Unfortunately Nick can’t find the time to write this season, thanks to Sai for stepping up! REMEMBER LOCKOUT IS TONIGHT!!!
Hello and Welcome to this season’s first edition of News Wrap. Sorry guys for not providing you with the pre-season’s fitness update. Hope you guys like this structure!
Here is the team news for GW2:
Jack Wilshere remains sidelined for a month or two after suffering a calf injury. Thomas Rosicky picked up a knee injury while on International duty and should be back around GW5. Danny Welbeck is a few days away from full training and we should expect him to feature in next 2 weeks.
Bellerin comes back from a slight muscular injury and is available for the trip to Crystal Palace. Sanchez is fully fit and is expected to feature in the starting XI.
Sherwood confirms Okore, Grealish and Gil are out of the clash with Manchester United. Crespo, the new signing remains sidelined with a knee injury and will likely be available soon.
Atsu is suffering from a knock and may not be ready for the game against Liverpool. Arter has missed most of the pre-season with a thigh injury and is expected to remain sidelined for at least one more week. MacDonald might be ready to return this week.
No fitness issues here except for Eva Carneiro, the team’s physio who is banned from Chelsea matches (Sad news)! Courtois remains out of the big clash with Manchester City due to his red card, having failed in his appeal.
Speroni will spend around a month on the sidelines with a finger injury. Frazier Campbell could miss all the fixtures in August with a hamstring injury. The game against Arsenal may be too early for Chamakh to comeback from the hamstring injury. Appiah remains a long term absentee with an ACL injury.
The Toffees are the squad with most fitness issues going into GW2. Baines has been ruled out for 3 months with an ankle injury. Expect Galloway to start at left back. Mirallas is recovering well and is expected to train today, although he remains a 50/50 chance for this weekend. Hibbert picked up a knee injury pre-season and is likely to be out for another month. Besic and Deulofeu are back in training and are expected to feature from the bench in the trip to Southampton. Gibson and Pienaar remain on the sidelines for atleast 2 weeks.
Everyone is available for selection except Matthew James who is out with ACL injury. He’s not likely to feature till the end of January.
Following a disappointing 7 league starts in the last campaign, Liverpool are trying everything they can to ensure that their star striker Daniel Sturridge is fully fit before his return to action. He is expected to return in the first half of September. Allen picked up a hamstring injury pre-season and is likely to be out until the end of this month. Flanagan remains a long term absentee.
Yaya Toure is insisting that he has ‘always been there’. The Ivorian has a tight groin but is expected to line-up against Chelsea. City feel that Fabian Delph’s hamstring injury isn’t too serious, but he is likely to miss a few more weeks. Gael Clichy is still being assessed over his ankle injury. All the Argentines are back in full training are likely to feature in the clash with Chelsea either from the start or from the bench. Aguero is likely to start.
No fresh injuries except Phil Jones who is out with mild thrombosis. He is set to miss a month’s action. Marcos Rojo may need more time to regain his full fitness. David De Gea has not been considered for the selection on the trip to Aston Villa. Therefore, Romero is likely to retain his place in goal.
Anita is expected to be in the squad to face Swansea after recovering miraculously from his back injury. Cabella is expected to be back in training next week. Riviere is not available for selection due to his knee injury and is likely to be assessed over the coming days. Dummett is recovering from his hamstring injury and is likely to be back in a couple of weeks. Marveaux has been loaned out to French Ligue 1 team Guingamp.
Olsson is back in training following a shoulder injury, but isn’t likely to feature for a couple of weeks. Mulumbu is expected to be missing for several weeks with a fractured foot. Lafferty could be surplus to requirements at Carrow Road, opening the door for Sheffield Wednesday to swoop. He’s out with a knee injury at the moment.
Ryan Bertrand is still a few weeks away following surgery in July. He will feature by September I suspect. The news out of St Mary’s is that big keeper, Fraser Forster could miss the entire season due to the extent of his knee injury. Initial reports said 6-9 months, but expect it to be longer. Gardos looks set to spend most of the season on the side-lines, meaning the Saints may have to go into the market again to find a replacement centre back. Jordy Clasie will spend 2-3 weeks on the sidelines after suffering a setback playing for the U21s. Caulker is also set to miss out with illness, meaning Yoshida will start. Ramirez is unlikely to feature this week after picking up a knock.
Odemwingie is likely to be out for 2-3 weeks after picking up a hamstring injury. Bojan looks set to step up his recovery with a run out for the reserves this weekend. Hughes hopes to have Arnautovic and Wilson available for trip to Spurs. Shawcross has had an operation on his back and is likely to 3 months. This means that Muniesa should be locked on, although how their defence will fare is another question altogether. Eric Pieters is expected to be fit to face Spurs after being substituted with a problem at half time.
Wes Brown is likely to be featured at some point against Norwich. Adam Johnson is expected to be out for up to 2 months after picking up a shoulder injury in training. Gomez is likely to be out until the first half of September with a knee injury he suffered in the training 2 months ago. Graham will face a late fitness test, but is unlikely to start in any case.
Amat is back and available for selection, but he’s unlikely to feature in the starting XI. Ki Sung Yeung is still being assessed over his hamstring injury and may face a late fitness test. Montero is fine following his withdrawal due to cramp last weekend. Barrow moved to Blackburn on a 3 month loan deal and is expected to come back in November.
Pochettino has confirmed that Spurs are fully-fit for the home clash with Stoke. Expect to see Danny Rose and Townsend feature in the game at some point. Lloris has been declared fit to face stoke. Soldado has flown to Villareal for transfer talks, so he is unavailable for selection.
Abdi and Burghuis are expected to be available for selection. Doyley and Ekstrand are the long term absentees.
West Bromwich Albion:
Ben Foster is expected to miss until October with an ACL injury suffered last season. McAuley will be back in training over the next week after he limped off in a pre-season match against Swindon city. New signing Randon may not feature in the starting XI because he is a bit short fitness wise.
West Ham United:
Andy Carroll is unlikely to figure for the Hammers until well into October – if not even later – as he makes a slow and steady recovery from an MCL knee injury. Enner Valencia is out until at least October with a knee injury. Pedro Obiang is back in training and could feature soon. Bilic confirmed that Sakho has trained normally ahead of the visit from Leicester. Expect him to lead the line again. O’Brien’s future still appears uncertain, but he should shake off a knock to be able to feature this weekend.
Well that wraps up the first edition of this season’s News Wrap. Good luck this weekend and feel free to post any last minute selection queries in the comments below. Also, let me know your thoughts about the new structure of this article.