Welcome back after another week of European football; we’re on tenterhooks as we hope our key assets make their matches without issue, preferably rested. We now look forward to game-week 11 with an enticing derby fixture.
The main news is that Friday’s fixture between Aston Villa and Newcastle has been postponed due a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at (and subsequent closure of) the latter’s training ground. This will now be re-scheduled at a later date. This makes three EPL fixtures that are pending a date (also Burnley vs Man Utd & Man City vs Aston Villa).
Burnley vs Everton
Burnley will be hoping that shot-stopper Nick Pope will return from a head injury after missing the heavy defeat to Man City; Pope and midfielder Josh Brownhill will face late fitness tests. Lucas Digne remains out till late January with his recent ankle injury, alongside captain Seamus Coleman. Digne’s contributions will be missed, having provided five assists already this season.
Manchester City made it through without any injuries in a goalless draw against Porto in the UCL on Tuesday evening. Kevin De Bruyne and Mahrez stayed safe on the bench without appearing. Sergio Aguero has just returned to training but his availability continues to look doubtful as he struggles to recover from a series of injuries. Fulham have no fresh injury concerns following their impressive victory over Leicester on Monday.
West Ham United vs Manchester United
Michail Antonio was subbed off at half-time in Monday’s eventful 2-1 win over Aston Villa and has just been ruled out of this weekend’s match. Luke Shaw remains out for the Red Devils, whilst Marcus Rashford will face a late fitness test after picking up a shoulder complaint in the 3-1 loss to PSG.
Chelsea vs Leeds
Chelsea have no current injury concerns, with a full squad to pick from. Veteran striker Olivier Giroud stole the headlines in Wednesday’s UCL victory, scoring all four goals in the win over Sevilla to give Frank Lampard a real selection dilemma. With a slight knock, Leeds midfielder Jack Harrison is the only injury concern for Marco Bielsa.
West Bromwich Albion vs Crystal Palace
Baggies defender Conor Townsend is a slight doubt after picking up a knee injury the last time out, whilst captain Jake Livermore is also struggling to make it back in time as he continues his recovery from Covid. Eagles talisman Wilfried Zaha is set to make his return, after missing 2 games due to covid.
Sheffield United vs Leicester
The Blades will hope that the defensive pair of Enda Stevens and Ethan Ampadu will return, as they continue to recover from their respective injuries. Fellow defender Jack O’Connell is out with a longer-term injury. The Foxes also have defensive concerns, with wing-back Timothy Castagne looking unlikely to feature this time around; center-back Çaglar Söyüncü has suffered a setback in his return match on Thursday evening in the Europa League. The good news is Ricardo Pereira managed a 45 minute run-out on Thursday, although this is unwelcome news for owners of James Justin.
Tottenham vs Arsenal
The North London derby is the marquis fixture this weekend, current league leaders Spurs facing struggling rivals the Gunners. Neither side is without their injury concerns: Spurs’ Talisman Harry Kane is a slight doubt after missing training on Wednesday (or Mourinho Mind Games?), plus defenders Sergio Reguilón and Toby Alderweireld are listed as slight doubts. The Gunners are still without the suspended Nicolas Pépé, whilst new man Thomas Partey is still out with a thigh injury. The good news is that center backs Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers made it back for the Europa League 4-1 victory over Rapid Vienna.
Liverpool vs Wolves
Liverpool’s injury woes continue with goalkeeper Alisson out till the 16th of December with a hamstring injury. He joins Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Thiago and Oxlade-Chamberlain who are all out with long-term injuries. It’s worth noting that Andrew Robertson and Jordan Henderson are slight concerns for this fixture after picking up knocks in the win over Ajax on Tuesday. Wolves’ frontman Raúl Jiménez will be out for a while after fracturing his skull in the win over Arsenal last time out.
Brighton vs Southampton
Adam Lallana is the only current injury concern for the Seagulls, having come off with an 8th minute groin injury in last week’s defeat against Liverpool. This fixture looks to be too soon for Saints pair Nathan Redmond and Danny Ings as they only recently returned to training after their respective injuries.
What are your predictions for this game-week? Will Mikel Arteta turn his fortunes around against Spurs? How does the postponed fixture affect you? Please join us in the comments section below!