Cyprus Mail
Premier LeagueSport

Costa ban upheld, United lose Carrick for a month

Diego Costa (c) lost his appeal and will miss todays top of the table clash against Manchester City

Chelsea striker Diego Costa will miss his side’s top-of-the-table Premier League clash against Manchester City after losing his appeal against a charge of violent conduct, the English Football Association said on Friday.

The Brazilian-born Spain striker has been banned for three matches after treading down on Liverpool’s Emre Can in the first half of the League Cup semi-final, second leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Chelsea, who are five points clear at the top of the table, will be without Costa for Saturday’s clash against Manchester City as well as games at Aston Villa and home to Everton.

Stoke City defender Robert Huth was handed a two-match suspension and 15,000-pound ($22,500) fine for comments he made on social media, the Football Association said on Friday.

The former Germany international admitted a charge of making improper and indecent comments on Twitter that brought the game into disrepute.

Arsenal’s new signing Gabriel Paulista could make his Premier League debut against Aston Villa but leading goalscorer Alexis Sanchez is not likely to be risked with a hamstring injury, manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday.

The 24-year-old defender joined the Gunners from Spanish side Villarreal earlier this week and Wenger is confident the Brazilian will provide stiff competition for first-choice central defenders Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

Good news for Southampton as two of their international brigade will ride to the rescue this weekend, affording manager Ronald Koeman some much needed relief from injury woes when his high-flying Saints welcome Swansea City in the Premier League on Sunday.

Japanese defender Maya Yoshida and Senegalese striker Sadio Mane are back from international duty, and will be available, to the relief of Koeman who is still without Victor Wanyama, Morgan Schneiderlin, Toby Alderwiereld and Shane Long.

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick will be out for four weeks with a ruptured muscle, manager Louis van Gaal said on Friday.

The 33-year-old Englishman will miss the visit of Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday and could be absent for another six games during February.

Daniel Sturridge is also set to make his return on Saturday after five months out and for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers there is hope for what he can bring and lingering disappointment over what might have been.

When Sturridge was ruled out with a thigh injury on international duty in early September, Liverpool’s goals dried up.

Left without the services of their top two scorers from the previous season, with Luis Suarez sold to Barcelona last July, Liverpool’s season effectively imploded.

A recent resurgence has been built around a change of system with Raheem Sterling drafted in to a makeshift striker’s role, but he has effectively been keeping the position warm until Sturridge could make his comeback.

That looks likely to happen against West Ham United at Anfield on Saturday.

Fixtures from the English premier league matches:

Saturday, January 31
Hull City v Newcastle United (1445)
Crystal Palace v Everton (1700)
Liverpool v West Ham United (1700)
Manchester United v Leicester City (1700)
Stoke City v Queens Park Rangers (1700)
Sunderland v Burnley (1700)
West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur (1700)
Chelsea v Manchester City (1930)

Sunday, February 1
Arsenal v Aston Villa (1530)
Southampton v Swansea City (1800)

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