Few Premier League sides can claim to have pulled off any notable business in the January transfer trolley dash but for some there was good reason.
The five clubs mentioned in our headline are all able to call upon players whose returns from injury offer far more impetus than some winter window cash-splashing.
Arsenal – Danny Welbeck
Welbz has been with the nurse for more than a month but the ever-diligent England man should slot right into to Arsenal’s new, defensively organised incarnation.
Despite his lengthy absence the 24-year-old remains the Gunners’ third highest all-competitions goalscorer this term and can be backed to score against Spurs at 2/1.
Aston Villa – Ron Vlaar
The concrete one’s return from a knee problem couldn’t have been better timed and his leadership should ensure the Villa avoid an Arsenal-magnitude hammering at home to Chelsea this weekend.
Paul Lambert’s side have lost 36 per cent of their games in which the Dutchman has started this term, compared to 53 per cent of those in which he hasn’t.
The Villans are 3/4 to beat Chelsea with the aid of +2 handicap this weekend.
Everton – James McCarthy
McCarthy’s hamstring complaint has dragged on and on but he is pencilled in to finally make his return to the XI against Liverpool.
That Jimmy Mac is coming back drastically increases the Toffees’ chances of landing a 11/5-rated victory, with Everton having won twice in 16 games without him this term.
QPR – Sandro
Harry Redknapp mourned the fact that he couldn’t call upon the Brazilian ‘Beast’ in discussing his resignation with Sky Sports:
“There were one or two who had injuries. I have not been able to get Sandro on the pitch as much and one or two lads, there’s more to come from”.
Sandro’s considerable presence is expected to be available to whomsoever is wielding the janitor’s broom when Southampton visit Loftus Road.
Southampton – Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld
Ronald Koeman must be rubbing his hands together at the prospect of travelling to the rudderless R’s.
Three quarters of his borderline impenetrable four-man spine should return to the fray in their attempt to land 17/20 odds about victory.