Hector Bellerin is out, Laurent Koscielny is a doubt while Mathieu Debuchy looks likely to start even after a poor display in Munich. Martin Atkinson is refereeing this game. The 3 games he had refereed for Arsenal v Tottenham were 4-4, 3-3 and 2-1 Spurs.
New manager, last place, plenty of injury doubts (Gabriel Agbonlahor, Micah Richards and Ashley Westwood), and Manchester City rolling into town…
Artur Boruc is a doubt, but who would have picked him anyway?!
I made a concerted effort to watch the Cherries vs. Southampton game and while Eddie Howe's team lost (again), there are a couple of bright spots that could be real differentials especially in DFS, should they start: Junior Stanislas and Harry Arter. The former West Ham United player, Stanislas, came on in half time for Marc Pugh and wreaked havoc on the Southampton defense, sending in 6 crosses and 4 shots on goal. Arter, on the other hand, mad his first EPL start last week after battling injury and showed very good ball movement and inherent quickness. While the Matt Ritchie bandwagon is expanding ahead of the Newcastle game, the aforementioned players, especially Stanislas, if he starts, have my attention.
Acording to Jose Mourinho, Branislav Ivanovic will feature on Saturday. The only "in form" player is Willian, followed closely by Oscar. I have my doubts that those two will be able to crack Stoke's defense, however.
Dwight Gayle is a doubt, but he is too unreliable to pick anyway. Scott Dann and Joel Ward very impressive in the 0-0 draw with United; Dann, in particular, should have scored twice from the corner – something to keep an eye on.
This weekend will come too soon for Leighton Baines while Ramiro Funes Mori should continue to deputize for the injured Phil Jagielka. Gerard Deulofeu and Arouna Kone will continue out wide. Of note is that the Spaniard only lasted 65 minutes against Sunderland, something to be weary of if planning to start him.
Claudio Ranieri has a healthy team that’s firing on all cylinders.
No injuries for Jurgen Klopp's team. One thing to pay attention to is Roberto Firmino's playing time (which seems to be increasing) under the German's management.
The trip to Birmingham will come too quickly for David Silva and Gael Clichy who are still not 100%. Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta are still a few weeks away from making a comeback. Tactically, it looks like the Kelechi Iheanacho "experiment" will be put on hold and Raheem Sterling will return to the fold against the Villains.
Matteo Darmian is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card against Crystal Palace. This likely means that Ashley Young will deputize in the full back role as Antonio Valencia is sidelined with a foot problem. Elsewhere, Morgan Schneiderlin has returned to training after an illness. Where will the goals come, however, is still uncertain.
Rob Elliott is back at full fitness and will be in goal for the trip to Bournemouth. Newcastle should remain unchanged as the team has been playing quality football and will be hoping to climb out of the relegation zone by giving Eddie Howe's men their fifth defeat in a row.
Russel Martin will be serving his one match ban for 2 yellow cards against Manchester City. Martin's absence means that Steven Whittaker will return at right-back – bad news for Norwich, as he has been their worst defender thus far, but great news for Swansea's André Ayew. Dieumerci Mbokani is back in training but Cameron Jerome is expected to start ahead of him after scoring against City, albeit due to a terrible mistake by Joe Hart.
Victor Wanyama is suspended, so Oriol Romeu will start along Jordy Clasie. Shane Long has resumed training but the Sunderland game will come too quickly for the Republic of Ireland national.
Stoke should be unchanged for the Chelsea visit, so expect another uninspiring goalless performance from the Mark Hughes' men.
Sunderland defenders played too far away from their own goal against Everton; hence some changes would need to be made. DeAndre Yedlin has been preferred to Patrick van Aanholt in prior games although both started last week, with PvA playing in a more advanced role, even managing to hit a post. Elsewhere, Jeremain Lens did not start at Everton and it would be interesting to monitor whether the Dutch international was rested or is out of favor with the Big Sam.
No injuries for Gary Monk's team to report, although it would be interesting to see if Bafetimbi Gomis holds on to his starting role, having wasted a glorious 1 on 1 chance against Petr Cech.
Heung Min-Son is back from injury, having provided an assist in a win against Anderlecht in the Europa League on Thursday, but will likely feature off the bench for this one. Danny Rose should shake off his minor leg injury and start at the left back.
Odion Ighalo has recovered from a leg injury and will be looking to add to his goal tally. After watching him score in the Champions League win against Maccabi Tel Aviv, I am still puzzled why Miguel Layun was loaned to Porto…
Chris Brunt is a doubt but you would not have picked him anyway.
West Ham United
James Collins is banned after chopping down Odion Ighalo. This means that Winston Reid will take his place in the middle. Elsewhere, the Hammers will be without Diafra Sakho who is out with a thigh injury. Time for more Andy Carroll defensive shenanigans or will he redeem himself against the Everton defense that shipped 2 goals against Sunderland?