Premier League – Team news: Adebayor back

Team news for the final round of Premier League games in 2008, including Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor‘s return from suspension.

2008-2009 Arsenal Emmanuel Adebayor - 0

Click the links on the right for predicted line-ups and players to watch!

(Kick-offs 14:00 UK time unless stated)


Newcastle v Liverpool (12:00)

Newcastle have a defensive crisis with Sebastien Bassong suspended, Habib Beye out injured and Jose Enrique doubtful. There are also question marks over strikers Obafemi Martins and Mark Viduka.

Fernando Torres could appear on the bench for the Premier League leaders but Rafa Benitez is unlikely to risk his hamstring from the start. Fabio Aurelio could return at left-back but Alvaro Arbeloa is still out.

Arsenal v Portsmouth

Alex Song and Johan Djourou are the latest names on the Arsenal injury list, but their absence is compensated by the return of Gael Clichy, who made a successful substitute appearance on Boxing Day. Emmanuel Adebayor (pictured) is back from suspension.

Portsmouth boss Tony Adams could press right-back Glen Johnson into action after injury, while John Utaka and Younes Kaboul are also rated as doubtful.

Bolton Wanderers v Wigan Athletic

Gary Cahill is unlikely to feature after picking up an injury late in Bolton’s Boxing Day fixture, with Danny Shittu poised to deputise. Kevin Davies could earn a recall.

Erik Edman aside, Wigan are at full strength. Steve Bruce has the option of resting some tired legs but this Lancashire derby is a big game for both sides.

Everton v Sunderland

Louis Saha could return from injury but, given his notorious fragility and the success of makeshift striker Tim Cahill, he is unlikely to start. Joseph Yobo is still out with a hamstring strain.

No new worries for Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia, with Craig Gordon and George McCartney the only absentees. Sbragia may wish to shuffle his strikers following a dismal Boxing Day display by Djibril Cisse.

Fulham v Chelsea

Fulham defender Brede Hangeland missed Friday’s game with the flu but will be keen to return for the derby, while it is a similar story for Jimmy Bullard who has a dead leg. Midfielder Zoltan Gera (calf) is still out.

Blues skipper John Terry continues his suspension, while Luiz Felipe Scolari must decide whether to continue with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka up front. Deco may come in for Michael Ballack.

West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur

West Brom are without their suspended captain Paul Robinson, meaning a likely start for Marek Cech, while top scorer Roman Bednar could replace Craig Beattie up front.

Tom Huddlestone limped out of Friday’s game against Fulham and should be replaced by Jermaine Jenas. Ledley King is highly unlikely to play twice in three days, meaning a return for defender Jonathan Woodgate.

West Ham United v Stoke

Craig Bellamy misses out through suspension after his two-goal salvo at Portsmouth. Gianfranco Zola will replace him with Davide Di Michele or Diego Tristan. Captain Lucas Neill is an injury doubt with Julien Faubert standing by.

Andy Wilkinson’s red card against Manchester United earned him a suspension, and Tony Pulis may rush Andy Griffin back from injury to play right-back. Salif Diao and Liam Lawrence are also pushing to return.

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City (16:15)

Rovers skipper Ryan Nelsen is expected to miss out with an eye injury, with Zurab Khizanishvili filling in. Roque Santa Cruz is back in training after a calf strain and could replace either Benni McCarthy or Jason Roberts.

Mark Hughes will be tempted to field an unchanged City side after they hammered Hull 5-1. Benjani‘s thigh strain will keep him out for a fortnight, meaning two-goal Felipe Caicedo continues alongside Robinho up front.


Manchester United v Middlesbrough (20:00)

United’s defence is threadbare with Patrice Evra suspended, Rio Ferdinand (back) injured and John O’Shea doubtful. Alex Ferguson may bring in Dimitar Berbatov, Park Ji-Sung and Michael Carrick for Carlos Tevez, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

Didier Digard is pushing for a return to the Boro midfield after his groin injury. Cristiano Ronaldo will have no opportunity to torment Justin Hoyte, who is out with a knee injury.

TUESDAY (20:00)

Hull City v Aston Villa

Phil Brown would probably like to make 11 changes after the 5-1 drubbing at Manchester City, but his thin squad prevents him from doing so. He may suffice with the restoration of Sam Ricketts at left-back.

Villa skipper Martin Laursen is out for a month, with Zat Knight continuing to deputise in central defence. Carlos Cuellar is unlikely to feaure, meaning Nigel Reo-Coker slots in at right-back again.

Alex Chick / Eurosport