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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 27
By Dale Higginbottom
Another weekend game of a thrilling season and we welcomed Wolves, one of the Wobbly Woobleyous to the Ems but how prepared were we and how much did the international break impact on our injury list?
Arsenal Vs Wolves
Arsenal (5 injuries)
- Goalkeeper – Fabianski (5)
- Defence – Vermaelen (23)
- Midfield – Frimpong (25), Nasri (5), Rosicky (1)
- Attack – No injuries reported
Additional issues: Denilson returned to the squad and made a late second-half substitute appearance. Djourou also recovered from his knock picked up against Newcastle and started the game.
Man Utd Vs Man City
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Man Utd (4 injuries)
- Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported.
- Defence – Ferdinand (8), Evans (4)
- Midfield – Valencia (22), Hargreaves (25)
Additional issues: No additional issues reported.
Man City (4 injuries)
- Goalkeeper, defence – No injuries reported
- Midfield – M. Johnson (27), A. Johnson (3), De Jong (2)
- Attack – Balotelli (14)
Additional issues: Richards played the full game, returning from a spell out. Milner had to be replaced after 60 minutes after picking up a knock.
Liverpool Vs Wigan
Liverpool (6 injuries)
- Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
- Defence – Agger (12)
- Midfield – Spearing (11), Cole (8), Gerrard (5)
- Attack – Carroll (3), Shelvey (1)
Additional issues: Skrtel and Kelly were doubts but played the whole game. Meireles wad forced off after 54 minutes with an illness.
Sunderland Vs Tottenham
Tottenham (6 injuries)
- Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported.
- Defence – King (20), Kaboul (8)
- Midfield –Huddlestone (15) Bale (3), Modric (6), Van der Vaart (4)
Additional issues: Crouch had a back injury that likely kept him on the bench.
Fulham Vs Chelsea
Chelsea (3 injuries)
- Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
- Defence – Alex (15)
- Midfield – Benayoun (21), Zhirkov (13)
Additional issues: Bosingwa is a doubt for the game.
(Please note this final review was written before the game.)
So, what’s the news? Well, we’re just waiting around for some big news really. It feels a bit like watching 24-hour rolling news channels, repeating the same information from the same stories and hoping, above all else, that something exciting will happen just to give you something new to think about. The injuries on the whole appear to have plateaued, for the time being at least, but with the games piling up with cup games, possible replays, re-arranged league games and international qualifiers, we must see some increased activity on this front in the next couple of weeks.
It’s always great to get a win straight after an international break. The players have been away and have had less time to train together and prepare for game so a solid three points is always welcome. An especially welcome is the beautiful one-touch play that led to the second goal. Much more exhilarating than some fancy-pants acrobatic kick.
We largely escaped international break-ages, just the injury to Rosicky which, at the moment is not a worry given the players we still have ahead of him in the pecking order. Talking of international injuries, Vermaelen looks set to be ready for early March, which would be a massive boost after the Carling Cup final, ahead of the push for the league title.
Elsewhere, results generally went as expected given the injuries reported. The slight surprise is Liverpool’s rise to top the injury table with Spurs. Their squad is still weak despite their 2-for-1 Torres swap and therefore couldn’t hold on to their lead. They lost Agger to another international injury which adds to the ten games he’s already missed this season due to international games.
Spurs still seem to be pulling the results out of the bag, even with four of their best five midfielders out but ultimately they might just be a little short in quality when it matters against the big teams.
The Manchester derby was a slight disappointment for us. With both teams suffering the same level of injuries, we were all hoping Mancini would do as he did at the Ems and park his shiny, sparkly, very expensive bus in front of the City goal and it would end up being a dull 0-0. Well, he didn’t and it wasn’t so we’re still four points behind United but at least now we’ve no need to worry too much about anyone else catching up.
The focus for us now moves away from the league for a while. Our only league game for the rest of this month is actually the re-scheduled home game against Stoke. Whilst injuries may happen in the mean time, we should hopefully cope well until the league properly kick-starts again for us on March 5th, when we may see our favourite Belgian (sorry Walter) back in the squad.