PSG - Nice
Little over a month ago, Paris Saint-Germain were concerned by relegation. On Friday they could move to within a point of fifth place by beating Nice in the capital.
The return to fitness and form of Jérôme Rothen
has been the catalyst in an upturn in form which culminated in last week’s superb 1-0 win at Lyon.
Nice remain in grave trouble and find themselves just one position above the drop zone after last Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by 18th-placed Caen. The Normandy side are now five points adrift of Nice.
Caen - Bastia
The side that loses Saturday’s crunch relegation battle will almost certainly be playing their football in Ligue 2 next season.
One point seperates Bastia in 19th with Caen in 18th, but then a further five points seperate the relegation zone with 17th-placed Nice. Therefore, even a draw would do little to help these teams’ causes.
Caen go into the game on a high after beating Nice last week, while Bastia won 2-1 against Toulouse. The Corsicans are missing Algerian striker Malek Cherrard through injury.
Ajaccio - Bordeaux
With 40 points already in the bank, Bordeaux are unlikely to be sucked into a relegation dogfight, but Ajaccio are certainly not the ideal team to be playing right now.
The Corsican side have the fourth best record in Ligue 1 since the turn of the year, and have beaten Monaco, Auxerre and Marseille in their last three outings. Ajaccio, who have only lost once in eight encounters at home to Les Girondins, will go above Bordeaux with a win.
Strasbourg - Lille
Two form teams meet at La Meinau on Saturday, with second-placed Lille looking to close the gap on Lyon while Strasbourg target the top half of the table.
After eight matches without a victory, Lille have secured two impressive wins in their last two outings, beating Istres 8-0 and Lens 2-1. They are now 11 points behind the leaders Lyon and three points clear of Marseille who are in third.
Strasbourg followed up their 1-0 win over Marseille with a creditable goalless draw at Auxerre last weekend and are 13th in the table. They have a good home record against Lille, winning 23 of the 34 games they have played
Auxerre - Lyon
Auxerre take on stuttering League leaders Lyon at the Stade Abbé Deschamps on Sunday, looking to get their faltering bid for a European berth back on track.
For two reputedly attacking sides, Auxerre (6th, 47pts) and Lyon (1st, 66pts) have both found winning goals hard to come by in recent weeks. Auxerre have won only won once in their last nine Ligue 1 outings. Guy Roux’s men once again showing their current limits in front of goal with a 0-0 draw at home to Strasbourg last weekend, despite dictating large periods of the match.
Zimbabwean striker Benjani hasn’t hit the back of the net in the League for over two months
, while Belgian forward Luigi Pieroni has struggled to develop a good understanding with Ivory Coast playmaker Bonaventure Kalou since his arrival from Liege in the summer
However, Auxerre’s recent defensive frailties seem to be on the mend following the return of Swiss stopper Stéphane Grichting
against Strasbourg, although the Czech Republic’s René Bolf is still missing
with a pinched sciatic nerve.
The pain of Lyon’s Champions’ League elimination at the hands of PSV Eindhoven was compounded by their first home loss of the season to Paris Saint-Germain last Sunday. For the first time this season, Paul Le Guen’s side have gone four competitive games without a win.
The loss of striker Pierre-Alain Frau for the rest of the season
restricts Le Guen’s attacking options, with Sylvain Wiltord likely to continue as the focus of a three-pronged attack, while the captain Claudio Caçapa appears to have slotted back seamlessly into the centre of defence after a lengthy absence.
When the two sides met earlier this season it was the champions who ran out 2-1 winners thanks to first-half strikes from Wiltord and Juninho Pernambucano, while Benoït Cheyrou responded for Auxerre in the 67th minute
Nantes - Marseille
Marseille will be looking to arrest a desperate to slump in form when they travel to La Beaujoire to take on Nantes on Saturday.
Last week’s 2-1 home defeat by Ajaccio was the club’s second loss on the spin, and means they have taken just six points from a possible 21 in their last seven games. The players have not been helped by the chaos behind the scenes. The future of Coach Philippe Troussier remains a mystery, while club President Pape Diouf stated this week that he never even wanted to take the top job and still does not know who is supposed to be running the club.
With a string of first-team players supposedly unhappy with the training methods employed by Troussier
, it is little wonder that results have suffered. Defender Brahim Hemdani was even banished from training last week after almost coming to blows with Troussier. On Tuesday, Marseille’s training was cancelled so that the players and coaching staff could take part in a collective therapy session.
Diouf described the session as “instructive” but it can hardly be regarded as the best way of preparing for a key game against the Canaris.
Both sides still need points but for different reasons. Nantes are still in relegation strife, 15th in the table with 38 points, five more than 18th-placed Caen. They have done well to pick up four points from their last two games against Lyon and Bordeaux, taking the pressure slightly off Serge Le Dizet and his players. Marseille, meanwhile, are still in contention for Champions’ League qualification despite their poor form. They are third, though Monaco are just one point back with a game in hand.
Nantes hold the upper hand historically, winning 14 of their confrontations with Marseille at La Beaujoire, drawing 10 and losing eight. Marseille got the better of Nantes at the Stade Vélodrome in November, however, winning 3-1 with goals from Abdoulaye Meïté, Fabrice Fiorèse and Steve Marlet. Gilles Yapi-Yapo was the Nantes scorer.
St Etienne - Metz
Metz have clawed themselves away from relegation trouble in recent weeks but they have struggled to get anything at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in the past.
The Lorraine club have come away from Saint-Etienne with a victory just four times in 43 attempts, Les Verts winning 32 of the meetings.
Elie Baup’s side ended Rennes’ series of homes wins last week, drawing 2-2 at the Stade de la Route de Lorient, and are just three points off fifth spot. Metz beat bottom-club Istres 2-1 last weekend.
Istres - Rennes
Istres boss Xavier Gravelaine has admitted that his team is playing for pride after Saturday’s defeat by Metz left the club resigned to relegation.
The southern team are bottom of the table, 12 points from a position of safety, and face a difficult task on Saturday when Rennes come to town.
Laszlo Boloni’s side have been in superb form of late. They are fifth in the table while their striker Alexander Frei appears to be running away with the golden boot award.
Lens - Sochaux
Lens will be looking to bounce back from their derby defeat by Lille when Sochaux head north on Saturday.
Les Sang et Or’s good form has hit a stumbling block in recent weeks. They have taken just one point from their last three matches and their European aspirations appear to be floundering. Eleventh in the table, Francis Gillot’s side are nonetheless just six points behind fifth-placed Rennes.
Sochaux, meanwhile, are seventh but can count themselves fortunate to have escaped from last week’s clash with Monaco with a 1-1 draw
Monaco - Toulouse
Souleymane Camara headed Monaco past Clermont Foot and into the Coupe de France semi-finals on Tuesday, but the Principality club have made no secret of their main ambition as another frustrating season draws to a close.
"If we don’t finish in the top three, winning the Coupe de France will not save our season,” said left-back Patrice Evra before the match. He and his teammates currently lie a point behind Marseille in fourth, but they boast a game in hand and will be assured Champions' League football next season if they pick up maximum points their remaining fixtures.
That will mean improving on their current Ligue 1 form, though, as they have recorded just one victory in their last eight outings, and could only register a 1-1 draw with Sochaux last week, despite taking an early lead through Ernesto Chevanton.
The recent return from injury of France centre-back Sébastien Squillaci
has been a boost, but Monaco's problems up front show no signs of abating, and Ligue 2 strugglers Clermont managed to keep them at bay for 105 minutes.
That will give confidence to eighth-placed Toulouse, who left Stade Louis II with heavy 3-0 defeats on the last two occasions this fixture was held. And following last Saturday's 2-1 loss to Bastia, Les Violets will be keen to put an end to their own end-of-season slump.
Erick Mombaert's men have managed just one win in five games, and have seen their own dreams of qualifying for the UEFA Cup take a severe dent after a steady climb up the table that took them as high as sixth place in February.
Injury may have played a role in their stuttering form, and the news that defender Stéphane Lièvre misses the trip with a leg complaint could hardly have come at a worse time. He joins a long list of players in the treatment room - including Daniel Moreira, Benjamin Psaume, Ludovic Clément, Pantxi Sirieix, Nicolas Douchez, Issou Malia Dao, Eduardo and Julien Cardy.
Relegation fodder Atalanta host high-flying Palermo at the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia. The Orobici had enjoyed a mini-revival until last weekend and they have now lost two on the trot.
Palermo’s recent form has been similar to that of a side doomed for relegation, winning just once in six attempts. If they are to cause the shock of the season by qualifying for the Champions’ League they must surely pick up all three points this weekend.
0-0 draw at Reggina on Wednesday did little to boost their survival hopes but, worse still, they have now lost Palermo target Riccardo Montolivo and Stephen Makinwa to suspension
. Therefore, Biagio Pagano will step into midfield and Croatian hitman Igor Budan will line-up in attack.
Former Nerazzurri boss Francesco Guidolin
, who had just ten games at the helm in Bergamo over a decade ago, is without the suspended Christian Terlizzi
. But Christian Zaccardo can step back from midfield, with Massimo Mutarelli coming into the side in the middle of the park along with Fabio Grosso.
The previous meeting between the promoted sides finished 1-0 to Palermo thanks to a Franco Brienza goal. That was back in December with Atalanta seemingly doomed to the drop and, although they can now see light at the end of the tunnel, a similar result will surely extinguish any hopes of survival.
Atalanta (probable): Calderoni; Rivalta, Sala, Natali; Motta, Pagano, Bernardini, Marcolini, Adriano; Lazzari, Budan
Palermo (probable): Guardalben; Barzagli, Zaccardo, Biava; Mutarelli, Corini, Barone, Grosso; Brienza, Zauli; Toni
Dino Zoff’s Fiorentina career could come to an abrupt end this weekend. Failure to beat Bologna will leave the Viola rooted in the relegation zone and, with time against them, the board may have to act quickly to turn things around.
Five games without a victory has certainly not helped things, but Bologna’s form is even worse. Carlo Mazzone’s side have won just once in 10 rounds and any hopes of European qualification are out the window.
The Rossoblu boss has several long-term absentees but he will have just one change to make from the side which drew with Lecce on Wednesday. Giacomo Cipriani is suspended
, so veteran striker Igli Tare will lead the line.
Coach Zoff is forced to ring the changes after being held to a 1-1 draw against Messina. Christian Maggio is suspended, Dario Dainelli and Mirko Savini are both injured
so there’s a reshuffle at the back – William Viali, Daniele Delli Carri and Antonio Aquilanti are all likely to come in
. The only other doubt lingers over the fitness of Fabrizio Miccoli,
with Enrico Fantini ready to step into his shoes
. Valeri Bojinov could be fit for a spot on the bench
Bologna (probable): Pagliuca; Juarez, Gamberini, Legrottaglie, Torrisi, Sussi; Bellucci, Amoroso, Giunti, Meghni; Tare
Fiorentina (probable): Cejas; Aquilanti, Viali, Ujfalusi, Delli Carri; Ariatti, Maresca, Donadel, Jorgensen; Fantini, Pazzini
The Stadio Rigamonti is the setting for what could prove to be a relegation six-pointer between Brescia and Reggina. Although the Amaranto are currently six points clear of the drop zone, a Brescia win would narrow the gap and drag Walter Mazzarri’s men back into the mire.
will be looking to complete a double over Reggina after beating them 3-1 earlier in the season – but they will have to do so without the suspended Simone Dallamano
. Fortunately they have a readymade replacement in the form of Daniele Berretta. Alberto Cavasin is also expected to hand a recall to Davide Zoboli, with Victor Mareco dropping to the bench.
For Reggina, Mazzarri is forced to make one change due to Giandomenico Mesto’s suspension. Ivan Franceschini is likely to take his place but, aside from that, it is likely to be the same side who were held to a 0-0 draw by basement club Atalanta on Wednesday.
Brescia (probable): Castellazzi; Zoboli, Di Biagio, Domizzi; Martinez, Stankevicius, Milanetto, Berretta, Wome; Zambrella, Caracciolo
Reggina (probable): Soviero; Cannarsa, De Rosa, Zamboni, Franceschini; Tedesco, Mozart, Esteves, Balestri; Colucci, Bonazzoli
You would be hard-pressed to find two Serie A sides in worse form than Chievo and Cagliari. Fortunately for the Sardinian outfit there is no danger of relegation, but Chievo don’t share that luxury.
The Flying Donkeys are precariously placed just a point clear of the relegation zone and in serious danger of losing their place in Serie A after four seasons. Although Coach Mario Beretta has no new injury concerns he is likely to hand starts to Franco Semioli and Federico Cossato
. However, he is without the suspended Lorenzo D’Anna
so Marco Malagò comes into the back four.
are still missing Gianfranco Zola and David Suazo
so they stick with the attacking trident of Mauro Esposito, Antonio Langella and Edgard Alvarez. The Rossoblu are without the suspended Daniele Conti in midfield
, so Nelson Abeijon deputises.
In Sardinia earlier this season, Zola was Cagliari’s hero against Chievo. The former Chelsea striker scored twice to inspire the Serie A new boys to an impressive 4-2 victory.
Chievo (probable): Marchegiani; Moro, Mandelli, Malago, Lanna; Semioli, Brighi, Baronio, Franceschini; Cossato, Pelissier
Cagliari (probable): Iezzo; Lopez, Loria, Bega, Agostini; Abeijon, Budel, Gobbi; Alvarez, Esposito, Langella
come into the Capital on the back of a 1-0 defeat at home to Inter and desperate for points in order to keep their title bid going, but must find them without top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
At this stage five years ago, Lazio and Juventus were fighting it out for Lo Scudetto. Now this is a clash between two sides who are separated by a massive 29 points. Lazio go into the game with renewed confidence having picked up seven points from their last three matches.
As if defeat in the Derby d’Italia wasn’t bad enough, Fabio Capello has lost the services of Stephen Appiah and the in-form Ibrahimovic through suspension. He is expected to turn to Alessio Tacchinardi and Marcelo Zalayeta to fill the gaps
, although David Trezeguet and Jonathan Zebina are still not ready to return.
Any changes made by Lazio Coach Giuseppe Papadopulo are purely tactical as he has no new injury or suspension worries
. Fernando Couto is expected to come in
for Emanuele Filippini to allow Juventus target Giuliano Giannichedda to step back into his favoured midfield role. Paolo Di Canio’s ageing legs could be given a welcome rest, with his attacking berth going to Fabio Bazzani.
At the Stadio Delle Alpi in December the Old Lady came out victorious despite Goran Pandev giving Lazio the lead, as Ruben Olivera and Ibrahimovic answered back for the home side.
Lazio (probable): Peruzzi; Oddo, Siviglia, Couto, Zauri; A Filippini, Dabo, Giannichedda, Cesar; Bazzani, Rocchi
Juventus (probable): Buffon; Birindelli, Thuram, Cannavaro, Zambrotta; Camoranesi, Tacchinardi, Emerson, Nedved; Del Piero, Zalayeta
Livorno goalkeeper Marco Amelia will be doubly keen to impress against Lecce at the weekend. After spending time out recently due to his suspension for jostling a linesman he will feel he has to repay his teammates with extra effort, while he spent a disastrous stint at Lecce last term.
Zdenek Zeman will still feel his side need another win to absolutely guarantee Serie A survival for another season, as they are just five points clear of the drop zone with six to play. However, Lecce will have to break their woeful run of away form if they are to take anything from this game. The Giallorossi have lost their last five away games, conceding fifteen in the process.
Meanwhile, Roberto Donadoni’s men have not lost at the Armando Picchi in their last seven games. That fine streak takes them all the way back to January 6, when they went down 2-0 to Inter. Since that loss they have beaten Milan, Sampdoria, Messina and Fiorentina and earned draws with Palermo, Cagliari and Reggina.
Livorno are almost certainly safe for another season, barring a massive freefall, and are just too far away from the UEFA Cup places to still be in with a real chance. Therefore it is just pride and avenging the 3-2 defeat they received at Lecce in Week 14 that are at stake. The Salentini fought back twice before stealing the win thanks to a Guillermo Giacomazzi goal on that occasion.
Lecce are likely to bring Finnish midfielder Alexei Eremenko Jnr.
into their midfield to replace the injured Cristian Ledesma
, while changes are needed in defence with both Souleymane Diamoutene and Lorenzo Stovini suspended
Livorno are also expected to make several changes. Alessandro Grandoni is coming into defence to replace Fabio Galante, while Andrea Giallombardo moves into midfield, switching with Matteo Melara. Emmanuel Osei and Jose Vidigal make way for Igor Protti and Gennaro Ruotolo.
Jorge Vargas and Dario Passoni are both out injured for Livorno
while Lecce’s lengthy list of casualties deprives them of the services of Babu, Ledesma, Sasa Bjelanovic, Giuseppe Abruzzese and Giuseppe Cozzolino.
Livorno (probable): Amelia; Melara, Grandoni, A. Lucarelli; Balleri, Vigiani, Ruotolo, Licka, Giallombardo; Protti, Danilevicius
Lecce (probable): Sicignano; Cassetti, Angelo, Paci, Rullo; Giacomazzi, Dalla Bona, Eremenko; Konan, Vucinic, Pinardi
Inter, fresh from beating Scudetto hopefuls Juventus, will travel to Messina looking to further enhance their chances of taking third place. With a seven-point gap opened up between themselves and fourth placed Sampdoria they will feel confident that a few more wins will seal their place.
With just one Serie A defeat all season the Nerazzurri will have no fears when they travel to the Stadio San Filippo. However, Messina are unbeaten in their last four home games and have only lost to Lecce and Milan at home this season.
In Week 14 Inter handed the Sicilians a 5-0 hammering at the San Siro, Adriano hitting his first Serie A hat-trick, and with nothing else left to play for this season it will be pride and revenge that will be motivating Bortolo Mutti’s troops when they face Inter at the weekend.
Messina striker Arturo Di Napoli is a product of the Inter youth team and so will have added reason to perform well against the club that started his career. Looking to travel in the opposite direction at some point is Alessandro Parisi, the defender having been linked with a move to the San Siro in recent months.
The only expected change that Inter will make will see Christian Vieri come in for Julio Cruz,
the scorer of the winner at Juventus on Wednesday. The list of players ruled out for Inter is quite daunting – Adriano, Juan Sebastian Veron, Alvaro Recoba, Marco Materazzi, Nicolas Burdisso, Andy van der Meyde and Edgar Davids
– but they managed to dispose of Juventus in the same circumstances so Roberto Mancini won’t be too concerned.
Messina lose Marc Zoro to suspension
and are expected to bring in Luca Fusco as his replacement. In attack Di Napoli comes in to replace Ivica Iliev as Riccardo Zampagna’s strike partner.
Messina (probable): Storari; Fusco, Rezaei, Cristante, Aronica; Donati, Zanchi, Giampà, D'Agostino; Di Napoli, Zampagna
Inter (probable): Toldo; J Zanetti, Cordoba, Mihajlovic, Favalli; Ze Maria, Cambiasso, C Zanetti, Kily Gonzalez; Vieri, Martins
The Rossoneri will be looking to plunge the Gialloblu into further relegation problems while taking another step towards the Scudetto.
After the amazing events of the previous two rounds both Milan and Juventus will be desperate not to falter again in what has been an engrossing battle for the Serie A title. Parma won’t want to merely be a footnote in the story of the Scudetto though, with a very real threat of relegation hanging over them they must cause an upset or face falling into the bottom three. With games against Roma and Juventus to come and a tough battle with Siena they cannot afford to take nothing away from their trip to the San Siro.
Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti faces the club that he revived in the 1996-97 season along with his Tardini pupil Hernan Crespo. On the opposite side, Alberto Gilardino faces the side that has been heavily linked with a summer move for him. Adding to his 17 goals in Serie A would surely improve his chances of a switch to Milan.
However, Parma minds may be drifting towards their UEFA Cup semi-final meeting with CSKA Moscow and Milan will be hard pushed not to have one eye on their Champions’ League semi-final with PSV Eindhoven later in the week.
Milan haven’t lost in their last five Serie A matches at the San Siro while Parma have won just once in their last seven away games. In Week 14 Milan came from behind in the last ten minutes to steal a 2-1 victory, with Kaka and Andrea Pirlo on the score sheet. Parma haven’t picked up a win at Milan since 1996, when Mario Stanic got the only goal.
Milan bring in Kakha Kaladze
to rest Paolo Maldini, but the real problems are in midfield. Andrea Pirlo and the suspended Gennaro Gattuso and Billy Costacurta are out, while Massimo Ambrosini and Manuel Rui Costa face injury worries that already forced them to miss Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Chievo. Pietro Carmignani loses Giuseppe Cardone to suspension and has Marco Marchionni, Vincenzo Grella and Stefano Bettarini out injured.
Milan (probable): Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Stam, Kaladze; Ambrosini, Rui Costa, Seedorf; Kakà; Shevchenko, Crespo
Parma (probable): Frey; Bonera, Bovo, Contini, Cannavaro; Pisanu, Simplicio, Bolano, Bresciano; Morfeo; Gilardino
Siena will fear no-one going into their Week 33 meeting with Udinese after scoring impressive wins against Milan, Roma and Lazio in recent weeks. Luigi De Canio’s men are unbeaten in five games and are slowly pulling themselves out of the relegation battle.
Three points above the drop zone, the Tuscan club can pull away from trouble with a home win and the right results elsewhere. Udinese have seen their bid for the fourth Champions’ League spot falter in April. Two draws and a defeat have prevented them from taking a stranglehold on the final place and now they are two points adrift of Sampdoria.
In Week 14 the match ended with a 1-0 win for Udinese, but goalscorer Antonio Di Natale is out injured for this reverse fixture
. While the whole team will want to avenge that loss, Siena boss Luigi De Canio will have an added incentive to win, having been sacked by the Udine side in the past. In Siena’s only other Serie A meeting with Udinese at the Artemio Franchi they triumphed 1-0 thanks to Tore Andre Flo.
Siena will make several changes to the side that defeated Roma. Daniele Portanova and Rodrigo Taddei replace the suspended Francesco Colonnese and Igor Tudor, while injury victim Alberto makes way
for Giovanni Pasquale. Enrico Chiesa pushe
s Davide Chiumiento back on to the bench and fellow striker Flo is sidelined with a back injury.
Per Kroldrup replaces Manuel Belleri
and Vincenzo Iaquinta comes in for Dino Fava at Udinese. Sulley Muntari and Giampiero Pinzi are suspended while Nestor Sensini, Emilson Cribari and Di Natale are all out injured
Siena (probable): Manninger; Mignani, Portanova, Cirillo, Falsini; D'Aversa, Taddei, Vergassola, Pasquale; Chiesa, Maccarone
Udinese (probable): De Sanctis; Bertotto, Felipe, Kroldrup; Zenoni, Pinzi, Pizarro, Mauri, Jankulovski; Iaquinta, Di Michele
Roma are dangerously close to an unwanted flirtation with the relegation battle. Just six points separate them from the drop zone and their current woeful form suggests that gap could be cut further this weekend.
Bruno Conti’s side have now gone seven games without a win and with a Sampdoria side chasing a Champions’ League spot as their opponents it could be another week before that trend comes to a conclusion.
However, the Blucerchiati have been going through a turbulent spell over the last few weeks. Taking just five points from a possible 15 in their last five outings, they have been fortunate that their rivals – Udinese and Palermo – have also been struggling to maintain a concerted push for the final European Cup spot.
One man who would be extra keen to pile the pressure on the Giallorossi is Francesco Antonioli. The Samp net-minder was ditched by Roma after playing an important role in their Scudetto winning season. Given their problems this season in that position it may have been a hasty decision to let the ‘keeper move North.
Marcello Castellini will replace
the injured Stefano Sacchetti
in the back four. In midfield Mark Edusei and Andrea Gasbarroni make way
for Aimo Diana and Angelo Palombo. Fausto Rossini will return in attack in place of Vitali Kutuzov.
Roma captain Francesco Totti is suspended after his dismissal against Siena in Week 32. They also have a lengthy injury list with ‘keeper Ivan Pelizzoli, defenders Abel Xavier and Traianos Dellas, Damiano Tommasi and Alessio Cerci all unavailable. Leandro Cufre returns from his two-match ban for an off the ball incident
Sampdoria (probable): Turci; Zenoni, Pavan, Castellini, Pisano; Diana, Palombo, Volpi, Tonetto; Flachi, Rossini
Roma (probable): Curci; Mexes, Chivu, Ferrari; Mancini, Cufrè, De Rossi, Dacourt, Panucci; Montella, Cassano
Everton v Birmingham City
Everton will give late fitness tests to full-backs Alessandro Pistone and Gary Naysmith before finalising the team to
face Birmingham City at Goodison Park.
Pistone (hamstring) and Naysmith (ankle) both missed the midweek win over Manchester United, along with captain Alan Stubbs (shoulder) who will again be absent for the game against Steve Bruce’s side, in which a win would ensure their qualification for the UEFA Cup next season.
Joseph Yobo will continue in the heart of defence alongside David Weir while Steve Watson is again on stand-by to fill in at left-back.
Birmingham left-back Jamie Clapham is ruled out
after needing eight stitches in a badly-cut foot sustained during the 3-0 midweek defeat at Manchester City.
Stan Lazaridis is likely to deputise for Clapham
, while City boss Steve Bruce plans to make more changes to freshen up his side
He has confirmed that midfield duo Damien Johnson and Mehdi Nafti would return to the starting line-up
after being left out at the City of Manchester Stadium.
Mario Melchiot (hamstring strain) and Matthew Upson (knee) are both expected to play
but Julian Gray will have a late fitness test on a calf injury.
Everton (from): Martyn, Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Watson, Cahill, McFadden, Carsley, Arteta, Osman, Kilbane, Bent, Beattie, Ferguson, Wright, Vaughan, Pistone, Naysmith, Plessis.
Birmingham City (from): Maik Taylor, Melchiot, Cunningham, Upson, Lazaridis, Pennant, Carter, Anderton, Clemence, Johnson, Nafti, Morrison, Heskey, Pandiani, Blake, Bennett, Martin Taylor.
Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City
Stuart Pearce has admitted that he is working without a contract at Manchester City.
The former England captain is hoping to be installed as Blues boss in the summer after succeeding Kevin Keegan on an interim basis five games ago.
In almost four seasons as a player and coach with City, Pearce never made any secret of his desire to move into management.
And such was his determination to step into Keegan’s shoes when the former England boss quit last month, Pearce accepted the job without the security of a formal contract to replace the six-month coaching deal which expired in December.
“The chairman will have to make me a contract offer if he wants me to stay full-time because at the moment I don’t have one, either as a coach or a manager,” he said.
Chairman John Wardle has vowed not to be rushed into a decision but, with two wins and two draws to his name already, Pearce has certainly made an impressive case for his appointment.
Pearce added: “There is no hardship waiting until the board are definitely sure I am the right man for the job.
“If I was in their position I would have a good look to see what I can do over a period of time, which is probably until the summer.
“It doesn’t alter the work I am doing because I am looking at this as a full-time appointment anyway.
“But what it might affect is players’ decisions about whether to sign for us or not, including those who are renegotiating contracts here.
“I have been talking to agents and looking at players, although we are not in a transfer window yet and by the time we are, a decision will probably have been made.”
City will look to stretch their unbeaten run to five when they make the short journey to Blackburn Rovers.
Striker Jon Macken returns
to the squad after a hamstring injury and Paul Bosvelt is also included after being left out for the Birmingham game as Pearce pursued a more attacking philosophy.
Blackburn forward Paul Dickov will still be out
after failing to recover from a knee injury. Robbie Savage (groin) is doubtful
while Morten Gamst Pedersen will have a fitness test on a calf injury.
And Rovers boss Mark Hughes has taken considerable satisfaction in proving wrong those who thought he could not make the transition from Wales boss to club manager.
The 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday effectively secured Blackburn's Barclays Premiership status and pushed them into 12th place - something of an achievement considering they were bottom in November.
Hughes said: “I went through a hell of a lot with the Welsh team and that shaped me as a manager and I knew when I had an opportunity at club level I would be able to cope with the demands but other people possibly felt I hadn't paid my dues.
“I think a lot of people were expecting me to fall flat on my face but they don't really know how I work and how I approach the job.
“People might start seeing me as a Premiership manager now - who knows.
“There's satisfaction in having done the job we were brought in to do, it has been difficult and I think people felt I didn't have enough experience.
“But it was a great grounding in my previous job, there were a lot of things people were unaware about and I have used those as a manager for Blackburn.”
Rovers are five points behind City with a game in hand, and could conceivably finish in the top half.
Hughes, though, believes that City have been given new impetus by Pearce taking over the reins.
“Stuart has done very well in his initial impact - it's usually positive when you get a change, the trick is to keep it going for 10 or 15 games and he knows that,” Hughes added.
“So far he's making a good case for getting the job on a permanent basis.
“Shaun Wright-Phillips will also be back, he's a great talent and I had hoped he would still be a week away from his recovery!
“He's a player we have to make sure we are aware of. We may be safe but we can't take our eye off the ball because with the games we have left we have the opportunity to finish even higher up the table.”
Blackburn Rovers (from): Friedel, Neill, Flitcroft, Pedersen, Mokoena, Reid, Thompson, Matteo, Todd, Nelsen, Amoruso, Emerton, Tugay, Short, Stead, Savage, Johnson, Enckelman.
Manchester City (from): James, Weaver, Mills, Onouha, Dunne, Distin, Sommeil, Jordan, Thatcher, Croft, Bosvelt, S Wright-Phillips, McManaman, Reyna, Flood, Barton, Sibierski, Musampa, Fowler, Macken, B Wright-Phillips.
Aston Villa v Bolton
Aston Villa team news to follow later
Bolton's El-Hadji Diouf will play
despite the shadow of an appearance in front of magistrates hanging over him.
"We cannnot let other things distract us going into the game," said manager Sam Allardyce.
Bolton (from): Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Ben Haim, N'Gotty, Candela, Giannakopoulos, Hierro, Okocha, Speed, Nolan, Diouf, Davies, Gardner, Poole, Jaidi, Fadiga, Campo, Pedersen.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Luis Garcia (thigh) is Liverpool’s only injury
concern for their Barclays Premiership clash against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The attacking midfielder sustained the injury during Wednesday’s 2-1 victory at Portsmouth where he scored the winner, his 12th of the season in all competitions for the Anfield club.
Boss Rafael Benitez is expected to restore skipper Steven Gerrard to the starting line-up after leaving him on the bench for the Fratton Park match to protect a groin problem.
Gerrard’s return would mean Xabi Alonso being rested
with next week’s Champions League clash with Chelsea in mind.
For Crystal Palace, winger Joonas Kolkka will put friendship aside when he faces old colleague Sami Hyypia.
The Finnish pair grew up through the same youth system and Kolkka has known the Liverpool defender for 15 years.
Palace are two points adrift of safety and are desperate for three points against Liverpool to put pressure on West Bromwich Albion.
"It will not be easy to stay up but we are fit and we still have all the chances,” said the 30-year-old.
“Liverpool have a good team but in the last few years something has been missing.
“At the moment they are going very well in the Champions League and they have a great chance to at least get to the final.
“It’s always nice to play against an old colleague like Sami. I scored against him last time so I hope I can do it again.
“I haven’t spoken to him in the last two weeks but I support him and he supports me. I want him to do well but I will have mixed feelings in this game.
“He is a nice guy. I have known him for 15 years and we played together with Finland. He is a year older than me and we nearly did our national service together.
“The Champions League semi-final will be a great moment for him and if they can win it will be great.”
Kolkka was not even in the Palace squad until he made a goalscoring return in the 3-3 draw against Norwich City last weekend.
He added: “It’s nice to be back in the squad. Every player wants to play and it’s a big disappointment when you are stuck on the bench.”
Kolkka's last game before Norwich was the 5-1 defeat at Arsenal in February. He kept his place for the midweek defeat at Blackburn Rovers.
“Now I am back in the team and I will try and keep my place. I was out of the squad for a while so it was nice to go straight back in,” he said.
“My personal target is to stay in the team but we also need points so I hope I can help the team do that.”
Italian striker Nicola Ventola could be a surprise inclusion for Palace, seven months after breaking his leg.
Defender Darren Powell has recovered from flu and is likely to start
, but midfielder Mikele Leigertwood (hamstring) is a doubt
Long-term absentees Emmerson Boyce (foot) and striker Tommy Black (leg) remain sidelined.
Crystal Palace (from): Kiraly, Butterfield, Sorondo, Powell, Borrowdale, Routledge, Hughes, Riihilahti, Kolkka, Johnson, Freedman, Speroni, Torghelle, Ventola, Leigertwood, Popovic, Hall, Granville.
Liverpool (from): Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Pellegrino, Traore, Luis Garcia, Biscan, Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Riise, Morientes, Cisse, Baros, Smicer, Nunez, Carson, Welsh.
Middlesbrough v West Bromwich Albion
West Bromwich Albion’s on-loan Manchester United midfielder Kieran Richardson is a fitness doubt for
the trip to face Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
Richardson suffered a dead leg in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur, which moved the Baggies out of the bottom three, and has been given only a 50-50 chance of being available by manager Bryan Robson.
Junichi Inamoto could make his full debut
for Albion after impressing when replacing Richardson at White Hart Lane. Jonathan Greening misses out against his former club through suspension. Striker Geoff Horsfield is expected to be fit
enough to play some part against Boro after sitting out the Spurs clash with a slight knee ligament problem.
Robson will return to Teesside insisting he looks back with “a lot of satisfaction” on his spell in charge at the Riverside.
He said: “When I first went into the job there was a lot of stuff being written about ‘an England captain can’t make a good manager’ because of how people like Bobby Moore had fared as managers.
“But I think gaining two promotions, going to three cup finals and building the club up from virtually nothing was an answer to that.
“Because of what happened at the end with me and Terry, I don’t think people do give you the credit for what was achieved.
“But for a club like Middlesbrough to get to those three cup finals was a big achievement by me as a manager. I look back with a lot of satisfaction.
“The structure of the club is very solid and it is good to see Steve McClaren has taken that on further now.
“It was a major step for the club to win their first competition (the Carling Cup). The chairman and the fans deserved that because to go that many years without winning a major trophy is unfair when you’ve got fans who are really passionate.”
Robson is confident he will be given a good reception by the Middlesbrough fans when the Baggies try to cause an upset at the weekend.
He said: “I think the fans will be fine with me. They were when they came down to Albion earlier in the season.
“Since I’ve left Middlesbrough, I’ve had a lot of good fan mail from the fans and since I’ve been at West Brom.
“Loads of fans have written to me to wish me all the best with this club - so I hope we get three points off them!”
Albion midfielder Richard Chaplow believes the sides who hold their nerve in the final phase of the season will avoid the drop.
He said: “I think it will go down to the last game and it will be a case of who can hold their nerve and put the performances in.
“We believe we can do, so there is no reason we can’t keep doing what we’re doing and stay outside of the bottom three - but it will be tight.”
Chaplow made his first start in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham and the former Burnley player is determined to build on the opportunity given him by Robson.
He said: “Coming in is quite nerve-wracking but I have belief in my abilities and that I can play in the Premiership."
Steve McClaren knows Robson will have his players motivated for the Riverside challenge.
The Boro boss told www.mfc.premiumtv.co.uk
: "Bryan will have them up for the game.
"Like Fulham on Tuesday, West Brom are fighting for their lives towards the bottom of the table and we can expect a very tough game.
"We had all hoped for more than a draw against Fulham but, as other teams discovered the following night, the teams fighting for relegation are extremely difficult to play against and I am sure there will be more surprising results between now and the end of the season."
McClaren anticipates Robson and his assistant Nigel Pearson will be afforded a warm reception on their return to their former club.
"I know they are both fondly remembered by our supporters as manager and captain at an exciting time in the club's development," he said.
"Bryan, in particular, deserves much credit for helping to put the club on the football map, thanks to a series of big signings and, of course, three cup finals."
Robson's side are aiming to become the first team ever to survive in the Premiership after being bottom of the table at Christmas.
"West Brom have been in excellent form recently so we will need to be much improved to come away with all three points," McClaren said.
"But we still believe European qualification is achieveable and call on the fans to create the sort of atmosphere that can inspire players.
"They are bringing a massive following, but I'm sure Boro fans will rise to the challenge."
However, McClaren is again down to the bare bones for the visit of the Baggies.
His side picks itself as he remains without Joseph-Desire Job, Gaizka Mendieta, Chris Riggott and Tony McMahon (all knee), Mark Viduka (hamstring), Michael Reiziger (ankle), Mark Schwarzer (back), James Morrison (hernia), Malcolm Christie (foot) and Stuart Parnaby (groin).
Captain Gareth Southgate is currently undergoing treatment for a back problem sustained in the warm-up before Tuesday’s 1-1 home draw with Fulham, but should play,
while Danny Graham is doubtful with a hamstring injury.
Middlesbrough (from): Jones, Knight, Queudrue, Taylor, Cooper, Southgate, Ehiogu, Wheater, Davies, Boateng, Parlour, Zenden, Downing, Doriva, Kennedy, Johnson, Hasselbaink, Nemeth, Graham.
West Bromwich Albion (from): Hoult, Scimeca, Gaardsoe, Clement, Robinson, Gera, Wallwork, Chaplow, Richardson, Campbell, Kanu, Kuszczak, Horsfield, Inamoto, Earnshaw, Albrechtsen, Moore.
Norwich City v Charlton Athletic
Norwich City will give a late fitness test to striker Darren Huckerby
ahead of the Barclays Premiership clash with Charlton Athletic.
The 28-year-old has been struggling to shake off a virus and was also hampered by an ankle problem, which led to him being substituted at half-time of the midweek win over Newcastle United.
Sweden midfielder Mattias Jonson replaced Huckerby on Wednesday night, and is on stand-by to start on Saturday
Under agreement following his January switch from The Valley, midfielder Graham Stuart will not be available for selection
, but otherwise Norwich manager Nigel Worthington has a fully-fit squad to choose from.
After recent wins over Manchester United and Newcastle United, Norwich have hauled themselves back into contention for survival, and captain Craig Fleming believes that is because the players never lost faith while everyone else was writing them off.
“The whole dressing room has always felt like that - we have all believed right the way along that we have had a great chance.
“We have kept battling and now we have proved we have got that chance.
“The Manchester United game was a massive result and we have just gone on to build from there.”
Fleming, though, will not be looking to serve up some large helpings of humble pie should Norwich manage to pull off what would be one of the great footballing escape acts of recent years.
“It doesn’t really both us to be honest,” insisted the Norwich skipper. “People will say and write things which is their opinion.
“It has no effect. They are not playing for Norwich and they can’t affect things.”
Fleming, though, is urging his team-mates to stay focussed on their own game ahead of tomorrow's match against a Charlton side which has recorded just one victory in nine games after performing consistently earlier in the season and were pressing for European qualification.
“As we have proved against Manchester United, in this league it doesn't matter how you have been playing or where you are in the table, on your day anybody can beat anybody else, so it will be a tough game,” he said.
“We need a win desperately to help us stay in this league, which we are all trying to do.
“It is irrelevant what has gone on before, we just need to win now.”
Fleming’s sentiments were echoed by the Norwich manager. “That is the danger from our point of view,” said Worthington.
“We can’t look at Charlton and say ‘well, they were going extremely well and have now tailed off’ because if we do that then, like a boxer, we will get caught with a sucker punch.
“We have got to be ready and focussed on what we have got to do, get on and do it to the best of our ability and make it happen.”
Hermann Hreidarsson has a knee injury and is doubtful for the Addicks
The full-back suffered the knock during the closing stages of Wednesday night’s goalless draw with Aston Villa, and may not recover in time for the trip to Norfolk.
Paul Konchesky will serve the second game of his two-match ban
, but full-back Luke Young could feature if he recovers from a calf problem.
Jonathan Fortune expected to play again despite breaking his nose
against Bolton Wanderers last weekend.
Norwich City (from): Green, Helveg, Fleming, Shackell, Drury, Bentley, Francis, Safri, Huckerby, Ashton, McKenzie, Jonson, Svensson, Charlton, Doherty, Edworthy, Holt, Ward.
Charlton Athletic (from): Kiely, Kishishev, Hreidarsson, El Karkouri, Fortune, Holland, Murphy, Hughes, Rommedahl, Johansson, Jeffers, Andersen, Lisbie, Perry, Fuller, Euell, Thomas, Young, Fish.
Fulham will be without striker Andy Cole and midfielder Papa Bouba Dio
p for Saturday's visit to Chelsea.
Diop, who has been out with a groin strain, will have a run out with the reserve team on Monday and manager Chris Coleman is giving Cole another week to rest his Achilles tendon.
Coleman will rely on the squad which drew 1-1 at Middlesbrough in mid-week.
Fulham (from): Van der Sar, Volz, Knight, Goma, Rosenior, Radzinski, Pembridge, Clark, Boa Morte, John, McBride, Malbranque, Bocanegra, Jensen, Rehman, Crossley.
ManU - Newcastle
Ryan Giggs returns to the Manchester United
squad on Sunday as the Red Devils look to avoid a third successive Premiership defeat in their Old Trafford clash with Newcastle.
Giggs made a brief substitute appearance against the Magpies in last weekend's FA Cup semi-final but was rested for the defeat at Everton on Wednesday in a bid to ensure he has fully recovered from his recent hamstring injury.
Gary Neville starts the first game of a three-match ban
following his controversial dismissal at Goodison Park, while Paul Scholes is also suspended
after being shown a red card in the final minute.
Midfielder Kieron Dyer returns to the Newcastle
squad for Sunday's game.
Dyer, who missed last weekend's 4-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat by the Red Devils at the Millennium Stadium as he completed his three-match suspension, is available once again, although Lee Bowyer serves his fourth game with FA disciplinary chiefs expected to punish him further.
Manager Graeme Souness has doubts over Amdy Faye and Steven Taylor (both ankle), but Jermaine Jenas (calf), Titus Bramble (groin), Celestine Babayaro (hamstring) and Aaron Hughes (hernia) are all out.
Man Utd (from): Howard, Carroll, P Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Silvestre, Heinze, O'Shea, Fletcher, Fortune, Ronaldo, Kleberson, Keane, Giggs, Miller, van Nistelrooy, Smith, Rooney, Bellion.
Newcastle (from): Given, Harper, Carr, Elliott, Boumsong, O'Brien, Taylor, Ramage, Dyer, Robert, Butt, Faye, N'Zogbia, Milner, Ambrose, Shearer, Ameobi, Kluivert.
Portsmouth v Southampton
Leading scorer Aiyegbeni Yakubu is hopeful of returning from injury
to lead Portsmouth's attack
against Southampton on former manager Harry Redknapp's return to Fratton Park.
Yakubu, who has scored 15 goals this season, has missed the last two games with an Achilles problem but returned to training this week and is expected to be fit.
Record signing Diomansy Kamara is likely to make way while captain Arjan De Zeeuw faces a fitness test after being
sidelined this week by a stomach virus. Defender Andy Griffin is back in contention after being rested for the 2-1 defeat against Liverpool in midweek while Patrik Berger could also return to the starting line-up
after impressing as a substitute against Liverpool.
Southampton skipper Jamie Redknapp will start Sunday's game.
Former England midfielder Redknapp
sat out the midweek trip to Bolton to give his knee - which requires pain-killing injections before every match - time to rest, but is available
for the Pompey clash.
Veteran defender Jason Dodd returns
to the squad after completing his loan spell at Plymouth, and centre-back Andreas Jakobsson is available despite his hip problem.
Portsmouth (from): Ashdown, Griffin, Primus, De Zeeuw, Stefanovic, Taylor, Stone, O'Neil, Hughes, Skopelitis, Berger, Cisse, Yakubu, LuaLua, Kamara, Fuller, Rodic, Mezague, Hislop, Chalkias.
Southampton (from): Niemi, Telfer, Lundekvam, Jakobsson, Davenport, Dodd, Bernard, Cranie, Delap, Nilsson, Quashie, Redknapp, A Svensson, Le Saux, Crouch, Phillips, Camara, Higginbotham, Oakley, Smith.
Brighton v West Ham
Brighton are set to welcome back striker Leon Knight and midfielder Gary Hart after suspensions
Mark McCammon should be included in the squad, despite his row
wth boss Mark McGhee, and Adam Virgo is likely to continue
despite cartilage trouble.
Midfielder Mark Noble is set to return to the West Ham
line-up after jarring his knee in training.
But Malky Mackay, Christian Dailly, Steve Lomas, Gavin Williams and Sergei Rebrov are all still out injured
Nottm Forest v Burnley
Nottingham Forest are missing banned keeper Paul Gerrard and John Curtis (calf), David Friio (calf) and Eoin Jess (thigh) are all doubtful.
Forest will be relegated if they lose, or if they draw and Crewe and Cardiff pick up positive results.
Burnley defender Frank Sinclair will probably miss
the trip to the City Ground as he has still not recovered from his thigh problem.
Danny Coyne will replace Brian Jensen in goal as they are being rotated.
Cardiff v Reading
Cardiff striker Michael Boulding and midfielder Tony Koskela will both miss the game through injury
Tony Vidmar continues at right-back, while manager Lennie Lawrence's main dilemma is to decide whether Joe Ledley starts or remains on the bench.
Reading winger Glen Little is pushing for a first-team start and goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann will carry on,
despite injuring his shoulder against Forest.
Veteran Martin Keown could make his second successive start
in the defence.
Plymouth v Coventry
Plymouth defenders Paul Connolly and Peter Gilbert are back
in contention after recovering from a flu-like virus.
Plymouth also hope to call on former Coventry midfielder Bjarni Gudjonsson
, who has recovered from a thigh strain.
Coventry boss Micky Adams is expected to recall midfielder Stephen Hughes
after a knee injury, but Isaac Osbourne misses out with an ankle problem.
Ady Williams (calf) and defensive colleague Richard Shaw (toe) are also missing for the Sky Blues.
Crewe v Stoke
Crewe striker Steve Jones is 50-50 with
a hamstring injury while Chris McCready (knee), Adie Moses (hamstring) and Luke Varney (ankle) are all doubtful
However, Mark Rivers (illness) and Billy Jones (thigh) are back in contention for the visit of Stoke. Stoke's defence is set to be further depleted as Clint Hill and Lewis Buxton picked up knocks against West Ham.
Wayne Thomas is also a doubt while John Halls, John Eustace, Kevin Harper and Toddi Gudjonsson are definitely out
Derby v Gillingham
Derby midfielder Inigo Idiakez is struggling to recover from a hamstring injury and in-form striker Grzegorz Rasiak has a groin injury.
But defenders Michael Johnson (calf) and Mo Konjic (stomach) and winger Marco Reich (virus) should be fit.
Experienced defender Barry Ashby is pushing for a recall for Gillingham
after recovering from an ankle injury.
The Gills are currently two points above the Championship relegation zone after going nine games unbeaten.
Leeds v Ipswich
Leeds skipper Paul Butler is still a doubt
after he swallowed his tongue against Sheffield United and Shaun Derry starts a three-match suspension. David Healy (ankle) is also doubtful after sustaining ligament damage and Marlon King has a heavy cold.
Ipswich have added defender Drissa Diallo to the squad following
a long-term hamstring injury.
Striker Pablo Counago may start
only his fourth league game of the season after impressing as a substitute
Wigan v QPR
Wigan boss Paul Jewell has no new injury or suspension
worries, but striker Nathan Ellington will be keen to regain his place in attack.
Defender Leighton Baines will be hoping to return
to the squad.
QPR midfielder Marc Bircham is out with a foot injury and Paul Furlong is a doubt
as he has a hamstring problem.
Georges Santos and Adam Miller are both back from suspension, Aaron Brown has been recalled from a loan spell at Torquay and Stefan Bailey could figure
Wolves v Rotherham
Wolves striker Carl Cort could be in line
for a return after hamstring and thigh niggles and Mark Kennedy should recover from an Achilles problem. Vio Ganea (knee), George Ndah (thigh), Keith Andrews (hernia) and Mark Clyde (knee) are all out injured.
Rotherham could hand a start to midfielder Jamal Campbell-Ryce
as he returns to the squad after suspension.
However, midfielder Andy Monkhouse (knee) and defender Phil Gilchrist (shoulder) are out for the season.
Watford v Sheff Utd
Watford defender Danny Cullip will miss
the game as part of his loan arrangement from the Blades.
With Cullip out, club captain Sean Dyche could make his first appearance for the Hornets since New Year's Day.
Sheffield United striker Danny Webber must also miss the
game as part of his loan deal from the Hornets, so fit-again Steve Kabba is set to play.
The game may have come too soon for Michael Tonge (ankle), while Rob Kozluk (groin) is also a major doubt
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/footbal ... efault.stm
Port Vale v Barnsley
Port Vale are boosted by the return of striker Nathan Lowndes
from a hamstring injury for the visit of Barnsley.
Michael Cummins and George Pilkington will delay operations to face the Tykes but George Abbey, Dave Hibbert and Ian Armstrong could all miss out.
Michael Chopra (mumps), Daniel Nardiello (hamstring) and Barry Conlon (groin) are all out for Barnsley.
Bobby Hassell (illness) and Paul Reid (groin) are also doubtful but defender Matt Carbon (groin) could return
Blackpool v Chesterfield
Keigan Parker will put off a double hernia operation until Monday
to face Chesterfield on Saturday.
Midfielder Richie Wellens (hamstring) could also be back
but boss Colin Hendry will be without substitute goalkeeper Lewis Edge (finger).
Chesterfield's Adam Smith is out
for the season with an ankle injury, joining long-term injury victims Carl Muggleton and Mark DeBolla.
Manager Roy McFarland has an otherwise fully-fit
squad to select f