Premier League injuries and suspensions Dec 26th
Fulham v West Ham 12.00
Mousa Dembele faces a late fitness test before Fulham’s clash with West Ham on Sunday. He is back training following five weeks out with an ankle injury. Bobby Zamora (leg) and Philippe Senderos (Achilles) are both out but should return in February. Robert Green, Victor Obinna and Valon Behrami are all expected to return to the West Ham squad after missing last weekend’s draw with Blackburn. Striker Freddie Sears is available after being recalled from his loan spell at Scunthorpe, but Mark Noble (hip), Jack Collison and Anthony Edgar (both knee) are still unavailable, as are Thomas Hitzlsperger (thigh) and Manuel da Costa (foot).
Blackburn v Stoke City 15.00
Wantaway skipper Christopher Samba is likely to be absent for Blackburn when they entertain Stoke. He handed in a transfer request following the sacking of Sam Allardyce. Phil Jones is likely to miss most of the rest of the season following knee surgery while striker Jason Roberts is suffering with a hamstring strain. Vince Grella (Achilles), Steven Nzonzi (hamstring) and Keith Andrews (groin) remain on the sidelines.
Jon Walters has benefited from Stoke’s game last weekend being called off as the striker is now fit to resume his role in the squad. Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen (elbow) has also regained full fitness. Striker Mamady Sidibe (Achilles) should be back next month.
Blackpool v Liverpool 15.00
Blackpool will be missing their suspended captain Charlie Adam. Matt Gilks, Chris Basham, Billy Clarke (all knee), Marlon Harewood (hamstring) and Louis Almond (shoulder) remain sidelined by injury.
However, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard returns from a six-week hamstring absence. Centre-back Daniel Agger has also finally recovered from a complicated calf problem.
Bolton v West Brom 15.00
Mark Davies returns from suspension but otherwise Bolton should be unchanged. Joey O’Brien, Sean Davis, Ricardo Gardner and Jlloyd Samuel all remain sidelined. Winger Lee Chung-yong could play his last game before joining up with South Korea for the Asia Cup in Qatar.
Peter Odemwingie is fit to return to the West Brom team after recovering from a calf problem. Chris Brunt continues to battle with an ongoing groin problem, and the postponement of last weekend’s match mean Graham Dorrans (illness) and Paul Scharner (leg) are back in the squad.
Everton v Birmingham 15.00
Phil Jagielka could face a long spell on the sidelines after injuring his thigh during last Monday’s win at Manchester City. Johnny Heitinga faces a late fitness exam – he has been out for the last two matches with a knee problem. Steven Pienaar is hoping to return after a groin injury. Mikel Arteta returns after suspension but Victor Anichebe is banned after his sending off on Monday.
Birmingham should welcome back Liam Ridgewell to their defence. Alexander Hleb is returning to full fitness following a hamstring injury and could face a late fitness test.
Man Utd v Sunderland 15.00
Nemanja Vidic, Anderson Michael Carrick and Nani should al have recovered from flu for the visit of Sunderland. But Paul Scholes (groin) and John O’Shea (calf) are both out.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce faces major selection problems with seven senior players missing. Skipper Lee Cattermole is suspended after reaching five bookings for the season, while striker Danny Welbeck is ineligible under the terms of his loan agreement with United. John Mensah is likely to be out for three weeks with an ankle knock, and he joins Titus Bramble and Michael Turner (both knee) on the sidelines. David Meyler is out with a recurrance of a knee problem while Fraizer Campbell (also knee) is approaching full fitness.
Newcastle v Man City 15.00
Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi is a major doubt with a hamstring injury. However, defender Sol Campbell has shaken off the bout of illness he and Steven Taylor should keep their places as Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson belatedly return from suspension. Keeper Steve Harper is pushing to replace Tim Krul, but Dan Gosling (knee), Ryan Taylor (ankle ligaments) and Hatem Ben Arfa (double leg fracture) are still out.
Nigel de Jong returns from suspension for Manchester City and Mario Balotelli has shrugged off a minor knee injury. Pablo Zabaleta (ankle) is also set to report fit.
Wolves v Wigan Athletic 15.00
Gary Caldwell and on-loan midfielder Tom Cleverley are back in the Wigan squad after recovering from their respective thigh and hip injuries. Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa are out as both serve one-match suspensions. Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) and Franco Di Santo (ankle) are still not fit to return while James McCarthy and Victor Moses are long-term casualties.
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy will be administering late fitness checks on Christophe Berra (thigh), Nenad Milijas (foot) and Karl Henry (knee). But Matt Jarvis (knee), Kevin Doyle (thigh), Michael Mancienne (knee), David Jones (foot), Jody Craddock (hip) and Steven Mouyokolo (back) are major doubts. Adlene Guedioura (broken leg) and Michael Kightly (knee) are defintely out.
Aston Villa v Tottenham 17.30
Ashley Young remains a doubt for Aston Villa with a knee injury. Neither he nor Luke Young (groin) has trained with the team this week. Midfielder Steve Sidwell is definitely out as he negotiates a January move to West Ham, but midfielders Stiliyan Petrov and Fabian Delph are returning to full fitness.
Tottenham defender William Gallas has failed to recover from his hamstring injury and will miss the trip to Villa Park. Rafael van der Vaart (hamstring), Jermaine Jenas (calf), Younes Kaboul (hip) and Niko Kranjcar (hamstring) are all available. Ledley King (groin) has trained this week but is not fit enough to be considered for selection. Jonathan Woodgate started his recovery from a long-term groin injury this week but is not expected to be available for two weeks and is likely to go out on loan next month.
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