The debuts of high-profile summer acquisitions (Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini among them) are dominating the weekend’s pre-match headlines, but injuries and fitness concerns will still have significant impacts on several Premier League sides as they emerge from the international break.
West Ham’s Andy Carroll, notably, looks to be sidelined for the foreseeable future after suffering a fresh foot injury in training, and although Ozil has arrived at Arsenal the London club will still be without a handful of key players for Saturday’s trip to Sunderland.
Indeed, the lack of fit strikers seems to be a concern for a number of clubs—with Darren Bent ruled out for Fulham and Cardiff unable to call upon big-money signing Andreas Cornelius.
Everton, too, will have to wait to call on one of their big deadline-day additions—striker Romelu Lukaku is ineligible to face his parent club, Chelsea, at Goodison Park.
Following are the latest injury reports for each Premier League fixture on the schedule from September 14-16.
No surprises for Utd manager David Moyes—but this game could see Shinji Kagawa reintroduced to first-team action, a potential boon for fantasy owners. Fellaini is likely to be on the bench as he beds in at his new club, which may or may not be a relief to Palace.
Libor Kozak could make his debut for Aston Villa, while Newcastle will hope to bed in Yohan Cabaye, Loic Remy and Steven Taylor (returning from suspension) for an extended run in the starting lineup.
No Bent means Martin Jol will continue to rely on Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz. West Brom, meanwhile, are unlikely to call upon new signing Victor Anichebe—who is not believed to be fully fit.
Peter Odemwingie could play some part for Cardiff—which may be of interest to fantasy owners.
Mark Hughes may put Marko Arnautovic straight into the starting lineup, while opposite number Manuel Pellegrini will be watched closely to see if he starts Alvaro Negredo over Edin Dzeko.
All eyes on Mesut Ozil for this one—but who will make way for the German? Some fear Jack Wilshere may be rotated out of the lineup...
Andre Villas-Boas can focus on life after Gareth Bale, with the likes of Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches in line for their first Premier League starts.
No Lukaku for Everton, but Jose Mourinho could yet give a debut to Samuel Eto'o, whose knock is not believed to be as bad as first feared.
No Andy Carroll for West Ham means the likes of Ricardo Vaz Te and Modibo Maiga will be expected to step up for the Hammers.
Brendan Rodgers returns to his old club (once again) with the chance to give a debut to Victor Moses. But Glen Johnson's absence means right-back is where his most important decision will be made.