FOOTBALL: TEAM-BY TEAM GUIDE TO TODAY'S GAMES
Friday 26 December 1997
Last year: 2-0
Bergkamp 12 Leading scorer Marshall 7
Arsenal will be without Adams, who is out for a month with a back injury, while midfielder Petit is suspended and striker Wright plays his final game before a two-match ban. Leicester manager Martin O'Neill is set to name an unchanged side. Cottee could be called back from his loan spell at Birmingham.
Aston Villa v Tottenham
Last year: 1-1
Yorke, Taylor 6 Leading scorer Ginola 7
Villa will check on the fitness of Southgate, Staunton and Oakes, who were laid low with a virus in the early part of the week. For Spurs. Ferdinand has recovered from a virus which forced him to miss the second- half against Barnsley last Saturday. Klinsmann will not make his Spurs debut second time around at Villa Park as he will be with his family in Genoa.
Bolton v Barnsley
Last year: 2-2
Blake 9 Leading scorer Redfearn 8
Fish, back from S Africa duty, and Taggart, who has recovered from a groin injury on the back of a six-game ban, are in contention. Whitlow is on standby to replace Phillips. Holdsworth and Thompson are suspended, and keeper Branagan is hoping to earn a recall despite a groin injury. Barnsley will have a fully-fit squad, with the exception of Davis, and Yugoslav midfielder Bosancic should play.
Chelsea v Wimbledon
Last year: 2-4
Vialli 11 Leading scorer Cort 6
Chelsea will be without injured Babayaro and suspended Mark Hughes, but if Morris shakes off flu, manager Ruud Gullit will have the rest of his squad to choose from. Wimbledon will be without suspended duo Perry and Ceri Hughes. Strikers Ekoku, Euell and Goodman and defender McAllister are injured.
C Palace v Southampton
Last year: no fixture
Shipperly 5 Leading scorer Davies 10
Palace could welcome back striker Dyer and Shipperley but wing- back Smith and Italians Lombardo and Padovano are doubtful with injury. Edworthy is suspended. Southampton have Ostenstad, who has not started a game for more than two months, on standby to return in place of Davies who is doubtful because of a thigh injury. Midfielder Slater is available for the first time in three weeks.
Derby v Newcastle
Last year: 0-1
Baiano 11 Leading scorer Barnes, Asprilla 6
Sturridge returns to the Rams' attack after recovering from a strained hamstring but Danish defender Laursen is still under treatment for a knee injury. Newcastle look certain to be without Albert and skipper Lee. Albert injured his hamstring against Manchester United last week while Lee has been struggling for a month with a calf injury
Liverpool v Leeds
Last year: 4-0
Fowler, Owen 9 Leading scorer Wallace 10
Liverpool captain Ince is fighting to be fit after a groin problem kept him out of the last two Premiership matches. Carragher will stand in if he fails a fitness test. Leeds centre back Radebe completes a two- match ban, which provides another chance for Molenaar. Kewell will come into contention if he recovers from a knee injury. Hasselbaink will continue to partner Wallace if Kewell is kept waiting.
Man Utd v Everton
Last year: 2-2
Cole 16 Leading scorer Speed 6
United boss Alex Ferguson seems certain to stick with the squad that travelled to Newcastle. May is having treatment on a knee injury. For Everton, Williamson could be back after an ankle problem kept him out at Leicester last Saturday. Duncan Ferguson completes his three-match ban while Bilic still has three more games to go. Watson (knee) and Speed (ankle) are doubtful starters.
Sheff Wed v Blackburn
Last year: 1-0
Di Canio 9 Leading scorer Sutton 12
Wednesday have skipper Atherton back from suspension but record signing Di Canio starts a two-match ban and fellow Italian Carbone is likely to replace him. Blackburn striker Sutton is available after a one- match ban. Young Irish striker Duff or winger Wilcox will be demoted to the substitutes' bench to make way for Sutton. Hendry faces a late fitness test after a virus.
West Ham v Coventry
Last year: 1-1
Hartson 17 Leading scorer Dublin 8
West Ham have received clearance to enable French goalkeeper Lama to join the squad. Australian winger Lazaridis is backafter international duty. Coventry striker Dublin is likely to line up at centre-back again alongside Shaw. Breen, Williams and Burrows are suspended, McAllister and Salako are on the long-term injury list and now Nilsson (ankle) and Hall (flu) are doubtful.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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