Friday, March 19, 2010

The Physio Room - Injury Update

With between eight and nine Premier league fixtures remaining of the 2009/10 season, there are only a one or two things that can be said are concrete!

When you take a look at the league table, Pompey are down, but there are two relegation place remaining, and potentially seven clubs in danger of the drop.

At the other end of the table any of the current top three teams: Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal could win the title, and four teams are fighting it out for that 'exclusive' fourth place finish - and a glamorous, income fuelled participation in the Champions League next season.
Let's also not forget the UEFA Europa League 'consolation' prize, that is up for grabs for those sides finishing outside the top four.

That leaves just three or four Premier League teams in mid-table limbo, with little else to play for, other than pride. However the performances on the field of these sides, the likes of Birmingham, Everton, Fulham and Stoke could seriously effect the final outcome of those teams immediately above and below them - so they themselves still have an important part to play as the season reaches its climax.

For example, this weekend Fulham and Stoke play Manchester City and Tottenham respectively. Spurs and City are both vying for that final Champions league berth and will get no change from their mid-table opponents. Messieurs Hodgson and Pullis simply don't do favours!

Matches are coming thick and fast as we speak, more so for some than others. On Tuesday this week Chelsea played Inter Milan, whilst Villa and Wigan had a League fixture to fulfill. On Monday evening Liverpool entertained Portsmouth again in the League, and were back in action last night against Lille in the UEFA Europa League, whilst Fulham took on Juventus in the same competition.

To add into the mix there is a full programme of English Premier League fixtures this weekend, and the FA Cup semi-finals all involving Premier League sides are also on the horizon. Although these cup games are still some three weeks away, they may however be in the back of some players/managers minds.

What remains to be seen is how well the various managers and their coaching staff along with the healing hands of their respective physios can manage their squads, rotate them effectively and nurse their injured players through to the end of the season, whilst being able to juggle and prioritise their fixtures.

Obviously some Premier League teams have the budget to sustain sufficiently large enough squads to nullify this problem as best possible. It could be as much down to luck and good fortune on the injury front, as anything else, as to which teams succeed or fail come May.

Here is your chance to catch up on which players are currently out injured, who are close to a return to first-team action, and which players are really struggling to be fit to play any further part for their respective clubs, before the season ends.

Click on the 'link' to find out the latest on your Club's injury worries.

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