Premier League – Team news: Fabregas out of United clash
Team news from all of this weekend’s Premier League games, with Cesc Fabregas injured and several players in line for debuts.
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SATURDAY (15:00 UK time kick-off unless stated)
Carlo Ancelotti has no new injury concerns, but may make room for Michael Essien in his starting line-up at the expense of Florent Malouda or Michael Ballack. Joe Cole could appear from the bench, but Andriy Shevchenko has been told he can leave the club.
Richard Eckersley is the Premier League’s only suspended player this weekend after getting sent off in the Carling Cup. He would be unlikely to start anyway, with Owen Coyle expected to name an unchanged line-up from that which beat Everton.
Blackburn v West Ham
Stephen Warnock has departed for Aston Villa, Ryan Nelsen is out and Brett Emerton is doubtful. Martin Olsson should play left-back with Gael Givet in the centre. New signing Pascal Chimbonda could play some part. Striker Franco Di Santo is still out.
West Ham’s new signing Alessandro Diamanti could make his debut after signing from Livorno, but is unlikely to start – Luis Jimenez will again play behind lone striker Carlton Cole. Junior Stanislas continues on the right wing after scoring twice in midweek.
Bolton v Liverpool
Jlloyd Samuel replaced Paul Robinson at left-back in the Carling Cup on Tuesday and Gary Megson must decide who he prefers to face Liverpool. Defender Andy O’Brien is in contention again following a groin strain.
Martin Skrtel played against Aston Villa with his broken jaw, but Liverpool lost and, with Sotiris Kyrgiakos firmly in place, the Greek could make his debut. Albert Riera is back from injury and pushing for inclusion on the left wing.
Stoke centre-back Ryan Shawcross faces a late fitness test, and if he fails Robert Huth could make an immediate first-team introduction. James Beattie went off early against Birmingham last weekend, but should be fit to start. Tuncay could feature.
Tottenham v Birmingham
Spurs’ hot start to the season means Harry Redknapp is unlikely to make changes. Carlo Cudicini continues to deputise for the injured Heurelho Gomes, while Ledley King‘s knee is OK. Jermaine Jenas could be on the bench after a calf injury.
Kevin Phillips is back after missing the midweek Carling Cup game, but he must first dislodge Christian Benitez from the first team. Left-back Gregory Vignal is an injury doubt, with Stuart Parnaby deputising at the back.
Wolves v Hull
Kevin Doyle is in contention to start his first Premier League game since signing for Wolves from Reading. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Chris Iwelumo and Michael Kightly are still out, but Greg Halford returns after injury.
New strike duo Kamel Ghilas and Jozy Altidore should get the nod up front for the Tigers, who are still missing Jimmy Bullard and Dean Marney. Several players were rested in midweek, but should return for the trip to Molyneux.
The champions are still missing Edwin van der Sar and Rio Ferdinand, while Alex Ferguson’s chopping and changing in midfield is set to continue. Expect Ji-Sung Park and Michael Carrick to replace Nani and Paul Scholes.
Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out with a hamstring strain, meaning a likely midfield trio of Alex Song, Denilson and Abou Diaby for the visitors. Controversial striker Eduardo may return to the bench, making way for Nicklas Bendtner.
Former Pompey skipper Sylvain Distin is now an Aston Villa player, but Tommy Smith and Michael Brown have replaced him at Fratton Park. Hermann Hreidarsson and Steve Finnan are out, but David James should be fit after suffering bone bruising last weekend.
City could be unchanged from the side that played Crystal Palace on Thursday. Joleon Lescott made an immediate debut after his £22m move from Everton, while his central defensive partner Kolo Toure is the new captain following Richard Dunne‘s departure.
Everton v Wigan Athletic (15:00)
Sylvain Distin could make an immediate start following his arrival from Portsmouth, but Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is still not registered to play. Steven Pienaar should come in to the side, with Ayegbeni Yakubu back on the bench.
Roberto Martinez made wholesale changes for the Carling Cup and the Latics duly lost 4-1 at Blackpool. Expect the regulars to return at Goodison – although their last result was a 5-0 hammering at Manchester United.
Aston Villa v Fulham (16:00)
Villa centre-back Curtis Davies suffered a recurrence of his long-standing shoulder injury against Rapid Vienna on Thursday with youngster Shane Lowry standing. Stephen Warnock could make his debut at left-back, but Richard Dunne is highly unlikely to be involved.
Fulham captain Danny Murphy missed the Europa League trip to Perm with a ligament injury but is expected to return. Bobby Zamora, Paul Konchesky and Clint Dempsey should also come back in after sitting out the trip to Russia.
Alex Chick / Reuters