And we are back again! The Premier League returns for GW-33 just two days after the end GW-32. There was movement at both ends of the table in the last round, and more twists and turns are expected in this gameweek.
All 20 Premier League teams will be in action in Round 33, with the blockbuster clash between Manchester City and Arsenal headlining the show. Heavyweight Manchester United will also travel to North London to take on Tottenham in another highly-anticipated encounter.
At the end of this round of play we roll right into a double for six teams in GW-34, so FPL managers should make transfers for this gameweek with the next one in mind.
Let’s run through the team news ahead of today’s transfer deadlines.
Wolves v Crystal Palace
Wolves will be seeking an immediate return to winning ways when they take on fellow strugglers Crystal Palace this weekend. Wolves were previously on a run of three games without defeat until they fell to Leicester at the King Power Stadium last week. Mario Lemina and Boubacar Traore will be subjected to late fitness tests for this fixture.
Crystal Palace played out a goalless draw against Everton to extend their unbeaten run to four games, putting a bit of distance between themselves and the relegation places. While there have been positive updates regarding injuries to Zaha and Clyne, both players are still expected to sit out this fixture. Ferguson is expected miss the rest of the season with a muscle problem.
Aston Villa v Fulham
Aston Villa’s four-game winning run came to an end when they were held to a stalemate by Brentford last week. The Villans secured a draw through a late goal from the hardworking Douglas Luiz. The draw coupled with Tottenham’s humiliating defeat to Newcastle means the Villans are just two points behind Spurs in fifth place. Martinez is expected back in goal after he had to leave the pitch at halftime in the last fixture due to illness. Kamara, Coutinho, Cash, and Bailey will all miss out.
Fulham seem to have finally adapted to life without suspended star-man Aleksandar Mitrovic. The Cottagers have won their last two after losing three in a row. Daniel James is expected back for Fulham after he missed the clash against Leeds due to ineligibility to feature against his parent club.
Leeds v Leicester
Leeds take on Leicester in a relegation six-pointer. With only one point separating these teams that sit in 16th and 17th place, expect both sides to go all out for the win. The defeat against Fulham made it three straight losses for relegation-threatened Leeds, while Leicester won for the first time in five games against Wolves to claw out of relegation zone.
Leeds has no new injury problems. For Leicester, Dean Smith dispelled fears of a serious injury for Jamie Vardy by stating he has returned to training and is available for selection. There was also positive news concerning Harvey Barnes and James Maddison, as the manager confirmed both players have returned to training and should be fit to face Wolves. Jonny Evans remains unavailable, James Justin is out for the season, and Ricardo Pereira could be too.
Nottingham Forest v Brighton
Nottingham Forest put in an impressive display but still fell to Liverpool in a thriller at Anfield on Saturday. The defeat was a fourth straight loss for Forest and left them rooted to the 19th position, two points from safety. Steve Cooper said he expects none of his crocked players back from injury in time for this one.
Brighton suffered a PK-shootout heartbreak in their FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester United on Sunday. The Seagulls have enjoyed a good run in the league and were dominating the Cup match too, but failed to find a way past the Reds Devils’ disciplined backline. Roberto Di Zerbi will need to quickly lift his players up from that setback if they are to get anything out of this clash. Welbeck came off with an injury in the Cup match and is now a doubt for the trip to City Ground; otherwise the Seagulls have no new injury concerns.
Chelsea v Brentford
Chelsea will hope they can stop the rot by ambushing an impressive Brentford side. The Blues have lost every one of their games under new manager Frank Lampard and there has been talk of dressing room unrest. Worse, the gaffer has suggested that Reece James and Mason Mount could be out for the remainder of the season, and Kai Havertz will be unavailable for the Brentford match as well. Koulibaly and Broja remain out.
Ivan Toney scored his 19th goal of the season to help Brentford put an end to a run of three straight defeats. The Bees have dropped to tenth but are still in the running for European places. Christian Norgaard has recovered from a knock and is expected to be available for selection, but Ajer, Jansson, and Lewis-Potter all remain out.
West Ham v Liverpool
West Ham has jumped into 13th place after securing three wins, a draw, and a loss in their last five games. The Hammers swept past fellow strugglers Bournemouth and will be eager to continue the run against the Reds on Wednesday. David Moyes has an almost fully-fit squad to call on, with Gianluca Scamacca the only injured player.
Liverpool overcame a poor defensive showing to get the better of Nottingham Forest in an Anfield thriller. The Reds were pegged back twice but eventually held on for the win after Salah scored the third goal. The victory was Liverpool’s fourth game without defeat and saw them rise to seventh place. Konate is a doubt with a knock.
Man City v Arsenal
Does it get any bigger? It’s the fixture we have all been waiting for!! The clash between Arsenal and Man City will have huge ramifications for the title race, with the Gunners only five points ahead of the Citizens having played two games more.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City come into this clash in imperious form having won their last five games in the league, including a come-from-behind victory over Liverpool. There is still uncertainty surrounding the availability of Nathan Ake for this clash.
The Gunners on the other hand have stuttered in recent weeks, giving up two-goal leads against Liverpool and West Ham to settle for draws while also being held to a stalemate by bottom-placed Southampton at the Emirates last week. The Gunners can however take solace from their late rally against Southampton to salvage a point. Granit Xhaka is expected back after missing the last game due to illness, but William Saliba remains out.
Everton v Newcastle
Everton held on to secure a draw against Crystal Palace despite a late red card to Mason Holgate. The draw was Everton’s third in five games. Manager Sean Dyche knows the Toffees need to quickly start turning draws into wins if they are to maintain their Premier League status for another season. Mason Holgate is ruled out through suspension, but Amadou Onana could be available after returning to training earlier in the week.
Newcastle secured their biggest win of the season by inflicting a humiliating 6-1 defeat on Tottenham on Sunday(I literally couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a 5-nil scoreline after just 20 minutes). Motivation clearly won’t be a problem when they travel to Goodison Park on Thursday night. Fabian Schar’s availability is in doubt after he picked up a hamstring injury in the impressive victory over Spurs. Krafth and Saint-Maximin remain unavailable.
Southampton v Bournemouth
Southampton held league -eaders Arsenal to an unexpected draw at the Emirates on Saturday. The Saints can be forgiven for feeling disappointed after they let in two goals in the last five minutes of normal time, allowing the Gunners to come back from 3-1 down to snatch a tie. The clash against Bournemouth represents a relegation six-pointer which they just can’t afford to lose. Ainsley Mainland Niles is expected back after failing to feature against parent club Arsenal last week. Jan Bednarek is also expected back after being forced off the pitch against the Gunners due to a head injury.
Bournemouth will fancy their chances against fellow strugglers Southampton, having secured impressive victories against Tottenham, Leicester and Fulham in recent weeks. The Cherries will be seeking an immediate return to winning ways after the damaging defeat to West Ham last weekend. Hamed Traore is set to be subjected to a late fitness test to ascertain his availability for this fixture.
Tottenham v Man United
Can Spurs bounce back from the curb-stomping they just suffered at the hands of Newcastle? On Sunday Tottenham suffered the most humiliating defeat of their Premier League campaign. The North Londoners were outrun, outthought, and well-beaten in the 6-1 defeat. The debacle spelled the end of interim manager Christian Stellini’s tenure, with former player Ryan Mason named to replace him at the helm. Lucas Moura is expected back missing the last three games due to suspension, but Hugo Lloris is a serious doubt after subbing off at the intermission of the Newcastle match with a hip injury.
Will fatigue play a huge role in this fixture? Ten Hag will have that concern in the back of his mind when his side travels to North London on Thursday. The Red Devils were forced into extra time and penalty kicks by Brighton on Sunday, and the Tottenham match will be their third game in nine days. Bruno Fernandes picked up an ankle injury in the FA Cup clash and has been pictured with crutches and wearing a protective boot in social media posts. His availability for this clash is therefore in doubt.
Have injuries and suspension caused any problems to your current plans? Are you going to risk any players with knocks or move them on? Let us know your thoughts!