Today in the Premier League

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Kolo Touré (calf) could return for the Champions League match in Milan next week after limping out of last week's first leg. "I could be short for Saturday against Aston Villa," he said. "However, against Milan, fingers crossed, I will be fine." Robin van Persie is also in contention for the trip to Italy.

Aston Villa

Martin O'Neill said he will resist from fielding Stiliyan Petrov as he feels the midfielder is struggling for form. "I've decided to take Stiliyan out of the firing line to get his confidence back," O'Neill said. The 28-year-old missed the 2-1 win at Reading last weekend and has failed to score this season.

Birmingham City

Midfielder Sebastian Larsson has targeted a place in the Sweden squad for this summer's European Championship. "It has been a dream of mine to play for my country," the 22-year-old said. "Pulling on the jersey against Turkey [earlier this month] was a great feeling."

Blackburn Rovers

Manager Mark Hughes has praised striker Benni McCarthy for his two-goal display during the 4-1 win over Bolton on Sunday. "I thought his play was excellent," Hughes said of the South African. "His game has suffered as I've asked him to different roles but he caused them problems all day long."

Bolton Wanderers

Gary Cahill said the club need to reproduce their European form domestically if they are to avoid relegation. The Trotters eliminated Atletico Madrid from the Uefa Cup last week."No-one gave us much chance against Atletico," he said. "From now until the end of the season we must keep producing performances like that."


John Terry said the players need to forget Sunday's Carling Cup final defeat to Tottenham and look to the rest of the campaign. "We've got to pick ourselves up," the England international said. "We've got an important game away to West Ham, the Champions League, the FA Cup, it's all coming so quick. We have to get it out of our system."

Derby County

The defender Darren Moore insists the Rams players are feeling the pain of the club's poor season as much as the supporters. "It's beyond a joke now and we're playing for personal pride," the 33-year-old said. "We're really frustrated, really upset – there's no doubt about that."


Phil Jagielka has called on his team-mates to maintain their recent high level of performance if they are to remain in a Champions League position. "It's important to try and keep hold of fourth," he said. "If we end up there at the end of the season, it will have been a massive season for us."


The former Finland international Jari Litmanen has resumed training after returning home following a "heart scare". "He did have some minor palpitations but had everything checked out," a club spokesperson said. "There was nothing serious and he is back again now, out there training."


Sami Hyypia has admitted he would love to extend his stay with the Reds into a 10th season as he approaches the end of his current contract. "I haven't got any offers yet from here or any other clubs," the defender said. "I'm just trying to focus on the matches. My priority would be to stay at Liverpool."

Manchester City

Michael Johnson was included in the line-up for last night's reserve match with Everton. The 20-year-old midfielder has been sidelined since December with an abdomen injury. First teamers Andreas Isaksson, Javier Garrido, Emile Mpenza and Nery Castillo also featured.

Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson believes the return to fitness of Louis Saha will add variety to the Reds attacking options. The forward scored the final goal in the 5-1 win at Newcastle last week. "He is different from everyone else in the squad," Ferguson said. "He gives us strength and penetration."


David Wheater and Jérémie Aliadière both miss tonight's FA Cup replay against Sheffield United through suspension but midfielder Gary O'Neil has recovered from illness and could feature.

Probable team(4-4-2): Schwarzer; Young, Huth, Pogatez, Grounds; O'Neil, Arca, Rochemback, Downing; Tuncay, Alves.

Newcastle United

The goalkeeper Shay Given may have played his last game of the season after learning his groin problem may require surgery. The Republic of Ireland international sustained the injury against Aston Villa earlier this month and also went off against Manchester United last weekend.


David Nugent is close to completing a loan move to Ipswich after the clubs agreed a financial package. "It should be tied up in the next few days," Pompey manager Harry Redknapp said. "It's a good deal for us financially. We're just waiting for his injury to clear up, which should be in the next few days."


Steve Coppell said the players are determined to reverse a run of eight successive defeats when they travel to Middlesbrough this weekend. "There is a good feeling amongst the players," he said. "We all feel there is more to come. This is when the real personalities come through."


Goalkeeper Marton Fulop has been recalled from a loan spell at Stoke, just four days after moving to the Britannia Stadium. The 24-year-old Hungarian returns to the Stadium of Light as understudy to Craig Gordon after second choice goalkeeper Darren Ward picked up an injury.

Tottenham Hotspur

The Carling Cup will be presented to supporters before the Uefa Cup match with PSV Eindhoven next Thursday. The club declined Haringey Council's offer of a parade although they will take part in a civic reception. Spurs won the Cup by defeating Chelsea 2-1 on Sunday.

West Ham United

Alan Curbishley hopes the forthcoming return from injury of a number of first team players will increase the side's attacking threat. "We're just outside the top four because of our defensive record," he said. "We need a bit more. We've got players that can give us that – some are injured and some playing now can give us that."

Wigan Athletic

The Latics manager Steve Bruce has praised midfielder Paul Scharner for his dedication and enthusiasm. "I have to put the reins on Scharner because he wants to be everywhere," Bruce said of the 27-year-old Austrian international. "He wants to play on the left wing, the right wing, at centre-back and centre-forward. That is his nature."