We scour the weekend’s matches and analyse the post-match reports for news of any fresh injury concerns ahead of double Gameweek 31:
Reports suggest Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was replaced by Thomas Vermaelen with five minutes left of yesterday’s win over Spurs due to a tight calf. Nicklas Bendtner missed the north London derby win as a result of illness, according to Arsene Wenger.
Gabby Agbonlahor was withdrawn in Saturday evening’s win over Chelsea with a calf complaint. Paul Lambert remains optimistic the forward will be ready for Sunday’s home clash with Stoke:
“Gabby had a little problem at half-time just with his calf and so we watched it and took him off because we still have masses of games to play – I think he’ll be okay.”
Gareth Barry needs to be assessed after suffering a shin problem in Everton’s win over Cardiff. Roberto Martinez rolled out an update on the midfielder, who picked up the problem following a strong challenge by the Bluebirds’ Kevin Theophile-Catherine:
“Gareth has stud marks on his shin. It’s a strong knock but it didn’t affect any joints so that’s the reason he could carry on. I haven’t seen the replay, but I believe the player has both feet off the ground and he doesn’t get the ball so it was a reckless, violent challenge.”
The Cottagers record signing Kostas Mitroglou failed to make the weekend win over Newcastle after picking up a knee problem, whilst Darren Bent was unavailable due to “personal reasons” once again, though is expected to return next week. Goalscorer Ashkan Dejagah is an early concern for Saturday’s trip to the Etihad after he was forced off towards the end of the 1-0 triumph. The Iranian emerged from the benched to grab the winner but lasted just 26 minutes, with manager Felix Magath revealing:
“It’s too early to talk about it. He was injured before and has done almost the same thing. I’m afraid it might last a bit longer this time.”
Chris Smalling’s run of six straight league starts came to an end yesterday after he missed the home clash against Liverpool with a hamstring injury.
Dejan Lovren was forced off towards the end of Saturday’s 4-2 win over Norwich with a groin problem. Mauricio Pochettino revealed after the match that the Croatian suffered the most tender of injuries:
“Basically, one of his testicles was stepped on by another player and I’m pretty sure that one testicle is quite inflamed, quite swollen.”
Erik Pieters was subbed off with less than 15 minutes on the clock after sustaining a muscle injury. Post-match, the Dutchman gave an update on the problem after a trip to the hospital:
“Had my first scan in half time and I’m happy to say everything it’s ok. Weekend rest and see how it’s on Monday.”
Steven Fletcher lasted just 45 minutes of Saturday’s goalless draw before limping off at half-time with an ankle injury, with Jozy Altidore now looking in pole position for the central role ahead of the Black Cats’ double Gameweek.
Morgan Amalfitano was ruled out of Saturday’s win over Swansea after picking up a knock in training, according to reports in the local press.