It felt like an eternity, the eternity of almost 12 days without Premier League action. We may have enjoyed the Cup games and the riches of the Champions League contests. And then there was Arsenal’s memorable advance toward the Europa League title, which, by the way, would qualify them for next year’s Champions League. But nothing can beat that special feeling of a cold, rainy night game at Stoke.
As highlighted by my colleague Santiago in his GW 25 Injuries post, the Internet has its Premier League fitness guru in Ben Dinnery, so it would be redundant to go through all the teams and old news. I will concentrate on the latest updates from today’s press-conferences and the news that will most probably affect your fantasy squads.
Confirmed as fit
Jurgen Locadia / Leonardo Ulloa
Chris Hughton and his Brighton side finally have healthy attackers to compete with Glenn Murray for starting spots. Both Locadia and Ulloa started and scored in the Cup game against Coventry. Locadia looked especially sharp, recording five shots and one goal.
Alfie was subbed late in Swansea’s cup game, but was declared fit after passing all the necessary medical checks. It’s a big boost for the Welsh side who hope to continue their rejuvenating form under Carlos Carvalhal.
In midweek it was reported that Crystal Palace didn’t have a fit goalkeeper in their squad. It proved to be a rumor, and there were images of Wayne in training the next day. His colleague Julian Speroni is out though.
Facing a late fitness test
Sterling sustained a muscle problem during the Champions League game, but remained extremely cheerful and active on his Instagram profile. He will face a late fitness test for the Carabao Cup final against the Gunners, and he will be re-assessed for Thursday’s game.
Gabriel completed three training sessions by today and has a chance to be back with the Manchester City squad, but in a bench role for now.
The Argentine made a speedy recovery and was rated as “we will assess him right before the game, but he is available” by West Ham’s David Moyes.
Phil Jones / Marcos Rojo
The Manchester United duo suffer from unknown knocks (reminds me of Mesut Ozil) and are closer to being out than facing a late fitness test. Touch-and-go as they say.
Aaron Ramsey / Mesut Ozil
While the Welshman has made a swift recovery from his hip injury and should be available for selection, the German international has continued his trend of mysterious illnesses and will face a late fitness test.
James Tarkowski / Philip Bardsley
Burnley’s defensive ranks are almost injury-free as the pair is pushing for the squad’s inclusion. Still to be assessed in the last minute.
The creative Southampton mid should be all well, but wasn’t rated at 100%.
Tottenham’s Belgian defender has been a major doubt for the last couple weeks. He will face another late fitness test for the trip to Crystal Palace after sustaining a minor knock in a Thursday’s training.
Kiko Femenia / Heurelho Gomes
Watford’s early-season favorite Spaniard and the Brazilian goalkeeper will face late fitness tests for the Toffees’ visit.
Injured and Out of contention
An unlucky muscle injury after his back-heel pass in Sevilla rules out the Spanish international for a number of weeks.
Slimani suffered an unlucky setback during this week’s training and will remain out for at least one more week. No more major injuries reported from the Newcastle camp.
Heaton lasted the full 90 minutes in a behind-the-closed-doors game, but he is two to three game weeks away from pushing for a starting spot with the main squad. That’s temporary relief for Nick Pope owners.
Alas, there’s no change in luck for Daniel’s career since arriving at West Brom on loan from Liverpool in the January transfer window. The glass-fragile striker has already suffered a hamstring strain and will be sidelined for at least this weekend. He will be re-assessed later on.
Things went from bad to worse for the French ace, picking up a knee injury requiring surgery. He will be out for the next month, making Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a guaranteed starter with no visible competition.
Wilfried Zaha / Mamadou Sakho / Joel Ward
All three are confirmed out for a minimum of three to four weeks. It’s a huge blow for Palace’s attack, whose Christian Benteke can’t score. Palace can only rely on the penalties from Luka Milivojevic.
I’m unsure how he managed to pass his Everton transfer fitness test, but the Frenchman is reported to be suffering from an unknown knee injury that is currently being assessed. Rumor has it that this is long-term.
Not that Fabian was in your squad, nevertheless he had been a regular starter for Pep’s City squad this season.
Masuaku continues serving his six-game suspension for spitting.
Well, that’s all that was revealed during today’s press-conferences. I’m sure that more will be leaked on Twitter and web right before the kick-offs; if you hear something, please share it with us in the comments below.
Good luck this game week, and thank you for reading us!