Barclays Premier League briefing
Team news, statistics and our verdict for the New Year's Day action in the Barclays Premier League.
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Wednesday, January 1
Michu, Michel Vorm and Nathan Dyer remain sidelined for Swansea ahead of the visit of Manchester City. Michu and Vorm are recovering after undergoing ankle and knee surgery respectively, while Dyer is facing a long spell out after suffering ankle ligament damage at Norwich.
City playmaker David Silva is suspended after accumulating five bookings while top scorer Sergio Aguero (calf) remains on the sidelines along with fellow striker Stevan Jovetic and defenders Martin Demichelis and Micah Richards (all hamstring). Goalkeeper Joe Hart will play despite five stitches in a wound under his left eye and right-back Pablo Zabaleta, rested against Crystal Palace on Saturday after a recent injury, is fit.
Last season: Swansea 0 Man City 0, Man City 1 Swansea 0
Last five league matches: Swansea D D L L D; Man City D W W W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Wilfried Bony (Swansea) 9; Sergio Aguero (Man City) 19
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).
Arsenal will be without Olivier Giroud (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (calf) for the visit of Cardiff. Tomas Rosicky (calf), Jack Wilshere (ankle), Theo Walcott (shoulder), Nacho Monreal and Thomas Vermaelen (both illness) were all question marks but they should be involved in the squad. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey (thigh) will be out for around three weeks though, while the extent of German playmaker Mesut Ozil's shoulder problem is still being assessed. Yaya Sanogo (back), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) all remain sidelined.
Craig Bellamy will again miss out for Cardiff with the knee injury he has been struggling with while left-back Andrew Taylor is also set to sit the game out with a knock. That means teenager Declan John should continue in defence, while caretaker boss David Kerslake may decide to recall Aron Gunnarsson and Peter Odemwingie to his side.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Arsenal D L D W W; Cardiff L W L L D
Top scorers (all competitions): Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) 13; Fraizer Campbell & Jordon Mutch (Cardiff) 4
Referee: Jon Moss (West Yorkshire).
Cameron Jerome faces a late fitness test on a knee injury for Palace after being forced off during Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Manchester City but Eagles boss Tony Pulis is hopeful of having him available. Midfield duo Stuart O'Keefe and Kagisho Dikgacoi have returned to training following minor muscular injuries but Jack Hunt, Glenn Murray, Jerome Thomas and Adlene Guedioura remain out.
Norwich hope to have forward Gary Hooper fit after he was troubled by a tight muscle in his leg against Manchester United while centre-half Michael Turner returns from suspension. Jonny Howson remains doubtful again following his back problem, though, while his fellow midfielders Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) and Alexander Tettey (ankle) plus winger Elliott Bennett (knee) are all absent.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Crystal Palace W L L W L; Norwich W D D L L
Top scorers (all competitions): Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) 4; Gary Hooper (Norwich) 7
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).
Dimitar Berbatov (groin) and Adel Taarabt (ankle) face late fitness tests ahead of the clash with West Ham but defender Philippe Senderos and midfielder Scott Parker are both fit to play. Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen is expected to continue with Hugo Rodallega up front should Berbatov and Taarabt both miss out. Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is also still missing, meaning David Stockdale continues after leaking six goals in defeat at Hull last weekend.
West Ham will be without any recognised central defenders for the fixture after James Tomkins was forced off early in the 3-3 draw against West Brom with a groin injury to join James Collins (groin) and Winston Reid (ankle) on the sidelines. Midfielder Ravel Morrison could return but Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder), Stewart Downing (calf) and Mladen Petric (thigh) all miss out. Andy Carroll is not in contention either, although he is back in training following a long-term heel injury.
Last season: Fulham 3 West Ham 1, West Ham 3 Fulham 0
Last five league matches: Fulham W L L W L; West Ham L D L L D
Top scorers (all competitions): Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) 4; Ravel Morrison (West Ham) 5
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard could be ready to return after missing the last four games with a hamstring problem and will be assessed ahead of the match. Jordan Henderson is also expected to be fit and on-loan Victor Moses is available again after being ineligible for the meeting with his parent club Chelsea. However, Joe Allen (abductor) and Mamadou Sakho (hamstring) are both sidelined.
Midfielder David Meyler (knee) and defender Alex Bruce (calf) could be in contention for Hull. The pair had both been doubtful for Saturday's clash against Fulham but were unused substitutes as their team won 6-0 at the KC Stadium. Midfielder Stephen Quinn (hamstring) and striker Sone Aluko (Achilles) have both been long-term casualties.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Liverpool W W W L L; Hull D D D L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 19; Matt Fryatt (Hull) 5
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).
Southampton will assess the fitness of club-record signing Dani Osvaldo, who suffered a knock in the 1-1 draw at Newcastle and, having recovered from that, was then struck down by illness. Morgan Schneiderlin returns from suspension while Nathaniel Clyne will be hoping to start as he steps up his return from a hamstring complaint. Artur Boruc (hand), Victor Wanyama (shin) and Guly do Prado (knee) remain missing.
Chelsea are without Frank Lampard (undisclosed muscular injury), Branislav Ivanovic (knee) and David Luiz (suspended) for the trip to the south coast. Ivanovic's injury means Ashley Cole is set to return at left-back with Cesar Azpilicueta switching to the right, while midfielder Ramires is back from a one-game ban.
Last season: Southampton 2 Chelsea 1, Chelsea 2 Southampton 2
Last five league matches: Southampton D D L W L; Chelsea L W D W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) 9; Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 10
Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire).
Stoke defender Marc Wilson and midfielder Glenn Whelan are available again after suspension while forward Marko Arnautovic could also return after missing Sunday's defeat at Tottenham through illness. Defender Andy Wilkinson faces a spell on the sidelines with a foot injury while goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is still missing with a broken finger.
Everton defender Sylvain Distin is expected to recover from a minor hamstring problem but fellow centre-back Phil Jagielka will be sidelined for a few weeks with a similar injury. Midfielder Gareth Barry returns from a one-match suspension while goalkeeper Tim Howard is likely to regain his place at the expense of Joel Robles after also serving a one-game suspension.
Last season: Everton 1 Stoke 0, Stoke 1 Everton 1
Last five league matches: Stoke W D W L L; Everton D W W L W
Top scorers (all competitions): Peter Crouch (Stoke) 5; Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 9
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet will take late decisions over John O'Shea, Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson. O'Shea has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury, but is close to a return, while Borini is undergoing tests after recovering from the illness which saw him taken to hospital during Saturday's 2-2 at Cardiff, a game midfielder Johnson missed because of a virus. Wes Brown completes his three-match ban and loan signing Marcos Alonso will not be available until the weekend, while goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) and defender Carlos Cuellar (hip) are still out.
Villa manager Paul Lambert will monitor the fitness of Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar ahead of the clash. Striker Benteke has missed the last three games with a knee problem, while defender Vlaar is on his way back from a calf injury. Ciaran Clark is suspended, while the game is likely to come too soon for Joe Bennett as he recovers from his back injury.
Last season: Aston Villa 6 Sunderland 1, Sunderland 0 Aston Villa 1
Last five league matches: Sunderland L D D W D; Aston Villa L L L L D
Top scorers (all competitions): Emanuele Giaccherini, Steven Fletcher & Phil Bardsley (Sunderland) 3; Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 5
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).
West Brom caretaker boss Keith Downing must decide whether to stick with striker Nicolas Anelka for the visit of Newcastle. The Frenchman is being investigated by the Football Association following his controversial 'quenelle' goal celebration in the 3-3 draw against West Ham, but remains free to play for now. Striker Shane Long is expected to be fit after missing the last two games with a calf strain, while Downing is also confident over winger Chris Brunt (back), but striker Victor Anichebe (groin) remains a big doubt.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has no injury problems ahead of the match and is unlikely to make changes as the Magpies attempt to bounce back from Sunday's 1-0 defeat by leaders Arsenal, which was just their second defeat in 10 league games.
Last season: West Brom 1 Newcastle 1, Newcastle 2 West Brom 1
Last five league matches: West Brom L L D D D; Newcastle W D W W L
Top scorers: Saido Berahino (West Brom) 7; Loic Remy (Newcastle) 10
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).
Manchester United are sweating on the fitness of Wayne Rooney. The England striker missed Saturday's win at Norwich with a groin injury and will be assessed on the day of the match. Robin van Persie (thigh) and Phil Jones (knee) are unlikely to be involved while Marouane Fellaini (wrist) is definitely out.
Spurs midfielder Paulinho will miss the next four weeks after suffering an ankle ligament injury during Sunday's 3-0 defeat of Stoke - his return after a three-match ban. Kyle Walker will return from suspension at Old Trafford, although Sandro (calf), Younes Kaboul (thigh), Andros Townsend (hamstring) and Jan Vertonghen (ankle) remain sidelined. Jermain Defoe (hamstring) and Danny Rose (fatigue) are doubts.
Last season: Tottenham 1 Man Utd 1, Man Utd 2 Tottenham 3
Last five league matches: Man Utd L W W W W; Spurs W L W D W
Top scorers (all competitions): Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) 11; Roberto Soldado (Tottenham) 10
Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire).