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Burnley v Cardiff preview
Burnley will be without defender Michael Duff as they take on Cardiff, looking to extend their unbeaten run in The Championship to five matches.

Duff was sent off in the 2-2 draw with Stoke at the weekend and Burnley's appeal over the decision has been rejected, so he will serve a one-match suspension.

Former Swansea defender Richard Duffy, who made his debut as a second half substitute on Saturday after signing on loan from Portsmouth, is expected to step into the defence.

Cardiff are likely to hand a full debut to on-loan Pompey midfielder Gary O'Neil, who made a late appearance as a substitute in Saturday's 3-2 win at Wolves.

Manager Lennie Lawrence hinted that O'Neil would start, although he has no new injury or suspension concerns to contend with.

The Bluebirds have won only two Championship games so far this season, although after a run of three games without a goal they have scored seven in their last two outings.

Gillingham v Leicester
Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler has vowed to make changes after seeing his side's good start to the season evaporate in recent weeks.

The Gills have lost their last three matches and, after winning their first two at home, have lost four consecutive games at The Priestfield Stadium.

After missing out on loan deals for Birmingham's Darren Carter and Portsmouth midfielder Gary O'Neil, Hessenthaler looks set to restore young prospect Matt Jarvis to the starting line-up.

Striker Darius Henderson, who scored five goals while on a month's loan at Swindon, could make his first appearance of the season for The Gills after rejecting a permanent switch to The County Ground.

Leicester boss Micky Adams is also considering switching things around after Saturday's 3-2 defeat at QPR, when City threw away a two-goal lead.

Jordan Stewart and David Connolly both miss out through suspension, while Nathan Blake is ruled out by a toe injury and Dion Dublin is doubtful because of a hamstring strain.

Matt Heath will return to the defence after injury, while Danny Tiatto is fit again and Tommy Wright could earn a first start of the season in attack.

Ipswich v Reading
Joe Royle hopes to celebrate his 1000th game in football management by leading Ipswich to their seventh home win of the season and to the top of the table.

Ipswich, who have won every match at Portman Road this season, will go top if they beat current leaders Reading and Wigan fail to win at Watford.

Reading's three league defeats this term have all come away from home but Saturday's 1-0 win at Watford was enough to lift them to the top of The Championship.

Royle will be without defender Fabian Wilnis after he was sent off in Saturday's 3-2 win over Plymouth and his place in the squad goes to Jerrome Sobers.

Sobers will be on the bench with Matt Richards returning to the starting line-up, as should Shefki Kuqi after he came on at half time and struck two late goals to beat Argyle.

Reading manager Steve Coppell is likely to name the same side which won at Vicarage Road thanks to Steve Sidwell's second half strike.

Glen Little is closing in on full fitness after his hamstring injury but Coppell is wary of risking him given his past problems.

Leeds v Stoke
Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell is expected to name an unchanged line-up despite his team's first home defeat of the season against Sunderland on Friday.

Blackwell has no new injury or suspension concerns and looks set to keep faith with the players who started against The Black Cats.

Leeds have conceded only two goals at Elland Road this season and Clarke Carlisle and Paul Butler have impressed as a central defensive partnership, while Brett Ormerod should get another chance alongside Brian Deane in attack.

Stoke could be without veteran defender Gerry Taggart, who has a troublesome ankle injury, although manager Tony Pulis admitted that he does not have many options should he miss out.

Pulis is keen to continue with Clint Hill at left back, but he could move into the centre if Taggart needs to rest his injury.

That would mean Marcus Hall dropping into the left back slot with Karl Henry coming into the side in the continued absence of Lewis Neal.

The Potters have been beaten only once this season in The Championship and have lost only four of their last 18 away league matches

Preston v Plymouth
Billy Davies takes charge of Preston for the first time since his appointment as Craig Brown's successor was confirmed, having won four of his six matches in temporary charge.

Davies has led North End to three consecutive home wins, all without conceding, and they beat Crewe 1-0 at the weekend despite the absence through injury of key men Chris Lucketti, Paul McKenna and David Healy.

Now Davies must also cope without Simon Lynch, who was sent off on Saturday and will begin a three-match suspension.

Plymouth boss Bobby Williamson will be forced to make changes after losing both Tony Capaldi and Peter Gilbert at the weekend to injury. Capaldi will be out for at least a month after suffering a broken leg.

Both players were forced off within moments of Argyle taking a two-goal lead, before Ipswich fought back to win 3-2 at Portman Road.

Lee Hodges and Matthias Doumbe were the men to replace them at the weekend and they could start at Deepdale.

Rotherham v Crewe
Rotherham are still without a win this season, but they did at least end their six-game goal drought in The Championship on Saturday to earn a point against Millwall.

Manager Ronnie Moore has a number of selection problems, though, especially in defence where he is without the valuable experience of Chris Swailes and Phil Gilchrist.

Swailes has been granted compassionate leave to attend his father's funeral, while Gilchrist suffered a hamstring injury during Saturday's match.

Shaun Barker and Rob Scott will stand in at the back while striker Mark Burchill, on loan from Portsmouth, is also doubtful because of a hamstring injury.

Crewe have fared little better than Rotherham so far, winning only once, and they could be without Stephen Foster for this battle of the bottom two.

Foster has a knee injury so Richard Walker is standing by to return to the first team after being left out at Preston at the weekend.

Anthony Tonkin is another major doubt and with Billy Jones switching to centre back, manager Dario Gradi is hoping to bring in a loan signing before this evening's deadline to play at right back.

QPR v Coventry preview

In-form QPR are seeking a fifth consecutive win in The Championship when they take on Coventry at Loftus Road.

Ian Holloway's men fought back from two goals down to defeat Leicester at the weekend and they are now up to seventh in the table after a slow start to the season.

Holloway has hinted that he may leave out Dan Shittu, who is only two games into his comeback after a year out with cruciate ligament damage. Gino Padula could be the man to benefit if Shittu is rested.

Coventry are without a win in their last four Championship games, but manager Peter Reid was pleased with the performance in the 1-1 draw at Sheffield United on Saturday.

Central defender Dean Leacock, on loan at Highfield Road from Fulham, is still ruled out with a hamstring injury so Reid is likely to name an unchanged team

Sheffield United v Sunderland
Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock is already without seven players for the visit of Sunderland and admits he has other injury concerns.

Warnock will not reveal the identity of the players facing fitness tests, but has indicated that midfield duo Michael Tonge and Paul Thirlwell will start.

Andy Liddell, Ashley Ward, Jack Lester, Simon Francis, Steve Kabba, Chris Armstrong and Rob Kozluk are all out for The Blades, who have taken only one point from their last four matches and were beaten three times by Sunderland last season.

Sunderland are once again without midfielder Julio Arca (thigh) and striker Marcus Stewart (hamstring) as they go in search of a fifth consecutive Championship victory.

With Stewart and Kevin Kyle still out and Michael Bridges lacking match fitness, manager Mick McCarthy will keep faith with young strikers Stephen Elliott and Chris Brown in an unchanged side.

Watford v Wigan
Watford lost for the first time in eight matches when they were beaten 1-0 by Reading at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Skipper Sean Dyche suffered a hamstring injury in that match and he is unlikely to recover in time to face Wigan, with his place expected to go to Lloyd Doyley.

This match brings together The Championship's three top scorers, with Watford's Danny Webber (9) leading the way from Wigan's Nathan Ellington (8) and Jason Roberts (7).

None of that trio were on target at the weekend, with Lee McCulloch scoring Wigan's goal in their 1-1 draw at Derby.

McCulloch will not be able to repeat that feat at Vicarage Road having been sent off at the weekend and injuries and suspensions are now beginning to bite for the first time for Paul Jewell's unbeaten side.

Having already lost Per Frandsen for the season and with McCulloch suspended for one match, Jewell will switch Alan Mahon to the left wing with either Gareth Whalley or David Wright stepping into midfield.

Captain Matt Jackson misses out after picking up an injury at Derby, so Brazilian defender Emerson Thome finally gets the chance to make his first league start for The Latics.

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Team news and probable line-ups ahead of Wednesday's matches in Champions League Group G: ANDERLECHT v INTER MILAN

* In their last six Champions League home games, Anderlecht have scored just four goals. * Inter have not won away in Europe since their 3-0 victory over Arsenal at Highbury just over a year ago.


Suspensions: None

Injuries: Michal Zewlakow (hamstring)

Doubtful: None


Suspensions: Sinisa Mihajlovic

Injuries: none

Doubtful: Juan Sebastian Veron (knee), Christian Vieri

(knee), Cristiano Zanetti (knee)

Probable teams:

Anderlecht: 24-Tristan Peersman, 37-Anthony Vanden Borre, 27-Vincent Kompany, 34-Lamine Traore or 5-Glen De Boeck, 3-Olivier Deschacht, 9-Mbo Mpenza, 15-Besnik Hasi, 21-Par Zetterberg, 17-Christian Wilhelmsson, 26-Aruna Dindane, 8-Nenad Jestrovic

Inter: 1-Francesco Toldo; 4-Javier Zanetti, 2-Ivan Cordoba, 23-Marco Materazzi, 16-Giuseppe Favalli; 13-Ze Maria, 14-Juan Sebastian Veron, 25-Dejan Stankovic, 5-Emre Belozoglu; 10-Adriano, 30-Obafemi Martins

Referee: Kyros Vassaras (Greece)

- - - -


* Werder are prolific scorers at home with 30 goals in their last eight European games at the Weserstadion.

* Valencia, who have won four of their last six European away games, have drawn each of their last four games against German opposition by the same 1-1 scoreline.


Suspensions: Valerien Ismael (one match ban)

Injuries: Petri Pasanen (eye)

Doubtful: Frank Baumann (ankle)


Suspensions: none

Injuries: Roberto Ayala (knee), Pablo Aimar (thigh),

Francisco Rufete (leg strain), Stefano Fiore

(thigh), Mista (ankle), Gonzalo de los Santos

(leg strain)

Doubtful: none

Probable teams:

Werder: 1-Andreas Reinke; 7-Paul Stalteri, 2-Frank Fahrenhorst, 27-Christian Schulz, 23-Ludovic Magnin; 15-Pekka Lagerblom, 4-Fabian Ernst, 24-Tim Borowski, 10-Johan Micoud; 38-Nelson Valdez, 17-Ivan Klasnic

Valencia: 1-Santiago Canizares; 23-Curro Torres, 17-David Navarro, 4-Carlos Marchena, 15-Amedeo Carboni; 10-Miguel Angel Angulo, 6-David Albelda, 8-Ruben Baraja, 14-Vicente; 9-Bernardo Corradi, 11-Marco Di Vaio

Referee: Michael Riley (England)

Group A preview
Liverpool aim to continue their winning start to UEFA Champions League Group A when they lock horns with Olympiakos in Athens.

The Reds opened up their group campaign by beating last season's runners-up Monaco 2-0 a fortnight ago and manager Rafa Benitez is chasing another three points.

Benitez insists there will be no cautious approach against the Greek outfit but he will delay naming his team until the last possible moment.

Harry Kewell is carrying a thigh strain and Benitez is hopeful he will be able to select the Australian winger.

"He is okay now but he is not 100 percent," said Benitez. "If I decide he can play, he will play. We need his help."

If Kewell is picked, Stephen Warnock is likely to make way while Benitez must also decide whether to opt for both Djibril Cisse and Milan Baros in attack.

Should Benitez plump for a sole striker, Igor Biscan and Salif Diao will battle for a place in midfield in the absence of captain Steven Gerrard.

Olympiakos could be unchanged from the team which drew 0-0 at Deportivo La Coruna a fortnight ago, with Brazilian ace Rivaldo singled out as the hosts' main threat by Benitez.

Grigorios Georgatos and Gabriel Schurrer both sat out a domestic game at the weekend but will return with Olympiakos coach Dusan Bajevic not frightened by Liverpool's reputation.

"If Olympiakos play at their best, we fear no opponent but we cannot just say this, we have to prove it," Bajevic said.

"The gap between clubs in Europe has narrowed but we have full respect for Liverpool who are a historic side that have won trophies and are much better than what they used to be. But they have disadvantages and we must exploit them."

For those who believe in omens, the only time Liverpool previously played Olympiakos was en route to their 2001 Uefa Cup final triumph, with the score in Greece 2-2.

Monaco v Deportivo La Coruna

Monaco crushed Deportivo La Coruna 8-3 at Stade Louis II in this competition last season but a repeat is highly unlikely.

The French side have lost a string of key players while Deportivo have been struggling to hit form this term.

Principality coach Didier Deschamps' selection problems concern his attack with Mohamed Kallon aiming to overcome a knock.

Javier Chevanton and Shabani Nonda are both fit again but are only expected to be on the substitutes' bench, along with Jaroslav Plasil. Lucas Bernardi is sidelined with a knee injury.

Deschamps is keen for last season's beaten finalists to show a marked improvement from their 2-0 loss to Liverpool.

He said: "It was a bad start but everything remains possible. We need three points on Tuesday to get our campaign well and truly under way."

Deportivo have lost one of their players for the clash to a freak injury as Enrique Romero hurt his back after falling off his bicycle.

Joan Capdevila will replace him at full back but Romero is joined on the absentee list by Diego Tristan and Mauro Silva.

Victor Sanchez, Fran and Aldo Duscher are available to coach Javier Irureta, who will be looking for a positive result to kick-start his team's season, particularly as he is wary of another humbling.

Irureta commented: "We must learn our lessons from last year and, in particular, be more wary of Monaco's counter-attacking."

Group B preview
Real Madrid and Roma look to bounce back from turbulent openings to their UEFA Champions League campaigns on Tuesday evening.

Both sides made atrocious starts to their Group B challenges, after Real lost at Bayer Leverkusen and Roma, in controversial circumstances, were condemned to defeat by Dynamo Kiev.

Since their first games in the competition, both clubs have also had changes at the helm with Jose Antonio Camacho quitting Real to be replaced by Mariano Garcia Remon.

Rudi Voller stepped down at Stadio Olimpico at the weekend after just a month in charge and Ezio Sella takes temporary control on Tuesday.

Real will be without Santiago Solari due to a knee injury while England captain David Beckham is struggling with flu.

His international colleague Michael Owen is pressing for a recall while Zinedine Zidane may also be fit to start at El Santiago Bernabeu, as Walter Samuel prepares to face his former club.

Roma have problems in defence with Philippe Mexes suspended with Cristian Chivu and Christian Panucci carrying knocks.

Caretaker coach Sella acknowledged the importance of the match given the clubs' respective starts to the competition.

"We will be meeting rivals who, like us, have been wounded and who are keen to get a result that will lift them out of the mire," said Sella.

"But this represents a challenge for me. It is a delicate moment, like Madrid, our future is at stake but the only thing on my mind is the match and making sure that my players play a great game."

Dynamo Kiev v Bayer Leverkusen

Dynamo and Bayer both gained 3-0 victories in their opening group matches but their results were achieved in contrasting fashion.

The Ukrainian side were awarded that result after their game against Roma was abandoned at half time with Dynamo a goal up after referee Anders Frisk was hit by a missile.

In contrast, Bayer were in devastating form as they crushed pre-tournament favourites Real 3-0 on home soil.

The hosts could welcome back Valentin Belkevich from an ankle injury but coach Jozsef Szabo was wary about putting too much expectation on the Belarus international.

"Valentin is training with the group and is preparing for the match," he said.

"Perhaps he will be on the bench, perhaps he will go even further than that. But please understand that you have to earn a place in this side."

Szabo rested several players at the weekend and will select a relatively fresh side with Rodolfo also available after suspension, although Sergei Fedorov is injured.

The visitors have further injury troubles to contend with after Roque Junior and Radoslaw Kaluzny were forced in to the treatment room.

They join Hanno Balitsch, Daniel Bierofka and Clemens Fritz on the sidelines although Franca has overcome an ankle knock.

Group C preview
Bayern Munich entertain Ajax in one of the UEFA Champions League games of the night on Tuesday.

Dutch striker Roy Makaay is looking forward to taking on a team from his homeland but feels Bayern need to improve on their recent form.

"If we play against Ajax the way we did against Freiburg, we won't stand a chance," he said frankly.

Although Bayern won that game, they have not been at their best yet this match-up of two great European warriors could help the Bavarians to hit top form.

Felix Magath does not have too many selection problems although striker Roque Santa Cruz is out with a knee problem.

Fellow forward Claudio Pizarro is available, as is Germany midfielder Sebastian Deisler.

Ajax have doubts over Steven Pienaar and Maxwell but Czech Republic international Tomas Galasek is back for Ronald Koeman's charges.

The Amsterdam giants have a terrific record in Germany but Koeman concedes that Bayern must be considered favourites to win the tie.

"Do not burden us with high expectations," declared the man who shot Barcelona to European Cup glory at Wembley in 1992.

Juventus v Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Juventus start their Group C showdown with Maccabi Tel-Aviv as strong favourites to clinch another three points.

Fabio Capello has guided his side to the top of Serie A and successfully navigated a difficult trip to the Amsterdam ArenA in their opening group game.

"Juventus must be Juventus!" harked the Bianconeri coach, who is in confident mood but does not want to under-estimate his Israeli opponents.

"As a whole, Maccabi are well organised and rarely give the ball away," warned Capello, who looks set to stick with Alessandro Del Piero despite some criticism of his captain's performances in the media.

Pavel Nedved and Fabio Cannavaro are doubtful for Juve with defenders Ciro Ferrara and Paolo Montero definitely sidelined. Jonathan Zebina returns from suspension to help compensate for the absentees as his defensive nous will prove useful.

Maccabi boss Nir Klinger will choose between Salem Abu Siam, who is back from a ban, and Shuki Nagar for the left back slot.

Liran Cohen is injured so Emile Mbamba, Elad Bonfeld and Eli Biton are challenging to take his place in the midfield.

"The game is the toughest we could have got in Europe today because Juventus are the best team on the continent," said Klinger.

"But we are fully focused."

Group D preview
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson still has not decided whether to start with Wayne Rooney but the England international will definitely make his debut at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Newspaper reports claim Ferguson will play Rooney instead of the injured Paul Scholes with Alan Smith a candidate to drop to the bench. However, Ferguson has plenty of options open to him with only Gary Neville and Louis Saha joining Scholes on the sidelines.

Rooney is earmarked for a withdrawn striker's role and could add extra punch to United's attack, although Smith could also ruffle a few Fenerbahce feathers. Roy Carroll keeps his place in goal and the defence should remain unchanged although John O'Shea could shift position if edged out of the midfield.

"I think if we win the home games, it's vital," said Ferguson. "In the last few years, our home record has been good.

"That's imperative and we're very happy to get a point in Lyon.

"I know Fenerbahce as a team. They have five Brazilians in their squad, Alex is the most well-known of them, and (Pierre) van Hooijdonk we all know about so I think our experience of playing Turkish teams means we do give them a lot of respect.

"The rise in Turkish football is obvious over the last few years and we're preparing for a hard game."

Fener have Rustu Recber, reckoned to be a United target in the past, in goal following his switch from Barcelona but coach Christoph Daum is missing a couple of players.

Servet Cetin is suspended following his dismissal against Sparta Prague and Kemal Arslan has picked up a leg injury.

Daum is unhappy with the restrictions placed upon his buying policy by the authorities.

"It is a real disadvantage to what the other teams can do in the Champions League," he complained. "But I am not trying to find excuses."

Turkish clubs can only import six foreign players due to restrictions imposed by the league and Daum would clearly like to add more continental influence to his line-up.

Sparta Prague v Lyon

Sparta Prague welcome influential skipper Karel Poborsky back into the side after he missed the narrow defeat in Fenerbahce.

The Czech Republic international adds his experience to Frantisek Straka's line-up and proved his fitness after recovering from a back strain with a fine display in the recent league win over Marila Pribram.

Lyon coach Paul Le Guen fears Poborsky's return can rejuvenate Sparta in front of their home crowd.

"He is a specific danger," Le Guen warned. "We have much respect for him and his career."

Sylvain Wiltord is expected to be part of a three-pronged attacking force that includes Sidney Govou and Pierre-Alain Frau as the French champions look to exploit any weaknesses in Sparta's defence.

L'OL are likely to be without Brazilian playmaker Juninho Pernambucano which will curb their creative intent. Defender Eric Abidal is definitely absent.

Straka believes former Arsenal forward Wiltord is a major threat to his side's hopes of securing their first points of the campaign.

"Their biggest strength is in midfield," he said. "But the strikeforce also poses danger, of course French international Wiltord in particular."

Sparta currently sit four points clear at the top of the Czech table ahead of Teplice.

Oxford v Exeter

Oxford boss Graham Rix will field his strongest available side in the LDV Vans Trophy, does have doubts over Jon Ashton (Achilles) and Terry Parker.
Mark Rawle could be set for his first start of the season after recovering from a groin injury.

Exeter will ring the changes with James Bittner and Wayne O'Sullivan and Gary Sawyer among those to come in.

Alex Jeannin, Jake Edwards, Sean Canham, Marcus Martin and Danny Clay are also expected to win recalls.

Carlisle v Grimsby

Carlisle player-manager Paul Simpson could make his first appearance of the season in the LDV Vans Trophy match.
Simpson is still suffering following a summer cartilage operation, but has recovered sufficiently to consider picking himself among the substitutes.

Grimsby manager Russell Slade is considering making changes to his side.

Justin Whittle, who has been playing despite a back injury, may be rested with Greg Young standing by to replace him. Jason Crowe is also due a rest
(BBC, New's-Now, Sky-Sport, Reuters)


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