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Primera Liga matches, Nov 6-7
Fri 5 November, 2004 11:14

By Simon Baskett

MADRID, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Despite their dazzling 2-1 win over AC Milan and the poor form of Deportivo Coruna, Spanish league leaders Barcelona are preparing for a tough match against the Galicians on Saturday (kickoff 1900 GMT).

"We can't afford to relax after the Milan game," captain Carles Puyol said this week. "Depor are going through a bad patch at the moment, but they are a quality side and they always play well when they come to the Nou Camp."

Barca played scintillating football in Tuesday's Champions League match against Milan, coming from a goal down to win thanks to a superb strike from Ronaldinho two minutes from time.

Although Dutch defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst believes Barca have the makings of a championship-winning side, he insists they have no room for error if they want to collect their first major trophy in five years.

"We are playing very well, but we have to keep it going the whole season, because if you don't get it right one week you could end up losing the league," he said.

Barca stretched their lead at the top to six points with a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao last weekend but will be keen to preserve that cushion with tough fixtures coming up.

Depor, in contrast, look to have waved goodbye to their chances of advancing in the Champions League following a surprise 1-0 home defeat by Liverpool.

Javier Irureta's side, lying 10th in the Primera Liga, have been struggling to score goals and have missed influential midfielder Mauro Silva.

The Galicians will be encouraged by the fact they have not lost away from home in the league and won 2-0 at the Nou Camp last season.

Other matches being played this weekend (league positions in brackets, kickoff times 1600 GMT unless stated):


ALBACETE (17) v REAL BETIS (13) 2100

Betis have recovered from a shaky start to put together a six-match unbeaten run, but will be without leading striker Ricardo Oliveira, who was sent off during last week's 1-0 draw against Malaga.

Albacete will be without keeper Raul Valbuena, who broke his hand during last Sunday's 0-0 draw at Deportivo. - - - -



Zaragoza turned in another entertaining performance to crush Sevilla 3-0 last week and will fancy their chances against Atletico who are likely to be without leading striker Fernando Torres (ribs) and playmaker Ariel Ibagaza (ankle). - - - -


Valencia have gone eight games without a win in all competitions and will be desperate to end that run against modest Getafe.

Claudio Ranieri's side will, however, be without Argentine midfielder Pablo Aimar and would do well not to underestimate the Primera Liga newcomers, who outplayed Real Madrid despite losing 2-0 at the Bernabeu last week. - - - -


Athletic looked in excellent shape during last week's 1-1 draw at Barcelona, but provided further evidence of their inconsistency when they slumped to a 3-1 UEFA Cup defeat by Besiktas.

They need to show their better side against this season's surprise packages Levante, who inflicted a first home defeat on Osasuna last time out. - - - -


Four successive defeats have left promoted Numancia rooted to the foot of the standings. Their defence has shipped 16 goals in nine matches and they have found the net only four times.

Racing should be confident after two wins in a row. - - - -


Espanyol suffered a serious blow with news that leading striker Raul Tamudo will be out for up to six weeks with a thigh injury, leaving Barca player Dani to lead the attack.

The Basques appear to be on the up after two wins in a row and will be boosted by the return of supersub Oscar de Paula. - - - -


High-flying Sevilla bounced back from a 3-0 defeat at Zaragoza with a 2-0 win over Alemannia Aachen in the UEFA Cup.

Joaquin Caparros's talented young side are likely to prove a handful for struggling Mallorca, but the islanders will have been boosted by the decision of former coach Hector Cuper to return to the club following the sacking of Benito Floro. - - - -


Despite a string of injury and suspension problems in recent weeks, Villarreal have still managed to remain unbeaten for the last four games and have yet to lose at home.

Former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan has been in good form and his duel with Osasuna front man Savo Milosevic should be an interesting one. - - - -

MALAGA (11) v REAL MADRID (3) 1800

Real rode their luck in a flattering 2-0 win over Getafe last week and were on the ropes for much of their 2-2 draw against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.

They will need to produce a considerably improved performance to beat the Andalucians, who will have the in-form Paulo Wanchope leading their attack.

Real centre-back Walter Samuel misses out with a knee injury, while David Beckham has yet to recover from cracked ribs.

Serie A matches, Nov 6-7
Fri 5 November, 2004 13:44

By Simon Evans

MILAN, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Italian champions AC Milan face the team that pushed them closest in the title race last season when they face AS Roma at the San Siro on Sunday (1930 GMT).

While Milan, five points behind leaders Juventus, remain firmly in the title race again, however, Roma are down in mid-table, 13 points behind Juve and with the league's second worst defensive record.

Luigi Del Neri's side were eliminated from the Champions League on Wednesday having picked up just one draw from their opening four games.

One of the few bright points of a miserable season for Roma has been the return to form of striker Vincenzo Montella, Serie A's top scorer with eight goals.

It is typical of the misfortunes afflicting Roma that Montella is almost certain to miss Sunday's game with an ankle injury.

In normal circumstances Del Neri would turn to Antonio Cassano to partner Francesco Totti in attack but this week the Roma coach dropped the troubled striker for disciplinary reasons and it would be hard for him to hand Cassano an instant recall.

Milan's good run of form ended with their 2-1 defeat at Barcelona on Tuesday and coach Carlo Ancelotti will be without striker Filippo Inzaghi and Dutch defender Jaap Stam until the New Year.

Against Roma, Ancelotti will ask Jon Dahl Tomasson or Hernan Crespo to partner the in-form Andriy Shevchenko in attack with both angling for a long stretch in the starting line-up given Inzaghi's absence.

Leaders Juventus face a trip south to face lowly Reggina while Inter Milan, who have drawn seven of their opening nine games, will have to work hard to improve on that at Fiorentina.

OTHER MATCHES (League positions in parentheses, kick off Sunday 14:00 GMT unless stated):


Atalanta are still without a win and are already looking like relegation fodder while Sampdoria can curse bad luck for at least two of their five defeats this season.

- - - -


Last week's win over Reggina halted any talk of a slump in form at Messina who remain one of the most exciting sides of the season so far.

Messina are without their main striker Riccardo Zampagna who is suspended while Bologna have heavy injury problems.

- - - -

BRESCIA (16) v CHIEVO VERONA (7) (Saturday 17:00)

Both sides have suffered two straight defeats but Brescia go into the game without Giuseppe Sculli, Luigi Di Biagio and Marc Nygaard, who are all suspended.

- - - -


Having failed to win in their opening six games Livorno are on a run of three straight victories. Calgliari will start as favourites, however, in a clash between two promoted sides as despite being crushed 5-1 at Roma last week they are unbeaten at home this season.

- - - -


Caretaker Fiorentina coach Sergio Buso has won both his games in charge including the 4-0 triumph over Lecce which showed the potential of the expensively assembled squad.

If Inter are to avoid another season as 'also-rans' they need to show the killer touch that has been missing so far. Argentine midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron is suspended.

- - - -

LAZIO (11) v SIENA (17)

Lazio have won just one of their four home games this season but will fancy their chances against the Tuscans despite a series of injury doubts.

Siena will hope that striker Enrico Chiesa will continue his good form against one of his previous clubs.

- - - -

LECCE (3) v UDINESE (10)

Lecce need to bounce back from last week's mauling from Fiorentina but Udinese, who have made a disappointing start, will know they face one of the most lethal attacks in Italy.

- - - -

PALERMO (15) v PARMA (18)

Few would have predicted such lowly positions for these two clubs but despite the results they have both produced some good football at times.

The match will feature the two men battling to replace Christian Vieri as Italy striker -- Parma's Alberto Gilardino and Palermo's Luca Toni.

REGGINA (19) v JUVENTUS (1) (Saturday 19:30)

Unbeaten Juve have conceded just two goals this season while picking up eight wins and a draw. In midweek they also made it four wins from four Champions League games with victory away to Bayern Munich.

In stark contrast, Reggina have managed just one point from their last five games and the pressure is mounting on coach Walter Mazzarri.
Italian kokoonpanot/loukk/pelikiellot, linkistä
http://www.gazzetta.it/Calcio/prob_form ... nata.shtml

Bundesliga fixtures, Nov 6-7
Fri 5 November, 2004 14:56

By Philip Blenkinsop

BERLIN, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich host high-flying Hanover 96 on Saturday, seeking to banish memories of their last-minute loss to Juventus and rediscover their scoring touch.

A Bayern win would move them up at least a place from a lowly fifth place but fourth-placed Hanover arrive on the back of six consecutive wins.

Bayern coach Felix Magath has identified a lack of goals as Bayern's main problem. Roy Makaay has gone seven matches without a goal, five in the league, a barren spell by the Dutchman's prolific standards.

Makaay and his team mates missed a string of chances in the 1-0 Champions League defeat by Juventus on Wednesday but at least they created them after a poor display in losing 2-0 at Borussia Moenchengladbach last weekend.

Lucio will be out after his red card in that game. Right back Andreas Goerlitz tore knee ligaments against Juventus, an injury likely to rule him out for six months.

Another defender, Thomas Linke, must sit out the game after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season.

The match may come too soon for midfielder Sebastian Deisler, who was readmitted to the clinic that treated him for depression last year, although he has since returned to training.

Hanover, by contrast, have no major injury worries and will hope to add to their tally of 15 goals in their last six matches. Defender Michael Tarnat makes a first return to his former club.

Other Bundesliga fixtures this weekend. (kickoff times 1430 GMT unless stated, league positions in parentheses)

Saturday, November 6


Moechengladbach travel down the Rhine to Mainz on the back of a shock 2-0 win over Bayern and with a new coach, Dutchman Dick Advocaat, now in place.

Mainz will be without playmaker Mimoun Azaouagh, who has a knee injury, while Juergen Kramny is suspended. Striker Niclas Weiland returns following a thigh injury.

- - - -


Bochum have taken only three points from five matches and a torn leg muscle keeps out main defender Raymond Kalla.

Kaiserslautern broke a five-match winless streak with victory over Bielefeld last week, but have only won once away.

- - - -


Two straight wins have pulled Dortmund up to 11th and they trail their near neighbours only on goal difference. Bielefeld have lost their last two matches. Neither side has significant injury concerns.

- - - -


Bayer Leverkusen almost claimed their first away win of the season at AS Roma until the Italians equalised deep into injury time, but are undefeated at home. They will be without two defenders, the suspended Jens Nowotny and injured Juan.

Freiburg have lost five of their last six matches.

- - - -


Champions Werder Bremen come into the game after a 5-1 pounding of Anderlecht in the Champions League. They also welcome back four players, Umit Davala, Daniel Jensen, Pekka Lagerblom and Angelos Haristeas, from injury.

Hertha boast the league's tightest defence, but have won three and lost three of their last six games. Defender Arne Friedrich is injured but Marko Rehmer returns after a ban for taking medication without registering it.

- - - -


Leaders Wolfsburg visit struggling Nuremberg, coached by ex-Wolfsburg trainer Wolfgang Wolf.

Nuremberg have taken only five points from five home matches but should be lifted by last week's 2-0 win at Rostock. They will miss Tomasz Hajto through suspension.

Wolfsburg will hope for more from last week's four-goal hero Martin Petrov.

- - - -

Sunday, November 7 (both 1630)

HAMBURG SV (13) v SCHALKE 04 (2)

Schalke have climbed from 15th to second spot since Ralf Rangnick replaced Jupp Heynkes in September with an impressive five straight wins. They also won their UEFA Cup match in Scotland against Hearts 1-0 on Thursday.

Thomas Doll has won two and drawn one since taking over from sacked Klaus Toppmoeller at Hamburg.

- - - -


Stuttgart, boosted by an impressive 3-0 win over Benfica in the UEFA Cup, seek to end a wretched run of three consecutive league defeats and should prove too strong for Rostock, who have also lost their last three games.

Stuttgart defender Martin Stranzl returns from suspension.
Brighton v Crewe

Brighton defender Adam El-Abd could be forced to sit out the game as he is still suffering from a virus.
Midfielder Gary Hart is still suspended for an Albion side hoping to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat away at Derby.

Crewe could be boosted by the inclusion of centre-back Stephen Foster, who has not fractured his cheekbone as first thought and may be fit to continue.

Defender Adie Moses is still out with an ankle problem and Michael Higdon and Ben Rix are missing with injuries

Burnley v Ipswich

Burnley are ravaged by injury as John McGreal (hamstring), Graham Branch (calf), Richard Chaplow (knee) and Jean-Louis Valois (hamstring) are doubtful.
Ian Moore is still absent after his knee operation and Brian Jensen will deputise for Danny Coyne.

Ipswich defender Jason de Vos is almost certain to miss out with the dead leg he suffered in the 5-1 midweek victory over Sheffield United.

Kelvin Davis is fit after a back injury but Lewis Price may keep his place.

Watford v Derby

Watford will be without top scorer Danny Webber, who dislocated a shoulder in Tuesday's draw at Gillingham.
James Chambers is suspended, while fellow midfielder Paul Devlin and defender Neil Cox are still recovering from injury.

Derby defender Morten Bisgaard faces a late fitness on a foot injury, while Richard Jackson has a hamstring injury.

Inigo Idiakez is expected to shrug off a hamstring niggle picked up in the midweek demolition of Brighton.

Sheff Utd v Gillingham

Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock will name an unchanged side despite their 5-1 defeat at Ipswich in midweek.
Michael Tonge (ankle) and Alan Wright (stomach) are short of fitness, while Rob Kozluk, Chris Armstrong, Steve Kabba and Simon Francis are still out.

Striker Tommy Johnson could make his first start of the season after appearing twice as a substitute.

Darren Byfield, Patrick Agyemang, Nicky Southall and John Robinson are still struggling through injury

Preston v Leeds

Preston defender John Curtis is a major doubt as he is still suffering from a hamstring injury.
Fellow defenders Callum Davidson and Marlon Broomes are doubtful with hamstring problems and keeper Andy Lonergan is missing with a broken hand.

Leeds new signing John Oster is expected to go straight into the side after joining on loan from Sunderland.

Midfielder Sean Gregan and striker David Healy are both set to start against their former club.

Wigan v Plymouth

Wigan seek a seventh straight Championship win free of any new injury or suspension worries.
Boss Paul Jewell will pick from the 16-man squad which came through the hard-fought midweek win at Stoke unscathed.

Plymouth manager Bobby Williamson has included midfielder David Friio in an unchanged squad.

Despite Friio leaving Argyle's draw with Reading on crutches, Williamson is confident the influential midfielder will shake off an ankle injury.

West Ham v QPR

West Ham could be boosted by the return to action of defenders Chris Powell and Andy Melville.
Powell has recovered from a groin injury while Melville (calf) could return after a 45-minute midweek reserve team run-out.

QPR striker Jamie Cureton could return for his first match since Rangers' win over West Ham in October.

Cureton has recovered from a hamstring injury, but right-back Marcus Bignot will sit out a one-match suspension

Reading v Stoke

Reading striker Dave Kitson could miss his first league game of the season with foot and calf injuries, while Andy Hughes has problems with his hamstring.
Steve Coppell is without Shaun Goater (calf) and Nicky Forster (groin).

Stoke defender Clint Hill has been ruled out of the game after being taken off in midweek with a back injury.

To add to Tony Pulis' defensive problems, John Halls (back) and Marcus Hall (knee) are both major doubts for the trip to the Madejski Stadium.

Rotherham v Cardiff

Rotherham will be without on-loan striker Junior as he is suspended, but they have no new injury problems.
Martin Butler is still not quite ready to return and Andy Monkhouse (thigh) and Darren Garner (calf) are missing.

Cardiff boss Lennie Lawrence will field an unchanged side for the second game running for the trip to Rotherham.

Defender Tony Vidmar returns after serving a two-match suspension, but he will not displace James Collins and Danny Gabbidon.

Wolverhampton v Nottingham Forest

Wolves caretaker boss Stuart Gray has no fresh injury worries.
Defenders Mark Clyde and Rob Edwards (both ankle), and striker George Ndah (thigh) and Vio Ganea (knee) are still some way from fitness.

Forest will be without Andy Impey, who picked up a knee injury in the midweek draw with Rotherham.

Striker Gareth Taylor sits out the last game of a four-match suspension, while defender Jon-Olav Hjelde has recovered from a calf injury.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal

Crystal Palace defender Fitz Hall is doubtful with a knee problem, but boss Iain Dowie will leave it until the last minute before making a decision.

Sandor Torghelle is available again following a one-match suspension.

Arsenal's Edu is still ruled out with a calf injury as are Sol Campbell (Achilles), Jermaine Pennant (hamstring) and Gael Clichy (ankle).

The Gunners must decide whether to rest Dennis Bergkamp, with Robin van Persie hoping to make his first league start.

Palace (from): Speroni, Kiraly, Boyce, Butterfield, Borrowdale, Hudson, Hall, Popovic, Leigertwood, Powell, Sorondo, Granville, Riihilahti, Hughes, Kolkka, Derry, Danze, Watson, Routledge, Lakis, Freedman, Johnson, Torghelle, Kaviedes.

Villa (from): Lehmann, Almunia, Taylor, Lauren, Hoyte, Cole, Cygan, Toure, Senderos, Vieira, Fabregas, Flamini, Pires, Reyes, Ljungberg, van Persie, Henry, Bergkamp.

Aston Villa v Portsmouth

Portsmouth are set to give a debut to on-loan Frenchman Valery Mezague in place of the injured Patrik Berger.

Midfielder Eyal Berkovic has failed to overcome a calf injury while Steve Stone is still sidelined (Achilles).

Portsmouth (from): Hislop, Primus, De Zeeuw, Stefanovic, Unsworth, LuaLua, Quashie, Faye, Mezague, Fuller, Yakubu, Hughes, Griffin, Taylor, Cisse, Ashdown.

Liverpool v Birmingham

Liverpool's Milan Baros is only 50-50 because of a hamstring injury while Harry Kewell is doubtful after picking up an ankle knock against Deportivo.

But midfielder Xabi Alonso is fit again after a calf problem.

Birmingham City midfielder Muzzy Izzet will return after a five-week absence with a knee injury.

David Dunn has not recovered from an Achilles injury and Clinton Morrison, who has had a cartilage operation, is out for at least another week.

Liverpool (from): Kirkland, Josemi, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Kewell, Garcia, Alonso, Hamann, Biscan, Diao, Riise, Baros, Pongolle, Mellor, Warnock, Dudek, Finnan, Henchoz.

Birmingham (from): Maik Taylor, Melchiot, Cunningham, Upson, Lazaridis, Gronkjaer, Savage, Johnson, Gray, Izzet, Yorke, Heskey, Vaesen, Clapham, Tebily, Anderton, Clemence.

Norwich v Blackburn

Norwich defender Adam Drury is doubtful with a hamstring injury which forced him to miss Monday's 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

Jim Brennan is on stand-by but the Canaries have an otherwise fit squad.

Blackburn central defender Lorenzo Amoruso (heel) is definitely out - and Craig Short (hamstring) and Dominic Matteo (stiff neck) are doubts.

David Thompson (ankle) could be on the bench for the first time since the start of the season.

Norwich (from): Green, Edworthy, Fleming, Charlton, Drury, Jonson, Francis, Holt, Huckerby, Svensson, McKenzie, Helveg, McVeigh, Brennan, Doherty, Bentley, Henderson, Safri, Ward.

Blackburn (from): Friedel, Enckelman, Gray, McEveley, Gresko, Short, Matteo, Todd, Johansson, Neill, Reid, Emerton, Pedersen, Douglas, Flitcroft, Tugay, Ferguson, Stead, Dickov, Jansen, Bothroyd, Djorkaeff, Gallagher.

Chelsea v Everton

William Gallas is available after shrugging off a knock picked up during Chelsea's midweek Champions League win over CSKA Moscow.

Striker Didier Drogba is still out with a groin injury but is expected to be back within two weeks.

Everton have Joseph Yobo available after the Nigerian defender's recovery from a calf problem.

He could return to the side as a replacement for the suspended Lee Carsley in a defensive midfield role.

Everton (from): Martyn, Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Yobo, Pistone, Osman, Gravesen, Kilbane, Watson, Bent, Cahill, McFadden, Wright, Ferguson, Campbell, Fox, Chadwick

Southampton v West Brom

Southampton's Kevin Phillips returns from a calf strain and will partner Dexter Blackstock or Brett Ormerod.

Defender Jelle van Damme is fit to resume at left back but Fabrice Fernandes is still sidelined by a hamstring strain.

West Brom central defender Darren Purse will return after a four-match ban.

Caretaker boss Frank Burrows will check on the fitness of Hungarian skipper Zoltan Gera (stomach bug) but Geoff Horsfield (knee) is still ruled out.

Southampton (from): Niemi, Kenton, Lundekvam, Jakobsson, van Damme, Nilsson, Telfer, Delap, A.Svensson, Phillips, Blackstock, Ormerod, Prutton, Higginbotham, Best, Folly, McCann, Blayney.

West Brom (from): Hoult, Scimeca, Moore, Gaardsoe, Purse, Robinson, Gera, Clement, Johnson, Greening, Kanu, Earnshaw, Horsfield, Kuszczak, Koumas, Dyer, Dobie, Haas.

Tottenham v Charlton

Tottenham captain Jamie Redknapp is available after suspension while Michael Carrick is still hoping to make his first Tottenham start.

Defender Nourredine Naybet and striker Frederic Kanoute are both fit and could feature against the Addicks.

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley will consider making changes at Spurs.

He could keep faith with Jonatan Johansson, while Danny Murphy may well return to central midfield and Dennis Rommedahl has recovered from injury.

Tottenham (from): Robinson, Pamarot, Naybet, King, Bunjevcevic, Carrick, Pedro Mendes, Davies, Jackson, Ziegler, Taricco, Defoe, Keane, Kanoute, Brown, Barnard, Sousa, Keller.

Charlton (from): Kiely, Andersen, Young, Perry, Fortune, Hreidarsson, Murphy, El Karkouri, Stuart, Holland, Euell, Thomas, Johansson, Jeffers, Lisbie, Rommedahl, Hughes, Bartlett, Kishishev, Fish.
(BBC, Reuters, Sky-Sport)


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