Football: Team news

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Chelsea v Ipswich Town

Spackman (hamstring) is absent for Chelsea and Hopkin, signed from Morton in a pounds 300,000 deal last month, is called into the squad. Le Saux may start his first match of the season after a lengthy lay-off with an ankle injury. Goalkeeper Baker, a free-transfer from Coventry, makes his full debut for Ipswich in place of the suspended Forrest.

Crystal Palace v Manchester City

Crystal Palace skipper Thomas is fit after a back injury, but is likely to be a substitute. Shaw has recovered from a thigh injury and replaces Humphrey at right- back. For City, Curle has flu and Vonk is on stand-by.

Everton v Coventry City

Beardsley, fit after hamstring trouble, returns to Everton's squad and Keown and Snodin, who have not played for the first team this season, are also included. Republic of Ireland Youth international Sheridan could make his Coventry debut. Gallacher and Rosario miss the match through injury.

Leeds United v Sheffield United

Cantona, recovered from tonsilitis, is likely to return to the champions' attack, with Shutt starting on the bench. Sheffield United striker Littlejohn faces a late fitness test.

Norwich City v QPR

Goalkeeper Gunn, back in training this week after the death of his two- year-old daughter from leukaemia, is included in Norwich's 15-man squad. Winger Fox is back after a six-week injury absence. Top scorer Ferdinand returns to Rangers squad but will need a fitness test on his damaged ankle.

Nottingham Forest v Arsenal

Right-back Charles makes his first appearance of the season for Forest in place of Laws. Midfielder McKinnon could return after a calf injury at defender Chettle's expense with Keane playing in central defence. Arsenal's 12 international players involved in midweek action have reported fit.

Sheffield Wednesday v Oldham

Hirst may return for Wednesday seven weeks since suffering a hairline fracture of the ankle. Right-back Nilsson (thigh) is absent. Oldham striker Marshall (thigh) is likely to miss his first game of the season, but defender Barlow is back after a two-month injury absence.

Southampton v Wimbledon

With Dixon, Hurlock and Banger all injured Southampton recall Speedie, put on the transfer list this week. Le Tissier is doubtful after an ankle operation. Jones plays for Wimbledon after completing his ban and Fashanu has recovered from a hamstring strain.

Tottenham v Middlesbrough

Barmby continues in Spurs' attack in Durie's absence. Howells and Nayim are in the squad after long-term injuries. Midfielder Pollock (hamstring) has joined a growing Boro injury list which also includes goalkeeper Ironside, replaced by Pears, Peake, Falconer and Hendrie. Proctor makes his first appearance since April.


Manchester United v Liverpool

Giggs is fit for United after recovering from a hamstring strain, but skipper Robson (calf strain) is likely to be on the bench, with Ferguson in the starting line up. Parker plays his first League match since last March. Jones is likely to return for Liverpool, although he may not be in the starting line up.

Sunderland v Newcastle United

Sunderland will be without defender Butcher (groin) and striker Byrne (thigh). Newcastle, seeking their 11th successive win, include the former Sunderland captain, Bracewell, out since the first day of the season because of an ankle injury, in their 15-man squad.