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Coventry City v Ipswich Town

McGrath could be on the bench five weeks after cartilage surgery, but otherwise Coventry will be unchanged. The Ipswich midfield pair, Williams and Palmer, are ruled out for a second successive match with thigh injuries.

Crystal Palace v Sheffield Utd

The Eagles' youth international winger, Ndah, retains his place, while Armstrong (cup-tied midweek) returns to lead the attack. Williams (knee) is out. The right-back, Gage, should be restored to the Blades' side after illness.

Leeds Utd v Nottingham Forest

Chapman celebrates his 33rd birthday hoping to maintain a scoring record that has seen him hit the target in all but one of Leeds' eight home Premier League games. For the visitors, cup-tied Webb returns in place of Black.

Middlesbrough v Blackburn

Hignett, the pounds 500,000 recruit from Crewe, is hoping to shake off an ankle knock in time to make his home debut, but Kernaghan, Phillips and Falconer are out and Fleming, Hendrie and Mustoe are under treatment. For Rovers, Shearer, substituted after scoring against QPR last week, has recovered from his ankle injury.

Norwich City v Wimbledon

Norwich, five points clear at the top, are unchanged as they look to improve a poor record against the Dons: one win in 14 meetings. The visitors await tests on Jones (twisted ankle), Scales (groin) and Segers (back).

Queen's Park Rangers v Oldham

Rangers recall the England Under-21 striker, Allen, to their squad. The Latics may have to rely on an untried goalkeeper, Gerrard, 19, as Keeley has joined Hallworth in the treatment room. Pointon (hamstring) and Olney (flu) are also doubtful, but Barlow, out since the opening week of the season with damaged knee ligaments, is back.

Sheffield Wed v Aston Villa

The Owls await verdicts on two men with hamstring injuries: Palmer and Wilson. Villa's Houghton also has a hamstring problem and Parker has a torn stomach muscle; Cox, Breitkreutz and Yorke are on standby.

Southampton v Arsenal

The Saints name an unchanged team for a fifth successive game - so there is no starting place for Groves against his old club; he competes with Banger, Dodd and Widdrington for a place on the bench. Jensen should return to the Arsenal midfield.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea

Anderton, out for five weeks after a hernia operation, is in a 16-man Spurs squad which also includes Campbell, an 18-year-old former School of Excellence pupil. Gray, Sedgley, Allen, Durie and Howells are out. Chelsea's target man, Harford, starts a three-match ban, while Myers is in the squad for the first time this season.

Elsewhere . . .

Newcastle, the First Division leaders, welcome back Sheedy and Howey at Notts County . . . Brentford, at Birmingham, hope that Blissett will be in the right frame of mind for action, after this week's courtroom distractions.

TOMORROW

Man Utd v Man City

Old Trafford waits to see if Cantona will be given a full League debut - manager Ferguson may be more concerned over injury problems for Robson, Ince and Sharpe. City's Ian Brightwell is doubtful with a gashed shin.

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