x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Premier League week 2: West Brom, West Ham, Wigan Athletic and Wolves

Peter Odemwingie could be available for selection against Sunderland tomorrow after agreeing the terms of his move from Locomotiv Moscow.

Peter Odemwingie could be available for selection against Sunderland tomorrow after agreeing the terms of his move from Locomotiv Moscow. The forward, who captained Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations this earlier year as well as making the Super Eagles' squad for the World Cup, faces a race to secure his visa in time to play. He was originally offered to Tottenham as a makeweight in a deal designed to lure Roman Pavlyuchenko back to Russia. After a 6-0 thrashing by the champions, Chelsea, on the opening day, Roberto Di Matteo needs plenty of recruits, and has had a bid for Portsmouth's Marc Wilson knocked back.

The Hammers' chances of keeping hold of Scott Parker, their talisman and captain, now appear to depend on whether or not Javier Mascherano can secure a move away from Liverpool. Mascherano, the Argentina captain, is said to want to rejoin Rafael Benitez, his former coach, at Inter Milan in Serie A. The Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson, will not let him go cheaply, and will likely use the funds to try to land Parker as his replacement. The West Ham owners have made it clear they do not want him to leave, yet Parker would likely find the switch hard to resist.

A week on from the spat which saw Charles N'Zogbia jettisoned from the Wigan squad, Roberto Martinez, the manager, appears ready to restore him to the starting line up for the game against Chelsea. The French winger was left out of the opening day debacle against Blackpool on disciplinary grounds. Yet desperation is likely to see him brought back in from the cold. Martinez is searching for some salvation following the woeful 4-0 home defeat to the side regarded as the Premier League's weakest team, and has termed N'Zogbia a "special player" for the Latics.

Following a succession of injuries which have kept him sidelined since November, Michael Kightly is making promising progress towards a first-team comeback. The winger suffered a broken foot, then successive ankle and knee injuries, to keep him out of action last term. He is back in full training now, yet Mick McCarthy, the Wolves manager, is unlikely to rush him back before he is ready. The former Republic of Ireland manager this week advised Kightly against being impatient in his quest for a return to the starting XI, warning him that it could lead to another setback.