Though GW-23 features a mini-double for Man City and Arsenal, that extra midweek match at the end is a doozy: League-leading Arsenal faces off against second-place Man City in a top-of-table match with massive implications for the title race.
This round also brings us a Merseyside Derby. Can a new-look Everton pile more woes upon Jurgen Klopp’s floundering Liverpool?
Below we’ll run through the team news and injury reports to help you make sure you aren’t fielding duds. Be sure to keep an eye out for our live chat article where we follow the match-day action in real time!
For Fantrax managers, here are your only two confirmed lineups in the countdown hours before your deadline. Be here then to see those lineups and join in the chat about whether to react.
Kurt Zouma, Gianluca Scamacca and Maxwel Cornet all remain out with long-term injuries. Thilo Kehrer picked up a knock last time out but is back in training and should be in contention for this one. Alphonse Areola is a doubt with a hamstring. For the Blues, Joao “Joe-OW!” Felix is back from suspension, and Wesley Fofana is back in training but may not attain enough match fitness to return for this London Derby. N’Golo Kante, Armando Broja, Mateo Kovacic, Edouard Mendy, and Christian Pulisic remain unavailable. Raheem Sterling is a doubt after picking up a knock in training.
Arsenal vs Brentford
Reiss Nelson has returned to training but will lack match fitness. Gabriel Jesus is nearing a return in the coming weeks, but Eleneny and Smith Rowe remain out. For the Bees, Shandon Baptiste could make a return after recovering from a long-term injury. Pontus Jansson, Thomas Strakosha, and Frank Onyeka remain on the sidelines.
Crystal Palace vs Brighton
Palace talisman, Wilfried Zaha will be out for at least another week whilst Joachim Andersen has no return date. Nathan Ferguson has returned to training, but the Brighton match comes too soon for him. The Seagulls welcome Alexis Mac Allister back from suspension, and Evan Ferguson will have to face a late fitness test. Colwill, Lallana, and Moder are still unavailable.
Fulham vs Nottingham Forest
Tom Cairney will face a late fitness test due to a knock. Neeskens Kebano will be out for months with a ruptured Achilles. Forest midfielder Ryan Yates won’t return till the next game-week and Cheikhou Kouyaté won’t return till March. Dean Henderson, Taiwo Awoniyi, Guilian Bancone, Moussa Niakhate, and Omar Richards also remain sidelined, and Jonjo Shelvey continues to build match fitness.
Jonny Evans, Ryan Bertrand, and Boubakary Soumaré have recovered from injury but are doubtful to return against Spurs due to match fitness. James Justin will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles. For Tottenham, Hugo Lloris will be out until at least April after sustaining a knee injury, and Cristian Romero sits out due to suspension. Yves Bissouma will undergo surgery on a stress fracture in his ankle.
Southampton vs Wolves
Kyle Walker-Peters and Stuart Armstrong all missed the last game-week and look doubtful to return for the Saints. Alex McCarthy continues to struggle with an ankle injury, and Tino Livramento has been a long term absentee. Pedro Neto is nearing a return for Wolves, but this one will come too early for both him and Hwang Hee-chan. Mario Lemina will be assessed.
Bournemouth vs Newcastle
Solanke and Tavernier are back in training after missing out a few game-weeks, but this may be a game too early for the pair. Cook, Fredericks, Stephens, Brooks, and Kelly all face late fitness tests as well. Aleksandr Isak will be in the squad for the Magpies, and Matt Targett has returned to training, but Bruno Guimarães remains suspended.
Leeds vs Man United
Luis Sinisterra, Archie Gray, Marc Roca, Sonny Perkins Liam Cooper, and Adam Forshaw are all doubts for Leeds. Pascal Struijk is out with a concussion, and Rodrigo is still unavailable with an ankle injury. Casemiro remains suspended for Man United. Van de Beek is out with a knee injury, and Eriksen will miss with an ankle injury. This match probably comes too early for McTominay, Antony, and Martial. Aaron Wan Bissaka is a doubt through illness and because Diogo Dalot returned last week to reclaim his starting position.
Man City vs Aston Villa
Phil Foden should be available after missing out with illness, but John Stones remains out hammied until later this month. Diego Carlos is the only absentee for Villa and should return to contention next month.
This game-week could be one too soon for Arthur, Firmino, Jota and Van Dijk, but Fabinho has returned to training after illness. Thiago, Luis Diaz, and Ibrahima Konate will miss through injury. Andros Townsend and Nathan Patterson will not be available for the Merseyside Derby, while Michael Keane, James Garner, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin could “feature”.
Both sides already feature earlier in the game-week and will surely go big for this one! Man City may rotate more than Arsenal. Tune into the Live-Chat comments closer to kick-off to get news on this one.
Info sourced from fantasyfootballscout.co.uk and premierinjuries.com.
Have injuries and suspension poked holes in your lineups? How heavily are you loading up mini-double players? Are you (thinking about) playing a chip? Please let us know the trades you are weighing, and share any late-breaking team news in the comments!