Norwich v West Ham
Norwich are without Darren Huckerby (ban) and Yousef Safri (African Nations Cup), so Jason Jarrett could start.
Rossi Jarvis and Michael Spillane may feature but Adam Drury, Jurgen Collin and Jason Shackell are all doubtful.
West Ham striker Yaniv Katan could make his debut but Yossi Benayoun and Roy Carroll (both thigh) are major doubts.
Teddy Sheringham is still out with a calf injury and Marlon Harewood may be rested but Bobby Zamora (hamstring) and Danny Gabbidon (knee) are fit again.
Preston v Crewe
Preston team news to follow later.
Crewe have doubts over Anthony Tonkin and Steve Jones (both hamstring), but David Vaughan could return to the side.
Ben Williams (wrist) could come in and Michael Higdon (stomach) and Richard Walker (ankle) are also in contention
Sheff Utd v Colchester
Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock is expected to rest Phil Jagielka, Nick Montgomery, Leigh Bromby, Paddy Kenny David Unsworth and Neil Shipperley.
Youngsters Jonathan Forte and Ian Ross, defender Alan Wright and striker Paul Shaw are all expected to feature.
Colchester welcome back highly-rated midfielder Greg Halford who returns from a one-match ban.
Liam Chilvers is suspended for the Bramall Lane clash, but boss Phil Parkinson has no new injury worries.
Southampton v MK Dons
Southampton's Martin Cranie and Darren Kenton Matt Oakley, Rory Delap, Darren Powell and Neil NcCann (tendinitis) are all struggling to be fit.
Kenwyne Jones has shaken off a foot injury and there may be a recall for striker Theo Walcott.
MK Dons boss Danny Wilson has close to a full-strength squad to choose from.
The only absentee is likely to be midfielder Gary Smith, whose recovery from a knee ligament injury looks set to take at least another week.
Stockport v Brentford
Stockport caretaker boss Jim Gannon will be without new striker signing Liam Dickinson, who is cup-tied.
Tes Bramble is suspended, although striker Adam Le Fondre, midfielder Mickael Wolski and defender Ross Greenwood will be available.
Brentford will be without winger Jay Tabb, who has a foot injury.
Kevin O'Connor is likely to return while Andrew Frampton, Paul Brooker and utility man Marcus Gayle could all return for the cup tie.
Stoke v Tamworth
Stoke captain Michael Duberry is suspended, while John Halls is missing with a hamstring problem.
Defender Clint Hill and midfielder John Eustace remain long-term absentees, although Andy Wilkinson could feature.
Tamworth news will appear here
Watford - Bolton
Watford will be without influential forward Ashley Young for the FA Cup tie against Premiership side Bolton.
The third-round clash at Vicarage Road sees the 20-year-old begin a three-game ban for the straight red card he received in the 2-1 win at Luton on January 2.
Defender James Chambers and midfielder Matthew Spring are also banned after collecting their fifth bookings of the season in the goalless draw at Millwall on December 28, so Jordan Stewart is likely to come in at left-back and Al Bangura will keep his place alongside Gavin Mahon in central midfield.
Young is likely to be replaced on the right wing by the experienced Paul Devlin, with Darius Henderson and Marlon King continuing in attack and Anthony McNamee on the left.
Defender Clarke Carlisle plays his final game before serving a one-match ban, while midfielder Dominic Blizzard is still unavailable due to illness.
NOLAN, DAVIES AND CAMPO BANNED
Nigeria playmaker Jay-Jay Okocha looks set to captain the side at Watford tomorrow in the FA Cup before leaving for the African Nations Cup.
Manager Sam Allardyce could be without as many as nine players for the tricky tie against the Coca-Cola Championship high-fliers.
El-Hadji Diouf, Abdoulaye Faye and Radhi Jaidi are heading off to prepare for the continental tournament in Egypt while Kevin Davies, Kevin Nolan and Ivan Campo are all suspended.
Gary Speed (knee), Nicky Hunt (calf) and Khalilou Fadiga (virus) may also miss out through injury and illness.
Bolton (from): Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Ben Haim, N'Gotty, Gardner, Speed, Giannakopoulos, Djetou, Okocha, Nakata, Fadiga, Borgetti, Vaz Te, Hunt, Walker, Fernandes, Fojut, Powell.
QPR - Blacjburn (täyd)
Double boost for Rangers
QPR hope to have Matthew Rose and Marc Nygaard available for the FA Cup clash at Premiership side Blackburn.
Defender Rose, 30, and striker Nygaard, 29, sustained side and calf injuries respectively in the 1-1 draw with Burnley on January 2, but Rangers boss Ian Holloway is quietly confident both can recover for the third-round tie.
If neither player makes it, Georges Santos and Paul Furlong are expected to come into the starting XI.
Marc Bircham is doubtful after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring problem that kept him out of the Burnley fixture, while forward Kevin Gallen (hamstring), midfielders Steve Lomas (hamstring) and Tommy Doherty (fibula) and defender Dominic Shimmin (calf) are all unavailable.
Wigan - Leeds
Wigan manager Paul Jewell has vowed to make changes for his side's FA Cup third-round tie with Championship side Leeds at the JJB Stadium on Saturday.
Jewell has adopted a similar policy for the Carling Cup matches this season, although he also threatened to shake up the team after their poor defeats to Blackburn and Birmingham on Saturday and Monday.
Jewell is now without striker Henri Camara after he flew out to link up with Senegal for the African Nations' Cup, while left-back Leighton Baines is still struggling with a hamstring injury.
Captain Arjan de Zeeuw is also doubtful after breaking his nose at St Andrews. Jewell's new signing, Austria defender Paul Scharner, is likely to be on the bench.
Wigan (from): Pollitt, Chimbonda, Jackson, Henchoz, Scharner, Johansson, Kavanagh, Mahon, de Zeeuw, Francis, Taylor, Teale, Skoko, Bullard, McCulloch, Baines, Roberts, Connolly.
Despite a midweek vote of confidence from club President Giampaolo Pozzo, Udinese boss Serse Cosmi knows that Sunday’s clash at the Stadio Sant’Elia is a must-win. However, the Sardinians have been gradually improving and will believe that they can humble Cosmi’s men and move out of the drop zone.
The Rossoblu suffered a miserable start to the season, but under Nedo Sonetti have finally shown signs of turning the corner. The Sardinians have also been resilient on home turf, only conceding six goals in eight games. Creditable draws with Sampdoria and Palermo were followed by a vital win over Ascoli. Unfortunately, a pre-Christmas defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Parma in Week 17 denied Sonetti’s men a relaxing holiday period.
The visitors have had a largely disappointing season. Cosmi’s side has been blighted by inconsistency. A great win over Sampdoria in Week 17 could not undo the woeful performances in defeats against Chievo, Lecce and Livorno. Press speculation over Cosmi’s future was so great that President Pozzo broke a Press silence to support the under-fire Friuli tactician.
Cagliari goalkeeper Andrea Campagnolo will feel pressure with the arrival of Antonio Chimenti who will be ready to play next week. Daniele Conti returns from suspension but Andrea Cossu will miss out again while Massimo Gobbi and Francesco Pisano are doubts.
Cosmi receives a big boost with the return of Vincenzo Iaquinta from injury. However, Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Ali Muntari is out with a serious ankle injury, Jose Luis Vidigal remains sidelined and the visitors are awaiting permission from the Nigerian Football Federation to call Christian Obodo back from African Nations Cup duty. Colombian midfielder Abel Aguilar has been recalled from a loan spell at Ascoli and may be needed. Fausto Rossini and Cesare Natali also look likely to miss out.
Cagliari (probable): Campagnolo; Bega, Canini, Bizera, Agostini; Esposito, Conti, Abeijon, Conticchio, Langella; Suazo
Udinese (probable): De Sanctis; Bertotto, Sensini, Felipe; Zenoni, Pinzi, Tissone, Mauri, Pieri; Iaquinta, Di Natale
Di Michelle 3m, Barreto 2m, Vidigal 2m
Chievo - Lecce
Chievo boss Beppe Pillon will be determined for his side to bounce back from a thumping by Roma with a victory over lowly Lecce at the Stadio Bentegodi. Lecce Coach Silvio Baldini however, will be hoping that the Giallorossi’s pre-Christmas improvement can continue into January. While the visitors have struggled and rarely performed on their travels, they have recently shown glimpses of the form needed to stay up, with a win over Udinese and a draw with Lazio.
Despite a 4-0 reverse at the Stadio Olimpico in Week 17, Pillon will have been thrilled with Chievo’s start to the season. Although the Gialloblu’s tactician refuses to set his sights higher than survival, the Veronese outfit remain in sixth place and a win over Milan proved that they can compete with anyone. Week 4’s 1-0 reverse against Inter remains the Flying Donkeys’ only home defeat this term.
Lecce have only scored five times away from Via Del Mare but pose a threat from the penalty spot. The visitors have been awarded five penalties already and converted them all.
Victor Obinna may have played his last game for Chievo as he is likely to join Inter. However, Pillon will be glad to see veteran goalkeeper Alberto Fontana back to full fitness as well as Luciano, Federico Cossato and Greek midfielder Antonios Natsouras.
Baldini has received good and bad news ahead of the trip to Verona. Mirko Vucinic, who looks set to move on in the summer, is suspended. Finnish midfielder Alexei Eremenko is in talks with Celtic and won’t feature, but Jaime Valdes has shaken off a fever and returns from Chile match fit. Goalkeeper Vincenzo Sicignano is available after suspension.
Chievo (probable): Fontana; Malagò, Mandelli, Scurto, Lanna; Semioli, Brighi, Giunti, Franceschini; Amauri, Pellissier
Obinna 3m, Tiribouchi 2m, D´Anna 2m
Lecce (probable): Sicignano; Angelo, Diamoutene, Stovini, Rullo; Marianini, Delvecchio, Camorani; Konan, Cozzolino, Pinardi
Vucinic 5m, Pinardi 3m,
Empoli - Messina
Empoli and Messina meet at the Stadio Castellani for the first time in Serie A history with both sides in dire need of a winning start to 2006. While the home team know that a defeat could leave them in a relegation battle, Bortolo Mutti’s visitors are already fighting for their lives and cannot afford to let the Tuscans extend their points advantage.
Empoli had an excellent start to the season and seemed to have settled into life in the top flight but suffered in November and December. A draw with Fiorentina was encouraging but the Azzurri are without a win in six and Francesco Tavano, after a prolific start brought nine early goals, hasn’t hit the target in four games. Coach Mario Somma will hope he can combine with Ighli Vannucchi who has scored in his last two outings.
Messina are becoming Serie A’s draw specialists. Week 17’s 1-1 draw with Reggina in the Derby dello Stretto was the Giallorossi’s seventh of the season. Mutti needs his side to find the form shown in beating Chievo 2-0 in Week 15.
Somma’s only real injury worry is Riccardo Bonetto. His recurring ankle problem means that Stefano Lucchini and Richard Vanigli may both feature in defence. Mutti has more serious concerns. Ivica Iliev and Luca Fusco have joined Genoa after a training ground dispute with the Coach and there are rumours that Riccardo Zampagna has also fallen out with the fiery tactician - although he officially misses the game with a virus. Filippo Cristante is suspended but defender Marco Zoro should be allowed to play despite being on African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast.
There are question marks over the state of the Castellani pitch as Empoli have been unable to train on it this week.
Empoli (probable): Berti; Vanigli, Coda, Pratali, Lucchini; Buscè, Ficini, Almiron, Vannucchi; Tavano, Riganò
Messina (probable): Storari; Zoro, Zanchi, Rezaei, Aronica; Giampà, Donati, Coppola; Sculli, Di Napoli, Muslimovic
Agostino 3m, Zambagno 2m
Lazio - Ascoli
Ascoli boss Marco Giampaolo called for reinforcements over the Christmas period but will look to his current personnel to upset an inconsistent Lazio side at the Stadio Olimpico.
Despite pre-season gloom, Delio Rossi has guided Lazio to tenth, a success based on an excellent home record. The Stadio Olimpico has become a fortress for the Biancocelesti who are one of three Serie A sides unbeaten at home and will be favourites to take maximum points in the first meeting between the two clubs since 1992.
Ascoli’s honeymoon period in Serie A is over. After an unexpectedly successful start, the Bianconeri have found points hard to come by. However, a crucial Week 17 victory over Treviso gave Giampaolo’s side some festive cheer and ended a run of nine games without a win.
Lazio start the New Year with a midfielder shortage. Ousmane Dabo is suspended, Valon Behrami is out of action for a month and Fabio Firmani is also injured. Cesar – who is on his way to Inter – is having a medical in Brazil and Dane Christian Keller may be out for 10-15 days. Andrea Giallombardo, naturally a defender, may be handed his first start of the season but Rossi also has Goran Pandev or Congo-born Belgian Gaby Mudingayi. Angelo Peruzzi has recovered from his knock sustained against Lecce.
Giampaolo will have to work with a limited squad. Vittorio Tosto and Alfredo Cariello return but Mirko Cudini is still out along with Ivano Della Morte and Cristiano Del Grosso who is suspended. The situation is made worse as Valerio Virga, Corrado Colombo, Abel Aguilar and Paul Ramirez have all returned to their clubs after loan spells.
Lazio’s Simone Inzaghi is rumoured to be at the top of Giampaolo’s list of January reinforcements but Rossi is unlikely to make use of him as Paolo Di Canio and Tomasso Rocchi are both available.
Lazio (probable): Peruzzi; Oddo, Siviglia, Cribari; Zauri, Keller, Mudingayi, Liverani, Manfredini; Di Canio, Rocchi
Pandev 4m, Tare 2m
Ascoli (probable): Coppola; Comotto, Domizzi, Paci, Tosto; Foggia, Guana, Biso, Fini; Quagliarella, Bjelanovic
Milan - Parma
Both Milan and Parma will hope to start 2006 as they finished 2005, with a win in this San Siro clash.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men withstood a barrage of Press scrutiny after defeats against Chievo and Inter, but got back on track with emphatic wins over Livorno and Messina. The ageing Milan defence may have answered some of the questions posed, but with Diego Lugano and Andrea Barzagli rumoured to be on the way the veterans know that they are playing for their places.
Mario Beretta is no stranger to the eyes of the Press. The Parma boss was said to be days away from a sacking earlier in the season but his side have started to respond. After draws with Siena and Sampdoria, a vital win over Cagliari in Week 17 pulled the Gialloblu out of the relegation zone and lifted the gloom at the Stadio Tardini.
The clash will have added significance for Alberto Gilardino, whose goals saved the visitors from relegation last season and Carlo Ancelotti and Filippo Inzaghi who also spent time at the Tardini club.
Paolo Maldini and Jaap Stam will be missing at the back and Marcos Cafu is unavailable for personal reasons.
Veteran goalkeeper Luca Bucci will fill in between the posts for the visitors while Matteo Guardalben settles in following his arrival from Palermo. Beretta’s other selection problems are harder to overcome. Ibrahima Camara is with the Guinea African Nations Cup squad while Andrea Pisanu, Damiano Ferronetti, Domenico Morfeo, Filippo Savi and Marco Delvecchio are all injured. The only bright side is that Marco Marchionni remains available for selection despite the battle between Inter and Juventus to wrestle him away from the Gialloblu.
Milan (probable): Dida; Simic, Nesta, Kaladze; Serginho, Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Kakà; Gilardino, Shevchenko
Stam, Seedorf 2m,
Parma (probable): Bucci; Coly, Cardone, Cannavaro, Contini; Grella, Bolano, Simplicio, Marchionni, Bresciano; Corradi
Palermo - Juventus
Both Palermo and Juventus will be hoping to steady their form when they meet at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. While Juve are still flying high at the top of the table, their 1-1 draw with Lazio in their last away game showed that it is possible to earn points against La Vecchia Signora. The Sicilian outfit are also playing below their best. Suffering defeat in their last two matches they have now slipped into the bottom half of the table and are in danger of being left behind in the race for Europe.
The Rosanero’s below par performances recently have seen club President Maurizio Zamparini itching to splash the cash. Cristiano Lupatelli has already arrived in the January transfer window in time to compete for a place in this match. That deal also saw previous ‘keeper Matteo Guardalben banished to struggling Parma, and every player in the Palermo team will know that they could be playing for their place in the squad when they face the reigning champions.
The side from Sicily are virtually injury free after their Christmas break but will be hoping to take advantage of the Bianconeri’s defensive absences at the Barbera. Juve will be without Alessandro Birindelli and Robert Kovac for the whole of January and the ever-present Gianluca Zambrotta will miss his first game of the season through suspension.
Palermo (probable): Lupatelli; Zaccardo, Terlizzi, Barzagli, Grosso; Santana, Barone, Corini, Bonanni; Caracciolo, Makinwa
Juventus (probable): Abbiati; Blasi, Thuram, Cannavaro, Chiellini; Camoranesi, Emerson, Vieira, Nedved; Ibrahimovic, Trezeguet
Del Piero 5m, Mutu 2m
Reggina - Fiorentina
Reggina and Fiorentina will both be looking for a win in Reggio Calabria to keep their rivals at arm’s length. The Viola had propelled themselves into the Champions League positions but their recent defeat to Juventus and draws with Roma and Empoli have seen Livorno clawing their way towards that all-important fourth spot. Their opponents may have looked secure in their mid-table position, but while still in 14th position they are only seven points away from bottom placed side Treviso.
The most important player for the Tuscan side could well be Luca Toni. The former Vicenza hit-man is still chasing unlucky goal number 17. After previously scoring 16 times in 13 appearances, failing to appear on the score sheet just twice, Toni has now gone four matches without hitting the back of the net. Luckily this dry spell has coincided with the rise of Giampaolo Pazzini. The youngster has looked dangerous in recent weeks after Cesare Prandelli reverted to a two-man strike-force to cover for Toni’s drought.
But Reggina have their own on-form support striker. Francesco Cozza has scored some crucial goals for the club and is currently their top marksman after striking seven times this season. He is bound to play an important part in this game as his team tries to bounce back from their 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Inter in their last home match.
Before that they had won three home ties in a row and will be hoping for a return to that form here. Whatever the result one set of fans should come away happy as there is yet to be a draw at the Stadio Oreste Granillo in 2005-06. Amaranto Coach Walter Mazzarri will be joining the fans in lending his support from the stands as he is suspended from the bench.
Reggina (probable): Pavarini; Lanzaro, De Rosa, Franceschini, Lucarelli; Mesto, Paredes, Biondini, Modesto; Cozza; Amoruso
Fiorentina (probable): Frey; Ujfalusi, Gamberini, Dainelli, Pasqual; Fiore, Brocchi, Donadel, Jorgensen; Pazzini, Toni
Sampdoria - Livorno
Sampdoria and Livorno will both be hoping to give themselves an advantage in the race for European football when they come face to face in Genoa. But one win in their last four games has seen Samp slip down the pecking order and are now just outside of the qualification places behind fellow challengers Chievo. The Granata are sitting pretty in fifth place with a four-point gap at the top of the UEFA Cup places.
But Livorno will need to play well to secure all three points as their away form has not lived-up to their impressive best. The Tuscan side have managed to score just eight goals away from home all term while the Blucerchiati have not been defeated at the Luigi Ferraris since the visit of the Flying Donkeys in September.
Livorno’s away form has seen an improvement though, as their last two encounters outside the Armando Picchi have both resulted in 2-0 wins. This will provide some inspiration as the players try to bounce back from the 3-0 mauling they suffered at the hands of Milan before the Christmas break.
One player who will be going all out for the win is Livorno’s Alessandro Grandoni. The defender spent six seasons with Sampdoria between 1999 and 2004. He went through both their relegation to Serie B and their eventual promotion back into the top-flight and will be keen to perform on his return to Marassi. His cause will be helped by the absence of Genovese star Emiliano Bonazzoli. The club’s top scorer is out for the rest of the campaign after suffering a knee-injury on New Years day.
Sampdoria (probable): Antonioli; Zenoni, Castellini, Sala, Pisano; Diana, Tonetto, Dalla Bona, Kutuzov; Bazzani, Flachi
Poriello 2m, Volpi 2m
Livorno (probable): Amelia; Grandoni, Vargas, Galante; Pfertzel, Morrone, Passoni, De Ascentis, Coco; Lazetic; Lucarelli
Siena - Inter
When Siena host Inter at the Stadio Artemio Franchi it will see the worst defence in Serie A come up against one of the toughest. The Bianconeri have conceded 30 goals in just 17 games, more than any other team in the top-flight this season. Their situation will not be helped by Paolo Negro’s continued absence through injury. The experienced defender had been set to line-up against a host of former Lazio teammates including Giuseppe Favalli and Juan Veron.
Nerazzurri Coach Roberto Mancini will be much more confident about his defence as his side have conceded just 14 times in the current campaign, a record that is second only to Juventus. With the likes of Javier Zanetti and Walter Samuel now recovered from their injuries, the tactician will be hoping for his team’s eleventh clean-sheet of the campaign.
Mancio is also likely to be confident of his team’s chances at the other end, as Obafemi Martins and Adriano have hit excellent form recently. After the pair notched up seven goals in their last three matches they are sure to be a threat again in this encounter, especially with Martins looking to impress before he departs for the African Cup of Nations.
As well as the Milan outfit’s Nigerian striker, there will be a number of Siena players hoping to impress in Week 18. Defenders Igor Tudor and Nicola Legrottaglie plus ‘keeper Antonio Mirante are all still owned by top of the table Juve. They will no doubt be eager to do their compatriots a big favour by beating second placed Inter.
Siena (probable): Mirante; Portanova, Legrottaglie, Tudor, Gastaldello; Alberto, D’Aversa, Vergassola; Locatelli; Chiesa, Bogdani
Inter (probable): Julio Cesar; J Zanetti, Cordoba, Samuel, Favalli; Figo, Veron, Cambiasso, Solari; Martins, Adriano
Treviso - Roma
When Roma travel to Treviso they will take with them one of the best away records in Serie A. That must be a daunting fact for Biancocelesti boss Alberto Cavasin as his side have the worst home form in the League. They have amounted just one victory at the Euganeo Stadium in their top-flight debut, only managing to score five goals in the process. In comparison only the top two sides, Juventus and Inter, have picked up more points on their travels than the Giallorossi. The capital club have amassed an impressive 13 points in eight matches away from the Olimpico.
The Roma players will also be aware that with their club’s current transfer embargo, combined with the departure of Antonio Cassano and possibly more to follow, now is a great time to hit top form. Luciano Spalletti’s squad know that with no new players set to arrive some good performances in January could cement their place in the first team for the rest of the season. With Vincenzo Montella, Amantino Mancini and Shabani Nonda all injured and Daniele De Rossi suspended, the likes of Olivier Dacourt and Alberto Aquilani will want to grab this opportunity with both hands.
Both of these sides will also be hoping to continue to catch their rivals in the League table. The Roman side are starting to catch the rest of Italy’s European hopefuls and will not want to lose sight of their Champions League goal. Their opponents have much more modest aims as they fight for survival at the foot of the table.
While they may still be in last place they are steadily catching the sides directly above the relegation zone and are now only two points away from safety. However, it will be a nervous build-up to this game for Cavasin as Marcello Cottafava, Luigi Beghetto, Emanuele Filippini and Dino Fava will all have to face late fitness tests before they can play.
Treviso (probable): Zancope; Dellafiore, Cottafava, Gustavo; A Filippini, Parravicini, Beghetto; Pinga, E Filippini, Reginaldo; Fava
Roma (probable): Doni; Panucci, Mexes, Chivu, Cufre; Dacourt, Aquilani; Taddei, Perrotta, Tommasi; Totti (BBC, Channel4, TeamTalk, Sporting Life, La Gazzetta, Sky-Sport, NewsNow)