Biggest Injury News for Round 4 in the 2021 Premier League

| September 8, 2021 11:35 am PDT

After a week-long international break, the 2021 English Premier League is starting back up. Unfortunately for some teams, many of their players were injured while playing for their national teams.

How long will they stay sidelined and will their teams suffer for it? That’s what I’ll try to answer in this post.

So, let’s start with the biggest injury news coming from the Premier League going into week four.

Tottenham’s Giovani Lo Celso to Stay in Quarantine

Everyone assumed the clash between Brazil and Argentina was going to be a thrilling affair, but no one expected to see the cops on the field.

Some eight minutes after the start of the game, Brazilian Federal Police invaded the pitch to detain four Premier League players who breached COVID quarantine rules.

One of those players was the Spurs’ midfielder, Giovani Lo Celso, who was in Argentina’s starting XI when the cops burst in.

Not only did he get in trouble with Brazilian police, but he could also get fined by Tottenham. All 20 Premier League clubs agreed on not letting their players take part in international games in red list countries.

Despite the agreement, Lo Celso and a few others decided to travel to Brazil, which is one of the countries where COVID-19 is raging right now.

The Spurs aren’t just angry with him for ignoring the decision, but also because he will have to miss their Round 4 game.

As per UK’s COVID regulations, those arriving from red-list countries need to spend some time in quarantine. What this means is the earliest Lo Celso can return to the Tottenham squad is September 19.

Lo Celso’s absence will leave a big gap in Tottenham’s midfield on Saturday when they play Crystal Palace on the road. It’s not just because he’s an important member of the team but also because his colleague, Tanguy Ndombele, from the center of the pitch is injured.

Ndombele was one of their best players last year but he still hasn’t played in the 2021-22 season.

Romelu Lukaku Doubtful for Chelsea After Suffering Injury on Belgium Duty

The $135m-worth striker recorded his 100th cap for the Belgium national team last week against the Czech Republic. We saw him scoring his 67th goal for his national team, thus extending his record as the all-time top scorer for Belgium.

In the same match, we also saw him picking up a yellow card, which ruled him out of Belgium’s next game. So, instead of traveling to Belarus on international duty, the Chelsea player was given permission to return to the UK.

However, as confirmed by Lukaku himself, he won’t be traveling to London yet. First, he needs to get a scan of his thigh, which he injured in the game against the Czechs. 

According to him, it’s nothing serious, but there’s worry that he might have to skip Chelsea’s next game. On the bright side, his team’s next opponent isn’t a side the Blues should fear.

In the last Premier League game on Saturday, Chelsea will welcome Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge. That’s the venue where Aston Villa hasn’t won against Chelsea since New Year’s Eve 2011.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Second Man Utd Debut to be Delayed?

Last week, Cristiano Ronaldo broke the record for the all-time leading scorer in international soccer. He scored two against Ireland, thus making his total tally 111 international goals.

His Portuguese teammates then went on to play a friendly against Qatar in Hungary, before traveling all the way to Azerbaijan to play another World Cup qualifier. Ronaldo, however, decided not to go with them.

Instead, Ronaldo went back to Manchester, where he has had to isolate due to UK’s COVID regulations. Still, he isn’t going to have to spend too much time in isolation. In fact, he’ll be allowed to join his teammates in practice on Friday.

The trouble is that Manchester United’s next game (against Newcastle) is on Saturday, meaning that he’s not going to have too much time to prepare.

As reported by The Sun, United’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is thinking about keeping Ronaldo on the bench at the start of their Round 4 game.

Whether he’ll get his chance from the bench remains a big question. However, if he doesn’t make his second Man United debut this weekend, he’ll probably make it next Tuesday when his team plays Young Boys in the Champions League.

Arsenal’s COVID Troubles Coming to an End

It’s been one of the worst starts of the season for Arsenal in the club’s 134 years’ long history. The Gunners are at the very bottom of the Premier League table with all losses after three rounds. Furthermore, they have the worse score record in the league, 0-9.

One of the reasons behind Arsenal’s embarrassing performances is their squad had been decimated due to injuries and COVID-19 infections. However, ahead of the Round 4 clash with Norwich, there is some good news coming from this team’s locker room.

First of all, it seems that Thomas Partey’s ankle injury is over. The midfielder could make his comeback this weekend after spending more than a month off the pitch.

Ben White and Nicolas Pepe are also back on the roster after dealing with COVID-19. In fact, most of Arsenal’s coronavirus problems are solved. The only exception is the Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, who contracted the virus while on international duty.

“We have issued a recommendation that everyone vaccinates. But Xhaka decided for himself personally.”

That’s what Adrian Arnold, the Swiss FA head of communications, had to say.

The news, however, didn’t affect Arsenal’s preparation for the Norwich game. Even if he hadn’t contracted COVID, Xhaka still wouldn’t have played. The midfielder was sent off in the previous game when Arsenal was demolished by Manchester City 5-0.

Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne Could Return for the Leicester Game

Manchester City players have been in the news a lot lately; some for good, some for bad reasons. Benjamin Mendy’s story belongs to the latter category.

The French international was charged with four counts of rape last week by Chester Crown Court. As soon as the news broke out, his club suspended him indefinitely, meaning that we won’t be seeing him playing in the left-back position any time soon (if at all).

When it comes to positive news regarding Manchester City, the most important one is that Kevin De Bruyne might be ready to make his comeback.

Arguably the best midfielder in the world, De Bruyne picked up an injury in the quarterfinal of the Euro 2020. Two months later, he seems ready to come back.

Apart from him, Manchester City might also see Phil Foden returning as well. Like De Bruyne, Foden was also injured at the Euros.

Finally, there’s also good news regarding Aymeric Laporte. Even though he picked up an injury last week while playing for Spain, the center-back should be ready to face Leicester City on Saturday.

Speaking of Leicester, this is one of the teams with the most players on the Premier League injury list. There are at least seven players who are struggling with fitness, including starters Jonny Evans, Jannik Vestergaard, and Ricardo Pereira.

On top of that, Ayoze Perez will also have to sit out the match due to the red card he received in Round 2 against West Ham.

Looking Ahead to Week 4 in the Premier League

Without their key men to help them out, some teams could end up slipping in round four. Will they? I guess we’ll have to wait until next weekend to see how some of these EPL injuries impact each squad.

One thing is certain, though; we’re in for plenty of excitement in round four, with or without those guys playing.

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Zarko Naric
Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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