We’re heading into that nitty-gritty part of the season now where injuries and suspensions to key men can prove pivotal, and with a rare midweek set of fixtures in the Premier League next week, keeping bodies fit and fresh is vital.
So who currently find themselves on the treatment table?
Crystal Palace vs Stoke City (Saturday, 3pm)
Palace’s injury problems are subsiding, and this week they welcome back Christian Benteke to their starting line-up. Now, only Patrick van Aanholt and Chung-Yong Lee of the first team regulars are struggling with injuries.
Jack Butland is hoping for a December return between the sticks for Stoke, and he is joined on the sidelines by Geoff Cameron. Xherdan Shaqiri, who reported to be suffering from a tight hamstring, should be fine to play.
Manchester United vs Brighton (Saturday, 3pm)
A hectic schedule is partly the cause for Phil Jones’ ongoing thigh complaint, and the England man will miss out here. Fortunately for Jose Mourinho, Eric Bailly should be fit to return. Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are working their way back to full fitness, but both will play some part here.
Brighton have a clean bill of health but for long-term absentee Steve Sidwell.
Newcastle United vs Watford (Saturday, 3pm)
It’s a tough week for Rafa Benitez, with Christian Atsu (thigh), Jamaal Lascelles (ankle), Mikel Merino (back) and Isaac Hayden (suspended) all absent from duty.
Troy Deeney serves the last of his three-match suspension here, and he will watch on from the stands alongside the injured quartet Isaac Success, Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul and Nathaniel Chalobah.
Swansea City vs Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm)
While Wilfried Bony and Renato Sanches are fit to start for Swansea, the bad news is that top goalscorer Tammy Abraham is looking increasingly unlikely to play any part. He suffered a back injury last time out, and is rated as no better than 50/50 for this encounter with Bournemouth.
Simon Francis is suspended for the Cherries, while Jermain Defoe and Junior Stanislas also look set to miss out. Jordan Ibe could return after recovering from a knee injury.
Tottenham vs West Brom (Saturday, 3pm)
It’s a case of as you were for Tottenham, who boast a clean bill of health apart from the injuries to Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama. Mauricio Pochettino is hoping that they will return in time for Christmas.
Manager-less West Brom have three long-term injury absentees: Craig Dawson, James Morrison and Nacer Chadli won’t return until the tail-end of 2017.
Liverpool vs Chelsea (Saturday, 5:30pm)
Finally, Jurgen Klopp can call upon his preferred front four: messrs Mane, Firmino, Coutinho and Salah. That’s a mouth-watering prospect.
Klopp is sweating on the fitness of centre back Joel Matip however. The Cameroon international should be ready, but he will need to pass a late fitness test.
Antonio Conte has almost a full deck to play with. Victor Moses is nearing a return but won’t be risked at Anfield, while Michy Batshuayi is still a couple of weeks away after suffering an ankle injury on international duty.
Southampton vs Everton (Sunday, 1:30pm)
The Saints will be without Oriel Romeu, who has accumulated five yellow cards this term and will now serve a one-match ban. Mario Lemina may be fit but a late call will need to be made on him.
Everton’s woes show no sign of abating. Oumar Niasse is suspended, while the likes of Holgate, Barkley, McCarthy, Bolasie, Coleman and Funes-Mori miss out through injury. Morgan Schneiderlin will have to pass a late fitness check before taking to the field against his former club.
Burnley vs Arsenal (Sunday, 2pm)
There are no new injury concerns for Burnley, so Sean Dyche is waiting on the return of Tom Heaton, Jonathan Walters and Dean Marney.
Arsene Wenger will wait on the fitness of those who started against Koln in the Europa League on Thursday evening, but by and large he has a clean bill of health. Theo Walcott has been struggling with illness this week so may not take part, while Santi Cazorla is identifying a January return from his long absence.
Huddersfield Town vs Manchester City (Sunday, 4pm)
Huddersfield have plenty of options in attack now that the likes of Mounie, Wells and Quaner are back fit, but defensively there are concerns. Michael Hefele and Phillip Billing are looking at January for their return from calf and ankle injuries respectively.
There are just two injury concerns keeping Pep Guardiola up at night: Benjamin Mendy, whose season is all but over, and John Stones, who is expected to miss the next six weeks of action.