Football in brief: Heskey's groin injury is not 'long term'


Aston Villa: Martin O'Neill has been handed an injury boost after scans revealed that that is no long-term damage to Emile Heskey's groin.

The injury forced the England striker off during Villa's 1-0 win over Stoke on 19 December but O'Neill is now hopeful Heskey will be available for at least one of their two festive games. O'Neill's side face a serious test of their top-four credentials over the next five days with the visit to Arsenal on Sunday followed by Tuesday's home game against Liverpool and the manager knows the importance of player rotation. "It is a big period for us and I am quite sure we will utilise the players in that period," he said. "I am sure it will be difficult for the team to keep going in the manner they have been doing. In any case, I bet one or two things will be enforced on us with injuries and suspensions. It can happen, in fact it will happen.

Then we will see how we cope." O'Neill's comments offer hope to his fringe players with Fabian Delph, Steve Sidwell, Nigel Reo-Coker and John Carew singled out. "They have proved themselves in the past and I am hopeful everyone will step up to the mark," O'Neill said.

Chimbonda prepared to handle festive boos

Blackburn Rovers: Pascal Chimbonda spent his Christmas Day preparing to be the most hated man in the north-west as he gets set to face former club Wigan at the DW Stadium. The French full-back infuriated Wigan by handing in a transfer request on the final day of his first season with the club, stating that he wanted to play for a bigger team. "Everytime I go back to Wigan they boo me. Maybe for them that's normal but for me it's not," he said. "When the opportunity came to go to a club on a different level I couldn't refuse it. The fans may be upset but if you are ambitious and want to play at the highest level you have to take these opportunities." Three years after leaving Wigan, his Rovers side make the trip to the DW Stadium knowing defeat would see Wigan jump above them in the table.

Moyes rallies Toffees to turn season around

Everton: David Moyes has challenged his team to kick-start a season that threatens to turn into a relegation battle should results not improve. Everton go into today's game at Sunderland just two points off the drop zone and Moyes is aware how important the festive period can be "Things can change very quickly over Christmas, with a couple of games in quick succession, and we want to make that happen," he said. "You will get someone making a push at the top. We have to make sure that is us because we are too near the trap-door for comfort at the moment." After a run of three defeats and three draws, now is the time to win. "I am frustrated with the results of late, " said Moyes. "We just need to get three points to go with the better displays."

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there