Weekend Premier League Team News


Arsenal (3) v Tottenham (4):Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia could be set for a recall to Arsenal’s starting XI. Lukas Fabianski (thigh), Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott (both knee) miss out. Samir Nasri made his first appearance of the season against Liverpool in midweek after recovering from a broken leg and is likely to be on the bench tomorrow.

Spurs striker Jermain Defoe serves the final part of his three-match suspension and Aaron Lennon (ankle), Giovani dos Santos (ankle) and Luka Modric (fractured leg) will also miss the clash but Peter Crouch has recovered from a groin problem, goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini (knee) and centre-backs Jonathan Woodgate (head) and Ledley King (illness) should be available and Niko Kranjcar is back after being cup-tied.

Last season: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0, Arsenal 4 Tottenham 4

Last five league matches: Arsenal W W W W D; Tottenham L W D W L

Top scorers(all competitions): Robin van Persie (Arsenal) 6; Jermain Defoe & Robbie Keane (Tottenham) 7

Match odds: H 4-7 A 5-1 D 14-5

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Bolton (12) v Chelsea (1)

Gary Megson has an almost fully fit squad. Striker Johan Elmander made his return to first-team action after a hamstring injury when he came off the bench in the Carling Cup tie between the two teams on Wednesday night, meaning only long-term knee injury victims Joey O’Brien and Sean Davis remain sidelined.

Chelsea have doubts about striker Salomon Kalou and defender Branislav Ivanovic - both will undergo late fitness tests after collecting minor knocks in the Carling Cup win. Ashley Cole (ankle), Jose Bosingwa (knee), Yury Zhirkov (knee), John Mikel Obi (knee) and Hilario (concussion) are all out, while John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, Nicolas Anelka, Michael Essien and Frank Lampard return after being rested in midweek.

Last season: Chelsea 4 Bolton 3, Bolton 0 Chelsea 2

Last five league matches: Bolton D W D L W; Chelsea W L W L W

Top scorers(all competitions): Ivan Klasnic (Bolton) 5; Didier Drogba (Chelsea) 9

Match odds: H 15-2 A 2-5 D 10-3

Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

Burnley (11) v Hull (18)

Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen suffered slight ligament damage to his ankle in the defeat by Wigan last week so Diego Penny is on stand-by should he be needed. Stephen Jordan suffered a thigh strain in the same game but is expected to recover in time. The Clarets are still without long-term absentees Martin Paterson, Chris McCann (both knee) and Jay Rodriguez (ankle).

Hull will be without goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, who injured medial knee ligaments in last weekend’s goalless draw with Portsmouth. Star midfielder Jimmy Bullard did not train with his team-mates yesterday due to a shin injury and a decision is still to be made on his participation at Turf Moor.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Burnley W L W L L; Hull L L W L D

Top scorers: Steven Fletcher (Burnley) 5; Geovanni (Hull) 4

Match odds: H 10-11 A 3-1 D 12-5

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

Everton (14) v Aston Villa (7)

Everton defender Leighton Baines is poised to return from a calf problem, while striker Louis Saha has a similar problem but will be given time to prove his fitness. Ayegbeni Yakubu is in contention for a place in the first XI after overcoming his heel problem to play against Tottenham on Tuesday, while Joseph Yobo, who did not feature, could return after suffering concussion.

Villa keeper Brad Friedel will make his 200th successive Barclays Premier League performance, providing he replaces Carling Cup hero Brad Guzan. Defender Stephen Warnock (ankle) could miss out, with Nicky Shorey on stand-by. Striker Emile Heskey and midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker have minor knocks but should be available, while John Carew and Steve Sidwell could return to the team.

Last season: Aston Villa 3 Everton 3, Everton 2 Aston Villa 3

Last five league matches: Everton W W D D L; Aston Villa W L D W D

Top scorers(all competitions): Louis Saha (Everton) 8; Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) 6

Match odds: H 7-5 A 19-10 D 23-10

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

Fulham (13) v Liverpool (5)

Fulham striker Andy Johnson is still suffering from a groin problem — the club hope to have an update on his condition on Monday. Midfielders Simon Davies (foot), Dickson Etuhu (knee) and Danny Murphy (knee) remain out but could be back for Thursday’s Europa League trip to Roma.

Steven Gerrard will miss his third successive Liverpool match tomorrow with a groin injury. Full-back Glen Johnson (calf) and midfielder Alberto Aquilani (virus) are both out, while Rafael Benitez will give a late test to Fernando Torres (groin) but expects him to be available.

Last season: Fulham 0 Liverpool 1, Liverpool 0 Fulham 0

Last five league matches: Fulham L L D W D; Liverpool W W L L W

Top scorers(all competitions): Danny Murphy & Bobby Zamora (Fulham) 4; Fernando Torres (Liverpool) 9

Match odds: H 10-3 A 17-20 D 12-5

Referee: Lee Mason (England).

Manchester United (2) v Blackburn (16)

United centre-backs Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are doubtful with calf problems and fellow defender Gary Neville is suspended. Ryan Giggs also has a knock and Danny Welbeck is sidelined with a knee injury. Darren Fletcher and Ji-Sung Park remain absent with groin and knee injuries respectively.

Jason Roberts is the latest Blackburn player to come down with suspected swine flu. Defender Chris Samba is back in training but unlikely to feature as he is still feeling weak — but David Dunn appears to be back to good health. Pascal Chimbonda returns having recovered from his calf injury and Vince Grella is back in training after his thigh problem, but is unlikely to appear for the first team until next week.

Last season: Manchester United 2 Blackburn 1, Blackburn 0 Manchester United 2

Last five league matches: Manchester United W W D W L; Blackburn L W L W L

Top scorers(all competitions): Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 7; David Dunn (Blackburn) 5

Match odds: H 1-6 A 18-1 D 11-2

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Portsmouth (20) v Wigan (10)

Portsmouth welcome back Kevin-Prince Boateng, Jamie O’Hara, Mike Williamson and Tommy Smith. All were cup-tied for Tuesday’s Carling Cup win over Stoke. Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) and Hermann Hreidarsson (foot tendon) are still recovering from injury and will not feature against the Latics.

Wigan will be without Maynor Figueroa due to the knee injury which could keep him sidelined for up to seven weeks. Paul Scharner is doubtful with a hamstring injury while goalkeeper Chris Kirkland remains troubled by a dislocated finger.

Last season: Wigan 1 Portsmouth 0, Portsmouth 1 Wigan 2

Last five league matches: Portsmouth L L W L D; Wigan L W L D W

Top scorers(all competitions): Frederic Piquionne (Portsmouth) 3; Hugo Rodallega (Wigan) 5

Match odds: H 7-5 A 19-10 D 23-10

Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).

Stoke (9) v Wolves (17)

Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen is set to be recalled following his late withdrawal at Tottenham last weekend with flu, meaning Steve Simonsen will return to the bench. Forward Tuncay could feature in a side still missing the suspended Robert Huth.

Wolves welcome back striker Stefan Maierhofer after suspension. However manager Mick McCarthy is poised to name an unchanged starting line-up, with Maierhofer on the bench as Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake continue in attack. On-loan Chelsea central defender Michael Mancienne is available after illness.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Stoke D L D W W; Wolves W L L D D

Top scorers(all competitions): Dave Kitson (Stoke) 3; Kevin Doyle (Wolves) 3

Match odds: H 10-11 A 3-1 D 12-5

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Sunderland (8) v West Ham (19)

Sunderland striker Darren Bent is battling to overcome a knee problem which forced him out of the midweek Carling Cup match against Aston Villa. Fellow frontman Fraizer Campbell is a doubt after suffering a knock against Villa, while Phil Bardsley (shoulder) and George McCartney (hip) may miss out. Midfielder Boudewijn Zenden and centre-back John Mensah are ruled out. Lee Cattermole (knee) is a long-term absentee.

West Ham are without the suspended Scott Parker, so midfielder Radoslav Kovac comes in. Kieron Dyer has suffered another setback and faces three weeks out with a hamstring problem picked up in training, while striker Alessandro Diamanti is pushing to start after impressing as a substitute against Arsenal.

Last season: West Ham 2 Sunderland 0, Sunderland 0 West Ham 1

Last five league matches: Sunderland L W D W L; West Ham L L D L D

Top scorers(all competitions): Darren Bent (Sunderland) 8; Carlton Cole (West Ham) 5

Match odds: H 19-20 A 3-1 D 23-10

Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

Sunday, November 1st

Birmingham (15) v Manchester City (6)

Blues goalkeeper Maik Taylor makes his first Premier League start of the season, with on-loan Joe Hart ineligible to face his parent club. Defender Gregory Vignal is in the squad after a hamstring injury, although he may have to be content with a substitute’s role, while Keith Fahey (ankle) is again doubtful.

Kolo Toure and Martin Petrov should return to the Manchester City squad, having missed the midweek Carling Cup win over Scunthorpe with minor injuries. Wayne Bridge and Craig Bellamy, both rested to the bench for that fourth-round tie, are likely to be back in the side. Only Nedum Onuoha and Robinho are sidelined and both are close to returning to action.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Birmingham W L L L W; Manchester City L W D D D

Top scorers(all competitions): Lee Bowyer (Birmingham) 3; Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy & Carlos Tevez (Manchester City) 4

Match odds: H 10-3 A 5-6 D 5-2

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).