Football: Weekend guide to the Premiership

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Leeds United v Newcastle United

Last season 0-1

By Gordon Tynan

DARREN HUCKERBY is hoping to score against a second former club in three weeks today when his Leeds side play hosts to Newcastle. Huckerby broke his scoring duck for his new club a fortnight ago in the 4-3 win at Coventry, having left Highfield Road in the summer to sign for Leeds in a pounds 4.5m deal. Today he takes on another of his old sides in Newcastle, and Huckerby is determined to end Bobby Robson's honeymoon period.

Newcastle travel to Leeds on the back of last Sunday's 8-0 rout of Sheffield Wednesday, with Alan Shearer having hit back at his critics with five goals. Huckerby, who only made two substitute appearances in a year-long stint at St James' Park following a pounds 400,000 move from Lincoln in November 1995, is still confident Leeds can prevail today.

"It would round off a fantastic week for me if I get the full 90 minutes against Newcastle on top of becoming a father and scoring for the reserve team in midweek," said Huckerby, who became a father for for the first time this week. "Playing against your old side anyway is always a boost. I know I was really fired up for the game against Coventry. I was ecstatic when I scored that goal."

One of the reasons that Huckerby never managed to make a name for himself at Newcastle was due to the number of strikers at the club at the time. One of those was Shearer who arrived - for what was then a world-record pounds 15m transfer fee - four months before Huckerby moved on to Coventry.

"Newcastle couldn't be in hotter form, but this would still be a hard game even if they hadn't scored eight last week," O' Leary said. "But we've four wins on the bounce and I'm delighted with that, and with people who are scoring goals from all over the pitch and long may that continue."

Midfielder David Hopkin is O'Leary's only doubt. The Scottish international sustained a dead leg during the win over Middlesbrough last Saturday. Young striker Michael Bridges is fit despite picking up a groin strain in the same match, but O'Leary is again without Michael Duberry (thigh) and Stephen McPhail (ankle), while Martin Hiden is out with a rib injury sustained in the midweek reserve game with Boro. David Batty (left) joins Huckerby in facing a former club.

Newcastle's Rob Lee is doubtful after picking up a calf injury in training. The Spanish defender, Marcelino, could return from a thigh injury which has limited him to just two games so far this season in the absence of the suspended Nikos Dabizas. Striker Duncan Ferguson is out for up to three weeks with the hamstring problem he picked up against CSKA Sofia, but Robson will certainly be able to call on Shearer and his England team- mate Kieron Dyer (right).

LEEDS UNITED (from): Martyn, Kelly, Harte, Haaland, Radebe, Woodgate, Hopkin, Bridges, Kewell, Bowyer, Huckerby, Ribeiro, Smith, Mills, Bakke, Jones, Batty, Hay, Robinson.

NEWCASTLE UNITED (from): Harper, Karelse, Barton, Domi, Goma, Marcelino, Hughes, Beharall, Solano, Speed, Lee, Dyer, Shearer, Ketsbaia, Robinson, McClen, Maric

Suspension: Newcastle: Dabizas.

Leading scorers: Leeds: Bridges (5). Newcastle: Shearer (6).

Referee: B Knight.

Arsenal v Watford

Last season: No fixture

ALEX MANNINGER will continue in goal for Arsenal even though the England goalkeeper, David Seaman, is fit again after a thigh injury that has kept him out so far this season. Manager Arsene Wenger is ready to make other changes in the side which beat AIK Solna in the Champions' League on Wednesday, with midfielder Gilles Grimandi out after damaging a thigh muscle in that game. Dennis Bergkamp, who will travel by train to next Wednesday's date in Barcelona, could also be rested, with Kanu likely to return to the starting line-up along with winger Ray Parlour.

Watford's record signing Nordin Wooter will be fit to lead the line for the Hornets. The pounds 975,000 Dutch striker, signed from Real Zaragoza last week, made a huge impact on his debut against Chelsea, setting up the winner for Allan Smart as the Premiership's minnows surprised Gianluca Vialli's big fish. Wooter's fellow striker Tommy Mooney, however, has not recovered from a knee injury picked up against Chelsea and will not play. A ray of hope for Watford, if they need one, can be found in the fact that Arsenal have failed to score in five of the last six meetings between the sides.

ARSENAL (from): Manninger, Dixon, Luzhny, Keown, Adams, Winterburn, Silvinho, Parlour, Vieira, Malz, Ljungberg, Overmars, Henry, Kanu, Suker, Bergkamp, Upson, Vivas, Lukic.

WATFORD (from): Chamberlain, Lyttle, Williams, Page, Robinson, Gibbs, Hyde, Kennedy, Palmer, Easton, Bonnot, Wright, Smart, Wooter, Ngonge, Foley, Perpetuini, Brooker, Day.

Suspension: Arsenal: Pennant.

Leading scorers: Arsenal: Bergkamp, Kanu, Suker (2). Watford: Mooney (2).

Referee: P Durkin.

Coventry v West Ham

Last season: 0-0

ROBBIE KEANE returns to lead Coventry's attack after being cup- tied for the midweek game against Tranmere, which saw the Sky Blues go out of the Worthington Cup. The Irishman has scored eight goals in nine games for club and country and the Sky Blues will be hoping he can maintain his rich vein of form. Keane scored two goals in two matches for Wolverhampton Wanderers, two in two for the Republic of Ireland and has four in five games for Coventry. Keane's fellow strikers Noel Whelan and John Aloisi will miss the match through injuries however. Carlton Palmer, on loan from Nottingham Forest, makes his Premiership debut for Coventry. Swedish goalkeeper Magnus Hedman is expected to be fit to take over from teenager Chris Kirkland.

West Ham have huge injury problems with centre-half Javier Margas being added to an injury list that already includes Stuart and Ian Pearce, Rio Ferdinand, and Neil Ruddock at the back. In addition, Joe Cole and Scott Minto are also still out of the reckoning. West Ham have only lost one of their six Premier League matches at Coventry.

COVENTRY CITY (from): Chamberlain, Lyttle, Williams, Page, Robinson, Gibbs, Hyde, Kennedy, Palmer, Easton, Bonnot, Wright, Smart, Wooter, Ngonge, Foley, Perpetuini, Brooker, Day.

WEST HAM UNITED (from): Hislop, Stimac, Potts, Lampard, Lomas, Foe, Sinclair, Keller, Moncur, Wanchope, Di Canio, Newton, Coyne, Carrick, Kitson, Angus, Forbes, Etherington, Iriekpen, Forrest.

Suspension: Coventry: Burrows.

Leading scorers: Coventry: Keane (6). West Ham: Di Canio (3).

Referee: D Elleray.

Derby v Bradford

Last season: No fixture

DEAN STURRIDGE is due to be given a starting place for Derby today after coming off the bench to score in midweek. Striker Sturridge scored his second goal of the season against Swansea on Wednesday and will line up alongside Esteban Fuertes at Pride Park. Lars Bohinen has been suspended by manager Jim Smith, so Rory Delap - used as a forward and a centre-back in the Worthington Cup - should line up in midfield alongside the recalled Seth Johnson in the likely absence of new captain Darryl Powell (knee). Horacio Carbonari is back at the heart of the Derby defence in place of the injured Jacob Laursen, who has an ankle injury, and Steve Elliott may make his first league start of the season. Deon Burton and Stefano Eranio are both still out with hamstring problems.

Bradford manager Paul Jewell's casualty list has now risen to four due to an ankle injury to Neil Redfearn. The midfielder has yet to recover from the problem sustained in training a week ago and joins Jamie Lawrence, Isaiah Rankin and Lee Sharpe on the injury list. Defender Darren Moore is the only other doubt ahead of the trip to the Midlands.

DERBY COUNTY (from): Hoult, Prior, Carbonari, Elliott, Borbokis, Delap, Powell, Johnson, Dorigo, Baiano, Sturridge, Fuertes, Schnoor, Harper, Beck, Murray, Christie, Knight.

BRADFORD CITY (from): Walsh, Wright, Myers, McCall, Wetherall, Westwood, Blake, Mills, Whalley, Beagrie, O'Brien, Windass, Halle, Dreyer, Moore, Jacobs, Saunders, Rodriguez, Clarke.

Suspensions: None.

Leading scorers: Derby: Delap (2). Bradford: Beagrie, McCall, Saunders (1).

Referee: M Halsey.

Leicester v Aston Villa

Last season: 2-2

LEICESTER'S GOALKEEPER Tim Flowers is in line for a surprise return to the side. The former Blackburn player has made rapid progress from a rib injury he picked up against Crystal Palace last week and should start. Matt Elliott, Steve Guppy, Muzzy Izzet and Tony Cottee will all return after being rested in midweek but Gerry Taggart is out through suspension.

The Aston Villa striker Julian Joachim is hoping to win a recall to the side to face his old club. The former England Under-21 international, who joined Villa from Leicester in a pounds 1.5m deal four years ago, was left out of the starting line-up for the Worthington Cup victory over Chester City. His place was taken by Darius Vassell, who could retain his starting spot if he can shake off a slight hamstring strain. Right-back Mark Delaney, who has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury, is hoping to return. David James and Alan Wright could miss their fourth successive games due to their injury problems. Villa are seeking to record their first-ever Premiership win over Leicester as they go in search of a fourth successive victory.

LEICESTER CITY (from): Flowers, Arphexad, Sinclair, Elliott, Gilchrist, Impey, Savage, Lennon, Izzet, Guppy, Cottee, Heskey, Marshall, Zagorakis, Wilson, Fenton, Oakes, Dudfield.

ASTON VILLA (from): Enckelman, Watson, Delaney, Ehiogu, Southgate, Barry, Taylor, Boateng, Thompson, Hendrie, Joachim, Vassell, Dublin, Oakes, Merson, Calderwood, Samuel, Stone.

Suspension: Leicester: Taggart.

Leading scorers: Leicester: Heskey (4). Villa: Dublin (5).

Referee: J Winter.

Man Utd v Southampton

Last season: 2-1

ROY KEANE (knee) and Andy Cole (suspended) will be missing for Manchester United. Nicky Butt could return from his groin injury, while Massimo Taibi and Mickael Silvestre are available again. The Italian will replace Raimond van der Gouw in goal.

Southampton's Latvian international, Marians Pahars, is doubtful with the virus that has kept him out for the last week. Kevin Davies has still not recovered from an ankle injury and Luis Boa Morte (suspended) is unavailable. Marco Almeida is out with a thigh problem while Hassan Kachloul, faces a late fitness test on a dead leg. Matt Le Tissier is in contention for a place despite suffering a split lip after being punched in a reserve team game this week. Claus Lundekvam is hopeful of recovering from ankle trouble.

MANCHESTER UNITED (from): Taibi, Irwin, Berg, Stam, Silvestre, Beckham, Scholes, P Neville, Cruyff, Solskjaer, Yorke, Sheringham, Butt/Wilson, Fortune, Greening, Clegg, Bosnich/Van der Gouw.

SOUTHAMPTON (from): Jones, Dodd, Benali, Lundekvam, Richards, Soltvedt, M Hughes, Bridge, Oakley, Kachloul, Beattie, Le Tissier, Marsden, Colleter, Pahars, Hiley, Moss.

Suspensions: United: Johnson, Cole. Saints: Boa Morte.

Leading scorers: United: Cole (6). Saints: Kachloul (4).

Referee: S Dunn.

Middlesbrough v Chelsea

Last season: 0-0

THE BRAZILIAN midfielder, Juninho, and the former England midfielder, Paul Gascoigne, are both in the Middlesbrough squad for the visit of Chelsea. Juninho made his second debut for the club in the 2-1 Worthington Cup win over Chesterfield on Tuesday night, while Gascoigne has recovered from a calf injury to take his place in the 18-man squad.

Chelsea's manager, Gianluca Vialli, has no major injury concerns after his side lost in the Champions' League this week. Mikael Forssell is the only notable absentee having returned to Finland to sit an A-Level examination. Vialli confirmed he expects to welcome back Roberto Di Matteo in the "very near future."

MIDDLESBROUGH (from): Schwarzer, Roberts, Stockdale, Fleming, Vickers, Festa, Pallister, Cooper, Ziege, Mustoe, Gascoigne, Ince, O'Neill, Maddison, Juninho, Deane, Armstrong, Ricard.

CHELSEA (from): Ambrosetti, Petrescu, Zola, Leboeuf, De Goey, Babayaro, Desailly, Poyet, Flo, Sutton, Wise, Le Saux, Cudicini, Goldbaek, Hitchcock, Hogh, Ferrer, Deschamps, Lambourde, Morris, Terry.

Suspensions: None.

Leading scorers: Boro: Deane, Ricard (3). Chelsea: Poyet (2).

Referee: P Alcock.

Sunderland v Sheff Wed

Last season: No fixture

SUNDERLAND WILL revert to their normal line-up for today's game. Only Michael Gray and Paul Butler of the recognised team started in the 5-0 Worthington Cup win at Walsall in midweek. Kevin Phillips, who scored a hat-trick in last Saturday's 5-0 win at Derby, missed training earlier in the week with a thigh strain but returns to partner Niall Quinn in attack.

Sheffield Wednesday's Italian striker Benito Carbone is missing again, this time with the flu. Carbone joins Wim Jonk, Andy Hinchcliffe, Peter Atherton, Jon Newsome, Phillip Scott and Phil O'Donnell - all injured - on the injury list. Goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek is certain to keep his place in the side ahead of Kevin Pressman as Wednesday go in search of their first win of the season.

SUNDERLAND (from): Sorensen, Makin, Gray, Butler, Bould, Summerbee, Ball, McCann, Schwarz, Quinn, Phillips, Dichio, Fredgaard, Williams, Rae, Oster, Marriott.

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY (from): Srnicek, Emerson, Walker, Sonner, Sibon, Booth, Cresswell, Rudi, Alexandersson, Nolan, Donnelly, Briscoe, Haslam, de Bilde, McKeever, Hamshaw, Morrison, Pressman.

Suspensions: None.

Leading scorers: Sunderland: Phillips (8). Wednesday: Carbone (2).

Referee: A Wiley.

Tomorrow's Match (sky 4pm)

Wimbledon v Tottenham

Last season: 3-1

WIMBLEDON'S MARCUS GAYLE and Michael Hughes are both fit for tomorrow's game after injury worries. Gareth Ainsworth (knee) who has only just reclaimed his first-team place after a lengthy injury, will miss another month's action.

Tottenham's Les Ferdinand has finally shrugged off an ankle injury and returns to the squad. The former England striker has been out for two weeks since damaging his ankle at Bradford. The injured defenders Ramon Vega and John Scales are both back in training but not yet ready to return. Sol Campbell is making progress after spending the week at Lilleshall but is also not yet ready.

WIMBLEDON (from): Sullivan, Cunningham, Kimble, Roberts, Blackwell, Thatcher, Cort, Earle, Hartson, Euell, Gayle, Ardley, Pedersen, Leaburn, Hughes, Wadir, Jupp, Andersen, Davis.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (from): Walker, Carr, Taricco, Freund, Perry, Sherwood, Ferdinand, Iversen, Edinburgh, Ginola, Armstrong, Leonhardsen, Young, Dominguez, Nielsen, Clemence, King, Fox, Baardsen.

Suspensions: None.

Leading scorers: Wimbledon: Cort (3). Spurs: Iversen, Leonhardsen (3).

Referee: G Poll.

Monday's Match (sky 8pm)

Liverpool v Everton

Last season: 3-2

EVERTON GO into the 161st derby ahead of Liverpool in the Premiership table, but their manager, Walter Smith, still refuses to accept that they should be the favourites. "I had two derbies last season and we haven't won one yet, now I have another opportunity on Monday," Smith said. "League position doesn't become a factor in derbies. Reaching the required level of commitment is what is important." Liverpool go into the game with the better recent form, having beaten Hull 4-2 in midweek in the Worthington Cup to record a 9-3 aggregate win. Everton could not have fared worse in their Worthington Cup match against Second Division Oxford United. They lost 1-0 on the night to be eliminated 2-1 on aggregate.

SQUADS: To be announced.

Suspensions: None.

Leading scorers: Liverpool: Berger, Camara, Fowler (2). Everton: Jeffers, Unsworth (3).

Referee: M Riley.

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