Premier League – Team news: Owen back at Anfield
See the team news ahead of this weekend’s Premier League matches. Click on the links below the photograph for prospective line-ups.
- Liverpool v Newcastle
- Reading v Manchester City
- Fulham v Blackburn
- Wigan v Arsenal
- Tottenham v West Ham
- Sunderland v Everton
Saturday (kick off 15:00)
Liverpool v Newcastle
Right-back Steve Finnan (groin), centre-half Daniel Agger (foot) and striker Andriy Voronin (ankle) are all out for Liverpool, whose Spanish star Fernando Torres has scored hat-tricks in his two previous matches at Anfield.
A decimated Newcastle will be captained by striker Michael Owen on his return to his first club. Obafemi Martins is fit and should partner him in the absence of Mark Viduka. Goalkeeper Shay Given (groin), full-back Stephen Carr (hamstring) plus midfielders Emre (calf) and Nicky Butt are sidelined, while Joey Barton has been refused permission to return to hometown Liverpool following his arrest there last year.
Reading v Manchester City
Reading manager Steve Coppell has said he is unlikely to make changes after the away win at Middlesbrough last week, meaning Shane Long will get another chance to shine in attack alongside Kevin Doyle. Captain Graeme Murty, midfielder Glen Little and winger Bobby Convey are injured, while Emerse Fae is still recovering from malaria.
Manchester City welcome back Brazil star Elano, although a hamstring injury for young centre-half Nedum Onuoha gives Sven-Goran Eriksson problems with Micah Richards (knee) out long-term.
Fulham v Blackburn
Veteran Jari Litmanen, having overcome a heart scare, is back in Finland to sort out a muscle strain and so his Fulham debut is delayed again. Midfielder Alexei Smertin (leg) also misses out through injury.
Key men David Dunn and Ryan Nelsen are Rovers’ only absentees.
Sunday (kick off 15:00 unless stated)
Wigan v Arsenal
Midfielders Ryan Taylor and Kevin Kilbane are the only players on the treatment table of Steve Bruce’s side.
Arsenal have problems on the left after Abou Diaby (calf) joined Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) and Alexandre Song (muscle) on the sidelines, while Emmanuel Eboue is suspended. Theo Walcott has picked up a thigh problem and will not feature, but Robin van Persie is tipped to start alongside Emmanuel Adebayor.
Tottenham v West Ham
Spurs must make do without injured Jermaine Jenas (ankle), as well as other midfield men Ricardo Rocha (ankle) and Gareth Bale (foot).
West Ham have a lengthy injury list led by centre-half Matthew Upson, struggling with a calf strain, midfielders Matthew Etherington (groin) and Scott Parker (knee) and striker Craig Bellamy (abdominal). Lee Bowyer is suspended.
Sunderland v Everton
Defender Danny Collins returns from suspension for the Black Cats, although midfielder Liam Miller is out with a calf strain.
Midfielder Lee Carsley is banned for Everton, who are also missing Manuel Fernandes in the position. Defender Anthony Gardner remains out but the middle of the park will be boosted by the expected availability of playmaker Mikel Arteta and Thomas Gravesen.