Injury problems for strugglers

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The Independent Online
Three clubs threatened by relegation from the Premiership - Manchester City, Everton and Crystal Palace - face crucial games today and all are hampered to some extent by injury.

For City, at home game to Liverpool, the central defender John Foster is doubtful and Andy Hill is unlikely to recover from a knee injury. Alan Kernaghan and Michel Vonk are set to return, while Niall Quinn may be back in the starting line-up. The winger Peter Beagrie is still out as he completes his recovery from a fractured shin which was undiscovered for four months until a scan earlier this week.

John Scales and Rob Jones are doubtful for Liverpool, but Mark Kennedy is set to retain his starting position. With Mark Walters and Ian Rush also struggling, Roy Evans delays his selection.

Everton face Newcastle at Goodison having left out Matt Jackson in favour of Earl Barrett while Daniel Amokachi is in line for a rare start, with Paul Rideout's knee injury making him a doubt and Duncan Ferguson completing his four-match ban. John Ebbrell is back after suspension and seems likely to replace Anders Limpar. Keith Gillespie returns for Newcastle.

Crystal Palace must put their FA Cup semi-final disappointment behind them against Spurs at Selhurst Park. Gareth Southgate will play despite suffering a leg injury at Villa Park. But Chris Coleman's ankle problem rules him out and fellow central defender Eric Young is doubtful with a groin injury. Darren Patterson is free to play before starting a suspension tomorrow.

With Nigel Martyn's broken finger leaving him on the sidelines, Rhys Wilmot will make his first Premiership start in goal while Ricky Newman could replace Darren Pitcher in midfield.

Spurs may be forced into making changes as they chase a Uefa Cup place. David Howells faces a fitness test on a knee injury though right-back Dean Austin (toe) and 20-goal Teddy Sheringham (knee) expect to be fit.

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