Football: Match-by-match guide to the Premiership

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Aston Villa v Southampton

Last season: 3-0

VILLA ARE without midfielder Ian Taylor who is serving a one- match ban and misses his first game of the season. Paul Merson is favourite to take over. Manager John Gregory said: "Paul has has been brilliant and full credit to him. He has got his head down and acted like a model professional."

Former England Under-21 striker Kevin Davies is again out of Southampton's side, serving the second of a three-match ban. Defender Claus Lundekvam is expected to play despite a head injury. Striker David Hirst, midfielder David Howells and defender John Beresford are still injured.

ASTON VILLA (from): James, Delaney, Calderwood, Southgate, Barry, Boateng, Hendrie, Merson, Thompson, Carbone, Dublin, Stone, Watson, Wright, Ghrayib, Enckelman

SOUTHAMPTON (from): Jones, Dodd, Lundekvam, Richards, M Hughes, Soltvedt, Oakley, Ripley, Kachloul, Pahars, Beattie, Colleter, Boa Morte, Almeida, Hiley, Marsden, Moss..

Suspensions: Villa: Taylor. Southampton:Davies

Southampton: Leading scorers: Aston Villa:Dublin (8) Southampton: Pahars (8).

Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay).

Bradford v Coventry City

Last season: No fixture

JAMIE LAWRENCE, a substitute in Monday's 3-1 defeat at Liverpool, may start for Bradford. Bantams' manager Paul Jewell may drop Gunnar Halle and bring in Lawrence at right-back.

Jewell was given a boost in midweek when Peter Beagrie, Isaiah Rankin and Ashley Westwood all came through a reserve game against Bolton. All three may figure in the City squad, although winger Beagrie is the most realistic starter.

Youssef Chippo is expected to be back for Coventry after serving a one- match ban. Belgian striker Cedric Roussel looks like being left out.

BRADFORD CITY (from): Clarke, Wetherall, Halle, O'Brien, Sharpe, Windass, McCall, Redfearn, Saunders, Mills, Blake, Lawrence, Rankin, Myers, Dreyer, Westwood, Prudhoe.

COVENTRY CITY (from): Hedman, Telfer, Shaw, Williams, M Hall, Hadji, McAllister, Froggatt, Palmer, Roussel, Keane, Chippo, Burrows, Konjic, Breen, Strachan, Ogrizovic.

Suspensions: None

Leading scorers: Coventry: Keane (10). Bradford: Mills (3).

Referee: B Knight (Orpington).

Liverpool v Derby County

Last season: 1-2

PATRIK BERGER is a serious doubt for Liverpool due to a flu virus. Sami Hyypia, Dominic Matteo and Vladimir Smicer are all expected to shake off the effects of the same bug. Berger's absence could create an opportunity to bring back Michael Owen if his hamstring has responded to a week's training.

Seth Johnson, who is suffering from a back problem, is Derby's only doubt. If the midfield is Under-21 star misses out, Vas Borbokis will come in at right wing-back and Rory Delap will move to midfield. Steve Elliott and Dean Sturridge are added to the squad but Lee Morris is out for two months with a foot injury.

LIVERPOOL (from): Westerveld, Song, Henchoz, Hyypia, Staunton, Matteo, Camara, Redknapp, Hamann, Smicer, Owen, Berger, Meijer, Nielsen, Thompson, Heggem, Murphy, Gerrard.

DERBY COUNTY (from): Hoult, Laursen, Carbonari, Schnoor, Delap, Dorigo, Eranio, Johnson, Powell, Fuertes, Burton, Borbokis, Prior, Christie, Sturridge, Elliott, Knight.


Leadiing scorers: Liverpool: Camara (5). Derby: Delap (5).

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield).

Manchester United v Leicester City

Last season: 2-2

JAAP STAM, Dwight Yorke and Paul Scholes return for United but David Beckham is serving a one-match ban. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be on the bench despite his stunning midweek goal. Sir Alex Ferguson has a surplus of defenders and could use Phil Neville in midfield or to replace his injured brother Gary at right-back. David May could partner Stam in defence.

Martin O'Neill has no injury worries. Northern Ireland international Gerry Taggart has fully recovered from a knee injury and will keep his place in a three-man defence. Veteran Steve Walsh will be on the bench after a midweek reserve game.

MANCHESTER UNITED (from): Bosnich, Irwin, P Neville, Stam, Berg, May, Silvestre, Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Solskjaer, Yorke, Cole, Cruyff, Greening, Wilson, Clegg, Van der Gouw.

LEICESTER CITY (from): Flowers, Sinclair, Taggart, Walsh, Izzet, Lennon, Heskey, Guppy, Gunnlaugsson, Savage, Gilchrist, Campbell, Elliott, Marshall, Fenton, Impey, Wilson, Cottee, Oakes, Zagorakis, Arphexad.

Suspensions: Manchester United : Beckham, Butt.

Leading scorers: Manchester United: Cole: (11). Leicester: Izzet: (8).

Referee: P Durkin.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland

Last season: No fixture

HAMSTRING VICTIM Gianluca Festa returns to the Middlesbrough squad and there are also places for fit-again duo Robbie Mustoe and Neil Maddison, while Keith O'Neill is in the squad despite claims that he had suffered a broken jaw in a nightclub fracas. Paul Gascoigne remains on the casualty list.

Darren Williams, who scored the only goal in this fixture three years ago, is on standby to make his first Premiership start of the season for Sunderland if defender Paul Butler fails a late fitness test on a hamstring injury. Manager Peter Reid is hopeful that leading goalscorer Kevin Phillips (knee and foot), Nicky Summerbee (hamstring) and Gavin McCann (dead leg) also pass late fitness tests.

MIDDLESBROUGH (from): Schwarzer, Beresford, Fleming, Stamp, Vickers, Pallister, Cooper, Festa, O'Neill, Maddison, Mustoe, Ince, Juninho, Ziege, Armstrong, Ricard, Deane.

SUNDERLAND (from): Sorensen, Makin, Gray, Bould, Butler, Williams, Summerbee, Roy, Rae, McCann, Schwarz, Phillips, Quinn, Dichio, Marriott, Wall, Oster, Fredgaard.

Leading scorers: Middlesbrough: Deane (6). Sunderland: Phillips (13).

Referee: G Barber (Tring).

Sheff Wed v Watford

Last season: No fixture

WEDNESDAY ARE likely to have striker Andy Booth back in their starting line-up at the expense of Gerald Sibon following the collapse of his transfer to Leicester. Danny Wilson could also recall Kevin Pressman instead of Pavel Srnicek.

Neil Cox, a pounds 500,000 signing from Bolton, will go straight into Watford's starting line-up. Mark Williams serves the second of his three-game ban while Paul Robinson is ruled out with an ankle injury. Robert Page returns from suspension but striker Tommy Smith is doubtful with an ankle injury picked up on Sunday against Coventry. Gifton Noel-Williams is in contention after a lengthy injury lay-off.

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY (from): Pressman or Srnicek, Atherton, Hinchcliffe, Walker, Emerson, Sonner, Sibon, Rudi, Alexandersson, Donnelly, De Bilde, Cresswell, Briscoe, Haslam, Jonk, Booth, Crane.

WATFORD (from): Chamberlain, Gibbs, Lyttle, Panayi, Easton, Palmer, Hyde, Smith, Miller, Wooter, Johnson, Ward, Ngonge, Gudmundsson, Day, Perpetuini, Cox, Noel-Williams.

Sheffield Wednesday: De Bilde (3). Watford: Mooney (2).

Referee: J Winter (Stockton).


Chelsea v West Ham

Last season: 0-1

DENNIS WISE and Chris Sutton are both suspended for tomorrow's derby at Stamford Bridge. Wise is halfway through a three-match ban for his sending off at Liverpool and Sutton misses the game because of five yellow cards. Graeme Le Saux, who needs ankle surgery, is out but Marcel Desailly, back from a one-game domestic ban, hopes to be fit after hobbling off Wednesday's Champions League win against Hertha Berlin.

The Italian striker Paolo Di Canio is doubtful for West Ham with an ankle injury and the Hammers could also be without Igor Stimac with a calf injury. John Moncur returns from suspension and Craig Forrest stands by to replace the suspended Shaka Hislop.

CHELSEA (from):De Goey, Ferrer, Desailly, Leboeuf, Babayaro, Petrescu, Morris, Deschamps, Poyet, Di Matteo, Ambrosetti, Zola, Flo, Hogh, Lambourde, Nicholls, Terry, Goldbaek, Harley, Forssell, Cudicini.

WEST HAM (from): Forrest, Lampard, Ferdinand, Moncur, Foe, Kitson, Potts, Stimac, Carrick, Angus, Cole, Di Canio, Keller, Lomas, Margas, Ruddock, Sinclair, Wanchope.

Suspensions: Chelsae: Wise, Sutton. West Ham: Hislop.

Leading scorers: Chelsea: Poyet: (5). West Ham: Di Canio: (6).

Referee: M Riley (Leeds).

Newcastle v Everton

Last season: 1-3

NEWCASTLE EXPECT Alan Shearer and Robert Lee, who both missed training yesterday, to shake off knocks. Duncan Ferguson, who started his first game since September 16 against FC Zurich on Thursday, is also included and Kevin Gallacher returns but defender Warren Barton sits out the second of a four-match ban. Laurent Charvet looks likely to be out for three weeks after turning an ankle in training.

Scot Gemmill and Abel Xavier return for Everton after recovering from hamstring and foot injuries respectively. On loan striker Tommy Johnson is expected to start his first match for the club alongside Kevin Campbell. Dave Watson is struggling with a knee injury.

NEWCASTLE UNITED (from): Harper, Karelse, Domi, Pistone, Dabizas, Marcelino, Hughes, Dumas, Lee, Speed, Solano, Maric, Shearer, Ferguson, Gallacher, Robinson, McClen, Glass.

EVERTON (from): Gerrard, Dunne, Weir, Gough, Ball, Barmby, Pembridge, Gemmill, Abel Xavier, Hutchison, Unsworth, Collins, Johnson, Campbell, Simonsen, Cleland, Ward.

Leading scorers: Newcastle: Shearer (13). Everton: Campbell (6).

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham).

Tottenham v Arsenal

Last season: 1-3

TOTTENHAM ARE without Steffen Freund, who is suspended after reaching five bookings. Allan Nielsen is still missing with a stomach injury and Mauricio Taricco is struggling to overcome a foot problem. Tim Sherwood is not suspended for tomorrow's game as was originally thought.

Arsenal, who have Fredrik Ljungberg standing in for the injured Ray Parlour, welcome back Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Martin Keown and David Seaman. Thierry Henry and Silvinho (both knee) and Oleg Luzhny (groin) miss out but Emmanuel Petit's knee stood up to Tuesday's game against AIK Solna in the Champions' League and he will continue his midfield partnership with Patrick Vieira who plays his last match before a six-match ban.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (from): Walker, Carr, Edinburgh, Campbell, Perry, Leonhardsen, Fox, Ginola, Sherwood, Iversen, Armstrong, Piercy, Young, Clemence, Taricco, Vega, Dominguez, Gower, Baardsen.

ARSENAL (from): Seaman, Dixon, Keown, Adams, Winterburn, Ljungberg, Vieira, Petit, Overmars, Bergkamp, Kanu, Suker, Grimandi, Upson, Vivas, Hughes, Malz, Manninger.

Leading scorers: Tottenham: Iversen (9). Arsenal: Kanu (10).

Referee: D Elleray (Harrow).

Wimbledon v Leeds

Last season: 1-1

DEAN BLACKWELL, who came through a midweek reserve game after struggling to shake off an ankle injury, is set to return for Wimbledon against the Premiership leaders at Selhurst Park tomorrow.

Neal Ardley is included in the squad despite admitting he is looking for a future away from Wimbledon.

David O'Leary, the Leeds manager, expects to pick from the squad on duty in Thursday's Uefa Cup victory over Lokomotiv Moscow. He could bring back Alan Smith at the expense of Eirik Bakke. The Norwegian midfielder replaced the teenage striker in Moscow where Leeds played five in midfield and Michael Bridges as a lone striker.

WIMBLEDON (from): Sullivan, Cunningham, Kimble, Roberts, Blackwell, Thatcher, Cort, Earle, Hartson, Euell, Gayle, Ardley, Pedersen, Leaburn, Wadir, Andresen, Heald.

LEEDS UNITED (from): Martyn, Kelly, Harte, Haaland, Radebe, Woodgate, Hopkin, Bridges, Kewell, Bowyer, Huckerby, McPhail, Smith, Mills, Bakke, Duberry, Batty, Robinson, Jones.

Leading scorers: Wimbledon: Cort (10). Leeds: Bridges (11).

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).