Football Team News

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Aston Villa v Bristol Rovers

Villa's top scorer Atkinson will test a stomach injury that has kept him out for two games. If he fails, Yorke may continue to deputise. Rovers' full-back Jones (hamstring) is doubtful.

Blackburn v Bournemouth

Blackburn striker Shearer will test his damaged right knee, Wegerle stands by to deputise again. Moran is fit to return to the defence after a stomach upset. Ekoku, who had an ankle operation, could play his first game in more for Bournemouth than seven months because winger Wood has an ankle injury.

Brentford v Grimsby

Hughton and Godfrey must test hamstring injuries before Brentford, unbeaten in nine games, name a team. Grimsby have Futcher back to partner Rodger in defence after injuring a calf two weeks ago.

Brighton v Portsmouth

Brighton, with only one defeat in the last eight games, expect defender Foster to be fit after missing nine games with a hamstring injury. Gallacher replaces Chapman, who begins a two-match suspension. Portsmouth's leading scorer Whittingham has shaken off a leg injury he picked up at Derby on Monday and Awford (ribs) and keeper Knight (hip) also expect to be fit.

Cambridge Utd v Sheff Wed

Cambridge's new striker Butler is doubtful with flu. Wednesday will be without Warhurst.

Crewe v Marine

Crewe go in on a hat-trick of 6-1 victories after beating Wrexham and Accrington, while the HFS Loans side looks to their leading scorer Camden to see them through.

Derby v Stockport

Former England youth international Kavanagh returns as Derby's right-back in place of the injured Goulooze. County striker Francis returns to the club where he began his career.

Gillingham v Huddersfield

Gillingham will not risk teenaged striker Forster even though injuries and suspensions have left coach Roeder with only 13 fit players. Striker Crown is out with after an Achilles tendon operation, while goalkeeper Barrett and midfielder Smith are suspended. Huddersfield, who had both Christmas games postponed, have Roberts fit after groin trouble.

Hartlepool v Crystal Palace

Hartlepool's keeper Hodge has a groin injury so Jones continues as manager Murray keeps the team that won at Fulham. Palace, unbeaten in seven games, are unchanged with defender Thorn fit after being concussed at Middlesbrough on Monday and Osborn in midfield in place of the injured Southgate.

Leeds v Charlton

Leeds full-back Sterland has recovered from a blistered heel and joins an 18-man squad. Defender Whyte and forward Rod Wallace hope for a recall. Leaburn returns to Charlton's attack to replace on-loan Power, who has returned to Norwich.

Leicester v Barnsley

Left-back Whitlow hopes to return to the Leicester side after being laid low by a stomach upset. Barnsley manager Machin will await an early morning pitch inspection before finalising his team.

Luton v Bristol City

Luton midfielder Rees (knee) faces a late test. If he is unfit, manager Pleat may bring back striker Benjamin and switch to a 4-4-2 formation. City midfielder Harrison (knee) and captain Shelton (leg) are fit to continue in an unchanged side.

Manchester City v Reading

Central defender Hill hopes to continue in an unchanged City side but must test a groin injury that has troubled him for the last three games. Reading, without midfielders Dillon (suspension) and Jones (broken leg), await fitness tests on striker Gilkes and defenders Williams, Hopkins and Richardson.

Marlow v Tottenham

Diadora League side Marlow hope their former Arsenal reserve defender Hannigan will recover from a knee injury and keeper Lester intends to play despite dislocating a finger in training. Nayim has overcome a foot injury, but Spurs are likely to be unchanged for a match that has been switched to White Hart Lane. Midfielder Sedgley is fit to return after being out with a knee injury since 7 November.

Newcastle v Port Vale

Manager Keegan resists the temptation to make changes after Newcastle suffering their biggest defeat of the season, at Oxford on Monday. He adds winger Carr to the 13 on duty for that match. Port Vale defender Swan returns after a two- match suspension and is added to the squad beaten at Bradford.

Northampton v Rotherham

Northampton, of the Third Divivision, have extended the trial period of former Notts County and Hull striker McParland, who will lead their attack in an unchanged team. Rotherham have a slight doubt over defender Johnson, who has a groin strain, but they expect to be unchanged.

Norwich v Coventry

Norwich captain Butterworth (rib) returns to central defence after missing two games to replace Newman, who will be out for eight weeks with a broken ankle. Coventry manager Gould drops his son, Jonathan, in favour of the experienced Ogrizovic in goal but expects to field an otherwise unchanged side from the one beaten at Manchester United.

Notts County v Sunderland

Dutch defender Dijkstra is County's maindoubt with a knee injury that has prevented him from training this week.

Sunderland include only four of last season's FA Cup final team, keeper Norman, Ball, Amstrong and Rush.

Oldham v Tranmere

Oldham's leading scorer Sharp has recovered from flu and will play, and Marshall, who broke a finger, returns after a five-game absence. Midfielder Henry is recalled to the squad, but left-back Pointon is still suspended. Malkin will rejoin 20-goal Aldridge in Tranmere's attack after missing two Christmas games with a virus and defender Mungall is expected to shrug off a slight strain.

Sheffield Utd v Burnley

Burnley, who will take about 8,000 fans across the Pennines, will be without the suspended midfielder Deary. Randall is likely to replace him. Sheffield United striker Deane must have a fitness check after being carried off with concussion against Manchester City on Boxing Day. Cork and Littlejohn stand by.

Southend v Millwall

Southend winger Locke faces a test on a knee injury, which has kept him out of the last two games. Millwall hope to field the side that beat Leicester on Monday, but full-back Cunningham has a slight knock.

Swansea v Oxford Utd

Swansea midfielder Coughlin returns after suspension in place of Ford in the only change, although striker McFarlane must test a calf strain. Oxford will field the side that beat Newcastle on Monday.

Watford v Wolverhampton

England Under-21 defender Holdsworth hopes to return for Watford after hamstring trouble. Putney also expects to play, but Hessenthaler has been ill and injured. Midfielder Birch (calf) and striker Mutch (hamstring) return to Wolves' starting line-up and Mountfield may also return to central defence.

West Bromwich v West Ham

Albion's Bradley has recovered from a knee injury after missing the draw at Plymouth, but another utility player, Reid, is likely to be ruled out by a hamstring injury. West Ham retain Butler with Bishop still out with an ankle injury.

Wimbledon v Everton

Wimbledon give a fitness test to Barton, who has been out for three weeks with a wrenched knee. If fit he could replace Joseph; if not Wimbledon will be unchanged. Everton are without Maurice Johnston - who will be out for four weeks after fracturing his jaw in a domestic accident - but have Ebbrell, Jackson, Snodin and Harper back after injury in a 17-man squad.

Yeovil v Arsenal

Yeovil are likely to be at full strength. Dane Jensen could return to Arsenal's midfield, with neither Parlour nor Hillier fully fit. Full-back Dixon (knee) returns after missing four games, Merson (ankle) after missing two and Adams is available having completed a two-match suspension.


Bury v Wigan

Bury will be without four key players for the visit of Wigan. Valentine and Reid are suspended, while Anderson and Robinson have knee injuries.


Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool

Bolton, unbeaten in their last 14 matches, have no injury worries. Thomas probably will be recalled to Liverpool's midfield to replace Redknapp, who is suspended, but Stewart is also in contention.

Middlesbrough v Chelsea

Boro will be without cup-tied Hignett. Falconer and Kavanagh compete to replace him in attack. Chelsea hope Harford will be fit to return to their attack after a calf strain. Clarke, out since a hernia operation in September, could replace the suspended Hall at full-back.

Nottingham Forest v Southampton

Forest may recall winger Woan, who has not been in the starting line-up for a month after injuring a hamstring. Black is likely to drop out. Southampton will be without striker Dowie, who is suspended, so Dixon will start his first match since injury cost him his place in October. Groves (Achilles tendon) will probably miss the game, while Cockerill will test a hamstring injury.