Premiership team news and predictions

Last updated at 14:58 28 October 2005

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This week sees Tottenham take on rivals Arsenal, West Ham travel to Liverpool, leaders Chelsea host Mark Hughes' Blackburn while a battle at the basement sees Everton play Birmingham. All the latest Premiership team news and our predictions for this week's top-flight action.


Birmingham 0 Everton 1

Charlton 2 Bolton 2

Chelsea 2 Blackburn 0

Liverpool 1 West Ham 2

Middlesbrough 0 Man Utd 2

Sunderland 1 Portsmouth 1

Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1

Wigan 1 Fulham 1

West Brom 0 Newcastle 1

Man City 2 Aston Villa 0

Give us your predictions for the weekend's action below with our reader comments!

TEAM NEWS (3pm Saturday unless stated)

Birmingham vs Everton

Everton have a defensive crisis following another injury to a left-back, with Italian loan signing Matteo Ferrari added to the list and unlikely to be able to face Birmingham in the Barclays Premiership at St Andrews.

Goodison boss David Moyes, who already has Gary Naysmith and Alessandro Pistone as long term injury worries, saw Nuno Valente pick up a hamstring injury against Chelsea on Sunday before Ferrari injured an ankle against Middlesbrough in midweek.

Winger Kevin Kilbane had to fill in for the rest of the Carling Cup match and may have to do so again, while Moyes hopes Tim Cahill and Duncan Ferguson, who also missed the midweek defeat, are fit to return.

Provisional squad: Martyn, Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Kroldrup, Kilbane, Arteta, Cahill, Davies, Neville, Osman, McFadden, Bent, Beattie, Ferguson, Van der Meyde, Wright, Ferrari, Li Tie.

Emile Heskey is rated a major doubt by Birmingham manager Steve Bruce for the Barclays Premiership bottom three clash with Everton at St Andrews.

The former Liverpool striker suffered a groin injury which forced him to be substituted at half-time during the mid-week Carling Cup clash with Norwich.

Walter Pandiani could replace him although Bruce has the option of playing Jiri Jarosik behind a lone striker, which is likely to be Mikael Forssell.

Mario Melchiot, David Dunn, Stan Lazaridis, Julian Gray, Stephen Clemence, Muzzy Izzet and Mehdi Nafti are all unavailable but skipper Kenny Cunningham returns after being rested in midweek.

Provisional squad: Maik Taylor, Johnson, Cunningham, Martin Taylor, Upson, Clapham, Pennant, Butt, Kilkenny, Jarosik, Heskey, Forssell, Pandiani, Vaesen, Painter, Tebily, Birley.

Charlton vs Bolton

Alexei Smertin is set to return to the Charlton squad for the Barclays Premiership clash with Bolton at The Valley.

The on-loan Russian midfielder was ineligible for the Carling Cup win over Chelsea in midweek, but is likely to be back in the side, along with Radostin Kishishev - at the expense of Bryan Hughes and Matt Holland.

Jonathan Spector and Chris Perry could both return to the defence but centre-back Talal El Karkouri faces a fitness test after suffering cramp late on at Stamford Bridge, while striker Shaun Bartlett (ankle) and Jason Euell (shoulder) remain sidelined.

Team (from): Andersen, Young, Hreidarsson, Perry, El Karkouri, Powell, Spector, Rommedahl, Thomas, Ambrose, Murphy, Smertin, Holland, Hughes, Bent, Bothroyd, Kishishev, Johansson, Fortune, Kiely, Sam, Lisbie.

Gary Speed (back) and Jay-Jay Okocha (groin) could both be in the Bolton squad for the trip to face Charlton.

The pair trained for the first time since overcoming their respective injuries yesterday and could be involved, as could Jared Borgetti - Wanderers' matchwinner against West Ham in the Carling Cup.

Full-back Ricardo Gardner is available for league action again after a one-match ban, while Abdoulaye Faye should be able to play a part despite coming off early against West Ham in midweek.

Provisional squad: Jaaskelainen, Ben Haim, N'Gotty, Jaidi, Gardner, Pedersen, Giannakopoulos, Fernandes, Speed, Okocha, Nolan, Faye, O'Brien, Fadiga, Davies, Diouf, Borgetti, Nakata, Djetou, Walker.

Chelsea vs Blackburn

Jose Mourinho will recall rested stars Claude Makelele, Asier del Horno and William Gallas for the visit of Blackburn to Stamford Bridge.

All three were omitted from the side which crashed out of the Carling Cup to Charlton on penalties on Wednesday night.

On the injury front, Mourinho is without reserve right-back Glen Johnson (hand) and Damien Duff (knee) while defender Ricardo Carvalho should be fit to return after recovering from a bout of concussion. Fit-again left-back Wayne Bridge is also included in the squad.

Provisional squad: Cech, Cudicini, Ferreira, Gallas, Geremi, Terry, Carvalho, del Horno, Bridge, Makelele, Lampard, Essien, Gudjohnsen, C Cole, J Cole, Robben, Wright-Phillips, Drogba, Crespo, Huth.

Craig Bellamy is set to regain his place in the Blackburn starting line-up for the daunting trip to face Chelsea in the Barclays Premiership at Stamford Bridge.

Bellamy has made a big impact on his last two appearances as substitute after his return from a knee injury and boss Mark Hughes looks certain to bring him back.

Defender Ryan Nelsen is definitely out with a knee injury but Zurab Khizanishvili has shrugged off the knock he sustained in the midweek Carling Cup win over Leeds and should start.

Provisional squad: Friedel, Neill, Khizanishvili, Gray, Bentley, Emerton, Tugay, Mokoena, Pedersen, Bellamy, Dickov, Reid, Kuqi, Gresko, Todd, Enckelman, Jansen, Thompson.

Liverpool vs West Ham

Liverpool hope to have Steve Finnan back from a groin injury to face West Ham at Anfield while a host of players rested in the midweek Carling Cup defeat at Crystal Palace are likely to return.

Finnan was injured before the Champions League tie with Anderlecht and has not played since. If he does not recover in time Josemi or youngster David Raven will deputise.

Manager Rafael Benitez will bring back Jose Reina, Jamie Carragher, John Arne Riise, Mohamed Sissoko, Xabi Alonso, Bolo Zenden and Djibril Cisse, who all sat out the 2-1 loss at Selhurst Park.

Provisional squad: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Luis Garcia, Gerrard, Hamann, Alonso, Sissoko, Riise, Zenden, Cisse, Crouch, Morientes, Sinama-Pongolle, Kewell, Carson, Josemi, Raven, Warnock.

West Ham boss Alan Pardew has concerns over the fitness of Yossi Benayoun and Bobby Zamora ahead of the trip to Anfield to face Liverpool in the Barclays Premiership.

Both players have slight hamstring injuries and could miss out, while goalkeeper Roy Carroll is ruled out with a knee injury.

Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon will return to the centre of defence and Pardew is set to recall his first-choice players following the midweek defeat to Bolton in the Carling Cup.

Provisional squad: Hislop, Repka, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Konchesky, Benayoun, Mullins, Etherington, Reo-Coker, Sheringham, Harewood, Zamora, Newton, Dailly, Bellion, Aliadiere, Collins, Ward, Clarke, Bywater.

Middlesbrough vs Man Utd (5.15pm)

Wes Brown and Kieran Richardson return to Manchester United's Barclays Premiership for the Barclays Premiership trip to Middlesbrough.

The England duo both came through the midweek Carling Cup win over Barnet unscathed and are added to a squad lacking Ryan Giggs (fractured cheekbone), Roy Keane (broken foot), Gabriel Heinze (knee), Quinton Fortune (knee) and Gary Neville (groin).

Louis Saha is also missing, although scans have revealed no tear to the hamstring he damaged in training on Tuesday.

Provisional squad: Van der Sar, Howard, O'Shea, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Brown, Richardson, Smith, Fletcher, Scholes, Miller, Rooney, Ronaldo, Park, Van Nistelrooy, Rossi.

Sunderland vs Portsmouth

Central defenders Gary Breen (ribs) and Alan Stubbs (groin) are doubtful for Sunderland's game against relegation rivals Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light.

Midfielder Julio Arca is also struggling with a sore toe and Christian Bassila is again ruled out with a hamstring injury.

But manager Mick McCarthy will restore Stephen Elliott and Andy Gray to the attack and recall goalkeeper Kelvin Davis and midfielders Dean Whitehead and Tommy Miller to the side knocked out of the Carling Cup by Arsenal in midweek.

Provisional squad: Davis, Nosworthy, Hoyte, Breen, Stubbs, Caldwell, Lawrence, Whitehead, Miller, Arca, Robinson, Welsh, Elliott, Gray, Le Tallec, Stead, Alnwick, Collins, Woods.

Centre-back Andy O'Brien's knee injury may force Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin to adopt a more attacking formation in the clash at Sunderland.

He could switch from three central defenders to a 4-4-1-1 formation with Danish international Brian Priske partnering Dejan Stefanovic at the back and Andy Griffin returning.

Salif Diao (hamstring) and Richard Hughes (hip) are fit again to contest midfield places while striker Svetoslav Todorov is another possible starter.

Provisional squad: Ashdown; Griffin, Priske, Stefanovic, Vignal, O'Neil, Viafara, Diao, Taylor, Robert, Vukic, Silva, Todorov, Hughes, Mbesuma, Primus, Cisse, Westerveld.

Tottenham vs Arsenal (1pm)

Tottenham coach Martin Jol will be without four long-term absentees for the visit of north London rivals Arsenal.

Wayne Routledge (foot), Goran Bunjevcevic (foot), Anthony Gardner (thigh) and Noe Pamarot (knee) are all still unavailable or not yet match fit enough to be considered by the Dutchman.

Jermain Defoe and Egyptian striker Mido are set to lead the attack while Spurs will be without influential midfielder Edgar Davids.

The Dutchman is ruled out of his first north London derby after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season against Manchester United last weekend.

Provisional squad: Robinson, Cerny, Stalteri, Dawson, King, Naybet, Lee, Reid, Jenas, Carrick, Tainio, Lennon, Brown, Mendes, Davis, Defoe, Mido, Keane, Rasiak, Kelly.

Arsenal will be without striker Thierry Henry for the Barclays Premiership clash with north London rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

The Gunners' all-time leading scorer has suffered a setback following his return from a groin problem.

Striker Jose Antonio Reyes and midfielder Freddie Ljungberg are fit again and centre-half Sol Campbell is set to face his old club. Alexander Hleb (knee) and Ashley Cole (foot) remain out.

Team (from): Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cygan, Clichy, Fabregas, Flamini, Gilberto, Pires, Bergkamp, Reyes, van Persie, Senderos, Almunia, Quincy, Eboue, Lupoli, Poom.

Wigan vs Fulham (12.45pm)

Record signing Henri Camara is Wigan's only fit striker ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premiership encounter with Fulham.

David Connolly (hamstring) and Jason Roberts (thigh) have both been ruled out, so Swedish international Andreas Johansson stands by for a Premiership recall following his midweek Carling Cup brace against Watford.

Lee McCulloch completes a three-match ban so Alan Mahon is set to continue in midfield.

Team (from): Filan, Pollitt, Chimbonda, McMillan, De Zeeuw, Henchoz, Jackson, Thome, Baines, Bullard, Kavanagh, Johansson, Mahon, Francis, Wright, Taylor, Teale, Camara, Skoko.

Fulham manager Chris Coleman is set to revert to his usual system to face Wigan after an unsuccessful Carling Cup experiment in midweek.

Coleman, who made a number of changes for the 3-2 cup defeat at home to West Brom on Tuesday, is expected to name a similar side to the one which beat Liverpool 2-0 last week when the Cottagers travel to Wigan for a Saturday lunch-time clash.

Goalkeeper Mark Crossley is out with a hamstring problem but striker Tomasz Radzinski returns to the squad following a quad muscle injury.

Full-back Moritz Volz missed training sessions after taking a knock but is expected to return while veteran Ian Pearce has recovered from a calf problem.

Provisional squad: Warner, Volz, Goma, Bocanegra, N Jensen, Rosenior, Malbranque, Diop, C Jensen, Boa Morte, Elrich, John, Helguson, Rehman, McBride, Legwinski, Batista, Leacock, Knight, Pearce, Radzinski.

West Brom vs Newcastle (Sun 4pm)

Newcastle welcome back Michael Owen, Emre, Stephen Carr and Steve Harper into their squad for Sunday's Barclays Premiership game at West Brom.

Manager Graeme Souness says Owen, who has missed the last two games because of hamstring problems, will play at The Hawthorns unless anything untoward happens.

But midfielders Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer and striker Shola Ameobi all still out through injury.

Provisional squad: Given, Carr, Babayaro, Boumsong, Bramble, Parker, N'Zogbia, Taylor, Emre, Clark, Solano, Shearer, Owen, Faye, Elliott, Ramage, Harper, Chopra, Brittain.

Man City vs Aston Villa (Mon 8pm)

Stuart Pearce is hoping to welcome Andy Cole and Ben Thatcher back to the Manchester City squad for Monday's televised Barclays Premiership encounter with Aston Villa.

Cole missed Saturday's defeat at Arsenal with a groin injury, while Thatcher has sat out the past month with an ankle problem.

Richard Dunne (knee), Trevor Sinclair (knee), Nedum Onuoha (groin) and Claudio Reyna (knee and ankle) are all out, while Robbie Fowler and Bradley Wright-Phillips could be involved despite missing out on a vital reserve team run-out in midweek.

Provisional squad: James, Weaver, Mills, Distin, Sommeil, Richards, Jordan, Thatcher, Sun, Croft, Barton, Ireland, Musampa, Hussein, Sibierski, Cole, Vassell, Miller, Fowler, Wright-Phillips.

Aston Villa are again without their £6.5million striker Milan Baros for Monday's Barclays Premiership clash with Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Baros will miss his fifth successive game after aggravating his Achilles tendon problem while on international duty with the Czech Republic.

Villa, who are also still missing left-back Wilfred Bouma (hamstring) and midfielder Lee Hendrie (knee), will give a fitness test to right-back Aaron Hughes (hernia) - Mark Delaney, who made his first appearance of the season in midweek following summer knee surgery, stands by.

Provisional squad: Sorensen, Taylor, Hughes, Delaney, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Samuel, Milner, Berger, Bakke, McCann, Davis, De La Cruz, Djemba-Djemba, Barry, Phillips, Angel, Moore.

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