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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 13
By Dale Higginbottom
Gameweek thirteen, unlucky for some but how lucky or unlucky have the injuries been on the top teams here’s this weeks round-up.
Everton Vs Arsenal
Arsenal (5 injuries)
- Goalkeeper – Almunia (7)
- Defence – Vermaelen (10),
- Midfield – Frimpong (12), Ramsey (13), Diaby (6)
- Attack – No injuries reported
Additional issues: Gibbs and van Persie were unused substitutes as they’re still coming back from injury.
Tottenham Vs Blackburn
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Tottenham (8 injuries)
- Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
- Defence – Dawson (10), King (7)
- Midfield – O’Hara (13), Lennon (3), Huddlestone (2)
- Attack – Defoe (11), Keane (3), dos Santos (2)
Additional issues: Woodgate, not in the 25-man squad, is not included in this list despite being injured. Bentley was a doubt but made the bench. Pavlyuchenko was also doubtful but was fit to start and play most of the game.
Aston Villa Vs Man Utd
Man Utd (7 injuries)
- Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
- Defence – Rafael (1)
- Midfield – Valencia (9), Giggs (6), Anderson (7), Hargreaves (12)
- Attack – Rooney (7), Owen (5)
Additional issues: Evra was doubtful before the game after picking up a knock in the derby but was fit enough to start. Gibson was reported as still recovering from a virus but was on the bench and an unused substitute.
Man City Vs Birmingham
Man City (2 injuries)
- Goalkeeper, defence – No injuries reported
- Midfield – M. Johnson (13)
- Attack – Tchuimeni-Nimely (10)
Additional issues: No additional issues reported.
Stoke Vs Liverpool
Liverpool (4 injuries)
- Goalkeeper, attack – No issues reported
- Defence – Agger (7), Aurelio (7), Johnson (4)
- Midfield – Cole (3)
Additional issues: Meireles and Kyrgiakos were doubts but made the starting line-up. Babel was a second half substitute, he was also doubtful for the game.
Chelsea Vs Sunderland
Chelsea (4 injuries)
- Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
- Defence – Alex (4), Terry (2)
- Midfield – Lampard (10), Benayoun (8)
Additional issues: Anelka was a doubt but played the full 90 minutes.
Spurs and Man United lead the way this week in terms of injuries and for once, the injury concerns for us are fairly minimal. Another great away victory and an improving injury standing puts us in a great place going into the big game on Saturday.
Man United’s away form continues to be a problem in the league. Whilst they are not losing games, the number of draws is a big concern. It could quite as easily have been a defeat so they’ll be hoping for some of their big names to return soon.
Man City again have the fewest injuries and therefore are able to put out a pretty strong squad. However, despite being in this wonderful position, they still are not able to dominate games and score goals. I’m sure their injury problems will come at some point this season so when they can’t beat Birmingham at home with an almost full-strength side it’s worrying for their title hopes.
Spurs again failed to keep a clean sheet in a game that they were dominating but scored four so that’s ok. Liverpool again showed that they can’t cope with relatively few injuries, losing away at Stoke. Defensive injuries appear to be their main problem now.
As I feared/hoped in last week’s report, Essien’s suspension on top of Chelsea’s injury concerns to some key players has really shown up their lack of quality reserve players. Two difficult away games at Birmingham and Newcastle before Essien and Lampard are expected to return could mean that they drop more points in the near future.
It really interests me just how much some teams are relying on the fitness of a few great players to get them through this season. Liverpool, Chelsea and City appear to be the main culprits here. If we were without Nasri, Fabregas, Rosicky, Vermaelen and Koscielny (equivalent to Essien, Lampard, Benayoun, Terry and Alex) I’m sure our replacements would fair much better than Chelsea’s did on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
Two great wins in a week and we’re now back up to second. After the Newcastle defeat I said that we’d need a couple of good results in these two games and thankfully we have them. The confidence is high again and at a great time as next up for us is the Tiny Totts on Saturday 20th. Between now and then however we have an uncomfortable few days as we await the return of our players on international friendly duty. In the last international break we luckily escaped injuries and so we’ll be hoping for more of the same ahead of this important derby game.
Whilst I never wish an injury upon a player (even those who play in white in North London) it is always nice to see that we’re not the worst hit by injuries. The Tiny Totts have not kept a clean sheet away from home all season and with injuries to King and Dawson it might be a struggle for them on Saturday. We’ll go top of the league with a win, I can’t wait.
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