Premier League – Team news: United trio fit
Saturday March 27
All kick offs 15:00 unless otherwise stated
Birmingham City v Arsenal
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has no new injury worries ahead of the home clash with Arsenal. Garry O’Connor (groin) and Lee Carsley (ankle) remain long-term casualties while David Murphy continues to recover from a hamstring setback.
Gunners defender Thomas Vermaelen serves a one-match ban following his sending-off against West Ham, but striker Nicklas Bendtner (ankle) should be fit. Aaron Ramsey (broken leg), Kieran Gibbs (foot) and Johan Djourou (knee) remain sidelined.
Didier Drogba is fit for Chelsea’s match with Aston Villa after limping off against Portsmouth, but Ricardo Carvalho is out for at least a month with ankle ligament damage. The Blues’ are already without Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Jose Bosingwa, so Alex will feature at the back. Michael Essien is also out, but Michael Ballack returns after recovering from an achilles injury. Deputy keeper Hilario is fit again after his groin strain, while youngsters Jeffrey Bruma and Patrick Van Aanholt join the squad.
Martin O’Neill is sweating on a quartet of key players ahead of the clash with Chelsea. Gabriel Agbonlahor has been out with a foot injury, while Emile Heskey, midfielder James Milner and central defender Richard Dunne are all to have scans to determine the extent of Achilles tendon injuries.
Andy Dawson and Stephen Hunt are unlikely to be fit for the crunch clash with Fulham, but Iain Dowie welcomes George Boateng back from suspension. Jozy Altidore has recovered from his hamstring injury, but Liam Cooper (ankle) and Amr Zaki (knee) are set to miss out. Kamil Zayatte (knee) and Anthony Gardner (ankle) are long-term absentees.
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson will need to check on Bobby Zamora‘s stomach problems ahead of the game.against the Tigers after the striker suffered severe cramps in the FA Cup tie at Tottenham. Andrew Johnson and John Pantsil remain out, while David Elm has been ill with a virus.
Tottenham Hotspur v Portsmouth
Tottenham right-back Vedran Corluka has an ankle injury and is likely to miss the Portsmouth clash. Sebastien Bassong (ankle) and Wilson Palacios face late fitness tests, while Roman Pavlyuchenko (hamstring) may only be ready for the bench.
Portsmouth boss Avram Grant is likely to be without ex-Spurs man Ricardo Rocha, who is recovering from a cheekbone injury. Tottenham loanee Jamie O’Hara is also ineligible to play against his parent club. Tommy Smith (nose), Tal Ben Haim and John Utaka (both groin), Nadir Belbadj (hamstring) and Papa Bouba Diop, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Hassan Yebda (knee) are all sidelined.
Gianfranco Zola could recall Jordan Spence, Danny Gabbidon,and Kieron Dyer, but will be without Herita Ilunga (tendon injury), James Tomkins (ankle) and Jack Collison (knee). Manuel da Costa is also available after completing a three-match ban. Zavon Hines is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
Ryan Shawcross faces a late fitness test for Stoke following an ankle problem, while Dean Whitehead is suspended after his dismissal against Tottenham. James Beattie and Salif Diao still remain sidelined with knee and calf problems respectively.
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has no new injury worries for the visit of Everton and has the luxury of choosing between Stephen Ward and midfielder Adlene Guedioura, and George Elokobi and Michael Mancienne for the clash with the Toffess.
Everton boss David Moyes will give goalkeeper Tim Howard a late fitness test on a thigh strain. Striker Victor Anichebe is back in the squad after a rib injury, while midfielders Tim Cahill and Jack Rodwell have slight hamstring problems.
Bolton Wanderers v Manchester United (17:30)
Bolton centre-back Gary Cahill is in contention for a recall following a blood clot in his arm, but defender Gretar Steinsson misses out through suspension. Stuart Holden, Chris Basham, Gavin McCann, Sean Davis and Joey O’Brien are all out.
Sunday March 28
Burnley have no fresh injuries as they prepare for Sunday’s crunch derby and also have defenders Clarke Carlisle and Danny Fox back in contention. Steven Caldwell (groin) and Chris McCann (knee) are both still unavailable.
Sam Allardyce is waiting on David Dunn‘s fitness, but Gael Givet and Ryan Nelsen have both recovered from injuries and could feature for Rovers. Yildiray Basturk (hamstring) and Paul Robinson (calf) remain sidelined.
Monday March 29