Football: Weekend Guide to the Premiership

The Independent (London, England), November 2, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Football: Weekend Guide to the Premiership

Leeds v Everton

Kick-off: 3pm tomorrow. Last season: 3-2

TV: Highlights: ITV1 11.20pm

THE LEEDS midfielder Olivier Dacourt is extremely doubtful for tomorrow's fixture at home to Everton after picking up a groin strain in Thursday's Uefa Cup win over Hapoel Tel Aviv. The French international required a scan yesterday and, although the Leeds manager Terry Venables, has confirmed there is no muscle damage, Dacourt is unlikely to figure against his former club.

Lee Bowyer, who missed the second round first-leg tie with flu, should be fit along with Nick Barmby, who was substituted midway through the second half due to a tightness in his hamstring. The Swedish defender Teddy Lucic comes back into the squad as he was ineligible to play on Thursday, but Venables remains without the injured Dominic Matteo, Robbie Fowler and Seth Johnson.

Wayne Rooney is set to start on the bench for resurgent Everton after extricating himself from duty with England's Under-19 side. The 17-year- old was granted dispensation by the Football Association to stay with his club rather than join the youth squad for a series of European qualifying matches.

David Weir is back after missing the win at West Ham through suspension but Thomas Gravesen faces a late fitness test after a build-up of fluid on his knee. Lee Carsley can expect to retain his place in the starting line-up over Niclas Alexandersson.

Leeds United (from): Robinson, Kelly, Harte, Dacourt, Radebe, Woodgate, Bridges, Viduka, Kewell, Bowyer, Barmby, McPhail, Lucic, Smith, Mills, Bakke, Duberry, Burns, McMaster, Martyn.

Everton (from): Wright, Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Unsworth, Carsley, Gravesen, Li Tie, Linderoth, Pembridge, Radzinski, Rooney, Campbell, Alexandersson, Gerrard, Pistone, Gemmill, Watson, Li Wei Feng, Stubbs.

Birmingham v Bolton

Kick-off: 3pm today. Last season: Did not play

TV: Highlights: ITV 1 10.30pm

THE BIRMINGHAM central defender Olivier Tebily will be missing from today's home game with Bolton as he serves a one-match suspension for his sending-off against West Bromwich a fortnight ago.

The Blues' manager Steve Bruce is hopeful that the Republic of Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham can fill Tebily's role after a two- game absence with a knee problem.

The Danish midfielder Stig Tofting returns to the Bolton squad for the first time this season. He is in line to play at Birmingham after launching an appeal against a four-month jail sentence imposed for assault in his home country.

The Nigerian international midfielder Jay-Jay Okocha could be handed a starting role against after looking lively when he came off the bench against Sunderland on Monday.

The Bolton manager Sam Allardyce said: "I would have liked his progress to have been a lot quicker. We all expect instant success, but that's virtually impossible. Integration into our society and our team and getting the whole of his family life together has been a huge operation for him and us."

The veteran Bolton defender Gudni Bergsson and the midfielder Paul Warhurst are ruled out with calf and groin injuries.

Birmingham City (from): Vaesen, Bennett, Kenna, Purse, Cunningham, Powell, Sadler, Devlin, Cisse, Savage, Lazaridis, John, Morrison, Horsfield, Hughes, Kirovski, Carter.

Bolton Wanderers (from): Jaaskelainen, Mendy, N'Gotty, Whitlow, Campo, Gardner, Frandsen, Tofting, Nolan, Farrelly, Okocha, Djorkaeff, Ricketts, Dean Holdsworth, Poole, Barness, Charlton, Pedersen.

Blackburn v Aston Villa

Kick-off: 3pm tomorrow. Last season: 3-0

TV: Highlights: ITV1 11.20pm

THE BLACKBURN manager Graeme Souness looks set to hand striker Andy Cole a starting role against Aston Villa at Ewood Park tomorrow. The former Manchester United man came on as substitute in the Uefa Cup defeat to Celtic on Thursday after recovering from a hamstring injury.

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