This festive juncture of the Premier League season brings with it all manner of knocks, bumps and sickness bugs, and so it’s no surprise that a number of clubs have been struck down by a number of absentees.
Will these affect your bets, or change your fantasy team line-up?
Chelsea vs Newcastle United (Saturday, 12:30pm)
Victor Moses could make his long-awaited return to the Chelsea starting eleven here, although David Luiz definitely misses out. The Brazilian is suffering with fluid on the knee – a painful ailment that could keep him out for a couple of weeks. Michy Batshuayi is still absent with his ankle injury.
Newcastle will have to once again make do without captain Jamaal Lascelles and winger Christian Atsu, while Paul Dummett is still a few weeks away from full fitness after suffering a thigh injury early in the campaign.
Brighton vs Liverpool (Saturday, 3pm)
Steve Sidwell is no nearer a return as he struggles with a back injury that has dogged his season, but the good news for the Seagulls is that Gaetan Bong should have recovered from his knee knock in time to start here.
Ragnar Klavan has been struck down by illness this week, and he may not be risked by Jurgen Klopp ahead of next week’s all-important Champions League date with Spartak Moscow. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for the Reds.
Everton vs Huddersfield Town (Saturday, 3pm)
Everton may have enjoyed a resounding 4-0 win over West Ham in midweek, buy they are certainly getting no joy from their lengthy injury list. Michael Keane may have concussion and if he does then he will miss out against Huddersfield. Leighton Baines may also miss out again too, as do long-term absentees Coleman, Barkley, McCarthy, Bolasie and Stekelenburg.
Rajiv van La Parra was sent off against Manchester City last time out, and the violent conduct charge will keep him out of Huddersfield’s next few games. Michael Hefele is also ruled out here, and Kasey Palmer is still short of match fitness.
Leicester City vs Burnley (Saturday, 3pm)
Christian Fuchs can return to the Leicester starting eleven on Saturday, if selected, after missing out against Tottenham in midweek. Kelechi Iheanacho can return to the squad after shaking off an illness, although Robert Huth and Matt James remain sidelined.
There’s good news and bad news for Burnley fans, with Steven Defour likely to be fit enough to play despite taking a kick on the knee against Bournemouth but Matt Lowton definitely out after suffering minor knee ligament damage.
Stoke City vs Swansea City (Saturday, 3pm)
There are no new injury concerns for Mark Hughes, which means that Jack Butland, Geoff Cameron and Jonathan Walters are his only absentees.
Tammy Abraham is able to return to the Swansea line-up after missing out against parent club Chelsea in midweek, which leaves Kyle Bartley (knee) and Federico Fernandez (personal reasons) as the only absentees from Paul Clement’s thinking.
Watford vs Tottenham (Saturday, 3pm)
We could copy and paste Watford’s injury list from week to week: Cathcart, Kaboul, Success, Britos and Chalobah all currently occupying the treatment table. They have been joined this week by Will Hughes, who has a hamstring strain and is out of this match with Spurs.
Tottenham’s injury list is short but decisive: they have missed Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama terribly in recent weeks. Harry Winks has had a sickness bug this week but should be fit to play.
West Brom vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3pm)
New West Brom boss Alan Pardew has a few injury worries to deal with, as Chris Brunt (calf) and Matt Phillips (thigh) have joined Nacer Chadli, James Morrison and Craig Dawson on the sidelines.
A quartet of Crystal Palace players – Yohan Cabaye, Jeffrey Schlupp, Luka Milivojevic and Scott Dann – will face late fitness tests after picking up knocks.
Arsenal vs Manchester United (Saturday, 5:30pm)
Alexandre Lacazette has been ruled out for the Gunners; he has suffered a groin strain. Alexis Sanchez has a ‘tight hamstring’ but is expected to be fit enough to start.
It’s a race against time for Eric Bailly to be fit for Manchester United, and with Phil Jones definitely out Jose Mourinho wold like to be able to call upon his imposing centre back. Speaking of imposing, both Nemanja Matic and Marouane Fellaini are also expected to miss out at the Emirates through injury.
Bournemouth vs Southampton (Sunday, 1:30pm)
Junior Stanislas could be available to Eddie Howe after overcoming a groin injury, although Tyrone Mings, Brad Smith and Adam Federici remain sidelined.
Southampton will be without full backs Cedric Soares and Matt Targett for this fixture, but otherwise have a clean bill of health for this South Coast derby.
Manchester City vs West Ham (Sunday, 4pm)
Leroy Sane has been a touch under the weather this week, and he will be assessed on Sunday morning before Pep Guardiola names his team. The Spaniard will definitely be without John Stones and Benjamin Mendy.
David Moyes hasn’t had much luck with injuries since taking charge at West Ham, and now Andy Carroll and Winston Reid have joined a lengthy queue for the treatment room which also features James Collins and Jose Fonte. Javier Hernandez and Sam Byram may be fit enough to play some part.