Football: Weekend guide to the Premiership programme - Sport - The Independent

Football: Weekend guide to the Premiership programme

Arsenal v Leicester City

ARSENAL'S MARC OVERMARS (groin) has declared himself fit but his manager, Arsene Wenger, may leave him on the bench. Dennis Bergkamp will lead the attack alongside Nwankwo Kanu. This week's pounds 11m French signing, Thierry Henry, might be among the substitutes. Davor Suker will not be available until mid-August. Alex Manninger deputises for David Seaman and Gilles Grimandi stands in for Tony Adams. Leicester's Tony Cottee (ankle) is doubtful. Tim Flowers makes his debut in goal.

Arsenal (from): Manninger, Dixon, Keown, Grimandi, Winterburn, Parlour, Vieira, Petit, Silvinho, Overmars, Henry, Bergkamp, Kanu, Upson, Boa Morte, Wreh, Malz, Luzhny, Vernazza, Lukic.

Leicester City (from): Flowers, Arphexad, Taggart, Walsh, Sinclair, Izzet, Lennon, Heskey, Guppy, Gunnlaugsson, Savage, Campbell, Elliott, Marshall, Fenton, Impey, Wilson, Cottee, Oakes, Zagorakis.

Suspensions: None.

Referee: A Wilkie (Chester-le-Street).

Chelsea v Sunderland

CHRIS SUTTON and Didier Deschamps are expected to make Premiership debuts for Chelsea. Mario Melchiot, Bernard Lambourde and long-term casualty Pierluigi Casiraghi are all out injured. Roberto Di Matteo, Celestine Babayaro, Gustavo Poyet, Bjarne Goldbaek, Jody Morris and Dan Petrescu are competing for midfield places alongside Deschamps and captain Dennis Wise. Sunderland's John Oster will come into contention for a place after a pounds 1m move from Everton (subject to medical). Stefan Schwarz and Thomas Helmer might make the bench.

Chelsea (from): De Goey, Hitchcock, Cudicini, Leboeuf, Desailly, Le Saux, Ferrer, Hogh, Terry, Babayaro, Petrescu, Di Matteo, Poyet, Wise, Goldbaek, Deschamps, Morris, Nicholls, Sutton, Zola, Flo, Forssell.

Sunderland (from): Sorensen, Makin, Gray, Bould, Butler, Ball, Rae, Oster, Summerbee, Lumsdon, Phillips, Quinn, Williams, Craddock, Marriott, Helmer, Schwarz.

Suspensions: Sunderland: Holloway.

Referee: M Riley (Leeds).

Coventry City v Southampton

COVENTRY'S MOROCCANS Mustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo will make their debuts against their international team-mate Hassan Kachloul of Southampton. Noel Whelan and Darren Huckerby should start up front for the Sky Blues. Southampton will have Egil Ostenstad partnering Marians Pahars in attack after James Beattie broke two ribs in a fall at his home this week. Dean Richards starts alongside Claus Lundekvam in the centre of defence. Matt Le Tissier is expected to play alongside Chris Marsden, Kachloul and Mark Hughes in midfield.

Coventry (from): Hedman, Edworthy, Shaw, Williams, Konjic, Burrows, M Hall, Froggatt, Telfer, McAllister, Hadji, Chippo, Whelan, Aloisi, Huckerby, Nuzzo, Normann.

Southampton (from): Jones, Dodd, Benali, Richards, Lundekvam, Hughes, Le Tissier, Marsden, Kachloul, Ostenstad, Pahars, Hiley, Colleter, Almeida, Oakley, Ripley, Bradley, Rodrigues, Moss.

Suspensions: None.

Referee: G Willard (Worthing).

Leeds United v Derby County

LEEDS' MANAGER David O'Leary has virtually a full squad to select from. Only centre-back Robert Molenaar (knee) is out, while new signing Eirik Bakke (ankle) is doubtful. Michael Bridges should partner Alan Smith up front. Derby's Esteban Fuertes did not receive international clearance from the Argentinian FA to play. Seth Johnson will make his bow at Elland Road following his pounds 2.5m move from Crewe. Lars Bohinen (knee) and Igor Stimac, who is short of match fitness, will be missing.

Leeds (from): Martyn, Kelly, Harte, Haaland, Radebe, Woodgate, Hopkin, Bridges, Kewell, Bowyer, Smith, McPhail, Ribeiro, Mills, Bakke, Jones, Hiden, Duberry, Batty, Robinson.

Derby (from): Poom, Borbokis, Delap, Schnoor, Dorigo, Laursen, Carbonari, Prior, Elliott, Eranio, Baiano, Johnson, Powell, Sturridge, Beck, Burton, Harper, Hoult.

Suspensions: None.

Referee: G Barber (Pyrford, Surrey).

Middlesbrough v Bradford City

MIDDLESBROUGH WILL wait on the fitness of new signings Paul Ince and Christian Ziege before picking a side. Defenders Gary Pallister and Gianluca Festa are given a 50-50 chance of recovering from injury to take their places. Bradford's Dean Saunders has recieved international clearance to make his debut after signing from Benfica on Thursday. Jewell is without five other players, though, as Stuart McCall (knee), Lee Sharpe (ankle), Isaiah Rankin (hamstring), Jamie Lawrence and Andy Myers (both groin) are all injured.

Middlesbrough (from): Schwarzer, Roberts, Stockdale, Stamp, Festa, Vickers, Pallister, Ince, Gordon, Ziege, O'Neill, Mustoe, Townsend, Gascoigne, Maddison, Summerbell, Campbell, Armstrong, Ricard, Deane.

Bradford City (from): Walsh, Wright, Wetherall, Westwood, Whalley, Dreyer, Halle, O'Brien, Moore, Jacobs, Todd, Beagrie, Redfearn, Windass, Saunders, Blake, Mills, Clarke.

Suspensions: Bradford: Westwood, Watson.

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe).

Newcastle United v Aston Villa

NEWCASTLE'S NEW midfielder Kieron Dyer is fighting to be fit for the curtain-raiser. The pounds 6m signing from Ipswich is recovering from a muscle strain, while Duncan Ferguson, Stephen Glass and Shay Given are ruled out through injury.

Mark Delaney, a pounds 350,000 signing from Cardiff, takes a big step up for Villa by filling in for pounds 4m signing Steve Watson, who misses the chance to play against his former club because he is suspended. Villa will hand debuts to summer signings David James and George Boateng, while the Israeli international Naguan Garayeb is likely to start on the bench.

Newcastle (from): Harper, Perez, Charvet, Barton, Domi, Goma, Marcelino, Dumas, Speed, Dyer, Maric, Solano, Shearer, Ketsbaia, Serrant, Hughes, Robinson.

Aston Villa (from): James, Delaney, Calderwood, Southgate, Barry, Ehiogu, Wright, Garayeb, Boateng, Taylor, Stone, Thompson, Merson, Hendrie, Dublin, Joachim, Vassell, Oakes.

Suspensions: Newcastle: Griffin. Aston Villa: Watson.

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield).

Sheff Wed v Liverpool

LIVERPOOL COULD hand out half a dozen Premiership debuts at Hillsborough. With only Michael Owen and pounds 3.5m new centre-back Stephane Henchoz out injured, their manager Gerard Houllier can unveil pounds 21m of new talent. Sander Westerveld, Sami Hyypia, Titi Camara, Dietmar Hamann and Vladimir Smicer are virtually certain to start, with Erik Meijer on the bench.

Sheffield Wednesday's manager Danny Wilson will wait until this morning before seeing if midfielder Wim Jonk returns from compassionate leave after the death of his father-in-law.

Sheffield Wednesday (from): Srnicek, Atherton, Jonk, Walker, Carbone, Booth, Humphreys, Hinchcliffe, Cresswell, Emerson, Rudi, Alexandersson, Sonner, Donnelly, Sibon, De Bilde, Pressman.

Liverpool (from): Westerveld, Heggem, Hyppia, Carragher, Matteo, Smicer, Redknapp, Hamann, Berger, Fowler, Camara, Gerrard, Thompson, Meijer, Nielsen, Song, Staunton, Riedle.

Suspensions: Sheffield Wednesday: Atherton

Referee: G Poll (Tring).

Watford v Wimbledon

NICK WRIGHT and Allan Smart, the goalscorers in the play-off win over Bolton that sealed Watford's return to the top flight, will miss the season's opener. The pair both have niggling injuries. Three other players miss out for Graham Taylor's side. Goalkeeper Alec Chamberlain has a dislocated finger and Micah Hyde and Paul Robinson are also on the casualty list.

Wimbledon have their problems with injuries to defender Ben Thatcher and midfielder Gareth Ainsworth. Signings Kelvin Davis, Tore Pedersen and Chris Wilmott are included in the squad.

Watford (from): Day, Lyttle, Page, Palmer, Iroha, Millen, Williams, Perpetuini, Gibbs, Bonnot, Gudmundsson, R Johnson, Kennedy, Foley, Mooney, Smith, Ngonge.

Wimbledon (from): Sullivan, Cunningham, Kimble, Blackwell, Pedersen, Willmott, Earle, C Hughes, Ardley, Roberts, M Hughes, Euell, Francis, Gayle, Cort, Ekoku, Hartson, Leaburn, Davis.

Suspensions: None.

Referee: S Lodge (Barnsley).

West Ham United v Tottenham

TOTTENHAM'S pounds 3m signing Oyvind Leonhardsen is set to make his debut for Tottenham at Upton Park. The Norwegian midfielder is in line to take the place of German Steffen Freund, who has been struggling with an ankle injury. Chris Perry, Spurs' pounds 4m capture from Wimbledon, looks likely to make his debut.

Stuart Pearce captains West Ham following his signing on a one-year deal from Newcastle and is likely to line up in a back three alongside namesake Ian and Rio Ferdinand.

West Ham (from): Hislop, Ferdinand, I Pearce, S Pearce, Minto, Sinclair, Lampard, Foe, Keller, Di Canio, Kitson, Wanchope, Potts, Cole, Forrest, Carrick, Abou, Omoyimni, Holligan, Alexander, Iriekpen.

Tottenham (from): Walker; Carr, Perry, Campbell, Taricco, Edinburgh, Scales, Young, Leonhardsen, Korsten, Nielsen, Anderton, Sherwood, Freund, Gower, Ginola, Iversen, Dominguez, Ferdinand, Fox, Baardsen (gk).

Suspensions: West Ham: Lomas, Moncur, Wright.

Referee: P Durkin (Portland, Dorset).

TOMORROW

THE DEFENDER Jaap Stam is the treble winners' biggest concern for their trip to Goodison tomorrow. Sir Alex Ferguson was due to make a late decision on Stam, who has a leg injury. If he is not fit club captain Roy Keane, who is back to fitness, could fill in. Philip Neville will take over from his injured brother Gary at full-back.

Everton's pounds 800,000 signing, Mark Pembridge, could start on the bench, while Paul Gerrard is favourite to take over in goal from broken leg victim Thomas Myhre.

Everton (from): Gerrard, Weir, Gough, Watson, Unsworth, Ball, Barmby, Hutchison, Collins, Campbell, Jeffers, Pembridge, Simonsen, Dunne, Phelan, Cleland, Cadamarteri, Ward, Degn.

Manchester United (from): Bosnich, P Neville, Berg, Stam, Irwin, Beckham, Keane, Butt, Scholes, Cruyff, Yorke, Cole, Solskjaer, Sheringham, Greening, Curtis, Wilson, Van der Gouw.

Suspensions: None.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury).

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