If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you weren’t on Santa’s naughty list this year (I’m looking at you, Ken).
As you spend time opening gifts and enjoying food and family today, be sure to take a moment to review the team news I’ve collated for you so that your fantasy teams don’t get stuck with a lump of coal tomorrow.
Good luck and happy holidays! I’ll be looking for you in the Live Chat tomorrow!
Monday, Boxing Day
Brentford v Tottenham
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has announced the return and availability of club captain Pontus Jansson and Christian Norgaard for this fixture. Jansson has been out since a goalless draw against Bournemouth at the start of October. He also revealed that while the duo of Aaron Hickey and Kristoffer Ajer are close, this fixture is still a little too early for them.
Antonio Conte revealed at his press conference on Thursday that Richarlison picked up a hamstring injury at the World Cup that will keep him out for the next three to four weeks. He also confirmed the expected return of Ben Davies for this clash. Lucas Moura is a doubt with a tendon issue, and Betancur will miss out due to yellow card accumulation. Ivan Perisic, Hugo Lloris, and Christian Romero should all be available after returning from Qatar, but Conte suggested that Lloris will start on the bench.
This is the lone deadline match for Fantrax managers looking to see confirmed lineups. If that’s you, then tune in to the comments below at 11:30 GMT on Monday.
Crystal Palace v Fulham
Patrick Viera will have an almost fully fit squad to call upon when his side takes to the pitch on Boxing Day. Jordan Ayew and Joachim Andersen returned from the World Cup in good shape. The only absentees for this fixture are James McArthur and Nathan Ferguson, who will miss through fitness issues, and Marc Guehi, who will miss through yellow card accumulation.
The biggest news emanating from Fulham is doubt surrounding star-man Mitrovic for this clash. He returned from international duty with an ankle knock he is yet to fully recover from. Manor Solomon and Neeskens Kebano are ruled out while Antonee Robinson, and Layvin Kurzawa are set to face late fitness tests.
Everton v Wolves
Dominic Calvert Lewin has returned to training for Toffees, but he is unlikely to feature against Wolves due to a lack of match fitness. Andros Townsend is still a little bit behind on his recovery journey.
Wolves are without Jonny Otto, Sasa Kalajdzic, Pedro Neto and Francisco Oliviera, while Traore is a doubt.
Leicester hopes to kick-start the second half of the season on a bright note after a very disappointing first-half. The Foxes will however have to do so without James Justin, Ricardo Perreira, Jonny Evans or Ryan Bertrand while James Maddison remains a doubts.
While Newcastle had an excellent first-half of the season, there were also injury problems. Alexander Isak, Emil Krafth and Paul Dummet are out with injuries.
Southampton v Brighton
World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister will be one of the absentees for Brighton against Southampton. While not injured, his late return from international duty means he will sit this one out. Other absentees for the Seagulls are Jakub Moder, Danny Welbeck and Adam Webster.
For Southampton, Valentino Livramento, Juan Larios and Theo Walcott remain out while Romeo Lavia is a doubt.
When asked about Emiliano Martinez, manager Unai Emery said “He will be back next week, I want him to rest after the big emotions and the hard work he did.” Philippe Coutinho and Robin Olsen have both returned to training, but it is unsure whether they will be fit enough to feature on Boxing Day. Diego Carlos is a long-term absentee. Jacob Ramsey has returned to training but the Liverpool match comes too soon.
The World Cup break did little to reduce Liverpool’s lengthy injury list. Luis Diaz, Arthur Melo, Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones, Roberto Firmino, and James Milner are all ruled out while TAA is a doubt through illness. Konate will be given a rest after making it all the way to the World Cup final with France.
Mikel Arteta will have to contend with a depleted squad when the Gunners take on the Hammers on Boxing Day. They are without Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Jesus. Fullbacks Takehiro Tomiyasu and Oleksandr Zinchenko are both doubts with injuries, as is midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, and Arteta also revealed he is unsure about Saliba’s participation due to late return from international duty.
David Moyes revealed on Thursday that Gianluca Scamacca and Michail Antonio are doubts for this fixture, joining Aguerd, Cornet, Cresswell, and Zouma.
Chelsea v Bournemouth
The biggest news coming out of Stamford Bridge is the return of talisman Reece James from injury. While his return is a big boost, the Blues still have a lengthy injury list. Ben Chilwell, Roben Loftus-Cheek, and Kepa Arrizabalaga are all doubts; Armando Broja, Carney Chukwuemeka, N’Golo Kante, and Wesley Fofana are all ruled out. Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech will be excused after his World Cup service. Mason Mount is a slight doubt with a calf strain, but has returned to training.
David Brooks and Norbeto Neto are ruled out for Bournemouth. Jefferson Lerma, Marcus Tavernier, Lloyd Kelly, and Ryan Fredericks are all doubts.
Man United v Nottingham Forest
When asked about the availability of World Cup winner Martinez, Ten Hag said, “He is still celebrating now in Bueros Aires, now going around in the touring car!” He also revealed that Raphael Varane won't be available due to him still recovering from the disappointment of the World Cup final defeat with France. Jadon Sancho remains unavailable as he continues his “individual fitness plan”. Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot face late fitness tests.
Nottingham Forest is without Omar Richards, Dean Henderson (can’t face parent club), Giulian Biancone, Cheikhou Kouyate, Moussa Niakhate, while Serge Aurier, Morgan Gibbs-White, and Wayne Hennessey all face late fitness tests.
Leeds and Man City round off the Premier League’s restart game-week. The mother of all international breaks has done Leeds good, many players fit again or on the verge of returning to matchday action. Patrick Bamford, Crysencio Summerville, Rodrigo Moreno Liam Cooper, Mateusz Klich, Jack Harrison, and Illan Meslier will have late fitness tests. Only Archie Gray, Stuart Dallas, and Luis Sinisterra have been ruled out, while Tyler Adams is suspended.
World Cup winner Julian Alvarez is unavailable for Pep Guarliola after the player’s late return from celebrations in distant Argentina. Ruben Dias and Kalvin Philips are also out for the Citizens.
Whom will you captain? Are you worried about the impact of the World Cup on players’ performances? Join us in the comments and share your thoughts!