Premier League briefing

  • Last Updated: December 24 2012, 14:29 GMT

Team news and statistics ahead of the Boxing Day action in the Barclays Premier League.

Vincent Kompany: Could return for Man City
Vincent Kompany: Could return for Man City

Aston Villa v Tottenham (1730)

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert will assess the fitness of striker Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh), winger Charles N'Zogbia (knee) and captain Ron Vlaar (calf). Striker Darren Bent is again ruled out with a hamstring injury while centre-back Richard Dunne will undergo rehab work after a third groin operation.

Clint Dempsey is a doubt for Spurs after he missed Saturday's draw against Stoke with a groin problem. Benoit Assou-Ekotto may make his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury while Scott Parker could also make his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the last two games following his recovery from an Achilles injury.

Last season: Aston Villa 1 Tottenham 1, Tottenham 2 Aston Villa 0.

Last five league matches: Aston Villa W D D W L; Tottenham W W L W D.

Top scorers: Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 11; Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 13.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Everton v Wigan (1500 GMT)

Everton midfielder Darron Gibson will be eligible to play as his appeal against his red card at West Ham cannot be heard until later in the week. Fellow midfielder Marouane Fellaini serves the second of a three-match ban while Seamus Coleman, Tony Hibbert and Kevin Mirallas have all been kept out recently by injury.

Wigan captain Gary Caldwell could make his return from a hamstring problem and fellow centre-back Ivan Ramis, who has been nursing a similar complaint, has a chance of featuring as well. Midfielder James McCarthy (ankle) is a doubt and Antolin Alcaraz (groin), Adrian Lopez (hamstring), Albert Crusat (knee), Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and Ben Watson (broken leg) remain on the Latics' lengthy casualty list.

Last season: Wigan 1 Everton 1, Everton 3 Wigan 1.

Last five league matches: Everton D D W D W; Wigan L L D L L.

Top scorers: Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 8; Jordi Gomez (Wigan) 5.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

Fulham v Southampton (1500)

Bryan Ruiz could return for Fulham after a hamstring injury, but is rated 50-50 by manager Martin Jol. Mahamadou Diarra and Mladen Petric are doubts and Damien Duff is definitely out. Simon Davies (hip) is also unavailable, while Steve Sidwell returns from suspension.

Southampton skipper Adam Lallana was not fit for Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Sunderland due to a knee injury and is expected to miss out again. Nigel Adkins' side appeared to come through the defeat to the Black Cats without any new knocks.

Last season: No corresponding fixture.

Last five league matches: Fulham D L W L L; Southampton W D L W L.

Top scorers: Mladen Petric & Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) 5; Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 6.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Manchester United v Newcastle (1500)

Sir Alex Ferguson is certain to make changes to Manchester United's starting line-up. Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Chris Smalling and Darren Fletcher will be amongst those hoping to be involved, whilst Rafael needs to shrug off the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Liberty Stadium encounter.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be without midfielder Cheick Tiote. The Ivory Coast international collected his fifth booking of the season during Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory over QPR and is suspended. Otherwise, Pardew will have only his long-term absentees missing for the game at Old Trafford - Hatem Ben Arfa, Steven Taylor (both hamstring), Yohan Cabaye (groin) and Ryan Taylor (knee).

Last season: Newcastle 3 Man Utd 0, Man Utd 1 Newcastle 1.

Last five league matches: Man Utd W W W W D; Newcastle L W L L W.

Top scorers: Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 15; Demba Ba (Newcastle) 11.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Norwich v Chelsea (1500)

Norwich captain Grant Holt is back in training after a hamstring injury but City will be without defender Steven Whittaker, who suffered a recurrence of a hip injury during Saturday's defeat at West Brom. Russell Martin should replace him while Ryan Bennett is also back in training and could feature.

Rafael Benitez looks set to be without Chelsea captain John Terry due to inflammation on his knee following surgery. Ryan Bertrand also remains a doubt after he was forced off in Wednesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final at Leeds.

Last season: Norwich 0 Chelsea 0, Chelsea 3 Norwich 1.

Last five league matches: Norwich D W W W L; Chelsea D D L W W.

Top scorers: Robert Snodgrass & Grant Holt (Norwich) 4; Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 14.

Referee: Jon Moss.

QPR v West Brom (1500)

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar (back) should be fit to return to QPR's squad but full-backs Nedum Onuoha and Armand Traore are doubtful due to hamstring injuries. Park Ji-sung (knee) is another player sidelined, while strikers Andrew Johnson (knee) and Bobby Zamora (hip) remain absent.

West Brom's Youssouf Mulumbu returns from suspension. The midfielder missed the home win over Norwich after incurring five bookings this season. Baggies boss Steve Clarke will check on the fitness of defender Steven Reid (ankle) and midfielder Claudio Yacob (hamstring) before finalising his side.

Last season: West Brom 1 QPR 0, QPR 1 West Brom 1.

Last five league matches: QPR D D D W L; West Brom L L L D W.

Top scorers: Adel Taarabt & Bobby Zamora (QPR) 4; Shane Long (West Brom) 7.

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Reading v Swansea (1500)

Veteran Reading striker Jason Roberts (hip) misses out again. The 34-year-old has missed the Royals' last three games but is close to regaining fitness. Defender Sean Morrison (ankle) is still sidelined and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) is out long term but Reading have no fresh injuries from the weekend loss at Manchester City.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup may shuffle his pack. The Dane hopes to have winger Pablo Hernandez available after a thigh injury, but Angel Rangel is set to miss out again with a calf problem. Ki Sung-yueng could come back into the side after Kemy Agustien was handed a starting role against Manchester United.

Last season: No corresponding fixture.

Last five league matches: Reading L L L L L; Swansea W W L L D.

Top scorers: Adam Le Fondre & Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) 5; Miguel Michu (Swansea) 14.

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

Stoke v Liverpool (1945)

Stoke striker Michael Owen could make his first-team comeback against his old club after a hamstring problem. It remains to be seen whether or not another former Red, midfielder Charlie Adam, will be involved after he missed Saturday's 0-0 draw at Tottenham having been granted compassionate leave following the death of his father.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is unlikely to make any changes, though winger Raheem Sterling may come back into the side having been rested for the victory over Fulham. Midfielder Joe Allen, however, may remain on the bench to manage a pelvic problem.

Last season: Liverpool 0 Stoke 0, Stoke 1 Liverpool 0.

Last five league matches: Stoke W W D D D; Liverpool L W W L W.

Top scorers: Peter Crouch (Stoke) 5; Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 14.

Referee: Howard Webb.

Sunderland v Manchester City (1500)

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson is a doubt for the clash with former club Manchester City due to a dead leg. Fellow midfielder Sebastian Larsson has a knee problem, although manager Martin O'Neill is hoping both will make the game. Skipper Lee Cattermole and defender Wes Brown (both knee) are long-term casualties but midfielder David Meyler has been recalled from his loan spell at Hull.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (groin) could return after being kept on the bench as a precaution last weekend. Mario Balotelli (illness) could also come back into contention while left-backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy will hope to overcome niggles. Samir Nasri is out with a hamstring injury.

Last season: Man City 3 Sunderland 3, Sunderland 1 Man City 0.

Last five league matches: Sunderland L L W L W; Man City W D L W W.

Top scorers: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) 8; Carlos Tevez & Sergio Aguero (Man City) 8.

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

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