Premier League briefing

  • Last Updated: April 26 2014, 14:57 BST

Team news, statistics and our verdict for the rest of the weekend's action in the Barclays Premier League.

Liverpool and Chelsea meet at Anfield in the biggest game of the season
Liverpool and Chelsea meet at Anfield in the biggest game of the season

Sunday, April 27

Sunderland v Cardiff

Midfielder Liam Bridcutt returns to the Sunderland squad having missed the last three games for personal reasons. Full-back Phil Bardsley is also available after serving a two-match ban, but defender Carlos Cuellar will not be risked as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng (knee) remains on the sidelines along with keeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) and striker Steven Fletcher (ankle).

Striker Craig Bellamy is set to play a part for Cardiff. The 34-year-old, who has been sidelined due to a virus, is poised for a role in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad. Winger Craig Noone (abdominal injury) is the solitary confirmed non-starter, with Solskjaer reporting no fresh injury concerns following the Stoke clash six days ago.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Sunderland L L L D W; Cardiff L D L W D

Top scorers (all competitions): Adam Johnson (Sunderland) 10; Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff) 9

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Our verdict: Sunderland 1 Cardiff 1

Liverpool v Chelsea

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge faces a late assessment to see whether he is fit enough to return from a hamstring injury. The England international missed last week's win at Norwich but has progressed well in training, and should he be ready midfielder Lucas Leiva is likely to miss out. On-loan winger Victor Moses is ineligible against his parent club and midfielder Jordan Henderson serves the second game of a three-match ban.

Chelsea are afflicted by injuries to goalkeeper Petr Cech (shoulder), captain John Terry (ankle), playmaker Eden Hazard (calf) and Samuel Eto'o (knee), while midfielder Ramires' season is over after he received a four-match ban for striking Sebastian Larsson in the loss to Sunderland. Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid so are likely to feature, while Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel are available ahead of European bans, with all four likely to be selected at Liverpool.

Last season: Liverpool 2 Chelsea 2, Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1

Last five league matches: Liverpool W W W W W; Chelsea W L W W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 30; Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 17

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Liverpool 2 Chelsea 1

Crystal Palace v Manchester City

Marouane Chamakh and Kagisho Dikgacoi are both trying to shake off knocks for Crystal Palace. Dikgacoi played the full 90 minutes of Palace's 1-0 win at West Ham last weekend but Chamakh was missing for the victory.

David Silva and winger Jesus Navas will both miss out for Manchester City with ankle injuries, but Yaya Toure should be available again to bolster the midfield. Defender Matija Nastasic remains out because of a knee injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Crystal Palace W W W W W; Man City D W L D W

Top scorers: Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) 7; Sergio Aguero (Man City) 27

Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Crystal Palace 2 Manchester City 1

Monday, April 28

Arsenal v Newcastle

Arsenal expect to have captain Thomas Vermaelen back from a hamstring problem. Midfielder Abou Diaby will not be rushed into a return from a serious knee injury having reported a slight groin problem after playing for the under-21s in midweek. Defender Kieran Gibbs (hamstring) is still sidelined along with England midfielder Jack Wilshere (foot), Serge Gnabry and Theo Walcott (both knee).

Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko is back in training after missing the last three games with a hamstring problem and could feature. Full-back Mathieu Debuchy and striker Loic Remy could return to the starting line-up after appearing as substitutes in last weekend's 2-1 home defeat by Swansea. However, strikers Papiss Cisse (knee) and Luuk de Jong (ankle) are likely to be missing as medics continue to assess the extent of the injuries they suffered against the Swans, and midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa (dead leg) is still struggling.

Last season: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1, Arsenal 7 Newcastle 3

Last five league matches: Arsenal D D L W W; Newcastle L L L L L

Top scorers (all competitions): Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) 20; Loic Remy (Newcastle) 13

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Our verdict: Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0


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