Football: Villa may face FA charge

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The Independent Online
ASTON VILLA could be charged by the Football Association with fielding a weakened side against relegation-threatened Manchester City.

For Tuesday night's match at Villa Park, Ron Atkinson made seven changes to the one beaten in the FA Cup by First Division Bolton on Sunday. The Premier League may now take action following a game which ended in a goalless draw and saw City move out of the bottom three.

With Villa facing a tough task to overturn a 3-1 deficit in Sunday's second leg of the Coca-Cola Cup semi-final against Tranmere, Atkinson has left himself open to accusations of saving key men. Mike Foster, the Premier League spokesman, said yesterday: 'If any club near the bottom feels strongly about what has happened they can register a complaint. In any case we will be examining Aston Villa's team.'

The Everton manager, Mike Walker, will attend a Premier League hearing on 17 March over his departure from Norwich. The Canaries chairman, Robert Chase, alleges that an improper approach was made to entice Walker away from Carrow Road early last month.

Teddy Sheringham, the Tottenham striker, has been told he must have another operation on his damaged knee.