The timing of this weekend’s FA Cup matches couldn’t be worse. Most Premier League squads are exhausted after 4 games in 10 days. And while the magic of the FA Cup is greater for lower-league teams, the Third Round of the FA Cup this weekend seems like a unnecessary evil. To make matters worse, there’s also the threat of a FA Cup replay hanging over the teams’ heads if they don’t get a victory this weekend.
Not surprisingly, most Premier League teams are planning on dropping many of their stars. Here’s the complete list of squad news ahead of this weekend’s games.
Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina is expected to start Arsenal’s FA Cup third-round match against Hull on Sunday.
Striker Danny Welbeck (thigh) missed the Barclays Premier League defeat at Southampton, as did forward Lukas Podolski (groin), who is a transfer target for Inter Milan. Both are expected to again be absent, while Olivier Giroud serves the last part of his three-match suspension.
England international Theo Walcott could come back into the side following a return to fitness, along with midfielder Mathieu Flamini as manager Arsene Wenger is expected to rotate his squad. Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Mikel Arteta (calf), Mesut Ozil (knee), Abou Diaby (calf) and Jack Wilshere (ankle) all continue their rehabilitation.
Provisional squad: Ospina, Monreal, Chambers, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Coquelin, Flamini, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Walcott, Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Sanchez, Campbell, Akpom, Maitland-Niles.
Ron Vlaar is likely to be out for Aston Villa after he limped off in their 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on Thursday.
The defender suffered a knee injury and was due to have a scan on Friday to discover the severity of the problem. Fabian Delph is still suspended while Ashley Westwood, Nathan Baker and Libor Kozak are out.
Jack Grealish, Shay Given and Matt Lowton could all start with Paul Lambert expected to rotate his squad.
Provisional squad: Guzan, Given, Hutton, Lowton, Okore, Clark, Herd, Cissokho, Sanchez, N’Zogbia, Cole, Cleverley, Richardson, Grealish, Bacuna, Weimann, Benteke, Robinson, Agbonlahor.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche will make changes to his starting line-up for the first time in seven games when Tottenham visit Turf Moor on Monday in the third round of the FA Cup.
Defence is a worry for the Clarets boss, with captain Jason Shackell picking up an early calf problem in Thursday’s 3-3 draw at Newcastle before his replacement Kevin Long suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury.