The weekend's Premier League team news and stats
Published 03/05/2013 | 15:23
A run down on all you need to know about this weekend's fixtures in the Barclays Premier League.
Saturday, May 4
Fulham (11) v Reading (20)
Fulham forward Mladen Petric is out due to a hamstring injury. Steve Sidwell is still suspended following his red card against Arsenal, but Dimitar Berbatov is available despite going off against Everton with a calf problem. Defender Sascha Riether (ankle) is also fit for selection, but midfielders Mahamadou Diarra (knee), Ashkan Dejagah (ankle) and Simon Davies (hip) remain out.
Reading midfielder Hope Akpan could return after recovering from an ankle problem, while goalkeeper Adam Federici could return from his ankle injury. Jimmy Kebe (groin) and Jason Roberts (hip) are still missing.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Fulham L D L L L; Reading L L D L D
Top scorers (all competitions): Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) 13; Nick Blackman (Reading) 14
Match odds: H 4-6 A 4-1 D 14-5
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).
Norwich (14) v Aston Villa (16)
Goalkeeper John Ruddy is in contention to make his return for Norwich after five months out with a thigh injury. Defender Sebastien Bassong has shaken off an ankle problem, but fellow centre-half Michael Turner (groin) is still sidelined. Forward Kei Kamara plays the last match of his loan spell from Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City, and will return to the United States unless a permanent transfer is agreed.
Aston Villa could be without defender Ciaran Clark and midfielder Karim El Ahmadi. The pair missed Monday's 6-1 win over Sunderland, with Clark struggling with a foot injury and El Ahmadi a groin strain, and will be assessed ahead of the trip to Carrow Road. Richard Dunne, Marc Albrighton, Gary Gardner and Chris Herd are all long-term injury absentees.
Last season: Norwich 2 Aston Villa 0, Aston Villa 3 Norwich 2
Last five league matches: Norwich L D L W L; Aston Villa L W D L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Luciano Becchio (Norwich) 18; Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 25
Match odds: H 13-10 A 2-1 D 12-5
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).
QPR (19) v Arsenal (4)
QPR will welcome Bobby Zamora back from his three-match ban but Rangers manager Harry Redknapp could still be without on-loan Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend (hamstring) and defender Christopher Samba (knee), although the latter has a late fitness test. Shaun Wright-Phillips (ankle) and Andrew Johnson (knee) will miss the remainder of the season, both having undergone surgery.
Arsenal will again be without suspended striker Olivier Giroud. Theo Walcott, who scored against Manchester United, and Lukas Podolski are both pressing for a central attacking role. Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (rib) remains sidelined, while midfielder Abou Diaby (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Last season: QPR 2 Arsenal 1, Arsenal 1 QPR 0
Last five league matches: QPR L D L L D; Arsenal W W D W D
Top scorers (all competitions): Loic Remy (QPR) 8; Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 19
Match odds: H 6-1 A 4-9 D 7-2
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).
Swansea (9) v Man City (2)
Chico Flores is an injury doubt for Swansea after the Spanish defender suffered bruising to his arm in training earlier this week, but Michael Laudrup is hopeful of having his first-choice centre-half available. Winger Roland Lamah has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has been passed fit after the England international suffered a back injury in last Saturday's victory over West Ham. City otherwise have no injury or suspensions with striker Sergio Aguero and midfielders David Silva and James Milner having returned from hamstring problems against the Hammers.
Last season: Swansea 1 Man City 0, Man City 4 Swansea 0
Last five league matches: Swansea L L D D L; Man City W W W L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Michu (Swansea) 21; Carlos Tevez (Man City) 17
Match odds: H 18-5 A 8-11 D 11-4
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).
Tottenham (5) v Southampton (13)
Tottenham will give a fitness test to Mousa Dembele (hamstring) before deciding whether to include the midfielder in the squad. Striker Emmanuel Adebayor (knee) and midfielder Jake Livermore (hamstring) are available after they sat out the 2-2 draw at Wigan last week. Midfielder Sandro (knee) and defensive duo Younes Kaboul (thigh) and William Gallas (calf) are unavailable.
Gaston Ramirez and Danny Fox will both miss out for Saints as they begin three-match bans following their red cards in the home defeat to West Brom. There is some good news, though, as Luke Shaw looks set to feature after an ankle injury.
Last season: No corresponding fixtureLast five league matches: Tottenham L W D W D; Southampton W W D D L
Top scorers (all competitions): Gareth Bale (Tottenham) 24; Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 14
Match odds: H 4-9 A 11-2 D 18-5
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).
West Brom (8) v Wigan (18)
West Brom will be without captain Chris Brunt, striker Marc-Antoine Fortune and defender Goran Popov. Brunt missed the 3-0 win at Southampton with a knee injury and sits out again, while Popov has a calf problem. Fortune starts a three-game suspension but Youssouf Mulumbu returns from a ban of his own and Peter Odemwingie is in contention for a first appearance since March 30.
Wigan are forced into a defensive change with Maynor Figueroa ruled out for the rest of the season with a groin injury. Paraguay centre-back Antolin Alcaraz (hamstring) is close to fitness but unlikely to return this weekend, meaning Ronnie Stam could come in at the back. Midfielder Ben Watson, out since last November with a broken leg but on the bench last week, could figure while defender Roman Golobart and midfielder Fraser Fyvie are in contention after knocks.
Last season: Wigan 1 West Brom 1, West Brom 1 Wigan 2
Last five league matches: West Brom D L L D W; Wigan W D L L D
Top scorers (all competitions): Romelu Lukaku (West Brom) 14; Arouna Kone (Wigan) 12
Match odds: H 11-8 A 19-10 D 12-5
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).
West Ham (10) v Newcastle (17)
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has no fresh injury concerns. Defensive duo James Tomkins (calf) and George McCartney (knee) are again likely to miss out for the Hammers, who could climb to ninth in the Barclays Premier League with a win. Mark Noble and Joe Cole will be pushing for places in the starting XI after improving their match fitness from the bench in recent weeks.
Newcastle full-back Mathieu Debuchy will miss out through suspension. Left-back Massadio Haidara has also been sidelined by a hamstring injury, while goalkeeper Tim Krul (dislocated shoulder), full-back Davide Santon (hamstring) and midfielder Sylvain Marveaux (groin) are all still out, although skipper Fabricio Coloccini could return from a long-term back problem.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: West Ham D D D W L; Newcastle L W L D L
Top scorers (all competitions): Andy Carroll & Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 7; Yoan Gouffran (Newcastle) 14
Match odds: H 11-8 A 19-10 D 12-5
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).
Sunday, May 5
Liverpool (7) v Everton (6)
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will have virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from for Sunday's Merseyside. The long-standing shoulder problem which prompted captain Steven Gerrard's substitution last weekend is not expected to prevent his participation after treatment in the week. Forward Fabio Borini is edging closer to match fitness after his appearance from the bench at Newcastle following a lengthy lay-off, and the Italian is likely to be among the substitutes again.
Everton could have Darron Gibson back available, but Toffees captain Phil Neville has been ruled out. Manager David Moyes said midfielder Gibson, who missed last Saturday's 1-0 win over Fulham through an injury picked up a week earlier against Sunderland, has a chance of featuring but Neville has a knee problem which will rule him out of his last Merseyside derby before his career as an Everton player finishes this summer.
Last season: Liverpool 3 Everton 0, Everton 0 Liverpool 2
Last five league matches: Liverpool W D D D W; Everton D W D L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 30; Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 12
Match odds: H 21-20 A 5-2 D 5-2
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Man Utd (1) v Chelsea (3)
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson expects to have Paul Scholes back in his squad for the first time since January. Scholes has been missing with a knee injury and is widely expected to announce his retirement at the end of the season, so Ferguson seems to be preparing him for a farewell appearance.Danny Welbeck (knee) is out but skipper Nemanja Vidic has recovered from a calf strain.
Ashley Cole is back from his European suspension for Chelsea's trip to Old Trafford. Eden Hazard came off as a precaution in Thursday night's Europa League semi-final defeat of Basle and could drop to the bench as Rafael Benitez faces a selection balancing act once again, with Wednesday's crucial clash with Tottenham also a consideration. Only Oriol Romeu (knee) is a definite absentee, with striker Demba Ba available again after being cup-tied against the Swiss champions.
Last season: Chelsea 3 Man Utd 3, Man Utd 3 Chelsea 1
Last five league matches: Man Utd L W D W D; Chelsea L W W D W
Top scorers (all competitions): Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 29; Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 20
Match odds: H 5-4 A 21-10 D 12-5
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).
Monday, May 6
Sunderland (15) v Stoke (12)
Striker Stephane Sessegnon will miss out for Sunderland after failing in his appeal against the red card he was shown against Aston Villa on Monday. He will begin a three-match ban against the Potters. Manager Paolo Di Canio is giving little away about his fitness concerns, but striker Connor Wickham (calf) is expected to miss out once again, while leading scorer Steven Fletcher (ankle) and skipper Lee Cattermole (knee) were ruled out of the run-in several weeks ago.
Stoke have concerns over defenders Marc Wilson and Andy Wilkinson and midfielder Glenn Whelan. Wilson missed last weekend's win over Norwich with a hamstring problem and remains a major doubt, as do Wilkinson (back) and Whelan (groin), who were both forced off during the game. Winger Matthew Etherington returned from a back complaint as a substitute at the Britannia Stadium last Saturday and could start.
Last season: Stoke 0 Sunderland 1, Sunderland 4 Stoke 0
Last five league matches: Sunderland L L W W L; Stoke L L L W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) 11; Jonathan Walters (Stoke) 10 Match odds: H 1-1 A 3-1 D 9-4
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).