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ASTON VILLA v LIVERPOOL

Saunders makes his home debut for Villa against his former club, who will be without Rush (thigh strain). Piechnik, Liverpool's new pounds 500,000 signing, is expected to make his debut after turning out for the reserves in midweek. McManaman (back strain) misses the match and Whelan (thigh) and Stewart (hamstring) are both doubtful starters.

EVERTON v CRYSTAL PALACE

Already without Ward, who broke his leg against Blackburn in midweek, Everton will also lack Warzycha, who is away on international duty for Poland. Rideout faces a late test on a shoulder injury. The Palace captain, Thomas, is out because of a trapped nerve in his back. Palace have brought summer signings Patterson and O'Connor into their squad. Goalkeeper Martyn has passed a late fitness test after being laid low by tonsilitis.

NORWICH CITY v SHEFFIELD WED

Butterworth, the Norwich captain, returns after injury in place of Polston. Beckford is on the bench. Francis, the Wednesday player-manager, is undecided whether to select himself again, after starting against Spora Luxembourg in the UEFA Cup in midweek. If Francis does not start the match, Jemson or Watson could partner Bright, who is recalled after being ineligible for the European match. Warhurst, who left hospital yesterday after suffering a serious head injury against Spora, is a long-term absentee.

OLDHAM ATHLETIC v IPSWICH TOWN

Oldham are unchanged except on the bench, where the veteran striker Palmer is preferred to Fleming. Williams, Ipswich's record pounds 650,000 midfield signing from Derby in the summer, misses his first match for his new club because of a groin strain.

QPR v MIDDLESBROUGH

Bardsley, the Rangers defender, is still out with an ankle injury received on England duty, so Channing continues to deputise. Middlesbrough will be unchanged after last weekend's 1-0 win at Manchester City.

SHEFFIELD UNITED v ARSENAL

Goalkeeper Kelly makes his Sheffield United debut, taking over from Tracey, who is serving a one-match ban after being sent off at Tottenham two weeks ago. The Blades have recalled their other goalkeeper Kite from a loan spell at Plymouth to cover for Kelly. Flatts, a 19-year-old forward, is in line for his Arsenal debut if Limpar fails to recover from an ankle injury. Flatts is a graduate of the FA School of Excellence.

SOUTHAMPTON v LEEDS UNITED

Dixon, in search of his 200th League goal, returns after an ankle injury to lead the Southampton attack. Leeds, back from their 3-0 European Cup defeat in Stuttgart, are without both Cantona and Rod Wallace. Shutt stands by for his first full appearance since January. Dorigo has recovered from a stomach bug. Batty is set to switch back to midfield, with Newsome returning to right-back.

TOTTENHAM v MANCHESTER UTD

Spurs have several injury problems. Samways is out with damaged ankle ligaments while Durie (ankle), Sheringham (knee), Anderton (stomach) and Gray (groin) all face fitness tests. Edinburgh, Fenwick, Tuttle and Hendry are added to the 17-man squad. United make four changes from the team that drew with Torpedo Moscow in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday. Schmeichel returns in goal, Ince is back after suspension, and Ferguson Jnr and Giggs are also recalled.

WIMBLEDON v BLACKBURN ROVERS

The former Spurs striker Gibson could be back for Wimbledon after recovering from an ankle ligament injury. Dalglish, the Blackburn manager, takes his squad to London for the fourth time this season and, with an injury-free squad to pick from, will probably name the team which lost an unbeaten record to Everton in midweek.

Elsewhere. . .

Newcastle welcome back their top scorer, Peacock, for the home match with Bristol City, as they defend their 100 per cent record. Peacock has missed two games with a hamstring injury and Keegan, the Magpies' manager, has to decide how to accommodate him, as the veteran, Quinn, has scored three goals in the two matches in which he has deputised for Peacock.

TOMORROW

MANCHESTER CITY v CHELSEA

City wait for a fitness test on Vonk before naming their team. If the Dutchman is unfit, Hill could take over at right-back with Ian Brightwell moving to central defence. Quinn is serving the last game of a three-match ban. Hitchcock, who has played only one reserve game this season because of injury, competes with the new arrival from Luton, Chamberlain, for the Chelsea goalkeeper's jersey.

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