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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 24 October, 2014

When Saturday comes: Your Premier League team news

Who’s in and who’s out of today’s big games in England.

Spurs winger Aaron Lennon could return this Saturday.
Spurs winger Aaron Lennon could return this Saturday.
Image: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

TOTTENHAM TRAVEL TO Stamford Bridge this Saturday looking for their first win in five attempts.

Having spent much of the season among the Premier League’s elite, Spurs come into the game needing a win to keep their hopes of  an automatic Champions League place alive.

They face a resurgent Chelsea side whose desire to impress caretaker boss Roberto di Matteo must have previous coach André Villas-Boas crying into his port.

The Blues are hopeful that captain John Terry can return from persistent knee trouble but Serbian fullback Branislav Ivanovic is a doubt.

Spurs have no new injury worries to speak off but intend keeping a close eye on Emmanuel Adebayor’s hamstring niggle while Aaron Lennon could return from hamstring problems of his own.

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Arsenal hope to continue their good run of form when they host an inconsistent Aston Villa side in one of six 3pm kick-offs this Saturday.

The Gunners enter the game with no new injury concerns but while Abou Diaby (hamstring) and Sebastian Squillaci (groin) are nearing a return to fitness, neither will not be available for the clash with Villa.

Villa are still without centre-backs Richard Dunne (collar bone) and Ciaran Clarke (knee) but hopes are high that the pair will return in April.

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Blackburn Rovers can continue their march away from the Premier League relegation zone with victory away to fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers.

Rovers have won three of their last five in the league, beating fellow relegation strugglers Queens Park Rangers and Wolverhampton Wanderers, and also sprung a surprise to defeat Sunderland 2-0.

This will, of course, be Bolton’s first game since Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart attack in their FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham Hotspur.

The midfielder thankfully survived and is slowly recovering in hospital, but his talents will be missed as Bolton continue their battle against demotion.

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Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will expect a reaction from his players when they host Wigan this Saturday and will be boosted by the news that fullback Glen Johnson (hamstring) and striker Craig Bellamy are nearing a return.

One of the few teams whose form is worse than Liverpool’s, Wigan have recorded just one win from their last 15 matches in all competitions.

Roberto Martinez has close to a full complement of players to call upon, but could be without key striker Hugo Rodallega for the trip to Anfield making an already difficult task almost insurmountable.

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Norwich  have an opportunity to further undermine Wolves’ top-flight status when the sides meet on Saturday. The ailing Wanderers slumped to the bottom of the Premier League courtesy of a 5-0 thrashing at home to reigning champions Manchester United last weekend.

They look like a team destined for relegation and won’t be helped this weekend by the absence of several players through injury and suspension including Jamie O’Hara, Emmanuel Frimpong,  Karl Henry and Nenad Milijas.

The home team have no new injuries to contend with and go into this encounter confident of getting the win.

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When Martin O’Neill took over in December,  Sunderland embarked on a impressive run of seven league wins in 10 matches, while also knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Their luck finally ran out with a league defeat to Arsenal in the very next game and they have subsequently managed just one win from five attempts in all competitions.

They host a QPR team battling for survival (and in some cases with statisticians) and hoping to replicate the form that saw them beat Liverpool 3-2 during the week.

It’s unlikely Sunderland fans will be too excited with the news that Kieran Richardson (calf) and Wes Brown (knee) are in line for a return in this game.

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At the start of the season, few would have predicted Swansea would be above Everton when the teams met in March but the Welsh side sit eighth in the table and can be justifiably proud of their exploits after three wins in succession.

Everton travel to the valleys hoping to turn around a season marred by inconsistency and looking to break a run of form that sees them languishing tenth in the Premier League.

Neither team face injury worries coming in to this one so Swansea will be confident of getting yet another win.

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Manchester City travel to Stoke knowing a win will take them back to the top of the Premier League standings. Roberto Mancini’s men, who welcomed back Carlos Tevez during the week, won the side’s previous meeting 3-0 in December and will be looking for a similar result here.

For their part, Stoke are in the midst of a tough run of matches. In their last three fixtures, they have lost away to Chelsea and Liverpool, before battling to a 1-1 draw at Tottenham on Wednesday.

Prior to that, Stoke defeated Swansea and Norwich at home, but Tony Pulis will be far from satisfied with his team’s overall performance in 2012.

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