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EPL team news: Giroud returns for leaders Arsenal

Updated: Saturday, 11 Jan 2014 14:58 | Comments

Olivier Giroud should be back to lead the line for Arsenal at Villa Park on Monday night
Olivier Giroud should be back to lead the line for Arsenal at Villa Park on Monday night

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SATURDAY 11 JANUARY (3pm unless stated)

Hull v Chelsea, 12.45pm

Hull manager Steve Bruce is hoping a sickness bug that has been affecting his squad has passed in time for the clash with Chelsea.

As many as nine Tigers players have shown symptoms over the past week but most are expecting to be fully fit.

Paul McShane is out for three to four weeks with an ankle injury sustained at Middlesbrough last weekend, while Sone Aluko (Achilles) and Robbie Brady (groin) remain out.

Chelsea have no fresh fitness concerns.

Kevin De Bruyne is unlikely to be included after negotiations for the Belgium forward's Chelsea exit gathered pace.

Midfielder Frank Lampard (calf) and right-back Branislav Ivanovic (knee) are out until the end of the month, while Marco van Ginkel (knee) is continuing his rehabilitation.

Hull City squad: McGregor, Harper, Davies, Chester, Faye, Figueroa, Bruce, Rosenior, Elmohamady, Brady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Koren, Sagbo, Meyler, Graham, Fryatt, Boyd, Gedo.

Chelsea squad: Cech, Cole, Luiz, Essien, Ramires, Torres, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Schurrle, De Bruyne, Hazard, Ba, Willian, Schwarzer, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Eto'o, Blackman, Bertrand.

Cardiff City v West Ham

Craig Bellamy is back from a knee injury as Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes charge of a Premier League game for the first time.

Bellamy has been sidelined for two months with hamstring and knee problems but has trained this week ahead of the clash with the Hammers.

New signing Magnus Wolff Eikrem looks set to be named on the bench after arriving from Heerenveen earlier in the week.

Sam Allardyce will give Andy Carroll as much time as possible to prove his fitness.

West Ham's record signing has yet to play this season due to a foot injury but could play some part in south Wales as the Hammers look to improve on 19th place in the table.

Loanee Roger Johnson will make his league debut with fellow defenders James Collins (groin) and Winston Reid (ankle) still absent and Joey O'Brien sidelined after taking a knock in midweek. Captain Kevin Nolan is suspended and Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) also misses out.

Cardiff City squad: Marshall, Connolly, Taylor, Caulker, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Medel, Cornelius, Campbell, Odemwingie, Brayford, Kim, Smith, Eikrem, Noone, Gunnarsson, Mutch, Cowie, Mason, Maynard, McNaughton, Theophile-Catherine, Lewis, Bellamy, John.

West Ham squad: Jaaskelainen, Adrian, Demel, Johnson, Tomkins, Rat, McCartney, Diarra, Noble, Collison, Jarvis, Taylor, J Cole, Diame, Morrison, Maiga, C Cole, Carroll.

Everton v Norwich

Midfielder Ross Barkley is one of four injury doubts for Everton.

The 20-year-old has a swollen toe in his right foot and will be assessed but Martinez retains hope he can feature along with full-back Leighton Baines (back).

There is less optimism surrounding Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin (both hamstring), though, with the pair thought to be a week away from full fitness so John Stones and Antolin Alcaraz could continue their central-defensive partnership.

On-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu is still on course of a February comeback from his hamstring injury, while midfielder Darron Gibson has targeted a return by April from his knee injury.

Norwich will have Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer back from a one-match suspension.

Midfielders Wes Hoolahan and Bradley Johnson also return to the squad after sitting out last weekend's FA Cup third-round draw with Fulham, as does captain Sebastien Bassong.

Centre-back Michael Turner (hamstring) and Jonny Howson (back) are still sidelined, while Alex Tettey (knee) and Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) have both returned to light training following their own injury lay-offs. Winger Elliott Bennett (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Everton squad: Howard, Robles, Coleman, Alcaraz, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar, Lukaku, Oviedo, Hibbert, Heitinga, Stones, Osman, Naismith, Jelavic, Vellios.

Norwich squad: Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Olsson, Johnson, Fer, Redmond, Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Hooper, Bunn, van Wolfswinkel, Josh Murphy, Jacob Murphy, R Bennett, Elmander, Garrido, Fox.

Fulham v Sunderland

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland could return after a three-month absence.

The Norway defender underwent surgery in December to clear sciatic nerve trouble and is back in full training with the Whites.

Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg will have an ankle complaint assessed before the match, while full-back Kieran Richardson is available after hamstring tightness.

Steven Fletcher is set to keep his place in Sunderland's starting line-up after shrugging off a slight knock sustained in the midweek Capital One Cup win over Manchester United.

Black Cats boss Gus Poyet does not expect any fresh injury concerns and could keep faith in the side that secured their 2-1 first-leg win, although Adam Johnson is pushing for a recall after being singled out by Poyet for special praise.

Poyet is without midfielder Cabral who has moved to Genoa on loan until the end of the season, while goalkeeper Keiren Westwood remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Fulham squad: Stekelenburg, Stockdale, Riether, Zverotic, Hughes, Burn, Senderos, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Riise, Richardson, Parker, Boateng, Karagounis, Sidwell, Ruiz, Kasami, Dejagah, Rodallega, Kacaniklic, Dembele, David, Bent, Berbatov.

Sunderland squad: Mannone, Pickford, Celustka, Dossena, Alonso, Bardsley, O'Shea, Brown, Diakite, Roberge, Cattermole, Gardner, Ki, Giaccherini, Johnson, Larsson, Ba, Karlsson, Mavrias, Colback, Fletcher, Altidore, Borini.

Southampton v West Brom

Artur Boruc could be available for Southampton.

The Poland goalkeeper fractured his hand in the defeat at Chelsea on December 1 and may return on Saturday - a match Dani Osvaldo (suspension) and Victor Wanyama (shin) will definitely miss.

Gaston Ramirez and Rickie Lambert are recovering well after sustaining knocks in the FA Cup victory against Burnley, while Guly do Prado is training well after knee surgery.

West Brom caretaker head coach Keith Downing will be without full-back Billy Jones for his last game in charge.

Downing will revert to his backroom role after the St Mary's trip following the appointment of Spaniard Pepe Mel this week.

He will need to cope without Jones, who has had an operation on an injury to his eye. Jones' fellow defender Goran Popov (neck) is out, while recent absentees Youssouf Mulumbu and Victor Anichebe are back in training but unlikely to feature.

Downing has "one or two" unspecified others who are rated 50-50 to be fit for the match.

Southampton squad: Boruc, K Davis, Gazzaniga, Clyne, Chambers, Shaw, Fox, Lovren, Fonte, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Schneiderlin, Reed, Cork, S Davis, Ward-Prowse, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Lallana, Gallagher, Lambert.

West Brom squad: Foster, Myhill, Daniels, Ridgewell, Olsson, McAuley, Lugano, Brunt, Sessegnon, Amalfitano, Mulumbu, Berahino, Yacob, Vydra, Long, Anelka, Morrison, Dawson, Reid, Sinclair, Anichebe, Gera, Rosenberg.

Tottenham v Crystal Palace

Toronto FC-bound striker Jermain Defoe has overcome a hamstring injury and is available for Tottenham.

Midfielder Lewis Holtby (knee), winger Andros Townsend (hamstring) and forward Gylfi Sigurdsson (calf) have overcome their respective injuries and could feature. 

Erik Lamela (thigh) is a doubt, but Younes Kaboul (thigh), Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Sandro (calf) and Paulinho (ankle) are definitely out.

Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis will assess a number of players with undisclosed minor knocks.

Jerome missed last weekend's FA Cup win at West Brom with a knee injury. Winger Jimmy Kebe is not in the squad as he has been allowed to leave on loan.

Stephen Dobbie was on the bench at The Hawthorns but is not in the Baggies' 25-man Premier League squad after spending the first half of the season on loan at Blackpool.

Tottenham squad: Lloris, Friedel, Archer, Walker, Naughton, Fredericks, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose, Fryers, Dembele, Capoue, Eriksen, Bentaleb, Townsend, Holtby, Chadli, Lamela, Sigurdsson, Lennon, Soldado, Adebayor, Kane, Defoe.

Crystal Palace squad: Speroni, Price, Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Mariappa, Moxey, Puncheon, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Bannan, O'Keefe, Williams, Gayle, Chamakh, Jerome, Phillips, Bolasie, Boateng.

Manchester United v Swansea, 5.30pm

Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie will again be missing for Manchester United.

Rooney has been sent for some warm weather training as he tries to overcome a groin problem that has kept him out of United's last two games, whilst Van Persie has not recovered from a thigh strain which has sidelined him for a month.

In addition, Rio Ferdinand (knee), Phil Jones (knee), Marouane Fellaini (wrist), Nani (hamstring) and Ashley Young (shoulder) are injured, whilst Fabio is suspended.

Swansea's injury woes have deepened.

Jonathan de Guzman, Roland Lamah and Dwight Tiendalli have joined Nathan Dyer, Pablo Hernandez, Garry Monk, Michel Vorm and Michu on the sidelines, leaving manager Michael Laudrup with limited options against the reigning champions.

Ashley Williams, Ben Davies and Angel Rangel will return to the back four with Jose Canas and Leon Britton set to start together as deep-lying midfielders.

Manchester United squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Smalling, Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Buttner, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Carrick, Cleverley, Fletcher, Kagawa, Zaha, Hernandez, Welbeck, Januzaj.

Swansea squad: Amat, Taylor, Flores, Williams, Britton, Shelvey, Bony, Cornell, Routledge, Rangel, Canas, Pozuelo, Tremmel, Vazquez, Richards, Davies, Zabret.

SUNDAY 12 JANUARY

Newcastle v Manchester City, 2.05pm

Goalkeeper Tim Krul and midfielder Yohan Cabaye could both return to the Newcastle squad.

Krul (shoulder) and Cabaye (Achilles) both missed the FA Cup third round defeat by Cardiff last weekend, but are back in training and may figure.

However, full-back Davide Santon is a doubt with a thigh problem and is set to join fellow defenders Fabricio Coloccini (knee) and the suspended Mathieu Debuchy on the sidelines.

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is fit for the trip to Tyneside after overcoming a minor ankle knock suffered in midweek.

Top scorer Sergio Aguero (calf) remains on the sidelines but could be close to a return while fellow forward Stevan Jovetic and midfielder Jack Rodwell (both hamstring) are also still out.

Winger Jesus Navas returns after resting a knee problem while defender Dedryck Boyata is available again after suspension. Defenders Micah Richards and Martin Demichelis are available after injury.

Newcastle United squad: Krul, Elliot, Alnwick, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, S. Taylor, Dummett, Haidara, Tiote, Anita, Cabaye, Marveaux, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Sammy Ameobi, Bigirimana, Obertan, Cisse, Remy, Gouffran, Shola Ameobi.

Manchester City squad: Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Richards, Kompany, Nastasic, Lescott, Demichelis, Boyata, Kolarov, Clichy, Milner, Navas, Nasri, Silva, Toure, Fernandinho, Garcia, Dzeko, Negredo, Guidetti.

Stoke v Liverpool, 4.10pm

Goalkeeper Jack Butland could make his first Premier League start for Stoke, though Thomas Sorensen is back in training.

With Asmir Begovic having broken a finger, Butland came off the bench to replace Sorensen (Achilles) against Everton and started the FA Cup third-round win over Leicester.

Robert Huth (knee) also trained with the first team this week but may not be ready, Andy Wilkinson (heel) remains sidelined and Oussama Assaidi is unavailable to face his parent club.

Striker Daniel Sturridge is set to return to the Liverpool squad after seven weeks on the sidelines with an ankle sprain.

The England international returned to full training this week having not featured in a matchday squad since the Merseyside derby on November 23.

Centre-back Daniel Agger has been ruled out for three to four weeks with a calf strain, but Mamadou Sakho is back after a hamstring injury.

Stoke City squad: Butland, Sorensen, Bachmann, Cameron, Shawcross, Pieters, Muniesa, Wilson, Shotton, Palacios, Pennant, Nzonzi, Arnautovic, Adam, Walters, Whelan, Etherington, Crouch, Jones.

Liverpool squad: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Cissokho, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez, Jones, Toure, Kelly, Alberto, Aspas, Sturridge, Moses, Ibe.

MONDAY 13 JANUARY

Aston Villa v Arsenal, 8pm

Aston Villa will assess the condition of defenders Ron Vlaar and Nathan Baker.

Both club captain Vlaar and Baker sat out last weekend's FA Cup third-round loss to Sheffield United with calf and hamstring problems respectively.

Forward Gabriel Agbonlahor, who also missed the cup tie, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan are fit despite having had niggles, but the game is too soon for midfielder Chris Herd and defender Joe Bennett to make their comebacks after injury.

Arsenal expect to have forward Olivier Giroud back from an ankle problem and illness.

England forward Theo Walcott has been ruled out for the rest of the season and the World Cup after suffering knee ligament damage in the FA Cup third-round win over Tottenham.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, fit again following his own serious knee injury, could be back in the squad having played for the Under-21s on Thursday, while fellow midfielder Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and defender Kieran Gibbs (calf) are also closing in on a return. Captain Thomas Vermaelen (knee) is doubtful, while forward Nicklas Bendtner (ankle), Yaya Sanogo (back) and Abou Diaby (knee) continue their rehabilitation.

Aston Villa squad: Guzan, Steer, Baker, Vlaar, Clark, Luna, Donacien, Lowton, Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Westwood, Delph, Sylla, Gardner, Tonev, Helenius, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Bowery.

Arsenal squad: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini, Wilshere, Rosicky, Ozil, Giroud, Fabianski, Podolski, Jenkinson, Cazorla, Vermaelen, Gnarby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Park.

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