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Premier League team news

The ESPN FC panel preview the upcoming Premier League season and note what they're looking forward to.

Get all the latest team news and information from the weekend's Premier League action with the help of Physioroom.com.

Physioroom Expert view: In a post-World Cup season, FIFA guidelines recommend four weeks' rest although three is generally accepted, so the major culprit will be a lack of physical conditioning. On return after a period of absence players will work on their aerobic conditioning while introducing resistance and speed training to ensure high levels of fitness and stamina are attained ready for the long season ahead, while clubs will look to tailor individual training programs to target specific areas of weaknesses -- Ben Dinnery.

PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW

- Injury Report: All the team news
- Countdown: 20 team previews
- Showdown: Predict the scores
- Fantasy game: Sign up now
- Predictions: ESPN FC writers
- Marcotti: Top storylines
- Top Tenner: Title defences
- PickCenter: Choose your bets

Saturday's Premier League matches

Manchester UnitedManchester United
Swansea CitySwansea City
1
2
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: Man Utd 2-1 win
FC FANTASY PICK: Wayne Rooney
KEY STAT: Swansea's three previous matches on the opening weekend of Premier League season have produced 14 goals.

- MAN UTD: Manchester United will be without a host of players for Louis van Gaal's first competitive game in charge.
Provisional squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Amos, Rafael, Smalling, Jones, M Keane, Blackett, James, Fletcher, Cleverley, Herrera, Fellaini, Young, Mata, Nani, Kagawa, Zaha, Januzaj, Rooney, Hernandez, Powell, Lingard, W Keane.

FORM: L-L-W-L-W-D
OUT: Robin van Persie (fitness), Luke Shaw (hamstring), Anderson (calf), Michael Carrick (ankle), Danny Welbeck (knee), Antonio Valencia (leg), Jonny Evans (knock)
DOUBT: Rafael da Silva (groin)

- SWANSEA: Garry Monk welcomes back Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge for their opener at Manchester United on Saturday.
Provisional squad: Fabianski, Rangel, Taylor, Williams, Bartley, Ki, Shelvey, Sigurdsson, Montero, Gomis, Bony, Tremmel, Tiendalli, Amat, Dyer, Routledge, Sheehan, King, Kingsley.

FORM: L-L-W-W-L-W
OUT: Leon Britton, Marvin Emnes and Jay Fulton (all knee)
DOUBT: None

Physioroom Expert view - Luke Shaw: Hamstring strains are one of the most common sporting injuries as the muscle is extremely susceptible to tears and will typically account for around 40 percent of all muscular injuries during the course of a football season. Also known as the Sprinters Injury it is particularly prevalent during high energy activities which require quick and explosive movements. A muscular imbalance between the large quadriceps -- which help to extend the leg -- and the weaker hamstrings forcibly overstretch the group causing a tear. Ben Dinnery

Leicester CityLeicester City
EvertonEverton
2
2
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: Everton 2-0 win
FC FANTASY PICK: Leighton Baines.
KEY STAT: Leighton Baines (49) and Seamus Coleman (45) created more goalscoring chances than any other defenders in the Premier League last season.

- LEICESTER: Jamie Vardy, who scored 16 goals last season to help the Foxes clinch the Championship title and end the club's decade-long absence from the top flight, is an injury doubt for their return against Everton at the King Power Stadium.
Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, De Laet, Konchesky, Wasilewski, Schlupp, Moore, Morgan, King, Drinkwater, Hammond, James, Albrighton, Knockaert, Mahrez, Vardy, Taylor-Fletcher, Ulloa, Nugent, Wood.

FORM: L-D-W-W-L-W
OUT: Matt Upson (ankle)
DOUBT: Jamie Vardy (thigh), Marc Albrighton (groin), Anthony Knockaert (ankle)

- EVERTON: Roberto Martinez was dealt a major blow on the eve of the new season with news that Ross Barkley could be out for six weeks with a knee injury, while he must decide whether Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas are fit enough to be involved after World Cup duty. 
Provisional squad: Howard, Coleman, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Osman, Pienaar, Lukaku, Robles, Hibbert, Stones, Alcaraz, Gibson, Besic, McGeady, Naismith, Atsu.

FORM: W-L-W-L-L-W
OUT: Arouna Kone (knee)
DOUBT: Seamus Coleman (hamstring), Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku (both fitness)

Physioroom Expert view - Marc Albrighton: Groin problems are particularly prevalent in football as typically the sport involves quick changes of direction. It is this pattern of movement which places the pelvis and the muscles that control the hip joint under stress resulting in overuse or acute injury to muscles and tendons. Research has revealed among elite level football that players suffer on average around three injuries for every 1000 hours of matches played with higher incidence during training. Around a sixth of those were found to be a recurrence of an old injury problem while over half were specific to the adductor -- Ben Dinnery.

Queens Park RangersQueens Park Rangers
Hull CityHull City
0
1
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: A 1-1 draw.
FC FANTASY PICK: Tom Huddlestone.
KEY STAT: This will be the first Premier League meeting between Queens Park Rangers and Hull City.

- QPR: Harry Redknapp can call on striker Loic Remy, with the France international ready for action despite the failed medical that derailed his Liverpool move.
Provisional squad: Green, Cesar, Murphy, Hill, Dunne, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Caulker, Yun, Simpson, Traore, Isla, Henry, Barton, Mutch, Faurlin, Hoilett, Phillips, Wright-Phillips, Austin, Remy, Zamora.

FORM: D-W-D-W-D-W
OUT: Adel Taarabt (fitness)
DOUBT: None

- HULL: Steve Bruce has no new injury concerns ahead of his side's Premier League opener against QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday.
Provisional squad: McGregor, Harper, Bruce, Chester, Davies, Figueroa, Rosenior, McShane, Boyd, Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Snodgrass, Livermore, Ince, Brady, Jelavic, Sagbo, Aluko, Quinn.

FORM: L-L-L-L-D-L
OUT: None
DOUBT: Maynor Figueroa, Tom Ince and Robert Snodgrass (fitness).

Stoke CityStoke City
Aston VillaAston Villa
0
1
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: Stoke win 3-1
FC FANTASY PICK: Bojan Krkic
KEY STAT: Despite winning just once on the opening weekend in the Premier League (D2 L3), Stoke are unbeaten at the Britannia Stadium on the opening day (W1 D1).

- STOKE CITY: Summer signings Bojan Krkic, Mame Biram Diouf, Steve Sidwell, Phil Bardsley and Dionatan Teixeira could all make their competitive Stoke debuts from an otherwise fully fit squad.
Provisional squad: Begovic, Sorensen, Butland, Pieters, Huth, Muniesa, Wilson, Shawcross, Cameron, Wilkinson, Shotton, Teixeira, Bardsley, Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam, Ireland, Sidwell, Odemwingie, Arnautovic, Walters, Crouch, Krkic, Diouf.

FORM: L-W-D-L-W-W
OUT: TBC
DOUBT: TBC

- ASTON VILLA: Summer signings Joe Cole, Philippe Senderos, Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho could all make their competitive debuts for Aston Villa.
Provisional squad: Guzan, Given, Baker, Bennett, Vlaar, Okore, Clark, Senderos, Richardson, Hutton, Cissokho, Lowton, Stevens, Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Cole, Westwood, Delph, Herd, Gardner, N'Zogbia, Grealish, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Bent.

FORM: L-D-L-W-L-L
OUT: Christian Benteke (Achilles), Libor Kozak (broken leg)
DOUBT: Joe Cole (thigh), Ron Vlaar (fitness), Jores Okore (knee),Charles N'Zogbia (Achilles)

West Bromwich AlbionWest Bromwich Albion
SunderlandSunderland
2
2
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: West Brom win 2-1.
FC FANTASY PICK: Stephane Sessegnon.
KEY STAT: The home team has won each of the last three clashes between West Brom and Sunderland.

- WEST BROM: West Brom's record signing Brown Ideye is in contention to make his competitive bow for the club in their Premier League opener against Sunderland.
Provisional squad: Foster, Myhill, Wisdom, Olsson, Baird, Davidson, Pocognoli, McAuley, Dawson, Yacob, Gardner, Brunt, Dorrans, Mulumbu, Ideye, Anichebe, Berahino, Sessegnon.

FORM: D-L-W-L-L-L
OUT: Joleon Lescott (knee), James Morrison (knee)
DOUBT: Gareth McAuley (hernia)

- SUNDERLAND: Emanuele Giaccherini is out with a groin injury, while former Baggies defender Billy Jones will be denied a debut by a hamstring problem. Carlos Pantilimon will challenge Vito Mannone for the No. 1 spot, while there could be debuts for Patrick van Aanholt, Jordi Gomez and Will Buckley.
Provisional squad: Mannone, Pantilimon, Van Aanholt, Brown, O'Shea, Vergini, Cattermole, Bridcutt, Rodwell, Gomez, Larsson, Johnson, Buckley, Mavrias, Wickham, Fletcher, Altidore.

FORM: D-W-W-W-W-L
OUT: Emanuele Giaccherini (groin), Billy Jones (hamstring)
DOUBT: None

Physioroom Expert view - Gareth McAuley: A hernia is a weakness in the lower abdominal wall usually caused by a small tear with pain being caused by a protrusion of the intestine. The Sportsman's Hernia is thought to occur because footballers have such strong legs causing an imbalance of force against the weaker muscles of the lower trunk. The slight bulging within the lower abdomen is an indication that the core strength is potentially compromised. Targeting this area for muscle training is recommended in the first instance, this will encourage healing and prevent further incidence although sometimes surgical intervention may be required; typically you can expect a return to activity within six to eight weeks - Ben Dinnery.

West Ham UnitedWest Ham United
Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
0
1
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: West Ham win 1-0.
FC FANTASY PICK: Kevin Nolan.
KEY STAT: West Ham United won both clashes with Tottenham Hotspur last season in the Barclays Premier League.

- TOTTENHAM: Tottenham have a number of players to assess following their late return from World Cup duty ahead of the Premier League season opener at West Ham.
Provisional squad: Lloris, Vorm, Walker, Naughton, Rose, Davies, Dawson, Vertonghen, Chiriches, Dier, Kaboul, Capoue, Sandro, Paulinho, Dembele, Carroll, Bentaleb, Holtby, Eriksen, Lennon, Townsend, Chadli, Lamela, Soldado, Adebayor, Kane.

FORM: W-D-W-W-L-W
OUT: None
DOUBT: Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho (all fitness), Andros Townsend (ankle), Michael Dawson (ankle), Vlad Chiriches (back), Kyle Walker (pelvis)

- WEST HAM: Sam Allardyce will be without at least two of his prized attacking options when the West Ham manager welcomes Tottenham to Upton Park.
Provisional squad: Adrian, Jaaskelainen, Cresswell, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Collins, Demel, Jenkinson, Potts, Noble, Kouyate, Poyet, Diame, Nolan, Morrison, Whitehead, Downing, Vaz Te, Cole, Maiga, Sakho, Zarate.

FORM: L-L-L-L-W-L
OUT: Andy Carroll (ankle), Enner Valencia (fitness), Matt Jarvis (thigh), Ravel Morrison (groin), Carl Jenkinson (hamstring).
DOUBT: Diafra Sakho (fitness).

Physioroom Expert view -- Vlad Chiriches: Although generally not considered to be a major problem, back spasms are frequently associated with footballers and can be quite painful. The issue is caused by a contraction of the muscles in the lower back which is a reflex triggered by the body to protect the spine from moving. Often forceful and quick twisting movements cause this reaction which can normally be relieved through manual therapy -- massage -- or by stretching; anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants are often prescribed. Ben Dinnery

ArsenalArsenal
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
2
1
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: Arsenal win 3-0
FC FANTASY PICK: Olivier Giroud
KEY STAT: If Arsenal win this match, they will have recorded 100 Premier League victories at the Emirates Stadium.

- ARSENAL: Arsenal hope to have defender Laurent Koscielny fit following a minor Achilles problem, but their German World Cup trio are out for the opener against Crystal Palace.
Provisional Squad: Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Carzola, Sanchez, Ramsey, Giroud, Martinez, Monreal, Diaby, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Flamini, Sanogo.

FORM: W-W-W-W-W-W
OUT: Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker (all fitness), David Ospina (thigh), Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry (both knee)
DOUBT: Abou Diaby (thigh), Laurent Koscielny (Achilles)

- CRYSTAL PALACE: Crystal Palace caretaker boss Keith Millen is expected to have defender Adrian Mariappa available after shaking off a rib injury while new signings Martin Kelly, Brede Hangeland and Fraizer Campbell could all feature less than 48 hours after Tony Pulis' shock departure.
Provisional Squad: Speroni, Hennessey, Mariappa, Kelly, Ward, Delaney, McCarthy, Dann, Hangeland, Jedinak, O'Keefe, Bannan, Ledley, Garvan, Williams, Guedioura, Bolasie, Thomas, Puncheon, Kebe, Gayle, Murray, Campbell, Chamakh

FORM: W-W-W-L-D-D
OUT: None
DOUBT: Adrian Mariappa (rib), Damien Delaney (knock), Jerome Thomas (knock), Jonathan Williams (hip)

SUNDAY'S MATCHES

LiverpoolLiverpool
SouthamptonSouthampton
2
1
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: Liverpool win 3-1
FC FANTASY PICK: Raheem Sterling
KEY STAT: Liverpool fired in 258 shots on target last season, more than any other team in the Premier League.

- LIVERPOOL: New Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana will miss the visit of former club Southampton on Sunday as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.
Provisional squad: Mignolet, Johnson, Lovren, Skrtel, Enrique, Gerrard, Henderson, Allen, Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge, Jones, Manquillo, Toure, Sakho, Lucas, Can, Lambert, Ibe.

FORM: W-W-W-L-D-W
OUT: Adam Lallana (knee), Lazar Markovic (ankle), Jon Flanagan (knee), Daniel Agger (calf)
DOUBT: Daniel Sturridge (hamstring)

- SOUTHAMPTON: Southampton manager Ronald Koeman could hand out a number of debuts with Shane Long, Ryan Bertrand, Graziano Pelle and academy graduate Lloyd Isgrove up for selection.
Provisional squad: Forster, Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Hooiveld, Bertrand, Schneiderlin, Davis, Wanyama, Reed, Ward-Prowse, Isgrove, Taider, Cork, Ramirez, Tadic, Rodriguez, Long, Pelle, Gallagher.

FORM: L-L-D-W-W-D
OUT: Florin Gardos (hamstring), Jay Rodriguez (knee)
DOUBT: None

Newcastle UnitedNewcastle United
Manchester CityManchester City
0
2
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: Man City win 2-0
FC FANTASY PICK: David Silva
KEY STAT: Man City full backs Aleksandar Kolarov (7) and Pablo Zabaleta (6) assisted more goals than any other defenders in the 2013-14 Premier League.

- NEWCASTLE: Summer signing Siem de Jong will be denied a competitive debut for Newcastle against Manchester City on Sunday by injury.
Provisional squad: Krul, Elliot, Janmaat, Haidara, Dummett, Coloccini, Williamson, S. Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Anita, Colback, Cabella, Vuckic, Obertan, Riviere, Gouffran, Ferreyra, Perez, Armstrong.

FORM: L-L-L-L-W-L
OUT: Siem de Jong (foot), Papiss Cisse and Davide Santon (both knee), Cheick Tiote (hamstring)
DOUBT: None

- MAN CITY: The City players who did not feature in the Community Shield last week, such as Vincent Kompany, Joe Hart, Bacary Sagna, Fernandinho and Frank Lampard, are all in contention for the Premier League champions.
Provisional squad: Hart, Caballero, Zabaleta, Sagna, Kompany, Demichelis, Nastasic, Boyata, Clichy, Kolarov, Silva, Nasri, Navas, Milner, Sinclair, Toure, Fernandinho, Fernando, Zuculini, Lampard, Aguero, Jovetic, Dzeko.

FORM: W-W-W-W-W-W
OUT: Alvaro Negredo (foot), Eliaquim Mangala (fitness)
DOUBT: Sergio Aguero (groin)

MONDAY'S MATCH

BurnleyBurnley
ChelseaChelsea
1
3
FT
Game Details

PREDICTION: Chelsea to win 3-1.
FC FANTASY PICK: Branislav Ivanovic.
KEY STAT: Chelsea have won more points than any other team on the opening weekend of Premier League seasons (47).

- BURNLEY: Burnley make their return to the Premier League with a virtually fully-fit squad.
Provisional squad: Heaton, Trippier, Lafferty, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Wallace, Marney, Ings, Kightly, Jones, Taylor, Sordell, Reid, Jutkiewicz, Gilks, Long, Barnes, Hewitt, Arfield.

FORM: W-L-W-W-W-D
OUT: Sam Vokes (knee)
DOUBT: None

- CHELSEA: Jose Mourinho will keep Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech guessing on which goalkeeper will start Chelsea's Premier League clash at Burnley on Monday night.
Provisional squad: Cech, Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luis, Terry, Cahill, Zouma, Ivanovic, Ake, Mikel, Matic, Ramires, Fabregas, Van Ginkel, Oscar, Willian, Salah, Hazard, Moses, Schurrle, Torres, Costa, Drogba.

FORM: L-D-W-L-D-W
OUT: Ramires (suspended)
DOUBT: Didier Drogba (ankle)


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