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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 16
By Dale Higginbottom
The first game in a densely packed run of league fixtures and the full-back crisis continues to bite. Thankfully, so far the impact has not been seen too obviously as out centre-backs have stepped in and done a decent job. Who would’ve thought that having centre-backs that can play and pass and be comfortable on the ball would be a benefit? (Oh, Arsène did didn’t he. Well, well done Mr Wenger).
Playing the league leaders at any point is, more often than not, going to be a tricky challenge and with some key players unavailable the task was made all the more difficult.
Onto this week’s games and the injury figures.
|A = Ankle||K = Knee|
|B = Back||L = Achilles|
|C = Calf||M = Muscle|
|D = Dead Leg||N = Hip|
|E = Hamstring||R = Rib|
|F = Fatigue/Lack of Fitness||S = Shoulder|
|G = Groin||T = Thigh|
|H = Head Injury/Concussion||U = Unknown|
|I = Illness||Y = Hand|
|J = Foot||Z = Broken Leg|
Man City Vs Arsenal (1-0)
|Injuries||Man City (1 + 1S)||Arsenal (9 + 0S)|
|Goalkeeper||N/A||Fabianski (K,2) Mannone (S,2)|
|Defence||Kolarov (G,3)||Sagna (A,10), Gibbs (M,10), Jenkinson (B,6), Santos (A,2)|
|Midfield||N/A||Wilshere (A,16), Miyaichi (A.7), Diaby (M,14)|
|Additional issues||Richards returned to the squad and played the whole game.||Djourou was forced off early on the second half after picking up an injury in the first half.|
Tottenham Vs Sunderland (1-0)
|Injuries||Tottenham (4 + 1S)||Sunderland (5 + 0S)|
|Goalkeeper||N/A||Gordan (K), Mignolet (H)|
|Defence||Dawson (L,12)||Angeleri (K), Turner (K)|
|Midfield||Huddlestone (A,12), Bale (A,1)||N/A|
|Attack||Defoe (E,1)||Campbell (K)|
|Additional issues||Pavlyuchenko and Rose both returned to the squad and came on as substitutes. Pavlyuchenko replaced the injured Lennon. Kranjcar and King also returned to the squad. King started and played the whole game, Kranjcar was an unused sub.||Bendtner was a doubt but started on the bench and played the second half.|
Aston Villa Vs Liverpool (0-2)
|Injuries||Aston Villa (5 + 1S)||Liverpool (3 + 1S)|
|Defence||Lichaj (N), Herd (A)||Robinson (A,8)|
|Midfield||Ireland (I)||Gerrard (A,12), Lucas (K,3)|
|Additional issues||Delph was a doubt but started and played 80 minutes. Heskey was replaced with an Achilles injury after 56 mins.||N/A|
QPR Vs Man Utd (0-2)
|Injuries||QPR (4 + 0S)||Man Utd (8 + 0S)|
|Defence||Ferdinand (E)||Rafael (S,16), Fabio (E,3), Vidic (K,9)|
|Midfield||Dyer (J)||Cleverley (A,10), Anderson (K,6), Fletcher (I,4), Gibson (U,11)|
|Attack||Hulse (K)||Owen (T,10)|
|Additional issues||Helguson, Kenny and Taarabt were doubts for the game. Helguson started and played 65 mins, Taarabt was a 65 min sub and Kenny was unused.||Berbatov and Hernandez returned to the squad. The former was unused, the latter came on as a 63rd minute sub.|
Wigan Vs Chelsea (1-1)
|Injuries||Wigan (2 + 0S)||Chelsea (3 + 0S)|
|Defence||Boyce (B)||Luiz (K,4)|
|Midfield||N/A||Essien (K,16), Ramires (M,2)|
|Additional issues||Alcaraz was a doubt with a rib injury but started and played the whole game.||McEachran returned to the squad and was an unused sub.|
Still no change on the injury front. We’re top, with United again giving us a good run in second. The Totts have a slightly improved position and Chelsea, Liverpool and City are pretty-much unchanged. When you get the sort of disparity with injuries as we saw between City and Arsenal I think it’s safe to say that on another day the result could’ve been very different.
Ultimately though, Sunday’s defeat suggests that the title is a bit out of our reach but realistically, we’re in the same position we were in just before the win against Everton. Our consistency has been very good of late and if we can continue that over the festive period, we’ll be in the running for when City slip up, which has to happen some point soon.
Elsewhere, it was wins for United, Liverpool and the Totts. Liverpool and United had pretty straight-forward wins against teams that are depleted through injuries, Liverpool especially. United’s injuries are still tough on them so we might still see them blow hot and cold until some players return. Spurs on the other hand, struggled a bit against Sunderland and with Lennon and possibly Bale and Defoe missing against Chelsea, they may struggle for points over the coming festive games.
Onto Chelsea, and well they won this fixture last season 6-0, need I really say more. Even if the injury situation continues to be rather kind for them, they will continue to play well one game and poorly the next until things get more settled with players and management.
Ahead of the Christmas period the injury situation certainly isn’t looking great. Djourou looks to be out for a while and Song will be unavailable against Villa. Also, Gibbs will not be ready for Villa but we may see him back on the pitch over the Christmas period. It looks like we will probably either see Coquelin step into right-back or Miquel at left-back again which is not idea, especially during such a busy time of the year.
Thankfully our fixtures over this period are looking relatively kind. Fulham away will be tough, as it generally is, but we don’t travel outside of London until mid-January and we have two home games on Boxing Day (should it go ahead) and New Years Eve. Everything crossed for no-more injuries in defence, or anywhere for that matter.
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