Late Fitness Check - Week 32

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Neal Thurman
·6 min read
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After a year and change of COVID-enforced absences and minor injuries brought on by fixture congestion, it feels odd to be reporting on another malady. That's where we are, however, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shared that he has contracted malaria on his social media feeds yesterday. His absence hasn't phased Arsenal who beat Sheffield United 3-0 in the league last weekend and then took down Slavia Prague 4-0 to move on to the Europa League semi-final on Thursday. That said, Aubameyang will be missing for at least a week or two which shines a light on sizzling hot Alexandre Lacazette who will almost surely start against Fulham in Week 32. For more on Arsenal's injury fortunes and the rest of the Premier League team news with fantasy analysis, read on.

Everton vs. Tottenham

Dominic Calvert-Lewin remains out for the Toffees but Jordan Pickford and Allan both come back into the line-up for Carlo Ancelotti. For their part, Spurs are healthy so fantasy managers will have to concern themselves with who, if anyone, will be rotated. Beyond Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Hugo Lloris and the outside backs (Reguilon and Aurier), Tanguy Ndombele seems like the most certain to feature.

Newcastle vs. West Ham United

Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson both appeared last weekend as substitutes and seem likely to feature from the start as the Magpies hope to continue their momentum as they look to avoid relegation from the Premier League. The return of the two attackers will help but West Ham are in fantastic form and Steve Bruce will still be without Ryan Fraser, Jamaal Lascelles, Isaac Hayden, and Fabian Schär.

The visiting Hammers, who announced the launch of a sweet away kit co-branded with long-time superfans Iron Maiden, have a worry over Aaron Cresswell who faces a late fitness test to see if he can avoid the fate of Declan Rice and Mikail Antonio who will both miss out again. Look for David Moyes to go with the same trio - Jesse Lingard, Jarrod Bowen, and Pablo Fornals - that saw the Hammers beat Leicester City last weekend.

Wolves vs. Sheffield United

Rúben Neves has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be absent while he isolates. Neves joins Pedro Neto and Jonny who are both out although the latter two will miss the remainder of the season after knee surgeries while Neves should return within the next couple of weeks. On the positive side, Willy Boly returns from his own COVID-enforced isolation and will be available for Nuno Espirito Santo on Saturday.

The Blades will be without Sander Berge again although he is closing in on a return. They will also be without Ollie McBurnie and, potentially John Fleck who faces a late fitness check.

Arsenal vs. Fulham

As mentioned in the opening, Arsenal will be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he recovers from malaria. They will also be without David Luiz and Kieran Tierney who will continue to miss out over the next few weeks at least. Look for Alexandre Lacazette, Rob Holding, and Granit Xhaka to deputize for the three who will definitely be missing. Martin Odegaard is questionable. The Norway international has been out with an ankle injury for a few matches and could return but he certainly shouldn't be counted on to start.

For the relegation-threatened Cottagers, Ademola Lookman will return to the side and will almost surely start as Scott Parker pulls out all the stops to try to catch Newcastle for 17th.

Manchester United vs. Burnley

The Red Devils are almost entirely healthy with only Marcus Rashford facing a late fitness test on his injured foot. Otherwise, look for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to run out his preferred eleven.

Burnley could be without Nick Pope and Dwight McNeil for the short trip to Old Trafford. Both players have minor complaints and could miss out. As the Clarets best defensive and attacking players respectively, if both miss out, it could turn what looks like a tight match into a laugher in the favor of the home side.

Leeds United vs. Liverpool

Raphinha, Rodrigo, and Adam Forshaw are all doubtful for the visit of the defending champions with Rodrigo the least likely of the trio to feature. On the plus side, Jack Harrison returns after missing the win over Manchester City due to the terms of his loan. Liam Cooper will miss the next three matches after being sent off for violent conduct against City.

Liverpool are still missing the usual suspects - Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson, and Divock Origi and are almost certain to be without Curtis Jones for the trip to Leeds. Other than the long-term injuries, they are healthy.

Chelsea vs. Brighton

Mateo Kovicic and Andreas Christensen are both doubtful for the home side who will have plenty of options to choose between all over the pitch. Excellent news for Thomas Tuchel but not such great news for fantasy managers who will have to anticipate how the German manager will rotate his side ahead of a match that is crucial as the Blues jostle with Leicester City, West Ham, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Everton for the final two Champions League spots.

Graham Potter continues to be without Tariq Lamptey and Solly March for the trip to West London. He may also be missing Aaron Connelly and Florin Andone who both have a solid chance to be healthy for the tie.

Spurs vs. Southampton

Spurs clearly have a match before this one so, pending any injuries sustained in Friday's match, see above for Spurs' news and notes. On the other sideline, Michael Obafemi, Oriel Romeu, and William Smallbone will all miss out for Ralph Hasenhuttl as he hopes to inspire a rebound after his side were embarrassed last weekend.

Aston Villa vs. Manchester City

Jack Grealish continues to be out and, with European football all but ruled out and safety from relegation assured, Dean Smith could just shut him down and allow him to train ahead of this summer's European Championships. Grealish will be joined by Trezeguet who will have knee surgery after sustaining an injury against Liverpool. Look for Smith to replace Trezeguet with Anwar El Ghazi for the visit of the champions elect.

The only question for the Citizens is whether Sergio Agüero will be ready to feature by midweek. With Champions League semi-finals looming, it may well be that Aguero won't be risked for a relatively meaningless match even if he has recovered from his minor injuries.

Leicester City vs. West Bromwich Albion

The Foxes have yet to indicate if there will be further discipline for James Maddison, Ayoze Pérez, and Hamza Choudhury after they broke COVID protocols. Beyond those three, the Foxes continue to be without Harvey Barnes and James Justin.

West Brom has only Branislav Ivanovic on the injury list as the former Chelsea man is out, likely for the balance of the season, with a thigh injury.

Good luck with your teams this week. Given that this match week is stretched out over seven full days of matches, keep checking back to NBC Sports EDGE for up-to-the-minute injury news in our Player News section.