I’m back! The pandemic caused us to cut back a little bit on staffing so I’ve been on temporary leave for a few months. One of our colleagues, Andrew Gastellum, was snapped up for a fulltime role by SI.com so I’m jumping back in to take over his duties with Late Fitness Check and player news.
In the event you don’t have the time to read through all the injury news, here are the big headlines for fantasy managers:
- Jack Grealish close but not likely to return vs Wolves
- Daniel Podence not ready
- James Maddison still doesn’t have a return date set
- Mo Salah fine to start despite early exit in mid-week
- Wilfried Zaha returns to the Palace line-up after five weeks out
Burnley vs. Arsenal
Not a great deal of injury news from this one which is, frankly, stunning given that Arsenal are involved and we’re well into the season. Usually, anywhere from 2-4 key players are injured with a couple of them being done for the season. Emile Smith-Rowe is questionable due to the hip injury picked up against the Foxes last weekend but don’t expect him to miss much, if any, time. If you’re choosing though, I’d pick Martin Odegaard over Smith-Rowe in the Arsenal midfield. For the Clarets, Ashley Barnes is out and Jack Cork, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, and Robbie Brady are all questionable.
Sheffield United vs. Southampton
Coming off of their big win in mid-week, Sheffield United are facing a lengthy injury list. Phil Jagielka is suspended while Chris Basham, John Egan, Jayden Bogle, Jack O’Connell, Sander Berge, and Jack Robinson are all out injured. While none are particularly fantasy-relevant, injuries are a significant reason behind their fall from last season’s form.
On the other side of the pitch, Southampton have a few players who are questionable with Kyle Walker-Peters, Ibrahima Diallo, and Takumi Minamino on the comeback from injury but not certain to play as of Friday’s injury news. Moussa Djenepo was also noted as potentially being rotated as a preventive measure.
Aston Villa vs. Wolves
Jack Grealish is getting closer to a return and is “pain-free” but it doesn’t sound like he’ll make it back for the match against Wolves. Matty Cash, Kortney Hause, and Wesley are also in a similar boat of being close to returning but not quite ready for this weekend’s action.
Brighton vs. Leicester City
Aaron Connolly is questionable for the match against Leicester City on Saturday. Connolly will likely join Tariq Lamptey, Florin And one, and Adam Webster on the sidelines for the match. Lamptey is going to see a specialist after suffering a setback in his recovery from his hamstring complaint.
Leicester City have little good news on the injury front with Harvey Barnes, Ayoze Pérez, Dennis Praet, Jonny Evans, James Justin, James Maddison, and Wes Morgan all still ruled out due to injury. Praet and Evans could return as soon as next week but none of the rest are close to enough to a return to have a estimated date connected to their name.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Newcastle United
The Magpies will continue to be without Callum Wilson and their talisman will be joined by Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almirón, Javi Manquillo, Emil Krafth, and Fabian Schär as definitely out. Federico Fernandes and Isaac Hayden face late fitness tests ahead of the trip to West Brom.
Liverpool vs. Fulham
The center back woes continue to mount at Anfield as Liverpool could be without January arrival Ozan Kabak for the visit of Fulham on Sunday. Consider Kabak to be doubtful for this weekend. He could be replaced by Nathaniel Phillips who could feature after missing out on the loss to Chelsea in mid-week.
Not much to report on the Fulham side of things. Tom Cairney remains out but the Cottagers are otherwise healthy for their trip to Anfield.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United
The presumptive champions are fully fit heading into the Sunday clash with their cross-town rivals. Nathan Ake was the only hold out in recent weeks and he is back in training and should be ready to face the Red Devils if called upon (but he won’t be).
On the red side of Manchester, David De Gea will miss out for the second consecutive match while spending time in Spain due to the birth of his first child. Anthony Martial and Victor Lindelof are both questionable for the Manchester derby but neither injury is considered significant.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Crystal Palace
José Mourinho has suggested that he will freshen up his squad for the visit of Crystal Palace given the fixture congestion that lies ahead. Giovani Lo Celso will definitely miss out but don’t be surprised if there is rotation outside of the spine of Lloris, Alderweireld, Hojberg, Son, and Kane.
Roy Hodgson will be thrilled to have Wilfried Zaha back for his trip to the Tottenham Stadium after missing him for the past five Premier League matches. Hodgson will be missing James McCarthy, Nathaniel Clyne, James McArthur, Mamadou Sakho, and James Tomkins against Spurs.
Chelsea vs. Everton
Chelsea are relatively healthy ahead of the visit of Everton with only Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham questionable for Monday’s match with the Toffees. Expect those two to be treated conservatively given the performance against Liverpool in their absence in midweek.
Yerry Mina will definitely be out for Monday’s trip to Stamford Bridge and could be joined by Seamus Coleman, Tom Davies, and James Rodriguez who all face late fitness checks that are too far away to predict given the timing of the fixture on Monday. Between the uncertainty and the quality of the opposition, if you have a choice to make with a fantasy team, assume the questionable players will be missing.
West Ham United vs. Leeds United
Visitors Leeds United may be boosted by the return of Kalvin Phillips who is questionable after some time out injured. Jamie Schackleton is also questionable for the trip to the London Stadium. Otherwise, there isn’t much injury news for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Good luck picking your line-ups and remember to check in to the Player News on NBC Sports EDGE for updates on injuries as they become available.