arsenal game. Martinez said during the week, “unfortunately he picked up a knock on Friday and was out of the squad.” Baines is expected to miss out against Stoke during the week however a return next weekend against Newcastle is seemingly on the cards.
- Gyfli Sigurdsson was a big absentee from the Swansea squad last weekend after struggling with hamstring tightness in the lead up to the game against Burnley. The gaffer chose not to risk the attacking midfielder and it has seemingly paid dividends, with Sigurdsson set to return against Spurs on Wednesday. All signs indicating he will return for the trip to White Heart Lane, especially after Monk’s comments during the week, “Gylfi is back in training and is ready to come back into the squad”.
- Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin suffered a broken nose against Everton on Sunday and astonishingly soldiered through for the majority of the match. The defensive midfielder received treatment throughout the match, with Wenger confirming after the game, “Yes Coquelin has broken his nose. I don’t know how long he will be out, I don’t know whether he will need surgery or not.” More news will emerge regarding the full extent of the injury once he has scans.
- Sunderland will be without Adam Johnson for an extended period of time after the midfielder was arrested by Police during the week for allegedly interfering with a 16 year old girl. Due to the serious allegations involved with Johnson, Sunderland have decided to suspend him indefinitely until the result of the investigation has been known. Looks to be out for some time.
- Nemanja Matic will be unavailable for selection against West Ham this week as the Serbian defensive midfielder serves the last game of his two match ban inflicted by the FA. Matic was controversially sent off in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Burnley in gameweek 26 after reacting to a challenge by Ashley Barnes. The original penalty of three games suspended was reduced to two, one of which was served in the Capital One Cup Final against Tottenham on Sunday. He will finish his suspension by sitting out of the West Ham game and will be free to face Southampton in gameweek 29.
- Jack Colback will be unavailable for the game against Manchester United this weekend after the midfielder accumulated his 10th yellow card against Manchester City in gameweek 26. He has already served one game of his two match ban and will finish the suspension this week. A return against Everton in gameweek 29 is in order.
- Joey Barton has yet again involved himself in controversy after he was sent off in gameweek 26 against Hull City for his on-field antics. The midfielder was sent off after a ‘tussle’ with Tom Huddlestone and will now consequently miss the next three games, all against Arsenal, Tottenham and Crystal Palace. A return in gameweek 30 against Everton is likely.
- Glenn Murray will be unavailable for the game against Southampton during the week after he was sent off midway through the second half last weekend against West Ham. The striker had put in a fantastic shift before being sent off, scoring two goals. He only faces one game on the sidelines and will return in gameweek 29 against QPR.
Well that wraps up another edition of the News Wrap. Thankfully there are no huge names set to miss out so we should be in for a blockbuster of a gameweek! Good luck for the games this week and feel free to post any selection issues in the comments below – cheers!