The weekend's Premier League team news and stats
Published 19/04/2013 | 16:45
Details of injuries, suspensions, facts and figures of this weekend's fixtures as the Premier League comes to a dramatic conclusion.
Saturday, April 20
Fulham (10) v Arsenal (4)
Steve Sidwell returns after missing the last three matches after being sent off against QPR, but Sascha Riether is a doubt after picking up a knock against Chelsea in midweek, while Damien Duff (adductor), Ashkan Dejagah (ankle) and Mahamadou Diarra (knee) are all out. On-loan Emmanuel Frimpong is ineligible to face his parent club, but Alex Kacaniklic could be involved after being recalled from a loan spell at Burnley.
Arsenal will again be without goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski because of a cracked rib. Fellow Pole Wojciech Szczesny will get the chance to reclaim the number one jersey again, while midfielder Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) faces a fitness test. Left-back Nacho Monreal is pressing for a start after being named on the bench for the last two games, as is forward Lukas Podolski, but midfielder Abou Diaby (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Last season: Fulham 2 Arsenal 1, Arsenal 1 Fulham 1
Last five league matches: Fulham W W L D L; Arsenal W W W W D
Top scorers (all competitions): Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) 13; Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 18
Match odds: H 7-2 A 8-11 D 14-5
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).
Norwich (14) v Reading (20)
Midfielder Anthony Pilkington is back in contention for Norwich, while fellow midfielder Bradley Johnson has also recovered from a knock he suffered against Arsenal last weekend. Boss Chris Hughton will wait before deciding whether first-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy returns to the squad after playing two development games following his long lay-off after undergoing surgery on his injured thigh.
Reading manager Nigel Adkins is hopeful Jimmy Kebe could be fit enough to play some part after he missed the 0-0 draw with Liverpool due to a groin injury but has returned to training this week and could be involved at Carrow Road. The game is likely to come too early for goalkeeper Adam Federici and midfielder Hope Akpan (both ankle) but winger Hal Robson-Kanu has an outside chance of being in contention despite struggling with a knee complaint.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Norwich D D L D L; Reading L L L L D
Top scorers (all competitions): Luciano Becchio (Norwich) 18; Nick Blackman (Reading) 14
Match odds: H 7-10 A 19-5 D 14-5
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).
QPR (19) v Stoke (16)
QPR striker Bobby Zamora is suspended and will serve the second of his three-match ban for being sent off against Wigan. Shaun Wright-Phillips is out after undergoing ankle surgery, while Andrew Johnson is sidelined with a knee problem.
Stoke winger Matthew Etherington remains doubtful ahead of this weekend's Barclays Premier League trip to QPR. Etherington missed last Sunday's defeat by Manchester United after suffering a back injury in the previous week's loss to Aston Villa. Defender Marc Wilson (back/hamstring) is hopeful of returning while manager Tony Pulis is hopeful "one or two players with niggles" will be fit.
Last season: QPR 1 Stoke 0, Stoke 2 QPR 3
Last five league matches: QPR W L L D L; Stoke L D L L L
Top scorers (all competitions): Loic Remy (QPR) 8; Jonathan Walters (Stoke) 9
Match odds: H 6-5 A 12-5 D 11-5
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).
Sunderland (15) v Everton (6)
Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner will sit out the second part of a two-match ban after reaching 10 bookings for the campaign. Manager Paolo Di Canio is expecting to have similar options to those he enjoyed for last Sunday's derby victory at Newcastle with striker Connor Wickham still a doubt with a knock, while fellow frontman Steven Fletcher, who had ankle surgery on Monday, and skipper Lee Cattermole (knee) have been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Everton will give a fitness test to midfielder Leon Osman who was forced to miss the midweek game at Arsenal with a groin strain, with youngster Ross Barkley impressing in his place. Manager David Moyes has reported no other fresh injuries while right-back Tony Hibbert (calf) is continuing his comeback in the under-21s side.
Last season: Everton 4 Sunderland 0, Sunderland 1 Everton 1
Last five league matches: Sunderland L D L L W; Everton W W D W D
Top scorers (all competitions): Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) 11; Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 12
Match odds: H 5-2 A 23-20 D 9-4
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).
Swansea (9) v Southampton (12)
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has no new injury concerns, while Leon Britton is back after missing the draw with Norwich to be at the birth of his twin sons. Internationals including Ben Davies, Ashley Williams, Ki Sung-yueng and Michel Vorm returned to training this week after being given some time off by Laudrup.The Dane also has the option of handing Neil Taylor a first-team return following his lengthy lay-off, although the Wales international is unlikely to be rushed back into action.
Kelvin Davis and Guly do Prado are doubts for Southampton. Club captain Davis is struggling with a leg complaint sustained in training, while do Prado has a fever so will be assessed ahead of the trip to south Wales. Luke Shaw, Jason Puncheon and Jay Rodriguez are all fully fit once again after a virus. Jose Fonte did not train yesterday following the birth of his son.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Swansea W L L L D; Southampton D W W W D
Top scorers (all competitions): Michu (Swansea) 21; Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 14
Match odds: H 5-4 A 21-10 D 12-5
Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).
West Brom (8) v Newcastle (13)
West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie will be out with a knee injury, while teenage striker Izzy Brown has also been ruled out with a groin strain. Midfield enforcer Youssouf Mulumbu serves the second game of his three-match suspension.
Newcastle will be without midfielders Cheick Tiote (hamstring) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin) for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League trip to West Brom.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul will miss the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder and utility man Ryan Taylor will miss the whole of the next campaign after suffering a recurrence of his cruciate ligament injury, while skipper Fabricio Coloccini (back) has returned to training, but the game at the Hawthorns comes too soon for him.
Last season: West Brom 1 Newcastle 3, Newcastle 2 West Brom 3
Last five league matches: West Brom L W D L L; Newcastle W L L W L
Top scorers (all competitions): Romelu Lukaku (West Brom) 13; Papiss Cisse & Yoan Gouffran (Newcastle) 13
Match odds: H 6-5 A 11-5 D 12-5
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).
West Ham (11) v Wigan (18)
West Ham will once again be without midfielder Joe Cole as he struggles to recover from his hamstring injury. Defender James Tomkins (calf) and full-back George McCartney (knee) are also out. Midfielder Mark Noble may make his first start since February after recovering from a shoulder injury to come off the bench against Manchester United on Wednesday.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has no new injury worries for his side's third match in a week but may choose to freshen things up again at West Ham tomorrow. The Spaniard made just two changes for Wednesday's defeat at Manchester City, bringing back goalkeeper Joel Robles and striker Franco di Santo. Forward Callum McManaman could be set for a recall but Roman Golobart remains out of the picture after twisting an ankle in training.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: West Ham L W D D D; Wigan L W W D L
Top scorers (all competitions): Andy Carroll & Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 6; Arouna Kone (Wigan) 12
Match odds: H 23-20 A 23-10 D 12-5
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).
Sunday, April 21
Liverpool (7) v Chelsea (3)
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no new injury concerns ahead of Sunday's clash. The Reds boss may be tempted to freshen things up, however, after back-to-back goalless draws. Forward Raheem Sterling has sat out recent games with a thigh problem while forward Fabio Borini and midfielder Joe Allen (both shoulder) and defender Martin Kelly (knee) are all sidelined.
Defenders Ashley Cole (hamstring) and Gary Cahill (knee) trained today and could return to contention for Chelsea, while Marko Marin (thigh) is available. Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is likely to rotate his squad once more, meaning ex-Reds striker Fernando Torres, captain John Terry and midfielder Frank Lampard may return to the bench.
Last season: Liverpool 4 Chelsea 1, Chelsea 1 Liverpool 2
Last five league matches: Liverpool W L W D D; Chelsea W W L W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 29; Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 20
Match odds: H 6-5 A 11-5 D 12-5
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).
Tottenham (5) v Man City (2)
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is confident that star man Gareth Bale will overcome his ankle injury, while Jermain Defoe also looks set to return after a pelvis injury lay-off. Aaron Lennon (knee) has not trained with the squad yet, but Villas-Boas still thinks the winger has a chance of playing. Sandro (knee) and centre-back Younes Kaboul (thigh) are unavailable.
Manchester City pair David Silva and Sergio Aguero are doubtful. Playmaker Silva has missed the last two games after pulling up in the derby win at Manchester United while striker Aguero withdrew as a precaution at half-time of the midweek game against Wigan.
Last season: Man City 3 Tottenham 2, Tottenham 1 Man City 5
Last five league matches: Tottenham W L L W D; Man City W L W W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Gareth Bale (Tottenham) 22; Carlos Tevez (Man City) 17
Match odds: H 19-10 A 13-10 D 5-2
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).
Monday, April 22
Man Utd (1) v Aston Villa (17)
Manchester United winger Ashley Young will miss the encounter with former club Aston Villa on Monday after being ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with an ankle injury. Paul Scholes (knee) is also out, although Sir Alex Ferguson reports no fresh injury concerns after Wednesday's bruising encounter at West Ham.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hopes to have in-form forward Gabriel Agbonlahor available after he missed last week's draw with Fulham having suffered a groin injury in Villa's win at Stoke. Young midfielder Gary Gardner is back in training after missing most of the season with knee ligament damage but is some way short of a return, while Chris Herd, Marc Albrighton (both foot) and Richard Dunne (groin) are still out.
Last season: Man Utd 4 Aston Villa 0, Aston Villa 0 Man Utd 1
Last five league matches: Man Utd W W L W D; Aston Villa W W L W D
Top scorers (all competitions): Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 25; Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 22
Match odds: H 1-4 A 10-1 D 5-1
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).