So here we go then: four rounds of Premier League fixtures in the space of ten festive days.
Any injuries that players are carrying now are likely to get found out, so expect plenty of squad rotation in the next fortnight as all 20 Premier League sides look to protect their players.
And, as a side note, this is the last game in which players can accumulate a suspension for picking up five yellow cards; that moves to ten bookings as of Gameweek 20.
So before you place your bets or set your fantasy team line-ups, be sure to check out the latest Premier League injury news below:
Everton vs Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30pm)
Yannick Bolasie is nearing full fitness after his lengthy battle with injury, and could make a belated substitutes appearance for Everton here. That’s the good news, the bad news is that Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman, Maarten Stekelenburg and Ramiro Funes-Mori are no nearer to a return. Ross Barkley and James McCarthy are likely to miss out here but could return on Boxing Day.
Alvaro Morata’s over-the-top celebrations against Bournemouth in midweek after netting the winner have eared the striker his fifth yellow card of the campaign – he misses out here. Joining him in the stands will be David Luiz, who continues to be sidelined due to complications with a knee injury.
Brighton vs Watford (Saturday, 3pm)
Brighton’s defensive lynchpin Shane Duffy misses out here after picking up five yellow cards of his own this term. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for Chris Hughton’s side.
Regular readers of this column know all about Watford’s long list of absentees, and that has not been aided by the suspensions suffered by Troy Deeney and Abdoulaye Doucoure after they were sent off and booked against Huddersfield (that was Doucoure’s fifth caution of the campaign). They join Marvin Zeegelaar on the naughty list, while messrs Cathcart, Femenia, Okaka, Success, Kaboul and Chalobah are out injured. Will Hughes and Miguel Britos may play through the pain barrier here.
Manchester City vs Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm)
There’s something of a mini defensive crisis at Manchester City, with Eliaquim Mangala joining John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Benjamin Mendy on the injured list. David Silva is also expected to miss out here after returning to Spain to deal with a ‘serious family issue’.
Both Jermain Defoe and Harry Arter picked up injuries against Chelsea in midweek, and neither has recovered suitably to take their place in Bournemouth’s starting eleven. Charlie Daniels, Josh King and Tyrone Mings remain sidelined as well.
Southampton vs Huddersfield Town (Saturday, 3pm)
At this time of year the magnitude of those niggly little injuries is magnified due to the number of games played in such a short space of time, and that’s why Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand are both struggling to make this game for Southampton after picking up recurrent knocks.
Elias Kachunga joins Phillip Billing and Jon Stankovic on Huddersfield’s long-term injury list after tearing knee ligaments. Jonathan Hogg is suspended, while Michael Hefele and Chris Lowe may be saved until the Boxing Day clash with Stoke.
Stoke City vs West Brom (Saturday, 3pm)
Kurt Zouma has declared his intention to play here for Stoke in a bid to drag them out of the mire, but he is likely to be without his fellow defenders Bruno Martins-Indi (groin), Glen Johnson (knee) and Erik Pieters (knock). Charlie Adam will also need to pass a late fitness test if he is to be involved.
Alan Pardew could welcome back Nacer Chadli and Matt Phillips to his West Brom squad after both made significant recovery from injury this week. The New Year is a more realistic return date for Craig Dawson and James Morrison.
Swansea vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3pm)
Managerless Swansea will be without the injured trio of Wilfried Bony, Kyle Bartley and Leon Britton here, with the latter installed as caretaker boss anyway. Leroy Fer, Sung-Yeung Ki and Wayne Routledge are rated as no better than 50/50, too.
The big news for Crystal Palace is that Christian Benteke, back on the scoresheet against Leicester last time out, misses this trip to Wales through suspension. Mahmadou Sakho and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are definitely out, while Joel Ward is rated as an outside chance at best.
West Ham vs Newcastle United (Saturday, 3pm)
Manuel Lanzini was charged with ‘trying to deceive an official’ following the win over Stoke, and he misses out here with suspension. On the injured list for West Ham are Mark Noble, Edemilson Fernandes, Cheikh Kouyate, Sam Byram and Jose Fonte.
Jonjo Shelvey serves the last match of his suspension for Newcastle United, with Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jesus Gamez out through injury as the Magpies look to arrest their slump.
Burnley vs Tottenham (Saturday, 5:30pm)
Burnley have been shorn of the services of their excellent centre back, James Tarkowski, who faces a three-match ban having been found guilty of violent conduct against Brighton. He will watch on from the stand with the injured trio Thomas Heaton, Robbie Brady and Stephen Ward, although Jonathan Walters and Dean Marney could make their long-awaited return for the Clarets.
There’s good news for Tottenham: Davinson Sanchez’s suspension is over, while Victor Wanyama is nearing a first-team return. It could be weeks until Toby Alderweireld pulls on the white shirt again, however.
Leicester City vs Manchester United (Saturday, 7:45pm)
There are no new injury concerns for Claude Puel at Leicester, with only Matty James and Robert Huth the confirmed absentees.
Antonio Valencia has tweaked a thigh muscle and may miss the bulk of Manchester United’s Christmas schedule. Marouane Fellaini is out until the new year, while the decision has been made to send Eric Bailly to surgery for his troublesome ankle injury – that’s him out for a good few months.