Today in the Premier League

Click to follow
The Independent Football


Defender Bacary Sagna said the Gunners are not looking too far ahead following the 2-0 win in Milan this week. "It was a great night," he said. "Now we will try to win what we can win. We'll just go from game to game now. It will be difficult to pass through the next level but we can do it."

Aston Villa

Craig Gardner said manager Martin O'Neill has fostered a sense of unity in the Villa Park squad. "We are a close unit and we're in it for each other," he said. "We might not be as showy as some teams, but inside the dressing room and on the pitch we're there for each other. That's what the gaffer has instilled."

Birmingham City

Striker Mikael Forssell said he is relieved to see his form make the headlines rather than his numerous knee injuries. "I'm asked about my injuries but I don't want to think about it any more," the Finland international said. "I've actually been back from that for about two and a half years."

Blackburn Rovers

The midfielder David Dunn could return for the visit of Fulham this weekend after missing the victory at Newcastle last week with a calf injury. "I do not think he will be out for any length of time," the Rovers manager Mark Hughes said. "Hopefully he will be available this week."

Bolton Wanderers

The captain Kevin Nolan is a doubt for the Uefa Cup visit of Sporting Lisbon tonight with a back problem. Striker El Hadji Diouf misses out through suspension, while Grzegorz Raziak, Gretar Steinsson and Tamir Cohen are all ineligible.

Probable team (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Cahill, Campo, A O'Brien, Meite; Campo, J O'Brien, Guthrie, Taylor; Helguson, Davies.


The youth team captain Nana Ofori-Twumasi hopes for a big crowd at Stamford Bridge for tomorrow's FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg against Aston Villa. "It would be brilliant," he said. "We have done well so far to get where we are and we would be grateful to have the fans behind us, cheering us on to do even better."

Derby County

Giles Barnes could be out for the remainder of the season after sustaining a knee injury in training last week. "It is a bad blow for the lad," the manager Paul Jewell said. "Hopefully with rehabilitation he will be back sooner rather than later but it wouldn't make sense to rush anyone back."


The manager David Moyes may play Yakubu alone up front for the Uefa Cup last-16 first leg trip to Fiorentina tonight. Midfielder Mikel Arteta could return after recovering from a groin problem.

Probable team (4-5-1): Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Yobo; Pienaar, Cahill, Arteta, Neville, Osman; Yakubu.


Striker Erik Nevland said he is relishing the competition for places at Craven Cottage after joining from Groningen in January. "I am looking forward to the challenge," the 30-year-old said. "There is a lot more competition for places here and I hope I can get make an important contribution."


The Reds manager Rafael Benitez believes the Netherlands forward Ryan Babel can go on to emulate countryman Dennis Bergkamp. "Yes, clearly he has the potential," Benitez said of the 21-year-old striker. "He has pace and ability, and also a good mentality."

Manchester City

Nery Castillo and Felipe Caicedo could both feature at Reading this weekend although manager Sven Goran Eriksson believes their best is yet to come. "We may not see their best until next year," Eriksson said. "Both could play an important part in what we are trying to do."

Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson has praised Ben Foster's determination to recover from a knee injury on the eve of the goalkeeper's potential return for the reserves against Middlesbrough. "Most of the work has been done by himself," he said. "You have to get down to it, work hard and not take days off."


Chris Riggott said he would consider making a move to Stoke permanent after joining the Potters on loan last week. "I'm excited by the thought of playing again," he said. "I wouldn't rule out a move, but for the short term, I just want to get my first game out of the way."

Newcastle United

Shay Given said he was frustrated at a recurrence of his groin injury. "We have to get to the bottom of this," the goalkeeper said. "At this moment I cannot say when I will be back." Meanwhile, Senegal international Lamine Diatta could join the club on a free transfer after impressing in training.


Jermain Defoe believes Pompey can use their power and physicality to overcome Manchester United in Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford. "If we get in their faces from the whistle, I think we can do well," the forward said. "If you sit back, you will get exposed because of their quality."


The Royals have been linked with a move for the Helsingborgs striker Razak Omotoyossi, who said he was attracted by the wealth on offer in the Premier League. "Footballers are like prostitutes," the 22-year-old Benin international said. "We want to be where the money is."


Craig Gordon hopes the club's impressive home form can help the club gain revenge over Everton for the 7-1 defeat at Goodison Park in November. "We're on a nice run and we aim to keep it going," he said. "There's a good spirit and we can take encouragement from our home performances."

Tottenham Hotspur

Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate could return for the Uefa Cup last 16 first leg match with PSV Eindhoven at White Hart Lane tonight, with Michael Dawson also in contention.

Probable team (4-4-2): Robinson; Chimbonda, King, Woodgate, Lee; Lennon, Jenas, Zokora/Huddlestone, Malbranque; Berbatov, Keane.

West Ham United

The club have denied claims from Kia Joorabchian that they owe the businessman money relating to the Carlos Tevez transfer last year. "West Ham totally refutes all of the allegations," a club statement read. "Those allegations, and the financial claims which accompany them, are wholly without foundation."

Wigan Athletic

Chris Kirkland believes the pitch at the JJB Stadium could prove influential when Arsenal visit on Sunday. "Arsenal pass the ball brilliantly so goodness knows how they will cope on our pitch," the goalkeeper said. "Hopefully it will play into our hands but Arsenal have world-class players who can probably play on any surface."