Marco van Ginkel was handed his first start for Stoke since September, replacing the injured Xherdan Shaqiri in the lineup. He missed an excellent chance to put his side in front from close range, and was taken off in the 56th for a more attacking option in Mame Biram Diouf, as Mark Hughes set his sights on victory. Not very encouraging for Wulfert, who failed to make the most of his chance in the starting XI and will probably be relegated to the bench again.
Here's his miss:
Patrick Bamford was left out of the match day squad altogether for Crystal Palace. It's probably safe to say that he's on his way out of Selhurst Park in January.
Nathan Ake started for Watford, who edged a 1-0 victory against a born-again Sunderland side, The Black Cats have actually begun displayed some a bit of footballing prowess under Big Sam Allardyce, eking out victories while playing with a 3-man defence. This game began no different, but Watford ran riot down Sunderland's wings before Big Sam had to take off DeAndre Yedlin for Jack Rodwell in only the 18th minute, after they'd gone down a goal. Ake and Jurado probably played some part in forcing Yedlin off the field as well, with the Ake making several forays forward in the opening minutes, displaying good crossing ability and linking up well with his partner on the left side, Jurado. The hard-tackling youngster also displayed impeccable composure in tight situations on passing his way out of tight spots with aplomb on multiple occasions. Like most young players, he is often susceptible to the occasional lapses in concentration.
Playing under a caretaker manager for the time being, Reading played out their 1-0 loss to Preston without either Michael Hector or Lucas Piazon, the latter even losing out on a place on the bench to 17-year-old academy player, Josh Barrett.
Returning from injury, John Swift was a 66th minute substitute for Brentford, who drew 2-2 against Fulham.
Tomas Kalas was an unused substitute for Middlesbrough.
Neither Jordan Houghton nor Alex Davey featured for their respective sides, Gillingam and Peterborough. Both of these loans had plenty of promising signs early on in the season, they have gone sour ever since.
Marko Marin got 25 minutes off the bench for Trabzonspor, while Kenneth Omeruo was absent for Kasimpasa.
Andreas Christensen started for Borussia Monchengladbach, as their unbeaten run came to a screeching halt, with a devastating 5-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen. Not very encouraging signs for Gladbach, who've conceded 9 goals in the last two games, both started in three-man defences. However, manager Andre Schubert and sporting director Max Eberl put their recent struggles down to fatigue and a lack of energy.
Here's Andreas, not exactly covering himself in glory:
Jeremie Boga got his usual ~20 minutes off the bench in a 1-1 draw against Caen.
Stipe Perica got 20 minutes off the bench as well for Udinese, who committed a comedy of defensive errors to gift Inter Milan a 0-4 victory.
Islam Feruz was absent for Hibernian.
Todd Kane started for NEC Nijmegen, who lost 3-1 against SC Cambuur.