In­juries pep­per the Premier­ship

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

LON­DON: Brief news ahead of this week­end’s English Premier League matches.

Cham­pi­ons Manch­ester United are boosted by the re­turn of de­fend­ers Gary Neville and Ne­manja Vidic for the trip to Wi­gan Ath­letic to­day.

How­ever, Rio Fer­di­nand (thigh), Ed­win van der Sar (fin­ger) and Rafael (shoul­der) are all out.

Ful­ham will be without striker Andy John­son for two months, start­ing with their west Lon­don derby at home to Chelsea to­mor­row, af­ter he dis­lo­cated his col­lar­bone in the 3-1 Europa League win over Rus­sian side Amkar Perm on Thurs­day.

“The op­po­nent quite cold-blood­edly smashed into him. As a re­sult he will be out for eight weeks,” man­ager Roy Hodg­son said of the in­ci­dent.

Arse­nal’s Croa­t­ian striker Ed­uardo da Silva should be fit to face Portsmouth to­day af­ter miss­ing the Cham­pi­ons League play­off win over Celtic on Tues­day when he suf­fered a tight groin in the warm-up.

Eng­land winger Theo Wal­cott (back) is still not fit and joins To­mas Rosicky (ham­string), Samir Nasri (leg), Jo­han Djourou (knee) and Lukasz Fabi­an­ski (knee) on the in­jury list.

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur goal­keeper Heurelho Gomes will miss to­mor- row’s Lon­don derby at West Ham United af­ter sus­tain­ing a groin in­jury, man­ager Harry Red­knapp told re­porters yes­ter­day.

Gomes was in­jured in the 5-1 victory at Hull City on Wed­nes­day and was re­placed by Carlo Cu­dicini. Led­ley King should re­turn to cen­tral de­fence af­ter rest­ing his knee in mid­week.

Manch­ester City strik­ers Robinho (an­kle) and Em­manuel Ade­bayor (groin) are ex­pected to shake off in­juries for the home match against Wolver­hamp­ton to­day.

Man­ager Mark Hughes said yes­ter­day that Car­los Tevez was ready for 90 min­utes af­ter com­ing on as a sub­sti­tute at Black­burn last week­end and im­press­ing in the friendly against Barcelona on Wed­nes­day.

Sun­der­land said French mid­fielder Steed Mal­branque could be avail­able for to­day’s home match against Black­burn Rovers af­ter he missed Tues­day’s 3-1 home de­feat by Chelsea with an an­kle in­jury, but mid­fielder Lee Cat­ter­mole is strug­gling with a back prob­lem and goal­keeper Mar­ton Fu­lop has a sore heel.

Ever­ton young­ster Jack Rod­well could miss the trip to Burn­ley to­mor­row af­ter twist­ing his knee in Thurs­day’s Europa League victory over Sigma Olo­mouc in which he scored two great goals. Bafana Bafana stal­wart Steven Pien­aar also picked up a knock.

“Jack and Steven both came off with in­juries and at this present time are in doubt for the week­end. Jack has a twisted knee and Steven got a kick on his foot,” Ever­ton man­ager David Moyes told the club’s web­site.

Hull’s US striker Jozy Alti­dore is set to make his Premier­ship de­but in to­day’s meet­ing with Bolton with the on-loan young­ster from Spain’s Vil­lar­real hav­ing missed the Tigers’ losses to Chelsea and Tot­ten­ham ow­ing to red tape prob­lems.

Craig Fa­gan is also in con­tention af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a sum­mer her­nia op­er­a­tion, but mid­fielder Dean Mar­ney is still out with a knee in­jury while Jimmy Bullard and Ian Ash­bee are long-term ca­su­al­ties.

Hav­ing just stayed up in their first top-flight sea­son, Hull are seek­ing to bounce back af­ter their un­lucky loss at Stam­ford Bridge and then a mid­week home maul­ing by Spurs.

Nige­ria cap­tain Nwankwo Kanu is ready to com­mit him­self to Portsmouth for the sea­son.

The 33-year-old striker signed a one-month deal last week to en­able him to start the Premier League cam­paign be­cause his ex­ist­ing con­tract had ex­pired.

“I didn’t sign it be­cause we had some is­sues that we had to thrash out and the club wanted me to play,” said Kanu. “The only way I could play was to give me one month in­stead of one year, which I ac­cepted.”

Shares in Birm­ing­ham soared 40 per­cent yes­ter­day af­ter Hong Kong busi­ness­man Car­son Ye­ung made a £81.5 mil­lion cash of­fer for the team.

Ye­ung’s Grand­top In­ter­na­tional Hold­ings, which al­ready holds a 29.9 per­cent stake in Birm­ing­ham, said that the takeover would al­low the club to “sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease its global fan base, pro­mote and en­hance its brand and de­velop new mer­chan­dis­ing and re­lated rev­enues.” – Reuter­sSapa-AFP

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