Saturday, August 21, 2010

Premier League weekend previews

Wigan Athletic v Chelsea

Having opened the defence of their Premier League title with a 6-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion last week, Chelsea now face the team they beat 8-0 to secure the crown three months ago.

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Arsenal v Blackpool

Arsenal have included captain Cesc Fabregas, striker Robin van Persie, midfielder Alex Song and defender Johan Djourou in the squad for tomorrow's visit of Blackpool.

However, summer signing Laurent Koscielnyis suspended after the centre-back's dismissal at Liverpool and Brazilian midfielderDenilson is still out with an abdominal injury.

Winger Samir Nasri will be sidelined for a month after minor knee surgery while youngster Emmanuel Frimpong is set to miss most of the campaign after tearing knee ligaments.

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Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Everton captain Phil Neville is a slight doubt for Saturday's Premier League clash against Wolves at Goodison Park.

The former England international has a foot injury but boss David Moyes is hopeful he will be fit to feature.

Striker Victor Anichebe is unlikely to play after having an injection in the knee to ease bone bruising.

Wolves have fresh injury concerns over three of their new signings.

Forward Steven Fletcher has a bruised foot, and manager Mick McCarthy will assess his fitness.

Defender Jelle Van Damme is described by McCarthy as a "serious doubt" after twisting his ankle, Steven Mouyokolomay also miss the match with a damaged hamstring, while Dave Edwards is out with a groin injury.

However, last season's to scorer Kevin Doyle is set to return from a calf injury which kept him out of the team's opening day win over Stoke.

Matchpack: Everton v Wolves

Stoke v Tottenham

Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones could make a swift return to action against Tottenham at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Jones, who joined the Potters earlier this month for a club record £8million fromSunderland, limped off with an ankle problem barely 10 minutes into their Barclays Premier League opener at Wolves last weekend, but a series of scans and X-rays showed the Trinidadian had suffered only minor ligament damage.

Tottenham are hit by a major injury crisis with manager Harry Redknapp admitting he is struggling to fill his bench.

Peter Crouch is Spurs' only fit striker, with Jermain Defoe (groin), Robbie Keane (knee) and Roman Pavyluchenko (ankle) all out.

Giovani dos Santos (hamstring) also picked up an injury on the artificial pitch at Young Boys on Tuesday night, Luka Modric has failed to recover from his groin strain, while Redknapp must decide whether to field Ledley King or save him for Wednesday's Champions League return match with the Swiss side.

Birmingham v Blackburn

New signing Matt Derbyshire will make his Birmingham debut in their Barclays Premier League match against Blackburn at St Andrew's.

The former Rovers striker joined the Blues this week from Greek side Olympiacos on a season-long loan.

Nikola Zigic will also be pushing for a start up front after impressing off the bench in the 2-2 draw at Sunderland last week while Kevin Phillips (thigh) is the only definite absentee.

Blackburn's David Dunn is set to miss out due to a groin problem.

The midfielder picked up the injury in last week's 1-0 win over Everton and is not expected to be fit for selection until after the match at St Andrew's.

The same applies to Vince Grella (calf) but boss Sam Allardyce hopes to have both back for next week's Carling Cup encounter with Norwich City

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