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ViestiLähetetty: 31.10.2003, 19:44 
Status: JäsenLiittynyt: 02.03.2003, 13:00Viestit: 1683Paikkakunta: Turku
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Chievo - Inter
Hemmalaget är ordinarie.
Inter saknar Beati, Luciano, Van der Meyde och Emre.

Alberto Zaccheroni has had ten days to mould his Inter side, but there are few teams that can get the better of hard-working Chievo.

Zac’s debut on the Nerazzurri bench was a largely disappointing 0-0 draw with Roma and the tension of recent events at the club – Hector Cuper’s dismissal, the 3-0 defeat at Lokomotiv Moscow, a string of injuries and an organised fan protest – was evident in the performance.

Christian Vieri struck the woodwork in stoppage time and it was the latest in a long line of events that have sapped the confidence out of this team. Critics are still waiting for Alvaro Recoba to deliver on his promise in the new 3-4-3 system, but the probable return to full fitness of Emre Belozoglu and Andy van der Meyde should inject some creativity into the squad.

Chievo have really lived up their nickname of The Flying Donkeys this season, as going into the game they are a point ahead of Inter. A defeat at the Bentegodi would therefore be completely disastrous for Zaccheroni’s men, who already languish nine points adrift of the leaders.

Gigi Del Neri was long touted as a potential future Inter Coach due to his hard-working ethic and ability to dent the big clubs’ ambitions. The man to watch is Brazilian Amauri, having already netted two and created several more for his teammates, but this battle may well be won and lost in midfield. Can Italian international and confirmed Inter transfer target Simone Perrotta bring a tear to Massimo Moratti’s eye?

Chievo (probable): Marchegiani; Moro, Sala, D’Anna, Lanna; Santana, Perrotta, Zanchetta, Semioli; Amauri, Cossato

Inter (probable): Toldo; Cordoba, Materazzi, Cannavaro; J Zanetti, C Zanetti, Almeyda, Coco; Recoba, Vieri, Kily Gonzalez
Roma - Reggina
Lupatelli, Delvecchio, Tommasi och Aijde är borta hos Roma.
Stellone och Cozza saknas hos Reggina.


The injury crisis has passed and Roma hope to maintain their 100 per cent home record against little Reggina.

The Giallorossi were disappointing in the 0-0 draw at Inter last week and will be eager to welcome back Vincenzo Montella and John Carew to give their front line a few more options. Francesco Totti and Antonio Cassano work well together, but there is a limit to what you can achieve without centre-forwards.

Fabio Capello can be heartened by the stunning emergence of 20-year-old local talent Daniele De Rossi, who is fast becoming a firm fixture of the Roma midfield. With the top two facing off in a head-to-head this weekend, this is their opportunity to close the gap on the leaders.

Reggina currently lie in a perfectly respectable 11th place with just two points less than Inter. The Southerners are notorious for a poor away record, but this year have bucked that trend and remain unbeaten on their travels.

It will take quite a performance, in particular from goalkeeper Emanuele Belardi, to maintain that status come Sunday afternoon. Emanuele Bonazzoli is the target man in the absence of the suspended Davide Di Michele and injured Roberto Stellone, but dangerous efforts can come from midfield long-range specialists Shunsuke Nakamura, Gianluca Falsini and Julio Cesar Leon.

Roma (probable): Pelizzoli; Zebina, Samuel, Chivu; Mancini, De Rossi, Emerson, Dacourt, Lima; Totti, Cassano

Reggina (probable): Belardi; Jiranek, Sottil, Franceschini, Martinez; Leon, Baiocco, Mozart, Falsini; Nakamura, Bonazzoli
Brescia - Parma
Jadid, Colucci, Schopp, Filippini och Castellazzi är är på hemmalagets skadelista.
Parma saknar Blasi, Benarrivo, Cardone och Rosina. Filippini är avstängd.


Brescia’s situation is causing some concern and they face another tough test by welcoming fourth-placed Parma to the Stadio Rigamonti.

Roberto Baggio has always been the shining light of the Rondinelle, but with two shocking penalty misses already this season it seems as if that candle is flickering. Although the veteran remains a focal point, we should see a slew of young internationals take centre stage in this match.

Andrea Caracciolo and former Parma midfielders Matteo Brighi and Francelino Matuzalem are on fine form in the blue and white, while the visitors are inspired by Adriano, Mark Bresciano and ex-Azzurrini hero Marco Marchionni.

Identical twins Antonio and Emanuele Filippini were set to play against each other in this match, but neither will be on the field. Brescia man Antonio dislocated his shoulder in an awkward fall in Turin, while Parma’s Emanuele sits out the second of a two-match ban.

Brescia (probable): Saja; Petruzzi, Mareco, Dainelli, Martinez; Brighi, Di Biagio, Matuzalem, Bachini; Baggio, Caracciolo

Parma (probable): Frey; Bonera, Ferrari, Castellini, Junior; Barone, Donadel; Marchionni, Morfeo, Bresciano; Adriano
Modena - Perugia
Music, Mayer och Amoruso är på hemmalagets skadelista. Dessutom är Scoponi avstängd.
Perugia har Ze Maria på skadelistan och dessutom är Gatti avstängd.


These two teams have gone against expectation so far in this campaign, Modena exceeding predictions and Perugia falling well below them.

The Canarini only narrowly avoided the drop last season and were thought to be heading for the drop following a dismal start, but a run of three consecutive wins was only halted by local rivals Parma last Sunday.

It is now up to Alberto Malesani’s men to prove whether or not that winning streak was a blip or a true reflection of their value. Vedin Music remains sidelined with an injury, while Massimo Scoponi is suspended for his pointless slap on Junior. Nicola Amoruso failed to break into the first team during his injury-ridden spell at Perugia and will be eager to show his worth today.

Perugia started the season early by winning the Intertoto Cup and eliminating Dundee from UEFA, but in Serie A they have really struggled to make an impact. Defensive errors in a young back line have proved very costly indeed, as highlighted in the 3-3 home draw with Udinese.

Despite the exploits of Jay Bothroyd, the Grifoni currently sit just inside the relegation zone and must start to pick up the pace or face the wrath of President Luciano Gaucci. The absence of the injured Ze Maria has robbed them of extra creativity, further compounded by the suspension of Fabio Gatti.

Modena (probable): Ballotta; Mayer, Cevoli, Ungari; Campedelli, Marasco, Milanetto, Balestri; Allegretti, Kamara; Amoruso

Perugia (probable): Kalac; Diamoutene, Di Loreto, Ignoffo; Do Prado, Tedesco, Obodo, Fusani, Grosso; Bothroyd, Vryzas
Bologna - Sampdoria
Meghni, Locatelli, Gamberini och Zanchi saknas hos Bologna. Juarez och tränaren Mazzone är avstängda.
Pedone saknas hos hemmalaget.


Beppe Signori comes face to face with one of his former clubs, but it was goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca who truly became a hero in the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

The veteran goalkeeper won the Scudetto with Sampdoria in 1991 and spent eight years there before joining Inter and then his hometown club. Signori had a brief stint with the Blucerchiati following his bitter departure from Lazio, but failed to really make an impact.

Aside from the personal reminiscing on the field, this should be an intriguing mid-table clash between two sides that have played rather better than their standings suggest. Bologna only lost out to a stoppage-time goal at Lazio last week, while Samp cannot seem to score goals before the hour mark.

Signori missed that game with a muscular injury, but should be fit enough to start this weekend. Cristiano Doni’s dismal start to the season cost him a place against Milan last week and he continues to face competition from Japanese international Atsushi Yanagisawa for that midfield berth.

Bologna (probable): Pagliuca; Zaccardo, Natali, Moretti; Nervo, Dalla Bona, Colucci, Guly; Signori, Pecchia; Rossini

Sampdoria (probable): Antonioli; Sacchetti, Carrozzieri, Falcone, Bettarini; Yanagisawa, Palombo, Volpi, Diana; Flachi, Bazzani
Ancona - Siena
Degano, Russo, Di Francesco, Jörgensen och Daino saknas hos hemmalaget.
Siena har inga skador men Delli Carri och Mignani avstängda.


These two teams were promoted from Serie B in the summer, but have had very differing fortunes.

Siena are currently flying high and sit just one point behind the mighty Inter. Their attacking style of play and the rediscovery of Enrico Chiesa has also endeared them to neutral supporters in much the same way Chievo first hit the scene.

Their away form is also creditable with two draws and a single defeat. Fullbacks Leandro Cufre and Gianni Guigou return from suspension, but Daniele Delli Carri and Michele Mignani are banned.

Ancona earned their first point since the arrival of Coach Nedo Sonetti last week, but escaping from the relegation zone will be a tough prospect. Dario Hubner and Maurizio Ganz were both injured for that 0-0 draw at Reggina and should be back in action for this encounter, although doubts remain on the former Piacenza man.

Ancona (probable): Scarpi; Bilica, Viali, Milanese; Berretta, Carrus, Andersson, Sussi; Sommese, Bruno; Ganz

Siena (probable): Rossi; Cufre, Cirillo, Foglio, Guigou; Taddei, D’Aversa, Ardito, Lazetic; Flo, Chiesa
Lecce - Empoli
Vucinic är skadad hos Lecce.
Tavano, Cribari och Giampieretti är på Empolis skadelista.


Just seven weeks into the season it already looks as if Lecce and Empoli are doomed to the drop, but a win here would be a massive boost to kick-start their languishing campaign.

Lecce boss Delio Rossi has been given one last chance to turn this team around following five consecutive defeats. There has been bad luck along the way and some very controversial refereeing decisions, but overall the side has struggled to get goals and conceded an astonishing eighteen in seven games. An injury crisis upfront has not helped matters, with Javier Ernesto Chevanton and youngster Axel Konan more or less the only available alternatives.

If Lecce’s situation is bad, then Empoli are simply desperate. Pocketing just two points so far this season, a 1-0 home defeat to Chievo dropped them down to the foot of the table last week. This will be new Coach Attilio Perotti’s second game in charge and he may consider tactical changes, but the poor current form of star players Antonio Di Natale and Tommaso Rocchi has been devastating.

Lecce (probable): Amelia, Siviglia, Silvestri, Stovini; Abruzzese, Giacomazzi, Cassetti, Piangerelli, Tonetto; Konan, Chevanton

Empoli (probable): Bucci; Belleri, Pratali, Lucchini, Agostini; Zanetti, Ficini; Cappellini, Busce, Di Natale; Gasparetto
Bundesliga matches, November 1-2
Fri 31 October, 2003 12:00

By Patrick Vignal

BERLIN, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Champions Bayern Munich visit Schalke 04 on Saturday (1430 GMT) seeking a rapid improvement after their mediocre start to the German season.

Bayern lie fourth in the Bundesliga standings, four points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen, and needed penalties to see off second division Nuremberg in a German Cup second round tie on Tuesday.

"The way we're playing at the moment is not good enough to achieve the high goals we have set for ourselves," said goalkeeper and captain Oliver Kahn.

Under pressure Schalke coach Jupp Heynckes is looking for a reaction from his team after they were knocked out of the German Cup 7-3 by SC Freiburg on Wednesday.

Other matches this weekend (league positions in parentheses, kickoff times GMT):

Saturday, November 1 (1430)


This will be a special occasion for Wolfsburg coach Juergen Roeber who takes on his old club but all eyes will be on Hertha coach Huub Stevens. His job is on the line.

Hertha had to win their last two matches for Stevens to keep his job and they have done that. Brazil striker Luizao, who scored a goal in each of those games, seems to have hit form at last.

- - - -


New Moenchengladbach coach Holger Fach won his first match since being appointed last month when his team ousted Borussia Dortmund from the German Cup on Wednesday.

Fellow strugglers Rostock, who also have a new coach in Juri Schluenz, have just lost twice to Hertha, first in the Bundesliga and then in the German Cup.

- - - -


Stuttgart are the only unbeaten team 10 games into the season and are at full strength.

Freiburg scored four goals in extra time to knock Schalke out of the German Cup on Wednesday.

- - - -


Werder are among the frontrunners but have defensive problems, having conceded three goals in each of their last two league games.

Eintracht lost to second division MSV Duisburg in the German Cup to increase the pressure on coach Willi Reimann.

- - - -

COLOGNE (16) v HANOVER 96 (10)

Assistant trainer Jos Luhukay will take charge after Cologne sacked coach Friedhelm Funkel on Thursday following a series of poor results.

Hanover, whose Czech playmaker Jan Simak is still being treated for exhaustion, slumped to an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to amateurs Eintracht Braunschweig in the German Cup on Wednesday.

- - - -


Swiss defender Remo Meyer is suspended for TSV 1860 Munich, who were eliminated from the German Cup by second division Alemannia Aachen on penalties.

Surprise package Bochum will rely on the same starting line-up as for last weekend's stunning 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund.

- - - -

Sunday, November 2 (1630)


Egypt defender Hany Ramzy and Czech striker Vratislav Lokvenc are two of several players lowly Kaiserslautern are missing through injuries.

Argentine defender Diego Placente is suspended for leaders Leverkusen, who underlined their great form by hammering second division Union Berlin 5-0 in the German Cup on Wednesday.

- - - -


Dortmund are depleted, with 11 players out injured and they will also be without Germany midfielder Sebastian Kehl who has been suspended for five league games for violent play.

Klaus Toppmoeller won his first match since being appointed Hamburg coach earlier this month when his team beat second division SpVgg Unterhaching in the German Cup on Wednesday.

Primera Liga matches, November 1-2
Fri 31 October, 2003 11:07

By Simon Baskett

MADRID, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Real Madrid may not yet be firing on all cylinders but the champions will still be confident of maintaining their perfect home record when they entertain Athletic Bilbao on Saturday (kickoff 2030 GMT).

Real have won all four of their home games this term, scoring 14 of their 20 goals in front of their own fans, and have fond memories of the last time they met the Basque side at the Bernabeu on the final day of last season.

A Ronaldo double and another from fellow Brazilian Roberto Carlos gave Real a 3-1 victory over Athletic that ensured they finished two points ahead of Real Sociedad to clinch the 29th league title in their history.

Although the form book augurs well for Real, who are now just a point behind leaders Deportivo Coruna, they are not without their problems ahead of this weekend's match.

David Beckham looks likely to miss his third match in a row because of a niggling hamstring injury, the versatile Ivan Helguera is struggling with a sciatic nerve problem and centre-back Francisco Pavon is suspended after being sent off in this week's goalless draw at Real Zaragoza.

If the England captain fails a late fitness test, coach Carlos Queiroz will be forced to reconstruct his midfield by bringing in either Guti or Esteban Cambiasso, while reserve team player Ruben is likely to be drafted in if Helguera drops out.

To make matters worse there have been rumblings of discontent from leading striker Ronaldo, who is unhappy at having been substituted on so many occasions this season.

The World Player of the Year, who has hit a minor scoring drought after going three games without finding the net, has insisted that even when he is not playing well he can score goals and win games.

Opponents Athletic, sixth in the standings, have made a promising start to the season and will be relying to the in-form strike pairing of Joseba Etxeberria and Ismael Urzaiz as they look to notch their first away win of the campaign.

- - - -

Other matches being played in the Primera Liga this weekend (league positions in brackets, kickoff times 1600 GMT unless stated):



After a shaky start Celta will be aiming to confirm their improvement with a convincing performance against an attack-minded Racing, who have slipped to consecutive defeats against Real Madrid and Espanyol.

- - - -


Deportivo held on to top spot despite a 2-0 defeat at home to Mallorca in midweek, but Javier Irureta's side will be anxious to avoid another slip-up against struggling Murcia, who have won just one game since their return to the top flight.

- - - -



The pressure was eased on Espanyol coach Javier Clemente after his side scraped their first win of the season with a 1-0 victory at Racing in midweek, but the Catalans will have to make do without injured striker Raul Tamudo as they try to haul themselves off the bottom of the table.

Zaragoza turned in a fine performance in their 0-0 draw against Real on Tuesday, but former Espanyol coach Paco Flores will be looking for more accuracy in front of goal from his men this time out.

- - - -


A tightly contested match in prospect between the two Andalucian rivals, although without the added spice of seeing fiery Sevilla striker Dario Silva turn out against his former club following his red card in Wednesday's 1-1 draw against Valladolid.

- - - -


New strike pairing Fernando Torres and Demis Nikolaidis were in devastating form as they helped Atletico sweep to their third win in a row with a 4-0 drubbing of Real Sociedad on Thursday.

The long suffering Atletico fans are too used to disappointments than to begin the celebrations just yet and are likely to reserve judgement on their side's revival until after this stern test at Betis.

- - - -


Valencia missed their chance to go top when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Celta in midweek and now face a tricky away trip against the islanders, who recorded their first league win under new coach Luis Aragones with an impressive 2-0 victory over leaders Deportivo at the Riazor on Wednesday.

- - - -


Last season's runners-up were a mere shadow of the side that ran Real so close for the title last season when they slumped to their 4-0 defeat at Atletico on Thursday and will need to produce a much-improved performance if they are to beat a resilient Barcelona.

The Catalans have the best away record in the league and with Ronaldinho in sparkling form and Argentine striker Javier Saviola keeping the unsettled Patrick Kluivert on the bench, they will be favourites to score a third win in a row.

- - - -


An improving Albacete claimed their third win of the season with a 2-0 victory at home to Villarreal last time out and will now be looking to score their first away point of the campaign against an inconsistent Valladolid.

- - - -


Javier Aguirre's Osasuna appear to have got the bit between their teeth after making their best ever start to a season in the top flight. The Navarrans grabbed a typically determined 2-0 win over Betis this week and will start as favourites against a fading Villarreal who have not won in their last four outings.

- - - -
Valioliiga loukkaantuneet

Charlton Athletic 7 Rufus (knee 1 week) Cole (hip [no return date]) Lisbie (twisted knee 1 week) Rowett (knee [no return date]) Bartlett (ankle 1 week) Young (ankle 2 weeks) Di Canio (hamstring strain 1 week)

Everton 6 Pistone (hernia 1 week) Carsley (knee 1 week) Watson (hernia 1 month) Chadwick (hamstring 1 week) Osman (ankle 1 week) Gemmill (thigh 1 week)

Middlesbrough 6 Ehiogu (Posterior Cruciate Ligament 1 month) Parnaby (knee 1 week) Job (knee 3 months) Marinelli (thigh 1 week) Murphy (broken foot 1 week) Johnston (foot 1 week)

Newcastle United 6 Woodgate (double hernia 1 week) Bellamy (knee 3 months) Dyer (hamstring 1 week) Bowyer (flu 1 week) Griffin (hamstring [no return date]) Viana (foot 1 week)

Southampton 6 Draper (ankle [no return date]) Delgado (disc prolapse 1 week) Oakley (knee 2 weeks) Niemi (groin 1 week) Delap (calf 1 week) Marsden (hamstring 1 week)

Arsenal 4 Senderos (back 1 week) Keown (calf 1 week) Vieira (thigh strain 1 week) Taylor (shoulder [no return date])

Blackburn Rovers 4 Babbel (calf strain 1 week) Short (knee 2 weeks) Amoruso (knee 2 months) Kelly (dislocated finger 2 weeks)

Bolton Wanderers 4 Laville (ACL 4 months) Djorkaeff (calf 1 week) Thome (hamstring strain 2 weeks) Campo (achilles 1 week)

Manchester United 4 Brown (ACL 1 month) Kleberson (dislocated shoulder 3 weeks) Solskjaer (knee surgery 2 months) Scholes (groin surgery [no return date])

Portsmouth 4 Todorov (knee [no return date]) Smertin (knee 2 weeks) Bradbury (broken foot 1 week) Barrett (ruptured ankle ligaments 1 week)

Tottenham Hotspur 4 Redknapp (knee 1 week) Davies (groin 1 week) Kanoute (ankle 1 month) Ziege (knee [no return date])

Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 Ndah (knee [no return date]) Lescott (knee [no return date]) Sturridge (hamstring 1 week)

Birmingham City 2 Vaesen (knee 1 month) Savage (achilles [no return date])

Chelsea 2 Macho (ACL 2 months) Petit (knee surgery 1 month)

Fulham 2 Harley (broken foot 2 months) Sava (dislocated shoulder 1 month)

Liverpool 2 Baros (broken ankle 2 months) Carragher (broken leg 4 months)

Aston Villa 1 Hendrie (calf 1 week)

Leeds United 1 Bakke (patella tendinopathy [no return date])

Leicester City 1 Jones (back 1 month)

Manchester City 1 Weaver (knee [no return date])

Birmingham - Charlton

Birmingham host Charlton at St Andrews in the Sky Sports Monday Night Football offering with both sides looking to maintain their fine recent form.

Charlton are aiming for their third successive win away from home, while Birmingham are looking to stretch their nine-month unbeaten home record.

Blues boss Steve Bruce will give Robbie Savage until the last minute to prove his fitness after aggravating his long-standing Achilles problem two weeks ago against Aston Villa.

Northern Ireland international Damien Johnson is expected to be back after a hamstring strain, but Argentine striker Luciano Figueroa is out with a hamstring strain of his own.

Charlton still have problems in attack for the trip to St Andrews.

Paolo Di Canio, Shaun Bartlett, Carlton Cole and Kevin Lisbie are all set to miss out, leaving Addicks boss Alan Curbishley down to the bare bones.

Mathias Svensson, who was recalled from his loan spell at Derby to play against Everton in midweek, could keep his place in the side.

The Addicks are also still without long-term injury victims Gary Rowett and Richard Rufus.

- Blackburn
Leicester City host Blackburn Rovers at the Walkers Stadium in the Sky Sports Super Sunday clash with both sides in desperate need of a win.
Both sides have lost their last five games in the League and Cup and need all three points to end the slump.

The Foxes languish at the bottom of the table and they will be keen to get last week's amazing 4-3 defeat to Wolves out of their system.

Leicester boss Micky Adams is set to recall all his top stars after ringing the changes for the midweek defeat to Aston Villa in the Carling Cup.

Blackburn old boys Marcus Bent, John Curtis, Callum Davidson, Keith Gillespie, Craig Hignett, and Billy McKinlay will all be hoping to get the chance to face their old employers.

The visitors are boosted by the return of skipper Garry Flitcroft after injury.

Flitcroft missed the Carling Cup defeat by Liverpool in midweek because of a back problem and he should return in the heart of the midfield.

Rovers boss Graeme Souness still has problems in defence with Craig Short and Lorenzo Amoruso both still missing with knee injuries.

Fulham - Liverpool
Liverpool have a number of injury worries to contend with before finalising their side for the trip to Fulham on Sunday, live on Premiership Plus.
Michael Owen, who missed the midweek Carling Cup win over Blackburn, is rated doubtful as he recovers from an ankle problem.

Finnish defender Sami Hyypia and French youngster Florent Sinama-Pongolle are also doubts after picking up hamstring and leg injuries respectively in the game at Ewood Park.

Vladimir Smicer is again expected to miss out after sustaining an Achilles injury in last weekend's win over Leeds, but El Hadji Diouf is definitely out as he serves a one-game suspension.

Dietmar Hamann is pushing for a recall having made his return as a late substitute against Blackburn and completed 75 minutes for the reserves on Thursday, while Salif Diao is available again after suspension.

Fulham go into the game on a major high following their shock win at Manchester United last weekend.

Cottagers boss Chris Coleman is set to keep faith with the side that won at Old Trafford as Fulham look to maintain their surprise start to the season

Tottenham - Bolton
Tottenham entertain a Bolton side desperate for points, but caretaker manager David Pleat will be eager to enhance his claims for the permanent post with another victory.
Spurs have found form following the departure of Glenn Hoddle, with Pleat masterminding a run of six games without defeat.

Pleat will look to continue the run, but will have to make do without the services of German ace Christian Ziege.

The defender's comeback following a lengthy spell on the sidelines lasted just one game, as he limped out of the midweek win over West Ham in the Carling Cup with a knee complaint.

Ziege is facing another period of frustration, but his absence opens the door for Mauricio Taricco who has recovered from his recent groin strain.

Pleat can also call on Dean Richards, Darren Anderton and Gustavo Poyet, who were rested against The Hammers, but Frederic Kanoute, Simon Davies and Jamie Redknapp remain in the treatment room.

Bobby Zamora scored his first Spurs goal in midweek and will look to continue his partnership with Robbie Keane.

Bolton have suffered an alarming dip in form, with Trotters chief Sam Allardyce lamenting their ill-luck of late.

The Trotters are without a win in their last four Premiership games, but their victory over Gillingham in the Carling Cup could ignite their season.

Scoring goals has been a problem for Bolton this term, but Mario Jardel played 90 minutes in midweek as the Brazilian looks to regain match sharpness.

Allardyce, though, has a mounting injury list as Emerson Thome has joined fellow defender Florent Laville in the treatment room.

Youri Djorkaeff is also a doubt with a persistent calf problem, as is Ivan Campo who picked up an Achilles complaint in midweek.

Southampton - Manchester City

Southampton and Manchester City can climb into the top five if either win at St Mary's on Saturday.

Both teams recorded wins in the Carling Cup in midweek, but The Saints' 3-0 victory over Bristol City came at a cost.

Rory Delap and keeper Antti Niemi picked up knocks during the win at Ashton Gate.

Finnish keeper Niemi has a tight groin and could well be forced to sit in the stands, which would allow Paul Jones to step in from the wilderness.

Jones appeared to be on the way out of St Mary's after losing his place to Niemi, but he has settled his differences with Gordon Strachan and looks set to be restored to the team.

Delap faces a late fitness test to prove his well-being, while Chris Marsden has an upper leg injury and needs to show he is fit to face City.

Saints, though, will be boosted by the return of Kevin Phillips following his suspension.

Citizens chief Kevin Keegan has the problem of who to select alongside Nicolas Anelka.

Paulo Wanchope and Robbie Fowler are champing at the bit to strike up a partnership with the rocket-heeled Frenchman, while Jon Macken is also pressing for a place on the bench.

In-form midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips is suspended, with Steve McManaman expected to return after overcoming an Achilles problem.

Goalkeeper Nicky Weaver is the only long-term casualty for The Citizens, as Keegan looks to take his side into the top five.

Opta Stat: City have won more often at Southampton than they have at any other away match.
Opta Stat: Saints have scored just 13 goals in their last 13 games at St Mary's

Newcastle - Aston Villa
Newcastle United boss Sir Bobby Robson will be eager for his side to extend their Premiership winning streak to five games when they entertain Aston Villa on Saturday.
The veteran tactician came in for some stick following The Magpies' Carling Cup defeat at the hands of West Brom in midweek, so will be looking for a response from his side.

Shay Given should return to the team, having been rested to give Steve Harper a rare start against The Baggies.

Alan Shearer's omission from the starting XI on Wednesday prompted criticism, but the former England captain is almost certain to return against Villa.

Jonathan Woodgate is not yet ready for a first team return, while Craig Bellamy is a long term casualty.

Andy Griffin and Hugo Viana are expected to miss out through injury, but in-form midfielder Lee Bowyer will be given as late as possible to prove he has shaken off his flu bug.

Kieron Dyer could return after missing the last two games with a hamstring problem, while Gary Speed should be restored to the starting XI.

Aston Villa are without a win in their last four Premiership games and manager David O'Leary will have to mastermind the trip to Newcastle without injured striker Darius Vassell.

The England marksman has failed to shake off the effects of a hamstring injury picked up on Carling Cup duty in midweek and will not make the trip to Tyneside.

Villa skipper Olof Mellberg will be given until the last minute to prove he has shaken off the effects of his leg injury.

Dion Dublin could be asked to operate as a central defender if Mellberg misses out, with Marcus Allback ready to start up front.

Lee Hendrie is still out through injury, but Thomas Hitzlsperger may have to make do with a place on the bench.

Middlesbrough - Wolves

Middlesbrough are looking for their first home win in three starts against Wolves and spirits are high on Teesside after their Carling Cup win over Wigan and their point against Tottenham last Sunday.

Boro boss Steve McClaren is expected to change the team from the one which won at The JJB Stadium on Wednesday and go back to the line-up which faced Spurs at White Hart Lane.

That will see the likes of Colin Cooper, Malcolm Christie and Boudewijn Zenden returning for Chris Riggott, Jonathan Greening and Michael Ricketts.

If any changes are made then Massimo Maccarone may well retain his place - after scoring in midweek - and Juninho will also hope to keep compatriot Doriva out of the first XI.

England Under-21 star Andrew Davies will be on the bench after filling in for Danny Mills at Spurs - who missed the game to see his son being born.

Wolves travel to Teesside looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

Dave Jones's side are in good form, but they have a number of injury worries.

Matt Murray has been ruled out with a foot problem, while Shaun Newton has suffered a chest infection - the same illness which kept Paul Ince out of their win over Leicester - but the former Boro star is fit to make his first return to The Riverside since leaving in 2001.

Denis Irwin is set for a recall in place of Oleg Luzhny, while Nathan Blake is likely to partner Henri Camara up-front, with Dean Sturridge still out with a groin problem.

Moroccan midfielder Hassan Kachloul is also a major doubt with a calf strain.

Wolves have failed to add a goalkeeper to their squad, and youngster Carl Ikeme will continue to provide cover for Michael Oakes

Man United G-G Portsmouth
Manchester United will be without influential schemer Paul Scholes when they tackle Portsmouth at Old Trafford.
The England international is missing after undergoing a groin operation in midweek, and there is little doubt that United will miss his ability to unlock opposing defences.

One man who is always more than capable of providing that service is former Red Devil Teddy Sheringham who returns to Old Trafford with his Pompey team-mates.

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned of Sheringham's threat and the 38-year-old is set to partner in-form Yakubu Aiyegbeni in the visitors' attack.

Shaka Hislop returns in goal, while Matthew Taylor is likely to fight off competition from Boris Zivkovic for a starting spot, despite being involved in a car accident involving his Porsche in midweek.

Harry Redknapp must sit in the stands as the United fixture is the second of his touchline ban, but Ferguson can return to the dug-out after seeing out a similar suspension.

As for the champions, many familiar faces will return after being rested for the Carling Cup win at Leeds United, with Tim Howard, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Ruud van Nistelrooy all expected to feature in the starting line-up.

Diego Forlan, with two goals in his last two games, should retain his place in attack unless Ferguson opts to thrust Giggs into a more attacking role, as he did in the FA Cup tie between the two teams in January.

Opta Stat: Teams have managed only 27 shots on target against Manchester United all season in The Premiership.

Opta Stat: Teddy Sheringham has only ever scored once against Manchester United in The Premiership, and that was the only time he has been on the winning side against his old club.

Leeds - Arsenal

Leeds United manager Peter Reid is set to recall Jermaine Pennant, David Batty and Mark Viduka from the side that played Manchester United, for the visit of Arsenal at Elland Road.

Winger Pennant was cup-tied for the extra time defeat to The Red Devils in the Carling Cup but should return on the right wing in place of James Milner, who may revert to the left side of midfield in place of Lamine Sakho.

Michael Bridges should drop to the bench with Mark Viduka having recovered from injury, while Salomon Olembe has shrugged off the dead leg sustained on Tuesday and could replace Ian Harte at left back.

Two-goal hero Roque Junior should partner Zoumana Camara at the heart of the defence with Dominic Matteo still struggling with injury.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger could field an entirely different starting XI to side that played against Rotherham in the Carling Cup on Tuesday.

The Frenchman opted for the youthful line-up against The Millers, but will recall the likes of Jens Lehmann, Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell, Ray Parlour, Robert Pires, Fredrik Ljungberg and Thierry Henry against The Whites.

Wenger has no fresh injury worries ahead of the trip to Elland Road, with Patrick Vieira sidelined, but will have to contend with ensuring his troops are in the right frame of mind following their disciplinary hearing for their misconduct at Old Trafford in September.

Opta Stat: While Arsenal have recorded their best-ever start to a Premiership season, this is Leeds' worst-ever opening to a Premiership campaign.

Opta Stat: There have been more cards shown in this fixture than any other in Premiership history.

Everton - Chelsea
Everton have gone three games without a win in The Premiership and also failed to score in that period, so the visit of Chelsea will not make life easy for The Toffees.
Nigel Martyn will continue in goal for Everton, as Richard Wright has suffered a recurrence of his knee injury and will see a specialist on Monday.

Kevin Campbell faces a late fitness test on his injured toe, but manager David Moyes is definitely without Lee Carsley, Alessandro Pistone, Steve Watson and Niclas Alexandersson.

Kevin Kilbane comes back into the fold after missing the Carling Cup win over Charlton, and Tomasz Radzinski could also figure after overcoming his recent knee injury.

Blues chief Claudio Ranieri will look for his charges to make it four wins on the spin in all competitions and keep up the pressure on Arsenal.

Hernan Crespo missed the win over Notts County in midweek with a minor niggle, while Adrian Mutu was rested, but it remains to be seen if Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink continue their successful partnership.

Carlo Cudicini should return in goal, after being rested in favour of Marco Ambrosio in midweek, while Ranieri is also likely to shuffle his defensive and midfield options.

Opta Stat: There have been seven red cards in the last eight meetings between these two teams at Goodison Park.

Opta Stat: The Toffees have not stuck the ball in the net for the last 309 minutes of Premiership football.

Burnley v Cardiff

Burnley have named an unchanged squad from the midweek Carling Cup game against Wolves to play Cardiff.
Glen Little may make his first league appearance for Burnley since returning from his loan spell at Bolton.

Cardiff are without the suspended Richard Langley but welcome back Andy Campbell from a three-match ban.

Langley may be replaced by Willie Boland or loan signing Julian Gray, with Campbell on the bench.

Preston v Derby

Preston must reshuffle in defence with Marlon Broomes suspended, which means Claude Davis will take his place.
Lee Cartwright, Eddie Lewis, Dickson Etuhu and Michael Keane are expected to recover from a virus in time to play.

Derby are without suspended trio Ian Taylor, Tom Huddlestone and Michael Johnson as they ponder changes.

Youl Mawene is expected to be named in the squad after recovering from long-term knee ligament problems.

Ipswich v Gillingham

Ipswich, with boss Joe Royle named manager of the month for October, are expected to name an unchanged side.
Youngster Ian Westlake will continue to deputise for Alan Mahon, who is out for three weeks with a hamstring strain.

Gillingham defender Barry Ashby, who is suffering from flu after recovering from an Achilles injury, is out.

Chris Hope is also doubtful with flu, but midfielder Mark Saunders should be back after a leg injury.

Millwall v Nottm Forest

Millwall will be without suspended midfielder David Livermore, but Tim Cahill returns after a ban.
Paul Ifill is doubtful with a hamstring strain, but Abou Fofana is available after international duty.

Nottingham Forest are without defender Michael Dawson, who is out for a month with a torn hamstring.

Veteran Des Walker is set to continue against the Lions despite continuing to suffer with a niggling neck injury.

Watford v Rotherham

Watford have Gavin Mahon is doubtful with a knee ligament injury, but Marcus Gayle is fully fit after illness.
Anthony McNamee (ankle) and Richard Lee (broken arm) are missing, while Heidar Helguson is a long-term absentee.

Rotherham will be without defender Rob Scott for the trip to for the rest of the season with knee ligament damage.

Scott damaged his anterior cruciate ligament against Sunderland and will not play again until next pre-season

I helgen spelas de sista matcherna inför det veckolånga landslagsuppehållet. Fyra matcher spelas på lördagen och två på söndagen.
En av lördagens matcher är Frölunda - Timrå. Det blir den 16:e raka matchen för Frölundas målvakt Henrik Lundqvist.

- Men jag känner mig inte sliten. Det var lite jobbigt efter 8-9 matcher men nu har jag kommit in i det hela. Det är inga problem fysiskt att stå många matcher i följd. Det har varit större problem att ladda mentalt, säger Lundqvist till Svenska Spel.

Mot Timrå på lördagen spelar han småförkyld. Men det stör honom inte nämnvärt. Han var det också mot MIF men höll då nollan.
- Jag har varit det i över en vecka nu men det har gått bra så här långt. Senast var det lite svettigt i första perioden men mycket lugnare i de två sista, säger Lundqvist.

För honom är det en helt ny situation att stå alla matcher. Tidigare säsonger har han alternerat med en annan målvakt.
- Men jag tycker det har gått bra, i synnerhet den senast tiden.

Inte nog med det frekventa matchandet i klubblaget, så är Lundqvist också uttagen till spel i Karjala cup. Men inte det heller sliter på göteborgaren.
- Det är bara kul att spela i landslaget och det kanske blir så att jag bara står en enda match under den här veckan, så det är inte så farligt, säger Lundqvist.

Frölunda är ordinarie.
- Vi har haft lite småskavanker men alla ska kunna vara tillgängliga mot Timrå, säger Lundqvist.
Gästerna har fortfarande målvakten Kimmo Kapanen och forwarden Yared Hagos avstängda. Niklas Nordgren är fortfarande på skadelistan. Däremot är Christian Söderström tillbaka.

Frölunda - Timrå är match 19 på den aktuella Långenlistan. Här följer senaste nytt om övriga elitseriematcher:
16) Färjestad - Linköping
Clas Eriksson är fortfarande borta hos hemmalaget. I övrigt inga förändringar sedan matchen mot Modo senast.
Inte heller Linköping gör några förändringar. Pekka Tirkkonen är fortfarande ljumskskadad och andremålvakten Daniel Sperrle fortfarande utlånad till moderklubben AIK.

17) Luleå - HV 71
Petter Nilsson och Karl Fabricius är borta sedan tidigare hos Luleå. Mot HV saknas också Emil Lundberg och Pavel Skrbek.
HV 71 kommer till spel med endast tre femmor. Stefan Hellkvist och Andreas Jämtin är skadade och dessutom har man en trio spelare fortfarande utlånade.

1 MIF Redhawks - Modo
MIF saknar endast backen Johan Björk.
Inga förändringar hos Modo, där Tobias Enström är kvar på skadelistan.
Coventry v West Ham

Coventry player-manager Gary McAllister has named himself for the first time since taking compassionate leave.
McAllister took a break from football, citing "personal and family reasons", while Steve Staunton is also fit again.

West Ham put new striker Brian Deane straight into the squad after he joined on loan from Leicester.

Hayden Mullins returns after being cup-tied at Spurs, and Ian Pearce has recovered from a knee injury.

West Brom v Sunderland

West Brom will have Jason Koumas back after the midfielder was left out of the Carling Cup win at Newcastle.
Defender Paul Robinson, who was cup-tied at Newcastle, is also expected to return to the side.

Sunderland look set to give Stewart Downing his debut after completing his signing on loan from Middlesbrough.

Striker Michael Proctor, who came on as a second-half substitute at Norwich, is a doubt after jarring his knee

Crewe v Reading

Crewe skipper Dave Brammer is still sidelined with a groin injury, but Anthony Tonkin could start.
Allan Smart boosted his chances of playing after scoring a hat-trick in the reserves against Macclesfield.

Reading expect to have defender Graeme Murty back in action after recovering from a calf injury. Shaun Goater may be substitute,despite impressing in the Carling Cup victory against Huddersfield.

Stoke v Sheff Utd

Stoke top scorer Carl Asaba is a major doubt as he is resting in an attempt to recover from a back injury.
Defender Wayne Thomas has had an injection on his injured ankle in an attempt to win his battle for fitness.

Sheffield United loan signing Alan Wright is in the squad after joining from Middlesbrough.

Boss Neil Warnock has no other worries, and Wright is likely to be his only change from the defeat against Reading

Wigan v Crystal Palace

Wigan are boosted by the return of goalkeeper John Filan (ankle) and defender Steve McMillan (groin).
Nathan Ellington (knee) and Geoff Horsfield (flu) also return missing the Carling Cup defeat to Middlesbrough.

Tony Popovic could return after missing the midweek Carling Cup win at Blackpool with tendinitis.

Striker Tommy Black missed out at Bloomfield Road through illness but is now fully recovered.

Preview: Wimbledon v Bradford City

Suspensions will rob Wimbledon of three players for the clash with Bradford.

Defender Darren Holloway misses out following his sending-off at Coventry, Albert Jarrett serves a ban for a red card in the reserves, and Adam Nowland is missing after he was booked for the fifth time this season.

Captain Nigel Reo-Coker is available for his last match before he serves a one-game ban. Striker Patrick Agyemang should be fit despite limping out of last week's 3-1 defeat at home to Watford with ankle and knee injuries.

Agyemang feared a long lay-off but was diagnosed with a nerve problem which is expected to heal in time for the match.

However, Peter Hawkins is not expected to play again this year after damaging ankle ligaments in the same game.

Bradford boss Nicky Law will stick with the same squad that crashed at home to Nottingham Forest.

With no suspensions or fresh injury worries, the only absentees are defensive duo Peter Atherton and David Wetherall.

Atherton has not played so far this season after injuring his ankle in pre-season and it could be Christmas before he returns.

Skipper Wetherall is out until the new year after damaging knee ligaments against Watford.

Top scorers: Patrick Agyemang Wimbledon 5; Michael Branch (Bradford) 4

Preview: Tranmere v Bournemouth

Tranmere will have to do without Simon Haworth for their home clash with Bournemouth.

The striker, who scored the goal that earned Rovers a 1-1 draw at QPR, serves a one-match suspension after accumulating five yellow cards.

Little should be able to welcome Kevin Gray and Ian Sharps back into the fold after their respective hamstring and knee injuries, but there are doubts about whether they are fit enough to start.

Bournemouth midfielder Marcus Browning will miss the trip through suspension.

The 32-year-old was booked for the fifth time this season last week against Oldham and serves a one-match ban for the Prenton Park clash.

Striker Derek Holmes remains on the sidelines with a knee injury, but defender Shaun Maher is in contention for a starting spot after coming on for the last seven minutes at Boundary Park.

Preview: Swindon v Wycombe

Swindon boss Andy King welcomes back captain Andy Gurney after a one-match ban for his side's clash with Wycombe.

And in a further boost, striker Sam Parkin, who has missed the last month with a knee injury, is back on the road to full fitness.

David Duke is expected to recover from the bruised ankle he sustained last week, but Sammy Igoe remains on the sidelines for six weeks with a broken wrist.

Wycombe's caretaker manager John Gorman has one final chance to impress at the County Ground.

Gorman's visit to his former club is his last in temporary charge following the departure of Lawrie Sanchez.

But he is on a shortlist of four names for the permanent job after stabilising the club with two wins and two draws from six matches.

Gorman will name an unchanged line-up, with no new injuries to contend with

Preview: Stockport v QPR

New signing Danny Jackman will go straight into the Stockport squad for their home clash with QPR.

The 20-year-old Aston Villa full-back has signed a one-month loan deal at Edgeley Park, but he may have to settle for a place on the bench following the Hatters' impressive 1-0 win at Brighton last week.

Ali Gibb is still a week away from action after a calf injury, while Kevin Ellison faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a cheek problem.

Tony Thorpe returns to QPR's squad for the trip after being cup-tied for the midweek Carling Cup defeat by Manchester City.

And the striker could come straight back into the starting line-up after Paul Furlong suffered a setback on his recovery from injury.

Furlong tore a muscle in training to aggravate the hip problem that has sidelined him for three matches and he will now be out for a further month.

Matthew Rose resumed training this week after a knee injury but plays no part, while Dan Shittu is still out with his own knee problem.

Preview: Sheffield Wednesday v Blackpool

Terry Cooke could return to Sheffield Wednesday's starting line-up for the visit of Blackpool.

The 27-year-old has missed the last two matches with a bruised leg.

Guylain N'Dumbu has returned from international duty and could make the 16-man squad, while Grant Holt pushed his case for a place in the starting XI with two goals for the reserves in midweek.

On-loan goalkeeper David Lucas will play his last match for the Owls before returning to Preston.

Blackpool will be without goalkeeper Lee Jones and midfielder Neil Danns for the trip.

Jones has been out for three weeks with what he thought was a groin injury, but it has now been diagnosed as a hip problem, while on-loan Danns is doubtful with flu

Preview: Rushden & Diamonds v Grimsby

Rushden manager Brian Talbot expects Onandi Lowe to be fit to play a part against Grimsby.

The striker has returned to training after a groin injury and should at least make the bench.

Paul Evans will again deputise in goal for Billy Turley (thigh), having signed a one-month contract at Nene Park.

Grimsby midfielder Tony Crane misses the trip through suspension.

Crane serves a one-match ban after he was booked for the fifth time this season against Colchester.

Defender Simon Ford also misses out as he is still suffering from the hamstring injury that has kept him out of the last two games.

Preview: Plymouth v Oldham

Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock is set to stick with a winning line-up as the Second Division leaders take on Oldham at Home Park.

Sturrock's side have won their last four league matches and are a point clear of Barnsley at the top of the table.

The Argyle chief has stuck with the same starting XI for those four games, pairing Micky Evans and the in-form Marino Keith in attack and using third forward Ian Stonebridge wide on the left.

Defender Will Haining makes a long-awaited return to the Oldham squad for the trip. Haining suffered a hamstring injury during the goalless draw at Hartlepool at the start of September but he is now back in first-team contention.

Striker Chris Killen is expected to be out of action for three weeks with a hamstring problem, while fellow forward Calvin Zola could be playing his last match for the club.

The Latics have yet to hear if their attempt to extend the youngster's loan deal from Newcastle until the end of the season has been successful.

Preview: Peterborough v Brighton

Peterborough defender Sagi Burton misses the match with Brighton as he begins a three-game ban for the red card he was shown against QPR.

Simon Rea is available for selection again following injury and suspension, and is likely to replace Burton in Barry Fry's line-up.

Midfielder Curtis Woodhouse and forward Leon McKenzie are expected to have recovered from flu in time for the clash.

New Brighton boss Mark McGhee has no fresh injuries to contend with for his first game in charge and has defender Robbie Pethick available after completing his two-match suspension.

Ben Roberts, who has not played in the first team since mid-September, is in contention after coming through a reserve match on Wednesday unscathed.

Dean Blackwell, Simon Rodger (both knee) and Charlie Oatway (back) all remain sidelined.

Preview: Notts County v Hartlepool

Boss Bill Dearden is expected to name an unchanged squad as Notts County come back down to earth with a Meadow Lane clash against Hartlepool.

Dearden's Division Two strugglers were heroic 4-2 Carling Cup losers at Chelsea on Wednesday, but three points are now the priority as County bid to climb out of the relegation zone.

With midfielder Ian Richardson fully recovered from a knee injury and striker Mark Stallard back from a hamstring problem, Dearden's sole injury concern continues to be Danny Livesey (calf).

Hartlepool manager Neale Cooper has no injury worries to contend with ahead of the trip.

A virus had threatened to hamper Cooper's selection plans this week, with captain Micky Barron one player looking doubtful, but he has since recovered and the squad is at full strength.

Striker Marco Gabbiadini is pushing for a starting spot after a late substitute appearance in last week's disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Wycombe

Preview: Chesterfield v Port Vale

Chesterfield boss Roy McFarland will be without Mark Innes (thigh) for the home game against Port Vale, but defender Kevin Dawson returns after a groin strain.

Ian Evatt also misses out as he serves a one-match ban after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Macclesfield.

Steve Blatherwick is in contention after serving a three-match suspension, while striker David Reeves and defender Paul Warhurst have both recovered from a stomach bug.

Port Vale boss Brian Horton hopes to name an unchanged line-up for the clash.

The only doubt from last week's XI is goalkeeper Jonny Brain, who Horton describes as "tough-and-go" after he suffered a knock in training.

Striker Steve Brooker is rated 50-50 to return to action for the first time since October 4.

Preview: Bristol City v Luton Town

Louis Carey remains on the sidelines for Bristol City's home match against Luton.

The defender sustained a knock in last weekend's match with Sheffield Wednesday which caused him to miss the Carling Cup defeat to Southampton.

Aaron Brown and Mickey Bell are still out with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively, but Tom Doherty returns after a one-match ban.

Luton defender Sol Davis returns from a three-match ban for the trip.

Davis was sent off against Swindon but has now served his suspension.

Enoch Showunmi is still struggling with a back injury and is rated doubtful, while Steve Howard (hernia) and David Bayliss (Achilles) are definitely out.

Preview: Brentford v Barnsley

Brentford face Barnsley without loan signing Ben May, who starts a three-match ban.

Leo Roget misses out with a knee injury, but Ibrahima Sonko is back from international duty to deputise.

Mark Dobson sat out training earlier this week with a knee problem but is back in contention.

Tommy Wright is sidelined for three weeks with an ankle injury.

Midfielder Dean Gorre is a major doubt for Barnsley ahead of the trip.

The in-form Dutchman - he has notched six goals so far - limped out of the action with a hamstring injury after putting the Tykes in front during the midweek win over Wrexham. The former Huddersfield playmaker will be sent for an MRI scan early next week.

There is also a doubt over new signing Jacob Burns, who missed Tuesday's win at Oakwell due to a knee problem, but midfielder Chris Lumsdon could make a surprise return after missing the last two matches with a thigh strain.

Preview: Wrexham v Colchester (Perj)

Wrexham boss Denis Smith will add Chris Armstrong to his squad for the visit of Colchester.

The striker has been out of action since August 16 with an Achilles injury.

Armstrong has played in a couple of practice games due to the lack of reserve fixtures so Smith has decided to name him on the bench.

Meanwhile, Craig Morgan is making good progress with his ankle injury but will not be rushed back too soon so will miss the game.

Alan White is expected to make a return to Colchester's starting line-up at the expense of the injured Liam Chilvers.

White has recently been sidelined with an ankle problem, but he came on as a substitute when Chilvers succumbed to a calf injury in the closing stages of the Us' 1-0 win over Chesterfield last weekend.

Defender White also completed an hour for the reserves in midweek and will step in if Chilvers fails to recover.

Sam Stockley should play, despite undergoing treatment this week for a tight thigh muscle.
Bastia - Ajaccio
Florian Maurice will make his return to the Bastia attack when the Corsicans look to continue their ascent of the table against fellow islanders Ajaccio.

Maurice is likely to partner Frederic Nee up front after he missed the 1-1 draw with Le Mans last week due to suspension.

Bastia are currently sitting in eighth - just three points away from fourth-placed side Paris St Germain - and know a win in the Armand-Cesari could propel Jacques Santini's side into a European qualification spot at this early stage.

Midfielder Youssouf Hadji is, however, doubtful after picking up a groin injury in the 1-0 Coupe de la Ligue win over Toulouse.

Ajaccio are still flirting with the relegation zone even though they are three points clear of Toulouse in 18th.

Midfielder Walid Regragui and captain Stephane Gregoire will return to the squad to face Bastia.

Defender Christophe Destruhaut will be suspended, while Frederic Danjou has shaken off his right foot injury and will be available.

Marseille- Bordeaux
Marseille look to maintain their Ligue 1 title bid when they visit a Bordeaux team still reeling from the fall-out from what Elie Baup considered to be his "disguised sacking".

Baup, who this week refused the 'general coach' role offered by Bordeaux, is considering legal action against the club he led to the 1998-99 title.

Michel Pavon is still settling into the role as first-team boss, although he has made a decent start.

After last week's goalless draw at Nice, his side booked a place in the last 16 of the Coupe de la Ligue with a win at Strasbourg.

Now he will look to continue the progress with Les Girondins still in the rather uncomfortable position of 16th in the 20-team division.

Bordeaux's Albert Riera admits the club remains in a period of transition.

"With the change of coach all the players have had a good look at themselves," he told www.girondins.com.

"As Michel Pavon says, there are no longer guaranteed starters but a group of 20 players.

"A change of coach always has either positive or negative effects. I think for us they will be positive."

Marseille boss Alain Perrin has named a 20-man squad for the trips to Bordeaux and then to Porto in the Champions League.

Fabio Celestini, jeered by supporters in recent matches, is omitted because of adductor muscles problems.

Vedran Runje's hold on the goalkeeping role has been tightened by FIFA's decision not to authorise Fabien Barthez's loan move from Manchester United.

'OM' are still challenging on all fronts with four trophies still in their distant sights.

They have the same points total and goal difference as leaders Monaco and only trail the principality club because they have scored one goal fewer.

Marseille midfielder Camel Meriem joined the club from Bordeaux in the summer and admits he hopes to show the home supporters what they missed.

"I did play for Bordeaux but my real club is Sochaux," Meriem told www.olympiquedemarseille.com.

"It will be a special match for me because it did not go well in the Gironde.

"I want to show what I can do."

Metz - Sochaux
Metz coach Jean Fernandez takes on his former club when Sochaux are the visitors to the Stade St Symphorien on Saturday.

Metz are beginning to get to grips with life in the top-flight and have won two of their last three Ligue 1 games, while they are also into the last 16 of the Coupe de la Ligue.

Last weekend's 2-0 win over Strasbourg in an Alsace-Lorraine showdown was particularly pleasing.

With Pape Thiaw and Hakim Saci both recent injury casualties, Metz found an answer to their striker problem with Toifilou Maoulida scoring both goals.

Maoulida will lead the line again this weekend as Fernandez prepares to duel with the club who dispensed with his services and replaced him with Guy Lacombe.

Lacombe made an instant impact and he was voted Ligue 1 coach of the year last year by his peers for steering Sochaux to fifth and a runners-up spot in the Coupe de la Ligue.

Ahead of Saturday's match, Lacombe was keen to pay tribute to the man he replaced in the Stade Bonal hotseat.

"He was the man FC Metz needed to get back up, everyone said that last year," said Lacombe, interviewed by www.fcmetz.com.

"He is very rigorous and loves football. All the teams he directed have progressed in time and he often gets them up very high.

"It was not easy to replace him. He had done good work and I simply told the players to progress based on the work that Jean had done.

"They listened to me and that's why we had such a good season."

Lacombe has named a 16-man squad to travel to Lorraine with Wilson Oruma and Souleymane Diawara both absentees because of suspension.

The only injury problem for Sochaux is Omar Daf who is unavailable for selection, while Pierre-Alain Frau returns to the squad after being rested for the Coupe de la Ligue victory against Valence.

Lille- Guingamp
Lille will be looking to end an eight-game winless streak when they host fellow strugglers Guingamp on Saturday.

Both teams are languishing in the lower reaches of the Ligue 1 table, with Lille currently 15th, four points ahead of their second-bottom visitors.

Lille's slump is all the more surprising considering their excellent start to the campaign.

They beat defending champions Lyon 1-0 on the opening day and followed that with wins against PSG - by the same score - and Toulouse (3-0).

But they have not won since then with their only other points coming from 1-1 draws with Metz, Monaco and Montpellier, and from a goalless draw against Ajaccio.

Coach Claude Puel will be without four injured influential players this weekend, including strikers Djezon Boutoille and Mathieu Maton who both have knee problems.

Midfielder Stephane Dumont has a thigh strain, while defender Stephane Pichot is another knee injury victim.

Further doubts hang over the availability of Gregory Tafforeau, who will face a late fitness test on an ankle problem, and fellow defender Hector Tapia who is unlikely to feature due to personal problems.

Guingamp are fresh from a 1-0 triumph against Toulouse last weekend, their second victory of the season.

Coach Bertrand Marchand also has injury concerns as he tries to plot his team's first away win of the campaign.

Defender Milovan Sikimic missed the Breton club's 3-0 defeat at Metz in the French league cup on Wednesday, and has since failed to shake off his right knee injury.

Also, midfielder Jerome Leroy has a calf strain which could prevent him from playing.

Monaco-Le Mans
Monaco is rightly famous for its casinos and anyone looking for a home banker this weekend would be well advised to lay their bets on this match.

Free-scoring Monaco defend their top position against a Le Mans side who are bottom and still winless in 11 Ligue 1 matches in their first season of top-flight football.

Three draws and eight defeats tells its own story for Le Mans boss Thierry Goudet, with Monaco's haul of 20 goals the best in the division and Le Mans' tally of three the worst.

Le Mans had a rare taste of victory in midweek when his team beat Ligue 2 club Istres in the Coupe de la Ligue.

However, a match between Monaco and Le Mans - places which also have a strong motor sport tradition - represents a far stiffer test for the 'lanterne rouge' - as the team at the bottom of the division are known.

Monaco boss Didier Deschamps showed where his priorities lay this year when he fielded a reserve team for the Coupe de la Ligue defeat at Marseille during the week.

There is no doubt that Le Mans will be facing the full-strength Monaco team on Saturday at the Stade Louis II, even if Deschamps does hold back one or two players for Champions League duty next week.

Monaco are virtually neck and neck with Marseille - they have identical points and goal difference but lead their south-coast neighbours by just one goal scored.

They will be hoping to win convincingly at home to Le Mans in order to maintain that spot.

Le Mans are still hunting that landmark win which they hope
  Profiili Seuranta
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