Yorke 6 Leading scorer Davies 10 Last season: 1-0
Aston Villa's Lee Hendrie may start his first game of the season. The England Under-21 midfielder has made impressive substitute appearances in Villa's last three games and may be added to the starting line-up by Brian Little, who is expected to name an otherwise unchanged team from the one defeated by Manchester United last Monday. Mark Bosnich and Dwight Yorke are definitely still out, the former on international duty with Australia in the Confederations Cup in Saudi Arabia and the latter is still out with a calf injury.
Southampton manager Dave Jones is expected to name an unchanged starting line-up for the ninth successive game. Lee Todd is out for the next six weeks after undergoing a groin operation, while Robbie Slater is still away on international duty with Australia. Welsh international goalkeeper Paul Jones has fully recovered from the flu virus that made him doubtful for last weekend's 2-1 home win against Leicester. Ken Monkou (hamstring) is a slight doubt. The Saints have lost seven of their eight Premiership away games this season.
Blackburn v West Ham
Sutton 12 Leading scorer Hartson 17 Last season: 2-1
Martin Dahlin (back) is close to returning but won't be available today to cover for the loss of suspended Chris Sutton. Dahlin has missed two months but should resume full training next week. Roy Hodgson only has Kevin Gallacher available of his senior strikers, but he may bring in teenager James Beattie. After beating Arsenal at Highbury last week, Rovers need a win to maintain their position as one of Manchester United's main challengers.
Harry Redknapp is most likely to name the same West Ham team that beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 last Saturday. Paolo Alves is unavailable because of a hamstring problem. Goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko had a knee operation yesterday to clear up scar tissue and will be out for four to six weeks, so Craig Forrest will play and Les Seeley will be on the bench. John Moncur (sciatica) is still out, while Ian Bishop (ankle), hopes to resume full training on Monday. David Terrier is out with a thigh strain. The Hammers have not won away since the opening day of the season.
Derby v C Palace
Baiano 11 Leading scorer Shipperley 5 Last season: No fixture
Dean Sturridge may play for Derby just days after it was feared he could be out for a month. Derby thought he would be out for the entire Christmas and New Year programme but manager Jim Smith said the injury sustained in midweek and initially thought to be a hamstring tear, was not as bad as first thought. Jim Smith has four other players injured - Igor Stimac, Jacob Laursen, Christian Dailly and Robin van der Laan. While Stimac has a small chance of being fit for today, Van Der Laan is aiming to return by Boxing Day.
Crystal Palace will be without their two Italian internationals. Attilio Lombardo and Michele Padovano both picked up injuries in last week's 3- 0 home defeat by Liverpool, and are still in Italy receiving treatment. Lombardo suffered severe bruising to his right knee, but could be back by the end of next week, while Padovano will be out for longer with a hamstring tear. Steve Coppell will give late fitness tests to Simon Rodger and Bruce Dyer, and both are rated as having 50-50 chances of playing. Jamie Smith is definitely out.
Leeds v Bolton
Wallace 10 Leading scorer Blake 9 Last season: No fixture
Robert Molenaar will play in place of the suspended Lucas Radebe as Leeds attempt to extend their unbeaten Premiership run to seven matches. Radebe starts a two-match ban for five yellow cards, while Dutchman Molenaar makes his first Premiership start for three months. With Australian Harry Kewell still away at the Confederations Cup in Saudi Arabia, Rod Wallace will be partnered by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink or Derek Lilley. Leeds need just two more goals this season to equal their tally for the whole of last season of 28.
Bolton manager Colin Todd has defender Mark Fish available but may rest him after he played three games in five days in the Confederations Cup. If Fish does not play Chris Fairclough may play against his old club. Fairclough is back in contention after a six-month lay-off. Todd has doubts over Keith Branagan (groin), captain Gudni Bergsson (ankle) and Gerry Taggart (groin). All three will have late fitness tests. Alan Thompson and Dean Holdsworth are both serving bans. Right-back Neil Cox may come in if Bergsson is unfit.
Leicester v Everton
Marshall 7 Leading scorer Cadamarteri, Last season: 1-2 Speed 5
Leicester defender Spencer Prior will face Everton today despite being taken to hospital after a car accident earlier this week. Prior suffered whiplash injuries when he skidded off a country lane and hit a tree on Tuesday morning, but the centre-back declared himself fit after returning to training yesterday. Manager Martin O'Neill is likely to name an unchanged side from the one that lost 2-1 at Southampton last week if central defender Matt Elliott passes a late test on a knee injury.
Everton are without wing back Mitch Ward, who has an ankle problem so Tony Thomas may return to deputise. Duncan Ferguson and Slaven Bilic are still suspended. Midfielder Danny Williamson will have a late fitness test. The former West Ham player damaged a hamstring in training this week and is considered to be extremely doubtful. It is now a full 12 months since Howard Kendall's side won away from home in the Premiership. They have lost 13 of the 19 games on their League travels since, and drawn the other six.
Liverpool v Coventry
Fowler 9 Leading scorer Dublin 8 Last season: 1-2
Liverpool manager Roy Evans will wait until the last moment before deciding whether Paul Ince will play. The England midfielder has been suffering from a groin injury since the end of his three-match suspension a fortnight ago. German striker Karlheinz Riedle is back in the squad after flu meant that he missed last weekend's 3-0 win at Crystal Palace but Mark Wright and Rob Jones are still not fit. If Ince fails to attain match fitness then Evans will almost certainly leave England Under-21 midfielder Jamie Carragher in the central midfield role alongside Jamie Redknapp.
Coventry are likely to give a debut to Dutch midfielder George Boateng. The 22-year old is expected to replace Gary McAllister, who will be out for seven weeks following a cartilage operation. Coventry have four players suspended - Paul Williams, Willie Boland, Gary Breen and David Burrows - and manager Gordon Strachan could decide to switch striker Dion Dublin into the back four as an emergency measure. Coventry have won away just once this season.
Sheff Wed v Chelsea
Di Canio 9 Leading scorer Vialli 10 Last season: 0-2
Sheffield Wednesday manager Ron Atkinson keeps the same squad which lost 1-0 at West Ham last week. Dejan Stefanovic is expected to keep the right-back position after impressing in the role at Upton Park. New signing Niklas Alexandersson is likely to be on the bench again as Wednesday look to recover from their only defeat so far in Atkinson's current reign. Captain Peter Atherton serves the third match of a three- match suspension.
Chelsea will be without Nigerian defender Celestine Babayaro for up to five weeks after a toe operation. His absence means Graeme Le Saux will continue at left-back, with Mark Nicholls likely to retain his place in midfield. Mark Hughes is still suspended, but Gianluca Vialli could return alongside Gianfranco Zola in place of Tore Andre Flo as Ruud Gullit's side hope to improve on last week's goalless draw against Leeds. Russian goalkeeper Dmitri Kharin, out since a horrific knee injury at Hillsborough in September last year, comes into the squad as cover for Kevin Hitchcock, out with a hand injury.
Tottenham v Barnsley
Ginola 5 Leading scorer Redfearn 8 Last season: No fixture
Sol Campbell (shoulder) will return for Tottenham after missing the last two games. Campbell injured himself in Spurs' 2-0 win at Everton two weeks ago and was sorely missed during the 6-1 defeat by Chelsea and 4-0 loss at Coventry. Ramon Vega is suspended, while David Howells, Chris Armstrong, Dean Austin and John Scales are all out injured. The injuries that have seen Spurs win only four games this season appear to be abating with Jose Domingues fit again, and Steffen Iversen recovered from his foot injury.
Barnsley have two doubts for this relegation encounter. Arjan de Zeeuw (stomach) and Jovo Bosancic (knee) are both possible non-starters. Eric Tinkler has returned from international duty with South Africa and will travel to White Hart Lane. Barnsley have taken only six points from a possible 27 away from home, but their last success at Liverpool proved how dangerous they can be if underestimated and their comeback to draw 2-2 with Newcastle last week showed that they may yet go down fighting.
Newcastle v Man Utd
Asprilla, Barnes 6 Leading scorer Cole 15 Last season: 5-0
Newcastle captain Rob Lee is likely to return for tomorrow's match. The England midfielder missed Wednesday's goalless draw with Derby County because of a calf injury, but is expected to recover in time to lead the Magpies after receiving intensive treatment over the last 48 hours. Steve Howey and fellow defender Warren Barton are also available after injury. Newcastle are looking for their first Premiership win in five games, after drawing against Derby, and at Barnsley last weekend, and having lost their two League games prior to that.
England midfielder Paul Scholes is back in contention for a place in the Manchester United line-up. Scholes has completed a three-match ban but may have to settle for a seat on the substitutes' bench if manager Alex Ferguson opts to keep the side that beat Aston Villa 1-0 on Monday. Andy Cole will be hoping to continue his rich goal-scoring form against his old club. Cole has scored 15 times in 19 appearances this season. United are looking for their fifth consecutive Premiership win, and have scored 13 goals in the last four.Reuse content