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English Soccer Capsules

English Soccer Capsules

A brief look at upcoming Premier League matches (home teams listed first; league positions in parentheses):
Saturday
Charlton (19) vs. Aston Villa (10)
Charlton winger Jerome Thomas is unlikely to play after suffering the effects of a virus. Midfielder Amdy Faye is struggling to shake off an undisclosed injury, while midfielder Andy Reid (hamstring) and captain Luke Young (knee) are both out.
Aston Villa striker Chris Sutton will miss six weeks after sustaining a concussion against Manchester United on Dec. 23. Defenders Olof Mellberg and Aaron Hughes should play after recovering from knee injuries. Midfielder Stiliyan Petrov (hamstring) is in doubt.
Blackburn (15) vs. Middlesbrough (16)
Blackburn's American goalkeeper Brad Friedel still has a leg injury but is expected to play. Striker Francis Jeffers (hamstring) could play after returning to training this week.
Middlesbrough midfielder James Morrison (calf strain) and defender Abel Xavier (hamstring) should return. Midfielder Julio Arca (hip) is questionable and defender Robert Huth (foot) is sidelined until at least mid-January.
Bolton (4) vs. Portsmouth (5)
Bolton winger Stelios Giannakopoulos (groin), midfielders Quinton Fortune (Achilles) and Joey O'Brien (knee) are all missing as the Wanderers' look for their fifth straight win.
Portsmouth striker Benjani Mwaruwari will replace Nwankwo Kanu, who will be rested ahead of Monday's match against Tottenham. Midfielder Manuel Fernandes is doubtful since a starting place would trigger a 12 million pound (euro17.9 million;US$23.6 million) buyout clause in his loan deal from Benfica.
Chelsea (2) vs. Fulham (12)
Chelsea defender John Terry underwent back surgery on Thursday. He was not initially expected to return for at least four weeks. However, the club said Terry jogged at its training ground on Friday. Team doctor Bryan English declined to say when Terry would play next.
Terry has missed the Blues' last four games, in which Chelsea has conceded six goals.
Goalkeepers Petr Cech (fractured skull) and Carlo Cudicini (thigh) are out, while midfielder Joe Cole (foot) is also missing. Defender Khalid Boulahrouz is suspended, while winger Arjen Robben is in doubt after suffering an undisclosed injury in practice this week.
Fulham forward Heider Helguson is suspended for one match. Midfielder Claus Jensen (groin) is out, with captain Luis Boa Morte taking his place on the bench. The Portuguese forward is still recovering from a hamstring injury and is not 100 percent fit. Midfielder Papa Bouba Diop (thigh) and defender Ian Pearce (back) are out.
Everton (8) vs. Newcastle (11)
Everton midfielder Phil Neville returns from suspension. Defender Alan Stubbs (knee) is questionable after missing the 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough on Tuesday. Midfielder Tim Cahill (knee) is definitely out.
Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given and full-back Nolberto Solano are also in doubt with groin injuries. The list of long-term absentees is lengthy: defenders Celestine Babayaro (hamstring), Olivier Bernard (hip), Craig Moore (hamstring), Titus Bramble (calf), and Stephen Carr (foot); winger Damien Duff (knee), midfielder Charles N'Zogbia (knee), and strikers Shola Ameobi (hip) and Michael Owen (knee).
Manchester United (1) vs. Reading (9)
The return of Man United midfielder Michael Carrick after a two-game layoff (ankle) is timely, since midfielder Paul Scholes and defender Nemanja Vidic are suspended. Striker Louis Saha, midfielder Ryan Giggs and defenders Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville are set to return.
Reading has no new injury worries. Winger Bobby Convey and striker Dave Kitson continue to recover from knee injuries, but are still missing from the lineup.
Tottenham (7) vs. Liverpool (6)
Tottenham is without striker Robbie Keane because of a knee injury and midfielder Jermaine Jenas, still recovering from an ankle injury. Both are expected to return in the new year. Forward Aaron Lennon is questionable (knee) and striker Mido still not 100 percent (groin).
With no injuries to report, the only real question remaining for Liverpool is the forward lineup. Striker Dirk Kuyt is looking to replace Peter Crouch, who missed several chances in the Reds' 1-0 loss to Blackburn on Tuesday.
Watford (20) vs. Wigan (14)
Watford defender Danny Shittu (ankle) is in doubt. Forward Hameur Bouazza (shoulder) is looking at six weeks recovery time, while striker Marlon King (knee) is out for the season. Defenders James Chambers (leg wound) and Clarke Carlisle (thigh) are also missing.
Wigan midfielder Paul Scharner is out for at least eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Captain Arjan de Zeeuw returns from a toe injury, but striker Henri Camara (knee) is a long-term casualty. Winger Lee McCulloch sits out as part of a three-match suspension. Ryan Taylor, Antonio Valencia and Steve McMillan are also sidelined.
West Ham (18) vs. Manchester City (13)
West Ham defender Paul Konchesky serves his one-match ban from a red card at Fulham last week. Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker is also missing due to suspension. Defender James Collins (groin) is questionable and striker Dean Ashton is looking at a return in February from a broken ankle.
Manchester City midfielders Dietmar Hamann (back) and Claudio Reyna (hamstring) are out, while Joey Barton begins a three-match suspension. Strikers Paul Dickov (toe) and Darius Vassell (groin) are questionable.
Sheffield United (17) vs. Arsenal (3)
Sheffield United striker Danny Webber, defender Claude Davis, and midfielders Michael Tonge and Keith Gillespie will all be last-minute decisions due to a virus that has hit the squad. Midfielder Stephen Quinn (fibula) and defender Derek Geary (thigh) are out.
Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor (thigh), wingers Alexander Hleb (shin) and Theo Walcott (back) and defenders Emmanuel Eboue (ankle) and Johan Djourou (hamstring) are out. They join long-term absentees Thierry Henry (back), William Gallas (thigh) and Freddie Ljungberg (hamstring).


Updated : 2021-03-05 00:53 GMT+08:00