After an action-packed few weeks that have included jet-setting international action and the start of the Champions and Europa Leagues, it’s no surprise to see the list of injuries and suspensions beginning to mount up at Premier League clubs.
Here’s a quick overview of those expected to be absent this weekend – essential reading for punters and Fantasy Football managers:
Crystal Palace vs Southampton (Saturday, 12:30pm)
Roy Hodgson will take his Crystal Palace bow on Saturday lunchtime, but he already has a raft of players out injured. Key man Wilfried Zaha faces a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury, and he joins the likes of Connor Wickham, Bacary Sako, Pape Souare and Mahmadou Sakho on the treatment table.
On a brighter note, James Tomkins and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have both shaken off groin strains and should be available to Hodgson.
While the news on the pitch hasn’t been so good for Southampton, at least their physio’s room isn’t packed to the rafters. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is in Denmark following the birth of his first child, but that’s the end of the list of absentees.
Even Virgil van Dijk, blackballed by the club after handing in a transfer request in the summer, could be set for a sensational return to the side.
Liverpool vs Burnley (Saturday, 3pm)
Sadio Mane begins the first of this three-match ban here, and fellow playmaker Adam Lallana continues to be absent for Liverpool with a thigh injury.
Jurgen Klopp’s list of long-term absentees includes Nathaniel Clyne (back), Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan (both knee).
Burnley suffered a cruel blow this week when England international Tom Heaton suffered a dislocated shoulder. The shot-stopper may not be seen for a number of weeks in a Clarets shirt.
Dean Marney and new signing Nahki Wells are both a few weeks shy of full fitness, although midfielder Jeff Hendrick is expected to return against Liverpool after shaking off a thigh injury.
West Brom vs West Ham (Saturday, 3pm)
Three of Tony Pulis’ first-team regulars – Nacer Chadli, Gareth McAuley and James McClean – face late fitness tests ahead of Saturday’s encounter with West Ham. New signing Oliver Burke is expected to miss out with a thigh strain.
The Hammers will have to make do without skipper Mark Noble, who has hurt his knee and won’t return until the EFL Cup fixtures next week at the earliest. He is joined on the sidelines by Manuel Lanzini, who is still ‘one or two’ weeks away from full fitness.
Huddersfield vs Leicester (Saturday, 3pm)
Frontman Steve Mounie faces a race against time to be fit for the clash with the Foxes on Saturday. He picked up a knock against West Ham on Monday, and hasn’t trained since.
Jonathan Hogg and Martin Cranie will need to pass late fitness tests, while Kasey Palmer is definitely out and may not return until the tail-end of 2017.
Leicester will not rush back Robert Huth and Vicente Iborra, although both could play some part against the Terriers. Christian Fuchs suffered a freak eye injury in training and is still to be assessed, while Matty James is rated as 50/50 to be available.
Newcastle vs Stoke (Saturday, 3pm)
Newcastle’s defensive injury crisis is starting to clear, although Massimo Haidara, Chancel Mbemba and Paul Dummett are all but definitely out this week.
Keeper Karl Darlow may not be risked after overcoming an ankle injury, while Aleksandar Mitrovic’s suspension for violent conduct sees him sidelined for the rest of September.
Stoke have defensive issues of their own with Geoff Cameron and Ryan Shawcross out with thigh and back injuries respectively. Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland are the Mark Hughes’ long-term absentees.
Watford v Manchester City (Saturday, 3pm)
The award for most-crocked team this week goes to Watford, who will have to make do without FIVE defenders against free-scoring Manchester City.
Miguel Britos is suspended, while Sebastian Prodl, Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul and Tommie Hoban are all definitely out with a variety of ailments. Another defender, Molly Wague, is short of match fitness but may be pressed into action.
The Citizens’ only injury absentee is Vincent Kompany, who has suffered a recurrence of his long standing calf problem.
Tottenham vs Swansea (Saturday, 5:30pm)
Mauricio Pochettino has reported no new injuries after his side’s midweek win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. That means his only absentees are Danny Rose and Victor Wanyama, with Erik Lamela not expected back until November.
Leon Britton may return for the Swans following a back injury, but Kyle Bartley, Nathan Dyer and Sung-Yeung Ki are not ready for first-team action.
Chelsea vs Arsenal (Sunday, 1:30pm)
Antonio Conte almost has a full strength squad to choose from, with only Danny Drinkwater battling an injury that has kept him out since pre-season.
Arsenal are still without Santi Cazorla, while Francis Coquelin is a long shot for Sunday after straining his hamstring.
Manchester United vs Everton (Sunday, 4pm)
The prognosis for Paul Pogba is not a good one – and Jose Mourinho is furious with the French international.
Pogba has ignored medical advice as to how best manage his long-standing hamstring injury, and has been training alone against the advice of Manchester United’s team of physios.
Now he’s set to be out for up to six weeks after suffering a tear in the affected area.
The only silver lining for Mourinho is that he has no other new injury problems, with Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic slowly working their way back to fitness.
If there’s any bright spot to be taken from Everton’s dismal 0-3 defeat to Atalanta, it’s that they didn’t pick up any new injuries.
Ronald Koeman will be desperate get Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Yannick Bolasie back fit and playing again, but all three are some weeks short of being made available.