Football: Match-by-match guide to the Premiership

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Coventry City v Leicester City

Last season: 1-1

GORDON STRACHAN'S steadily-improving Coventry side are expected to be unchanged from the team which beat Aston Villa 2-1 on Monday with Richard Shaw, Marc Edworthy and John Aloisi still on the injury list.Victory in this derby match would place Coventry in the top half of the table.

Leicester midfielder Muzzy Izzet, who missed last weekend's victory over Wimbledon with an ankle injury, is poised to rejoin Neil Lennon in the centre of midfield. Martin O'Neill will also be boosted by the return of Matt Elliott from suspension. He is likely to replace Steve Walsh in the centre of defence.

COVENTRY (from): Hedman, Telfer, Breen, Williams, M Hall, Hadji, McAllister, Palmer, Chippo, Keane, Roussel, Burrows, Whelan, Konjic, Eustace, Ogrizovic, Strachan, Quinn.

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

Suspensions: None.

Leading scorers: Coventry: Keane (7). Leicester: Cottee, Izzett (8).

Referee: S Lodge.

Everton v Aston Villa

Last season: 0-0

EVERTON defender David Weir has served a one-match ban, and his Scotland team-mate John Collins is also expected to return to midfield after being rested last week. Walter Smith has worries over his strike force of Francis Jeffers and Kevin Campbell, reunited last weekend after a four-game gap due to Jeffers' hernia operation. The teenager has a knee injury, while top scorer Campbell has been struggling with a back problem.

Aston Villa are boosted by the availability of midfielder Alan Thompson and versatile teenager Gareth Barry. They both missed the 2-1 defeat at Coventry on Monday as they were serving one match bans. But Villa are likely to be without injured central defender Ugo Ehiogu for the sixth successive match.

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

ASTON VILLA (from): James, Delaney, Southgate, Calderwood, Wright, Stone, Boateng, Hendrie, Taylor, Joachim, Dublin, Carbone, Merson, Watson, Vassell, Thompson, Barry, Enckleman.

Suspensions: None

Leading scorers: Everton: Campbell (6). Aston Villa: Dublin (9).

Referee: P Jones.

Middlesbrough v Wimbledon

Last season: 3-1

GARY PALLISTER has still not recovered from a back injury and will be absent from the Boro defence, but Christian Ziege and Keith O'Neill both return after suspension. Paul Gascoigne, still short of match fitness, may have to be content with a place on the substitutes' bench.

Wimbledon manager Egil Olsen is sweating on the fitness of Republic of Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham and striker John Hartson. The pair picked up injuries during training, with Hartson taking a heavy blow to his thigh and Cunningham aggravating a long-term knee problem. Winger Michael Hughes travels with the squad for the first time this season.

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

WIMBLEDON (from): Sullivan, Cunningham, Blackwell, Hreidarsson, Thatcher, Earle, Euell, Thatcher, Andersen, Gayle, Cort, Hartson, Ardley, Heald, Pedersen, Leaburn, Hughes, Davis.


Leading scorers: Middlesbrough: Deane (6). Wimbledon: Cort (8).

Referee: P Durkin.

Watford v


Last season: 2-1

MARK WILLIAMS returns for Watford after serving a three-match suspension and Richard Johnson, missing last week against Newcastle, has recovered from tonsilitis. Nick Wright, Tommy Mooney, Peter Kennedy and Ben Iroha are all making progress after injury but will not be involved.

Record signing Stefan Schwarz returns to Sunderland's starting line-up. Sweden's player of the year missed last week's home defeat by Liverpool because of suspension and though captain Kevin Ball has also served a one-match ban he will only return to the substitutes' bench. Defenders Steve Bould and Chris Makin are still suspended and their places will again be taken by Darren Williams and Jody Craddock.

WATFORD (from): Chamberlain, Lyttle, Page, Cox, Williams, Gibbs, Robinson, Bakalli, Palmer, Johnson, Hyde, Miller, Wooter, Noel-Williams, Gravelaine, Ngonge, Smith, Day.

SUNDERLAND (from): Sorensen, Williams, Gray, Butler, Craddock, Summerbee, Rae, Roy, McCann, Schwarz, Quinn, Phillips, Reddy, Marriott, Ball, Thirlwell, Holloway.

Suspensions: Watford: None. Sunderland:Bould, Makin.

Leading scorers: Watford: Ngonge (3). Sunderland: Phillips (13).

Referee:U Rennie.

West Ham United v Liverpool

Last season: 2-1

JAVIER MARGAS is expected to leap straight back into the West Ham starting line-up when he returns from suspension and Steve Potts or Neil Ruddock will make way for the Chilean defender. Captain Steve Lomas is also back after a one-match ban and that could cost Marc-Vivien Foe his place, while Paul Kitson is expected to return after a calf injury.

Liverpool will be without Jamie Redknapp, who has an ankle injury, and Vladimir Smicer is still missing. Robbie Fowler is likely to have another reserve run-out next week against Blackburn Rovers. Sami Hyypia will captain the team in Redknapp's absence.

WEST HAM (from): Hislop, Margas, Ruddock, Potts, Ferdinand, Lampard, Lomas, Foe, Charles, Keller, Minto, Cole, Sinclair, Di Canio, Wanchope, Moncur, Kitson, Omoyimni, Forrest.

LIVERPOOL (from): Westerveld, Song, Heggem, Hyypia, Henchoz, Matteo, Gerrard, Thompson, Hamann, Murphy, Owen, Berger, Friedel, Meijer, Neilsen, Carragher, Traore.

Suspensions: None.

Leading scorers: West ham: Di Canio (7). Liverpool: Camara (5).

Referee: G Barber.


Arsenal v Derby County

Last season: 1-0

ARSENAL WILL almost certainly be without three overseas midfield tomorrow. Emmanuel Petit, who aggravated a long-standing knee injury in Thursday's 3-0 Uefa Cup win over Nantes, is given only "a 10 per-cent chance" of playing by Arsene Wenger, while Patrick Vieira and Fredrik Ljungberg are suspended. Wenger is likely to push Gilles Grimandi into midfield and bring in Matthew Upson to replace Martin Keown, who is also suspended, in the back four. Stefan Malz is likely to make his Premiership debut.

Georgi Kinkladze is likely to make his Derby debut. The Georgian international is in the Rams' squad after receiving a work permit and international clearance yesterday. The Israeli international Avi Nimni, also a midfielder, may also figure at Highbury after scoring for Derby reserves on his first appearance on Thursday. Deon Burton is back from suspension and may replace Marvin Robinson up front as Jim Smith considers changes to the side beaten 2-1 by Manchester United last week.

ARSENAL (from): Seaman, Dixon, Upson, Adams, Winterburn, Parlour, Malz, Grimandi, Overmars, Bergkamp, Suker, Kanu, Vivas, Henry, Hughes, Manninger.

DERBY COUNTY (from): Poom, Laursen, Carbonari, Schnoor, Delap, Dorigo, Johnson, Powell, Borbokis, Sturridge, Robinson, Burton, Kinkladze, Nimni, Christie, Murray, Harper, Elliott, Hoult.

Suspensions: Arsenal: Keown, Ljungberg, Vieira.

Leading scorers: Arsenal: Kanu (7). Derby: Delap (6).

Referee: A D'Urso.

Chelsea v Bradford City

Last season: No fixture

CHELSEA WILL be without their captain, Dennis Wise, and their French World Cup-winning defender, Frank Leboeuf, both due to suspension, when they attempt to arrest their domestic slide tomorrow. The Blues are only two points worse off now than at the same stage of last season (when they were still to be found in contention come May), but there is still a feeling that they have been neglecting their domestic duties to concentrate on Europe. Gianluca Villa is likely to replace Wise with either Jody Morris or Roberto Di Matteo, while Jes Hogh should step in for Leboeuf. Full- back Graeme Le Saux (ankle), winger Gabriele Ambrosetti (hamstring) and striker Mikael Forssell (knee) are all still out of contention, while defender Celestine Babayaro has been playing through a knee problem.

Dean Saunders is still missing for Bradford. The Welsh striker has still not recovered from the hamstring injury which he sustained during the 1-1 draw with Coventry three weeks ago. The Bantams' manager, Paul Jewell, has no new injury worries following last week's 2-1 defeat at Leeds.

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

BRADFORD CITY (from): Clarke, Myers, McCall, Wetherall, Lawrence, Blake, Mills, Whalley, Beagrie, O'Brien, Windass, Sharpe, Halle, Rankin, Dreyer, Jacobs, Redfearn, Walsh.

Suspensions: Chelsea: Wise, Leboeuf.

Leading scorers: Chelsea: Poyet (4). Bradford: Mills, Windass (3).

Referee: A Wiley.

Leeds United v Southampton

Last season: 3-0

THE LEEDS captain, Lucas Radebe, is due to return from taking part in a friendly in South Africa to play tomorrow. He was not with the Leeds party for the postponed Uefa Cup third-round tie with Spartak Moscow due to suspension. David O'Leary will decide whether Radebe will play from the start or be on the bench later today.

Southampton's leading scorer, Marian Pahars, is hoping to recover from injury. Pahars, who has scored seven goals this season, faces a fitness test on a calf injury he suffered in the 1-0 defeat against Tottenham last weekend. Kevin Davies, who has missed three games though suspension, is also a doubt as he recovers from a boil on his hip. Jason Dodd is in contention for a recall just a fortnight after undergoing surgery on a knee injury, while the Portuguese defender, Marco Almeida, is available again following a one-match ban. David Hirst is still not fit from a knee injury and Chris Marsden and David Hughes are out until the New Year with similar problems.

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

SOUTHAMPTON (from): Jones, Tessem, Colleter, Lundekvam, Richards, Ripley, Oakley, Kachloul, M Hughes, Pahars, Beattie, Dodd, Le Tissier, Boa Morte, Soltvedt, Benali, Bridge, Moss.

Suspension: Leeds: Duberry.

Leading scorers: Leeds: Bridges (9). Saints: Pahars (7).

Referee: R Harris.

Newcastle United v Tottenham

Last season: 1-1

NEWCASTLE'S MANAGER, Bobby Robson, will leave it until the last minute to name his side. Injuries and suspensions will once again dictate Robson's selection. Warren Barton and Gary Speed are banned, while defenders Alessandro Pistone and Laurent Charvet limped away from Thursday night's 1-0 Uefa Cup third-round first-leg defeat by Roma. Newcastle have won one and drawn three in their last four league matches. Tottenham's only win in their last 10 visits to Newcastle came in August 1993, when the game ended 1-0 to the visitors.

Justin Edinburgh will continue in the Tottenham defence as the right- back, Stephen Carr, looks like being out of action until the New Year. The Republic of Ireland international injured an ankle in his country's recent unsuccessful Euro 2000 play-off match in Turkey. It means Mauricio Taricco will again play on the right with Edinburgh in his natural left- back role. David Ginola is likely to continue in the starting line-up despite a disappointing display at Southampton last weekend, when he was replaced by Jose Dominguez.

NEWCASTLE (from): Harper, Karelse, Pistone, Charvet, Dabizas, Hughes, Marcelino, Caldwell, Lee, Solano, Maric, Glass, McClen, Ketsbaia, Shearer, Serrant, Robinson.

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

Suspensions: Newcastle: Barton, Speed.

Leading scorers: Newcastle: Shearer (12). Spurs: Iversen (8).

Referee: P Alcock.