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 Viestin otsikko: Team-news'it; Englanti ja EM-maaottelut
ViestiLähetetty: 14.11.2003, 16:59 
Status: JäsenLiittynyt: 02.03.2003, 13:00Viestit: 1682Paikkakunta: Turku
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Preview: Gillingham v Wimbledon

Rod Wallace will be included in the Gillingham squad to face Wimbledon but may not make Andy Hessenthaler's starting line-up.

The striker missed last weekend's victory over Crewe with a hamstring injury but has returned to training and suffered no further setbacks.

Marlon King, however, is definitely out with a hamstring problem and could face a further three weeks on the sidelines.

Ian Cox and Chris Hope return from suspension and Kevin James has recovered from flu, but Mark Saunders is still not fit after being struck down by the bug last week.

Question marks hang over who will keep goal for Wimbledon. Number one Steve Banks returned after a nine-match absence with a shoulder injury in the reserves this week but is struggling for fitness.

Dons boss Stuart Murdoch, desperately looking for a loan signing with Paul Heald nursing a knee injury, missed out on Ipswich's Andy Marshall this week.

Teenager Lee Worgan could be forced to continue despite being sent off on his full debut at Rotherham last week.

Nigel Reo-Coker, Darren Holloway and Ben Chorley are all back after bans, but Albert Jarrett remains suspended.

Peter Hawkins (ankle) and Lionel Morgan (knee) are out long term, Alex Tapp is sidelined by a back injury and Mikele Leigertwood will have a late fitness test on his knee.

Last season: Gillingham 3 Wimbledon 3, Wimbledon 0 Gillingham 1

Last five league matches: Gillingham L W W L W; Wimbledon L W L W L

Top scorers: Marlon King & Paul Shaw (Gillingham) 5; Patrick Agyemang (Wimbledon) 5

Preview: Derby v Burnley

Derby full-back Richard Jackson is in line for a recall ahead of the meeting with visiting Burnley after recovering from a bout of flu.

Peter Kennedy is expected to retain his position at left-back despite reporting another hamstring twinge.

Izale McLeod, back from knee cartilage surgery, could also come into the reckoning after playing the full 90 minutes and scoring a goal for the reserves in midweek.

But Andy Oakes remains sidelined by a wrist injury and is scheduled to undergo exploratory surgery.

Burnley manager Stan Ternent has three injury concerns ahead of the trip to Pride Park.

Graham Branch is struggling to shake off an ankle knock, while Delroy Facey and Luke Chadwick are doubtful with foot and toe problems respectively.

However, David May is expected to return to the starting line-up, having recovered from the hamstring strain which has kept him sidelined for six weeks.

Alan Moore (ankle) and Paul Weller (calf) are back in training, but are some way short of match fitness.

Last season: Burnley 2 Derby 0, Derby 1 Burnley 2

Last five league matches: Derby L L L L D; Burnley L D D D L

Top scorers: Ian Taylor (Derby) 6; Robert Blake (Burnley) 7

Preview: Reading v Millwall

Reading welcome back Steve Sidwell for the clash with Millwall after the midfielder served a one-match ban.

But the Royals are without Adie Williams, Steve Brown and John Mackie, all recovering from knee surgery.

Ricky Newman is favourite to line up alongside Ivar Ingimarsson in the back four, with Darius Henderson on the bench as an emergency centre-back.

Scott Murray may not have recovered from a bruised knee in time to play so Andy Hughes is expected to move to the right side of midfield to cover, although Bas Savage could play in that position.

Kevin Braniff is Millwall manager Dennis Wise's only fit striker for his first game in permanent charge.

Neil Harris (ankle), Noel Whelan (hamstring) and Bob Peeters (suspended) all miss the trip.

Wise was also rocked by the news this week that Paul Robinson will miss the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Matt Lawrence or Stuart Nethercott will replace him at the heart of defence.

Last season: Millwall 0 Reading 2, Reading 2 Millwall 0

Last five league matches: Reading W L W L W; Millwall L W D W L

Top scorers: Nicky Forster (Reading) 9; Neil Harris, Paul Ifill & Noel Whelan (Millwall) 4

Preview: Norwich City v Watford

Norwich manager Nigel Worthington will be without Marc Edworthy and Peter Crouch for the visit of Watford to Carrow Road.

Defender Edworthy is still sidelined with a hamstring injury while on-loan striker Crouch is suspended following his dismissal in the 3-1 victory at Walsall.

Phil Mulryne is having treatment on a slight hamstring strain, while Kevin Harper has returned to Portsmouth with the same problem.

Stephen Kelly plays his last match for Watford before the end of his two-month loan spell from Tottenham.

Kelly will fly out to play for the Republic of Ireland at the Fifa World Youth Championship in Dubai after the game.

But Chelsea goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley keeps his place after extending his loan spell until the end of the season.

Midfielder Gavin Mahon has been sidelined for longer than expected with knee ligament damage and will not train until next week.

Jason Norville needs a scan on his injured hip while Heidar Helguson (knee) and Simon Patterson (thigh) are still receiving treatment.

Last season: Watford 2 Norwich 1, Norwich 4 Watford 0

Last five league matches: Norwich L W W W W; Watford W L W L D

Top scorers: Peter Crouch & Mark Rivers (Norwich) 4; Scott Fitzgerald (Watford) 6

Preview: Wycombe v Brentford

Tony Adams has almost a fully-fit squad for his first league game in charge of Wycombe Wanderers.

Defender Guy Branston, on loan from Rotherham, is available again after being cup-tied last week.

But strikers Gavin Holligan (calf) and Craig Faulconbridge (knee) are still out.

Brentford striker Tommy Wright is set to return to the starting line-up.

The Leicester loan signing started the QPR game on the bench having just returned from an ankle injury before coming on as a second-half substitute.

Alex Rhodes is unlikely to be named in the squad despite signing an 18-month contract with the club this week.

The 21-year-old from Newmarket Town is seen as one for the future and will cut his teeth in the reserves.

Preview: Port Vale v Notts County

Port Vale boss Brian Horton will be without Steve Brooker for the home clash with Notts County.

The striker underwent an operation on his knee this week which will sideline him for several weeks.

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and Mickey Cummins should be in contention after the pair returned to training towards the end of this week.

Cummins has been out since taking a knock against Chesterfield, while Bridge-Wilkinson has been suffering from a recurring shoulder injury.

Billy Paynter returns from suspension, but Steve Rowland serves the second game of a three-match ban for his red card against QPR.

Notts County boss Billy Dearden is expected to select his matchday 16 from a settled squad.

With the squad unaffected by notable injuries or suspensions, Dearden is expected to keep faith with the side which crushed Shildon in the first round of the FA Cup

Preview: Oldham Athletic v Swindon Town

Oldham manager Iain Dowie will field a patched-up side for the visit of Swindon due to the latest injury crisis at Boundary Park.

John Sheridan starts the first game of a three-match ban following his dismissal at Plymouth, while brother Darren had surgery this week on his damaged ankle.

David Eyres (broken foot) is a long-term absentee, while fellow midfielder Paul Murray will be out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury.

Striker Chris Killen has also had surgery this week to pin a bone in his foot and defender Will Haining is back in training after a hamstring injury.

Manchester City keeper Kieran Westwood will take his place on the bench after signing on loan this week.

Swindon midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi is available for the trip after a scan revealed his ankle injury is not as serious as first feared.

Matty Heywood will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness after struggling with flu, while a late decision will also be made on Tommy Mooney (thigh) after the striker missed training this week.

Adi Viveash is out for another couple of weeks after the defender was told to rest because he has fluid on his knee.

Preview: Luton v Wrexham

Luton manager Mike Newell will recall Gary McSheffrey to the starting line-up for the match against Wrexham.

The Coventry loan signing was refused permission to play in the FA Cup last week.

Alan Neilson could also return after a recent absence with a calf injury, but Kevin Nicholls (knee) is a week behind schedule.

Steve Howard (hernia) and Russell Perrett (groin) are two weeks away from a comeback, Paul Hughes is nursing a broken leg and David Bayliss is out for the season with an Achilles injury.

Wrexham boss Denis Smith will be without several key players for the trip.

Jim Whitley serves a one-match suspension, Paul Edwards is still out on compassionate leave following a family bereavement and Shaun Holmes remains sidelined with a groin problem.

Steve Roberts is doubtful with a knee injury, but on the plus side Chris Armstrong (Achilles) may start after being rested for the FA Cup defeat at Yeovil.

Preview: Barnsley v Tranmere

Barnsley boss Gudjon Thordarson is expected to be without Antony Kay and Peter Handyside for the clash with Tranmere.

Kay is serving a one-match suspension after five yellow cards, while Handyside is still struggling with an ankle knock.

Dean Gorre is doubtful with a hamstring injury, while Kevin Donovan remains on the sidelines with a groin problem.

Tranmere manager Brian Little's preparations for the trip have been hit by illness.

Graham Allen and Gareth Roberts are struggling to recover from bugs, having been forced to sit out training this week.

Preview: Brighton v Bristol City

Brighton boss Mark McGhee will add new signing Mark Yeates to his squad for the home clash with Bristol City after the Spurs midfielder arrived at the Withdean on a one-month loan deal.

McGhee is also hoping to re-sign Fulham midfielder Zesh Rehman for a second spell at the club in time for the Robins clash.

Goalkeeper Ben Roberts is still out, along with long-term injury victims Dean Blackwell, Simon Rodger (both knee) and Charlie Oatway (back).

Bristol City boss Danny Wilson will leave it late before naming his squad for the trip to face the Seagulls.

Defensive duo Louis Carey (knee) and Mickey Bell (Achilles) are close to a comeback but will wait to see if there is any reaction after training this week.

Midfielder Brian Tinnion is fit after sitting out the FA Cup win over Bradford Park Avenue with a slight hamstring injury but Tommy Doherty misses out again as he serves the second game of a three-match suspension for his red card against Wycombe last month.

Preview: Blackpool v Chesterfield

New loan signing Steve Elliott is expected to get an instant debut for Blackpool in the home clash with Chesterfield after signing from Derby for one month.

On-loan Middlesbrough goalkeeper Bradley Jones, who arrived at Bloomfield Road earlier this month, will take over from the suspended Phil Barnes, who starts a three-game ban after his dismissal against Crystal Palace.

Steve Davis (virus) and Gareth Evans (hamstring) miss out but Richie Wellens appears to have shaken off his virus and looks set to take his place on the bench.

Chesterfield boss Roy McFarland has a string of players doubtful with a bug which has swept through the club ahead of the trip to Lancashire.

Carl Muggleton, Kevin Dawson, Mark Allott, Stuart Howson, Gareth Davies, Mark Hudson and Steve Blatherwick have all shown signs of illness.

Gus Uhlenbeek is a definite absentee as he serves the second leg of his two-match suspension

Preview: QPR v Plymouth Argyle

Martin Rowlands and Marc Bircham are both injury worries for Ian Holloway ahead of QPR's match with Plymouth.

Rowlands is nursing a calf knock and Bircham injured his hip against Brentford last week, but both players should be in contention.

Dan Shittu made his comeback from a knee injury in the reserves but will not take part, while Paul Furlong (hip) is still out.

Plymouth will be without David Friio, who begins a three-match suspension after being sent off against Oldham.

Argyle are boosted by the Canadian FA's decision to allow Jason Bent to miss a friendly and play for his club ahead of teaming up with his country for a friendly against the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.

Steve Adams (calf) will undergo a late fitness test and could come back into the frame while Lee Hodges did his chances of a recall no harm at all with two goals in a midweek reserves match.

Preview: Bournemouth v Peterborough

Bournemouth manager Sean O'Driscoll named an unchanged squad for the visit of Peterborough.

James Hayter was the only worry after struggling with flu at the beginning of the week, but after training on Thursday he looks set to be in contention.

Alan Connell and Derek Holmes (both knee) remain on the sidelines while Neil Young has returned to training following knee surgery, but is still a week or two away from a first-team comeback.

Peterborough United manager Barry Fry has the luxury of a full squad available for the trip.

Sagi Burton is back in contention after completing a three-match ban for his red card against QPR last month. Leon McKenzie and Andy Clarke are also added to the squad that defeated Hereford in the FA Cup last week.

McKenzie was sidelined for the win against the Bulls due to a thigh strain, while Clarke has missed the last two games with a groin injury.

Preview: Grimsby v Stockport

Paul Groves expects to make just one change to his Grimsby side for the visit of Stockport County.

Darren Barnard is away on international duty with Wales while Simon Ford is still out with a hamstring problem.

Stockport's John Hardiker is manager Sammy McIlroy's sole injury doubt ahead of the clash.

The defender is struggling with an ear infection, and McIlroy will leave it until as late as possible before naming his side.

Matt Heath and Danny Jackman, on loan from Leicester and Aston Villa respectively, are expected to return to the side after their employers refused them permission to play in last weekend's FA Cup tie.

Ali Gibb should retain his place in the side after suffering no ill effects to 90 minutes action against Stevenage, his first game since recovering from a calf problem.

Preview: Hartlepool v Rushden

Hartlepool boss Neale Cooper will be without the suspended Marco Gabbiadini for the visit of Rushden & Diamonds.

John Brackstone is doubtful after picking up a groin injury in Saturday's 4-0 win and is unlikely to feature.

New loan signing Jamie Ashdown is set to make his Rushden & Diamonds debut against at Victoria Park as goalkeepers Billy Turley and Paul Evans struggle with knee injuries.

Trevor Benjamin should also make the team after signing on a month's loan from Leicester, with Onandi Lowe and Paul Kitson sidelined by groin and knee problems respectively.

Andy Edwards (back) misses out, while Andy Burgess (groin), Gary Mills (dead leg) and Paul Underwood (back) are rated 50-50.

Duane Darby has joined Shrewsbury on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Preview: Colchester v Sheff Wed

Colchester duo Karl Duguid and Wayne Andrews have recovered from flu for the clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

Kem Izzet (knee) is rated 50-50 while Liam Chilvers and Andy Myers are available after suffering no adverse reaction to 90 minutes last weekend.

Sheffield Wednesday could be without both Terry Cooke and Graeme Lee for the trip.

Cooke is waiting for X-ray results on a suspected broken foot and could be sidelined for up to eight weeks if a break is confirmed.

Lee sustained a badly-bruised calf against Barnsley and could be out for two to three weeks, but there is a slight chance he could be available if the injury is not as bad as first feared.

Owls boss Chris Turner could call on Steve Haslam if Lee fails to make it.
Preview: Darlington v Lincoln City

New signings Ross Turnbull and Craig James go straight into the Darlington squad for the visit of Lincoln City.

But manager David Hodgson is without David McGurk and Danny Mellanby with both players starting suspensions.

Craig Liddle returns from his suspension after missing the FA Cup defeat to non-league Hornchurch and striker Barry Conlon suffered no reaction to his ankle ligament injury during Sunday's game.

But Andy Collett is still recovering after suffering a collapsed lung.

Lincoln have a string of players doubtful for the match at the Reynolds Stadium.

Peter Gain, Paul Morgan and Simon Weaver are all suffering from a virus. Rory May and Ben Martin are also struggling with a hamstring injury and a dead leg respectively.

Lincoln are without manager Keith Alexander, who is in hospital after collapsing at his home this week leaving assistant Gary Simpson to take charge

Preview: York v Doncaster

York player-manager Chris Brass will give a late fitness test to Mitch Ward (thigh) ahead of the visit of Doncaster.

Gary Browne is in line to make his debut after joining on a one-month contract

Stephen Downes and Stuart Wise (both knee) are definitely out, Richard Cooper is suspended and Jon Parkin serves the second game of a four-match ban.

Christian Fox played 60 minutes of a midweek reserves match and comes into contention.

Doncaster boss Dave Penney welcomes back Steve Foster from suspension for the derby against the Minstermen.

Adriano Rigoglioso was cup-tied last week, but remains suspended for a further three games.

Francis Tierney had a cartilage operation on his knee on Monday and is likely to be out for another three weeks.

Penney also has concerns over John Doolan (leg & flu) and Paul Barnes who also has flu.

Preview: Bristol Rovers v Bury

Bristol Rovers welcome back Paul Tait and Ijah Anderson for the visit of Bury to the Memorial Stadium.

The pair return to contention after missing last weekend's FA Cup first-round defeat by Bournemouth.

Simon Bryant is struggling to recover from the back injury which prevented him from turning out for the reserves in midweek.

However, Junior Agogo could feature as he nears full fitness following a knee operation.

Bury player-manager Andy Preece is without a host of players for the trip.

Paul O'Shaughnessy begins a two-match suspension and Gareth Seddon - absent from last week's FA Cup defeat by Rochdale - serves a one-game ban.

Terry Dunfield and Justin Thompson are unavailable due to their inclusion in the Canada Under-23 squad, while Harpal Singh faces a six-week lay-off with a dislocated shoulder.

Matt Barrass and George Clegg, though recovering well from their knee injuries, remain short of match fitness, but Danny Swailes returns to contention following a foot infection.

Preview: Carlisle v Mansfield

Carlisle player-manager Paul Simpson welcomes back Darren Kelly and Chris Billy from suspension for the visit of Mansfield.

However, Richie Foran serves the second game of a three-match ban and Steve Livingstone begins a two-match suspension.

Matt Glennon will be fit despite having seven stitches in a facial wound sustained in last weekend's defeat at Oldham.

On-loan defender Shaun Smith comes into contention after being refused permission by Hull to play in the FA Cup.

Peter Murphy's knee ligament injury is expected to keep him sidelined until December, while Mark Summerbell (shoulder), Paul Raven (hamstring) and Simpson (thigh) remain unavailable.

Mansfield centre-back Luke Dimech is boss Keith Curle's only injury concern ahead of the clash.

Dimech has been troubled by a recurring knee problem, but Curle is confident the Malta international will be fit enough for the journey to Cumbria.

Lee Williamson is back from a knee injury meaning the sole absentee is likely to be Adam Eaton, who is close to making a full recovery from a long-term groin problem which has ruled him out since April.

Preview: Huddersfield v Hull City

Huddersfield boss Peter Jackson will field his youngest side yet for the visit of high-flying Hull.

Keeper Ian Gray will be out until the New Year after breaking a bone in his hand and dislocating two fingers in the FA Cup defeat at Accrington, so 21-year-old Phil Senior is ready to seize his chance.

Efe Sodje sits out a one-match ban and fellow centre-half Steve Yates serves the second game of a three-match suspension, so Jackson will start with David Mirfin, 18, Nat Clarke, 19, and Paul Scott, 23, in a three-man defence.

Jackson will also deploy two wing-backs with Anthony Lloyd, 19, slotting in on one of the flanks.

Midfielder Lee Fowler, who has just signed a permanent deal with the club, is suspended after reaching five yellow cards.

Hull's top scorer Danny Allsopp is struggling to recover from a groin injury and is extremely doubtful for the trip.

Jamie Forrester could step up to take his place while Stuart Elliott is expected to be ready for action after fighting off a virus.

Preview: Torquay v Cheltenham

Torquay are boosted by the return of on-loan defensive duo Brian McGlinchey and Mike Williamson ahead of their home match against Cheltenham.

McGlinchey and Williamson both missed the FA Cup knockout by Burton because their clubs did not want them cup tied.

Reuben Hazell (calf), who made his comeback against Burton as a replacement for McGlinchey, will undergo a late fitness test as will Kevin Hill (knee).

Jason Fowler misses out through suspension.

Cheltenham manager John Ward will add Martin Devaney to the squad for the trip to face the Gulls.

The striker missed last weekend's FA Cup win over Hull with a virus but has returned to training and will be in contention.

Jamie Victory is still struggling with the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Tigers game and is unlikely to be fit.

Shane Duff (ankle) and Bertrand Cozic (calf) are definitely out.

Preview: Cambridge v Oxford

Cambridge can welcome back loan star Gareth Williams for their home clash with Oxford.

The Welshman missed last weekend's FA Cup tie against Lancaster City at the request of his club Crystal Palace.

Justin Walker (virus) has only a 50-50 chance of making the game, while Mark Venus is still struggling with a hamstring problem and is also doubtful.

Daniel Chillingworth is thought to be about two weeks away from a return as he battles against an ankle problem.

Alex Revell is still out after his groin operation but Franco Nacca should be available, despite a minor foot injury.

Oxford manager Ian Atkins will have Matt Robinson available for the game at the Abbey Stadium after the defender completed a one-match ban.

Paul McCarthy is back in the squad for the first time in a month following a back injury although Danny Brown has also been struggling with his back but hopes to be involved

Preview: Rochdale v Kidderminster

Rochdale new-boy Gary Jones is expected to go straight into the starting line-up for the visit of Kidderminster.

The former Dale skipper, who returned to Spotland on a month's loan from Barnsley this week, will replace the injured Chris Beech (calf).

Michael Simpkins returns from a one-match ban, so Simon Grand could make way.

Matthew Gilks is on standby for Neil Edwards who is a slight doubt with a dead leg after being substituted at Bury last week.

Kevin Townson will continue to partner Lee McEvilly up front in the absence of Paul Connor (broken foot) and Pat McCourt should retain his place on the wing.

With no injuries or suspensions, Kidderminster director of football Jan Molby is expecting to choose his team from the same squad that saw off Northwich in the FA Cup last week.

Preview: Boston v Leyton Orient

Boston manager Neil Thompson will give a late fitness test to Mark Angel (hamstring) ahead of the visit of Leyton Orient.

Graeme Jones could also be included after sitting out the last two games with an ankle knock.

Lee Thompson and Graham Potter will resume training later in the week after struggling with flu and should be fully recovered in time for the game.

Stuart Douglas has also been placed on the transfer list, but may be called upon should Angel or Jones fail to make it.

Leyton Orient midfielder David Hunt will miss the match at York Street as he starts a two-game ban while Lee Thorpe is also out serving the last of his three-game suspension.

But manager Martin Ling will not add Adebayo Akinfenwa to the squad despite his goal for the reserves in midweek.

Akinfenwa left Boston to join Orient and was barred from playing against them as part of the agreement.

Ciaran Toner could play his first match since August after returning from an ankle injury, but Greg Heald (pelvis) and Simon Downer (groin) are still out.

Preview: Yeovil v Southend

Yeovil welcome back Lee Elam to the squad for the home game against Southend.

The on-loan Halifax winger missed the FA Cup win over Wrexham and the LDV Vans knockout by Colchester because he was cup-tied.

Kirk Jackson (knee) will be given until the last minute to be involved against the Shrimpers but Irishman Roy O'Brien (knee) is still out.

Southend caretaker manager Dave Webb will be without suspended pair Kevin Maher and Stuart Williams for the trip.

Maher is struggling with a knee injury but is definitely ruled out after his red card against Northampton and Williams also serves a one-match ban after picking up five bookings.

Duncan Jupp comes back into contention after recovering from a thigh knock, as does Steve Clark who has shaken off a groin injury.

Long-term injury victims Leke Odunsi (ankle) and Jamie Stuart (pelvis) are still out.

Preview: Macclesfield v Scunthorpe

Macclesfield are boosted by the return of Michael Welch from suspension for the game against Scunthorpe at Moss Rose.

Steve Macauley has served the ban which kept him out of last weekend's FA Cup win over Boston, but he is struggling with a hamstring injury.

Colin Little is also unavailable as he begins a three-match suspension for his sending-off against Hull.

On-loan Rob Jones is set to return to the centre of defence after sitting out the cup clash at Stockport's request but the game is likely to come too soon for Dave Smith, who made his comeback from a hamstring problem for the reserves in midweek.

Scunthorpe boss Brian Laws will be without Steve Torpey and Kevin Sharp for the trip.

Torpey will sit out the second game of a three-match ban following his dismissal against York City while Sharp serves a one-game suspension after being handed his fifth yellow card against former club Huddersfield.

On the plus side, Laws will welcome back Mark Jackson, who missed the FA Cup win over Shrewsbury due to a one-match ban.

Croatia coach Otto Baric has problems in defence and midfield, with Robert Kovac of Bayern Munich suspended and Josip Simunic from Hertha Berlin out with an ankle injury picked up in training. Both should be available for the second leg.

But he will also be without midfielder Milan Rapaic who has not yet recovered fitness after injury.

Baric is still considering whether to field 19-year-old Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Niko Kranjcar, who could give additional edge to in-form strikers Dado Prso of Monaco and Ivica Olic from CSKA Moscow.

Slovenia received a boost when Zlatko Zahovic, now fully recovered from the toe injury that kept him out for six weeks, and Ermin Siljak, top scorer in the qualifying campaign, joined up with the squad.

Defender Aleksander Knavs, nursing a light injury, should be in the starting line-up but first-choice keeper Marko Simeunovic has a shoulder injury and is likely to be replaced by Mladen Dabanovic.

Probable teams:

Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa; Dario Simic, Igor Tudor, Boris Zivkovic, Stjepan Tomas; Mato Neretljak (or Marko Babic), Jerko Leko, Niko Kovac, Ivica Mornar; Dado Prso, Ivica Olic.

Slovenia: Marko Simeunovic or Mladen Dabanovic; Fabijan Cipot, Spasoje Bulajic, Aleksander Knavs; Goran Sukalo, Nastja Ceh, Miran Pavlin, Amir Karic, Milenko Acimovic; Zlatko Zahovic, Ermin Siljak.

Referee: Markus Merk (Germany). - - - -


Latvia have a serious injury concern over striker Marian Pahars, while defenders Olegs Blagonadezdins and Aleksandrs Isakovs and midfielder Vitalijs Astafjevs all have less serious knocks.

Defenders Mihails Zemlinskis and Dzintars Zirnis are both suspended.

Turkey will also be below strength, with defender Alpay Ozalan and midfielder Yildiray Basturk both ruled out.

Alpay, without a club since leaving Aston Villa following his clash with David Beckham in the final group game against England, has 'flu, while Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Basturk is out because of back pains.

Probable teams:

Latvia: Aleksandrs Kolinko; Igors Stephanovs, Olegs Blagonadezdins, Aleksandrs Isakovs, Valentins Lobanovs; Vitalijs Astafjevs, Juris Laizans, Andrejs Rubins, Imants Bleidelis; Maris Verpakovskis, Andrejs Stolcers.

Turkey: Rustu Recber; Fatih Akyel, Bulent Korkmaz, Emre Asik, Ibrahim Uzulmez; Okan Buruk, Emre Belozoglu, Tugay Kerimoglu, Ergun Penbe; Hakan Sukur, Nihat Kahveci.

Referee: Gilles Veissiere (France). - - - -


Russia will hope that experienced midfielder Alexei Smertin recovers in time to face the Welsh after undergoing knee surgery last month.

Coach Georgy Yartsev has said that Smertin, who moved from Girondins Bordeaux to Chelsea in August before joining Portsmouth on loan, will only play if he is fully fit.

Spartak Moscow captain Yegor Titov, who has been trying to shake off a painful ankle injury, is another questionable starter for the first leg in Moscow on Saturday.

Wales will have combative midfield ball winner Robbie Savage, who had been nursing a sore hamstring, fit to play.

Midfielder Mark Pembridge (calf strain), central defender Simon Page (ankle) and midfielder Simon Davies, out with a niggling hip and groin injury since early September, did not travel to Moscow with the squad but may be available for the second leg in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Probable teams:

Russia: Sergei Ovchinnikov; Dmitry Sennikov, Sergei Ignashevich, Gennady Nizhegorodov or Alexei Smertin, Viktor Onopko; Dmitry Alenichev, Rolan Gusev, Yegor Titov or Dmitry Loskov, Alexander Mostovoi; Dmitry Bulykin, Alexander Kerzhakov.

Wales: Paul Jones; Mark Delaney, Darren Barnard, Andy Melville, Gary Speed; Jason Koumas, Andy Johnson, Robbie Savage, Robert Earnshaw; John Hartson, Ryan Giggs.

Referee: Lucilio Cardoso Cortez Batista (Portugal). - - - -


Scotland are without Celtic captain Paul Lambert and Wolves midfielder Colin Cameron through injury but Hearts defender Steven Pressley, undergoing treatment on a groin injury, should be fit.

Southampton winger Neil McCann returns after missing last month's 1-0 play-off clinching win over Lithuania with an ankle injury.

German coach Berti Vogts must decide whether to start with Manchester United teenager Darren Fletcher, scorer of the winner against Lithuania, or opt for Dundee's Gavin Rae in midfield to help combat the physical strength of the Dutch.

Dutch central defenders Jaap Stam and Andre Ooijer are both struggling to shake off injuries but should be fit for the opening leg.

Coach Dick Advocaat has ruled out playing Patrick Kluivert and Ruud van Nistelrooy together up front, meaning a likely start for Rafael van der Vaart alongside one of the two top-rank strikers.

Marc Overmars and Andy van der Meyde will be the wingers in the conventional Dutch 4-3-3 line up, while midfielder Clarence Seedorf will probably replace PSV's captain Mark van Bommel, who is out after hernia surgery.

Probable teams:

Scotland: Robert Douglas; Jackie McNamara, Christian Dailly, Steven Pressley, Gary Naysmith; Barry Ferguson, Gavin Rae or Darren Fletcher, Neil McCann, James McFadden, Kenny Miller, Steve Crawford.

Netherlands: Edwin van der Sar; Michael Reiziger, Frank de Boer, Jaap Stam, Giovanni van Bronckhorst; Clarence Seedorf, Rafael van der Vaart, Philip Cocu; Andy van der Meyde, Patrick Kluivert, Marc Overmars.

Referee Terje Hauge (Norway). - - - -


Midfielder Joaquin has been struggling with a groin injury all week and coach Inaki Saez is likely to give Athletic Bilbao's Joseba Etxeberria the berth on the right wing.

Jose Antonio Reyes may have done enough to oust Vicente from the other flank following his brilliant display for Sevilla against Real Madrid last week, while Fernando Torres should spearhead the attack alongside captain Raul.

Ivan Helguera appears to have shrugged off a sciatic nerve problem and will partner Carlos Marchena at centre-back.

Norway's Claus Lundekvam, part of a planned defensive wall to block the expected all-out Spanish attack, strained his right ankle in training on Wednesday but is expected to be fit.

Defender Andre Bergdolmo of Borussia Dortmund also missed training on Wednesday and pulled out on Friday. His likely replacement is Rosenborg's Jan Gunnar Solli. Probable teams:

Spain: Iker Casillas; Michel Salgado, Ivan Helguera, Carlos Marchena, Carles Puyol; Joseba Etxeberria, David Albelda, Ruben Baraja, Jose Antonio Reyes; Raul, Fernando Torres.

Norway: Espen Johnsen; Christer Basma, Henning Berg, Claus Lundekvam, Jan Gunnar Solli; John Arne Riise, Martin Andersen, Ronny Johnsen, Roar Strand, Steffen Iversen; Tore Andre Flo.

Referee Graham Poll (England).(Ananova,Yahoo)
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