The Premier League gravy train rolls onto Gameweek 27, where the obvious highlight is the North London derby on Saturday lunchtime – that is sure to be a thrilling contest.
There are, as you’d expect at this juncture of the campaign, plenty of injuries and suspensions rocking the boat at numerous clubs, so before you place your bets and make any transfers to your fantasy team be sure to check the in’s and out’s below:
Tottenham vs Arsenal (Saturday, 12:30pm)
Tottenham should be able to welcome back Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose should they wish as both played a full part in Wednesday’s FA Cup win over Newport. Mauricio Pochettino’s only confirmed absentee is new signing Lucas Moura, who is still working on his match fitness.
Arsenal will hand a late fitness test to Petr Cech, who hurt his calf in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Everton. Otherwise, Arsene Wenger has a full deck to pick from barring long-term absentees Santi Cazorla and Dany Welbeck.
Stoke City vs Brighton (Saturday, 3:00pm)
Darren Fletcher took a knock in training this week but should be fit to start, while Jese Rodriguez will be welcomed back to the squad after a period of absence on personal leave. Those are Paul Lambert’s only concerns ahead of this crucial relegation six-pointer.
Jurgen Locadia could give his Brighton teammates a boost by making his debut after joining the club in January. Wide men Jiri Skalak and Isaiah Brown remain on the sidelines.
Swansea City vs Burnley (Saturday, 3:00pm)
It appears as though Leroy Fer, Angel Rangel and Wilfried Bony will all be out for the season after suffering calf, groin and knee injuries respectively. Renato Sanches is also out here, but Andre Ayew should be fit enough to make a second Swansea debut on his return to the club.
Brady, Marney and Defour will miss the rest of Burnley’s campaign, but Sean Dyche will be buoyed by the news that Stephen Ward is ready to return. However Chris Wood, Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski and Phil Bardsley will miss this trip to Wales.
Everton vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3:00pm)
There are no new injury concerns for Sam Allardyce with Seamus Coleman set to shake off the bug that has dogged him all week. Baines, McCarthy, Stekelenburg and Funes-Mori remain on the treatment table.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for Roy Hodgson: he will now be missing Sako, Dann and Puncheon or the rest of the season, with Loftus-Cheek, Wickham, Schlupp, Speroni and Zaha all out for a couple of weeks. Martin Kelly has tweaked a hamstring and may also miss the trip to Merseyside.
West Ham vs Watford (Saturday, 3:00pm)
The injury news does not get any better for David Moyes at West Ham. Pedro Obiang won’t kick another ball this season, while Andy Carroll’s broken foot means he will be absent until April at the earliest. Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini will miss out here as well, while Arthur Masuaku is suspended.
Injury crisis….what injury crisis!? Watford tore Chelsea a new one on Monday night despite having ELEVEN first team regulars out of action. Wague, Kabasele and Femenia are out for the foreseeable future, while Chalobah, Hughes, Kaboul and Britos face another couple of weeks on the sidelines. Gomes, Cathcart and Cleverley are close to fitness but look likely to miss this game with the Hammers.
Manchester City vs Leicester City (Saturday, 5:30pm)
David Silva and John Stones should be fit enough to start for Manchester City, but Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane are expected to be out until March.
Riyad Mahrez’ sabbatical appears to be at an end: the Algerian turned up for training at Leicester on Friday. It is unlikely he will feature here, however. Wes Morgan and Shinji Okazaki are also sidelined for the Foxes.
Huddersfield Town vs Bournemouth (Sunday, 12:00pm)
Laurent Depoitre suffered a badly cut foot against Manchester United; so bad in fact he may miss this game with Bournemouth. Christopher Schindler and Daniel Williams are hoping to be involved for the Terriers though.
Steve Cook twanged his hamstring as early as the 13th minute against West Ham last time out, and the defender can now expect a lay-off for a couple of weeks. Adam Smith and Jermain Defoe are edging closer to fitness for the Cherries but aren’t quite ready yet.
Newcastle United vs Manchester United (Sunday, 2:15pm)
Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark hurt his knee against Crystal Palace last time out and can now expect a few weeks out. Magpies fans will have to wait for their first sighting of new man Islam Slimani too: the Algerian is struggling with a thigh complaint.
Marcus Rashford and Phil Jones should be fit enough to start here. The former took a knock last time out but is recovering well, while the latter has been under the weather all week but should be okay to play. Messrs Bailly, Fellaini and Ibrahimovic remain sidelined.
Southampton vs Liverpool (Sunday, 4:30pm)
Mauricio Pellegrino has an almost full squad to choose from for Sunday’s teatime game: Charlie Austin is his only absentee.
Jurgen Klopp hasn’t been quite as lucky, with Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan and Adam Lallana all expected to miss the trip to the south coast.
Chelsea vs West Brom (Monday, 8:00pm)
There are some big losses for Antonio Conte in what could be a make-or-break game for him at Stamford Bridge. Tiemoue Bakayoko is suspended, while Christensen, Morata, Barkley and Pedro all miss out through injury. Marcos Alonso will need to pass a late fitness test, too.
Alan Pardew could have the previously injured quartet of Kieran Gibbs, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Hal Robson-Kanu and Jake Livermore back for the trip to London, but Jonny Evans misses out with a back problem.