Today in the Premier League

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Captain Williams Gallas has admitted he has no "mates" at the Emirates. "They are more like acquaintances," the France international said. "At Arsenal there is Theo Walcott but he is very young. Really, it's the guys at [former club] Chelsea. It always gives me pleasure to see them again."

Aston Villa

Scott Carson could return for Saturday's visit to Manchester United after pulling out of this week's England squad with a knee injury. "We didn't think it was anything serious," a club spokesman said. "It was decided a week away with the international squad may have aggravated the problem."

Birmingham City

Midfielder James McFadden underwent a sucessful knee operation last week and could return to the first-team within three weeks. "The operation went very well and James feels good," manager Alex McLeish said of the Scot. "It's important that we got him sorted out before the final games."

Blackburn Rovers

Johann Vogel could face Reading on Saturday after receiving his international clearance. The former Switzerland captain signed a two-and-a-half year contract last week. "He has trained well," manager Mark Hughes said. "He has a great winning mentality and will be a really good player for us."

Bolton Wanderers

Gary Megson may make a second bid for Blackburn forward Jason Roberts after failing with a move in the January transfer window. The striker admits his future could lie away from Rovers. "Everyone is happier when they are playing," he said. "I'm sure anyone here would all say the same. As for where my future lies, I don't know."


Striker Nicolas Anelka said he is keen to remain at Stamford Bridge beyond his three-year contract. "I am already happy to have signed," the French international said. "I will be 32 at the end of my contract. If they want to keep me I will stay. Otherwise you never know. I can move to the USA or come back to Paris Saint-Germain."

Derby County

Paul Jewell will attempt to sign on-loan Egyptian Hossam Ghaly on a permanent basis in the summer following the Tottenham midfielder's impressive display at Middlesbrough last week. "If Hossam plays like that between now and the end of the season," Jewell said. "We will look to try and keep him."


The club's 19-year-old striker Victor Anichebe, making his debut as a substitute, scored the third goal yesterday as Nigeria became the final men's team to qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing when they beat South Africa 3-0 in a qualifying match in Abuja.


The goalkeeper Antti Niemi has returned to training after recovering from an achilles injury which has sidelined the Finnish international since 1 March. "I've been in a relegation battle with Southampton which ended up in the worst possible way, and it's not a feeling I want to repeat," he said.


John Arne Riise said he will decide in the summer whether to leave Anfield following a frustrating season on the fringes of the first team. "I'm not happy with the situation," he said. "I'm used to playing in 80 per cent of the games. I have to make a choice as to whether I should stay or not."

Manchester City

Giovani Dos Santos has dismissed reports of a potential move to City. "I cannot avoid rumours about me going to the Premier League or any other place," the Barcelona forward said. "I am here now and what I would like most is to be here next season and for many years after that."

Manchester United

Defender Gary Neville admits his return to the first team may be delayed until next season. "I'm probably a little bit away from first-team sharpness," the 33-year-old said. "Hopefully I'll get a game somewhere but that could prove to be difficult with the significance of the matches we have."


Manager Gareth Southgate is relieved this weekend's fixture at Chelsea has been switched to Sunday. "We had one [player] in China, one in Cairo, one in Belarus and Adam Johnson in Wolverhampton," Southgate said. "It's never ideal but at least we get an extra day to count the bodies."

Newcastle United

The Welsh under-21 international Sam Vokes admits it is a possibility that he could leave Bournemouth for St James' Park this summer. "I know that Newcastle have shown interest," the 18-year-old Cherries forward said. "But I do not expect anything now until the summer."


The defender Glen Johnson said he was heartened by teammate David James' international recognition. "David has proved before that you can play for Portsmouth and England," the right-back said. "You don't have to play for one of the top four clubs. I'm better defensively these days."


Striker Kevin Doyle admits his goal drought this season has affected his play. "I do need a goal," the Republic of Ireland international, with just five goals this campaign, said. "As a striker you are always judged on the amount you score and I'd like one sooner rather than later."


Carlos Edwards and Kenwyne Jones will be available to face West Ham this weekend, after manager Roy Keane persuaded Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation adviser Jack Warner to drop his threat of invoking a Fifa sanction that would prevent the pair from playing.

Tottenham Hotspur

Former captain Gary Mabbutt believes the remainder of the season offers a chance for Spurs players to prove themselves. "This is an ideal opportunity for the players to show [manager] Juande Ramos they have the ability and character to make us into a top-four side," he said.

West Ham United

Northern Ireland international George McCartney said he has no intention of leaving Upton Park for Rangers. "I'm happy with life at West Ham – I am playing every week in the Premier League," the 26-year-old left-back said. "Rangers are a massive team but I don't know if Scottish football is really up to Premier League standards."

Wigan Athletic

Chris Kirkland is likely to be fit for Saturday's trip to Portsmouth, despite pulling out of this week's England squad. "Thankfully common sense prevailed and Chris didn't have to travel to London to be assessed by the England doctors," manager Steve Bruce said. "We do expect him to be okay, although his back was in spasm yesterday."