Today in the Premier League

Click to follow


French defender Bacary Sagna has been ruled out for at least three weeks with the ankle injury he suffered against Chelsea last weekend. "I don't know how long he will be out but I feel it will be three weeks at least," the Gunners manager Arsène Wenger said. "Five is the worst [case scenario]."

Aston Villa

Craig Gardner will be out for up to three weeks after suffering a thigh strain during the England Under-21's goalless draw with Poland this week. Gardner had been covering at right-back but manager Martin O'Neill now has Olof Mellberg available for tomorrow evening's trip to Manchester United.

Birmingham City

James McFadden could return to the starting line-up against former club Everton on 12 April after recovering from keyhole knee surgery. "McFadden is in good spirits," manager Alex McLeish said. "If he makes progress earlier, it will be a bonus. But the smart money is on the Everton game."

Blackburn Rovers

Paraguayan Roque Santa Cruz may miss tomorrow's trip to Reading after being injured by Rovers team-mate Aaron Mokoena in an international with South Africa. The forward suffered an ankle injury after a tackle from Mokoena. Fellow Rovers player Benni McCarthy scored in the game.

Bolton Wanderers

Garry Megson has dismissed reports of discord in the Reebok Stadium dressing room. "There is no dissent – it's a terrific dressing room with a great squad of players," the manager said. "You start looking for things that aren't there. There is a perception from outside as to what is going on inside - but it's just not there. The players are fine."


The manager Avram Grant will be unable to travel on the club's pre-season tour of Malaysia this summer unless he is granted special permission. Malaysia does not exercise diplomatic relations with Israel and will not permit Israeli nationals to visit. "There is a due process to go through and that has started," chief executive Peter Kenyon said.

Derby County

Tyrone Mears hopes to have overcome a long standing shin injury which has ruled him out this season. "For the past three years I have tried to battle through the injury," he said. "The physios here told me there was an operation I could have and, hopefully, I've seen the back of the problem."


Midfielder Tim Cahill could miss the rest of the season after suffering a reoccurrence of his metatarsal injury. The 28-year-old limped off during the 1-1 draw with West Ham last week and missed Australia's midweek goalless draw in China. Cahill is certain to miss Sunday's Merseyside derby.


Roy Hodgson feels the club could suffer from having a large number of internationals on duty this week. "We are a little unhappy that 13 out of 15 players that went away played 90 minutes," the manager said. "Other clubs seem to have got away with their players being substituted."


The Football Association has extended the deadline for Javier Mascherano to respond to his improper conduct charge by 24 hours as the Argentine has been involved on international duty this week. If the club do not appeal, the 23-year-old midfielder will serve a three-match ban.

Manchester City

The City striker Emile Mpenza has rejected a loan move in favour of remaining at the Eastlands. "There is nothing there for this moment," manager Sven Goran Eriksson said. "He has had requests but so far he wants to stay. It is very much up to him – he wants to stay and fight."

Manchester United

Brazilian international Anderson has thanked the club for his "wonderful beginning" at Old Trafford. "I am very happy," the midfielder said. "I moved to United to be in a team with such great players," he said. "They gave me such good support after I spent about eight months injured with Porto."


Gareth Southgate believes the striker Afonso Alves will justify his £12m transfer fee once he settles into life at the Riverside. "It is going to take him time," the manager said of the Brazilian international. "It took three months or so for [Boro' team-mate] Tuncay to adjust."

Newcastle United

Coach Chris Hughton says he found it hard to leave Spurs and is looking forward to returning on Sunday. "Of course it was difficult once you spend many years at a club," he said of his departure last October. "It is always a wrench to leave but the most important thing was I stayed positive."


Harry Redknapp believes Wigan's front-line could cause Pompey problems tomorrow when the Latic visit Fratton Park. "Emile Heskey up front is a handful, and there's Marlon King, too," Redknapp said. "I have looked at signing King in the past and Heskey is an old-fashioned centre-forward."


Stephen Hunt maintains the Royals cannot take safety for granted, despite three wins in the last four matches. "Things can change quickly," he said. "There's still a long way to go. We have a big game at home to Blackburn this week and the Birmingham win has given us confidence."


On-loan Manchester United defender Jonny Evans said he would be interested in making his move to the Stadium of Light permanent. "When [manager] Roy Keane says he wants you, it's a massive compliment," the 20-year-old said. "It's something I would want to talk about."

Tottenham Hotspur

The manager Juande Ramos said the White Hart Lane side would be interested in any potential move for the Barcelona striker Ronaldinho. "The big players fit into any team, including Tottenham," Ramos said of the Brazilian international. "Ronaldinho would fit in every respect."

West Ham United

Alan Curbishley believes Freddie Sears and James Tomkins can follow the lead of Jermain Defoe, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole in using Upton Park as a springboard for a successful career. "West Ham have always had a sprinkling of homegrown talent," he said. "There's been a little lull in recent years but we're on our way back."

Wigan Athletic

Steve Bruce has praised the work of Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth ahead of the Latics' trip to Fratton Park tomorrow. "You have to take your hat off to Harry and the club's backers for the team they have put together," the manager said. "Portsmouth are such a powerful, physically big side, with pace in the right areas, and bags of experience."