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Week 12 - Team, Injury & Suspension News

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"Hey Pepe, can you show me where the goal is please?"
"Hey Pepe, can you show me where the goal is please?"

The NMA resources have been stretched to their very limit this week so this will be a quick summary of team, injury and suspension news affecting Premier League clubs as we approach the Week 12 deadline.

Let's start at Manchester City, where we can be certain that AWOL Carlos Tevez will not be involved. Sergio Aguero is expected to return to the starting XI but there are no hints regarding his partner up front after Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli both completed 180 minutes of international football last week. Samir Nasri has been diagnosed with tendonitis in his knee so he'll be missing, making it all the more likely that David Silva starts. Vincent Kompany returns from suspension so Savic should drop to the bench.

Arsenal's forever injured left-back Kieran Gibbs is out for over a month after undergoing surgery on a hernia, meaning Andre Santos is certain to continue. Carl Jenkinson is also missing with a stress fracture to his back so Johan Djoruou is once again set to fill in at right-back. Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna remain the only long term absentees so the midfield and forwards should line up as expected: Alex Song, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Gervinho, Robin van Persie.

Manchester United's Tom Cleverley will be sidelined until Christmas with an ankle injury, Chris Smalling and Danny Welbeck are out for Swansea game and Fabio is doubtful after picking up an injury while with Brazil, but Ashley Young is fit to play. Phil Jones is expected to cover at right-back with Rio Ferdinand returning to partner Nemanja Vidic, leaving Jonny Evans on the bench again.

Chelsea have a fully fit squad with Didier Drogba free from suspension and fit to play if selected having undergone minor surgery on his arm. However, it's expected that Fernando Torres will lead the line against his former employers, with Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge and Frank Lampard in support. Alex is being tipped to continue alongside John Terry meaning Jose Bosingwa will be stuck on the bench again, with Branislav Ivanovic at right-back. Michael Essien (remember him?) remains sidelined.

Tottenham have the added benefit of two extra days as their game with Aston Villa takes place on Monday night, so their wounded international players have a decent chance of making it. Rafael van der Vaart was classed as 75% fit by Joe Jordan yesterday so I'd expect him to recover from his hamstring injury in time to partner Emmanuel Adebayor. Vedran Corluka is expected to overcome an ankle problem but Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson are still out.

Liverpool are hopeful Luis Suarez will be fit despite limping out of Uruguay's match against Chile with a back problem and is expected to continue his partnership with Andy Carroll. Jamie Carragher is in contention to return after a calf injury and would probably replace Martin Skrtel, but Steven Gerrard could be missing for at least 2 more league games.

Newcastle have problems as they could be without Gabriel Obertan, Leon Best, Cheick Tiote and Sylvain Marveaux for their visit to Manchester. Will Alan Pardew risk starting Hatem Ben Arfa? It's a difficult decision as it was at Eastlands that he broke his leg last season thanks to a Nigel De Jong special.

Stoke are set to welcome back Matthew Etherington, Ryan Shawcross and Marc Wilson from injury. Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters are expected to continue their partnership upfront while Jonathan Woodgate should continue in the centre of defence.

Sunderland will be without leading scorer Sebastian Larsson, who is suspended, and Cannor Wickham is injured, so Stephane Sessegnon should support Nicklas Bendtner. Keiren Westwood will again be in goal as fellow keepers Simon Mignolet and Craig Gordon are injured.

Everton defender Phil Jagielka will have an injection in his broken toe in a bid to be available so Sylvain Distin and Jonny Heitinga will battle it out to partner him. Midfielder Marouane Fellaini returns after missing the defeat by Newcastle through suspension and Tim Cahill also has a chance of starting after recovering from injury.

Aston Villa have doubts over Gabriel Agbonlahor due to the hamstring problem he suffered on England duty, with Stiliyan Petrov also struggling, but Alex McLeish has no other major concerns.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from, including Steven Fletcher, for the trip to Goodison Park but it's expected he'll stick with the 4-5-1 that beat Wigan, with Jamie O'Hara in support of Kevin Doyle.

West Brom striker Shane Long is not expected to return on Saturday from a knee injury. Fellow forward Peter Odemwingie and midfielder Paul Scharner are also injury concerns with respective ankle and knee problems.

Bolton could stick with the same team that thrashed Stoke 5-0 meaning youngster Joe Riley is expected to continue at right-back after impressing on his debut. Ricardo Gardner has failed to recover from a knock and Dedryck Boyata remains absent.

At the bottom of the table, Wigan's Antolin Alcaraz begins a three-match suspension while Gary Caldwell returns from his one-match ban after picking up his fifth yellow card against Fulham. Roberto Martinez has an otherwise full fit squad to choose from.

Blackburn Rovers will be boosted by the return of Scott Dann and Michel Salgado. Chris Samba has been receiving treatment on a troublesome hamstring but Ryan Nelsen remains on the side lines.

Wow, that wasn't so quick after all!

My own team currently looks like this:

De Gea, Brown, Richards, Vermaelen, Drenthe, Eagles, Silva, Van Der Vaart, Gervinho, Adebayor, Aguero

So yes, the same as it was on Wednesday. I have 1.92 left in the bank with the above team but I quite like it as it is, especially now it sounds like Van Der Vaart will be fit to play. To be honest I can't see myself changing too much, with Adebayor and Gervinho the only players I may consider switching.

Please let me know how your own team is shaping up; I'll be back in the morning with the Pre-Deadline Countdown thread.

Cheers,
Nik