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Week 19 - Premier League Injuries, Suspensions & Team News

All the breaking team and injury news from our friends over at ESPN Soccernet.

Could these men be in for a rare start?
Could these men be in for a rare start?
Michael Regan

ESPN's Premier League Team News - Boxing Day Fixtures

Everton v Wigan
Midfielder Darron Gibson will be eligible to play against Wigan on Boxing Day as his appeal against his red card at West Ham cannot be heard until later in the week. The Republic of Ireland international will not serve a suspension - if any - until the Football Association have had time to consider his case. Fellow midfielder Marouane Fellaini serves the second of a three-match ban while Seamus Coleman, Tony Hibbert and Kevin Mirallas have all been kept out recently by injury.

Wigan captain Gary Caldwell could make his return to action. Caldwell, recently sidelined by a hamstring problem, was back in the squad for Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal as an unused substitute and will be assessed by manager Roberto Martinez ahead of the short trip to Merseyside. Fellow centre-back Ivan Ramis, who has also been nursing a hamstring complaint, has a chance of featuring as well, while midfielder James McCarthy (ankle) is a doubt. Antolin Alcaraz (groin), Adrian Lopez (hamstring), Albert Crusat (knee), Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and Ben Watson (broken leg) remain on the Latics' lengthy casualty list.

Fulham v Southampton
Bryan Ruiz could return as the 27-year-old has been out since coming off in the 3-1 defeat to Sunderland on November 18 with a hamstring injury, but is rated 50-50 by manager Martin Jol for a return. Mahamadou Diarra and Mladen Petric are doubts and Damien Duff is definitely out. Simon Davies (hip) is also unavailable, while Steve Sidwell returns from suspension.

Adam Lallana is again likely to be missing. The Saints captain missed Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Sunderland with a knee injury and is expected to miss out on the trip to Craven Cottage. Nigel Adkins' side appeared to come through the defeat to the Black Cats without any new knocks.

Man Utd v Newcastle
Sir Alex Ferguson is certain to make changes. United's failure to beat Swansea yesterday saw their advantage in the Premier League title race trimmed to four points. Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Chris Smalling and Darren Fletcher will be amongst those hoping to be involved, whilst Rafael needs to shrug off the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Liberty Stadium encounter.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be without midfielder Cheick Tiote. The Ivory Coast international collected his fifth booking of the season during Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory over QPR and is suspended. Otherwise, Pardew will have only his long-term absentees missing for the game at Old Trafford, with Hatem Ben Arfa, Steven Taylor (both hamstring), Yohan Cabaye (groin) and Ryan Taylor (knee) sidelined.

Norwich v Chelsea
Grant Holt is back in training after overcoming a hamstring injury. But City will be without defender Steven Whittaker, who suffered a recurrence of a hip injury when the Canaries' 10-match unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League was ended at West Brom on Saturday. Russell Martin is in line to replace Whittaker at the back while Holt is expected to return up front in place of Steve Morison. Ryan Bennett is also back in training and manager Chris Hughton is positive about his chances of featuring against either Chelsea or Manchester City on December 29.

Rafael Benitez looks set to be without Chelsea captain John Terry again. Terry is still suffering inflammation on his knee following surgery and is unlikely to be fit for the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road. Ryan Bertrand also remains a doubt after he was forced off in Wednesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final at Leeds and was not included in Sunday's line-up for the 8-0 demolition of Aston Villa.

QPR v West Brom
Goalkeeper Julio Cesar (back) should be fit to return to QPR's squad. Full-backs Nedum Onuoha and Armand Traore are doubtful due to hamstring injuries. Park Ji-sung (knee) is another player sidelined, while strikers Andrew Johnson (knee) and Bobby Zamora (hip) remain absent.

West Brom's Youssouf Mulumbu is available after suspension. The midfielder was unavailable for the weekend home win over Norwich after incurring five bookings this season. Baggies boss Steve Clarke will check on the fitness of defender Steven Reid (ankle) and midfielder Claudio Yacob (hamstring) before finalising his side.

Reading v Swansea
Veteran Reading striker Jason Roberts (hip) is again missing. The 34-year-old has missed the Royals' last three games but is close to regaining fitness. Defender Sean Morrison (ankle) is still sidelined and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy shoulder) is out long term but Reading have no fresh injuries from the weekend loss at Manchester City.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup may shuffle his pack. The Dane hopes to have winger Pablo Hernandez available after a thigh injury, but Angel Rangel is set to miss out again with a calf problem. Ki Sung-yueng could come back into the side after Kemy Agustien was handed a starting role against Manchester United on Sunday.

Sunderland v Man City
Sunderland winger Adam Johnson is a doubt. The England international limped out of Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory at Southampton with a dead leg, while fellow midfielder Sebastian Larsson has a knee problem, although manager Martin O'Neill is hoping both will make the game. Skipper Lee Cattermole (knee) remains on the long-term casualty list along with defender Wes Brown (also knee), but David Meyler has been recalled from his loan spell at Hull to bolster O'Neill's midfield resources.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (groin) could return after being kept on the bench as a precaution last weekend. Striker Mario Balotelli (illness) could also come back into contention while left-backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy will hope to overcome niggles. Forward Samir Nasri is out with a hamstring injury while right-back Micah Richards (knee) and midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) remain on the long-term casualty list.

Aston Villa v Tottenham

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert will assess the fitness of striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, winger Charles N'Zogbia and captain Ron Vlaar. Agbonlahor (thigh) and Vlaar (calf) have missed three and six games respectively while N'Zogbia suffered a knee injury in training ahead of Sunday's 8-0 mauling at Chelsea. Striker Darren Bent is again ruled out with a hamstring injury while centre-back Richard Dunne will undergo rehab work after a third groin operation.

Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey is a doubt with a groin problem. Benoit Assou-Ekotto may make his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury while Scott Parker could also make his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the last two games following his recovery from an Achilles injury. Younes Kaboul is expected to return from his knee injury next month.

Stoke v Liverpool
Stoke striker Michael Owen could make his first-team comeback against his old club. Owen, who has not played for the Potters since October 27 due a hamstring problem, has been working on his fitness and may be ready to feature in the 7.45pm Barclays Premier League kick-off. It remains to be seen whether or not another former Red, midfielder Charlie Adam, will be involved after he missed Saturday's 0-0 draw at Tottenham having been granted compassionate leave following the death of his father.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no new injury problems to contend with and is unlikely to make any changes. Winger Raheem Sterling may come back into the side having been rested for the victory over Fulham. Midfielder Joe Allen, however, may remain on the bench as Rodgers said they were managing a pelvic problem with the Wales international.