Football: Team News

Click to follow
Arsenal v Aston Villa

Arsenal's Smith (ankle) will undergo a fitness test and manager Graham insisted there was no guarantee of a return for Wright, left out in the Cup-Winners' Cup romp in midweek. The Gunners still have only 12 goals in 13 League games and are unlikely to leave their main marksman out. Houghton is in line for a Villa recall as Ron Atkinson responds to European defeat by Deportivo La Coruna. His options are limited with Staunton and Froggatt injured and Whittingham out of touch, but Houghton or Parker will replace Cowans.

Coventry City v Everton

Marsden, a 24-year-old midfielder on loan from Huddersfield, could make Premiership debut for Coventry. Rideout almost certain to replace Barlow in the Everton attack. Rideout rides in after missing three games with a troublesome groin injury but Ablett and Snodin are doubts because of a flu bug.

Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday

Ipswich's Kiwomya (thigh) and Williams (hamstring) are both doubtful; Thompson (flu), Linighan and Forrest (knee) are available. Wednesday's Casualty cast grows: Nilsson (thigh), Hyde (flu) and Sinton (head) face late checks while Sheridan, Bart-Williams, Hirst and Pearson all definitely out. Player-manager Francis, who played his first football of the season at Enfield in midweek, may be forced to consider naming himself next week when Wednesday lose striker Bright (ban) for three matches.

Leeds United v Chelsea

Rejuvenated Rocastle (calf) and Lukic (knee) fit for unchanged Leeds who aim to make it nine Premiership games without defeat. Chelsea have lost four Premiership games on the spin. Peacock (instep) returns after a three-match absence while Hitchcock makes his second appearance of the season between the posts in place of injured Kharine.

Liverpool v West Ham United

Clough has recovered from a mystery virus after missing three matches and returns to Liverpool's starting line-up. Liverpool's main doubt surrounds Dicks who had wisdom teeth removed this week and also needs a late fitness test on a knee injury. Burrows and Marsh set to face former team-mates as West Ham aim for their first Anfield victory for 30 years. Martin keeps his place after an impressive midweek show but Gale (hamstring) is ruled out.

QPR v Blackburn Rovers

Rangers have hit 15 goals in their last four home games. Defeat at Old Trafford last week was no disgrace and Wilkins is fit to orchestrate more Loftus Road goal drama against the game's big spenders. Flowers, Blackburn's pounds 2m keeper, waits to see if he gets vote over Mimms. Marker (back) doubtful but groin victims, Moran and Le Saux, are back in training, as is May (flu).

Sheffield United v Norwich City

Flo's thigh causing concern for Sheffield United but another Norwegian, Roger Nilsen, definitely plays. Bowen's run of 67 consecutive appearances for Norwich comes to an end. He is ruled out by a neck injury suffered in Wednesday's Uefa Cup match against Bayern Munich and is replaced by Ullathorne. Otherwise, the squad is unchanged from that which drew 1-1 with Bayern to go through to the third round. Norwich are averaging more than two goals a game in away matches.

Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur

Beasant, Flowers' replacement, is set to make his Southampton debut. Saints may recall Charlton (knee). Le Tissier, suddenly flavour of the month, responded to his five-match absence with brilliant braces in each of the last two games. Hazard, a bargain at pounds 50,000, goes straight into Tottenham's starting line-up which again misses the injured Sheringham and Kerslake. Calderwood (foot) faces a late test but Caskey (ban) is available again. Winger Moran (knee ligament) is out for two months.

Wimbledon v Swindon Town

Wimbledon, seeking their first Premiership win for nearly six weeks, have named an unchanged squad to combat struggling Swindon. Scales (calf), Joseph (ankle) and Blackwell (Achilles tendon) are missing while Kimble is playing on despite an ankle injury and Dobbs also missed training through injury this week. Swindon manager Gorman is likely to name an unchanged line-up. There are still slight doubts about the fitness of Fenwick (bruised spine) and Digby (infected blister on foot), but both are expected to be ready in time.


Manchester City v Manchester United

Ferguson has yet to win at Maine Road in four attempts and would see victory in the 119th Manchester derby as some consolation for United's Champions' Cup flop. United have won their last five League games. City also suffered in midweek, defeat at West Ham their first in eight games under Horton, who has told his players to beware a backlash. United, 11 points clear in their title defence, have Pallister back after injury and also recall Hughes. City have no worries, but Griffith could make his full debut and replace out-of-form Sheron.