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Team News

Late Fitness Check GW37

by Ben Dinnery
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Another quick turnaround as Everton and West Bromwich Albion get the penultimate weekend underway later this evening.


Game week thirty-seven promises a fast and frenetic finish to the campaign with ten sides doubling up. Careful planning could see you hit the motherload at this pivotal point and carry you to certain victory.  


Myself and the entire Rotoworld Premier League team will be here throughout, so make sure you’re following for all the latest and breaking news:


Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag | Ben | Galin | Nik


Everton – vs – Watford

The Toffees have a few injuries to contend with this weekend. Maarten Stekelenburg [groin] is ruled out which means Joel Robles will start between the sticks. The Everton goalkeeper joins Seamus Coleman [broken leg], James McCarthy [hamstring], Funes Mori [knee] and Aaron Lennon [illness] in the treatment room. However, Morgan Schneiderlin will be available, as is Mo Besic, who returns to the matchday squad for Everton’s final home game. “Everyone knows he has already played for the Under-23s and, okay, we have problems, but he is ready to be part of the first team.” Ronald Koeman will be without Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jonjoe Kenny, Ademola Lookman, Kieran Dowell and Callum Connolly after they were called up for England Under-20s’ World Cup finals campaign in South Korea.


Watford will be looking to end a run of three consecutive defeats: "It's important, very important, and we hope to go there and have a good game and a positive result,” said Walter Mazzarri. Jose Holebas and Ben Watson have been passed fit but Craig Cathcart and Miguel Britos are still out. Tom Cleverley won't feature due to the terms of his original loan deal, even though the clubs have since agreed a permanent move.



West Bromwich Albion – vs -- Chelsea

Tony Pulis confirms Matty Phillips "won't be fit" but Hal Robson-Kanu has a chance of making the bench. The Baggies forward will “have a [late] fitness test" while Pulis is also "hoping" centre-back Jonny Evans can recover from an ankle injury in time to face the would-be Champions.


Antonio Conte reports he has a full squad to choose from for the game at The Hawthorns: "All my players are available for the game." N’Golo Kante has recovered from the hamstring problem which kept him out of the win over Middlesbrough and the Italian boss must decide if the clubs Player of the Year will be handed an instant recall.



Manchester City – vs – Leicester City

Sergio Aguero and John Stones [both groin] have trained ahead of the game but Pep may want to keep changes to a minimum following last weekends’ impressive 5-0 thumping of Crystal Palace. Willy Caballero will continue in goal with Claudio Bravo ruled out for the remainder of the season.


"We've got a few niggles," reveals Craig Shakespeare. A thigh injury rules Danny Drinkwater out of the remaining matches: "He needs time to recover. I can’t see him playing this season. It’s weeks rather than months." Robert Huth is a doubt for the trip to Man City. The centre-back is waiting on the results of his scan after sustaining a foot injury. Teammate Wes Morgan will NOT be fit for Saturday: "Probably slower than I anticipated. I don’t want to rush him.” Shakespeare is "hoping" his captain can play again this season but "I want to be 100 percent." Daniel Amartey, Marcin Wasilewski, Christian Fuchs and Ben Chilwell are all options alongside Yohan Benalouane.



AFC Bournemouth – vs – Burnley

Dan Gosling "is back in contention" once again following his recovery from an ongoing calf complaint. Eddie Howe remains hopeful Ryan Fraser will be able to feature: "We’re monitoring his situation. He has a slight Achilles issue right now." Benik Afobe [hamstring] is expected to remain sidelined while Callum Wilson, Adam Federici and Rhoys Wiggins [all knee] remain long-term absentees. Jack Wilshere has returned to Arsenal to "continue his recovery work" after fracturing his fibula against Tottenham. Junior Stanislas is fine after he was forced off against Burnley due to cramp.


Michael Keane [calf] trained on the grass with the first-team on Thursday: "We’ll see how he reacts to that tomorrow." Ben Mee [shin] is unlikely to feature. "[His injury] is still settling down," but is taking longer than originally anticipated. Dean Marney is long-term. “Other than that, we’re in good shape."



Middlesbrough – vs – Southampton

Victor Valdes has an ongoing rib injury and the goalkeeper “is struggling to make it" on Saturday. Likewise, Gaston Ramirez, who is rated as a major doubt due to a thigh strain. Daniel Ayala [ankle] has started jogging again but Steve Agnew is not confident the Middlesbrough defender will be ready in time.


Claude Puel confirms: "There are no new injuries after the [Arsenal] game [on Wednesday], but of course, we will see the recovery of the players after two strong games.” Charlie Austin and Matt Targett are back in training after long-term injuries and the Saints boss hinted they could be included in his matchday squad. "We will see,” he said. "The most important thing is to try to have a good balance in the physical fitness of the team between some players with good game time and other players who come back just into the training sessions.”



Sunderland – vs – Swansea City

Sunderland may have ridden their luck at Hull but David Moyes’ men were able to play without the pressure of relegation knowing that their fate had already been sealed. The result, an impressive 2-0 win, and the Tigers will be hoping for a similar performance against their relegation counterparts. Lee Cattermole, Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson have all trained ahead of the game but Steven Pienaar could miss out. George Honeyman was the pick of the bunch last weekend but the 22-year-old won't be available after Lamine Kone fell on the young midfielder in training injuring his back. 


Paul Clement says confidence is high in the Swansea camp after taking 7-points from a possible nine to put them a point clear of the relegation zone. "Spirit has been excellent. Going back to the Stoke game - which was an absolute must-win - we back that up with a point at Manchester United - then had another good victory against a good Everton side. They're all encouraging things going into the last two games.” Angel Rangel and Wayne Routledge have re-joined the first-team squad in training: "Medically, they're fine. It's just a matter now of whether they've got enough conditioning into them and that final bit of fitness for the last two games. It's possible [Wayne could play]. He's trained the last couple of days and we've one more session going into the game against Sunderland. We'll make a decision tomorrow [Friday]."



Stoke City – vs – Arsenal

Mark Hughes confirms he has a fully-fit squad - minus long-term absentees [Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland] - for this weekend. “I’ve got plenty of options," said Hughes who will assess [his players] on Friday before deciding on who will lead the line against Arsenal. "Diouf did particularly well [at Bournemouth] and got on the scoresheet.” Peter Crouch put Stoke on course for victory over Hull City recently while Jon Walters found the net against Liverpool and Chelsea respectively. Saido Berahino is over his recent bout of illness.


No press conference from Arsène Wenger on Friday but I’m told that Laurent Koscielny [calf] and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain [hamstring] are likely to miss out. Neither player is seriously injured but the trip to Stoke may come too soon. That should ensure Rob Holding continues in a back three with Hector Bellerin favourite to start on the right – Theo Walcott is another option.



Crystal Palace – vs – Hull City

James Tomkins and Yohan Cabaye are making good progress but neither player is training yet. Sam Allardyce will give them every chance to prove their fitness on Saturday [although] "that's not ideal preparation [for the game].” Scott Dann has a chance "maybe a calculated risk." Mamadou Sakho [knee] remains on the sidelines and the Liverpool loanee is unlikely to play again this season:  "Not really [a chance]. I don't think so. I [don't] think he'll be fit for Old Trafford.” Training this week has been disrupted by injuries within the squad – Andros Townsend is managing an Achilles problem while Joel Ward has a broken nose after his face connected with Leroy Sane’s elbow!


Marco Silva is not underestimating the size of his sides task to remain in the top-flight: “We need to win the games and the next, of course, it is like a final to us. We have got to believe and this is most important.” The Hull manager confirms "it’s not good news" regarding Lazar Marković who has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign due to an ankle injury. However, Omar Elabdellaoui has been back in training this week and “he is available for Sunday’s game.”



West Ham United – vs – Liverpool

Slaven Bilic confirms Mark Noble has had "this hernia thing" for a couple of months but he didn’t want to talk about it. "I wanted him to play against Liverpool but the surgeon said the operation needed to happen as soon as possible." Andy Carroll is once again ruled out: "He won't be able to play, he's still feeling his groin. It's nothing major but he will miss the game." Cheikhou Kouyate is also out after his wrist problem became worse in recent weeks: "He was supposed to have surgery earlier, but because we needed him, we made a plan for him to play as much as possible." Arthur Masuaku has recovered from the foot injury which kept him out of the 1-0 win over Tottenham.


Roberto Firmino is "struggling" after he "felt something" this week. The Brazilian is being managed between games due to a muscle problem. "We have to wait and give him as much time as possible." He could train on Saturday. Lucas Leiva is another doubt. "He felt two different muscles [against Southampton] but he could be back in training today [Friday]." The pair face a late fitness test. Daniel Sturridge and Adan Lallana are options following another solid week of training.



Tottenham Hotspur – vs – Manchester United

Danny Rose is back with the group but lacks match-fitness and his involvement in either of the next two games could depend on this weekends’ results. If Chelsea win on Friday, then the title is theirs, and with second place all but assured, Pochettino may look to rotate giving his fringe players an opportunity. Kieran Trippier could replace Kyle Walker, who was poor against West Ham, and Mousa Dembele will be pushing for a recall although that would probably mean April’s player of the month – Heung-Min Son – would dropout as Spurs revert to a back three.  


United managed to scrape past Celta Vigo at Old Trafford on Thursday but the Spanish outfit pushed Mourinho’s men all the way and I’d expect a host of changes at White Hart Lane. Fortunately, there were no new injuries to contend with, but, of those currently sidelined, none will return before the end of the season. Ashley Young, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw are ruled out while Marouane Fellaini serves the final game of his domestic ban.