A new season but an all too familiar sight as PhysioRoom.com favourites Arsenal, Newcastle and Man United feature prominently on our Injury Table.
After their disastrous opener against Aston Villa last Saturday the Gunners will be looking to make a quick return to winning ways building upon their midweek Champions League qualifier success. The good news is manager Arsene Wenger reported no fresh concerns ahead of the London derby despite Tomas Rosicky, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Bacary Sagna all picking up minor knocks. Central defender Laurent Koscielny would have been the exception of course (the French International is suspended) after taking a horrific boot to the face from Fenerbahce midfielder Pierre Webo. Despite Arsenal physio Colin Lewin saying it was “the worst cut he had had ever seen” the player is in line for a return next Tuesday.
The opening day also provided conflicting information regarding a potential return for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the winger strained posterior cruciate ligaments chasing a Theo Walcott through ball. The winger took to his social media account to confirm his absence from first team duties, initially feared to be around three months.
However this was in direct contrast to Arsene Wenger who proposed Chamberlain could be back within 6-7 weeks, my own opinion is that his return will fall somewhere in between this timeframe with trouble-free rehabilitation.
Fulham could see David Stockdale line-up in goal after new signing Maarten Stekelenburg picked up a shoulder problem on his debut after a pretty innocuous challenge which could keep him out until after the International break. Full-back Kieron Richardson is another who will miss out as he became the first Premier League enforced change this season when he pulled up on 17 minutes with a hamstring injury. The player is expected miss around four games, Fernando Amorebieta is another absentee as he continues to recover from a slight knock.
Meanwhile, Newcastle who are struggling ‘on and off’ the pitch head into Saturdays game needing to get points on the board, but former manager Sam Allardyce will have his Hammers side firing with ex-player Kevin Nolan keen to repeat last season’s win on Tyneside. With a number of concerns in key positions Alan Pardew will do well to take the three points the club so desperately need. Steven Taylor misses out through suspension while Cheick Tiote will face a late test on a slight groin problem. Mike Williamson remains on the side-lines so Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will partner Coloccini in the heart of the defence, full-back Davide Santon is expected to return on the left. Jonas Gutierrez is definitely out with West Ham coming a week too soon for Loic Remy. Yohan Cabaye will be assessed closer to kick-off to determine his “frame of mind” after a week of transfer speculation.
For Norwich Seb Bassong is back in contention, he joins Robert Snodgrass who was a late withdrawal with a groin complaint last week. Manager Chris Hughton will not risk striker Gary Hooper and confirmed Elliott Bennett is likely to miss around 2-3 months with a knee injury picked up at Everton. Anthony Pilkington could return next week.
The injury situation at Goodison is looking a lot better these days with Everton boss Roberto Martinez hopeful of an almost fully fit squad for the game against West Brom. Tony Hibbert and Magaye Gueye have both returned to training and will be considered but there are doubts over Darron Gibson and defender Distin. Both players will face a late fitness test , but Sylvain has a better chance in my opinion given the impressive performance of Ross Barkley at Norwich.
Wayne Rooney will return to the Manchester United match-day squad to face Chelsea as part of Monday Night Football despite a nasty Achilles injury. The forward was caught from behind in the build-up to Danny Welbecks’ second goal in the 4-1 drubbing of Swansea. Jonny Evans and Nick Powell are both involved in U21 action for the Development squad to improve fitness this afternoon. Hernandez, Nani and Young are all recovering well.
David Luiz is progressing for Chelsea, the defender is training hard but is not back with the main group. The Brazilian has an outside chance for Monday but if he misses out is expected to return for next Fridays Super Cup game versus Bayern Munich. Juan Mata continues to improve his fitness and may have to settle for a place on the bench.
Stoke lost the services of Wilson Palacios during last week’s warm-up in the opener at Liverpool after an unspecified incident which required a small surgical procedure, good news is the player will return to training next week and should be available for the visit of West Ham.
Defender Wes Brown will miss out this weekend for Sunderland, the player suffered a slight reaction to an on-going knee problem during the preseason and manager Di Canio will take every precaution to protect the player given his recent problems.
Finally, Manchester City have lost Vincent Kompany for at least a month to a groin strain but Pellegrini will welcome back Matija Nastasic. The defender returned to training last Monday and he could be joined by £22 million man Stevan Jovetic who has shaken off a slight knock but is not “100% fit”. Micah Richards (hamstring) could return next week against Hull City after progressing well in training.
Author : Ben Dinnery