In Depth

Premier League playground: Hair-pulling, shoving and fights

Robert Huth and Marouane Fellaini are latest players ending a thrilling season on the naughty step

It has been a thrilling season in the Premier League but its penultimate weekend will take place under something of a cloud, with half-a-dozen big name players suspended for a variety of offences ranging from hair-pulling and punching to being caught taking drugs.

The two latest stars to be punished are Robert Huth of Leicester and Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United, who will both miss the rest of the league season after being handed three-game bans for an unedifying tussle during last weekend's match at Old Trafford.

Huth pulled the Belgium midfielder's hair, while Fellaini in turn elbowed the German.

The incident prompted United boss Louis van Gaal to liken Huth's actions to a sex act - and threaten to pull the hair of a BBC reporter himself.

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The number of players on the naughty step could grow further as Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele is also in the dock after being accused of gouging the eye of Chelsea striker Diego Costa during Monday night's bad-tempered game.

Here is this weekend's rollcall of shame:

Marouane Fellaini:

The Manchester United midfielder was banned for three matches after elbowing Leicester defender Huth in the face.

Robert Huth:

Although the victim of Fellaini's elbow, he has been accused of starting the incident by pulling the Belgian's hair.

Danny Drinkwater:

Huth's Leicester team-mate will also be missing this weekend after he was sent off for two bookings at Old Trafford, the second for dragging down Memphis Depay on the edge of the box.

Mamadou Sakho:

The Liverpool defender is serving a 30-day suspension for failing an anti-doping test. He tested positive after Liverpool's Europa League clash with Man United in March and may now miss Euro 2016 as well as the rest of the Reds' season. It is thought he had taken fat-burning pills.

Dele Alli:

The PFA young player of the year saw his season come to a premature end when he lost his cool as Spurs played West Brom and video evidence showed he had punched Claudio Yacob in the stomach. He was banned for three games.

Ramiro Funes Mori:

A straight red for a horrible challenge in the Merseyside derby earned the Everton defender a three-match ban and also ended Liverpool striker Divock Origi's season. Mori was fortunate to escape further punishment - he left the field beating his badge as Everton were humbled 4-0.

Brad Smith:

Liverpool's young Australian star will be unavailable this weekend after being sent off in only his second start for the Reds as they lost 3-1 to Swansea last weekend.

Aly Cissokho:

Relegated Aston Villa were leading Watford 2-1 after 75 minutes when Cissokho was shown a straight red card for hauling down Ikechi Anya. Villa went on to lose 3-2, their 11th defeat in a row.

Moussa Dembele:

The Spurs midfielder is facing a seven-match ban after being seen apparently gouging the eyes of Chelsea's Diego Costa during a melee at Stamford Bridge on Monday. Tottenham have contested the length of the punishment, but Dembele will still miss at least three games. However, he is expected to be available this weekend.

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