English FA Cup Third Round Previews

 

Tomorrow

Sheff Utd (12) v Notts County (20)

Former Chelsea and Everton midfielder Graham Stuart is poised to return for the Blades. Paul Devlin, up against his former club, and Marcelo are almost certain to keep their places up front. Steve Bruce could make changes in midfield with Michael Twiss, who came off the bench to score the winner against Huddersfield on Monday, pushing for a starting place.

Midfielder Andy Hughes is likely to play for Notts County despite receiving five stitches for a head wound suffered in the clash against Reading. Striker Kim Grant, on-loan from Millwall, is not eligible and will be replaced by either Justin Jackson or Tony Garcia. Striker Sean Farrell has not recovered from a torn calf muscle.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Sheff Utd LDLLW, Notts County LLLWL

Top scorers: Dean Saunders (Sheff Utd) 10; Ian Hendon, Gary Jones (Notts County) 5

Match odds: H 1-2 A 11-2 D12-5

Referee: C Wilkes (Gloucester)

Southampton (19) v Fulham (1)

Matt Le Tissier has failed to recover from the calf strain so Mark Hughes - available following a twomatch ban - is set to replace him in midfield. Carlton Palmer and defenders Claus Lundekvam and Scott Hiley face late fitness tests for minor injuries but winger Stuart Ripley is ruled out by a virus.

Fulham boss Kevin Keegan waits on the fitness of flu victim pair Steve Finnan and John Salako before naming his side. Former Sheffield Wednesday midfield Wayne Collins may be handed a return to the starting line-up after shaking off an Achilles problem. German striker Dirk Lehmann is likely to be on the bench.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Southampton LLWLD, Fulham LWWWD

Top scorers: Egil Ostenstad (Southampton) 5; Geoff Horsfield (Fulham) 13

Match odds: H 8-11 A 10-3 D 9-4

Referee: P Alcock (Sevenoaks)

Tranmere (15) v Ipswich (2)

Clint Hill, Alan Mahon, Andy Thompson and David Kelly face late fitness tests for Tranmere, while Gary Jones, Dave Challinor - available again after suspension - and Scott Taylor all expect to be in contention after bouts of flu.

Ipswich recall Dutch midfield player Bobby Petta, who missed Monday's 1-0 defeat at Wolverhampton because of gastric flu. Kieron Dyer (thigh) faces a late fitness test while defender Adam Tanner is back in the squad after missing two matches with a knee injury. Samassi Abou has returned to West Ham after his month on loan, so David Johnson and Richard Naylor lead the attack.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Tranmere DDWWL, Ipswich WLWWL

Top scorers: Kenny Irons (Tranmere) 13 David Johnson, James Scowcroft (Ipswich) 11

Match odds: H 7-4 A 11-8 D 2-1

Referee: D Crick (Worcester Park, Surrey)

Swindon (16) v Barnsley (13)

Swindon's leading scorer Iffy Onuora is a major injury doubt with an ankle injury suffered in Monday's defeat at Bristol City. George Ndah stands by to replace him. Winger Ty Gooden could win a recall after recovering from a hamstring injury but Scott Leitch serves the final game of a three-match ban.

Bruce Dyer is still struggling with an abdominal problem for Barnsley and is almost certain to miss out while youngster Mike Turner is cup-tied. Defender Chris Morgan is also sidelined for the trip to the County Ground as he has flu.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Swindon DLWWL, Barnsley DWLWW

Top scorers: Iffy Onuora (Swindon) 15; Jan Aage Fjortoft (Barnsley) 7

Match odds: H 11-8 A 13-8 D 11-5

Referee: P Taylor (Cheshunt)

Blackburn (16) v Charlton (18)

Virus victim Nathan Blake is almost certain to miss out for Blackburn, who also give late fitness tests to Tim Sherwood, Billy McKinlay, Callum Davidson and Jeff Kenna. Stephane Henchoz is hopeful of recovering from an Achilles strain but Darren Peacock is suspended and new signing Ashley Ward ineligible.

Charlton are without leading scorer Clive Mendonca, who could face another month on the sidelines with a groin injury. Andy Hunt should return after a bout of flu but Paul Mortimer, Matt Holmes and Keith Jones are injury doubts.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Blackburn WDDWD, Charlton LLLLL

Top scorers: Ashley Ward (Blackburn) 15; Clive Mendonca (Charlton) 6

Match odds: H 8-13 A 4-1 D 12-5

Referee: D Elleray (Harrow on the Hill, Middx)

Nottm Forest (20) v Portsmouth (20)

Forest manager Dave Bassett will be without striker Pierre van Hooijdonk, who completes a three-match ban, and injured central defender Jesper Mattsson. But skipper Steve Chettle and Chris BartWilliams, who are nursing back and calf injuries respectively, are expected to declare themselves fit.

Pompey's Republic of Ireland international Alan McLoughlin is expected to recover in time from a groin injury and record-breaking goalkeeper Alan Knight is in line for a recall with on-loan Charlton goalkeeper Andy Petterson cup-tied. Defenders Andy Thomson and Thomas Thorgersen and midfielder David Hillier are all battling to recover from viruses.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Nottm Forest LLDLD, Portsmouth WLLLD

Top scorers: Dougie Freedman (Nottm Forest) 7; Alan McLoughlin (Portsmouth) 8

Match odds: H 8-13 A 9-2 D 11-5

Referee: A Wilkie (Chester-le-Street)

Bournemouth (5) v West Brom (10)

Bournemouth captain Ian Cox serves a one-match ban so Roger Boli is likely to come into a side that has won its last six games.

Lee Hughes is set to lead West Brom's attack despite damaging teeth in a fall during a night out with friends following Monday's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. Albion boss Denis Smith insists 26-goal leading scorer Hughes will not face any disciplinary action.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bournemouth LWWWW, West Brom DWLWD

Top scorers: Mark Stein (Bournemouth) 17; Lee Hughes (West Brom) 26

Match odds: H 6-4 A 6-4 D 11-5

Referee: W Jordan (Wilstone, Herts)

Plymouth (12) v Derby (10)

Plymouth welcome back midfielder Ronnie Mauge, who has completed a three-match ban and expects to overcome a back problem. Striker Sean McCarthy (knee) and defender Mickey Heathcote (back) also hope to be fit. Loan players Howard Forinton and Guy Branston are ineligible while fullback Paul Gibbs is struggling with a knee problem.

Derby boss Jim Smith has to manage without injured defenders Rory Delap, Stefan Schnoor, Tony Dorigo and Igor Stimac and Francesco Baiano is also sidelined. Paulo Wanchope and Darryl Powell are serving one-match bans and Malcolm Christie is cuptied but Deon Burton is back after a month's loan with Barnsley.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Plymouth LLWDW, Derby DDDDW

Top scorers: Sean McCarthy (Plymouth) 5; Dean Sturridge, Paulo Wanchope (Derby) 5

Match odds: H 9-2 A 8-13 D 11-5

Referee: E Wolstenholme (Blackburn)

Leicester (11) v Birmingham (3)

Leicester are without Robbie Savage, who damaged knee ligaments against Blackburn on Monday and is facing a lengthy absence. Manager Martin O'Neill also has a worry over Andy Impey who has a calf injury.

Birmingham boss Trevor Francis is expected to retain the side that started Monday's win at Bury. Midfielder Chris Marsden and left-back Simon Charlton, who have both been out of action since November with knee and groin problems, are still undergoing treatment.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Leicester WWLWD, Birmingham LWDWW

Top scorers: Emile Heskey (Leicester) 9; Peter Ndlovu, Dele Adebola (Birmingham) 10

Match odds: H 8-11 A 10-3 D 9-4

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield)

QPR (18) v Huddersfield (9)

On-loan Rob Steiner has an ankle injury for Stoke, and Mike Sheron is struggling with a hamstring strain. Gavin Peacock could step into the breach from midfield or Gerry Francis could bring in Steve Slade or former Ipswich forward Chris Kiwomya. Goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko steps straight into the side after completing his £50,000 move from Premiership outfit West Ham.

Huddersfield have Chris Beech cup-tied and fellow midfielder Lee Richardson has an ankle injury while defender Jon Dyson has an Achilles problem. Flu has also sidelined strikers Ian Lawson and Delroy Facey and midfielder Simon Baldry.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: QPR WLDWL, Huddersfield WLWWL

Top scorers: Mike Sheron (QPR) 9; Marcus Stewart (Huddersfield) 18

Match odds: H 11-10 A 9-4 D 2-1

Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)

Tottenham (12) v Watford (5)

Steffen Iversen, who suffered a fractured jaw against Liverpool on December 5th, is set to make his comeback in place of the suspended Chris Armstrong. There is still no return for injured defensive duo John Scales (calf) and Ramon Vega.

Watford have added defender Nigel Gibbs and midfielder Clint Easton to the party on duty for the 1-1 draw with Norwich on Tuesday. Centre-half Dean Yates (knee) and striker Michel Ngonge (groin) are sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Tottenham WDLDW, Watford DWLWD

Top scorers: Chris Armstrong (Tottenham) 11; Gifton Noel Williams (Watford) 9

Match odds: H 8-15 A 5-1 D 12-5

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough)

Rushden & Diamonds (3) v Leeds (5)

Rushden And Diamonds will be without defender Ray Warburton (hamstring) and striker Darren Collins (hernia). Newcomers Miquel de Souza and American goalkeeper Ian Feuer, yet to concede a goal in two matches, are both eligible.

Leeds boss David O'Leary may use left-back Ian Harte or midfielder Alf Inge Haaland in an emergency centre-back role. Lucas Radebe, Robert Molenaar and Martin Hiden are all out with knee injuries, while Gary Kelly and Alan Maybury have not yet recovered from shin operations. David Batty's broken rib will keep him out for at least a month, and David Wetherall has a one-match ban.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Rushden & Diamonds WWLDW, Leeds WWLWD

Top scorers: Adrian Foster (Rushden & Diamonds) 12; Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Leeds) 11

Match odds: H 8-1 A 2-7 D 7-2

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)

Oldham (23) v Chelsea (2)

Oldham boss Andy Ritchie will be without Icelandic international Toddy Orlygsson, the former Nottingham Forest ace failing a fitness test on a knee injury. Paul Reid and Richard Graham look set to return as the Latics go in search of a giant-killing act.

Chelsea welcome back captain Dennis Wise from suspension but Dan Petrescu, who has picked up five bookings, starts a ban. Bernard Lambourde is ruled out by a groin injury and Gustavo Poyet will see a specialist on Monday about his ankle injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Oldham DLDWL, Chelsea DDWWD

Top scorers: Mark Allott (Oldham) 7; Gustavo Poyet (Chelsea) 11

Match odds: H 13-2 A 4-11 D 3-1

Referee: P Durkin (Portland, Dorset)

Southport (16) v Leyton Orient (10)

Orient's centre-back Stuart Hicks is available after serving his suspension but is set to miss with a back injury. Matty Lockwood has shaken off a knock and should feature while striker Carl Griffiths also returns to the squad. But fellow front man Steve Watts is cup-tied, having played in an earlier round for Fisher Athletic.

Southport will be without cup-tied striker Lee Trundle. He was signed from Stalybridge Celtic just before Christmas but will sit out the game along with Lee Elam, who is also cup-tied. Southport will also be without on-loan Jim Dobbin.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Southport LDDLD, Leyton Orient WLLDD

Top scorers: Brian Ross (Southport) 7; Dean Smith (Leyton Orient) 7

Match odds: H 15-8 A 6-5 D 9-4

Referee: M Brandwood (Lichfield, Staffs)

Wimbledon (9) v Man City (7)

Wimbledon winger Gareth Ainsworth had hoped to be back for the FA Cup but his groin injury is not healing as expected and he looks likely to be sidelined well into the New Year. Carl Cort is set to lose out to Carl Leaburn despite grabbing an equaliser after replacing Leaburn at Leeds on Tuesday.

Andy Morrison has recovered from his bout of flu and could return for Manchester City. Michael Brown is set to keep his place in midfield and top-scorer Shaun Goater could start in attack.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Wimbledon WWLWD, Man City DDLWW

Top scorers: Marcus Gayle (Wimbledon) 8; Shaun Goater (Man City) 11

Match odds: H 4-9 A 13-2 D 5-2

Referee: G Poll (Tring, Hertford)

Newcastle (13) v Crystal Palace (14)

Duncan Ferguson is battling to recover from a groin injury in time to face Palace. Warren Barton, who missed out on the 4-2 defeat at Liverpool on Monday, will also have to prove his fitness. New signing Didier Domi is unavailable until next Saturday.

Crystal Palace boss Terry Venables has named Chinese pair Fan Zhiyi and Sun Jihai in what promises to be an unchanged side. Lee Bradbury is recalled, but Matt Svensson will be out for another month with his ruptured spleen.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Newcastle DDWLL, Crystal Palace DLDWD

Top scorers: Alan Shearer (Newcastle) 8; Matt Jansen (Crystal Palace) 7

Match odds: H 4-7 A 5-1 D 11-5

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham)

Bradford (4) v Grimsby (8)

bradford manager Paul Jewell adds three names to an otherwise unchanged squad. Veteran goalkeeper Mark Prudhoe and midfielders Paul Bolland and Craig Ramage are all in the party and are likely to be on the bench.

Grimsby's Stacy Coldicott and Tony Gallimore will undergo late fitness tests on hamstring injuries while strikers Lee Nogan and Daryl Clare miss out with flu and Lee Ashcroft misses with a groin injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bradford WWWDW, Grimsby WWWLW

Top scorers: Lee Mills (Bradford) 15; Paul Groves (Grimsby) 12

Match odds: H 8-11 A 10-3 D 9-4

Referee: A Bates (Stoke on Trent)

Bristol City (23) v Everton (14)

Bristol City will be without Rob Edwards, Brian Tinnion, Colin Cramb, Shaun Taylor, Aaron Brown and loan signing Christian Edwards, and there will be late fitness tests to full-back Jim Brennan (thigh strain) and midfielder Tommy Doherty (knee). Moldovan Ivan Tistimetanu may switch from midfield to right-back if Brennan is ruled out. The only certainties in coach Benny Lennartsson's line-up are top-scorer Ade Akinbiyi and his strike partner Steve Torpey.

John Collins could play his final Everton match for six weeks at Ashton Gate before his operation to remove damaged cartilage from a toe. Marco Materazzi is out with a shoulder injury, while Ibrahima Bakayoko is doubtful after picking up a hamstring injury. Dave Watson should return a short lay-off with a knee problem.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bristol City WDLLW, Everton DWLDL

Top scorers: Ade Akinbiyi (Bristol City) 14; Daniel Cadamarteri (Everton) 4

Match odds: H 9-4 A 111-10 D 2-1

Referee: J Winter (Stockton on Tees)

Crewe (24) v Oxford Utd (22)

Crewe are set to name an unchanged side. Centrebacks Steve Macauley and David Walton are still struggling with hamstring injuries and striker Steve Anthrobus is sidelined by a thigh strain.

Oxford manager Malcolm Shotton is expected to stick with the same side too. Winger Joey Beauchamp was given his marching orders against Pompey but will still be available for the Gresty Road tie.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Crewe DWLWL, Oxford Utd LLLLD

Top scorers: Colin Little (Crewe) 8; Dean Windass (Oxford Utd) 11

Match odds: H 11-10 A 2-1 D 9-4

Referee: S Baines (Chesterfield)

Bolton (6) v Wolverhampton (11)

Andy Todd (hernia) and Greg Strong (leg) are both out for Bolton, and Colin Todd could recall captain Gudni Bergsson after two months out or switch Mike Whitlow from left-back.

Wolves striker Robbie Keane, left-back Lee Naylor and midfielder Darren Ferguson are all struggling with flu. Midfielder Simon Osborn has a hamstring problem; striker David Connolly has tendinitis, and utility player Steve Sedgley has an ankle injury. Definitely missing are record goalscorer Steve Bull and central defender Adrian Williams.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bolton DDWDW, Wolverhampton DDLLW

Top scorers: Arnar Gunnlaugsson (Bolton) 14; Robbie Keane (Wolverhampton) 11

Match odds: H 8-11 A 10-3 D 9-4

Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay)

Rotherham (8) v Bristol Rovers (15)

Rotherham BOSS Ronnie Moore will be without striker Rob Scott and defender Paul Raven. Scott could be out for up to four months with a dislocated shoulder and on-loan Raven is ineligible. Paul Dillon or Neil Richardson could return.

Mark McKeever, on-loan from Sheffield Wednesday, is not permitted to play for Rovers could be replaced by Steve Foster who returns after illness. Player-boss Ian Holloway, who could miss out on the clash with a broken nose, is likely to keep faith in the strike partnership of Jamie Cureton and Jason Roberts.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Rotherham DLLLW, Bristol Rovers DDDDW

Top scorers: Lee Glover (Rotherham) 12; Jamie Cureton (Bristol Rovers) 11

Match odds: H 6-4 A 6-4 D 11-5

Referee: P Dowd (Stoke-on-Trent)

Bury (19) v Stockport (17)

Flu-stricken Bury have half their team on antibiotics, but wing-back Dean West completed two full games in three days last weekend after being out of first-team action for 16 months with severe groin and pelvic injuries.

Stockport County will have striker Brett Angell back, but midfielder Paul Hughes is ruled out because he is on loan from Chelsea.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bury WDLLL, Stockport LLWLL

Top scorers: Laurent D'Jaffo (Bury) 8; Brett Angell (Stockport) 10

Match odds: H 6-5 A 15-8 D 9-4

Referee: J A Kirby (Sheffield)

Lincoln City (24) v Sunderland (1)

Lincoln will have to do without centre-back Kevin Austin who has a severe bout of flu. Loan players Gary Brabin and Julian Watts are ineligible, while goalkeeper John Vaughan and captain Terry Fleming are trying to shake off illnesses.

Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips, having been out of action for three months after damaging his toe in the Worthington Cup clash with Chester, may feature among the substitutes. Wingers Allan Johnston (knee) and Nicky Summerbee (ankle) are both still out of action for the Division One leaders.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Lincoln City LDLWD, Sunderland WWDLW

Top scorers: Tony Battersby (Lincoln City) 7; Michael Bridges (Sunderland) 12

Match odds: H 5-1 A 4-7 D 11-5

Referee: P S Danson (Leicester)

West Ham (6) v Swansea (11)

Rio Ferdinand has a back problem and is doubtful for West Ham, whose Chilean defender Javier Margas is going back home to do some rehabilitation work, while Paul Kitson (toe) and Marc Keller (hamstring) are still ruled out. John Moncur (groin) and Eyal Berkovic (calf) have both been passed fit, and Neil Ruddock returns from a three-match suspension.

Richard Appleby should be fit and in contention for a return for Swansea. The tricky midfielder missed the win over Barnet because of an ankle injury he picked up against Leyton Orient.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: West Ham LLWLW, Swansea WDWDW

Top scorers: Ian Wright (West Ham) 7; Julian Alsop (Swansea) 9

Match odds: H 2-9 A 9-1 D 4-1

Referee: S Lodge (Barnsley)

Wrexham (18) v Scunthorpe (5)

Scunthorpe Manager Brian Laws has only one doubt for the testing trip to the Racecourse Ground - Russ Wilcox - who will undergo a late fitness test on his foot before Laws names the side to tackle the Robins.

Scunthorpe boss Brian Laws will give a late fitness test to centre back Russ Wilcox, who has an injured foot, before naming his side.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Wrexham WDLLL, Scunthorpe LLLWW

Top scorers: Karl Connolly (Wrexham) 7; Jamie Forrester (Scunthorpe) 16

Match odds: H 5-6 A 11-4 D 9-4

Referee: L E Cable (Woking)

Coventry (17) v Macclesfield (22)

New on-loan striker Stefano Gioacchini could step straight into goal-starved Coventry's line-up against Macclesfield at Highfield Road on Saturday. Gordon Strachan now has five strikers to select from - Darren Huckerby, Noel Whelan, Darren Jackson, John Aloisi and Gioacchini.

Macclesfield have been hit by a severe bout of flu with midfielder Martin McDonald and Rae Ingram certainly out while Neil Sorvel has a heavy throat infection and is also likely to miss out. Defender Darren Tinson may be forced to play even though he is still not recovered from a knee ligament problem while winger Stuart Whittaker is hoping to shake off a back problem.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Coventry LLDDL, Macclesfield LDDLL

Top scorers: John Aloisi (Coventry) 18; Graeme Tomlinson (Macclesfield) 6

Match odds: H 2-9 A 9-1 D 4-1

Referee: G Willard (Goring by Sea)

Aston Villa (1) v Hull (24)

Aston Villa will be without midfielder Ian Taylor, who is still struggling with a groin injury. Alan Thompson will return from a one-match ban in central midfield. Striker Stan Collymore has shaken off his ankle injury.

Hull hope goalkeeper Steve Wilson will be fit after a bout of flu. Former Rangers midfielder Brian McGinty has recovered from an Achilles problem.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Aston Villa LWWLW, Hull WLLLL

Top scorers: Dion Dublin (Aston Villa) 13; David Brown (Hull) 7

Match odds: H 1-8 A 16-1 D 5-1

Referee: M Riley (Leeds)

Cardiff (1) v Yeovil (5)

Cardiff's Jeff Eckhardt is expected to start a match for the first time in two months. Midfielder Danny Hill is also likely to return to the side.

Yeovil defender Al-James Hannigan is suspended, having lost his appeal against the booking he picked up against Telford. Murray Fishlock is also banned while Dean Chandler and Darren Keeling are both cup-tied.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Cardiff WWWWL, Yeovil WWDDW

Top scorers: John Williams (Cardiff) 12; Warren Patmore (Yeovil) 11

Match odds: H 4-9 A 13-2 D 5-2

Referee: M Pierce (Portsmouth)

Tomorrow

Port Vale (21) v Liverpool (7)

Neil Brisco, 20, who is wearing a cast on a hand injury, looks set for a starting role because of a flu bug which has swept through the Port Vale midfield. The on-loan duo of midfielder Tony Rougier and defender Des Lyttle are both ineligible.

Liverpool have skipper Paul Ince available after a one-match ban but his England colleague Steve McManaman is ruled out by an ankle injury. Robbie Fowler has recovered from a leg injury but may find himself on the bench.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Port Vale LLWLL, Liverpool LLWWW

Top scorers: Martin Foyle, Tony Naylor, Peter Beadle (Port Vale) 6; Michael Owen (Liverpool) 15

Match odds: H 11-2 A 1-2 D 12-5

Referee: R Harris (Oxford)

Sheff Wed (15) v Norwich (7)

Sheffield Wednesday are waiting for an all clear from striker Andy Booth before deciding on his lineup. Booth turned an ankle in the 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa on Monday but managed to complete the game. Danny Sonner is in contention for a recall.

Norwich boss Bruce Rioch is set to stick with an unchanged side but will be without the services of Craig Bellamy, who is still out with the knee injury he suffered in the horror tackle by Wolves Kevin Muscat. Striker Keith O'Neill will also miss out because he is still struggling with a hamstring injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Sheff Wed WWLLL, Norwich DDWLD

Top scorers: Benito Carbone (Sheff Wed) 4; Iwan Roberts (Norwich) 16

Match odds: H 8-11 A 10-3 D 9-4

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe)

Man Utd (3) v Middlesbrough (8)

Leading scorer Dwight Yorke, recovered from a groin strain, returns for United and resumes his strike partnership with Andy Cole. Paul Scholes is set to drop into midfield to partner Roy Keane, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs. Wes Brown and Philip Neville are in contention for the right-back spot as Ronny Johnsen partners Jaap Stam at the centre of the defence.

Middlesbrough will give late fitness tests to Paul Gascoigne, Gary Pallister and Robbie Mustoe. Gascoigne has a knee injury and Pallister missed out on the defeat at Derby on Monday with a heel problem, while Mustoe is battling to recover from a hamstring strain. Italian defender Gianluca Festa misses out through suspension.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Man Utd DDLWD, Middlesbrough DWWLL

Top Scorers: Dwight Yorke (Man Utd) 12; Hamilton Ricard (Middlesbrough) 13

Match odds: H 8-13 A 9-2 D 11-5

Referee: G Barber (Tring)

Monday, January 4th

Preston (4) v Arsenal (4)

Preston manager David Moyes has a doubtful starter in defender Gary Parkinson who is struggling to recover from a flu virus.

Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp, who limped out of the Gunners' clash with Charlton with an ankle injury, has an outside chance of facing Preston. Nicolas Anelka is sidelined by an ankle injury sustained on Boxing Day against West Ham. Young Argentinian striker Fabian Caballero or Christopher Wreh are on standby to replace Bergkamp with Marc Overmars ready to switch to a more central role. Arsenal have Tony Adams, David Seaman, Stephen Hughes, Fredrik Ljungberg and Nigel Winterburn sidelined by injury and Gilles Grimandi is suspended.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Preston DWLWW, Arsenal DLWWW

Top scorers: Kurt Nogan (Preston) 9; Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal) 7

Match odds: H 5-1 A 4-7 D 11-5

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury)

Match odds supplied courtesy of William Hill